The Phoenix chapter of a Mormon gay
rights group held a candlelight vigil on Friday to remember victims
of suicide, The Arizona Republic reported.
About 40 members of the Phoenix Gay
Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender Coalition for Mormon Action gathered
across from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' (the
Mormons) Mesa Temple as the church celebrated its 31st
annual Christmas Lights ceremony.
The event raised awareness for The
Trevor Project, the California-based non-profit that runs the
nation's only 24-hour, toll free confidential suicide hotline for gay
and questioning youth, and Phoenix Affirmation, a local gay group
that lobbies for greater acceptance from the Mormon Church.
The members snuffed out their candles
to remember gay Mormons who had committed suicide.
Bobby Parker, a Mormon who came out gay
late in life, said he had considered several times taking his own
“When I first came out I was sent out
for reperative therapy to change me back to a heterosexual,” he
Parker added that his group hopes “that
there is just more tolerance among Mormons for gays.”
The Mormon Church recently softened its
stand on being gay. An
updated guidebook says gay men and lesbians are accepted in the
church, so long as they remain celibate.