LGBT community gathers for ‘Family Homo Evening’ in reaction to new LDS policy

Posted at 10:18 PM, Nov 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-10 00:18:57-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- A new policy within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints prompted families within the LGBT community to rally in support of one another.

Church members typically spend Mondays partaking in Family Home Evening, where they spend time with their loved ones.

Monday, a similar event was hosted by Equality Utah. It was called Family Homo Evening.

"Family Homo Evening is a little tongue and cheek. But we have gathered together to celebrate our families," said Troy Williams, the group's executive director.

The night was organized over the weekend in response to a new policy within the LDS church.

Under it, children of same-sex couples cannot become members unless they are of legal age, no longer living with their parents and have disavowed same-sex relationships.

“It felt like a punch to the gut,” said Kirsten Wilson, who was raised in the church.

While no longer a member, Wilson was saddened to learn the church her family still attends would no longer accept her children.

Monday’s event was a chance to feel accepted by others.

“There’s been a lot of negativity,” Wilson explained. “We wanted to come and be in a good environment where it's accepting and loving.”

In response to criticism, church leaders explained they believe the new policy protects children by not forcing them to choose between their parents and their church.

However, many in the LGBT community disagree with the view. For them, Monday night was a chance to show that.

“This is a celebration of all families, all different types,” said parent, Nikki Cunard.