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homosexualityOver the last few years, things seemed to be looking up for LGBT students at BYU.

In 2007, the university revised its Honor Code to remove amorphous language that prohibited “advocacy of a homosexual lifestyle (whether implied or explicit) or any behaviors that indicate homosexual conduct, including those not sexual in nature.”

That last phrase’s wording begged the question: what in the world are non-sexual  “behaviors that indicate homosexual conduct”?

The Code was also unclear on the important matter of whether simply being gay was a violation. In practice by 2007, it wasn’t.

Compare that to nearly five decades before, when BYU President Wilkinson told students:

“Nor do we intend to admit to our campus any homosexuals. If any of you has this tendency and have not completely abandoned it, may I suggest that you leave the University immediately after this assembly…we do not want others on this campus to be contaminated by your presence.”

“Contaminated by your presence.” As though people born gay were lepers with a contagious and dangerous disease.

But the 2007 Honor Code revision removed all doubt about whether simply being gay was grounds for expulsion: it wasn’t. The university affirmed that it would “respond to homosexual behavior rather than to feelings or orientation” and that it “welcomes as full members of the university community all whose behavior meets university standards.”

This means celibacy. The 2007 revision included the same “strict commitment to the law of chastity” required of all BYU students, as is right and fair.

But the Code took it a step further by prohibiting “all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings,” a restriction not applied to heterosexual students.

In other words, no Gay PDA. Even so much as a hug between two women could be an Honor Code violation if one is remotely attracted to the other.

There’s been a lot of progress (see the wonderful and courageous “It Gets Better” video from gay and lesbian students at BYU, below). In 2010, for example, the university removed a controversial “advocacy” clause that made it an Honor Code violation to “promote” homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle.

But there’s still a lot of confusion, isolation and pain for LGBT students. Last week, an article in The Daily Beast explored that side of things, the catalyst being a survey the LDS Church issued in April to young single adults (ages 18 to 29), including some students at BYU. The original wording of this question prompted some controversy:

• “I am heterosexual, but I struggle with same-sex attraction.”

• “I am heterosexual and do not struggle with same-sex attraction.”

• “Other, please specify.”

The original question had no category for being gay; the logical corresponding category to “I am heterosexual” would be “I am homosexual,” not “I struggle with same-sex attraction.”

The survey question was almost immediately revised by the Church after the story garnered angry media attention, but in some ways the question’s identity crisis persists. According to the Deseret News, it now reads simply,

“Do you experience same-sex attraction?” Possible answers are yes, no or other, with room for written responses.

While it’s an improvement that the Church is not simply assuming that everyone is heterosexual by default, there is still no option for defining oneself as homosexual.

This represents more than semantics. One of the interviewees in the Daily Beast story encapsulated the wording’s significance very well:

Cary, who graduated from BYU in 2011, explains that “LDS Church leaders are counseled when they speak with young men and women who are gay to help them move away from calling themselves gay or lesbian to saying ‘I struggle with same-gender attractions.’”

Cary says the language choice both pathologizes homosexuality and makes it seem temporary, likening it to the doublespeak in George Orwell’s 1984. “It’s a 1984 word-making-reality thing because you’re not taking on an adjective. You’re taking on a condition that’s changeable. It’s the idea you weren’t created that way or it’s not immutable.”

Homosexuality is not a phase someone is going through. It isn’t a temporary condition with which some people “struggle.” LGBT Mormons cannot “pray the gay away” or cure themselves by marrying someone of the opposite sex. (Thank God the Church has realized what a family-destroying policy that was).

That’s not to say there is no “struggle” involved for LGBT Mormons. In this video, in fact, one of the students uses that exact term to describe her life.

But the struggle isn’t about her being attracted to women. It’s about her being misunderstood and marginalized by her religious community. And every time the Church subtly denies the reality of homosexuality as an identity and casts it instead as a “lifestyle choice,” that pain deepens.

97 Comments

  1. Why would an LGBT person even bother with a faith which is going to treat them as less than a person?

    Seriously, I would think the best advice for gays growing up in Mormon culture is to make a clean break from it. Join some more accepting sect/faith. Its not worth the headache of trying to shoehorn one’s self into a sect which is hell bent on treating them badly, ostracizing them, and actively campaigning to deny them civil liberties.

    The LDS is not going to accept gays as full fledged members without some major kicking and screaming for the next generation or five. They don’t adapt well to social changes and the anti-gay bandwagon has made them more socially/politically acceptable to the rest of conservative Christendom.

      • Not I. I am straight and don’t live in California. But it is insulting to ones intelligence to deny the role of the LDS in Proposition 8.

        Equally insulting to one’s intelligence is the fiction the LDS has anything but contempt for the lives if gays. They appear to actively encourage gay youth to commit suicide.

        • Larry,

          I lived in California until a year and a half ago, and I know of no one denying LDS involvement in Proposition 8 (See https://www.lds.org/search?q=Proposition+8&lang=eng&domains=top-results ). The Church was directly involved to a limited but very significant extent. Many local members, including me, were very involved monetarily and as grass-roots volunteers. I have come to recognize the pain that campaign caused many gay individuals and their families and to regret that pain.

          Suicides are tragic. The Church tries to prevent all suicides, and especially those by young gay Mormons. The website at mormonandgays.org is primarily aimed at convincing church members to treat gays and lesbians with kindness and compassion, to teach family members to NOT disown or shun gay family members (see especially the segment with Elder Cook), and to remind gay members that their Heavenly Father continues to love them.

          Tragically, there continue to be far too many suicides, especially among gay individuals.

          • Harry was doing just that in the preceding post. I responded in kind.

            To be brutally honest, the efforts done by the LDS church concerning the suicides appears more post-facto CYA than a concerted effort. It appears to lack sincerity given the level of the problem. If not for a good deal of negative press, I believe it would have been likely swept under the rug.

            Nothing about the way the LDS treats gays appears genuine. Even as noted in the article above, there is a near Orwellian desire to avoid identifying people as gay. Jana was criticizing them for that.

          • Wayne: I have read your posts enough to know that you are sincere and decent guy–I have no doubt. But please–enough already with the Mormonsandgays website. It is PR nonsense and both condescending and self serving. Why are there no voices other than those who repeat the same Church talking points? Finally, if the leadership seriously expects the members to treat gay people with respect, how will that happen when the Church has never treated gay people with anything but disdain, hatred and contempt? Its simply too late for that kind of language to be seen as anything but PR nonsense–at best. Gay people certainly know better, and ironically, thanks to Prop 8, most Californians now do too.

