Hummus Company Fights for Marriage Equality in Utah


Can Israel’s favorite food bring peace to the Mormon stronghold of America? One Middle Eastern food company in Utah thinks so.

Derek Kitchen and Moudi Sbeity are the co-owners of Laziz Foods, a Salt Lake City-based producer of toum (a garlic condiment), muhammara (red pepper dip), and yes, hummus.

They are also one of three couples challenging Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional. The law was struck down by a federal judge in December, and is now before an appeals court.

“We realize that, overall, it’s not smart (or popular) for businesses to side with political issues,” said Sbeity, according to the Salt Lake Tribune, “but our lives are on the line here, and we hope to turn that around to our advantage, and make sure that businesses take a firm stand for equality.”

Giving fans a chance to show their support, Kitchen and Sbeity designed T-shirts that read “hummussexual.” On the back? “Live. Love. Laziz.” The shirts are currently available through the company’s marketplace on SquareUp.

This isn’t the first time hummus has been highlighted as an area for common ground among opponents. A recent documentary proposed that hummus could be the key to peace in the Middle East. And the 2007 Oscar-winning musical comedy short “West Bank Story” imagined food bridging the gap between Israelis and Palestinians as well.


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