The Mormon Tabernacle Choir will perform at the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump next month in Washington. Reaction to the news was about as mixed as Mormon support for Trump during the election.
Gary Hutchings and Brad Holland were outside Temple Square soon after the news surfaced. They’re both members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and they were both excited to hear that the Tabernacle Choir would be performing at Trump’s inauguration. They say it’s a big stage and a big platform for the church to send a positive message.
“I think we need to pull together as a nation,” Hutchings says.
Holland adds, “I think we should all stand together and support each other and this great country we live in.”
But other Mormons were less enthusiastic.
“Huge disappointment, sadness and anger over this,” is what Erika Munson says she and other Mormons are feeling.
Munson is co-founder of the pro-LGBT rights group Mormons Building Bridges. The group’s Facebook page has been inundated with messages expressing dismay over the announcement.
Munson says it’s true that some church members see the inaugural performance only as a way to support the office of the president and the Constitution.
“But it’s too bad that will be perceived as Mormonism supporting Donald Trump. That’s the way it’s going to be perceived.”
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has performed at inaugurations for five other U.S. presidents who represented both major political parties.
The LDS Church released a statement acknowledging the mixed response among members. It says the choir’s participation is “not an implied support of party affiliations or politics. It is a demonstration of our support for freedom, civility and the peaceful transition of power.”
President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration is January 20.