LGBTQ people and music lovers in Utah have a lot to look forward to at the LoveLoud Festival on August 26. Last week, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) issued an unusual statement supporting the music festival that not only celebrates LGBTQ people but also benefits LGBTQ advocacy groups.
The LDS Church released the following statement after receiving media inquiries.
"We applaud the LoveLoud Festival for LGBT youth's aim to bring people together to address teen safety and to express respect and love for all of God’s children. We join our voice with all who come together to foster a community of inclusion in which no one is mistreated because of who they are or what they believe."
Dan Reynolds, lead singer from Imagine Dragons, is hosting LoveLoud, dubbed “a music festival celebrating love for our LGBTQ+ community.” The goal of the festival is to foster greater understanding of the LGBTQ community and awareness of suicidal rates among LGBTQ youth.
Reynolds, who is Mormon, told the Advocate that the church’s endorsement is “wonderful” and “powerful and progressive in a lot of ways.” But not everyone was thrilled about the endorsement.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the Utah-based country singer Glenn Tyler, who will be performing with his band at the concert, sees the LDS endorsement as a “PR move.”
“Is it enough? No. Is it a step? Absolutely. Is it confusing? Absolutely,” said Tyler, who is gay and a former Mormon.
The LDS church opposes same-sex marriage and its doctrine differs between same-sex attraction and sexual orientation, teaching that acting on same-sex attraction is a sin. The LDS Church banned children of same-sex parents from being blessed or baptized until they are 18, and deems same-sex married couples “apostates.”
HRC Foundation is committed to engaging the Mormon community and elevating the stories and experiences of LGBTQ Mormons. Recently, HRC released the guide, “Coming Home to Mormonism and to Self” aimed at LGBTQ Mormons who are on the journey toward living fully in their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and in their faith and its traditions.