PHOTOS: 300 Mormons Joined Utah Pride And Lightning Didn’t Strike Anyone!

More than 300 members of the Church of Latter Day Saints joined in the festivities at the Utah Gay Pride Parade in downtown Salt Lake City on Sunday, as thousands of marchers cheered them on. The Salt Lake Tribune reports the faithful—organized by a group called Mormons Building Bridges—came dressed in their Sunday best, “included fathers carrying their children on their shoulders and mothers pushing strollers.” One carried a sign with a reference to John 4:8, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

Also on hand were Grand Marshal Dustin Lance Black; Frenchie Davis and Prince Poppycock who performed later at the Pride Festival, Air Force officer Valerie Larabee and local politicians like State Senator Ben McAdams.

Erika Munson, who founded Mormons Building Bridges, told the Tribune “We want to inspire other Mormons at the local level to do things for their LGBT brothers and sisters.”

Click through for more images from Utah Pride in Salt Lake City

Photos: Utah Pride Festival

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  • Baron von Munchkin

    I doubt too many people see this as good news. You guys are so determined to see religion in general as evil that you’ll call this a stunt. Maybe they, like Barack, are evolving too.

  • Belize

    I’m so happy that Jason was given a chance to get out of the house and join the pride. I hope he took it so as to get a reason to remove the cobwebs between his legs (via walking of course.)

  • JP

    #16 looks really cute. I would date him.

  • Shannon1981

    @Baron von Munchkin: It is evil. Just because a few people WITHIN a religion are waking up doesn’t mean we should forget the years of pain, of kids killing themselves, of legal inequalities that continue,etc and join hands with these fuckers.

    You are too forgiving, or perhaps you haven’t felt it like some of us have, up close and personal. I don’t owe these people forgiveness or trust or a bridge or anything else.

  • Whatever

    Before everyone gets all kissy-poo with the enemy. Did you miss the part on CNN where they continue to say that just because they are trying to “build bridges” that doesn’t mean that they support marriage equality. They still think that they own the word — like other dominionist cults.

    I wonder how thrilled Martin Luther King and oppressed Blacks in the 1960s South would have been to have had proud segregationists join in their freedom marches?

  • Whatever

    By the way, photo #21 of the Grand Poobah of the Mormon Church from the Planet Kobol looks gagalicious.

    I do want my own planet like the Mormons get when they die (no Uranus jokes, please). As I am not a Mormon, can I at least get a moon (and not the kind you’re thinking of)? How about a Comet? An Asteroid? Hand full of stardust?



  • 1equalityUSA

    I’m sorry, but I am so suspicious of these Mormons. They would do ANYTHING to get their boy into the White house. I just do not trust the motive. Romney is a nut-ball and should not be given any power, as he has proven that he misuses his power. Three hundred Mormons marching in a parade does not make me trust what the elders do. Prop H8 is still fresh and it will never be fully healed.

    LDS Actions Against Marriage Equality
    Mormons in the House of Representatives Vote for Discrimination
    Despite LDS Crusade, Senate Rejects Ban on Gay Marriage
    Anti-Gay Actions Carried Out by the LDS Church
    Prelude to the National “Defense of Marriage” Campaign
    Despite LDS Crusade, Senate Rejects Ban on Gay Marriage
    “The Church got sucked into the jets of cynical GOP political strategy”
    The Mormon Vote in the Senate
    Orrin Hatch: Yea
    Bob Bennett: Yea
    Gordon Smith: Yea
    Mike Crapo: Yea
    Harry Reid: Nay
    See Full Senate Voteby Matt Christensen

