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Five years after boycott, Dan Savage coming to Utah

First Published      Last Updated Sep 30 2013 04:02 pm

Five years ago, The Cricket offered to buy Dan Savage a drink if he ever came to Utah.

Next week, Savage will be in Salt Lake City — and the offer still stands.

Savage — the best-selling author, sex-advice columnist and LGBT activist — will deliver the keynote speech for the University of Utah's Pride Week. The speech is set for Wednesday, Oct. 9, at 6 p.m. in the A. Ray Olpin Union Building on the U. of U. campus.

Tickets for the event are $10, but U. students can get two tickets for free.

In November 2008, Savage backed a boycott of the state of Utah. This was in response to California voters passing Prop. 8, the anti-gay-marriage ballot measure. The pro-Prop. 8 campaign was largely bankrolled by donations from members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (you know, the Mormons) — and many of those donations came from Utah.

(It's not the only time Savage has made headlines. He famously turned GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum's last name into a euphemism for a sexual by-product that pops up in Google searches; and this year he called for a boycott of Russian vodka to protest Russia's harsh anti-gay laws. He also launched the "It Gets Better" project, aimed at delivering positive messages to gay teens who face bullying.)

The Utah boycott call prompted John Saltas, publisher of Salt Lake City Weekly, to drop Savage's syndicated sex-advice column "Savage Love."

At the time, The Cricket (along with several in Utah's LGBT community) opined that Savage would do better by engaging with Utahns rather than cutting off contact with them. The Cricket offered to show Savage around Utah, and to buy a drink for Savage and Saltas as a peace gesture.

For the record, the offer for drinks is still open.