AFFIRMATION: GAY AND LESBIAN MORMONS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: John Gustav-Wrathall 612.790.0734 [email protected]
In 2012, history was made as unprecedented numbers of active Mormons marched in LGBT Pride parades in the United States and Latin America. It began when a contingent of over 300 marched behind the banner of “Mormons Building Bridges” (MBB) in Utah Pride. The Utah march was followed by marches in which hundreds more Mormons participated in Pride parades in seventeen other cities.
Mormons in each locale organized contingents tailored to the demographics of their city and to the sensibilities of the local Mormon community. Some marched behind the “Mormons Building Bridges” banner, others behind the “Mormons for Marriage Equality” banner, others behind the “Affirmation – LGBTQ Mormons and Allies” banner or simply “Mormon Allies.” “My heart told me to march out of a yearning to show love and support for LGBTQ family, friends and fellow parishioners. I think many Latter-day Saints wanted to make a positive statement in the wake of the tensions and uncertainties resulting from Proposition 8 [during the 2008 election in California],” said Suzi Fei, an active Mormon who marched in the Portland Pride parade in 2012.
This year, hundreds of Mormons will again march in a variety of cities across the globe (Phoenix already did on April 6!). Each city’s banner and message will again be determined by local LGBT Mormons according to local needs and sensibilities.
“Affirmation expresses its full support for all Mormon groups marching behind a variety of banners worldwide,” said Randall Thacker, President of Affirmation.
Mormon interest in Pride continues to grow in the wake of high profile efforts on the part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to promote greater dialog and understanding within the church on the presence and role of LGBTQ people within the Mormon community. Late in 2012, for instance, the Church launched a new web site, “Mormonsandgays.org” intended to provide resources to local Church members and leaders. Since then, local Church leaders in cities like Portland, Oregon, Phoenix, Arizona and Chicago organized educational and dialog events attended by Church members and members of the LGBTQ community.
This year, Mormon Pride contingent organizers are continuing to reach out to Church members and leaders asking them to support the marches as a show of good will, and to help make Church communities more welcoming to LGBTQ members.
Up-to-date information on currently organized Mormon LGBTQ Pride contingents and information about how to organize a contingent where none exist is posted on www.MormonPride.org.