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.


  1. What burns me is that it's presented as tolerant in some way. Just come out and be hateful and show your disgust, judgment, and righteousness. It's easy to sit from a privileged position and give others the right to "feel things" without "acting on them." I'd like to wave a magic wand and give whoever wrote that a desperate desire for something his (just a guess!!) community would shame and ask him not to "act on." Let's say a diaper fetish and the burning desire to eat poop.

  2. It is within your right to have this site and express that this new site brings you "confusion and sadness and anger and indignation". While it is obvious that this site is public and will be read by people that think the way you do, I do not think that this is the audience that the site is aimed to. I am a member of the LDS church and I do not think the church intends to make the connection you have made about legal equality rights (or other political ideas), at least not on this new site. That is not its purpose of the new site. One woman who contributed to the website said this:
    "I'm not trying to win an argument here, or to change anyone's mind who has found happiness and peace with their sexual orientation, whatever it may be...I'm reaching out to those who are not happy with their orientation, who don't want to be gay, and who want to free themselves from overwhelming desires that create conflict."
    "I'm not talking to the person who has these feelings and chooses to identify as gay," she said. "I'm talking to Latter-day Saints who have unwanted attractions."
    ( )
    Since she did live a lesbian life style she feels she can help those who may be in the situation she found herself in (between two worlds).
    Regarding the member you know that made an off color remark, I hope that this new site also helps members of my church who have a lot to learn about loving one another and not being homophobic. Furthermore, I hope that it will lead to more unity and, yes, better equality. Since you have made the connection to legal rights, my personal opinion (not speaking for my church) is that all people should be equal before the law, and I wish the connection between the legal treatment of someone and ones chosen lifestyle did not exist (the libertarian part of me wishes that the government wasn’t in the business of marriage at all) but since this connection does exist I just want to make sure that, just as gay rights are respected, that religious rights are also respected and that one can have differing religious ideals about morality without discrimination.

    I understand if this comment is not welcome here since this site as well is not directed to someone of my way of thinking but I thought it would be nice to have another perspective. I hope we can all be civil and considerate of one another. Better yet, I hope we can all "love one another".

  3. Here is another perspective of the new website from someone who might not agree with me yet is also an active member of my church although unlike me he is openly gay: