SALT LAKE CITY – While the Utah Pride Festival is underway, Sunday also marks seven months since The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a policy prohibiting children of same-sex couples from getting baptized.
That policy created a divide among some members of the Mormon faith, and it also prompted a campaign among some Mormons to show love and support toward the LGBTQ community in an effort to prevent teen suicides.
Mette Harrison is a co-founder of the Rainbow Mormon Initiative, and she spoke about its purpose.
“I just want to have a chance to show people that they can feel safe here and that they are welcome,” Harrison said.
With a rainbow ribbon pinned to her Sunday church attire, Harrison hopes this small act will have a big impact on the members of the LDS Church who identify as LGBTQ.
The Rainbow Mormon Initiative launched Sunday, and so far hundreds of people have posted pictures of themselves wearing rainbow ribbons, ties, pins and jewelry. Many are using the hashtag #RainbowMormon on social media.
Harrison says their goal is to create a symbol of hope and a safe space for LGBTQ Mormons. She said it’s especially important to let teenagers know they have someone they can talk to and someone who loves them.
Members of the Rainbow Mormon Initiative say they are not challenging LDS doctrine, but simply want everyone—especially those in the LGBTQ community—to feel loved.
“They are just regular people who want to be loved,” Harrison said. “They have been hurt, many of them have been hurt by feeling rejected by their families, by the church, and I really want to welcome them back in.”
The founders of the Rainbow Mormon Initiative hope their efforts will save lives. Watch News at Nine Sunday to hear from LDS mothers with children who are LGBTQ as they react to the initiative.
For more on the initiative, visit their Facebook page.