Redford attends dinner as special guest for Equality Utah event

Posted at 10:05 PM, Sep 16, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-17 00:06:06-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Actor Robert Redford was in town Monday night as a special guest for Equality Utah’s Allies Dinner.

Organizers say the 12th annual event held at the Salt Palace sold out in record time, with about 2,000 people attending. The crowd included leaders in the business and faith communities.

The goal of Equality Utah is to create a more welcoming and safe state for the LGBT and their families.

Redford said he was empathetic to the cause because he believes in equality for all.

“I think the people are all one and I think the state can only be stronger if they eliminate some of the discriminatory practices that have been in place for a while,” Redford said.

Brandie Balken, executive director with Equality Utah, was happy with the turnout

“I think what is probably the most pertinent to take away from this is this community and our allies is certainly growing and we are seeing support come from the entirety of the state for these really fair-minded, really common sense policies that we support and tonight is a wonderful marker of the progress that we've made,” Balken said.

This year marks the 35th anniversary of the country’s first non-discrimination law in San Francisco, making it illegal to fire LGBT people from their jobs or evicted from their homes.

Utah lags behind the rest of the country as being one of the last states to adopt such a law, Equality Utah officials say.