SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski honored two LGBTQ rights activists on National Coming Out Day.
Bruce Bastian and Kate Kendell were awarded a Key to the City Wednesday. The award was presented on National Coming Out Day, an annual LGBTQ day of awareness and action.
Biskupski noted Bastian and Kendell’s long-time advocacy on behalf the LGBTQ community in Utah and across the nation.
After graduating from Brigham Young University, Bastian co-founded the software company Wordperfect. After coming out, he devoted himself to philanthropy and activism, using his success to support local and national LGBTQ equality efforts. Most notably is his support of the Human Rights Campaign and the campaign against Prop 8 in California. Bruce currently lives in Orem.
“I think most people in life just want to be who they are, they just want to be happy,” said Bruce Bastian in accepting the honor. “I don’t think people can be happy if they aren’t authentic and that’s what I want to help support.”
As the first staff attorney for the ACLU of Utah, Kendell directly litigated many high-profile cases focusing on all aspects of civil liberties. For 20 years, she has served as the Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, working to advance the civil and human rights of the LGBTQ community across the country. NCLR served as co-counsel in Kitchen v. Herbert the landmark Utah marriage equality case.
“This day and this event goes down in my very blessed life as the most spectacular thing I have ever been a part of,” said Kate Kendell on the event. “To be in a room with some of my closest friends and family-including my great friend the mayor-and to receive my first ever Key to the City was a stunner in every way.”
The Key to the City is presented to individuals who the mayor says have used their voices, talents, or resources to improve the local community in significant ways. This is the third time Mayor Biskupski has offered the award.