Dustin Lance Black | Gay Pride | Mormon | News | Salt Lake City | Utah

300+ Straight Mormons March in Gay Pride Parade in Salt Lake City: VIDEO


As I noted on Friday, a group of LDS Church members called 'Mormons Building Bridges' marched in yesterday's Utah Gay Pride Parade in Salt Lake City as an act of reconciliation with the LGBT community, and made quite an impression, the Salt Lake Tribune reports:

Mormons Building Bridges followed right behind [Grand Marshal Dustin Lance] Black in the parade. The men in beige suits and ties and the little girls in white dresses were a sharp contrast to the pounding music and dancers behind them, but the crowd clapped and shouted their approval for the folks in their Sunday best. Erika Munson, a mom of five from Sandy, started the group a few weeks ago to show her support for the LGBT community and to encourage members of her religion to do the same in a public way.

Holly Nelson, a 38-year-old lesbian who lives in Murray, had tears in their eyes as the Mormons walked past.

"I think it’s amazing," she said. "It’s been so hard to be in Utah knowing the Mormon church is against the gay community."

Black also gave a speech talking about bridging the gap between Mormonism and being an LGBT person.

Watch a video of the group marching and the Black clip, AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. call me cynical - but I dont trust them.....I wouldn't put it past the Mormons to "pretend all is well" so it gioves them -nationally - a softer feel before the election..I hate to feel this way, but I thinks its ALL part of thier plan. No doubt the Higher ups in the Mormon Cult are Licking thier Chops at the very thought as Mitt Romney being president....and this is JUST A PLOY...to make them come off less, weird, more tolerant etc etc

    Posted by: Disgusted American | Jun 4, 2012 7:45:50 AM

  2. This is really pathetic. "Mormons Building Bridges" does not suppor gay equality. They "love" us just like Tony Perkins does. They shouldn't have been allowed to march.

    Posted by: calvin | Jun 4, 2012 7:57:20 AM

  3. @DisgustedAmerican after reading your comment, I realized that if you replaced "Mormon" with "gay", it is a very similar argument that hate groups use against LGBT community. If we are to make any gains in LGBT acceptance, we should be careful to not use arguments made against us, against others.
    I'm just happy there are "Mormons Building Bridges." it's a good start.

    Posted by: ScottNYC | Jun 4, 2012 8:03:02 AM

  4. Although its possible that these Mormons marching may only be trying to improve the image of their church, it's still a plus for the gay community. It shows that being religious doesn't preclude respecting gay people and wanting them to be treated well. It could inspire other people of different religions to think "if Mormons can support gay rights then so can I." Although I can see why if a former opponent joins an organization as a new "convert" he wouldn't be put on the Executive Committee. It would sort of be like Andy Towle putting me on the staff of Towleroad! It's natural to have some concerns about the motives of newcomers to a cause.

    Posted by: Mary | Jun 4, 2012 8:18:21 AM

  5. ScottNYC |- the Mormons are a Sneaky bunch......I honestly wouldn't put it past them to "make it look as tho, they're being more tolerant, kind,and excepting".....as long as it affects thier bottom line...Romney as President! I watched BIG LOVE, they don't do something for Nothing.....there's always an angle. Don't think for a moment, that these are volunteers....the "Pretend Volunteers"...sorry, after all they've done to thwart LGBT Equality nationwide.....I don't trust them one iota.

    Posted by: Disgusted American | Jun 4, 2012 8:19:34 AM

  6. ScottNYC |- the Mormons are a Sneaky bunch......I honestly wouldn't put it past them to "make it look as tho, they're being more tolerant, kind,and excepting".....as long as it affects thier bottom line...Romney as President! I watched BIG LOVE, they don't do something for Nothing.....there's always an angle. Don't think for a moment, that these are volunteers....the "Pretend Volunteers"...sorry, after all they've done to thwart LGBT Equality nationwide.....I don't trust them one iota.

    Posted by: Disgusted American | Jun 4, 2012 8:19:42 AM

  7. I'm not buying it. How convenient that the year we have a Mormon running for president, the Mormons decide they were wrong about gays and want to repent! Please. This is all a ploy and then once the election is over, they will go right back to where they have always been: virulently anti-gay. NOT BUYING IT.

