LDS Halloween events no "cross-gender" costume flier angers some residents
At least one resident is angry after an LDS Church ward flier said to not show up with masks or cross-gender costumes at this Saturday's Halloween trunk-or-treat event.The flier advertises an LDS Halloween event where kids trick-or-treat in the parking lot of the stake center. It is unclear if the Crescent 16th Ward has a problem with cross-dressing costumes or simply wants to promote what it deems is appropriate dress at the event. But the flier angered one mother in Sandy.
"It has everything to do with not loving your fellow man because they choose to dress a specific way," says mother Raquel Smith.
Smith, who is not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, says the event sends the wrong message to the children.
"I think definitely a child as young as a toddler can understand when a parent says 'no honey, you can't be Spiderman or Harry Potter because you're a girl and that's a boy.' I think that immediately tells your child their decisions are wrong," says Smith.
LDS Bishop Dennis Toone leads the ward hosting the trunk-or-treat. His family says a young women's group created the flier before hundreds went out to the community. Since Bishop Toone suffered a loss in his family, he didn't want to appear on camera. But in a published report, Toone defended the flier saying "I thought it was church policy. I'll defend the church and anyone who doesn't like it doesn't have to come.”
LDS spokesperson, Scott Trotter, said that the church dictates the no-mask policy for such events, however the cross-dressing ban is not policy and event rules like that are up to the discretion of the bishop or church members. Trotter said that he does not know why such language was used, but assumes that it was a means to promote appropriate dress.
Some in the community are just as upset as Raquel Smith.
“I don't think anyone should be excluded. I think if you're a Christian-loving person. I think everyone should love everybody. To exclude somebody is not fair," said Gilbert, who asked FOX 13 not to use his name.Aaron Vaughn, Web ProducerFOX 13 News