While the national Mormon hierarchy is very anti-LGBT, that does not hold for all Mormons. More than 300 Mormon LGBT-Allies joined with the Utah Gay Pride Parade in Salt Lake City drawing shouts of approval and tears from the spectators in the crowd. They said that they sought to send a message of love to Utah’s LGBT Community.
This is the first time that a large group of Mormons took part in the parade. Dressed in their Sunday best, there were fathers with their children on their shoulders and mothers pushing strollers. One youngster, Nevin Munson, 13, carried a sign reading “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” He even stated “I’m very saddened by the amount of hate in the world.” With regards to discrimination against LGBT people, he stated “I don’t believe in that – they’re humans.”
The Huffington Post noted:
Emily Vandyke, 50, carried a sign with the words from a Mormon children’s song: “I’ll walk with you, I’ll talk with you. That’s how I’ll show my love for you.”
Along the parade route, she embraced a weeping woman who said, “Thank you.”
“I haven’t recognized them as equals,” Vandyke told the Tribune. “They have been invisible to me.”
For parade grand marshal Dustin Lance Black, it was very emotional. He tweeted “In tears. Over 300 straight, active Mormons showed up to march with me at the Utah Pride parade in support of LGBT people.”
Holly Nelson, a lesbian from Murray, was also very emotional stating “I think it’s amazing. It’s been so hard to live in Utah knowing the Mormon church is against the gay community.”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes and teaches that marriage is only between a man and a woman, and sexual relations are only to be within marriage. It does not consider same-sex attraction a sin, but basically believes that loving someone who is of the same-sex is wrong. This dooms many to marriages that are little more than lies, which is a very big sin.
Some of those attending the parade had left the Mormon faith after coming out. Carolyn Ball, a 48-year-old lesbian, stated “I lost everything I loved because I came out.”
The 300 who marched were members of Mormons Building Bridges. Erika Munson, the group’s founder and a mother of five, said that organizers hope that it marks the start of a grassroots movement. She stated that “We want to inspire other Mormons at the local level to do things for their LGBT brothers and sisters.”
Many centralized religious organizations like the Mormon and Catholic Churches have hierarchies that are largely out of touch with their followers, who are often more tolerant of LGBT people than the members of the hierarchy.