Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young and his wife Barb will give the keynote speech at this year’s Affirmation Conference.
The conference, which is in its 32nd year, promotes the acceptance and involvement of the LGBTQ community in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Youngs have been long time supporters of the Trevor Project, a suicide prevention non-profit for LGBTQ youth, and the Family Acceptance Project. They also worked against California’s Proposition 8 in 2008.
Randall Thacker, president of Affirmation, said the group chose the Youngs as keynote speakers because of their activism.
“They’ve just really been out there on the front lines of standing up for and creating a safe space for LGBT people in the church and in society as a whole. I think they’ve just done a great job of lending their voices toward that healing work of making our families, society and church more of a welcoming place,” Thacker said.
For many years, Affirmation remained the only support group for Mormons in the LGBTQ community, though that has changed in recent years. Thacker said the recent launch of the “Mormons and Gays” website by the church is a step towards better dialog between the two communities.
People of all backgrounds are welcome to attend the September conference.
“We want people who are in all different places of understanding the subject of homosexuality to feel welcome. It’s going to be a place where they can feel very safe, where it will be affirming of faith and of all different choices that are made in people’s lives,” Thacker said.
The conference will be held September 13 through the 15 at the University of Utah. It will include speeches by Benji Schwimmer and Judy Finch, as well as relationship and healing workshops.