          • My issues with the “mormonsandgays” website start directly with the name. Really? Just gays? What about lesbians? Transgender? Bisexual? Genderqueer? The list goes on. Are these groups excluded from the conversation? Sure seems like it to me, based on the name.

            I also wonder about the speakers, one business man, one lawyer. Wouldn’t it have been reasonable to get some of the physicians and counselors from among the authorities to speak?

            The website is a step in the right direction, but it falls short. However regardless of the website, look at the statistics of how many homeless teens in Utah self-identify as both LDS and LGBT. It’s around 50%. So, while the Church at the top levels may be trying to do something, I believe it’s not being filtered down very well. I suspect groups like Affirmation are doing as much to change the views of local members as anything else.

          • Wayne,
            I have read your posts too and know you are kind and have a good heart. You also seem like you have a good “head” and I appreciate your efforts to reach out on these blogs. In recognition of your good “head” you must know that the LDS church had a way larger role in prop 8 than you are aware: MUCH larger. I don’t think the general membership of the church or the public is really aware. Please make an effort to see the documentary about Prop 8. It is troubling at the deepest levels. It is what started my separation from the church.
            I used to talk like you. I used to defend. I used to think that there were simply communication problems….I know deep in your heart with as much as you are on these blogs, you must be feeling “tweaks” of doubt yourself. You cannot ignore the cognitive dissonance that exists when you really take the time to “ponder”.

          • I know many who reject “Love One Another: A Discussion on
            Same-Sex Attraction” at mormonsandgays.org as PR. Here is another source “What (and What Not) to Say to Someone Who Experiences Same-Sex Attraction” by Ty Mansfield – May 22, 2014 at http://ldsliving.com/story/75806-what-and-what-not-to-say-to-someone-who-experiences-same-sex-attraction . Yes, I know some who reject Ty Mansfield, but I suggest as with mormonsandgays.org, why NOT actually look at what is being said rather than refusing to consider it out of hand. I find myself often encouraging readers to think for themselves and I note that prejudice (pre-judging) is often a two way street.

            I also note the Church is criticized “being in denial” for using general term like Same-Sex attraction, but then when it uses gays is criticized for not including lesbians, transgender, bisexual, and queer.

        • Larry…no one is denying the LDS Church’s role in supporting Prop 8. The reason I asked you about all your many claims of denying rights, malicious hostility etc….is due to Californium having a Domestic Partnership Act since 1999. Most states call them “civil unions”… All the legal rights of marriage including benefits, hospital visitation, inheritance etc. were all available to anyone who registered. The legislation was hailed by gays as being good and progressive…finally giving LEGAL rights to gay couples. Most churches including the LDS church took no action against it. So when the LDS and many other churches lobbied for Prop8….it wasn’t over denying rights…YOU ALREADY HAD THEM.

          • Perhaps you missed the part where Prop 8 was found in violation of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, which finding was upheld on appeal, and allowed to stand by the USSC, precisely because Prop 8 DID deny a range of rights conferred by marriage. Prop 8 is now on the trash heap of history and positive feelings about Mormons are in the toilet in California. Good going. Californians did not appreciate a campaign financed largely by Mormons fueled by outright lies and fear mongering, not to mention the Mormon Church lying about its direct donations, for which it was fined. Again, good going. Ridiculous websites like Mormonsandgays is PR spin, only for the purpose of blunting criticism after the Prop 8 debacle. NO ONE is fooled by such condescending nonsense.

          • Separate but equal, Harry? Where did we hear that one before?

            That argument certainly didn’t fly at the Federal trial for Prop 8. If not for the vehemence of the anti-gay crowd even towards civil unions, that would have probably sufficed. But of course that was not the case.

            Besides the fact that California already had legal gay marriage on the books. Prop 8 REMOVED EXISTING rights from citizens for no reason beyond malice towards gays. It had no rational or secular purpose. All one has to do is read the decision from the Court to see that. None of those bans on gay marriage stand up in court because they serve no purpose except discrimination.

            Harry, when have you stopped lying?

        • Larry…..you said…”LDS has anything but contempt for the lives if gays”….if you look on the LDS Church website you find expressions like this……”Kind and Reasoned Conversation……We can all come together to foster a climate of goodwill and a determination to understand the workings of God in each individual life. Latter-day Saints take the Christian charge to “love one another” seriously. Though we all fall short, each of us can reinvest in kindness and gentle persuasion.”

          This is under “Same Sex Attraction”…..it may not be what your looking for but it’s hardly contempt.

          • It is very expensive PR–nothing more and NO ONE is buying it. People like me know very well the hell dished out to gay people by the Mormon Church, and we know the suicides that resulted from such treatment. Try selling that nonsense to someone who believes it.

          • The Mormons are so contemptuous of gays that they can’t even refer to them as gay. They treat them as people who could be “straightened out” with a dollop of prayer and a heap of abuse.

            How can a well reasoned accepting discussion exist when one party doesnt even acknowledge the basic existence of the other?

            Gay Mormons are better off just dumping the mendacity and bigotry. Just join a church which accepts them as they are. Or etter yet, remove the spiritual crutches and forget the religious nonsense altogether.

    • Larry… I sympathize with your perspective on gay BYU students. Even so, allow me to suggest that you try to understand that being raised in the Mormon church or being converted to its assertion–that it’s “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth”–instills a deep sense of commitment. Further, this commitment is reinforced with the covenants of baptism and of the temple, performed by someone who holds the authority to administer these ordinances…at least, that’s how the initiate believes it to be the case.

      With that deep and abiding overlay of religious belief, it’s very difficult for a person who’s discovered something about himself or herself that’s appears, at least on first blush (yes, it’s embarrassing in the extreme), to be in direct contradiction to everything that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints stands for.

      I, for one, as a 67-year-old High Priest, who has six children and 14 grandchildren (you can’t get more straight than that!) feel, at least, that the church is finally developing a more inclusive and accepting attitude towards gays. Else, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

      I, for one, have already committed myself to not think ill of a gay brother or sister, but to love and befriend them just as much–if not more so–than my straight brothers and sisters.

      • Offer such friendship as you will, but people like me, who know what Mormons have done to gay people will respond with a firm NO thank you. I know the difference between love and smug condescension. What Mormons offer is only the latter. Again, NO thanks.

        • Don… I understand that my sentiments concerning gays can merely be reduced to condescension. Yet, if that be the case, at least it’s a beginning. Before sympathy comes understanding. Before empathy comes sympathy. Before love comes empathy.

