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I sent the letter posted after the squiggle below to our local paper. I live in Idaho and am always looking for ways to reach out to and communicate with the conservatives here. Some are too extreme to listen to anything but their own drummer. Others, I believe, may be more amenable to outside input. I felt the newspaper article about the group, Building Bridges, demonstrated how those in their own church (most here are LDS) have found a way to show love for the LGBT community without violating their faith.

I needed to pass on something positive and human that shows a change for the better.

More than 300 members of the LDS church marched with gay participants at the Utah Gay Pride Parade in downtown Salt Lake city on Sunday, June 3. The Salt Lake Tribune reported that the straight church members belonged to the group "Mormons Building Bridges". The paper reported that the group wanted to "send a message of love to the state's LGBT community, a message they believe is compatible with their faith." The paper reported that the Mormons were cheered by spectators as they marched.

The article went on to say that there were tears in the eyes of many people. The founder of Building Bridges, Erika Munson, said that the success of the event demonstrated the "deep wounds" in the community".

Reading this story brought tears to my eyes as well. I am humbled by this group who acted from their hearts and expressed their love of their brothers and sisters in a way that does not contradict their beliefs. There is so much hate and division in the country right now that this loving outreach touches me deeply. These people show me that I can approach those who are different from me with love and respect. One of the younger participants best displayed the change in attitude that is occurring:

Nevin Munson, 13, carried a sign as he walked that said "Love thy neighbor as thyself."

"I’m very saddened by the amount of hate in the world," he said, describing the discrimination against gays and lesbians around the world. "I don’t believe in that — they’re humans."

I urge everyone to click on the link and read this article in its entirety. I hope that you experience the same beauty that I did.

I believe that sexuality is not a choice. People are born with their sexual preferences and nothing can change it. It is best to follow the example of this group and love people for who they are regardless of their sexual identity.  

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