June 4th, 2012
12:00 PM ET

Utah gay pride parade draws hundreds of Mormon participants

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - A gay pride parade in Mormon-heavy Salt Lake City drew thousands of participants, including a few hundred Mormons, whose church has been criticized by gay rights activists for its activism against same-sex marriage.

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 want to show support for gay and lesbians, according to CNN affiliate KSTU-TV in Salt Lake City.

The Mormon group marched near the front of the parade, just behind the event's grand marshal, Dustin Lance Black, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter ("Milk") who grew up in the church, according to KSTU.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that sex is only acceptable within heterosexual marriage. The church played a major role in passing California’s 2008 ban on same-sex marriage, known as Proposition 8.

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Since then, the church has been subtly softening its posture toward gays and lesbians, appointing an openly gay Mormon to an official role in the church in San Francisco. Individual Mormon bishops have addressed recent meetings of gay and lesbian groups.

“I have a friend who asked me ... why I wasn’t at church today and I said, ‘I’m going to the gay pride parade,’ ” said one Mormon who marched in Sunday’s parade, according to KSTU.

"'He said, ‘Don’t Mormons hate gay people?’ ” the marcher continued. “I said, ‘Some do, but I don’t.’”

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The Mormon group that marched in Salt Lake City was organized by Mormons Building Bridges, a group of lay Mormons who want to show support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community. The group 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 says 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.

“... Each Latter-day Saint family and individual should carefully consider whether their attitudes and actions toward others properly reflect Jesus Christ’s second great commandment - to love one another."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Homosexuality • Mormonism • Utah

soundoff (309 Responses)
  1. philipofmuleshoe

    Wow – There is sure a lot of HATE and INTOLERANCE in here. All sides of this issue could to learn to respect one another, even if they don't agree with the actions, beliefs, or practices of the other.

    June 5, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Let us know when the Bible-bangers stop attempting to influence government and the law to discriminate. Then we can talk, dumbazz.

      June 5, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Why should we be tolerant of religious idiots who seek to legislate and legalize discrimination?

      June 6, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • At death atheists believe

      I agree with Tom..I don't ever want America to become a theocracy..it's way more dangerous for many reasons.Why must this whole "gay issue" be themain concern in America when in Africa a child is dying of starvation?? What about them? The media rips apart what is considered "popular" leaving the most concerning issues on the planet out..like genocide of tribes?

      "I don't want my child seeing that",if they do what will Happen?your child turns gay?

      June 6, 2012 at 10:57 am |
  2. why?

    There! That's "WHY"! Need I say more?

    June 5, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
  3. why?

    The co-nversation techniques of Christianity are crafted with a powerful psychological insin-uation. Once roped in, people tend to stay in, since every passage-way out has been system-atically sealed. It is much easier, therefore, to inoc-ulate people against Christianity in advance, using well-developed educational efforts, rather than attempt to ext-ract them once they've already suc-c-umbed. Skep-tical act-ivists should be making a special effort to reach those still per-ched on the fence, the luke-warm rather than the fire-brands.

    June 5, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
  4. why?

    Once sucked into the parallel universe of Christianity, the adherent is too intimidated by the existing framework of threats and rationalizations to attempt escape. Even thinking along alternative lines will induce severe feelings of guilt. And should one run the risk of losing faith by examining its true foundations, he is certain to be chilled by the dictum, in Hebrews 6:4-6, that "It is impossible for those who were once enlightened...if they fall away, to renew them again..." Those who originated a religion based on deception and delusion clearly knew that if the conditioning broke down or wore off, it could not work again. But that's when the true enlightenment occurs.

    June 5, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
  5. why?

    Backing up all these tactics, of course, is the Ultimate Stick: the threat of Hell Fire. Countless millions have gone along with Christianity merely as a form of "fire insurance." Better safe than sorry, which may be intellectual cowardice, but what a safe, and what a sorry.

    June 5, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
  6. why?

    Another coer-cive tac-tic of proselytizers is invo-king the "unfor-givable sin" of Mark 3:28-29. Jesus was va-gue about this, but to later exe-getes it meant res-isting the work of the Holy Spirit in his efforts to save your so-ul. This, of course, is man-ifested by the proselytizers trying to con-vert you, so to op-pose them is neatly cons-trued as op-posing the Holy Spirit, and becomes, by ext-ension, unforg-ivable.

