1. Joanna Brooks
Author of The Book of Mormon Girl: A Memoir of an American Faith and senior correspondent for Religion Dispatches, Joanna Brooks is a nationally recognized progressive thought leader and religious scholar on Mormon faith. Her outspoken support for LGBT equality has helped shine a national spotlight on the hundreds of families and friends in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints working to advance the LGBT rights movement. She also serves as board chair for Mormon Stories, a nonprofit organization that shares faith journeys and discussions on Mormonism.
“Some gay Mormons have been rejected by their families and many have left the LDS Church, which teaches that homosexual behavior is sinful,” she wrote in a blog post last summer.
“Rejection has left a powerful need for reconciliation in our deeply felt faith tradition. … Mormons who support LGBT civil equality know that even as the rest of the nation begins to accept same-sex marriage our community has a long road ahead. But we take strength in a faith that has not been deterred by hard work or long journeys.”
JOSEPH WARD is the director of Believe Out Loud.