December 7, 2012
UTAH PRIDE RESPONDS TO TODAY'S UNVEILING OF NEW LDS MICROSITE DEDICATED TO "MORMONS AND GAYS"
Salt Lake City, UT: Today, the LDS Church launched a new website dedicated to providing myriad resources for LDS individuals and families as a vehicle to help enhance understanding and support for the LGBTQ people in their lives in the context of their religious and cultural values.
In a statement Valerie Larabee, Executive Director of the Utah Pride Center, said "In light of the tragic suicide of yet another young person in our very own city late last week, I applaud any institution, religious or otherwise, for increasing the availability of potentially lifesaving resources to bridge the gap in human understanding, respect and acceptance of differences. She further explained, "Having a resource whose purpose is to help Mormon families and leadership recognize the ways they can reduce the isolation and rejection often felt by LGBTQ or questioning Mormons is a huge step in the right direction. "
"It is my hope that our Utah LGBTQ community will embrace the fact that saving lives may be the greatest gift of this new resource for LDS members. Giving LGBTQ and questioning Mormons hope through knowing that their families and church leaders are committed to reducing judgment, rejection and isolation. It's clear from this website that LDS doctrine will not change, however, those Mormons who are LGBTQ or questioning may enjoy a higher quality of life and more loving relationship with their friends, families and faith."
This new and official LDS Church website is yet another resource Utah Pride can provide for Mormons who reach out for support. Until now, Utah Pride has depended largely on the resources of Dr. Caitlin Ryan, Director of the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University, as a way to help religious families navigate these often uncharted and difficult conversations. Central to Dr. Ryan's research is the premise that families can negotiate these difficult conversations and stay together. Dr. Ryan's research has shown that family rejecting and family accepting behaviors are linked with both serious health and mental health problems and the well being of youth as they transition toward adulthood.
Utah Pride is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization whose mission is to be a catalyst for building and celebrating the strength, equality, dignity and self-determination of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer community throughout Utah. UPC is committed to excellence in execution and the continuing improvement of all programs, services, education and advocacy. UPC values and support individuals, families, and allies and building partnerships across communities.