Friday, October 28, 2011

LDS Bishop Dennis Toone Defends No Cross-Gender Dressing Policy At Crescent 16th Ward Trunk-Or-Treat In Draper, Utah

The bishop of the Crescent 16th Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Draper, Utah has defended a flyer posted at his chapel prior to their October 25th trunk-or-treat event in which they asked people not to dress up in cross-gender attire. A photo of the flyer is posted above. Update: This story has now gone viral, picked up by The Blaze and the Fox News Channel.

Bishop Dennis Toone's family says the Young Women's group created the flyer before hundreds went out to the community. Since Bishop Toone suffered a loss in his family, he didn't want to appear on camera. But in a published report, Toone defended the flyer saying "I thought it was church policy. I'll defend the church and anyone who doesn't like it doesn't have to come.”

Bingo! That's what some of us Mormons have been waiting to hear. Political correctness has been infiltrating the ranks of Latter-day Saints; many went ga-ga over the calling of the openly-gay but celibate Mitch Mayne as executive secretary to the Bay Ward bishopric in San Francisco, acting as if he was a second Joseph Smith. I commend Bishop Toone for having the stones to say that if people don't like it, they don't have to come. There's too much obsession with inclusivity in our society -- an inclusivity which is rarely extended towards those who wish to hold fast to the iron rod. If we try to be all things to all people, we will be of no value to the Lord.

Meanwhile, LDS spokesperson Scott Trotter said that although the Church does mandate a no-mask policy for such events, the cross-dressing ban is not churchwide policy, and event rules like that are up to the discretion of the local bishop or church members. Trotter did not explain why Bishop Toone used such language, but he assumes his intent was to promote appropriate dress. KSTU Channel 13 news video embedded below (after the jump):


Reaction: One local resident who is not Mormon, Raquel Smith, said that the ban on cross-dressing sends the wrong message to children. She also said she has several friends who are transgender or drag queens for a profession, so she would understandably be biased. In contrast, Jude McNeil, who directs research and training at Salt Lake City’s Pride Center, opined that the Mormon party organizers did not intend to hurt any nonconforming or transgender kids; they were just unaware of the potential consequences of such guidelines. As of this post, 1,234 comments have been posted to the Salt Lake Tribune story, indicating strong interest in Utah.

LDS blogger Michael Crook posted a strong defense of Bishop Toone's actions, writing in part "What right-thinking church would allow cross-dressing freaks into any of its buildings, whether on Halloween or on any other day"?

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