Group plans LDS conference weekend memorial to gay suicides

Published September 30, 2009 4:36 pm
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During the LDS Church's semiannual conference this weekend, one group will hold a memorial service for gay and transgender Mormons who have committed suicide.

The Foundation for Reconciliation, a group working to foster greater understanding between the church and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender population, will highlight the plight of some Mormons who have felt despair -- in some instances, to the point of ending their own lives -- over LDS teachings that being in a gay relationship is sinful. The service is Sunday at 7 p.m. at the First Unitarian Church, 569 S. 1300 East, Salt Lake City.

The foundation, in a news release, said it wanted to call attention to the issue in light of the LDS Church's 2008 support for the gay marriage ban in California, the July detention of a gay couple who kissed on the church's Main Street Plaza and a September speech given by LDS general authority Bruce C. Hafen denying a biological link to homosexuality.

On Nov. 4, the one-year anniversary of California's passage of Proposition 8 outlawing gay marriage in the Golden State, the group plans to deliver, by handcart, its "Plea for Reconciliation" petition to LDS headquarters. The group is gathering signatures online, at http://www.ldsapology.org" Target="_BLANK">http://www.ldsapology.org.

The foundation also reports that it has a meeting scheduled for Tuesday with Gov. Gary Herbert to discuss potential legal protections for gay and transgender Utahns.

Rosemary Winters

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