Mormon church officials blocked 150 female church members and their male supporters, who tried to attend an all-male Priesthood Session General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) on Saturday.
The group, Ordain Women, marched from a park to the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The woman were told individually that only men were allowed to enter the event.
“I feel a little disappointed. We know that there’s room in the Conference Center and we’re being denied admission on the basis of our sex and because we’re sisters and not brothers.” Ordain Women founder Kate Kelly told KSL (video below).
Church spokesperson Ruth Todd responded, "Millions of women in this church do not share the views of this small group who organized today’s protest, and most church members would see such efforts as divisive. Even so, these are our sisters and we want them among us, and hope they will find [the] peace and joy we all seek in the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
However, Ordain Women never said they lacked peace or joy, but were protesting against the discrimination against female members by the Mormon church.
Carole M. Stephens, first counselor in the General Relief Society presidency, who spoke on Saturday, said that men and women are given “priesthood power” to go to Mormon temples (which the public is banned from), but had different gifts and responsibilities within the church.
According to the Associated Press, many of the speeches at the conference were made by the church’s all-male Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Quorum member David A. Bednar told Mormons who don’t tithe 10 percent of their income to the Mormon church that they should repent: “Please do not procrastinate the day of your repentance."