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LDS Dems plans 'coming out party' for DNC

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 21 2012 5:27 p.m. MDT

Sen. Harry Reid will be the keynote speaker when 200 or so Mormon Democrats meet for what the New York Times is calling "a coming out party" for "an increasingly assertive caucus of Mormon Democrats" at the Democratic National Convention in early September.

"Mormons who are Democrats are always a lonely bunch, but never more so than in this election year when one of their fellow church members is about to make history and be crowned the Republican nominee for president," reporter Laurie Goodstein wrote.

An organization called LDS Dems was formed in Utah last year. According to Goodstein, the organization has grown to more than 2,000 members. They are trying to increase the number of LDS Democrats in "Mormon-heavy states like Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada and New Mexico."

And, of course, Utah.

"They are using an approach not unlike missionary work: convincing Mormons one on one that the Democratic Party better represents their moral and religious ideals," Goodstein wrote, paraphrasing Matt Lyon, executive director of the Utah Democratic Party.

Although the story notes that the LDS Church does not endorse any political party, Goodstein indicated that "the stigma of being a Democrat in Utah is strong." She related the story of a man in Iron County who recently told a state Democratic Party official that he doesn't tell anyone in the community he is gay "because if I do, they'll know I'm a Democrat."

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