Utah Pride Center, Girl Scouts of Utah gauge interest in starting troop

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Pride Center has partnered with the Girl Scouts of Utah to host a new troop in their Salt Lake City location.  The program, which is open to grades K-12, aims to offer an option to members of the LGBT community, who may not feel comfortable joining another troop.

"We're all about empowering girls to become leaders of confidence, courage and character," said Shari Solomon-Klebba, a program coordinator of the Girl Scouts of Utah.

Solomon-Klebba has established approximately 40 troops around the state as part of an outreach program, which creates troops in areas where they don't already exist.  Her work has helped bring the Girl Scouts to domestic violence shelters and refugee centers.  According to her, the Pride Center seemed like an appropriate next move.

"I know being part of the LGBT community or having parents that are part of that community sometimes can be a bit daunting," Solomon-Klebba said. "So, we wanted to make sure that they had a place where there was no part about them that they had to hide, either about themselves their families or whatever."

The first meeting took place Monday at the center.  A few girls between the ages of 7-10 attended with their parents, many of whom had never thought to participate in the organization before now.

"At her school, there are not a lot of gay parents," said Jill Sparks, who signed up her daughter Lily.

The exposure to families like theirs will be significant, Sparks believes.  It's something she wants her daughter to have in all areas of her life, not just at home.

"This is a great opportunity for her to be around other people that have two moms or two dads," Sparks said. "To Lily, it's all the same to her. Everyone is just people."

The program is open to any member of the public, not just the LGBT community.  During each session, the scouts will be able to earn badges through various activities and trips.

"I've always tried to raise my girls that they can be whatever they want to be. And so, I've wanted them to be around people that also encourage that," said parent, Sarah Hemmert.

For more information about the troop, please contact Shari Solomon-Klebba at ssolomon-klebba@gsutah.org.

5 comments

  • Matt

    This nation is failing because of garbage like this. Homosexuals are NOT normal. Now they want little kids to be exposed to this ungodly practice all in the name of social norms or political correctness.
    I haven’t supported the Girl Scouts, and no longer support the Boy Scouts, for a long time because they are going down wrong paths and against God’s laws. Of course, if one does not believe in God or live a good Christian life then I guess what they are teaching the girls is that evil is okay. Nothing new in these days and times. We are seeing the degradation of this nation and society at every turn and evil is called good while good is called evil.
    I hope intelligent, Christian people drop their support for the Girl Scouts immediately and turn to much better organizations such as the American Heritage Girls.
    http://www.ahgonline.org/

    • miles (dave)

      heavenly father can and does work through vial sinners like you and me. granted his influence is most powerful in those who are ready willing and able.

      his judgement is based on what your doing with what you have to work with. (matthew 25: 14-29) and neither you or me knows how thoroughly educated the girl scouts of america, or the boy scouts of america are about the gospel, so we cant and should not make judgements about what heavenly father should do. thats his call to make, not me and not you.

      your job and my job is just to go and do good and love everyone regardless that they may have difficulties that are different from you or me. or would you have been the first to cast a stone at her because your sins are lesser, in your own eyes (john 8)

      • Matt

        Miles…We have religious leaders that are called by GOD to make decisions on right and wrong because GOD wants it that way. GOD expects us to fight for what is right. You can call it casting the first stone or whatever you like but that does not change the fact that what homosexuals are doing is wrong based upon GOD’s laws. We can love homosexuals for who they are but we must never condone their actions because they are wrong. That is a judgment and based upon GOD’s law. That’s why homosexuals who are living in sin are excommunicated. They are no longer aligned with GOD’s law. he loves them but they are wrong. GOD created Adam and Eve – not Adam and Steve. Please crawl out of your politically correct thinking and revert to reality. What did GOD say about offending the little ones? “Whoso shall offend one of these little ones … , it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matt. 18:6). “I have commanded you to bring up your children in light and truth” (D&C 93:40). Enough said.

      • miles (dave)

        i didnt say that i encourage homosexuality. and i have friends who are that know how i feel about it and know what my encouragements are to them about it.

        indeed we need to fight for what is right but when you go encouraging others to stop supporting the boy and girl scouts you also inadvertently encourage people to look down on the people who do uphold lead and support the boy and girl scouts then you are encouraging those people to treat those people poorly, rather than to let them be in there jobs and encourage them to do what is right.

        when you say “Homosexuals are NOT normal.” i cant help but feel as tho you have a hatred toward them like you think they dont struggle with a real concern, like you think its easy for them to overcome there situation. like you think they are lesser people and i say that because when you use words like that its easier to treat those people who are not normal, poorly when we see them as not like us not like real normal people. or did i not understand you correctly?

        it concerns me to hear people talk the way you do to people who struggle with things that you dont struggle with. when people use the kind of language you do. it comes from a position of arm chair judgment, not mutual love and understanding and encouragement. its that kind of position that other christians take against my friends and others like them who struggle with sins that makes them hate christianity because whenever they come across it, it comes in the form of some one telling them they are a bad person, not normal, not like us, not the same, an outcast, one of them, ie your a bad person who dose bad things and you are just that way, its those words that carry a tone that says go and fix your broken nature then come back and then you will be worthy of my love and respect, and all of this encourages them to hate christianity because it always greets them with a hate full negativity.

        i suppose at the judgement bar of god when i get to look upon my savior, i believe i will see one who loved me back to the flock, one who understood when i stumbled, one who encouraged me to do what was right with loving words and a smile, one who never spoke down to me, one who never said i was bad or not good enough or wrong, one who with his heart and every other fiber of his being loved me without question, i plan to want nothing more than to hug him because of the purest most personal most tender and honest love a savior can have. i also believe he has that same love even for the sinner who never comes back to the flock and one of the biggest griefs for those people will be knowing how much the savior loves them and wanted them to come back but they would not (by the way i dont want any of the responsibility on my shoulders to think i helped in any way to drive them away from what they could have had), and with that vision and understanding of my savior i take his encouragement to be like him with that understanding. and im only guessing that interests you too. but because im guessing i could be wrong.

        i know regardless of anything else regardless of the subject religious or not when i did/do my best do be the things i mentioned above its a beautiful event that gets the positive results i and the savior wanted (and i get that positive outcome because of the things i do that are different than the way you do it), and if i left a situation where i was trying to get someone to change, being nothing but brash then it was ugly and stayed ugly, and the desired outcome dose not happen. im just guessing that you may want the positive outcome, but im just guessing so i could be wrong.

  • ANOTHERBOB

    Hopefully these girls will be provided with the same non-gender specific restrooms that Park City just had installed in their high school. The thought of forcing girls to use the girl’s bathroom and boys to use the boy’s bathroom is enough to make my skin crawl.

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