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americaflagAnyone familiar with the Mormon Church’s strong association to Salt Lake City in Utah might find it hard to believe that the Advocate, a well-known gay and lesbian magazine, has listed it as the ‘gayest’ town in America.

The magazine introduces the list of “Gayest cities in 2012” with a disclaimer, stating that it is purposely ignoring well-known gay havens such as West Hollywood, San Francisco, Provincetown and Northampton.

‘Far-less-oppressive-than-it-used-to-be Salt Lake City has earned its queer cred,’ said the magazine, basing the award on Salt Lake City’s active nightlife, LGBT bookstores, nude yoga classes and performances by gay-friendly bands. Those criteria were then awarded points, which were divided by the total population, allowing small towns to compete with large cities.

Although Utah is one of the most politically-conservative states in the U.S., Salt Lake City has the state’s only mutual-commitment registry to recognize same-sex partnerships.

Valerie Larabee, director of the Utah Pride Center in Salt Lake City said “If we were having a more scientific survey, I don’t know that we would choose these as indicators… All humor aside, I think that our city has come a long way. If we were to rate the cities that have made the greatest amount of progress over the last 10 years, I think we certainly would rank among the top.”

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