- (Photo: facebook/City Creek Center)
- (Photo: Reuters/George Frey)
Organizers of the largest annual parade that takes place in Utah have rejected an LGBT Mormon group's proposed float, stating that it will be too controversial.
The Days of '47 Parade, which is expected to have approximately 100 floats and a quarter of a million onlookers, rejected a float request from Mormons Building Bridges.
Mike Deaver, who sits on the Days of '47 Committee, told The Christian Post that the Mormons Building Bridges float "was denied due to several factors."
"The application standards indicate that entries that are political or advocacy oriented or otherwise do not match the purpose of the parade and will be denied," said Deaver.
"Based on information from the parade's committee chair, the application from MMB was submitted late as well."
Scheduled to take place in Salt Lake City on Thursday, July 24, the Days of '47 Parade is held annually to commemorate the Mormon pioneers who first settled in what is now Utah.
It was on July 24, 1847, that the first Mormons under Brigham Young arrived in the area and began to build their community. This year's theme will be "Pioneers – Pushing Toward Our Future!"
"They arrived with nothing – less than nothing for some. Within days, they dropped anchors, figuratively, and those anchors held steady," reads an entry on the parade's website.
"That's what The Days of '47 is all about: celebrating anchors from the past, leaving anchors for the future, and having fun in the process."
According to Deaver, well over 100 entries for the parade were submitted, with five altogether being denied entry for various reasons.
"We anticipate roughly 140-150 entries this year, the parade includes bands, floats, cars and horse entries," said Deaver to CP.
For its part, Mormons Building Bridges is attempting to appeal the decision, posting on their website a request for supporters to talk to the parade's sponsors.
"We encourage participants in Mormons Building Bridges and friends of the organization to reach out to the parade sponsors in the spirit of open and compassionate dialogue and tell them what it would mean to you and your community to have a 'Mormons Building Bridges Celebrates Utah's LGBT Pioneers' entry in the parade," stated MBB.
"Please send them an email or give them a call. Better yet, try to find someone in these organizations to have a dialogue with in person."
That outreach will likely have to include a major sponsor, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to Annie Knox of The Associated Press.
"A private nonprofit runs the parade, but The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a large sponsor and LDS Church presidents often participate in the event," reported Knox.