If you want to march with the Mormons at San Diego Pride there are a few rules you must follow.
As San Diego Pride quickly approaches -- now less than a month away -- there are many people and groups that are organizing their place among the over 200 contingents scheduled to march this year.
One of those groups is Mormons Building Bridges (MMB) an organization that says they are "dedicated to conveying love and acceptance to all those who identify as LGBTQI and those who identify as experiencing same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria."
Organizers have put the word out for Mormons and ex-Mormons to join them in the parade on July 14.
It should be noted that even though the Mormons may have relaxed a little bit toward LGBT people outside the church, they do still feel that any active member who pursues same-sex feelings, will have "disobeyed church teachings on morality and thus are subject to ecclesiastical discipline." Further, some congregations follow a type of "don't ask don't tell" philosophy to lower ranking members.
However, MMS says it is not sponsored by the LDS and say they are not affiliated with any political party. Still some members of the church may have concerns about marching in the parade.
To that they refer to Elder D. Todd Christofferson, who said in a 2015 interview that there are many members of the church who have varying views on the LGBT community and that marching isn't a problem unless there is a "deliberate and persistent effort...to pull people, if you will, out of the church or away from its teachings and doctrines.”
"Mormons Building Bridges march in pride parades because of their belief in the most basic doctrines and admonitions of Christ, to 'love one another.' Therefore marching in a pride parade does not constitute “trying to draw others away […] from [the church’s] teachings and doctrines.”
If you do wish to march with MMB, there are a few guidelines one must follow. Clothing should be your Sunday best they say; dresses or skirts for women, shirts, and ties for men.
Also, any signage being used, "should be quotations from scriptures, LDS church hymns, or General Authorities. You can really make a powerful statement this way."
Since the history of the church and the LGBT community has been mixed the MMB expect there may be questions by others outside the church as to the reason for their presence.
"If you are willing to engage," the organization advises potential participants on their website, "please do so by only listening and restating what you understand they have shared with you. If you do not feel comfortable engaging, you could consider a simple redirection: “I understand you feelings. Today is about love, giving you a hug and letting you know that you are my brother/sister.”