Video Courtesy of KSL.com
And below is embedded a YouTube video of KSTU Channel 13's interview with Jacob Whipple earlier in the evening. Whipple is a gay ex-Mormon who was the organizer of the Salt Lake rally:
Tonight's demonstration in Salt Lake City followed a similar rally by around 2,000 protestors staged on Thursday November 6th at the LDS Temple in Westwood, Calif., near Los Angeles. The protestors formed up at City Creek Park, then marched through downtown streets to Temple Square, circumnavigating it twice. Except for some occasional flare-ups where anti-Mormon protestors tried to attack pro-Mormon counter-protestors, it was a peaceful affair.
To no one's surprise, former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson showed up to grandstand once again, positioning himself at the center of the crowd gathered at City Creek Park with chants of "Yes, we can". Other notables in attendance were all three of Utah's openly-gay state lawmakers, including Senator Scott McCoy (D-Salt Lake), Rep. Jackie Biskupski (D-Salt Lake), and Rep. Christine Johnson (D-Salt Lake).
Morgan Smith of Salt Lake City, who identified himself as an active Mormon, hopes the protests will encourage The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to show greater love for its gay and lesbian members. [Ed. Note: And you can kiss off your temple recommend for going public, buddy - if you even have one in the first place.]
Just hours before the rally, the LDS Church issued the following statement:
"It is disturbing that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is being singled out for speaking up as part of its democratic right in a free election.
Members of the Church in California and millions of others from every faith, ethnicity and political affiliation who voted for Proposition 8 exercised the most sacrosanct and individual rights in the United States – that of free expression and voting. While those who disagree with our position on Proposition 8 have the right to make their feelings known, it is wrong to target the Church and its sacred places of worship for being part of the democratic process.
Once again, we call on those involved in the debate over same sex marriage to act in a spirit of mutual respect and civility towards each other. No one on either side of the question should be vilified, harassed or subject to erroneous information".
And the Catholics stepped up to the plate to lend the LDS Church support. Bishop William Weigand, head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento, CA and former bishop of the Dioceses of Salt Lake City, issued a statement Friday.
"Catholics stand in solidarity with our Mormon brothers and sisters in support of traditional marriage — the union of one man and one woman — that has been the major building block of Western civilization for millennia," Weigand said in the statement.
"The ProtectMarriage coalition, which led the successful campaign to pass Proposition 8, was an historic alliance of people from every faith and ethnicity. LDS were included — but so were Catholics and Jews, Evangelicals and Orthodox, African-Americans and Latinos, Asians and Anglos."
Weigand called the bigoted attacks on Mormons for their part in the coalition shameful. "I call upon the supporters of same-sex marriage to live by their own words and to refrain from discrimination against religion and to exercise tolerance for those who differ from them," he said. "I call upon them to accept the will of the people of California in the passage of Proposition 8."
Elsewhere, CNN reports that pro-gay activists continued to rally on Friday in California. Two thousand showed up in San Francisco, while 500 showed up for a Palm Springs rally marred by violence on the part of pro-gay activists. Another rally was held in Long Beach. In addition, the Washington Post reports that John Aravais, who operates the AmericaBlog.com website, is trying to organize a national boycott against Utah because that's where the LDS Church is headquartered.