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Mormons Building Bridges will be kept out of Utah's annual Days of '47 Parade for a third year.
The organization's application was rejected on grounds that Bridges, formed in 2012 to foster ties between the LDS and LGBT communities, is a controversial advocacy group, its co-founder Erika Munson said Friday in a news release.
Parade organizers similarly rejected Bridges in 2014 and 2015. The committee's decision also seems to sharply contradict those made to allow the participation of other groups, Munson said.
For example, she said, Days of '47 will welcome entries from Mormon congregations, educational institutions and businesses all advocates for good causes of many kinds but won't allow a group representing LGBT Utahns.
"Mormons Building Bridges can only conclude that the Days of '47 committee is less interested in tributes to the Mormon pioneers," Munson said, "and more interested in who is presenting those tributes."
An email message seeking comment from a Days of '47 representative was not immediately returned Friday.
The annual July event anchors Utah's state holiday, Pioneer Day, and celebrates the 1847 arrival of Mormon settlers in the Salt Lake Valley.
The event, run by a private nonprofit, is Utah's largest parade. The annual Utah Pride Festival, a celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, stages the state's second-largest parade. Hundreds of Bridges members march in the June procession.
Munson said Bridges understands that organizers have a right to decide who is allowed to be in the parade and other Days of '47 events.
"Yet Utahns need to decide if they want a private party held on public streets in observance of a public holiday," she said.
Bridges' 2016 parade application proposed a float depicting Rainbow Bridge, a national monument in southern Utah, and bearing the message, "Be the Bridge." The float would have no riders, according to Munson, but the group did want a parade announcer to read a message that said Rainbow Bridge was a symbol of Utah's landscape, its pioneers who settled here and the capacity of humans to build bridges of understanding.
"No matter our differences," the proposed statement reads, "we can reach across and connect to each other by remembering what we all share."