          Where I am on that scale, I won’t venture to guess. I just don’t want to be told to halt my walk and go back to where I came from. On deep reflection, I would venture to guess that you don’t want me to, either.

          Sure, we are both on separate paths. But that does not preclude the possibility that, ultimately, they will cross. If and when that would take place we would both—granted for different reasons—find reconciliation and healing.

          • You need to do what you feel is right–it certainly isn’t my place to tell you what to do. I neither seek nor expect or want any reconciliation from the Mormon Church. As far as I am concerned, it is the primary enemy of homosexual citizens. We will never forget what Mormons have done to gay people.

      • Sounds more like Stockholm Syndrome than anything else. Certainly more trouble than its worth for them. They stay with the church, despite overwhelming messages of being unwanted and despised by it out of personal bonds and fear of ostracism. That is a crappy reason for being in any kind of group.

        The church is putting up a lot of pretense now that it revealed to everyone how much they hold gays in contempt. Talk of acceptance and inclusion are not being supported by actions and attitudes.

    • So you’re asking individuals to abandon their beliefs? They know the true church is found within Mormonism. Therefore if one knows the church is true they have to make certain life choices to align themselves with their beliefs. (Yes I know that being gay is not a choice. Born with it but still have to make certain choices just as heterosexual has to not have sex before marraige or never if no prospects for marraige.)

      • People should follow their own heart and conscience. I stuck around long enough to finally understand that Mormonism is hate filled, made up nonsense. Others should do as they will.

      • Yes. Very much so. Abandon something deeply toxic to their lives which will bring nothing but headache and misery.

        If their beliefs are going to do nothing but cause them undue anguish, destroy their lives, their ability to engage in normal human relations and have a measure of basic dignity, it should be dropped. Dropped fast.

        Its not lifestyle, its life. Its not a choice, its a state of being. The LDS wants to deny gays the ability to live like normal human beings. They want to annihilate the existence of gays within its presence. Even to the point of pretending their existence is some kind of transitory thing to be molded to their liking. It serves no purpose for gays to associate with the Church. Its a big wide world out there.

        Obviously that “true church” doesn’t want them. So maybe its not the “true church” for them after all. They are not the sole church out there, nor the only one to make claims of being “true”.

      • Okay, these are not the same two things. They’re extremely different. Heterosexual Mormons can flirt, date, kiss, hold hands, and enjoy many sexual feelings without any fear of condemnation. In fact, they’re ENCOURAGED to do this. Homosexual Mormons–? None of it. We were taught that any feeling of sexuality we naturally feel is directly from Satan. So no, it isn’t “simply the same.”

    • It is not as easy to break free from the Mormon religion as you may possibly believe. They follow you, hound you, send teachers to your home, find you even if you leave the area and will not leave you alone no matter what you say to them or do to them to get them to leave you alone. Even if you go the route of excommunication they will still pursue to get you back. Sounds rather like a cult, HUH?

    • When they excommunicated a young man years ago for being gay and having aids when all he was looking for was help and spiritual guidance, I decided that it was the furthest thing from Christianity that you could get. Jesus would have healed the poor boy. Not shunned him. Jesus also warned us to beware of false prophets……………….

      • The church members are not supposed to shun those who are excommunicated. They are supposed to love them and try to help them. In fact, no one is supposed to know if someone was ex’d unless that person tells people.

      • However, I don’t know that Jesus would heal anyone from their own stupidity, and I do believe that anyone who gets a disease like AIDS when they know how easy it is to get it, and how to prevent it, is dying from their own (sorry, but it’s the truth) stupidity.

  2. Jana, I don’t know many people at BYU who currently believe that being gay is a “phase” that can simply be overcome. I would say that’s a minority viewpoint, and it’s a mischaracterization of our campus community to assume otherwise. I do have friends who are attracted to their same sex, and they anticipate being attracted to their same sex for the rest of their lives. That’s not what’s worth discussing. What is worth discussing is how as a covenant community, we support each other in keeping our covenants. And how we act with compassion toward those who find it difficult (not that anyone finds it easy) or who choose not to. This includes every member of our community, married, single, gay, or straight.

    • Dear Student,
      Please read the article more carefully. It did not attribute those attitudes to “people at BYU” or to your “campus community.” It claims, rather, that they are implied by the “struggling with same-gender attraction” terminology. I think this is undeniable. There is a conscious effort on the part of those pushing this terminology to portray homosexuality as temporary or “reparable” rather than as part of an innate identity.

      • >>terminology to portray homosexuality as temporary or “reparable” rather than as part of an innate identity.<<

        I do not like to identify myself based on who I am sexually attracted to, and I can't understand why anyone would want their main identity to be who they want to have sex with.

        I guess what I'm saying is, I don't have a problem with coming out of the closet, but I don't know why we can't keep it in the bedroom. I mean, homo and hetero.

  3. Note: I have friends (mostly male, but some female) at BYU who are everywhere on the spectrum from being primarily attracted to their same sex to primarily attracted to the opposite sex to somewhere in the middle. Some who are more homosexually oriented have married someone of the same sex, some have married someone of the opposite sex, some have chosen to remain celibate. Some would obviously prefer to be called gay, so I typically call them gay. A number of them, however, prefer to be referred to as someone who “struggles” with same-sex attraction. I would have a few conversations with people in this category in order to get a more complete understanding of the BYU gay experience.

  4. Jana, you’re a great writer. That’s why it pained me to see you misuse the phrase, “beg the question,” when what you meant was “raises the question” or “compels the question.” Please keep your great writing at its highest level!

  5. It’s confusing when I hear the insistence that being gay is not a phase and is not temporary, when there are so many people who were gay, but then later weren’t. (Am I the only one who knows examples of this?)

    If a young person felt (or thought they felt) same-sex attraction, and was worried about what this would mean for his/her life, wouldn’t it be more hopeful to let them know that the possibility exists that at some point, they may not have same-sex attraction any more?

    Why insist that anyone who’s ever felt same-sex attraction be forever defined by it?

    • I would be fascinated to meet one such person, who was homosexual and is now heterosexual. Just one. I don’t even ask for two. Why is it that such people never speak for themselves?

        • Sure. Always the same blather about ‘leaving the homosexual lifestyle’ whatever that means. People who learn to loath themselves enough to sublimate their feelings can do that–I did it for years. I am talking about someone who was homosexual but now is heterosexual. NO ONE says that–its always about ‘abandoning’ a lifestyle, or some other religiously based denial pattern. They are welcome to do that if they want to–but that ISN’T change.