    June 2006
    The U.S. Senate rejected on June 7 a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, despite a carefully orchestrated political campaign in which the LDS Church joined a right-wing religious coalition and urged Mormon congregations to help pass the bill. If passed, the measure would have started the process of writing discrimination against gay and lesbian couples into the Constitution.
    Mormon senators Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Bob Bennett, R-Utah, Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, and Gordon Smith, R-Oregon, voted for the so called “Marriage Protection Act,” while Mormon Senator and minority leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., voted against it.
    “For me it is clear the reason for this debate is to divide our society, to pit one against another,” Reid wrote on his website. “This is another one of the President’s efforts to frighten, to distort, to distract, and to confuse America. It is this Administration’s way of avoiding the tough, real problems that American citizens are confronted with each and every day.”
    Columnist Holly Mullen critiqued the role of the LDS Church in the stunt. “On the amendment matter — whether intentional or not — the [LDS] church got sucked into the jets of cynical GOP political strategy,” Mullen wrote June 8 in The Salt Lake Tribune. “Bush took a desperate dive to shore up his lagging approval and his party by pushing a plan destined to fail from the first. For LDS leaders to align themselves personally with this transparent political ploy seems beneath its public reputation for repudiating hands-on political involvement, and frankly, for trying to do good.”
    “The president failed this time,” Mullen added. “As did the church.”

    See, that’s the thing about the internet. Words are never forgotten, no matter how much they shake the etch-a-sketch, their past is a button away.

  • Red Meat

    I thought it read “MORONS BUILDING BRIDGES” at first glance.

  • christopher di crapito

    @Shannon1981: Exactly, Shannon. Exactly! I’m glad I’m not the only one who is seeing this for what it really is. This is nothing more than damage control on their part.

  • christopher di crapito

    @1equalityUSA: I couldn’t have said it better!

  • Kayo

    @Baron von Munchkin: Religion, groups, etc, don’t evolve. People do, but each person in their own pace.

  • mk_ultra_again

    Nope. Not buying it. The Mormons understand PR like no other religious group.
    I mean, attending the parade sure looks nice on the outside and all, but what are they actually doing for equality?

    Someone saod they declared they’re still against gay marriage.
    We all know Mormons have been on a PR image to change society’s view of them.

    So to me it appears they haven’t changed their opinion. They just decided to ‘lower’ themselves enough to hang out with us horrible sinners so they get great PR for themselves.

    I’m not saying it’s not a nice gesture. In the words of Janet Jackson, I’m just wondering
    “what have you done for me lately?”
    Although, consideting the relationship between gays and Moroms, it should be more like
    “What HAVEN’T you done TO me lately?”

  • Baron von Munchkin

    You guys are too much. Proof positive that when someone reaches out to the gay community, they’re going to draw back a bloody stump. At least some groups/people, like Obama and Mormons, are willing to evolve and build bridges—but you guys sure aren’t among them. You’re so full of suspicion and anger (as opposed to the bubbly hope and change you’re supposed to be infected with) that you jump at any chance to trash someone, even when they’re on your side.
    @Shannon1981: Please respond as to what pain, legal inequalities, or teen-age suicides the Mormons have caused. You make a broad statemnt like that, you should be able to back it up and provide specifics. And I have serious doubts as to whether you ever were in the habit of dating theists. As bitter and spiteful as you are, I can’t imagine anyone sitting through an entire evening by your side without pulling a Tracy Morgan and wanting to stab you.

  • Shannon1981

    @Baron von Munchkin: Let’s see…they single handedly funded Prop 8, and their Presidential candidate has signed a pledge from a hate group(NOM). They are vehemently anti gay, and to state otherwise is sheer ignorance. They, like all the other anti gay religious sects, have blood on their hands.

    And actually, my last gf was a theist. She is the last one. Those beliefs are delusional and dangerous. I am not bitter and spiteful, I am realistic. Christianity as a whole is the reason, at least here in America, that we have no rights. Every argument against us comes from deluded religious freaks who think that the country will crumble because homosexuality offends god.

  • 1equalityUSA

    Mormons don’t evolve. Their cuttlefish. Just look at Romney.
    Cuttlefish are sometimes referred to as the “chameleon of the sea” because of their remarkable ability to rapidly alter their skin color at will. Cuttlefish change color and light polarisation to communicate to other cuttlefish and to camouflage themselves from predators.

