Apple CEO, Imagine Dragons at Salt Lake City music festival for Mormon LGBT youth

Neon Trees lead singer Tyler Glenn performs at the LoveLoud Festival at Utah Valley University in Provo, Utah, Aug. 26, 2017 | File photo by Rick Egan/The Salt Lake Tribune via Associated Press, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Apple CEO Tim Cook is among those heading to Salt Lake City for a Saturday music festival organized by Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds to support LGBT youth in the Mormon church.

The appearance of the proudly gay CEO will show young people their “unlimited potential,” Reynolds said in a statement. Other headliners include dancer and singer Julianne Hough, DJ Zedd, Tegan Quin of the band Tegan and Sara, Tyler Glenn from Neon Trees as well as Imagine Dragons.

Imagine Dragons lead singer Dan Reynolds performs at the LoveLoud Festival at Utah Valley University in Provo, Utah, Aug. 26, 2017 | File photo by Rick Egan/The Salt Lake Tribune via Associated Press, St. George News

Reynolds, who is Mormon, said the festival is a passion project born from watching friends struggle with their sexuality and feeling unwelcome in the faith.

“To see my community failing in this way is just not acceptable to me,” the Las Vegas native told The Associated Press last month. “When you’re given a platform at this level I feel a weight every day to do something with it.”

He also pointed to an alarming spike in suicide rates for Utah kids aged 10 to 17. While public-health investigators are still studying the trend’s cause, Reynolds said that making LGBT kids feel welcome in their homes and communities reduces any risk they might hurt themselves.

He also made the HBO documentary “Believer” aimed at showing the damaging effects of the faith’s opposition to same-sex relationships.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints supports his festival’s aim of preventing bullying and suicide, and has said there is a valued place for LGBT people in the church. Still, the faith also holds firm to doctrinal opposition of same-sex marriage and sexual intimacy.

Reynolds, who is heterosexual, has said the church still has a long way to go. This year, the festival is trying to raise $1 million to benefit groups that help at-risk gay, lesbian, bisexual transgender and queer kids.

Along with musicians, organizers are also drawing a range of performers and speakers, including Olympic freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy, YouTube food critic and Ellen Show star Kalen Allen and Utah’s Lt. Governor, Spencer Cox.

The festival that starts Saturday afternoon at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City is aimed at reaching out LGBT kids who have grown up in any orthodox faith, he said.

“For me, the goal of LoveLoud is to reach these kids and tell them, ‘Hey, you are loved and accepted.’ Even if you’re not feeling at home or at church, or whatever, here’s a safe zone for you, at least for a day,” he said last month. “They can come out and feel celebrated and safe.”

Written by LINDSAY WHITEHURST, Associated Press.

AP Music Writer Mesfin Fekadu in New York contributed to this report.

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  • NickDanger July 27, 2018 at 6:02 pm

    None of this changes the plain fact about homosexuality and Christianity – you can only have one or the other. Those who want to paint homosexuality as a gray area are only fooling themselves, they certainly aren’t fooling anyone who has actually read the Bible.

    Both God the Father and Jesus Christ spoke against homosexuality, God quite blatantly when he called it an “abomination,” and Jesus indirectly when he spoke of marriage as being between a man and a woman.

    • Chris July 27, 2018 at 8:33 pm

      No where in the gospels of the New Testament is Jesus Christ quoted as condemning homosexuality. Speaking about marriage is not, in any way, a comment on homosexuality. You are a very poor excuse for a Christian.

      • NickDanger July 27, 2018 at 9:02 pm

        What’s with the insults, Chris? I’m merely stating facts, not slinging mud. The Bible is quite clear on this subject.

        There are a lot of things you can’t be and simultaneously profess to Christianity, lest you be deemed a hypocrite. You can’t be a thief, can’t be a liar, can’t be an adulterer, can’t be a ruffian, and the list goes on and on until it gets to “can’t be a homosexual.”

        Every Christian has sinful urges he must resist. Temptation is everywhere. I myself have to quite often resist the temptation to verbally abuse certain kinds of people. Pride is my downfall. I’m not always successful at overcoming it, but I’m always remorseful, always repent of it, always try harder, and I’m always forgiven by God’s grace.

        The homosexual agenda, however, is quite insidious – rather than even try to resist their sinful urge, or even occasionally cave in to it only to be remorseful and repent of it afterwards, they’ve collectively decided to pretend the Bible simply doesn’t say what it actually says. “It’s not a sin as long as we keep pretending it isn’t.” Well, okay. Seems like a wasted life to me. But that’s for you to decide, I’m merely pointing out that there’s no room for speculation regarding how God feels about homosexuality.

