Interfaith service kicks off Utah Pride Festival

Posted at 9:54 PM, Jun 05, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY -- For many LGBT couples participating in the Utah Pride Festival this weekend, it's more than just parties and parades: It's about prayer and hope for acceptance and legal rights.

Thursday was the 13th annual Utah Pride Interfaith Service at Wasatch Presbyterian Church. It was standing room only.

"It is like a small town, everyone coming together to celebrate, to talk to neighbors, to honor families," said Laurie Wood.

Wood and Kody Patridge were married in Salt Lake City in December 2013. They said no matter what takes place in the court room, nothing can take away what's happening in their community.

"We remember why we are doing it, all the people who are married, all the people who want to get married, it helps us to remember it really isn't about us: It's about all the other people who want marriage equality in this state," Wood said.

The Rev. Curtis Price officiated Laurie and Kody's Wedding. He said it's important to let the LGBT community know that they are accepted.

"There are religious communities that are supportive, that are a safe place to explore faith to be welcomed and affirmed in who you are" Price said.

Derek Kitchen and Moudi Sbeity want to get married and are plaintiffs in the lawsuit challenging Utah’s Amendment Three. They said that seeing people from such a diverse religious background supporting them is an encouraging sign.

"Tonight is really the epitome of pride weekend because the faith in the community and our faith, equality is what brought us here today, and I can't think of a better way than to put all the faiths in one room and celebrate pride," Sbeity said.

Click here for details and a schedule regarding the Utah Pride Festival.