our americas

Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (Milk) knows something about cultural divides in America. He grew up in a deeply conservative Latter-day Saint military household. It was not a homelife that was welcoming to a nascent gay adolescent.

Through his career as a filmmaker and activist, Lance has worked to bridge the divide between conservative religious traditions and the LGBTQ community. His groundbreaking film Milk, reintroduced activist Harvey Milk to the American consciousness, just as we were entering the final stages of the battle over marriage equality at the Supreme Court.

Through this effort, Lance has always championed the role Utah plays in the nation. “It’s clear to the whole country and the entire LGBT movement that we can never take our eyes off Utah” he said at the Equality Utah Allies Gala in 2010, ”Utah is the new bellwether state. If we can show this country, the President and the U.S. Supreme Court that Utah is changing, that Utah is embracing equality, then they will see clearly where history is headed.”

And just four years later, Utah became the first state in the nation to overturn a ban on marriage equality.

"The greatest stage for
making change is
the dining room table.
-Dustin Lance Black

Listen now:

0:00
0:00