In the mid-1980s, a group of gay members of the Community of Christ (formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) began meeting together in the Kansas City, MO area for fellowship, support, and worship. In 1987, a retreat was held at Camp Manitou in Michigan where GALA was formally organized with the adoption of bylaws and the election of officers.
GALA established a safe place for gay and lesbian people and their loved ones to join together and experience spiritual growth as they shared their sacred stories. Because of the lack of acceptance within society at large and in church in particular, GALA’s regional and international retreats have been pivotally important in the lives of hundreds.
The pink triangle was the symbol used to identify homosexuals (men) in World War II in Nazi concentration camps. Lesbians, considered socially unacceptable, were required to wear the black triangle which was also associated with mental illness. These triangles were worn much as Jews were required to wear the two yellow triangles which represented the Star of David. Often unspoken is the fact that thousands of gay men were incarcerated and remained in prison after the liberation of the concentration camps.
The pink triangle was reclaimed as a symbol of pride within the gay and lesbian community during the late 1970's. At a retreat in Oklahoma, GALA members had a free-wheeling discussion about an official logo. Cynthia Sears had provided several options, and the decision was made to choose the pink triangle fading into a dove, with the words "GALA: Acceptance, Dignity, and Love", representing the organization's commitment to bring ministries of peace and justice.
Around 2000, the GALA Leadership decided to use the rainbow colors in the background of our logo. The rainbow colors were created in the late 1970's to show the different aspects of the LGBT community coming together to create one beautiful thing. Since then, the colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple have become the internationally recognized symbol of the LGBT community.