A group of Mormon feminists has declared Sunday, Dec. 16, as "Wear Pants to Church Day" and is calling on sister Saints across the globe to join the effort.
Female Mormon missionaries are not allowed to wear pants, except on their days off. Some LDS women do wear dressy pants to church, but social convention dictates that most Mormon women don dresses or skirts to their weekly services.
"Attending church is about worship and learning to be followers of Jesus Christ," LDS spokesman Scott Trotter said Tuesday in a statement. "Generally church members are encouraged to wear their best clothing as a sign of respect for the Savior, but we don’t counsel people beyond that."
The Wear Pants Day is the first act of All Enlist, a group dedicated to gender equality in the LDS Church, according to its Facebook page describing it.
"We do not seek to eradicate the differences between women and men, but we do want the LDS Church to acknowledge the similarities," the group’s mission statement says. "We believe that much of the cultural, structural, and even doctrinal inequality that persists in the LDS Church today stems from the church’s reliance on — and enforcement of — rigid gender roles that bear no relationship to reality."
Already more than 500 people have agreed to make the symbolic gesture.
The group is encouraging those Mormons who already wear pants to church — i.e. men — to show support "by wearing a purple shirt, tie, socks, or ribbon, purple being a color historically associated with the suffrage movement."
In response, some LDS men are now asking: Can we next do a No Neckties Day?
Gender equity, you know.
Peggy Fletcher Stack
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