    Posted by: Rob | Jun 4, 2012 8:23:14 AM

  8. Sorry, but this is an astroturf PR campaign orchestrated to give the Mormon cult cover while they continue to promote and fund anti-gay animosity and legislation around the country and around the world.

    Not buying it!

    I believe that most of the participants are genuine (as are the Tea Party idiots who are part of the 99% but march in the streets to support the 1% against their own best interests) but the 1% "church" hierarchy are pulling the propaganda strings. The Mormon cult spends hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide each year on propaganda to make themselves look less threatening and more loveable. They're no different from the cult of Scientology; or the cult of Christianity or Islam for that matter. Except they're even more crazy because they believe all the Christian crazy and then added a shitload of their own (demonstrably false) crazy to it.

    dum-da'dum-dum dum-dum-dumb!

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Jun 4, 2012 8:37:44 AM

  9. Wow. That's all I can say about the suspicious lot who think it's a clandestine move for Mormons to support gay rights. And yet you have no problem believing that Obama has "evolved" in an election year when he needs our money and votes. The message from the gay community seems obvious: Haters are gonna hate, no matter what. Hell of a message to send the world, guys.

    Posted by: Scotty Bear | Jun 4, 2012 8:41:01 AM

  10. @Mary
    You should change your handle to Cassandra. You are doomed always to be correct and never to be listened to. Thank you for trying.
    May I add that it is great in and of itself if this is actually a political ploy because it indicates that the opposition thinks the way to get to the fence sitters is to be pro-gay. We have won the war of opinion, if they are just being cynicaly political. If they are sincere, this is what change looks like in it's infancy. Heads we win, tails the homophobes lose. I'll take that.
    You unreservedly support full gay rights including marriage equality. You are a PFLAG. It seems to me you deserve to be recognized as family. I would suggest if no one argues to the contrary here, you take that as general agreement. I can't speak for everyone, but I can move to recognize you in this way. I surely hope the motion carries.

    Posted by: NullNaught | Jun 4, 2012 8:50:06 AM

  11. Null, you're a a sweetheart and I really do appreciate your support, but I'm not sure your motion is a good idea. If you keep singing my praises like this people may start to think "Nullnaught" is one of my aliases to bolster myself on Towleroad. It's bad enough that I'm already accused of being Rick-Jason-Ratbastard, etc... And at this rate its only days before someone ends up saying that you should turn straight and just become my boyfriend, given the way you compliment me so much. (It sounds exactly like something a certain Canadian here would write, you know who I mean!)

    Hey, I love it! I'm just worrying about YOU here! (Incidentally, I wrote you an email last night.)

    Thanks again!

    Posted by: Mary | Jun 4, 2012 9:17:45 AM

  12. Sorry, but I am a bit cynical too. We have an election coming up, a member of their church is running for President. A leopard doesn't change its spots. While I do understand that their may be some Mormons in our corner, their church hierarchy is adamantly against.

    Posted by: CB | Jun 4, 2012 10:28:58 AM

  13. Sorry, but I am a bit cynical too. We have an election coming up, a member of their church is running for President. A leopard doesn't change its spots. While I do understand that their may be some Mormons in our corner, their church hierarchy is still adamantly against.

    Posted by: CB | Jun 4, 2012 10:29:57 AM

  14. CB
    They claim not to represent the church hierarchy. One may be skeptical of this, but consider how many mormons there are in salt lake city. Is it not statistically likely that 300 mormons are sincerely on our side? What are the odds that there isn't? Think about it. Tell me how many mormons you think there are in salt lake city and what percentage you think is reasonable for an aberation like this and I will show you the math stipulating your own numbers. I would be curious to see if by your estimation it is more likely than not to be statistically likely.

    Posted by: NullNaught | Jun 4, 2012 10:37:06 AM

  15. I think this is a good step. I also think we need to be careful not to set requirements for the LDS church so high that they can NEVER attain them. 'Moving the goalposts' is a tactic that our opponents use all the time - it's not something we should be doing.

    On the other side of the coin, this is ONLY a step. It's a very good step - but more needs to be done by the LDS laity to show secular support for LGBT citizens.

