June 30, 2012|Jennifer Dobner | Reuters
SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) - A group of about 150 Mormons quit their church in a mass resignation ceremony in Salt Lake City on Saturday in a rare display of defiance ending decades of disagreement for some over issues ranging from polygamy to gay marriage.
Participants from Utah, Arizona, Idaho and elsewhere gathered in a public park to sign a "Declaration of Independence from Mormonism."
"This feels awesome," said Alison Lucas, from West Jordan, Utah, who took part in the rally amid soaring temperatures. "I don't know if I would have had the courage except in a group."
The Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is known for its culture of obedience, and the mass ceremony was a seldom-seen act of collective revolt.
After gathering in the park, participants hiked a half-mile up nearby Ensign Peak, scaled in 1847 by church President Brigham Young to survey the spot where his Latter-day Saints would build a city.
At the top, those gathered gave three loud shouts of "Freedom," cheered, clapped and hugged.
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