The 2014 Utah Pride Festival kicks off with the annual Grand Marshal Reception on Friday, June 6, 2014. Light hors doeuvres, desserts and a cash bar on the festival grounds, in front of the main stage. Celebrate our award recipients and our Grand Marshals.
Date & Time: Friday, June 6, 7pm
Tickets: $40Purchase Tickets
Grand Marshals: The Three Couples from Utah’s Marriage Equality Case
We are pleased to announce that this year’s Utah Pride Parade will be led by the three couples from Utah’s marriage equality case; Laurie Wood and Kody Partridge, Moudi Sbeity and Derek Kitchen, Kate Call and Karen Archer. They have taken the lead in the court case against Utah’s Amendment 3 and exemplify the courage, tenacity and heart of so many LGBTQ Americans who have worked, and continue to work, for equality under the law.
“While on the ACLU, board I closely followed Nebo District’s firing of Wendy Weaver. She was incredibly brave; I wasn’t sure I could do what she did. But when this opportunity came along, I knew it was the right thing to do,” Laurie said. The couple were married in Salt Lake City on Dec. 20, 2013, along with 170 other Utah couples. Their involvement with the lawsuit and the Utah Pride Parade is one of building bridges, “There are a lot of people, straight and gay, who feel a certain level of pride about what has happened in this state since Dec. 4 and more so since Dec. 20th. This is about Utah reclaiming a new reputation – a new state, a state that welcomes diversity,” Kody said.
Derek recalls changing lawn signs for Amendment 3 in the South Jordan neighborhood where he grew up from vote “yes” to vote “no” with a magic marker. “I was directly affected by Amendment 3. I was 16 and the only way I knew how to express my concern was to change the yard signs. It was empowering,” Derek said.
The couple recently became engaged on Valentine’s Day. Their decision to join the lawsuit was not easily made – both had concerns about potential backlash to their business and Moudi was afraid of the added stress the media attention around the case could cause his family in Lebanon. “My hope is that my
personal story reaches Lebanese shores and can be a part
of a broader change in my home country,” Moudi said.
Karen met Kate online in 2010 and moved to Southern Utah in 2011 to be with her. Kate worked as a caretaker at the University of Utah Rio Mesa Research station. Throughout their lives, the women have seen first-hand the necessity of the legality of marriage and have suffered discrimination for being lesbians. With Karen’s health issues looming, they were ardent that being legally married was imperative. With very little money, they traveled to Iowa and were married on July, 7, 2011. “We wanted to get married in a state it was legal so the moment marriage was legal in Utah, it would be in place,” said Kate.
Past Grand Marshals:
o 2014: Laurie Wood and Kody Patridge, Moudi Sbeity and Derek Kitchen, and Kate Call and Karen Archer (The three plaintiff couples of Utah’s marriage equality court case)
o 2013: David Testo, Major League Soccer Player
o 2012: Dustin Lance Black, Screenwriter
o 2011: Roseanne Barr, Comedian/TV personality
o 2010: Sister Dottie Dixon, Local LGBTQ personality
o 2009: Cleve Jones, Human Rights Activist/Protégé of Harvey Milk
o 2008: Ralph Becker, Salt Lake City Mayor
o 2007: John Amaechi, Retired Utah Jazz Player
o 2006: Boyer Jarvis, PhD., LGBTQ Ally
o Previous to 2005: Bruce Bastian, Human Rights Philanthropist/Co-Founder, Wordperfect; Alicia Suazo, wife of the late State Senator Pete Suazo; Jackie Bisupsk, Former Utah State Representative (currently running for SLC Mayor); Walter Larabee; Jess Hawk Oakens; Dr. Kristen Ries; Leonard Matlovich; and David Kopay