        • statusquo July 28, 2018 at 8:26 am

          Well said. Disputing what God said got the first couple tossed out of Eden to start with – and man has been questioning God’s word ever since. It’s much easier to just admit He’s God and realize that He knows a lot more about what’s best for us than we do. After all, He wrote the book on the matter.

        • AnnieMated July 28, 2018 at 9:03 pm

          NickDanger, the following was taken from “The West Wing” but it rounds up my response well.

          “I’m interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. She’s a Georgetown sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleaned the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be?”

          “My chief of staff, Leo McGarry, insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself or is it okay to call the police?”

          “Here’s one that’s really important cause we’ve got a lot of sports fans in this town: touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean. Leviticus 11:7 If they promise to wear gloves can the Washington Redskins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point?

          “Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother, John, for planting different crops side by side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads?

          “Think about those questions, would you?”

          Exodus 21:7 “When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go free as male slaves do.”
          Leviticus 11:7-8: and the pig, which does indeed have hoofs and is cloven-footed, but does not chew the cud and is therefore unclean for you.Their flesh you shall not eat, and their dead bodies you shall not touch; they are unclean for you.”
          Exodus 35:2 “On six days work may be done, but the seventh day shall be sacred to you as the sabbath of complete rest to the LORD. Anyone who does work on that day shall be put to death.”


          • NickDanger July 29, 2018 at 2:08 pm

            Yeah, Old Testament law for the Hebrews was double tough. I’m sure it all seemed quite arbitrary and pointless at the time. “Why?” and “Why not?” were probably the big questions on the minds of those ancient desert dwellers.

            Of course, thousands of years later we figured out that the vast majority of God’s laws were given to the Israelites for medical and sanitation reasons they couldn’t possibly have understood at the time, given the limits of their scientific knowledge. Rather than gift them with this knowledge that God knew would not be available to mankind for millennia, he simply gave them the laws without explanation and insisted they be followed.

            In later history, the reasons behind these, frankly, AMAZING laws designed to protect the Israelites from microbiotic threats became clear. The introduction of penicillin and other antibiotics into society nullified the reasons behind many of these laws and made them irrelevant.

            But then there was the law against homosexuality. Unlike the rest of God’s law, it DID come with an explanation.

            You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. (Leviticus 18:22)

            If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them. (Leviticus 20:13)

            Why no homosexuality? Because it will make you sick? Because it will make you unclean and you might make other people sick? Nope, for no other reason than God considers it an abomination. It’s essentially the same kind of reason you always let your father sit in “his recliner” when you were a kid. You wanted to sit in that comfortable chair. There was no practical or objective reason NOT to sit in the chair. Yet you knew it would make your father angry if you did. It was a “sin” against your father to take his chair and relegate him to the couch.

            God was kind enough to reveal some of his mysterious character to us when he gave us the law against homosexuality. Knowing what your heavenly father hates and doing it anyway is a sin, plain and simple.

    • An actual Independent July 31, 2018 at 5:40 pm

      If I can only have one, but not the other-give me the group that has never blessed the world with mass slaughter of people who disagree with them; torture and death for those who dare to question them; and the rape and pillaging of the entire western world in the name of their peace loving savior.
      Nope, the homosexuals are guilty of no such genocide.

  • Badshitzoo July 27, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    I don’t think that guy has any pants on NickDanger? What say you & God about that abomination? The only “Grey” area in homosexuality, comes from the closeted religious nuts wallowing in their own self-hatred and crapulence such as yourself. That’s right, I’ve seen you down in Vegas at the Liberace club! Welcome to the bright light of your righteous closet door.

    • NickDanger July 27, 2018 at 8:36 pm

      Just saying, Ace, that homosexuality is a sin according to the Bible. God hates it. Jesus invalidates it. Yet more and more you hear about homosexual Christians, homosexual Mormons, homosexual Jews, or homosexual Muslims. Doesn’t mean I’m under some obligation to participate in your self-deception, and in fact, since I’ve actually done the reading, and know that you are 100% full of crap, I AM under an obligation to point out your lies.

      Also, while I personally don’t find other men to be sexually attractive, I am flattered by your advances, Bad.