    June 5, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
  7. why?

    For anyone not gulled by this tactic and who persists in defiance, a proselytizer might invoke II Thess. 2:10-12, in which Paul claims that "God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie." This section is often used to suggest that textual problems could look cut and dried to you, but only because God made it look that way as punishment for your willful refusal to believe. Certainly it would be within God's power to so confound your mind. (Skeptics should correlate this dastardly measure with Hebrews 6:18, which states that it is impossible for God to lie.) Anyone in this position is clearly at the brink of doom, and had better relent now!

    June 5, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
  8. why?

    Romans 8:6-8 further articulates Paul's strong bias against the sense one was born with. It claims that the carnal is inherently anti-God, which is strange since one would assume God made it that way. It also states that those "in the flesh cannot please God" and "to be carnally-minded is death." You can't get any more emphatic than that

    June 5, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
  9. why?

    This might be followed up with the familiar saying of Jesus to Thomas "Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed." (John 20:29) Doubting Thomas is such a useful negative role model that if he hadn't existed, it would have been smart to invent him. And perhaps they did. The Synoptic Gospels don't report this episode, only John does. Mark (16:14) implies that Thomas had been present with the others, but John (20:19, 24) says he was not.

    June 5, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
  10. why?

    When propagating a religion where proof is not available, one that contains logical absurdities, it is essential that the logical processes of the mind be short-circuited. Paul attempted this with his facile quips, "The wisdom of the world is foolishness with God." (I Cor. 3:19), and "The foolishness of God is wiser than men." (I Cor. 1:25). This summarily rejects all logical quandaries as if they're of no consequence, and saves the trouble of having to explain them away. We are merely to trust that, as I Cor. 2:14 informs us, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned." In other words, you're incapable of understanding the "truth" of their doctrines because you're working with a sinful, carnal mind, rather than a spiritual one. Once you give up and give in, then you'll understand. This inverts the process of knowing from "see it to believe it" to "believe it, then you'll see it." But should one expect to gain real knowledge subsequently, Paul crushes that by informing us "his ways [are] past finding out!" (Romans 11:33) So don't even try–just comply.

    June 5, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
  11. why?

    First and foremost is the heavy emphasis on faith, as in Romans 1:17 & 4:5. Jesus hardly stressed faith at all, but it was Paul's primary mantra. Now why God would insist that we believe a particular quizzical story in the complete absence of proof, and make that the fundamental test of our existence, defies all explanation. The impossibility of proof provides the answer, since faith makes the tricky matter of proof seemingly irrelevant. And to require proof would evidence a lack of faith, thus placing one in imminent peril.

    June 5, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
  12. why?

    In Paul's apolo-getics, he cleverly antic-ipated and headed off any objec-tions or reser-vations that waverers might have; and once net-ted, sought to keep them that way. Paul's argu-ments have been the staple of prosel-ytizers for two mil-lennia now. Although the il-logic of these argu-ments is apparent to the ra-tional, they become more and more effec-tive and co-mpelling, the deeper one suc-c-umbs to the Chris-tian line. In co-mbi-nation they make Chris-tianity into a vir-tually escape-proof men-tal trap.

    June 5, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
  13. why?

    Paul's epistles predate the written Gospels. Their purpose was to build and sustain a Church, and one of their most prominent aspects was their apologetic content. Paul used every means at his disposal to convince others of the validity of his doctrines. He invoked the authority of the soon-to-be "Old Testament," making abundant references to support his arguments. He claimed that "[w]hatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning" (Romans 15:4), rendering it into a precursor and prologue to his theology. And lest anyone dispute their value, he and his successors need only insist that "[a]ll Scripture is given by inspiration of God" (2 Tim. 3:16). That these Scriptures had been subjected to severe abuse in their interpretation was a problem that could only be paved over with guile.

    June 5, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • You're Kidding!

      W-H-Y don't you go to bed and sleep it off?!

      June 5, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
  14. Bethany

    Morons are not christians!

    June 5, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No. But many Christians are morons.

      June 5, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And based on your posts, Bethanyboob, you're one of 'em.

      June 5, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
  15. why?

    Paul, though not the originator, was the principal founder of Christianity as a religion. It was he who composed an entire theology incorporating doctrines that Jesus never mentioned. These came to supersede the simple homiletics of the obscure itinerant rabbi, and transformed what was a Jewish reform sect into a new, and increasingly Gentile, religion. When people think of Christianity, it is primarily Paulism they have in mind.

