I was browsing around the Mormon Newsroom, mostly because I'm a gluton of punishment. But I stumbled upon this gem, and I don't know how to handle my feelings...
It opens up with this statement, "On 7 June 2006 ABC’s Nightline ran a story on members and former members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who struggle with same-gender attraction. This issue is one that evokes strong emotions and, unfortunately, often perpetuates negative stereotypes on both sides of the debate. Nightline’s story contained some comments that do not reflect the views and teachings of the Church and its leaders."
Here are the comments:
Daniel Holsinger: “There is a very strong notion that I am a sinner — fundamentally who I am is hated and reviled by God. I am alone; there is no one else like me.”
Morgan Smith: “We’re not recovering from God, but we are recovering from the put-downs, the discrimination, the people that come along and say that if you’re gay, you’re not good.”
Russ Gorringe: “There is no place for me in the gospel as a person who never married.”
It's not the bloody comments that are contrary to the teachings of the Church! It's the behavior of the members towards these people! For all of our talk about being a Church of love and compassion, the LGBT members of our wards and stakes have a hard time finding them in our congregations.
Why do you think that Daniel feels hated? Because there are members of the Church that do! Not all, but there are enough. We hear all about the "homosexuals"... from everyone but LGBT people. We see statements like this made by the First Presidency in 1970, “Homosexuals can be assured that in spite of all they may have heard from other sources, they can overcome and return to normal, happy living,” as if my life isn't already normal and fulfilling. We are compared to bank robbers by Elder Mark E. Peterson in 1978, “Since homosexuals have become a nationwide entity, and have come out of hiding to demand their place in the sun, many of them claim that they are what they are because they were born that way and cannot help it. How ridiculous is such a claim. It was not God who made them that way, any more than He made bank robbers the way they are.” And we are (frankly) belittled by President Spencer W. Kimball in 1978, “’God made me that way,’ some say [i.e., homosexual] … This is blasphemy. Is man not made in the image of God, and does he think God to be ‘that way’?” When I see these things, I feel hated and unwanted... by the membership, as well as the leadership.
Morgan feels put down, and every single LGBT person has been, whether it's direct or indirect. Can you blame us? Bishop Keith McMullin of the Presiding Bishopric said this in 2010, “If someone seeking your help says to you, ‘I am a homosexual,’ or, ‘I am lesbian,’ or, ‘I am gay,’ correct this miscasting… it is simply not true. To speak this way seeds a doubt and deceit about who we really are.” That makes me feel put down! You are ignoring my trust in you to tell you something this personal about me, and you shut me down and tell me that I'm wrong? When you clearly have never gone through what I'm going through?! Or how about the douzy in 2010 from President Boyd K. Packer, “Some suppose that they were pre-set and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and unnatural. Not so! Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone? Remember, He is our Father.” You're telling me that I am impure and unnatural... sounds like a put down to me. From the membership and local leadership, I've heard them all... from little things like being called a "dyke" to being told there is an evil spirit residing inside of me. They are hurtful, plain and simple.
The Church has made SO many steps in the right direction since the 1960's, and since 2006, when this article was published. But if you think for one second that we are "at the forefront at having love and compassion", you are horribly mistaken.