The Days of ’47 parade has once again turned down a request to allow the group Mormons Building Bridges to participate in the annual event on Pioneer Day.
Mormons Building Bridges, which works for inclusion of LGBT people within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, wanted to put a classic car in the parade with eight people representing their group. They were turned down because parade rules specifically bar entries that might be “controversial.”
Greg James is the Days of ‘47 executive vice-president. He says the parade committee took a second look at the issue at the request of the Salt Lake City Council, but reached the same conclusion.
James told KUER, “We don’t want the parade to devolve from the message of celebrating the founding of the state and the pioneers into a point-counterpoint, and there’s a float for this and a float against that. That’s not what that parade is meant for.”
Erika Munson, one of the founders of Mormons Building Bridges, says members of the group are disappointed in the outcome, but not discouraged.
“We’re really gratified that the Days of ’47 considered our entry," Munson says. "We’re gratified with the public conversation that we’ve been having about ‘what is the Days of ’47 parade all about?’ And we’re looking forward to further conversation, and we will apply for next year.”
Days of ’47 is a private business that runs the annual parade and rodeo as well as other Pioneer Day events. It gets most of its funding from commercial sponsors, but about 15-percent of that money comes from the LDS Church Foundation.