Utah Chapter Leaders
Jamila Tharp and Michelle Hasting are MEUSA's Utah Chapter Leaders. Jamila and Michelle were married in 2006 within their shared religious faith, Unitarian Universalism. They moved to Utah from northern California in 2011 with their 9-year-old daughter (Abigail, their "assistant chapter leader") and her two little brothers.
Jamila and Michelle dream of a world where their marriage will be legally recognized throughout the United States, providing them access to 1,138 federal rights – a world where their family will be recognized and protected legally and financially in all fifty states. Click here to read Jamila's and Michelle's story about Why Marriage Matters to them.
Many people have asked Jamila and Michelle why they moved to Utah when their family would be able to have more legal protections and rights elsewhere. They moved to Utah for all the reasons people in general come to Utah: the weather, the mountains, the outdoors, career opportunities, and the fact that Utah is a fun place to live within a community of caring people.
Having now lived in Utah for two years, Jamila and Michelle have overwhelmingly found their neighbors, the children’s schools, their co-workers, their church, and their community to be warm and accepting of their family. They experience a mismatch between the lives they are living and the outside perception of Utah. They find Utahans to be fair-minded and inclusive people who see love as love and family as family.
Their daughter, Abigail, also recognized this and in 2012 she organized a Valentine’s Day action writing a Valentine’s Day card to the people of Utah. Abigail calls us all out to be “Love Warriors” -- to make it our business to become educated and to help educate others about the need for fairness, inclusiveness and the freedom to marry.
We ask you to join our Utah Chapter in the endeavor of securing marriage equality for all by clicking on the join now box at the upper right. As you complete the membership form be sure to select Utah from the list of chapter options! This is about fairness and protecting families. Love is love. Family is family.