Thursday, December 6, 2012

In high school, I had several Mormon friends.  In high school, no one was out as a gay person. At least not in my small social circle. Now, of course, almost everyone I was truly friends with in high school, including the male friend I went to prom with, has come out as gay, including myself.  Funny how that works out.

One of my Mormon high school friends was a "best friend." We talked every day, had lunch together, and ultimately, I attended the non-religious portion of her wedding celebration, as non-Mormons weren't allowed to witness the actual ceremony.  I say this just to highlight that we were close.

At this point, I haven't seen this friend in...probably 8 years? Maybe more.   All of our interaction now is via facebook, and from this, I know that she has 4 children, lives on the west coast, and fervently supported Mitt Romney.  I have not come out to her, but if you look at my facebook page these days, it's very, very obvious that I am gay.

Today, I posted a link on facebook to this picture of an older, interracial gay couple looking overjoyed together at the prospect of being able to get married in Washington state, after over 40 years together.

 This friend commented on the picture, saying something fairly off-color, I think, but I won't quote her here on the off chance that she somehow comes across this very gay blog. The point is that she clearly saw that I posted that picture, and that I was in support of what the picture represents--marriage equality. I commented back in a light-hearted way, in an attempt to not let her weird comment sour the post. Keepin' it light, and all that.

An hour later, she posts a link to this website: With no comment. Just a link.

She has NEVER posted anything about gay-ness on her page, and has never before commented on any of the many gay things I post regularly.  But she posts this today. And of course I clicked through.

And it made me sad, what I read. Here's a sample:

Attraction to those of the same sex, however, should not be viewed as a disease or illness. We must not judge anyone for the feelings they experience. Members of the Church who have same-sex attractions, but don’t act on them, can continue to enjoy full fellowship in the church, which includes holding the priesthood, carrying out callings, and attending the temple. Unlike in times past, the Church does not necessarily advise those with same-sex attraction to
marry those of the opposite sex. Same-sex attraction itself is not a sin, but yielding to it is. However, through repentance Jesus Christ will offer forgiveness.

And it goes on, and on, from there.

My reaction to this is confusion and sadness and anger and indignation.  Does this religious organization actually think that having a pastel-hued website for gay people, in which they calmly and lovingly say that it's okay if you're gay, as long as you live your entire life without ever having a sexual relationship, because you can't have sex unless your married, and oh, by the way, marriage is only for a man and a woman, but you can do it, we know you can, because this is your mortal test, and marrying someone of the same sex is morally wrong, and we know it's hard, but don't you worry, we love you!--do they really think that this is supposed to be a comfort??

Really!?? <<insert "Really!!???!! with Seth and Amy" gif here>>

I am baffled, and incensed, and very curious if gay Mormons read that website and are left with a sense of relief and support. I don't see how, unless they somehow fail to notice that between the pretty, well-written lines is an upsetting, depressing message of rejection and support of inequality.

I wonder what my high school friend thinks of this message. I assume that she supports it. I hope that I am wrong.

I would be very curious to hear others' reactions to this--feel free to comment.