June 5 will mark seven months since the exclusion policy barring the children of same sex couples from being baptized until age 18 at which point they must also disavow their parents’ relationship. Allies of LGBT people are asked to join in wearing a rainbow ribbon this day to demonstrate support for inclusion and to identify themselves to any LGBT members of the congregation as a friendly face and an ally.
A fuller description of the event can be found at Huffington Post.
On June 5, 2016, a group of Mormons who are allies of their LGBT+ brothers and sisters will be launching an initiative to show their support and love by wearing rainbow ribbons to church (or wearing them on Sundays if they do not attend) and posting photos of themselves online. The Rainbow Mormon Initiative also encourages those who wish to participate to knit or crochet scarves, hats, or blankets to donate to Ogden Youth Futures, a shelter for homeless LGBT+ teens in northern Utah.
Organizer Kristy Money said:
It is an attempt to show love to the most neglected and mistreated members of our church, as Christ showed love to the most reviled of sinners, ate with publicans and prostitutes, because he knew that all of us are sinners and all of us need the Atonement. Rainbow Mormons are those who love LGBT+ people in our own lives and want to show that we are allies and can be called on for support by those who are afraid to come out within the Mormon church and to those who have been rejected by family, and have fled or been forced out of their homes as a result of their sexual orientation.
Why participate? Here are several reasons:
- Identify Yourself as an Ally. As with the Pants tradition, it’s important to help others feel welcome and that they have a friend they can go to in the ward. When you wear a rainbow ribbon or lapel pin, you are showing those who may not know you that you are someone who cares about them.
- Further the Conversation. While we as members have little to no influence on policy making in the church, we can help show bishops and stake presidents that these issues are important to us, that we mourn with those who mourn, and that we aren’t forgetting the lives who have been impacted.
- Prevent Despair. To show those LGBT individuals in our congregations that they are not alone and that they don’t need to despair or feel they have no support. Although many adult LGBT members have left our congregations, there are still gay teens who haven’t yet come out or come to terms with their own sexual orientation. It’s important for them to feel there is hope and that they will be accepted. Preventing despair by showing those who are vulnerable to feeling ostracized is an important part of suicide prevention.
Have you seen efforts like this have a positive effect? Please share your stories in the comments.