Sunstone Symposium to Include LGBT-related Sessions
by Hugo Salinas Final-Program-Web
The 2013 Sunstone Symposium, to be held in Salt Lake City July 31 – August 3, will include several sessions related to LGBT Mormon experience, plus a screening of the new documentary Families Are Forever. Produced by the Family Acceptance Project, Families Are Forever chronicles the life and challenges of the Montgomerys, a Mormon family from California with a 14-year-old gay son.
On Wednesday, July 31, at 8:00 PM, a free lecture will feature Dr. Caitlin Ryan of the Family Acceptance Project, along with Mormon allies Robert Rees and Erika Munson, blogger Mitch Mayne, Ogden’s OUTReach Center director Marian Edmunds, and Tom and Wendy Montgomery, who are the parents of Jordan, a 14-year old gay boy. The Wednesday lecture will include the screening of Families Are Forever. The One Voice Choir will provide some of the music.
On Thursday, August 1st, Utah LGBT/SSA Mormons, Family, and Friends will hold a BBQ Social in downtown Salt Lake.
On Friday, August 2, Affirmation Vice President John Gustav-Wrathall, Mormon Building Bridges founder Erika Munson, and psychotherapist Hollie Hancock will participate in a panel about the new blog No More Strangers: LGBT Mormon Forum. The panel will be moderated by longtime Affirmation friend Dr. Robert A. Rees (Session 252). In a 5 to 6:30 session titled “Circles of Empathy,” Kendall Wilcox, Berta Marquez, and Marie Worsham will discuss a small-group conflict mitigation practice for LGBTQ/SSA and straight Mormons (Session 276).
Also on Friday, Affirmation Board Member Greg Prince will be one of the two speakers at the “Pillars of My Faith” plenary (Session 281). Throughout the Symposium, some 13 sessions will deal with women’s and gender issues, including a Friday paper about the Heavenly Mother by Affirmation member Edward Jones (session 254).
On Saturday, August 3, a panel of LDS lawyers will discuss the Supreme Court case involving the legality of Proposition 8 (Session 334) . Also on Saturday, Dr. Gerald S. Argetsinger, along with authors Jeff Laver and Johnny Townsend, will discuss their new anthology Latter-Gay Saints: An Anthology of Gay Mormon Fiction (Session 355). In a the first part of a two-part panel, Connell O’Donovan will present “Redefining Marriage: 2,500 Years of Social History” (Session 354, concurrent with 355).
Throughout the Symposium, LGBT Mormons and supporters will help staff an Affirmation table and hand out educational resources. A social for LGBT LDS Mormons, families, and allies is scheduled for Thursday, August 1, in downtown Salt Lake.
All sessions will be held at the University of Utah’s Student Union. Student registration is only $20 when you use the coupon code STUDENT13. For more information about the Symposium, including discounts for students and first-time attendees, please visit the Sunstone website.