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300 Straight Mormon Allies March in Salt Lake City’s Pride Parade

Jim Burroway

June 4th, 2012
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It was a diverse group of Mormons (well, diverse as far as Mormons in Utah go) that showed up to march in Sunday’s Pride Parade in Salt Lake City:

The group, Mormons Building Bridges, said they wanted to send a message of love to the state’s LGBT community, a message they believe is compatible with their faith.

Emily Vandyke, 50, carried a sign with the words from an LDS children’s song: “I’ll walk with you, I’ll talk with you. That’s how I’ll show my love for you.”

Several blocks along the parade route, she embraced a tall woman weeping at the edge of the crowd who said, “Thank you.”

“I haven’t recognized them as equals,” Vandyke said a few minutes later. “They have been invisible to me.”

Organizers expected about a hundred straight Mormon families to show up. Those expectations were exceeded threefold, with many marchers showing up straight from church in their Sunday best.

Those accounts were carried in the Salt Lake Tribune and spread across the country by the Associated Press. Mormons Building Bridges also got a brief mention from the local CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox affiliates, as well as Mormon-owned Deseret News, which carefully spelled out the church’s position on homosexuality.



Too Little Too Late
June 4th, 2012 | LINK

This Facebook comment by Raphael Mazor says it all in my opinion:

Without coming out with unambiguous supporting gay and lesbian rights, this movement comes across as more public relations for the LDS church, and less about remorse for homophobia. As one of millions of Californians that were deeply wounded by your church, I remain skeptical about your sincerity.

I have no reason to disagree with the above quote.

Perhaps when this person stands up in public and unequivocally states that the Mormon church has made a grave error in religious doctrine that has resulted in untold harm to the LGBT community and is willing to do what is necessary to cure that harm then I will believe that the Mormon church has changed.

Until then this just comes across as a cynical attempt to co-opt LGBT event(s) to try and put the church in a better light with regards to equality.

And by the way, supposedly they will march in a few other Pride Events if this is to be believed.

June 4th, 2012 | LINK

The Mormon Church has not changed just a small part of their followers. I think the biggest effect is that these are members that have chosen to not blindly follow the church. This is not what the church want for they know that to keep the church strong is to not have their member’s question their teachings. They are not know for allowing their members to question them or to use their own mind and usually when they do they are removed from the church so as to the spread the idea of free thought. Free thought does not lend itself to following the Mormon Church’s teachings!

I think of this as similar to the Catholic church teachings on birth control. I remember reading that there was a survey of American Catholics (about 25 years ago) where it was like 60% did not follow the church’s teachings of no birth control. I would assume that it is much higher now. I believe that this too will grown unless the Mormon Church acts quickly to place these members under disciplinary action to scare the others for thinking for themselves. Let’s face they say they are all about family but what happens when they have a gay child? They are banished from the family and their family members are no longer allowed to communicate with them. They (meaning the church) are less about family and more about the control of their members.

June 4th, 2012 | LINK

This was not a PR stunt by the LDS Church.

What does not get reported in the news has been the rash of suicides of late. I’m not sure that this was the genesis of this group of LDS members who marched in the parade yesterday but I will venture a guess it has a great part of it.

How can anyone ignore the amount of strife and angst someone goes through…enough to take one’s own life. It makes a statement which might be finally getting some goodly Saints’ attention and they want to reach out and stop these suicides from happening.

In the past we have had PFLAG and Straights for Gays contingents at the Utah Pride Parades but this is a first for this type of parade participation. It was certainly well received by me and a huge part of the crowds along the parade route.

June 4th, 2012 | LINK

To characterize this as some kind of PR stunt by the LDS church or its members is an incredibly ignorant statement. This isn’t some kind of LDS-church-sponsored action. The Mormons marching in this parade are putting themselves at risk of being disciplined and perhaps even excommunicated by their church. You can poo-poo that if you want, but I think it’s pretty clearly a positive step – and this could be the start of a larger movement challenging the hierarchy of the Mormon church’s stance on homosexuality.

June 4th, 2012 | LINK

Those marchers are going to be terrorized by their bishops at their next mandatory meeting.

June 4th, 2012 | LINK

I have no problem with people who theologically disagree with homosexuality nevertheless openly embracing LGBT human beings and agreeing to meet them as equals. It is a huge first step.

I am an atheist, but even as a Roman Catholic youth I disagreed entirely with the Mormon “lifestyle.” I do not believe that Joseph Smith was anything but a con man, I do not believe the the “Book of Mormon” has any more divine origin than the Yellow Pages that were delivered to my house and, were I still Catholic, I would believe that all Mormons were risking Hell for not believing in a “true” religion.

That being said, I firmly and totally believe in the rights of Mormons to practice, share and grow their faith, as long as I have an equal footing in society. This is also was I was taught throughout my upbringing as a Catholic, when the parable of the Good Samaritan was pointed to as the most important teaching of Jesus. We do not have to agree to respect and care for one another, and I see this movement as a big step forward to a day when LGBT citizens are treated as full and equal human beings by all religious, even those who believe we are risking Hell.

Gene in L.A.
June 4th, 2012 | LINK

Demanding that individual Mormons atone for the full wrong of their church is about as sensible as demanding that every gay person apologize for the wrongs of all gay people, whatever they be. I salute and thank these people of good conscience who joined with my gay brothers and sisters in this march. Their integrity outshines that of their church.

December 26th, 2012 | LINK

The Salt Lake Tribune has named their “Utahn(s) for the Year”

a sample:

Attending church feels different now, he says. “The mood has shifted, a new tone has been struck. It is now safe for Mormons to talk openly about homosexuality, and Mormons Building Bridges played a key role in that.”


For some Pride participants, Mormons showing up at their parade and not advocating for marriage equality “is not enough,” she says, “and I get that.”

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