SALT LAKE CITY — For the first time ever, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has donated to the Utah Pride Center.
The LDS Church quietly made a $2,500 donation to the non-profit Utah Pride Center to help its efforts with LGBT homeless and youth. The money, coming in the form of access to the Bishop’s Storehouse, will provide food for those in need, the Utah Pride Center told FOX 13.
In a grant letter, the LDS Church wrote: “We are grateful to be able to serve your efforts in this worthy project and appreciate the work that you and others are doing related to this initiative.”
The LDS Church declined to comment beyond what it wrote in that letter, a spokesman told FOX 13.
Members of the Utah Pride Center were thrilled with the donation.
“The Utah Pride Center is grateful for the church’s help in our efforts to provide food for those in our community who are in need,” said the center’s board president, Kent Frogley, in a statement. “We are grateful for their generosity and the emerging relationship with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We know that this contribution marks a significant moment in the LDS/LGBTQ relationship.”
Sheila Raboy, the center’s interim operations director, said the donation wasn’t a surprise as they had applied for a storehouse grant and got what they applied for.
The LGBT community and the Mormon Church have not always seen eye-to-eye. In the aftermath of the LDS Church’s support of California’s Proposition 8 (which banned same-sex marriage in that state), the Utah Pride Center was involved in discussions about bridging divides and finding common ground.
The LDS Church remains vocal in its opposition to same-sex marriage, but lent its support to a non-discrimination law in the Utah State Legislature that offered protections for LGBT people in housing and employment.