    Posted by: Oz in OK | Jun 4, 2012 10:44:32 AM

  16. Thank you 300+ Mormons for your loving gesture. It shows that love can blossom even in the arid soil of religion.

    Posted by: andrew | Jun 4, 2012 10:55:40 AM

  17. @Mary
    Thank you very much for your warning. I don't worry about the cowardly lion or arguments from position. I don't believe any person on this site who is actually concerened about gay rights, and is not shifted by their ego or disabled with a mental condition that precludes them reasoning, would assume the worst of your motives or that a gay person wouldn't be this appreciative.
    Consider that in the last 5 years you have: 1. remaind scrupulously polite; 2. argued your position fairly, logically and rigorously; 3. argued in good faith, we know because; 4. you listened to our arguements carefully and thought about them open mindedly we can tell because; 5. YOU CHANGED YOUR MIND.
    All anyone can hope for is 1 - 4. We can't expect them, but if you provide them, well we certainly can't complain. You have done everything we can reasonably ask of you at that point. Then you did the miraculous; YOU CHANGED YOUR MIND. How can anyone not congratulate you warmly and welcome you with open arms and full respect? Well, if they were arguing with you not because they care about gay rights, but because they wanted to hate on someone and you were most vulnerable that would explain it. That would be ugly and traitorous, wouldn't it be? If they were arguing with you in good faith, but couldn't forgive you because their ego wouldn't let past grievances go, that would explain it. Of course if a person had an anger management problem and had to lash out, you might be a likely target. Otherwise, to people who really care about gay rights, have no great ego problems, and are in control of any mental health problems they may have, you are golden.
    If someone tryed to tell me to go straight and marry you, I could point out that I may be a closet straight. Or Bi. Or I want to make a grand gesture, because I have already suggested it but pointed out you'd have to get in line and wait for polyandry. You seem to have declined. I am not afraid of the cowardly lion, and he knows it. He is afraid to talk to me directly because he knows he will get the worst of it by far, and others will congratulate me for savaging him.
    Speaking of which, did you notice why he appropriated your name on the "two haters..." thread? He posted there because he saw that I falsly accused him, wouldn't apologize, doubled down, and instead of getting chastized was seconded by UFFDA. He wanted to get our attention and show us he was "ignoring" us by posting his insipid comment. He didn't make that comment because he felt that way, he had to be seen to be not commenting at or about us. So when no one reacted all day, he went off the deep end and cried out desperately for attention. It is too bad you felt you had to calrify because that was just feeding him. He would have gone completely round the bend had you "not noticed" what he had done. It was clear even to me it was not you.

    Posted by: NullNaught | Jun 4, 2012 10:59:05 AM

  18. @Andrew
    WE AGREE! Whoo-hoo! It couldn't be - but it is! Am I dreaming?

    Posted by: NullNaught | Jun 4, 2012 11:02:24 AM

  19. It's not surprising that individual Mormons can be supportive of LGBT people--after all, Mormons have gay family members and friends, too, and it is 2012. Individual Catholics are often supportive of gay civil rights, even as their hierarchy gets more and more out of touch. The danger is mistaking a group of individuals marching in a parade for official church policy. The former is nice, the latter is still a huge power and money base behind anti-gay initiatives all over the US. So, the woman holding the LDS heart LGBT sign in the Salt Lake Tribune may very well be sincere, but the Mormon Church does not heart gay people; it works every day to exclude gay people from basic civil rights; its teachings are harmful to young LGBT people.

    @Scotty: You're spouting BS again. Obama, unlike the Mormon Church and the Mormon running against the President, has evolved. The evidence is his pro-gay policies, which, even before his personal evolution on marriage, were galaxies ahead of Mormon/Mitt positions. No evidence the LDS authorities have changed one iota (and Mittens only goes backwards on gay rights), so if people are skeptical given the twisted values of the Mormon Church, they have reason to be.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jun 4, 2012 11:14:58 AM

  20. Not buying it! I think they're just trying to appear to be all touchy feely toward "the gays" as a PR stunt before the election. Once RMoney is elected, they'll do all they can, like they have every time gay marriage is on the ballot, to rob us of our rights. Only now they, and their boy Mittens, want a national constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, and, as Mittens also says, any sort of recognition of same-sex couples at all. Lipstick on a pig is all this is.

