During Equality Utah’s annual Allies dinner, acting legend Robert Redford reaffirmed his support for the state’s LGBT community.
“I’m here for the same reason you are—equal rights for all,” Redford told the group of 2,000 people comprising of community activists and local politicians on September 16. “Like you, I believe there’s no place in our world for discrimination. None.”
The annual dinner helps to celebrate the campaign for equal right for the LGBT community amongst gay and straight citizens of Utah.
“I hope in this particular case that Utah can catch up,” Redford said. “What happens in Utah can matter in a profound way. Anytime you change the lines or change laws in Utah that are discriminatory, many are going to see it as a benchmark, possibly, for other places. The power of your personal story has the power to move hearts and minds, break down barriers and change points of view.”
Introduced by Allies Dinner co-chairwoman Donna Weinholtz, the theme of the night was “Equality in My Community.” Weinholtz predicts that the state will be “the first conservative, Republican state to pass a comprehensive housing and workplace nondiscrimination bill.”
“I’m 60 years old, have five kids, and I’ve just decided, you know, it’s time to stand up and speak out,” first time dinner attendee and Utah citizen Doug Smith told Deseret News. “It’s about being a good neighbor, but the same things you expect of a neighbor, you need to be.”