Mormon allies and uniformed scouts march in Utah Pride Parade

400 Mormons marched in yesterday’s Utah Pride Parade and around a dozen boy scouts marched in their uniforms despite being told they were banned from doing so

Mormon allies and uniformed scouts march in Utah Pride Parade
03 June 2013

A group of 400 Mormon allies of the LGBT community was cheered by tens of thousands of spectators at yesterday’s Utah Pride Parade in Salt Lake City.

Members of the Mormons Building Bridges group marched with placards marked with their family names in line with the group’s 2013 theme of Family Reunion.

One family who marched had four different generations of their family present from great-grandmother down to great-granddaughter.

It was only the second time that heterosexual Mormon allies had marched in the parade, with 300 marching last year, and many onlookers described being moved to tears by the marchers.

‘As your group marched the tears welled up in my eyes,’ Heath McDougal posted on the group’s Facebook page.

‘As I read the signs people had supporting family and friends, tears continued to flow. My 14 year old said "Dad you’re crying!" Yes I was. Later we went to a friends house and he discussed Mormons Building Bridges.’

‘I knew what he was going to say, that he had also cried. Sure enough the words rolled right off his tongue. Of course my daughter piped up and said, "My dad was crying too." Thank you for touching my heart today, and thank you all for the love and support that was shown, and felt today! The love felt so much better than hate and animosity.’

Jose Arche described a similar experience.

‘Seeing this group march in the pride parade made me smile, but it wasn’t until they stopped for a few moments, right in front of where my partner and I were standing, that tears started to well up in my eyes,’ Arche wrote.

‘It was the last couple in the group, The Henderson Family as it said on the poster they were holding, that made me feel so emotional. I’m not sure why. They waved and smiled just like everyone else did. They didn’t yell or draw my attention with an oversized poster with a witty quote. They simply held a small orange poster that read, "The Henderson Family supports the LGBT Community.”’

This year’s Utah Pride also saw boy scouts and scouting volunteers march for the first time despite having been warned they were banned from doing so in their uniforms.

Some opted to wear their normal clothes and hold signage indicating they were scouts who were welcoming of LGBTs but a group of around a dozen decided to march in uniform.

Former scoutmaster Dave McGrath told Fox News why he had decided to march.

‘Scouts have a duty to this nation,’ McGrath told Fox News. ‘My duty is clear. I stand with all Americans – some of us are gay.’

The leadership of the Great Salt Lake Council of the Boy Scouts of America told Fox News that the scouts who marched in uniform will not be kicked out of the organization but it is unclear whether they will be disciplined in other ways.

The Mormon Church, also known as the Church of Latter Day Saints, took the unexpected move of backing the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to allow gay teens to join the organization earlier this year.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Adopted trans woman gains acceptance from Korean mother

Andy Marra has opened up about how meeting her birth mother in Korea helped give her the courage to transition
No thumbnail available

IOC officials seeking 'further clarification' from Russia on anti-gay laws and the Olympics

'We don't understand all the details because of probably a difficulty in translation'
No thumbnail available

REVIEW: Egon restaurant, Tromsø – Norway

Surprisingly good option with quality cooking
No thumbnail available

Brain damaged victim of 2009 Vancouver gay bar bashing has died in nursing home

Ritch Dowrey spent the last five and a half years of his life in a care facility after being attacked in a gay bar in an act described by a judge as ‘virulent homophobia’ but his attacker is already out on parole
No thumbnail available

Berlin: History, freedom and parties

Low rents and a talent for fun make Berliners different to those in other capital cities as DJ Lucio Buffone explains
No thumbnail available

US track star condemns Russia's anti-gay policies

Two-time 800-meter Olympian LGBT ally Nick Symmonds supports political activism and the right of athletes to compete
No thumbnail available

Texas school district relents, will allow transgender male to wear tux in yearbook

Threatened with federal lawsuit, district has agreed to change its policy to protect gender expression
No thumbnail available

Tom Daley has the cutest phone cover of him and Dustin

Oscar-winning screenwriter is reportedly going to move in with the Olympic diver when he flies to London in May
No thumbnail available

Two men arrested over teen boy Manchester rape

Suspects have been arrested over a boy in the toilets of a department store in Manchester
No thumbnail available

Nations squabble over UN vote on gay and trans killings

The United Nations is set to vote whether LGBT people should get specific protection from extrajudicial executions and other murders