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Another, more outspoken Mormon group steps up its fight for gay rights

Published May 31, 2013 11:27 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Overshadowed by all the publicity about Mormons Building Bridges — a group of Latter-day Saints that takes no position on political or theological issues — a separate band of believers is slowly building momentum.

It's called Mormons for Equality, and its members fully support gay marriage and other rights.

Because of a technical issue with the registration, Mormons for Equality will not be marching in Sunday's Pride parade in Salt Lake City as an independent contingent, but will join with two other organizations: the ACLU and Unitarian Universalists.

"We will still carry individual signs indicating our support for gay marriage," executive director Spencer W. Clark said Thursday.

Mormons for Equality began in California in 2008 under the name, Mormons for Marriage. The group's purpose was to show support for gay marriage rather than for Proposition 8, a ballot measure defining marriage as between a man and a woman that the LDS Church was promoting.

As many as half the Mormons in last year's Salt Lake City parade in Salt Lake City were with the Equality group rather than Bridges, Clark said. The group also worked for marriage equality in Maryland, Minnesota and Washington.

After November, though, the group realized, Clark said, that "there were more issues than just marriage — including anti-discrimination." So the group dropped "marriage" from its name, becoming simply, Mormons for Equality.

"We are looking for opportunities to speak up," said Clark, who will not be in Utah for the parade but will lead a group in D.C.'s parade next weekend, "and other groups to partner with."

Peggy Fletcher Stack