  • 1equalityUSA

    They’re opportunists who want their sect to be given credibility by having joined forces with other religious organizations. They are vehemently anti-gay and 300 youths marching in a parade will not change the political agenda for this sect. They will never be seen as authentic and the very churches with whom they have teamed up to take away the rights of “unpopular” Americans will turn on them. There’s no room for different beliefs as long as the swarm of Fundies are stirring. Scientology and Mormonism are both bogus and their bully-cuttlefish-Romney will never be President. Go away. You’ve done enough damage to our community. We don’t need friends like you. Our Constitution will ensure that we are treated equally under civil law, not sects and manipulators. Mormons, you’ve ganged up on the gay community, pinned us down, and cut our hair off and we will not forget it easily. I will never forget your political involvement in California and I will never trust your shady organization. So take your bloody stump and shove it.

  • christopher_di_crapito

    @1equalityUSA: I second that!

  • christopher_di_crapito

    @Baron von Munchkin: Ok, you’re either a Mormon or a complete idiot. Or both.

  • Allen D.

    The Church itself will openly say that it’s FINE if you’re gay. They STILL LOVE you! BUT — you have to not act on your gay feelings (no sex, no relationships, no hand holding). As long as you live a celibate life, you’re perfectly accepted by the entire Church.

  • Sara Long

    @Whatever, we’re marching as Mormons for Marriage Equality in San Diego, San Francisco, Washington DC, Seattle, Portland, and hopefully some others.

  • Sara Long

    @1equalityUSA: This was in part driven by Romney being against equal rights and being the most-listened-to Mormon in the land right now. Some Mormons have stood up and said his crap has nothing to do with what we support. Hence, this march, and those to come.

    Erika Munson, who organized this march, explained her reasons in an interview:

    The haterly Mormons haven’t changed their position or swayed one bit. They’re disgusted by the marchers. This is by no means anything supported by the church as an entity. See for instance:

  • Anton Pace

    All so predictable stereotypical responses from both sides of the aisle. What the strident gay community here in the UK and in the US cannot, will not accept is: that Latter-day Saints (Mormons) are as ardent in their views on the family and marriage – between a man and a woman – as gay people are about equality represented by the word ‘marriage’ printed on a wedding certificate and all that implies.

    What amazes me is that the politicised gay rights advocates on both sides of the pond are sore losers. You think, excuse the pun, you have a divine right to everything you ask for, and when you get out flanked, out smarted, out spent and ultimately out voted – you don’t like it. Hypocrisy abounds in as much you play the democracy card time and time again yet when the wheels of democracy shunt against you you run to this and that court claiming discrimination and trampling of your human rights.

    The gay community in the US is full of dissembling hypocrites – long despised and vilified by society, they too have now become the vilifiers of those who do not and will not agree with their agenda. They are like the Jews in Israel/Palestine, suppressed throughout the ages but now intolerant would be suppressors of others points of view.

    One would have to ask why such opprobrium, particularly toward the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is taking place? Why has a majority of the vitriolic retribution been targeted against one of many organisations that that disagree with you? People in pluralist democratic societies have different points of view and those points of view, whilst you may not agreed with them, should nevertheless be respected.

    Could the reason for your communal nastiness be that there are lots of people who have made lucrative careers off the back of LGBT movement. Lots of self appointed spokes people getting their research fellowships and grants, living and working in the bubble of academia, making their documentaries, working the speech circuit, making political capital, getting their films shown at the Sundance festival be the reason? It is in their interest to have found a new ‘whipping boy’ a new bogeyman. The rainbow coalition has found a new embodiment of an old enemy – religion, the age old persecutor of homosexuals – and that embodiment is found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

    Any of you on this message board please answer this question viz: What other religions organisations have received the same or as much vitriolic abuse from the gay community as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

    What campaigns have targeted Islam?

    What campaigns have targeted the Catholic church?

    What campaigns have targeted the murderous killers of homosexuals in Iran?

    What campaigns have been initiated against African embassies and consulates representing countries advocating the death penalty for being homosexual?

    Latter-day Saints are easy targets of the selectively hypocritical strident elite that have hijacked gay politics. Who appointed you? Who voted you in? Where does your legitimacy come from? Appointed or self appointed?

