Utah Billionaire Leaves Mormon Church, Defends LGBTQ Community

Jeff T. Green, the richest person in Utah, said in a letter: “I believe the Mormon church has hindered global progress in women’s rights, civil rights, racial equality, and LGBTQ+ rights.”

As CEO of the tech company, The Trade Desk, he’s worth an estimated $4.9 billion. The Salt Lake Tribune published a long letter he sent to the Church of Latter-Day Saints (LDS), the main branch of Mormonism in America, which criticized the church’s bigotry and hollow displays of piety.

LGBTQ rights were a big portion of Green’s letter, in which he pledged to donate $600,000 to Equality Utah, a local nonprofit to help LGBTQ people living in the Mormon-dominated state. He also criticized Brigham Young University, the largest Mormon university in the country. The school is extremely conservative and has strict rules that force LGBTQ students to hide and a campus culture that makes students feel afraid to voice their support for LGBTQ rights.

In his letter, Green said, “Almost half of the fund will go to a new scholarship program to help LGBTQ+ students in Utah, including any who may need or want to leave.”

The Mormon influence in Salt Lake City, and much of Utah, is made clear in the Fox Salt Lake City article about Green’s departure. The news piece states that Green has decided to leave the church and give away money to charity, but it doesn’t provide any of Green’s words as to why he’s leaving, nor does it mention anything about Green giving money to the LGBTQ community. Instead, the only quote from his letter that it posts is, “Although I have deep love for many Mormons and gratitude for many things that have come into my life through Mormonism, I have not considered myself a member for many years, and I’d like to make clear to you and others that I am not a member…”

 

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