    June 5, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
  16. why?

    Apologetics is an interesting word. Semantically it suggests an apology, and skeptics would hasten to point out that apologetics was necessary only because there was so much to apologize for! And no one was more apologetic than Paul.

    June 5, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
  17. why?

    While Judaism was never a proselytizing religion, contenting itself with born adherents (The Jews made no converts; they butchered all). Christianity was a significant departure from the culture that spawned it, a faith built from converts. This created a foundational need to convince others, or at least intimidate them into acceptance. Thus, the discipline of apologetics is as old as Christianity itself, and comprises a significant part of the religion.

    June 5, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
  18. Joseph Smith

    Mormons preach bigotry...plain and simple

    June 5, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
  19. superdavesd

    #11. Hey Wunk, the Salton Sea, Imperial County,Ca, look it up!

    June 5, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
  20. Kindness

    For you.
    A thought to consider without a typical ego response

    Accept Jesus christ as your lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Transcend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ (for me) resulted in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Also... much the world arranges "surrounding dark matter into something to be debated" in such a way that protects/inflates the ego.

    The key is be present and transcend our own desire to physically see evidence. We don't know anyways by defending our own perception of dark matter.

    Currently.... most of us are constructing our own path that suits our sin lifestyle. Were all sinners. Knowing that we are is often an issue. But both christians and non are sinners.

    We don't like to Let go and let god. We want control to some degree. This is what Jesus asks us to do. "Let go and let god".
    It's the hardest thing to do... but is done by letting the truth of scripture lead you (redemptive revelation)... as I said .

    Try reading corinthians and see if it makes sense to you. Try it without a pre conceived notion of it being a fairy tale.
    See the truth...
    do we do what it says in todays society... is it relevant... so many have not recently read and only hinge their philosophy on what they have heard from som other person...which may have been full of arogance pride or vanity..

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancsend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find any truth you can take with you ....in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life..... You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf.... the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed..... your good deeds will be forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated..... your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over . This is truth .

    Trancsend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Understand you are a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent.... Repent means knowing

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Faith comes by Reading or Hearing the word of god from the bible . Ask Jesus in faith for dicernment and start reading the new testament... You will be shocked when you lay down your preconceived notions and ....see and hear truth ... see how christ sets an example ... feel the truth....

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth in Christ.

    Sell all your cleverness and purchase true bewilderment. You don't get what you want ....you get what you are in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.
    You will also see how the world suppresses this information and distorts it

    You're all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.
    I'ts a personal free experience you can do it free anytime . Don't wait till you are about to die.. START PUTTING YOUR TREASURES WHERE THEY REALLY MATTER >
    Its awsome .

    June 5, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • Velia


      June 5, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • Zahid

      Jesus (peace and blessings of God be upon him) himself worshipped the Only One true God and that was his message to the people, to worship the Only One true God. Religion is simple.

      June 5, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Quran does not portray Jesus Christ of the Bible, but speaks of "another" Jesus. Jesus Christ IS God, the second Person of the Trinity. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit – there persons, three manifestations of ONE GOD. You stumble over it because you don't understand. It is an error for you to think that Christians worship more then one God! You need to seek God for yourself, to show you.
      You need Jesus Christ, only trusting in His sacrifice on the cross for you can make you clean and righteous before God. Your own works can't, and trusting Mohamed can not save you. No washing 100times per day can wash some one's sins away, no praying same number of times can't either! The god Mohamed is talking about is NOT a personal God, and his teachings and promises he gives in them are false hope, dear friend!
      You cannot know true God without Christ Jesus, the REAL Christ Jesus, from the holy Scriptures of the Holy Bible, NOT the one quran talks about! I realy hope you take the things written here to heart, because your soul's destiny depends on it!

      June 5, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
    • Kindness

      Prism 1234 is correct.

      Jesus Christ Is God,
      the second Person of the Trinity. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit – there persons, three manifestations of ONE GOD
      May the Holy Spirit of Christ Jesus be with you ...
      a soon as I asked in faith for Christ Jesus to save me ... he did. ....TOTAL.... TURNAROUND.

      . I will pray for you whoever you are Zahid . Thanks for reading!

      June 6, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.