  • Amy Bednar

    Ok, you guys need to get a grip. These are parents, brothers, sisters, who are marching because it is Right! Because they have lost sons and daughters to suicide and they want it to stop. They are trying to change the mindset of the people that don’t understand. There is another group of Mormons that are pro-marriage. I am pro-marriage. I think that the churches should maintain their right to marry who they will but that a legal civil marriage should be available. I have friends that are gay and bi, and I understand how hard it is, as much as I am able. This has nothing to do with politics for the Presidency, but everything to do with lobbying to our leadership.

    Baron Von Munchkin is right, let them hold out a hand of friendship without it being bitten off. Times will change, and not all people are the same. If you will push for your rights without trying to make them give up theirs, you will have better success.

  • christopher di crapito

    @Sara Long: @Anton Pace: @Amy Bednar: I was wondering how long it would take for the Mormom PR team to come here and do their thing. Sorry, not buying it! Buh-bye!

  • 1equalityUSA

    After we attain our equality, we are going after the tax exempt status of any church that involves itself in Politics. Anton Pace. to answer your question as to why the Mormons are singled out for harsher treatment than the rest of the religious communities using tax exempt dollars to fight political fights is that many of us think of the Mormons as a sect, a cult, inauthentic, and wanting to gain authenticity by pairing up with other religions to fight a common enemy, in this case the gay community. We will win equality, but it will be through equal protection laws, not the good graces of a manipulative cult with no historical substance or the most unwise Catholic political monster. You should thank us for all of the hate-dollars your outfits made off of our backs. Go away. Mormons are false teaching incarnate. Your elders are unwise for having dallied with politics. Christ never used politics to teach, nor should any church. I’m disgusted by every church leader who tugged on a Senator’s coattails. Separation of Church and State is imperative and has never been more relevant.

  • Baron von Munchkin

    Too funny that you simpletons believe that Mormons are evil but Obama is your new best friend. Tell you what: Let there be a crisis in the gay community, and then take inventory of those who come to our aid (and no, not being able to marry is NOT a crisis). But, as is proven by the above statements, even that wouldn’t matter, because you people are so driven by your preconceived prejudices that you take glee in bullying other groups, which is why we will never, ever achieve equality. No one in our society wants childish rabble-rousers to be equal—they want you to go away and be quiet.
    @Shannon1981: Mormons “single-handedly funded” Prop 8? Please disclose your source, so I can follow it up with a hundred articles proving you have no idea what you’re talking about.

  • Baron von Munchkin

    @Anton Pace: Good points all, but unfortunately on this site they fell on deaf ears. Or, as some pointed out, they think you’re the King of the Mormons who has eneterd Gayville to collect scalps. Welcome to Queerty, where common sense is always on vacation.

  • 1equalityUSA

    Von Munchkin, Mormons cannot buy their way into our hearts, so take your money and proselytize in third world countries where handouts replace the true Saviour. Joe Smith, fight the urge to be a Bread king, it only makes you look that much more spurious.

  • christopher di crapito

    @Baron von Munchkin: You just can’t take a hint, can you? Get lost!!!

  • 1equalityUSA

    Sara Long and Erika Munson, my fight is not with you. I believe that you are attempting to effect change in your organization. Good luck with your endeavors. I have yet to forgive the elders of this group of people for whom your affinity is so strong, you cannot leave them to their own devices. Do I believe all Mormons are inherently evil? Of course not. Do I believe that any organization purporting to operate under Christ is misguided when politics is chosen as an avenue towards indoctrination? Very much so. The Word has been destroyed by men, playing “church.” If your motive is what you say it is, then much appreciation to you and the others marching against the tide of religion-induced hatred of LGBT.

  • Diesel69

    This is TRUE Religion—Awesome —-Spread the love—-

  • darkmoonman`

    Who knows: maybe what they did to California seriously embarrassed enough Mormons that they’ll drag their church kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

  • benbear1973

    @Shannon1981: @Shannon1981: Agreed! We don’t owe them s**t! I’m surprised they walked though. Who knows how well-intentioned it is — you can’t trust them. They have an agenda……

  • scottnic

    I know several of the marchers and observed the efforts (on Facebook, etc.) to organize the march. This was NOT organized by the church itself. It has nothing to do with Romney.

