The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints donated for the first time ever to an LGBTI charity in Salt Lake City, Utah.
As reported on Thursday in a local news source, the Church donated $2500 (€2250) to the Utah Pride Center, a homeless and poor youth support center. It cited the charity as a ‘worthy project’.
This represents a first step in building relations between the Mormon church and the gay community: the Church supported Proposition 8, the 2008 legislation to ban gay marriage in California. It was ruled unconstitutional.
The Utah Pride Centre provides food and counseling to around 40 homeless LGBTI people a week, as well as sex-safe kits and mental health support services.
‘We are grateful for their generosity and the emerging relationship’ Kent Frogley said, the chairman of the center’s board of directors.
He added this was: ‘a significant moment’ in its relationship with the church.
‘I think it’s these first steps that really help us to understand each other, build some trust and realize that it’s possible for people who aren’t in complete sync in everything to be a force for good and to make positive change in the world.’
It is estimated the between 20 and 40% of homeless youth in America are LGBTI.