Sunday, July 05, 2015

Mormon Church Makes First Ever Donation To LGBT Youth Group

While it still has a very, very long way to go to undo all of the anti-gay damage that it has wrought, the Mormon Church has made its first ever donation to an LGBT youth Group.  The donation to the Pride Center (pictured above) will help feed homeless and low income LGBT youth.   While no doctrinal changes is involved, it is heartening nonetheless - especially when contrasted with the numerous moves by the U.S. Catholic bishops to cut funds and support to groups that are pro-gay and/or that service the LGBT community.  The New Civil Rights Movement looks at the surprising turn of events.  Here are excerpts:

The Church of the Latter Day Saints, remembered for its generosity to anti-gay California groups during the Prop 8 battle, has made its first ever donation to an LGBT organization - the Utah Pride Center. The Pride Center describes itself as a nonprofit community organization serving the gay, bisexual and transsexual community in the Salt Lake City metropolitan area.

According to KSL News Radio, members for the Utah Pride Center solicited the church last spring, asking if the Bishops' Storehouse, which distributes food and household items to people in need, could donate perishable food items for its youth program. Pride Center serves breakfast to about 40 homeless and low-income LGBT youths each week, but the  Utah Food Bank which donates food to the group is unable to offer perishables. 

This week, the Church replied. They sent a check for $2500, accompanied by a grant letter which said:
"We are grateful to be able to serve your efforts in this worthy project and appreciate the work that you and others are doing related to this initiative."
Kent Frogley, President of the Utah Pride Center Board of Directors thanked the Church for its decision to help LGBT youth, many of them homeless due to rejection by their religious parents.

Although the Mormon Church seems to softening around the edges, don't expect an about face on LGBT issues anything soon. Leaders of the Church have sent a letter to be read to Mormon congregations this weekend, in which they reinforce the Mormon belief that only heterosexual marriage is ordained by God. But the letter does urge Mormons to love and treat all people with kindness.
“We’re just excited that we’re able to actually come together on something that we think is really beneficial to people in our community who are in need," Mr. Frogley tried to be optimistic. “When two organizations that don’t always agree on everything are able to work together to actually make the world a little bit better, I think that’s great.”
Will the Catholic Church take note?

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