    • Exactly, isn’t the term “man crush” something that people can relate to as being temporary?, also we should not let our struggles Become our identity

  6. One famous example of a former homosexual is Anne Hesche.
    Why don’t they speak for themselves?
    Here’s some excerpts from Aug 2013 WorldMag.com:

    July 2014 will be the first Ex-Gay pride month.
    [on July 31, 2013], a small band of former homosexuals representing about 10 organizations stood on the steps of the Supreme Court to demand recognition and equal rights under the Constitution.

    “Anti-ex-gay extremists say that I do not exist—that we don’t exist,” said Christopher Doyle, president of Voice of the Voiceless and Equality and Justice for All. “Tell that to my wife of seven years. Tell that to my three beautiful children.”

    Organizers had originally planned a reception for Wednesday night at the Family Research Council, but emailed and phoned threats from homosexual activists caused them to postpone the event until September at an undisclosed location.

    “I have suffered more discrimination and intolerance as an ex-gay than I did when I was actually in the [homosexual] lifestyle,” said Grace Harley, an African-American woman who lived for 18 years as a transgendered man named Joe. “Former homosexuals like me need protection.”

    • “Meeting at the Family Research Council…” oh what a giveaway. The FRC is a rabid anti-gay political organization. This is a put up. A sham supporters by people actively campaigning to attack gays.

      • Rabid? A bit strong.

        Do you really deny the existence ex-gays?
        I know their existence flies in the face of your dearly held beliefs.
        If it makes you feel better, the existence of a mentally stable, happy homosexual comfortable with who his/her identity flies in the face of people on the other side of the issue.
        Regardless, we should strive for civil discourse even when we vehemently disagree.
        So, according to you, surgically changing one’s gender is no problem, but if someone wants to explore the possibility of going from gay to ex-gay, this is beyond the pale?

        • Not at all. “Rabid” is actually an understatement. They were instrumental in the “Kill the Gays” law in Uganda and efforts to discriminate against gays in Russia. Pretty extreme nasty actions on their part. FRC’s head, Tony Perkin’s bigoted statements about gays is well noted and easily found with just minor googling efforts.

          If you showed me anything about “ex-gays” that didn’t come from sources which have an agenda of attacking the civil liberties of gays and ostracizing them from society, I would not dismiss it so rapidly.
          Worldmag and references to FRC are going to be suspect on their face with this subject. Its like talking about those fine Holocaust scholars on Stormfront.org and how they provide the merits of David Irving’s work.

          But frankly it looks to me the result of a lot of social pressure by Christians to get people to deceive themselves and the public. Gays pretending to be straight out of social pressure was common enough less than a generation ago not to take such things seriously. “The closet” existed for various reasons.

          Psychologists have already demonstrated that “Ex-gay conversion therapy” was harmful nonsense.
          http://76crimes.com/ex-gay-therapy-what-reputable-experts-have-to-say/

          I would take expert opinion over a bunch of bible thumpers with an anti-civil liberties political agenda.

          “If it makes you feel better, the existence of a mentally stable, happy homosexual comfortable with who his/her identity flies in the face of people on the other side of the issue”

          Because they are bigots, I know. They don’t like the idea of gays having a measure of human dignity. I get that. It doesn’t mean I have to respect their point of view. It may be different but it has nothing worthy of respect.

  7. Even without gay marriage, gay unions already had ALL the rights and responsibilities of heterosexual couples who were married. It was in their laws clearly stated and easily understood. What the fight was about and is about I believe is the systematic dismantling of religious liberty and traditional marriage and family. This is understood by people who study history and the scriptures. Also by those with direct connection to the Lord, the Prophet, from whom the call to defend traditional marriage comes. The church’s stance on homosexuality will not change, not as long as it is led by worthy honorable men and yes, someday, those who suffer from same sex attraction will be made whole and free from their suffering as will all others born with biological disorders.

    • “Separate but equal”, again? When is that ever the case? Civil Unions never had the legal or cultural equivalent marriage has nationally or internationally. Its rights and privileges were always a hodgepodge. Besides, the anti-gay bigots opposed civil unions as well. So its not like it makes any difference to bother to placate them.

      Bans on marriage equality serve no secular or rational purpose. If your sole objection to it is religious in nature, then it was always an irrelevancy to our laws. Your religious objections are no grounds to attack or deny the rights of others. Your religious liberty always ended where it harms others. This is why those legislative bans on marriage equality keep getting struck down in court.

      “The church’s stance on homosexuality will not change”

      It is exactly this kind of attitude which is the reason I question the sanity of any gay person who tries to remain in the LDS church. Obviously the church doesn’t really want to treat them with respect, nor do its rank and file members. So why bother with the pretense. They should just get away from the toxic, mendacious, hateful environment the LDS creates for them.

      If you think our nation should oppose marriage equality in our laws so much, I challenge you to come up with rational and secular objections to it.

      • No Larry, it wasn’t separate in California, it was just a different name. Marriage has traditionally and yes religiously been understood as a union between a man and a woman. In an effort to create the same rights for homosexual couples California had laws on the books to make such unions equal to heterosexual marriges, just under a different name. They already had equality then they went after the name. At first I was ambivalent to the idea of supporting Prop 8 and not as a resident of the state of California I didn’t take a stance either way. Although I personally do not agree with either the homosexual lifestyle or gay marriage, I also recognize that my beliefs cannot remove from someone else their right to chose whatever lifestyle they see fit. It wasn’t until after the vote and all the anti Mormon hatred that erupted, with celebrities who called protesters of Mosques after 911 ignorant, xenophobic racists haters, now themselves picketing outside my Holy Temples because I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. Then when I learned that California already had equality, not separation Larry, but equality, ALL the right and responsibilities in civil unions as are had in marriage, I knew it wasn’t about equality. And how ignorant is it for you to think you would know what is best for an entire people. You don’t think the church is a good place for homosexuals? Good, then don’t be a homosexual Mormon, but what others chose is up to them, right?

        • Lareina, you are full of crap.

          You are arguing against things that are already public record. You can’t spin your way out of the fact that Prop 8 took away existing rights to people. Instead of spinning the LDS party line, try reading the actual Prop 8 court decisions. Learn what was actually used as evidence and the arguments presented. You are ignorant of such things and willfully so. Your entire description of such events is pure fiction.

          Civil unions were never equivalent to marriage because they are not recognized in the same ways. Especially across state lines. Who ever heard of an “equivalent” to marriage whose rights wildly vary wherever you live. It was always going to be an inferior status to marriage. Which is exactly why you are making such a big stink over describing them.

