Sunday's annual Utah Pride Parade drew
thousands of participants and revelers to downtown Salt Lake City,
including support from some unexpected groups.
According to NBC
News, several Boy Scouts and adult volunteers wore their uniforms
as they marched in the parade.
“It just feels like the right thing
to do,” Kenji Mikesell, an 18-year-old Eagle Scout still active in
the organization, told the outlet.
The celebration came a little more than
a week after the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) agreed to end its ban on
openly gay scouts under 18. Under the new policy, which takes effect
January 1, openly gay adults remain prohibited from the program.
“Scouting has been a very positive
influence in my life, and I'd like to see more people take advantage
of it now that the ban has been lifted,” Mikesell added.
In a letter to Scoutmaster Peter
Brownstein, who helped organize the march, Rick Barnes, chief scout
executive of the Great Salt Lake Council, warned against
participating in the parade in uniform.
“Having uniformed Scouts and Scouters
in the gay Pride Parade this weekend is NOT acceptable and NOT
allowed,” Barnes wrote. “The new policy states that no person,
youth or adult, may use Scouting to promote sexual orientation, or
any other political or social agenda.”
Brownstein, 53, did not wear his
uniform and said that he was disappointed.
Salt Lake Tribune reported that a group of Mormons joined the
parade for the second year.
About 400 people from Mormons Building
Bridges carried signs reading “Love 1 Another” and “LDS heart