US: Salt Lake City councillors to boycott Mormon parade over exclusion of gays
Two members of Salt Lake City council have announced they will not attend a prominent Mormon parade in the city, over the exclusion of gay people.
The annual Days of ’47 Parade is a large event in Utah, to commemorate the arrival of the Mormon pioneers in the city.
Council members were initially invited to march in the parade and bring a guest, however when Erin Mendenhall said she would bring her recently-married gay friend, her invitation was changed.
She dropped out of the event after she was told she would only be permitted to bring a family member.
She told the Salt Lake Tribune: “I will not participate in the 2014 Days of ’47 Parade
“It saddens me that the organizers of this parade turn their back on a long tradition of Salt Lake City providing sanctuary and refuge.”
She is joined by openly gay councillor Stan Penfold, who withdraw after pro-gay group Mormons Building Bridges were told they could not take part.
He said: “I’m not boycotting… it just doesn’t sound like a welcoming opportunity.”
Councillor Charlie Luke also declined to attend, objecting to the use of horse-drawn carriages, though the remaining 4 councillors and the Mayor will all attend.