This is an archived article that was published on in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Salt Lake City Human Rights Commission and the Mayor's Office of Diversity and Human Rights threw a party Thursday in celebration of Human Rights Day and the 67th anniversary of the United Nations ratification of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The City Hall bash, featuring music by the Latin Jazz Factory All Stars and dance by Island Traditions, also featured an awards ceremony.

The 2015 Human Rights awards went to Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, Mansoor Emam and, posthumously, to Frank Cordova.

Planned Parenthood was honored for providing "affordable, safe health care, sex education and information on health-related issues to men and women."

The health organization's Utah CEO, Karrie Galloway, accepted the award.

"I only get to stand here tonight because of the incredible staff [and] our incredible board who was brave and strong and said 'It's OK to sue the governor when he disrespects you,' " Galloway said. "Dignity is what Planned Parenthood's about. Everyone has the right to dignity in health care. And the right to good sex."

Earlier this year, Gov. Gary Herbert cut funding for the Utah organization, saying he was disturbed by videos of national Planned Parenthood executives discussing the sale of fetal tissue.

Planned Parenthood of Utah, which does not provide fetal tissue for research, sued and won a temporary stay on the cuts. The case is still pending.

The national organization also has criticized the videos, secretly taped and allegedly heavily edited, as deliberate distortions by the anti-abortion group that produced them.

Mayor Ralph Becker, however, has given his full support for this award, as has Mayor-elect Jackie Biskupski, who was at the event.

Emam was recognized for his contributions as founder of two free medical clinics in Utah — the Hope Clinic in Midvale and the Meliheh Clinic in South Salt Lake.

Cordova was remembered for a life dedicated to "the empowerment of the Latino community in Utah." Among other contributions, he served as president of Centro Civico Mexicano and executive director of the Utah Coalition of La Raza.

comments powered by Disqus