The Utah Pride Center is seeking nominations for The Dr. Kristen Ries Community Service Award and the Pete Suazo Political Action Award, two annual community awards which will be presented at the Utah Pride Festival’s Grand Marshal Reception and Awards Celebration on June 5.


Established in 1987 and named for a Utah doctor who was among the first to respond to the AIDS crisis, the Dr. Kristen Ries Community Service Award recognizes outstanding service to Utah’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. It is given to individuals who exemplify compassion, leadership and courage much as its namesake did during the early days of AIDS. Past winners of the award choose each year’s recipient. Recent winners include Utah AIDS Foundation director Stan Penfold, openly lesbian Rep. Jackie Biskupski, Doug Fadel, Doug Wrotham, Luci Malin and Jane and Tami Marquardt.

The Pete Suazo Political Action Award was established in 2002 and named for the late state Senator who spent much of his career trying to pass hate crimes legislation and attempting to bring diversity to Utah politics. The award in his name honors a politician who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to the cause of gay and transgender equality within the state through legislation, declaration or policy. Past recipients have included former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, Rep. David Litvak (who succeeded in passing the hate crimes legislation started by Suazo), Sen. Karen Hale, Rep. Paula Julander, Rep. Carol Spackman-Moss and Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff. Winners are chosen by a committee that includes members of the Utah Pride Center, the Utah chapter of the Human Rights Campaign, statewide gay rights group Equality Utah, and members of Utah Stonewall Democrats and Log Cabin Republicans.

Nominations for both awards are due April 30 at 5:00 p.m. They should include the name and contact information of the individual making the nomination, the nominee’s name and the award she or he is being nominated for, and a narrative of more than 100 words explaining the nomination. This information should be emailed to nominations@utahpridecenter.org or sent to:

Utah Pride Center  
Attention: 2009 Utah Pride Festival Awards  
355 N 300 W, First Floor
Salt Lake City, UT 84103  

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