by Shaun Knittel -
SGN Associate Editor
This weekend, hundreds of active Mormons will march at the head of the Utah Pride Parade to show support for the Beehive State's LGBT community, reports The Salt Lake Tribune.
'There have been so many years of heartbreak and strife between the LDS and LGBT community,' Erika Munson, organizer of the group Mormons Building Bridges, told the Tribune. 'We just want to send out a message of love to the LGBT community that God loves them because of who they are.'
Munson is not a Lesbian, and she's not someone who became involved because of a Gay family member or friend. Rather, she said, she started the group a few weeks ago to support LGBT Utahans, to show other Latter-day Saints that it's all right to embrace the LGBT community, and to reach out to LGBT teens in hopes of stemming suicide rates.
'We're going to be marching in our church clothes,' Munson said, 'and we want other LDS people to see us and say, 'Oh, they're just like me. Maybe I can reach out to a Gay person in my congregation or not be afraid to discuss this issue.'
Munson got involved after seeing her own children, as young adults, question their Mormon faith because of its stand on homosexuality, which to them seemed at odds with their own attitudes toward LGBT teachers, friends, and neighbors, and to Jesus' message of love.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that it is no sin to have same-sex attraction, but the church condones sexual relations only within the bonds of marriage between a man and a woman. The Utah-based faith also helped pass California's Proposition 8, which limited marriage in the Golden State to heterosexuals.
'I felt that there must be people like me,' Munson said, 'who are committed to the church, who believe in the gospel, and who want to live Jesus' word, which is 'Love one another.'
Munson's group is not affiliated with the LDS church or any political party, and though it started just a few weeks ago, it's been gaining steam through social media. As of Wednesday, the group had more than 900 members on Facebook, and more than 100 had committed to Sunday's march in downtown Salt Lake City.
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