SALT LAKE CITY — More than 300 members of the Mormon Church joined the thousands of participants Sunday at Salt Lake City’s gay pride parade.
The group, Mormons Building Bridges, said they wanted to send a message of love to the state’s LGBT community, a message they believe is compatible with their faith, reported the Salt Lake Tribune.
The Mormon contingent for Sunday’s parade wasn’t made up of gay members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but rather straight Mormons who said they wanted to show support for LGBT community.
Grand Marshal Dustin Lance Black, tweeted: “In tears. Over 300 straight, active Mormons showed up to march with me at the Utah Pride parade in support of LGBT people.”
Mormons Building Bridges followed right behind 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.
The Mormons Building Bridges members were met with cheers and standing ovations from Pride praticipants; the group said it is promoting Mormon participation in gay pride parades across the country this year.
“This Church has felt the bitter sting of persecution and marginalization early in our history,” the group posted on its Facebook page.
“Our parents, young adults, teens and children should therefore, of all people, be especially sensitive to the vulnerable in society and be willing to speak out against bullying or intimidation whenever it occurs, including unkindness toward those who are attracted to others of the same sex.”
One Mormon father reportedly turned to the crowd and thanked people for forgiving him.