On May 25, the Internation Imperial Court System presented Mayor Jackie Biskupski and Equality Utah with the Harvey Milk Civil Rights Award at a ceremony at the Salt Lake City-County Building. The award is the oldest LGBT award, having been presented annually since 1979.
Nicole Murray-Ramirez, who serves as Director of the IICS Canada-United States-Mexico and as a San Diego Human Rights Commissioner presented the awards, calling the city, “the pride of the Rocky Mountain States.” The IICC honored them for their work promoting equality and in recognition of Salt Lake as the second city to honor Harvey Milk with a street naming, following San Diego. So, also during the ceremony, they swapped street signs and Ramirez was then named an “Honorary Citizen of Salt Lake.”
“To be awarded the oldest LGBTQ Civil Rights Award in the nation is incredibly humbling,” said Biskupski becoming emotional when presented with the special Harvey Milk Bust.
Utah Pride Center Executive Director, Rob Moolman also treated Ramirez to a tour of the center’s new building. “This Center rivals any LGBT community center in any major city,” said Ramirez, who in return presented the center with a special U.S. postage stamp portrait of Harvey Milk.
Upon returning home, SDGLN.com reported that Ramirez, also known as Empress Nicole the Great, The Queen Mother of the Americas within the IIC said of his visit to Salt Lake: “It was my privilege to spend five days in Salt Lake which not only has an outstanding mayor who happens to be a lesbian, married and mother of two but also has three elected gay council members. Salt Lake, its city, and LGBT community is most certainly a role model for us all!”
On April 19, 2016, the Salt Lake City Council voted unanimously to rename a portion of Ninth South in honor of the assassinated LGBTQ rights activist. Then the official dedication of the street was May 16, 2016.
Photo Credit: Charles Bozanski