          Your claim that they were equal is a flat out lie. As is any notion that Prop 8 had a motive beyond a bigoted desire to treat gays as second class citizens. There was no “protection of marriage”. The only thing being protected was the right of bigots to claim their legally recognized unions were of a superior status to others. Discriminatory bragging rights.

          If anything the latest spate of Federal cases are showing is that religious belief tradition and custom are not sufficient objections to warrant attacking the rights of others. Prop 8 had no rational or secular motives behind it. It had no business as a law.

          Gays are perfectly welcome to be married barring any legitimate (rational and secular) reasons to the contrary. Your religious beliefs don’t cut it. Our laws do not have to conform to your religious belief or those of anyone else. That is what freedom of religion means. Not the self-serving garbage conservatives spout when they want to justify attacking the rights of others.

          When you attack someone’s civil liberties in an organized fashion like what the LDS did, the reaction is not hatred, its self-defense. The hostility is warranted.

          Given your animus against gays and how it is tacitly supported by the LDS church, it would take a high level of masochism, ignorance or insanity for a gay person to want to be part of that. I question the sanity of those who would. Its an opinion I am more than entitled to. You are doing your best to show it is a well founded one.

          • Well, Larry many would question the sanity of homosexuality at all, I believe, until the lobbying of the homosexual community, it was actually considered a mental disorder and still is by many prominent mental health professionals.

            But that aside, the FACT that homosexuals had all the same rights as married heterosexual couples is not a lie. There was a law on the books in California granting them such rights and responsibilities. Even if California gave them the word marriage, an act for which Prop 8 came up for vote, it still would not have changed the rights of other states to not recognize their marriage because the Supreme Court had already decided that the marriage decision was one left up to the states. It was the homosexual community, instead of, let’s say, being OK with having all the same rights but a different name, instead on pushing their agenda. It is not relegating anyone to a position of second class citizen to believe in right or wrong.

            But I do not take offense to your obvious hatred of my religious point of view, just like I, you are free to believe what you want to believe.

          • Putting right in scare quotes doesn’t negate its existence. Your ignorance is duly noted.

            Marriage is a civil liberty well established by our legal system since 1888.
            http://www.afer.org/blog/14-supreme-court-cases-marriage-is-a-fundamental-right/

            I direct your attention to the court decisions concerning various gay marriage bans being struck down. Especially the Prop 8 case.
            http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-9th-circuit/1593339.html

            You can continue to spin lies about laws designed to “protect marriage” but when looked at under any real scrutiny, they all fall flat. Nothing more than religious based bigotry incarnate. The recent Federal cases have established:
            1. Marriage is a civil right
            2. There are no rational and secular purposes served by banning marriage equality
            3. Although there is opposition to marriage equality it is not articulated in terms which are relevant to the law. Custom, religion and tradition are not enough to warrant depriving others of a civil right.

          • Btw Lareina, you still full of crap.

            The first line of the Prop 8 opinion
            “Prior to November 4, 2008, the California Constitution guaranteed the right to marry to opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples alike.”

            Right to marry existed. That was not a discussion about civil unions. Your reference to them is inherently dishonest.

            Prop 8 took away an existing right of citizens. It doesn’t matter what the voters wanted to do. You can’t take away existing rights without rational and secular justifications for doing so. There was none. The only people who were pushing an agenda in CA on this front were bigots who created and supported the ban.

            By all means take offense. Its not your religious point of view I find offensive. Its your dishonesty. You feel the need to lie in service of your religious faith. This is not worthy of respect.

            Plus the idea that your religious views should have color of law is offensive to anyone who understands democracy and civil liberties. I don’t care what you believe in service of God or whatever. Its what you do to other people in light of those beliefs which is important.

            You are free to believe whatever you want. Just as I am free to criticize it and how you act in accordance with it. Calling something religious does not make it above reproach or comment.

          • The Supreme Court has long been an institution that many no longer look toward as the arbiter of right and wrong! Interpretation is just that! Marriage was never discussed in the founding documents of this nation. Life liberty and the pursuit of happiness, to name a few, the rest of it is just that, interpretation. As far as this lie you keep saying I am throwing around you must be uninformed. Civil unions were legal before marriage was lobbied for and those unions were given the same rights and responsibilities as marriage.

            This is not about equal rights, as California proves. This is about dismantling religious liberty and the traditional family!

          • The Federal Court hands down rulings that you don’t like, whaaah!!
            Does lareina need a bottle or a diaper change?

            Of course the anti-gay crowd will never appeal these lost cases to the Supreme Court. They are deathly afraid of a ruling with nationwide authority based which will render whatever existing bans null and void.

            In any event, they are the arbiters as to what our rights and liberties are. Their interpretation of the Constitution is binding on the entire nation. It is not Bible study. People actually have to support their arguments and present rational and secular arguments.

            “Civil unions were legal before marriage was lobbied for and those unions were given the same rights and responsibilities as marriage.”

            But MARRIAGES WHICH ALREADY EXISTED were attacked. So your carping on civil unions is dishonest diversionary nonsense. Your whole narrative of “they were expanding their rights, so we had to stop it” is a fiction. Instead of repeating a church party line, read the very public records yourself. You are arguing against facts which are already established and out there for anyone to see.

            You never had religious liberty to attack the rights of others. You have no clue what religious freedom means. “The traditional family” isn’t being protected by applying your sectarian bigotry to our laws. It certainly is not a reason to deny or strip rights from people.

            “Marriage was never discussed in the founding documents of this nation”

            Neither was equal protection under the law. But that forms the basis of the last century of legal reasoning on civil liberties. Obviously the Constitution took a major tweaking about 90 years after its enactment. 5th graders know that. Somehow you don’t.

          • NO RIGHTS were removed, just a word!!!!! With civil unions they still had rights!!!! They had rights before they had the WORD!!!!!!! RIGHTS right! This is what this is about RIGHT? WELL, they had them!!!! BEFORE they had the word MARRIAGE, homosexual unions had ALL the RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES of heterosexual marriage. So why, in California, was the fight for a word so important when as I will say again, they already had the rights???

          • BULLCRAP! lareina you are a lying sack of crap!

            I have shown over and over again that marriage rights were being taken away by Prop 8. Marriages which existed were invalidated. ITS IN THE PUBLIC RECORD FOR THE FEDERAL CASE!! The decision is available in unedited form as PDF on the web. I linked to it. I suggest you read it. It would answer all of your questions and clear up the fictions you are slinging.

