Salt Lake City and the Salt Lake AIDS Foundation, which proposed to distribute condoms inside a brochure at a Pioneer Day fair, issued a joint agreement Wednesday expressing their mutual concern over AIDS education.
The statement comes the day after Mayor Palmer DePaulis ruled the organization could not distribute condoms at the Neighborfair scheduled for July 25 in Liberty Park.The ruling Tuesday, prompted by city concerns that children attending the popular fair might obtain condoms, sparked criticism and threats of legal action by the American Civil Liberties Union.
DePaulis said the agreement signaled a coming to terms, noting that the city was hoping to avoid a constitutional battle over the matter. The foundation has said it hoped to avoid any bad feelings, also.
"We really feel at this point that everyone has worked well together," he said.
The statement emphasizes the city and the foundation's commitment to education about the fatal disease.
"Education and information are essential in the prevention, treatment and understanding of this important problem," the statement read.
In the statement, the city acknowledges the foundation's right to participate in the fair and the foundation recognizes that families and children may be present at the fair.
But both agreed that "given the presence of children . . . (all parties) agree that specific AIDS protection products should not be distributed at the Neighborfair," the statement said.
"I think we want to support the educational aspect, but we don't want to support the product," the mayor said.
Future distributions may be regulated by mayoral executive order or possible city legislation, he added.
The ACLU said the condom was part of an informational campaign and therefore was an element of speech protected by the Constitution. But the city argued it had the ability to regulate "time, place and manner" of such speech.