Over 300 Mormon allies dropped their bibles and marched in Utah’s Gay Pride parade on Sunday (3 June).
The group Mormons Building Bridges said they wanted to send a message of love to the LGBT community, saying it was compatible with their faith.
It is the first time such a large group has participated in the Salt Lake City event, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Mother Emily Vandyke, 50, carried a sign with the words from a Mormon children’s song: ‘I’ll walk with you, I’ll talk with you. That’s how I’ll show my love for you.’
‘I haven’t recognized them as equals,’ Vandyke told the Tribune. ‘They have been invisible to me.’
The group came out in their Sunday best and walked throughout the city, a place which has one of the highest rates of gay hate crime.
Grand Marshall and Mormon-born Dustin Lance Black, the Academy Award winning writer of Milk, tweeted his support.
He said: ‘In tears. Over 300 straight, active Mormons showed up to march with me at the Utah Pride parade in support of LGBT people.’
The Church of Latter Day Saints is well known for its strict disapproval of homosexuality. Spectators said their homosexuality had been the main reason they left the church, and if it had been more tolerant they might have stayed.
In April, 22 students at Brigham Young University risked excommunication when they created an It Gets Better video. Mormon parents of gay children followed with a video to share their experiences of struggling with their faith over their child’s sexuality.
Founder of Mormons Building Bridges Erika Munson said: ‘We want to inspire other Mormons at the local level to do things for their LGBT brothers and sisters.’