            Civil unions are an inferior status. Hence the only reason you are talking about them. Saying Prop 8 did nothing to civil unions is a phony argument because marriage equality was already legal prior to its enactment. Full married status for gay couples even using the word marriage prior to Prop 8.

            Your whole spiel is complete and utter garbage. Nothing but ignorance and lies on your part. You said yourself you are annoyed that gays sought unions which were the same as your own. They were being “uppity” enough to ask for equality. Problem with your little narrative is THEY ALREADY HAD THOSE RIGHTS IN CALIFORNIA. PROP 8 TOOK THEM AWAY.

            You are nothing more than a dishonest bigot who can’t tell the difference between facts and political CYA nonsense.

        • The California Supreme Court, the Federal Courts including the appellate court, and the USSC found differently. Maybe you should write to them and explain how they were wrong. However, since most of your post is about your religion, I doubt if that part would be helpful.

    • You can keep repeating that until you turn blue, but that will not make it true, nor will it make the reality change. The only suffering I want to be free from is the suffering that is caused by people like you.

  8. Bradley Greenwood

    Homosexuals need not worry, someday a Mormon “prophet” will have a “revelation” condoning their lifestyle.

    Especially if there is money involved.

  9. Why do we need to even classify ourselves as gay, straight, or any other type of possible characteristic. Hope in Christ does not mean how we view ourselves will eventually endorsed, it means that we can change ourselves and become like him in every whit.
    I tend to think that people are generally just sexual creatures and the experiences they have, the genetics they are born with, and the opportunities available to them largely determine what inclinations one would have, sexual or otherwise. I know at times I have had strong inclinations one way and other inclinations another way and many other directions in between. But while others might label that as pansexual, I don’t and never will because it would differentiate myself from others. I have talked to my wife among others, and they have had similar experiences. In the eternal scope, we are malleable in every wit.
    If we have different identities, human nature causes us to endorse causes that allow us to leverage those identities for power over others. To use a sexual orientation to leverage power is wrong, yet we need to realize that our differences don’t define us, rather they are to be used as motivation to change ourselves and others as we interact with our fellow men. If we let our differences stratify into a bunch of conflicting identities, then very bad things happen on the societal level. For humanity to find peace, there has to be a unifying identity that encompasses every facet of humanity, and we have to humble ourselves and change ourselves until we make that identity our own. That identity is Christ.

  10. Hey Larry…you lying piece of crap..blow it out your posterior…..oh ya…that’s your line…I forgot where I was…..sorry…sorry….I thought I was posting on my tech blog….

    • Perhaps its time to elevate the level of commentary. Jana is a classy person and I don’t think such language gives her respect. Of course, she can speak for herself, but I don’t see much added by such comments, and I am as strident as anyone in my beliefs.

  11. Couple comments….
    Domestic Partnership Act…”separate but equal”…absolutely!….this law was initiated by gay groups, supported by a gay friendly legislature in California and made law in 1999, gay groups wanted rights not marriage…it was considered brilliant at the time because it appeared to make everyone happy, religious groups retained marriage and gay couples got benefits and legal recognition. Larry…you call it bad law, flawed…it’s still active today and operated by the California Secretary of State, gay couples and heterosexual couples register with it and still sign up TODAY…..separate but equal. The website makes it very clear that recent court cases did not invalidate this law.

    Myths under Prop 8 or any place gay marriage restricted…..Gays cannot marry….myth…..Gays have always been able to marry, for example, a gay man could marry a woman….any woman……a gay man could marry a gay woman…thus proving that 2 gay people could marry legally. Or a gay woman could marry any man. If you didn’t marry and complained about it….it’s because you choose not to….not because you couldn’t marry. So the real argument wasn’t whether you could marry…it was WHO you wanted to marry……..State’s have always had the right to legislate marriage, even congress. Can’t marry your sister or cousin for example, congress outlawed marrying more than one person, to which the Mormons objected. Marriage was defined and regulated.

    Larry….you have said only want secular arguments no religious arguments in regards to gay marriage….the irony which many people recognize…marriage is religious, you the gay lobby is now overtaking the most sacred of religious ceremonies…..marriage……and redefining it. Whats the number one group authorized to perform marriages….it’s ministers, pastors, priests, bishops and rabbi’s…all authorized by the state to perform marriage yet their religious opinion is of no value…??? A majority of marriages performed today are done in a church or synagogue…they’re religious. Through out time for 6,000 years virtually all marriage were religious. Only the last few hundred years did government see the value and began to regulate with license’s and a civil marriage alternative.

    Geesh….simply recognize that marriage is sacred to many people. I understand you seek it for validation but mocking marriage will only hurt in the long run and those who do will not find happiness or satisfaction.

    • Hogwash. Marriage has been primarily for cementing alliances, and transferring property rights. Thousands marry every day without religious ceremony. Gay people are winning the day, as most Americans now believe that they should be treated with equal protection under the law, as called for the the US Constitution. Sorry that you desire is otherwise, but you will be in a continually shrinking minority, so I would get used to it. Hate for Jesus whom you will, no one else will care much. What you should worry about is irrelevance.

    • False. NO ONE in any religion anywhere ever has been required to perform marriages that they do not choose to. NOT ONE. Its called the First Amendment to the US Constitution. Kick and scream all you want, that is the reality of the situation. If you don’t want gay marriage, don’t have one. If you don’t believe that’s want God wants, find a Church where you will be comfortable. I understand Fred Phelps Church is looking for members, or Mormonism. Not a lot of difference as the Mormon Church simply has more expensive PR.

      • Even more hogwash

        “gay groups wanted rights not marriage”

        Gays HAD marriage rights in California prior to Prop. 8. The law stripped it away. It was the first line of the court decision! You are a liar. Harry, instead of trying your own phony spin on events, read the Prop 8 decision.

        http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/12-144_8ok0.pdf.

        Everything you have said has been complete and total fiction
        I am done arguing with sacks of crap who want to dispute things well established by public record.

        Assuming arguendo, that they wanted rights, there were no reasonable objections to them. You sound like Southern whites who thought blacks were getting too “uppity” when they demanded civil rights. Essentially your objection is that you are annoyed that gays would no longer be treated as inferiors under the law. Your prejudices would no longer have social sanction. Boo friggin hoo.

        Rather than get mired in the stupid propaganda and revisionist lies about what happened, why don’t you do us a real favor:

        Give us rational and secular reasons for banning marriage equality.

        Unless you can do that, there is no way any of these laws could ever hold up in court. This is why bigots are losing these cases left and right. There are no reasons anyone has to take your objections seriously. Your religious concerns are of no value to our laws.

