Going back to 1991, Carol Gnade went from a visiting skier to Utah activist overnight. Gnade was on a vacation from Wisconsin when she read about House Bill 171 , an anti-abortion bill that would have banned all abortions in Utah, except to save the mother’s life. Outraged, she called the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah to see how she could help fight the legislature. But what began as a phone call ended up launching a long illustrious career as a social activist in Utah.
In 1993, Gnade took over as the Director of the ACLU of Utah. Her success includes fighting to end torture-restraint of prisoners, advocating for East High School students’ right to have a gay-straight alliance club, defending a Spanish Fork High teacher who was fired for discussing sexual orientation, and a wide variety of other causes affecting the lives of Utahns. She retired from the ACLU in 2002.
After a years-long hiatus to be with family, Carol Gnade is back to lead the fight for civil liberties and equality as Executive Director of the Utah Pride Center. Her years of experience and string of success with the ACLU made her a unanimous pick to take the helm of the Pride Center.
Today marks the beginning of the Pride Festival, running June 3 – 5. Salt Lake is celebrating the 41st anniversary of the Utah Pride Festival, the biggest and most public event of the Utah Pride Center. To learn more about Carol Gnade or Pride Center events, services, or resources, visit the utahpridecenter.org. More information on the Pride Festival can be found at utahpridefestival.org.