Here’s a quick feel good story: More than 300 Mormon church members wearing their Sunday best marched in the Utah Gay Pride Parade in downtown Salt Lake City.
Mormons have played a large role in helping to pass anti-gay legislation across the country with money, institutional support and dedicated volunteers. While their participation in the parade doesn’t mean institutional change it is a step forward.
Their participation marked the first time such a large group of Mormons took part in the parade, organizers told the Associated Press.
“Please come join Latter-day Saints in extending a message of love and support to our LGBT brothers and sisters by marching in the Utah pride parade. Each step we take will be an outward demonstration of our commitment to loving our neighbors,” Erika E.p. Munson wrote on a Facebook Event page inviting Mormons to the parade. “We are marching for the values of empathy and compassion that the Mormon faith teaches. Recognizing that silence (though coupled with good intentions) may leave some LGBT individuals to seriously question their self-worth in their homes, congregations, and before God, we are marching to save lives. “
Parade grand marshal Dustin Lance Black, an Academy Award-winning screenwriter, tweeted: “In tears. Over 300 straight, active Mormons showed up to march with me at the Utah Pride parade in support of LGBT people.”
When Black learned about the group of Mormons he requested the group be moved to the front of the parade, right behind him, according to one individual who marched.
Grand Marshall Dustin Lance Black.
(Image CC/Clinically Nomadic)