Mormons Join LGBT Pride Parade, Occupiers Protest It

San Francisco’s 42nd annual Pride Parade drew as many as a million people to Market Street and the Civic Center Sunday — including two unusual groups: Mormon supporters of gay rights and Occupy-movement critics of the event’s commercialization.

For the first time, a contingent of Mormons joined the San Francisco Pride Parade. (Kyung Jin Lee)

About 100 Mormons marched in contradiction to their church’s opposition to the practice of homosexuality. Among the marchers was Carol Lynn Pearson who wrote a book about her marriage to a gay man.

“It’s high time that everybody, especially including my religion, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Mormons, get on board the wagon of love without saying, ‘Except you, except you,’” Pearson told reporter Kyung Jin Lee, on assignment for KQED.

Mormons also marched in Pride celebrations in New York, Houston and Seattle.

Bringing a very different message, about 100 Occupy protesters temporarily blocked the parade route, according to the SFist blog.

The group chanted such gems as, “Out of the sidewalks into the streets,” “Community, not commodity,’ and “We’re here, we’re queer, we’re not going shopping,”

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  • Anonymous

    “get on board the wagon of love without saying, ‘Except you, except you,’ “- I’ve never heard Mormons or Catholics or Christians or Orthodox Jews, or anyone other religion that preaches straight marriage, say that they exclude homosexuals from their religions. They believe gay sex is a sin, but they don’t exclude LGBT people from believing that with them, or preach against loving gays. Most of them have explicitly preached FOR loving and accepting gays as people, especially in the last decade or so as gay issues have become more popular. Ms Pearson’s message seems to be ignorant of that.

    I think a key part of helping gay, ally, and straight non-ally people get along better will be accepting people’s right to believe what they want, and not twisting their beliefs or saying they are something they aren’t. I have heard more LGBT speeches and calls for boycotts of non-allies than I have heard sermons condemning gays, and I haven’t heard any calls from religions for boycotting gay businesspeople. Tolerance and acceptance is a two way street, and decrying or targeting the other side’s beliefs doesn’t help anything, no matter who you think is “right”.

    • Nmandelin

       I’ve noticed that, when people say “respect is a two way street,” they’re usually only concerned with the side of the street that flows in their direction. This article is about bridging the gap between Mormons and the LGBT community.  It was a great event, and I’m glad there are Mormons willing to stand up for equal rights.

    • Sara Long

      LakersTrent, they do exclude.  It’s changing, but all too slowly.  A gay man who has a good relationship with his ex-wife and their children reached out to me today for help because he’s being excommunicated tomorrow.  Why is the suicide rate among gay youth in Utah so high if church members are performing well at the task of showing the unconditional love of Christ?  Why have Mormon parents shunned their gay children after they came out, throwing them into the street and cutting off all contact?  Why do LGBT youth comprise over half the homeless population in the United States?  Would you say we’re doing a fine job of loving everyone equally?

      You think a pastor saying that children should be beaten isn’t fully hateful and degrading, much less excluding?  You think a pastor declaring outright that the government should kill gays and lesbians  - “they won’t, but they should” – can in any way be construed as coming from a place of love?  How about the suggestion of fencing them in until they die off in a few years?  Is this the non-exclusion of which you speak?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeremy-Bell/100003068557982 Jeremy Bell

      In an era when every attempt at advancing (or defending) a social right, from women’s health to marriage equality, is being decried as an “attack on religious freedom,” I am happy to see GLBT Mormons defending their freedoms, including their religious freedom, from those in the church hierarchy who have for decades suppressed, often with violence, said freedoms.

    • Hera

      Just because you haven’t heard it doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened.  Pearson, a lifelong Mormon, literally wrote the book about LGBT Mormons who have been kicked out of homes and churches because they dare to admit to homosexual inclinations.  Her “No More Goodbyes: Circling the Wagons around our Gay Loved Ones” has been groundbreaking in changing the minds of Mormon members and leaders.  She is an almost-tireless advocate of gay rights and recognition within the Mormon church and has also been instrumental in getting local church leaders in the SF Bay Area to proactively reach out with loving arms to formerly ostracized gay members and their families.  

      Churches can preach all the love they want, but when the on-the-ground actions are marginalization in opportunities to serve and worship (as in, regularly limiting the ability of gay men to work with any youth or threats of ecclesiastical discipline for members who march in Pride parades), it’s hard to feel the love behind those words.

    • AY

      @LakersTrent,

      Ms. Pearson’s statement is anything but ignorant. Try doing some research.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FYVERNVVEL7KWT6UKIKYNCEMLM Douglas

    Gay rights has been 100% phony since the fall of anti-sodomy laws. It is a front cause with two hidden agendas.
    1. The legitimization of religious persecution.
    2. Providing propaganda for anti-Western, anti-democratic, 3rd world dictators.

    “When you people talk about human rights, you mean gay rights..that is not African” – Sam Nujoma, president of Namibia

    • Natalie

       Oops, I yawned to death from the stupidity of that comment, Douglas.

  • Paite Smith

    I have read every comment very closely and while your thoughts are so appreciated, it still hasn’t been noted that the Bible quotes that homosexuality is an “abomination”. That being said, do we shun the ones who are gay, in any religious setting? Well, to be Christlike, we need to follow His example. who did He shun? NO ONE. I was born and raised in the Mormon faith and found out years ago my cousin is gay, my first cousin, closest friend for years. Was I shocked and confused at this discovery? YES!!!! I worried about his salvation, how he would live w this “stigma” in such an intolerant world, in a subculture known for having to fight for rights and struggle for acceptance every single day. His decision is between him and his God. All I know is what the scriptures say and the rest is up to us to love because we are commanded to love everyone, if you’re a Christian, anyway! I love him and am grateful I have come to understand that my cousin is more than a gay man…he’s a friend, a confidant, a genius in everything he does, and he’s a child of God. I love you, Michael…

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