As members of the gay-hating Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gather in Salt Lake City for the well-attended annual conference, gay activists on the ground aren’t planning a massive protest rally, despite those reports. Instead, they’re planning a “General Service Weekend,” which is as much as “come out and volunteer and do good” effort as it sounds.
“People have been calling and asking if we were going to protest general conference weekend, but we don’t feel that there is a need to protest the church any further right now,” organizer and gay-rights advocate Jacob Whipple said. “But we wanted to seize all that energy and do something productive.”
It was Whipple who launched the protest in Salt Lake City that brought thousands to Temple Square just days after California passed Proposition 8, the ballot measure that banned same-sex marriage in the Golden State. Now he and others have worked hard to coordinate a number of service projects in Salt Lake, Weber and Davis counties that will take place April 4-5.
[...] Whipple expects 50 to 100 volunteers in Ogden and another 300 to 500 in Salt Lake City to help tackle projects including park cleanups, maintenance at the Road Home, gardening work for Utah G.A.R.D.E.N.S., classroom maintenance at Head Start, and making visits to refugee families to uncover certain needs they may have and later bringing donations to them that will have been collected that weekend. [Desert News]