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The Mormons are coming to Gay Pride

Timothy Kincaid

June 8th, 2012

I guess they really liked marching in Salt Lake City, cuz the Mormons are breaking out their marching shoes. (WaPo)

This summer, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from around the country will be marching in LGBT pride parades in nine cities, including in DC’s Capital Pride parade on June 9, an act that participants say is motivated not in spite of Mormon teaching, but out of obedience to Jesus’ message.

Some will be there in full support of gay rights, including marriage equality. Others will be there just because they think their church has failed to be loving enough. But for whatever reason, they are there to support, not convert, condemn, or push ex-gay ministries. Unlike the evangelicals who occasionally set up a card table in some gay neighborhood because they “have a heart for the homosexual”, the Mormons are coming just to say, “hey, love your parade, love you, gimme a gay flag and I’ll wave it.” They aren’t even worried that they might be “supporting a sinful lifestyle”.

Some of us may still be hurt from 2008, but I think we should greet the Mormons with a big smile and a thank you. Their idea of “support” may not be ideal, but neither were the Episcopalians or the Democratic Party in 1986, and this is a very big step for them.

So when the Mormons come down the street with signs saying “Jesus said to love everyone” and “LDS hearts LBGT” with their dozen or so blond children waving rainbow flags, let’s give them some love in return. The last time Mormons organized around a gay issue, it was a very different message; I like this one a whole lot more.

Comments

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Hyhybt
June 8th, 2012 | LINK

Amen!

Besides, rejecting those who are coming around is no way to win more people over.

Larry Seiferth
June 8th, 2012 | LINK

Spot on, Timothy.

cowboy
June 8th, 2012 | LINK

These are Mormons who understand you don’t get ‘gay’ by rubbing up against us.

Daniel Francis
June 8th, 2012 | LINK

Amen.

Scott
June 8th, 2012 | LINK

I’ll thank them for coming but I still think their participation comes with an asterisk.

The church has been on a PR offensive since Prop 8 and I don’t trust this.

Laura
June 9th, 2012 | LINK

Call me cynical but I think they are doing this to help Mitt win the election. Mormons can be seen as inclusive and tolerant by participating(and by association, Mitt), and he can still pander to the rightwing bigots.

Mark Stevens Mueller
June 10th, 2012 | LINK

I live in Phoenix where there are a lot of LDS people, some very good friends of mine…that being said, I don’t trust this at all. If they’re involved in their ward they do what the ward says and I don’t see the higher ups welcoming this.

Soren456
June 10th, 2012 | LINK

I’m with Scott.

“. . . comes with an asterisk” is exactly right.

I have an asterisk of my own. I’ll welcome them, but only when they convince me that they truly accept and understand my point of view. For starters.

Sara Long
June 10th, 2012 | LINK

Hey guys. I’m Sara Long, quoted in the WaPo article. I was led here today looking for debunking of the Deseret News same-sex parenthood article. And I found it. Thank you!

Though you don’t know me from Adam, I’ll assure you anyway that our movement is totally grassroots, totally sincere, and totally nervous-making because we weren’t sure if there was going to be fallout from our church leaders coming down on us, as happened to Peter Danzig.* There hasn’t been so far, but we’ve only done one specifically Mormons for Marriage Equality march and that was yesterday in DC. Our next is in my city, Portland Oregon, this coming Sunday.

Mormons for Marriage (now with Equality appended for clarity) originated in 2008 in California during the awful Prop 8 ordeal. And though I was in no way involved, and neither were any of my fellows, I’ll say right now I am very sorry for that. We who are involved feel we cannot stay silent any longer and we must speak as Mormons to affirm equality for all citizens. Too many suicides, too much unchecked bullying and treatment of LGBT people as lesser, too much deprivation of civil rights from the minority by the majority.

Marching for marriage equality was my idea – at that time, it was a Washington State thing and Catholics for Marriage Equality WA mentioned us in an article where it also said they’d be marching in Seattle Pride. I said why don’t we march in Seattle Pride? That’ll send a message. It grew from there and now we’ll be in as many cities as we can. Four states have same-sex marriage measures on the ballot this November and we’re marching in three so far. If I can find a parade in Maine and some Mormons to march in it, we’ll cover that state too.

* – We’re “acting in open opposition” and “publicly advocating positions contrary to those of the Church;” however, L. Whitney Clayton of the Seventy said later on that year in the throes of Prop 8 that regarding Mormons for equality, “We love them and bear them no ill will,” and in the linked WaPo article, church spokesman Michael Otterson says the church does not direct members on public policy or how to vote, which must be a new development since 2008.

cowboy
June 11th, 2012 | LINK

This editorial comment in yesterday’s Salt Lake Tribune (Sunday June 10) should put to rest the idea that this was some LDS Church PR stunt.

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/54256114-82/love-parade-group-groups.html.csp

And, a thanks to Sara Long for commenting here.

Timothy Kincaid
June 11th, 2012 | LINK

Sara,

Thank you for the comment and thank you even more for what you are doing.

Duck
June 11th, 2012 | LINK

Ms. Long, do you tithe? If you do, you are aiding and abetting an enemy of equality by providing material support. Personally, your assurances aside, the timing of this sudden ‘hey let’s be nice to the gays’ turn by a few mormons seems very convenient given that one of two Presidential candidates is your co-religionist. I think that this is yet another effort by the LDS church to improve its image after the PR hit taken after Prop 8. I don’t buy it.

JimInMa
June 11th, 2012 | LINK

I wonder if they were in Boston this past weekend. There’s been no news about Boston Pride before or since this weekend. It’s like it didn’t even happen.

Sara Long
June 11th, 2012 | LINK

Thanks guys. Duck, no I don’t tithe; only about 30% of active Mormons have a temple recommend for which tithing is required, so the percentage who tithe is probably around that range. I support charitable institutions of my own volition, and make sure my money doesn’t go to fund deprivation of rights as it did in CA. As mentioned in the article I’m for Obama and a member of Mormons for Obama. JimInMa, no, we didn’t make that one. All the parades we have been and will be at so far are at mormonpride.org. Our specific group’s site is mormonsformarriageequality.org. Affirmation: Gay & Lesbian Mormons’ site is affirmation.org.

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