    Many of those who marched DO support marriage equality, and consider the official stand of the Mormon church on homosexuality to be wrong, misguided, bigoted, etc. The organizers themselves wanted to avoid politicizing their involvement, and so they asked those who participated to avoid political statements (and have themselves referred people to official LDS church statements on homosexuality).

    They chose not to take a political stand for two reasons, I believe…

    First, there is already a significant backlash from more conservative Mormons: they question whether the marchers are actually themselves Mormon, and criticize their participation (it violates the sabbath, it implies acceptance of sinful behavior, etc.). The organizers wanted to position themselves as practicing, active Mormons, and in order to do so they refused to declare a position contrary to the official Mormon view. Their hope is/was that this would lend them credibility with other active, practicing Mormons, potentially opening hearts/minds and hopefully winning greater love and acceptance for gay people within the membership of the church.

    The second reason is speculation on my part… I suspect that the organizers (and many participants) were afraid to come out too strongly against the official Mormon position because they feared the consequences of doing so. People *have* faced church “discipline” for supporting marriage equality or criticizing the church’s position on homosexuality. In as tightly knit a community/culture as Mormonism is, losing that fellowship is no small thing.

    Personally, while I appreciate the gesture and intent of the marchers’ participation, I’m not terribly impressed by it, for some of the reasons discussed above. “We love you” is a powerful message, but not nearly as powerful (or as groundbreaking) as “we consider you equal”. Had the marchers declared support for full equality, I would have been more touched by the gesture. Still, I give them credit for what was (for many of them) a step outside their comfort zone—hopefully one that will allow them to more firmly stand on the side of equality next time there is an opportunity to do so.

    For what it’s worth: I was Mormon for 36 years. I came out four years ago, and I quit the church (and my 15-year marriage) two years ago. I have no love for the Mormon church. But I do feel like I have a pretty good understanding of the organization, and its members, and the typical Mormon mindset.

  • Shannon1981

    @Baron von Munchkin: It’s common knowledge, you idiot, that the LDS church pumped money into that campaign, the lying ads and all. Get a grip. Mormons are not our friends. LGBT Mormons are naive, gullible, brainwashed Uncle Toms.

  • Shannon1981

    @benbear1973: People are acting as if we should turn the other cheek because of one pride march from a few people after all they have done. Nothing doing.

  • scottnic

    @Shannon1981: I agree. Don’t forgive the LDS church. Hate the organization. They did tremendous harm in California and they continue to harm LGBT youth within the church.

    But these people who marched aren’t the church. Many of them opposed Prop 8 four years ago. They are genuine allies, who happen to believe some of the doctrines of Mormonism and find value in their membership in the LDS church. The march was a genuine gesture of love and acceptance from a (growing) minority of members of the LDS church, and I appreciate it for that.

    I’ll also agree that LGBT Mormons are, to a large extent, naive and brainwashed. I certainly was. But gestures like the Pride march and the BYU “It Gets Better” videos of a month or two ago do help those young men and women accept themselves as they are, which is an important first step in abandoning the dogma and indoctrination and living a full, happy, authentic life.

  • 1equalityUSA

    scottnic, “These people who marched aren’t the church” but they are very likely tithing 10% of income to a bogus church that dabbles in politics and uses it to fund hate. It’s too much to ignore. They will most likely vote for their strap-the-family-dog-to-the-roof-of-the-car (until he blows diarrhea and vomits) pin-a-gay-kid-down-with-the-help-of-cruel-friends-and-chop-his-hair-off-Romney. So they can march all they want, but tithe one’s dollars to haters and be a hater, marching just floors me. They ought to blow out of this cult and tell them to float on over to the Planet Kolob and stay the Hell out of politics.


    It`s nothing to forgive!!. As an x LDS member I can tell you all, about it!. They have lied to me my children my family and the world; Don`t fall for the worst lie humanity ever told call ” Christianity”. I will forever point a finger at the menatl illness call “Christianity”..

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