Freedom To Marry

The gay and non-gay partnership working to win marriage equality nationwide

[ + ] Text []

Voices of Equality: Rocky Anderson

Mayor Rocky AndersonRoss C. “Rocky” Anderson, founder of High Road for Human Rights, served as Mayor of Salt Lake City from 2000-2008. He was Host City Mayor during the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympic Games. Before serving as Mayor, he was listed in Best Lawyers in America, served as Chair of the Utah State Bar Litigation Section, and was Editor-in-Chief of Voir Dire legal journal. He served as President of the boards of the Utah affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, Citizens for Penal Reform, and Guadalupe Education Programs. He was a board member of Planned Parenthood Association of Utah and Common Cause of Utah. A vigorous human rights, government reform, and environmental advocate, Rocky was named by the Human Rights Campaign as one of the top ten straight advocates in the United States for GLBT equality and received the Sierra Club Distinguished Service Award, the EPA Climate Protection Award, the Respect the Earth Planet Defender Award, the National Association of Hispanic Publications Presidential Award, The Drug Policy Alliance Richard J. Dennis Drugpeace Award, the Progressive Democrats of America Spine Award, the Air & Waste Management Association Richard Beatty Mellon Stewardship Award, the League of United Latin American Citizens Profile in Courage Award, and the World Leadership Award for environmental programs. Rocky was named by Business Week as one of the top twenty advocates in the world on climate change and served on the Newsweek Global Environmental Leadership Advisory Committee.

In 2005, Anderson announced a plan of extending health benefits to unmarried partners of gay and straight Salt Lake City city employees, with or without the agreement of the city council. He believes strongly in the value of diversity, promoting greater dialogue, understanding, and inclusiveness among people of different faiths, ages, genders, sexual orientations, races, economic circumstances and ethnic origins.

Anderson has received national recognition for several initiatives, including an award from the US Conference of Mayors for his pedestrian safety initiative, Reclaiming the Streets. In 2000, the Salt Lake Tribune named him "Utahn of the Year."


"Recognition of the equal rights of gays and lesbians, and decent treatment of everyone regardless of their sexual orientation, is indeed one of the crucial civil rights issues of our time. Although personal prejudices are difficult to overcome, we can — and should — achieve an approach in our public dealings that promotes fundamental morality — love, respect and compassion for all of our brothers and sisters. And, in our public and personal lives, we can endeavor to comply with what is perhaps the greatest of all moral injunctions: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Or, as Rabbi Hillel (first century bce) implored: 'What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow creature. That is the whole Law; the rest is commentary.'" — Anderson in The Enterprise, 12/1/97

"I'd like to go as far as we can to provide for equal treatment regardless of sexual orientation." — Anderson to the Salt Lake Tribune

"As long as we're going to do this, we should demonstrate unity on this issue. Providing for equality should not create more division in our community." — Anderson to the AP



Read about more Voices of Equality.

Where Can Gay Couples Get Married?







Support the Respect for Marriage Act to Repeal DOMA

Support the Respect for Marriage Act by contacting your legislative leaders and friends.(Link)

Learn More About ‘Our Families Count’

Make sure LGBT families and people are accurately counted in the 2010 census.(Link)

A Decade of Progress on LGBT Rights

A new report shows the past 10 years have been a period of dramatic gains in equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in America, including sharp increases in the number of LGBT Americans protected by family recognition legislation at the state level. (Link)

Freedom to Marry Week 2010

Learn more about the 13th annual Freedom to Marry Week, February 8-14, 2010. (Link)