The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints on Wednesday endorsed an upcoming concert
benefiting at-risk LGBTQ youth.
Scheduled to perform on August 26 at
the LoveLoud Festival at Utah Valley University's Brent Brown
Ballpark are Imagine Dragons, Neon Trees, Krewella, Nicholas
Petricca, Joshua James and Aja Volkman.
NFL Hall of Famer Steve Young, Dancing
with the Stars choreographer Julianne Hough and Tom
Christofferson are scheduled to appear. Christofferson is an out
Mormon and brother of LDS apostle D. Todd Christofferson.
The concert, which benefits four LGBT
groups, will be emceed by soloist Alex Boye.
“We applaud the LoveLoud Festival for
LGBTQ youth’s aim to bring people together to address teen safety
and to express respect and love for all of God’s children,” the
church said in a statement. “We join our voice with all who come
together to foster a community of inclusion in which no one is
mistreated because of who they are or what they believe.”
Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds,
who launched the event and has been critical of the church's
opposition to LGBT rights, including its vocal opposition to same-sex
marriage, applauded the endorsement, saying that the church's words
were “powerful and progressive in a lot of ways.”
“If you are gay, your life and your
love is correct,” Reynolds told The
Salt Lake Tribune, “and just as valid as my life and my