Mormons showed up in full force to the Utah Pride Festival joining the other participants in a celebration of love and equality.
The Utah Pride Festival this year broke their previous record of 35,000 participants. A variety of different groups and individual supporters came out to Salt Lake City, Utah to show their support, march through the streets of downtown and celebrate two big wins from this past year. Among them were Mormon groups like Mormons Building Bridges and Mormons For Equality. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was among the largest groups attending the Utah Pride Festival, waving banners and marching alongside other participants to show their support. Among other groups were the Boy Scouts, local police and fire departments, and the US Fire Service.
This year’s Pride Festival celebrated two huge victories of the past year for the LGBT community. One of which was the passing of a marriage equality law that legalized marriage for anyone, regardless of sexual orientation or identity. In addition, Utah recently passed a law that guarantees protection from discrimination for LGBT Utah citizens. The LDS church may stand against gay marriage, but many of the Church’s members are all for it. Mormons assisted in creating the anti-discrimination law and have created groups, like Mormons For Equality, to “give voice to Mormons supporting marriage equality.” Peter Harrison, the organizer for MFE, said that the parade watchers were “visibly touched to see Mormons come march for full equality, and I’m just really glad I could be a part of that.”
The theme for the Utah Pride Festival was “Pride is…” and participants finished the statement with their own words. One participant said that it is “love, there is so much love here,” while her girlfriend said that it’s “being able to walk around and be ourselves and be together like a normal couple.” The entire day was a massive show of support that encouraged and supported the community.