SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – Thousands of people who gathered in Downtown Salt Lake City this weekend for the Utah Pride Festival were met with controversy.
A group of protesters at the festival tell ABC4 Utah that they were there to exercise their freedom of speech.
“We’re not here to stop their parade. We’re not only here to voice our opposition, but what God says,” said Ruben Israel, Pastor of Bible Believers. “In America, we have the freedom to disagree. It’s kind of like going to a Jazz game and having somebody that’s a Lakers fan, you can disagree.”
A handful of protesters with Bible Believers are from Utah, but most of them are from out of state.
“We come from all over to do missionary work here in Mormon land because these people need the gospel,” explained Israel, when asked why the group was at the festival.
Last night, the Bible Believers also hurled anti-LGBTQ remarks at people outside of Club Jam, during opening night of the Pride Festival.
Blake Gentilcore who attended this year’s Pride Festival and described himself as ex-Christian, said the Bible Believers are “Very anti-LGBT” and “Don’t stand for what a true Christian person would be saying.”
“They just don’t want to adjust with the times,” said Gentilcore.
Gentilcore said the protesters have the right to be at the Pride Festival, but he doesn’t care what they have to say.
“It’s our choice. We’re born this way and they just need to know that god loves us for who we are and we are not going to plan to change.”
The 2017 Utah Pride Festival continues through 7:00 p.m. Sunday. For details, click here.