        As stated by my favorite judge in the Federal system, “W” appointee John E. Jones III of Pennsylvania*

        “,,,that same-sex marriage causes discomfort in some does not make its prohibition constitutional. Nor can past tradition trump the bedrock constitutional guarantees of due process and equal protection.”

        *I was a big fan of his work when he envicerated the Creationists in Dover decision of 2005.

        • The Appellate decision is the more useful one. Although I already posted it before, Harry you should read it anyway before spouting off.

          http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-9th-circuit/1593339.html

  12. Couple of things:

    First, people have to decide what is most important to them. In this case, the LDS church firmly believes that NO ONE should have sexual contact with anyone else, except for a husband and wife, a man and a woman who are legally wed to each other.
    There are a few LDS members who feel same sex attraction, but, because of their love for the gospel, more than their sexual attractions, they have had successful marriages with someone of the opposite sex, and children and everything. They never deny their attraction for those of the same sex, they just place more importance on other things.
    And like it or not, the church is not going to change their policy on this. And if they ever did, I’d probably leave the church altogether.
    Second, this push to not only be accepted as normal members of society (which I have no problem with) is turning into another “witch hunt” with more and more people being denied their First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Everyone should be able to openly and freely believe as they want and express their opinions as they want, without fear. No one should be held accountable for the actions of the radical few, like those who commit hate crimes against others who are “different”. I have NEVER EVER advocated using violence against anyone for anything, and I deeply resent being told that to have the opinion that homosexual behavior is a sin against God, and to be able to voice that opinion in a non-aggressive manner, is a hate crime. Or that it makes me a hater. I don’t hate anyone, it’s a totally useless and wasted emotion. I might not like what someone else says, or their opinions on something, but I will fight to the death their right to say it. And I will defend to the death MY right to say what I think.
    It’s sad that some people will still not see things your way. That’s just life. And the more you try to force them to either see things your way, or at least, force them to keep quiet about their feelings on something, the more they are going to resent you and reject you and it will eventually backfire on you.
    Come on, be realistic! You are never going to get everyone to see things your way! And why would you want to? We would be going back to the days of the Nazi’s and the Soviet Communists.

    • You are describing exactly why it would be harmful and pointless for a gay person to be a member of the LDS church.

      It is obvious they will never respect such people as equals or show any desire that they have normal lives with a measure of human dignity. To be gay and Mormon means to subject one’s self to denial, scorn, and ostracism in favor of monastic devotion. Its not worth the effort. The LDS doesn’t want them. Why bother? There are enough sects out there which don’t have this problem.

      Plenty of gay people married and had children when being one was considered a criminal act or would lead to loss of employment, home and professional status. It was called “the closet”. It was denial of one’s self and hiding from the world. Social pressure is a powerful force. Such things are considered harmful
      http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/articles/closet-psychological-issues-being-and-coming-out
      Again, more proof the LDS church does not want or will ever accept gays as human beings. So no need to bother staying in such a toxic environment,

      Btw nobody is attacking freedom of speech or religion. The 1st Amendment never gave you the right to attack the liberties of others. You can voice your opinion, but you also get to be criticized for it. Just because you claim an idea is religious in nature, it doesn’t mean it is free from criticism. Your moaning about “witch hunts” bespeaks of self-interest and ignorance.

      Freedom of religion never gave you the right to discriminate in business or to have laws which are discriminatory in nature. Freedom of speech never exempted you from the social consequences of your expressions.

      • Hey Larry…always appreciate your understanding and support of our constitutional rights…especially freedom of religion. Hey Larry if you argued your arguements in front of the founding fathers in 1787….what would they most likely say to you?

        • They would agree with me. More likely than not they also would be trying to sell off parts of my extended family as chattel property as well. :)
          People who use “the founders never considered…” are usually full of crap. (ie Antonin Scalia and co.) Its an excuse to ignore that little revision made to the Constitution 70 years later called the 14th Amendment. The basis for all civil liberties cases from the 19th century onward.

          Harry, you don’t want them there, why bother with pretense?
          You certainly don’t want them to carry out a normal existence with a measure of human dignity. Logically wouldn’t it make sense for you to encourage them to go elsewhere? Some other church?

          • I would like to comment on this, please.
            Larry, you said >>you don’t want them there, why bother with pretense? You certainly don’t want them to carry out a normal existence with a measure of human dignity. Logically wouldn’t it make sense for you to encourage them to go elsewhere? Some other church? <<

            First, there is a difference in what The Church wants, as opposed to what some members of the church might want.
            BYU has an honor code, and part of that code is, as I understand it, that no student is to have any sort of sexual activity outside the bonds of marriage, and that marriage is between a man and a woman. This is, from what I understand, not the main problem. It's also got to do with Public Displays of Affection, and how unmarried heterosexual couples are permitted limited PDA, whereas unmarried homosexual couples are not.
            And this is understandable, as even these limited PDA's suggest that said couple intends, at some point, to take their level of affection to another level, whether to the person they are with at the time, or someone else in the future. And since it's not just BYU that does not accept sexual activity except in bonds of marriage, etc., the entire Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not accept any sort of sexual activity between those who are not married, including, but not limited to, that between people of the same sex.
            So, naturally, PDA among those of the same sex would be forbidden, on those grounds.

            As far as changing churches, it's not quite that simple. It's not like going from, say, a Methodist church to a Baptist church, or even a Catholic church to an Episcopalian church.
            (The only church that might be an option to anyone who is otherwise a believing member of the LDS church is the Community of Christ church, which was formerly the Reorganized LDS church. But, I don't know their stand on same sex attraction and activity.)
            Since Mormons believe in extra-Biblical revelation, and living prophets and apostles of God, then playing "musical churches" is not the easy option you seemingly suggest it is.

          • Despite protestations to the contrary, the church and its members are the same thing. BYU’s honor code is discriminatory in nature against gays. That much is pretty much established by the behavior of those involved and even how it is worded. It is enforced much differently against heterosexual couples than homosexual ones. Kyle mentioned the difference on 5/23.

            I simply question the sanity of a gay person to want to subject themselves to such degradation and open hostility. As far as changing churches go, it would not be easy given the overwhelming cultural/familial pervasiveness and clannish nature of the LDS church. But in the long run, it would be far less harmful than being in an environment of discrimination, hostility and ostracism. IMO, a gay student at BYU is asking for a troubled 4 years+. They are better off going somewhere less Talibanish in nature. But its not like the LDS wants to give up its numbers for any reason. Having gays around gives them the phony impression of not being so discriminatory and fills out the ranks when describing church membership size to gentiles.

