A unusual protest will be repeated this weekend at some Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints houses of worship, as advocates of inclusion participate in what is being called the “The Second Annual Wear Pants to Church Day.”
“Our approach is not protesting any church doctrine or leadership. If anything it is a protest against the culture—against other members of the church—who have decided to create controversy over who is accepted in our church walls,” said Jerilyn Pool, who is the organizer of this year’s event, a member of the LDS church and a self-described Mormon feminist.
More than 1,000 LDS women participated in the inaugural Wear Pants to Church Day in 2012. The women who wore pants to church and the men who wore purple ties in solidarity received some pushback.
“Other LDS members see it as a feminist protest against the church, but that is not how we view to characterize it at all,” Pool told Boise Weekly. “I believe we are standing in solidarity with our leadership, who over and over had said the church is for everyone.”
Dieter Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency of the LDS church, made headlines in October, when he stated in an address to the LDS membership, that the church had “made mistakes” and “there is room” for everyone in the church, regardless of circumstances and beliefs.
Pool said Uchtdorf's remarks were precedent-setting for the church.
“The church I belong to is for everyone. So when I am wearing pants it is just a little way of bucking against the culture of the church and saying, ‘Let us recognize what is culture and what is doctrine,’ said Pool. "Our doctrine is such that everyone is welcome. But our culture is that not everyone is welcome.”