Salt Lake City’s new openly gay mayor Jackie Biskupski speaks with NPR in a new interview. She says she hopes her election inspires young people who feel marginalized.
NPR’s Kelly Mcevers asks Biskupski why people think her election is such a big deal:
“I think what you’re seeing is that people feel like there is, you know, a struggle in Utah between the LDS Church and the LGBT community, right? But we have gained so much ground here. And this past year, we passed a statewide nondiscrimination policy that the LDS Church and the LGBT community helped craft. And now, with my election, people are surprised, you know, that something significant like becoming the mayor of the capital city where the home of the LDS Church is located can happen. And that means something to everybody in the world. Like, this is big.”
She is also asked about the recent policy added to the Mormon handbook that says members of the church in same-sex marriages will be considered apostates against whom leaders of the church must enforce discipline and children of members in same-sex marriages will be barred from baptism and church membership until they pass the age of 18 and disavow same-sex cohabitation and marriage.
Biskupski has said she doesn’t believe the policy will last long. NPR asks why:
“Because I believe love will bear out over fear. And I really believe that that policy comes from a place of fear. Now, I haven’t met with them to talk to them about that, but it is a discussion I would like to have… I’ve asked to meet with the LDS Church, and I will be meeting with them. I’ve been meeting with him throughout this campaign. And in that discussion, there’ll be a number of topics that we’ll talk about – you know, the economy and the homeless and then the policy. We’ll talk about that policy.”
Biskupski says she’ll speak “with her heart” when she meets with them.