      • ladybugavenger July 27, 2018 at 9:46 pm

        It’s good to see I’m not the only one on here that states the truth. The only naysayers that come against you are the ones that don’t believe in God. Bless their hearts

        • Badshitzoo July 31, 2018 at 11:34 am

          What a complete load Ladyslug. You are a perfect example of why organized religion is so dangerous, and won’t last another 50 years! Your children are sick of your “One & Only True Religions.” And of course, that’s because “You know the truth.” Unfortunately, if being against you (Which I absolutely am) means that I am a non-believer, then you don’t know “The TRUTH” and like everything else in your “TRUTH” you are wrong! I believe very much in God, just not your self serving God that you must introduce into every argument in order to save yourself, and end the debate before someone wipes up the floor with your God, as well as that default deluded opinion you must invoke in order to feel like the “End-all, and be-all, last word about anything & everything. Oh, yeah, I don’t need the God I believe in, to win anything, and I have never brought my God, or religion into a debate; until now. Because my (one true religion) thinks your religion is a “Cult of pedophiles.” But my religion encourages its membership to think critically for themselves. I don’t believe that about your team, but I could sure use it to end any debate on the spot. How fair would that be?

    • John July 27, 2018 at 8:43 pm

      Nick Danger is right and is getting criticized by someone who calls themself irritable bowel syndrome? hahahahahahahaha!

      • comments July 27, 2018 at 9:29 pm

        shitzoo is a hard leftist loonytoon nutter. He’s a bigger loony than you, buddy 😉

  • comments July 27, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    Ridiculous. If a person wants to engage in homosexual activities why are they also wanting to be a mormon? This is the worst kind of hypocrisy. They don’t really want to be LDS mormons–they want to just be able to freely advertise their sexual degeneracy in an LDS church environment. The foundation of LDS mormonism is 1 man doing the deed with a bunch of “wives”. It is NOT about a bunch of men doing the deed with eachother. We have some very confused gays floating around here it UT. These gays need to get it together. If they want to cause a circus they need to go and join an actual circus. I’m fed up with it. People are tired of their BS.

  • Frank July 27, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    Sick puppies.

  • Badshitzoo July 27, 2018 at 10:57 pm

    Can anyone here produce a reasonable explanation for why someone would claim to be a homosexual that was not? I know it’s easier to believe it’s a choice; but where do you go to find people who would chose to be LGBT whatever? Do you really think they love all the ass kicking attention it brings into their lives? 30 years ago I realized, these people are for real, and they’re not going anywhere. In that time they’ve only become more accepted by the population at large, and in that time, the membership of LGBT hating religions have steadily declined. Get over it, and stay the hell out of peoples bedrooms & lives. Try managing your own mess for a change.

    • darkgoddess July 28, 2018 at 8:27 am

      Amen, Badshitzoo. No one in their right mind would “choose” to be homosexual and deal with all the persecution. My baby brother is gay, and believe me, it wasn’t a choice. I could tell he was “different” even when he was about 4 or 5 years old. My sister and I would talk about how he was going to be a “sissy” when he grew up just because of how he acted when he was little. He’s an adult now, and I’m very proud of the man he’s become. And, he’s no sissy.

      • Badshitzoo July 28, 2018 at 2:02 pm

        Yeah, people thinking LGBTQ need to watch the story of the U.S. Seal who did thirteen tours of duty in Iraq & Afghanistan before retiring two years ago so he could finally be the person he always felt he was, and finally decided to be! If he wants to wear a dress, and make up, he won’t get an argument, or judgement from me. And his Seal platoon all said as much, and supported him too.

    • John July 28, 2018 at 11:34 am

      That’s not the point irritable bowel syndrome, the actual point of most of these comments is” you can’t be both”. You have to give one up to be the other.

  • great success July 28, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    Seriously John? The ‘actual’ argument on this thread is like debating how many elf helpers Santa Clause has. Yours and others’ name calling and bold assertions are like when child siblings claim the other is getting no presents from Santa because of egregious trespasses. (Like a stolen toy). “Santa is going to bring you a big piece of coal!” …Can a book written and edited by men just like you and me actually prove that this entire topic is not in the realm of make believe?

    • John July 28, 2018 at 8:31 pm

      It’s about the LDS and about being gay, you can’t be both, one cancels out the other. Look it up! Has nothing to do with your imaginary santa fantasy. It’s a simple fact. You can not be both ! I called no one names other than the names those have given themselves. Show us how you can be gay and a a Mormon at the same time. You can’t be LDS if you smoke or drink beer and coffee either. It is what it is. That’s the rules.

    • Badshitzoo July 31, 2018 at 11:45 am

      Yeah John, so if you want my comeback you’ll have to go get it off your old lady’s face! And, I’d be more careful next time about calling people names, lest you join the others in their humiliations.

