LGBTQ activists honored with ‘Key to the City’ award

Bruce Bastian and Kate Kendell recognized by SLC mayor.<br>

Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo Salt Lake Mayor Jackie Biskupski visits the Salt Lake Tribune editorial board on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016.

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski has awarded two LGBTQ activists with keys to the city, in recognition of their longtime efforts to advance gay rights.

Bruce Bastian and Kate Kendell were given the awards on Wednesday, as part of the city’s recognition of National Coming Out Day. Both honorees are native Utahns who have played significant roles in the national fight for LGBTQ equality.

The Key to the City award is presented to individuals who have used their voices, talents, or resources to improve the local community in significant way, a mayor’s office news release states.

Biskupski is the first openly gay mayor of Utah’s capital city.

Bastian, a philanthropist and co-founder of the software company Wordperfect, was selected for the award because of his dedication to helping LGBTQ individuals live openly and for his support of the Human Rights Campaign and other advocacy groups, the release states.

Kendell, a graduate of the University of Utah’s law school, is executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights in San Francisco. NCLR aided Salt Lake City attorneys with the Kitchen v. Herbert case before the Denver 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. The 2013 lawsuit legalized same-sex unions in Utah.

More recently NCLR filed suit on behalf of Equality Utah to change sex-education law and state school-board policies that bar positive discussions of homosexuality in classrooms.