Knowing the area fairly well, it was a complete surprise that Moab, Utah, known for it's outdoor jeep tours, beautiful scenery, and small-town pride hosted its first Gay Pride Festival this year. Utah, predominately Mormon, has traditionally not been known for being LGBTQ friendly. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (full name of the Mormon church) has, in the past, been a large financial supporter of anti-gay legislation and movements, such as Prop 8 in California. Prop 8 repealed the legalization of same-sex marriage, still being fought in the courts.
So for the small town of Moab this might be that "shot heard 'round the country" when it comes to LGBTQ education, equality and awareness. Time will tell but city officials, who fully supported the parade and festival, hope that next year it will grow and become an annual event, drawing in more tourists and money for the small, but beautiful town.