    Posted by: Mike | Jun 4, 2012 11:29:16 AM

  21. Mormon PR or Public Relations front to make them look good when in fact they are anti-gay Mormons who are trying to stop LGBT people from being who they are and having sex. Mormon gays can not have sex and sex is a natural act. If gay Mormons have gay sex they are thrown out of the church. Mormons still spend millions of dollars and work hard to stop gays from getting equal and civil rights and they are two faced liars who even go so low as to send in ex gay or fake gay Mormons into the gay community and meetings to spy and make trouble for gays and to try to stop them from being gay and become Christians who do not have gay sex. I am even attacked by them for posting the truth. You can not trust a Mormon or a Catholic because they are religious fanatics with hidden agendas to stop gays any way they can. The proof is they are stopping gay marriage and you know that is true.

    Posted by: Dave | Jun 4, 2012 11:40:04 AM

  22. ScottNYC--I was raised Mormon and I think that your comment is nonsensical. The Mormon church has a history of bad dealings with GLBT people. It goes back further than prop 8 and includes giving gay people shock treatments (torture) in an attempt to turn them straight. I think that these individual Mormons may be sincere but I think it's right to be suspicious of the church.

    Posted by: Daniel | Jun 4, 2012 11:55:36 AM

  23. I think Daniel is right. Many of these individual people may be sincere*, but the Mormon Church itself is very VERY concerned with its image, particularly right now with Romney running for Prez. They are right on the cusp of having their greatest dream fulfilled, a Mormon president to normalize their religion, and if you think he won't bring their religious values into that office you're not paying attention.

    *But what EXACTLY does their "support" of the LGBT community really mean? Full equality or just some of it? This organization was just formed a few WEEKS ago and 300+ people joined during that time? I don't think it's unreasonable to be suspicious. If fact I think NOT to be at least a little suspicious is foolish.

    Posted by: Caliban | Jun 4, 2012 12:47:17 PM

  24. I do understand the reticence of so many in our community to trust that religion can adapt to a paradigm where being gay doesn’t make you evil. But honestly: we as the GLBT community get equally angry when people try and put us into a ‘one size fits all’ box. Not all gay people are promiscuous. We don’t all go to pride parades in leather chaps with our cheeks exposed. We don’t all take drugs and party all night. When someone suggests that we are all the same, we speak up and voice our objection. Yet, we are so quick to rush to judgment that just because a group of people are Christian or Mormon or Jewish or Muslim, they must not be trusted and should be held guilty for the sins of others who persecute gays under a false sense of morality?

    My friends, I don’t believe we can do this, lest it become a self-fulfilling prophecy. I certainly have suffered just like everyone else as a result of someone else imposing their views of morality on me. And yes, often this occurs under the guise of religion.

    But key to our acceptance in society and key to recognition that we aren’t sick, immoral people is association. I believe the reason that there has been such a groundswell of changing public opinion on gay marriage is because we are visible. We are the folks next door. It is easy to assume someone is evil until you sit next to them and get to know them. That makes it very hard to hate them for preconceived notions of who they are.

    To that end, I think we need to engage with people from the churches. The more they get to know us, the faster they will realize that we aren’t the Devil that they may have been taught we are. But conversely, the more we condemn them just because they believe in religion, the more reason we give them to stand apart.

    Posted by: NCScotty | Jun 4, 2012 1:25:21 PM

  25. Exactly, Caliban. Well said.

    It's all well and good to hold up nice signs (better than holding up hateful ones), but how does their support square with their church's aims to prevent gay people from having basic civil rights? And are they still enabling their church's mission by tithing to it (presumably many are)? Are they aware how their money is being used in regards to gay rights? It could be argued that they're actually doing lgbt people a disservice by making good tolerance-PR for the church while the church's position stays exactly the same. But, hey, they got to feel good in a parade.

    So, yes, we can hope those marching had sincere motives, but marching in a parade is ephemeral, Mormon policy has had permanent evil consequences for lgbt people, Mormons and non-Mormons alike. In other words, even with the best of intentions, they have a long way to go to be embraced by the lgbt community without suspicion, particularly with a virulently anti-gay Mormon running for President--if they're supporting him, they're not really supporting us in any concrete way.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jun 4, 2012 1:31:46 PM

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