  • Travis July 29, 2018 at 3:48 am

    “god” is fiction. “jesus” is fiction. The bible is fiction. We are on our own here on earth. Stop judging other people. Let everyone live their lives. But polygamy is accepted here in Utah!!!

    • ladybugavenger July 29, 2018 at 8:30 am

      Oh Lord, forgive Travis, he knows not what he speaks of.

      • John July 29, 2018 at 10:46 am

        Hey Travis.. practice what you preach….HYPOCRITE!

  • No Filter July 29, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Dan Reynolds taught me one thing yesterday and that is to hate the hate, not the haters. This is about helping our children. Being a LGBTQ father I just want all of you on the comments section to know I don’t hate you and I forgive your hate. I don’t believe in Jesus, but if he was real I’m sure he would want you to love all of his children as he preached in your bible.

  • An actual Independent July 29, 2018 at 9:00 pm

    Here’s the thing with quoting the Bible and figuring that settles the matter. Many many many of us simply believe the Bible is nothing more than the cherry picked writings of insecure men. We do not find it to be an authoritative source on anything. It was (and is) just a way to get and maintain control over a superstitious population that could not yet comprehend how things worked, and would not take responsibility for it’s own decisions and actions.
    Telling us we just need to wallow in ignorance with you is not a compelling argument.

    • John July 30, 2018 at 10:54 am

      It really doesn’t matter what YOU believe.. you are not a factor in this equation. It’s about LDS ( which you aren’t) and about being gay! You simply can not be both. One cancels the other, get it?

      • Badshitzoo July 30, 2018 at 12:27 pm

        It doesn’t really matter what any of us believe John (especially you) . It only matters what you can prove, and I’ve never seen organised religion prove anything! Well, other than the fact that they are child molester magnets. Wohoo! How do you feel about grown men you know next to nothing about, questioning your 14y/o daughter about her sex life completely in private at the corner ward on a week day afternoon/evening when they are the only two in the locked building? That’s being LDS too.

        • John July 30, 2018 at 8:31 pm

          Too bad irritable bowel syndrome.. the rules are the rules.. and also if you are gay why in the world would you want to be mormon where you will not be accepted? Go find a religion that caters to your perversions.. DUH If it isn’t broken it’s because you delusional liberals haven’t tried to “fix it yet!

      • No Filter July 30, 2018 at 2:02 pm

        You are so wrong on every level, D. Todd Christofferson stated that LGBTQ can be part of the church. Although I understand the behind the scenes side of the church doesn’t support them, the church along with our governor supports our LGBTQ youth. You can stick to your beliefs, but don’t speak for others. Your opinion does deserve to be heard, but remember your beliefs are yours not everyone’s.

    • No Filter July 30, 2018 at 2:04 pm

      Don’t listen to John, your beliefs do matter, never let anyone stop you from following them.

  • Nobody July 30, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    Wow…just WOW! The narrow minded disposition of people in this state is bewildering. People are so brain washed it’s almost unbelievable. Nobody ever considers that religion and God can be 2 different things. You can believe in God and not blindly follow what “Religion X” feeds you. If more people had a better sense of right and wrong, they would listen to their heart (holy ghost), that’s God talking to you. However people are such sheep, that this spiritual connection is either missing, or so twisted that people can not rely on this gift anymore…This is where “religion” comes into play!

    If God was a vehicle, then religion is your car dealer, think about it. People never seem to understand this.

    Religion becomes your moral babysitter, using the wrath of God as leverage to get you to behave. Why is this so? Because all organized religion has an agenda. Do a little research, history makes this crystal clear….the Christians, Catholics and Muslims being on very top of this list. The reason why religion does not want gays, is because they contribute nothing to growing their numbers: A man having sex with a man= No baby.
    Same thing with women couples. It simply does nothing, for ensuring new generations of let’s say Mormons. I think we are in a sad state of society, gays aren’t killing, raping or molesting. They are trying to do the same thing we all are. Living the best possible life for them. The church should be more focused on weeding out their numerous chauvinists and molesters, which are an epidemic in the LDS community. As for the gays, just find another more accepting religion if you must. The Mormon church is a very outdated backwards thinking organization and will crumble before it ever truly becomes a faith of true acceptance and pure love. The only time something changes, is when their proverbial A$$ is on the line, sounds more like a corporation than religion to me….
    Let the flame war begin….but really think about what I said first. You might realize some things, you previously have not.

    Nuff said!

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