The Latest: Outgoing Salt Lake City mayor: City is inclusive
MICHELLE L. PRICE
Nov. 17, 2015
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The latest on Salt Lake City electing its first openly gay mayor (all times local):
Outgoing Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker has congratulated and pledged to work with Jackie Biskupski (bih-SKOOP-skee), who has been elected as the first openly gay mayor of the city.
Becker told reporters Tuesday that he is leaving the job with a feeling of success and that the city has become more inclusive, sustainable and livable during his eight years in office.
Becker has served on a White House climate change task force and was hoping to become the first person to win a third term as Salt Lake City mayor since 1983.
He doesn't know yet what his next career move will be but said serving as mayor was the richest experience of his life.
Jackie Biskupski says her election as the first openly gay mayor of Salt Lake City is historic but she wants to focus her efforts on voters and city workers.
Biskupski briefly acknowledged the milestone after her victory was announced Tuesday but said she wants to be a force of change for many people in the city.
Biskupski plans to meet soon with leaders of the Utah-based Mormon church to discuss a host of issues, including a new policy that bans baptisms for children of gay parents until the kids turn 18 and disavow same-sex relationships.
Biskupski has said she hopes The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reconsiders the policy.
She says her upcoming meeting with faith leaders is important because the church is a major employer and presence in the city.
A Utah resident who joined others in successfully suing to overturn the state's same-sex marriage ban has won election to the Salt Lake City Council.
Official election results released Tuesday show Derek Kitchen won the race to represent the city's central and downtown areas. He defeated Nate Salazar, a community and political activist.
Kitchen becomes the second gay member of the governing body.
Election wins by him and former Utah lawmaker Jackie Biskupski in the race for Salt Lake City mayor marked a milestone day for the LGBT community. Biskupski became the city's first openly gay mayor.
The 27-year-old Kitchen owns Laziz Foods, which sells hummus and other Moroccan spreads.
In December 2013, federal Judge Robert Shelby ruled in favor of Kitchen, his partner and two lesbian couples who sought the right to wed.
Former Utah lawmaker Jackie Biskupski has become the first openly gay mayor of Salt Lake City.
Official election results released Tuesday show the 49-year-old Biskupski defeated two-term incumbent Ralph Becker.
Her win marks a milestone for the LGBT community in the conservative state, even as the Mormon church and a small town judge delivered setbacks.
A judge in central Utah last week ordered a foster child to be removed from a lesbian couple and placed with a heterosexual couple, citing the well-being of the child. He later reversed his decision.
Days earlier, the Mormon church issued a new policy that bans baptisms for children of gay parents until the kids turn 18 and disavow same-sex relationships.
Biskupski is not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and said she hopes the faith reconsiders the policy.