            Of course nothing stops people from creating a new sect either. I am sure the LDS would fight tooth and nail over copyrights if they use the Book of Mormon as a text.

      • Like I said, you have to make a choice. The church is not going to change. Therefore, one has to choose what is most important to them.
        Perhaps in Utah, and there abouts, people still have issues with anyone who identifies as having same sex attraction. It seems to me, tho, that to so many people, no matter what their sexual attractions, seem to think that it’s all about SEX. Marriage is more than sex. And it takes more than sexual attraction to keep a marriage together.

    • Let’s see…..being in the so called Mormon Church, which hates gay people and does everything possible to denigrate them and erase their civil equality, which denies their existence, be surrounded by people like Linda, Lareina and Harry, be in a so called church which drives many young gay people to suicide–a so called religion that is false and not based on Christian principles OR….free yourself from such hateful nonsense, have an authentic life, find love perhaps, be responsible for your own life and decisions, perhaps have a family, join a church if you choose that actually practices love and inclusion. Oh I don’t know—its so hard to figure out. BYE BYE Mormons!!

      • >being in the so called Mormon Church, which hates gay people and does everything possible to denigrate them and erase their civil equalitywhich denies their existencebe surrounded by people like Linda, Lareina and Harryin a so called church which drives many young gay people to suicidea so called religion that is false and not based on Christian principlesits so hard to figure out. BYE BYE Mormons!!<
        Can't tell if that's a personal choice, or a veiled threat.

        .

        • I clearly laid out two options for staying or leaving Mormon Inc. and described them in detail. That you are able to somehow read into that a ‘veiled threat’ speaks to your level of paranoid delusion, and little else. I would suggest that you read what is written, rather than listening to voices in your head.

      • Actually, some of my reply didn’t make it on.

        >be surrounded by people like Linda, Lareina and Harry<

        I was asking, if it was better to be a religionist bigot or a homosexist bigot?

        • When any gay person or group organizes multi state multi million dollar campaigns the purpose of which is to deny Mormons civil equality, when Mormons are subjected to the kinds of violence, attacks and murder that are unleashed upon gay people every day in this country and others, then we can discuss gay bigotry against Mormons. Until then, get real.

          • >>when Mormons are subjected to the kinds of violence, attacks and murder that are unleashed upon gay people every day in this country and others, then we can discuss gay bigotry against Mormons. Until then, get real.<<

            The church went thru that already.

            But, WE are not the ones who do anything like that to anyone,

            And the only bigotry I was asking about was yours.

          • Your tithes went towards political campaigns to deny rights to people like Don. ALL LDS members bear that responsibility either directly or indirectly.

          • Should it be crime to be a member of the church….??? Our author Jana who is a member…Does she equally bear the responsibility of Mormon youth suicides..?? And do members share the burden of all suicides?

          • >Your tithes went towards political campaigns to deny rights to people like Don. ALL LDS members bear that responsibility either directly or indirectly.<<

            None of my tithes went to any such thing. The church does not use tithing money for stuff like that.

        • ‘But WE are not the ones to do anything like that to anyone.’

          I think those butchered at Mountain Meadows would disagree. Your ignorance is astonishing.

          • Did you ever hear of Hawn’s (Haun’s) Mill massacre? Far West massacre? or any of the other times that the Mormons were raped, murdered, stolen from, forced from their homes in the dead of night and winter,
            The CHURCH did not do anything at Mountain Meadow. Some angry Mormons did, angry from all the persecution they’d had to endure and now they were afraid again because of the US Army threatening to destroy them. Anyone would be a little punch drunk.
            Don’t make the Mormons out to be some sort of blood thirsty killers. The last thing Brigham Young wanted was to kill off those who were bringing them the things that they were unable to bring themselves. Most Mormons left with barely anything. By the time others were headed for the gold in California, the Mormons had homes and grains growing and animals multiplying, and even businesses started. But they didn’t have books, or musical instruments, or lots of other things. Those headed to California had those things, and by the time they got to Salt Lake, they needed the food that the Mormons had. It was such a win-win situation, there’s no way Brigham Young wanted to foul that up!

        • Linda, your list of excuses, justifications and time worn talking points, as sickening as they are, is not remotely accurate, as even the (so called) Mormon Church has clearly laid out that your talking points are false. I suggest you read ‘Massacre at Mountain Meadows’ Turley, ‘Mountain Meadows Massacre’ Brooks, and the latest position paper put out by Mormon Inc. These are all church sources so you won’t get Non Mormon Cooties from them. Brooks’ book was not an official Church publication, but she was a Mormon, so you won’t be contaminated.

          • Did you ever hear of the Haun’s Mill massacre?

            What about the Extermination order?

  13. >the church and its members are the same thing.<

    No, it's not, not all the time. You see, in Utah, they have the Church, and there is the "Mormon culture". The differences can be subtle, but they are there.
    However, outside Utah, and the surrounding areas, out here in what those from Utah refer to as "The Mission Field", are 86% of the membership of the church. Here, I know very few third, or even second, generation Mormons. Here, we are much more likely to have a family member or good friend who has same sex attraction. Or trans-sexual. Or has had a sex change. (I know all three). We are more likely to not hold our own standards against those who do not hold to the same standards.
    Do you have the stats on where these suicides all take place? I'll bet it's 90+ percent of them are in Utah. or the surrounding area. Which tells me it's not THE CHURCH, so much as the "Mormon culture".
    Case in point:
    A gentleman from my last ward was telling me how one of his granddaughters has come out as homosexual. This family is living in Utah (not the grandfather, he lives here). When people started giving this girl flak for her choices, her sister, who is a temple Mormon, rose up righteous and told them "This is my sister, I love her no matter what, and you will treat her with respect!" He said he is disappointed, but he still loves her no matter what. Of course, that does not mean they condone any actions that she might do that goes against church standards, and that's her choice.
    It's like I said, you have to choose; church standards or your own.

    • The church sets the tone of Mormon culture. It is a top-down organization in every sense of those words. Your disavowal reeks of poor excuses. The church and its members (culture) are indistinguishable since neither group make efforts to distinguish themselves from each other. You will give the church credit if it is positive, deny their involvement if negative.

      As for the suicides, considering the highest concentration of Mormons are in Utah, it is clear the church and its members are indifferent to such things unless there is negative publicity.

      Since your faith invests all power of policy and religious interpretation to its leaders, they bear the responsibility for all members of its faith in such matters. All members on its highly organized and bureaucratically detailed rolls.

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