Mormons Building Bridges Rejected from Days of '47 Parade
by Brig Bagley
8 May 2014
Pioneer Day Parade organizers don't believe LGBT people are part of the future in Utah, despite the theme "Pioneers-Pushing Toward our Future". The MormonsBuildingBridges.org (MBB) group is considered to support a cause that is "inappropriate" for the parade, causing them to reject their application.
Since the theme MBB wishes to promote is "Celebrating Utah's LGBT/SSA Pioneers," the group fits in perfectly. MBB is disappointed, and wishes for people who know sponsors for the parade to contact them and ask them to reconsider MBB's application. The site of sponsors and the MBB request is here:
I sent a letter to the president of KSL TV, Darrell Brown, an old family friend of mine. The message is below. Feel free to repeat my words when you approach others who can influence this change.
I know this is out of the blue, but I feel like reaching out to you directly would be the best way to share my thoughts. You knew me for many years in my youth. I also was good friends with your daughter, Lauren. I'm hoping I left a positive image so that my words today can hold weight in your mind.
I am part of a minority in Utah that wishes to amiably coexist with the LDS majority. MormonsBuildingBridges.org is a group of extremely respectable LDS people that represent and empathize with both LGBT and Mormon people and wish to unify them.
Recent events have the raised hackles for both parties considering the differences of opinions, but the truth is that both parties need to try to understand each other and respect each other. MormonsBuildingBridges (MBB) is one of the first groups to do that.
The committee for the Days of '47 Parade have rejected MBB's application to participate in the parade on Pioneer Day claiming that its subject matter was not appropriate for the parade. But I argue that it is perfectly appropriate.
MBB wishes to recognize the LGBT pioneers in Utah that have suffered and struggled for recognition, freedom, and sometimes for life. In addition, a huge number of the LGBT people in Utah come from strong, pioneer-originated LDS families. The world is changing and finally these people can come out of the framework without the same social rejection that existed just a few short years ago.
The message MBB wishes to share is not about sexuality. It's about those Utahns who struggle to reconcile their strong LDS background and their conflicting identities, but have forged forward to succeed in life despite it all. It is also to bring awareness to Utah that LGBT and LDS people can live harmoniously and love and accept each other and their differences.
MBB has marched in 2 SLC Pride Parades, as well as countless others across the country. The group includes entire families that wish to support their LGBT family member. They are happy, smiling, respectful LDS people.
I ask that with your influence as President of KSL TV, that you please encourage parade organizers to reconsider and allow this group to march in the parade on Pioneer Day. It would be a positive and hopeful message, not only to so many LGBT Utahns, but to their struggling families and friends. It would also help soften the hearts of those who do not yet understand the struggles of so many LGBT pioneers in Utah.