Yesterday (14 December), Utah’s public radio station, KUER, profiled One Voice Choir. The 15 member group is open to gays, lesbians, and Mormons.
Bryan Horn, the group’s musical director, explained why the ensemble was developed.
‘The primary purpose is to create a space where everybody is loved and everybody is welcome — to simply come together, and as Mormon Christians and non-Mormon Christians, to worship Jesus Christ and proclaim our testimonies of Jesus Christ,’ Horn said in the radio report.
Although Horn left The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after he came out, he sees himself as ‘a Mormon in his heart.’
The choir has no official connection to the Latter-day Saints, but was briefly allowed to practice in a space in a Mormon church in downtown Salt Lake City. This permission was taken away as the story was being researched.
‘They were told to no longer use that church as a rehearsal space,’ the report explained. ‘The local branch president declined to talk about the decision, but said he didn’t want the group’s presence to become political. Though a church spokesman later apologized to the choir, the doors remain closed.’
A Methodist church opened its doors to One Voice, and it has been asked to perform at a Mormon event called Outreach Fireside. Horn sees this as a positive step.
‘I think it’s showing the church that we’re not the enemy. We’re just here to sing,’ Horn said to KUER. ‘So, the fact that we’re being invited to this Christmas Fireside for LGBT Mormons and straight allies, and even curious people who don’t know how to handle this topic in the church, it’s a great step in the right direction.’
Rexene Pitcher, a One Voice member, agrees (her gay son ‘withdrew from the church when he no longer felt accepted’).
"I’m really happy to see people of the Mormon church coming out and saying we love you just the way you are, and being willing to show it," Pitcher says.
The LDS church recently announced sexuality is not a choice and is trying to initiate outreach to its gay members.