At least one resident of Sandy, Utah, is up in arms after receiving a flyer for a Mormon Halloween party that bans cross-gender costumes.
The flyer announcing a Trunk of Treat party at a meetinghouse of the Church of Jesus of Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) explicitly prohibits wearing masks or costumes that represent another gender. The party is for children, and offered as an alternative to going door-to-door Trick or Treating: Insread, the children congregate in the parking lot and go from car-to-car to collect their treats.
Putting something like that [in the flier] wouldn't make everyone feel welcome - like my friend's daughter who wants to be Spider-Man, Raquel Smith, a non-LDS resident of Sandy, told The Salt Lake Tribune. Smith said she was appalled when she read the flyer that had been taped to her front door.
The leader of the church ward hosting the party, LDS Bishop Dennis Toone, told the Tribune that a ban on cross-gender costumes is church policty, but the Tribune report claims there is nothing in the church handbook explicitly prohibiting cross-dressing costumes. (There is, however, a ban on wearing masks).
The flier does not represent church policy, LDS Church spokesman Scott Trotter told the Tribune.
While Smith said the prohibition caused her to be ashamed of her community, Fox 13 reportedly spoke to several members of LDS who felt her reaction was excessive.
Fox 13 also spoke to a child psychologist who said that cross-gender dressing on Halloween is no reason for alarm. There is no way we would be concerned about the child cross-dressing that way on Halloween, Doug Goldsmith said.