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    Posted June 20, 2012 by
    Washington, District of Columbia
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Same-sex marriage: Civil right vs. states' rights

    More from swclark

    A Mormon Homecoming at the DC Pride Parade

    I marched with about 70 other Mormons for Marriage Equality in the DC Pride Parade on June 9, 2012, where we were greeted with thunderous applause from crowds both shocked and excited to see us there. It was an incredible experience to break stereotypes and feel so welcomed and appreciated. However the most touching moment for me was when one guy in a dark blue shirt busted through several rows of spectators and ran into the middle of our contingent, giving me and a few others HUGE hugs. With tears in his eyes cried out, "Oh my gosh, the Mormons are here!... I'm Mormon! I can't believe you're here. THANK YOU, SO MUCH" He just kept repeating, "I can't believe it... thank you!" as he cried softly on my shoulder.

    It felt like he'd probably been estranged from his heritage for a while, and had doubtless experienced much rejection in the past. Who knows when the last time was that he had proclaimed, "I'm Mormon!" But because we were there, it was a sudden and unexpected homecoming. I held him for several seconds that felt like a blissful eternity and just said, "Yes, we're here and we love you."

    We marched in order to help close the rift between the Mormon faith and the gay community. But we were privileged to heal some wounds within our own community as well by reaching out with love.
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