With Prop. 8 reversed, some want reconciliation for LGBT, LDS

Published: Friday, Aug. 13 2010 7:53 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — As California looks to resume marrying same-sex couples next week, some in Utah's gay and lesbian community say now is the time for a new dialogue between lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and the LDS Church.

About 100 people gathered Friday evening on the steps of the Utah state Capitol in hopes of moving toward "reconciliation" between two sides of the Proposition 8 debate.

"I'm tired of the division between the LDS Church and our community," said Turner Bitton, who organized the rally. "I want to start a new dialogue."

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' involvement in the 2008 passage of California's same-sex marriage ban has been well documented and oft debated. But Bitton and others said it is important for both sides to let go of animosity.

"Our community likes to attack the church," Bitton said. "I think it's counterproductive to have rallies and march around the temple when they have given us the key to a statewide nondiscrimination law."

Last year, the LDS Church supported Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County ordinances looking to stop workplace and housing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Allison Black, president of the Ogden branch of Parents and Friends of Gays and Lesbians, said her Mormon faith is not in conflict with her openly gay son's.

"It's possible to come to the middle," she said. "I am right in the middle."

e-mail: afalk@desnews.com

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