Utah Gay Pride Parade includes Boy Scouts in uniforms, Mormons

Mon. June 3, 2013 12:09 PM by OnTopMag.com

Salt Lake City, UT - Sunday's annual Utah Pride Parade drew thousands of participants and revelers to downtown Salt Lake City, including support from some unexpected groups.

According to NBC News, several Boy Scouts and adult volunteers wore their uniforms as they marched in the parade.

"It just feels like the right thing to do," Kenji Mikesell, an 18-year-old Eagle Scout still active in the organization, told the outlet.

The celebration came a little more than a week after the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) agreed to end its ban on openly gay scouts under 18. Under the new policy, which takes effect January 1, openly gay adults remain prohibited from the program.

"Scouting has been a very positive influence in my life, and I'd like to see more people take advantage of it now that the ban has been lifted," Mikesell added.

In a letter to Scoutmaster Peter Brownstein, who helped organize the march, Rick Barnes, chief scout executive of the Great Salt Lake Council, warned against participating in the parade in uniform.

"Having uniformed Scouts and Scouters in the gay Pride Parade this weekend is NOT acceptable and NOT allowed," Barnes wrote. "The new policy states that no person, youth or adult, may use Scouting to promote sexual orientation, or any other political or social agenda."

Brownstein, 53, did not wear his uniform and said that he was disappointed.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported that a group of Mormons joined the parade for the second year.

About 400 people from Mormons Building Bridges carried signs reading "Love 1 Another" and "LDS heart LGBT."

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine



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