BOISE -- A movement started in Boise's LDS community is making its way across the country.
It's a push for Mormon women to wear pants to church December 16th.
Organizers of Wear Pants to Church Day say they support gender equality for women in the LDS church. The controversial topic is causing strong reaction among both members and non-members of the church, and it's spreading on social media.
HOW IT STARTED
About eight years ago, Boise's Lisa Butterworth began a blog called "Feminist Mormon Housewives." She says the blog is a way for women in the Mormon church to discuss topics, ask questions, and unite with those struggling with similar issues.
She says the topic of gender equality and how women should dress at church has been raised often on her blog.
Butterworth says that discussion sparked several Mormon women to take action several weeks ago. They created "Wear Pants to Church Day"
Now, she says the movement is gaining momentum. "For whatever reason, things like pants seem to strike a chord with people; it really seems to hit something deep."
Butterworth says she never could have predicted that the discussion on her blog would have created such a controversy.
Butterworth says while the Mormon church doesn't have a firm rule against women wearing pants to church, it's not common.
She says she always felt like it would be dangerous to wear pants to church, and says it represents the ongoing discussion of gender equality within the church. "The equality issue is not only important to Mormon feminists, it's important to all Mormons," Butterworth said."If we don't address this, we are losing a whole generation of young women."
Butterworth says her goal is not to show disrespect or create change, but to unite Mormon feminists who may feel alone.
She says while some may not understand the issue, she says it's important. "Well, yes, it's silly obviously -- but if it were so silly -- if it really didn't mean anything, then no one would be paying attention and there wouldn't be the anger and there wouldn't be the strong reaction that we're getting."
For the first time on December 16th, Butterworth says she will wear pants to church.
She says she's proud to know 2,000 other LDS women across the country plan to do so as well. "Going outside my comfort zone and dressing in a way where I don't fit in, I think it's going to be scary for me," she said.
We did contact the Boise LDS headquarters and the LDS church's main headquarters about the issue.
Media Manager Dale Jones sent us the following statement: "Attending Church is about worship and learning to be followers of Jesus Christ. Generally Church members are encouraged to wear their best clothing as a sign of respect for the Savior, but we don't counsel people beyond that."