LDS Leaders refuse to meet with Soulforce Equality Riders
April 24, 2012 1 Comment
Despite numerous requests for a meeting with high ranking church officials this week, a group of gay activists were instead forced to discuss their concerns with members of the church’s public relations and public policy teams.
According to Q Salt Lake,”Members of the Soulforce 2012 Equality Ride reached out to Church leaders to ask them to cut ties with to Evergreen International, a group that promotes so-called reparative therapy, to stop funding and promoting groups that are fighting marriage equality, to encourage LDS Business College to bring its policies on gays current with Mormon teachings and to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the faith’s policies for church employees.”
The Salt Lake City Tribune reports,”Equality Ride had sought a meeting with Mormon higher-ups, including apostles or members of the church’s governing First Presidency. Instead, the advocates huddled with LDS legislative lobbyist Bill Evans, public-affairs representative John Taylor, former TV reporter Ruth Todd and LDS attorney Alexander Dushku, who helped write briefs defending the church’s position on California’s Proposition 8.”
Equality Rider Robert Moore, tells Q Salt Lake, “I am a member of this church, and because I am gay my leaders apparently find me so revolting they refuse to be in the same room as me. It just makes me realize how important it is to have this dialogue.”
Jason Conner, Equality Ride’s co-director, described the meeting to the Tribune as “overall positive,” noting that Evans in particular was “very gracious and hospitable.”
The Equality Ride, launched in 2006, targets its tour at college campuses and those communities in which religious oppression and prejudice have major strongholds, most often at the expense of those who are part of sexual orientation or gender identity minorities.
The riders will pull into Boise this afternoon for a 4:00 pm press conference on the State House steps. The stop in Boise will include a potluck dinner, screening of the award-winning documentary film”Love Free or Die” and an informal discussion with the riders themselves.
“An Evening with the Soulforce Equality Riders” will be held tonight from 5:30-9:30 p.m. at The Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship located at 6200 North Garrett Street in Boise. The event is free and open to the public.
You are encouraged to bring a dish to share during the dinner.