What’d you do this weekend? If you’re like us, you probably blacked out from drinking too much candied liquor and awoke, coughing up glitter and wearing nothing more than a feather boa. That’s right – it was Pride weekend in Utah. The biggest news to happen this weekend was the simple fact that several hundred members of the LDS Church under the name Mormons Building Bridges decided to pop on their sunday best and march in Utah’s largest parade (suck it Pioneer Day). KSL noticed. The SLTrib noticed. And the Deseret News reluctantly noticed.
Yes, the most surprising event this weekend was the simple fact that a group of people who weren’t brainwashed enough by their church leaders were able to set aside the hate that Jesus so very much disapproved of and were able to march in support of their fellow human beings. As a show of support, human to human, it was much appreciated. Many on the parade route reported applause and cheers of support to their fellow human beings. Dustin Lance Black, the parade’s Grand Marshall, was moved by their outpouring of support.
The common mantra from the LDS Church is to “love the sinner, hate the sin.” It’s great that these church members set out to show that they understand the suffering of their fellow man and would like to work on easing that pain. However, the issue of leading a sinful lifestyle still exists. Because, in the eyes of the church, being LGBT means you’re still a redeemable human being so long as you don’t do anything remotely non-hetero. If you can wade through the naturally abundant hateful screed in the comments of various news postings, you’ll see that most people are aware of the personal suffering of LGBT people in Utah, and they extend their comforting words of support.
But anything beyond a kind word is absent. There will be no softening of the Church’s stance on LGBT rights or lifestyle. There will be no additional tolerance from those who declare that pride is a sickening public gesture. There will be no end to those asking, “When is my straight pride day?*” It’s only by working with tolerant people like Mormons Building Bridges to change opinions, open minds, and reach an understanding of coexistance on this small planet that we will be able to end hatred.
Personally I, like many in the comments sections, would prefer never to see Mormons Building Bridges march again. However, my reasoning is the opposite of theirs. While they are demanding an end to MBB because it encourages an LGBT lifestyle by removing fear, I’d love to see MBB become obsolete through progress. Full tolerance and equality would mean a happy end to the need for members of an antagonistic body to come out and apologise for the actions of their leaders. Until then, I do appreciate the work MBB does. Reconciling their religious beliefs with the realities of the world and acting on the commands of their savior to love each other is what needs to happen. Perhaps in time, they will succeed in changing the hearts and minds of their fellow members, and we can all live a happier life together.
*Let me give you a hint – Straight Pride day is every goddamned day, even on Pride weekend.