Community members upset by Mormon guest appearance

Illustration by Liz Coffee
Illustration by Liz Coffee

One community organization, Mormons Building Bridges, maintained a booth at Chico Pride, spurring a few Pride attendees to express their frustration to Stonewall Alliance Center for allowing the group to table even though the Mormon church hasn’t been welcoming to the LGBTQ+ community.

It’s disappointing to see community members so unaccepting of groups and immediately closing their minds to organizations based on previous matters. If the Mormon organization had been disrespectful or disruptive at the event, the Facebook comments aimed at them on the event page would have been justified.

At the actual event, the Mormon organization in no way promoted hate or any discriminatory behavior and even gave people funny stickers that read “Hug a Mormon.” However, their presence made some people uncomfortable. One woman posted on the Chico Pride 2015 Facebook page, “I’d rather wear a KKK sticker,” which seems to completely contradict any form of tolerance and acceptance. By endorsing another breed of hate, joke or not, she is endorsing discrimination.

One community member mentioned that she had actually been turned away from the Mormon church in Chico, and another pointed out the fact that the Mormon church had fundraised in favor of Proposition 8.

Even though the Mormon church’s motive for attending the Pride event seems to be a way for them to prove their religion is tolerant, it was very admirable of the Stonewall Alliance Center to be inclusive to them. By allowing the Mormon group into the event, it proves that Stonewall actually provides the atmosphere of acceptance and tolerance that it advertises.

Saying a group is tolerant doesn’t mean a group is actually being tolerant. It’s incredibly refreshing to see an organization like Stonewall Alliance Center, that has such a significant voice in our community, practice what they preach.