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For Those Who Want to Step Up and Speak Out

One of the purposes of this site is to let people know that not all Mormons oppose gay marriage. There are about 750,000 members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on church rosters in California. Those folks are organized into a little more than 1200 wards and branches throughout the state. Chances are that there are one or two people in each ward or branch that support gay marriage. We understand that it’s not easy to be the “lone dissenter” in a group of people, no matter what the group believes, and so we are here to speak up and speak out and say, “You are not alone.”

We especially want to tell those who may be feeling estranged from the fellowship of their local congregations that they are not alone. For many reasons, some of which are stated on this site, there are LDS members across the state, nation and world who believe that it is not appropriate for religious leaders to encourage members to donate money or time to political groups, whether that encouragement comes over the pulpit or in the church parking lot.

The First Presidency of the Church has asked members in California to do all that they can in this election season to support Proposition 8. For some members, that means crying as quietly as possible when they hear harsh words about homosexuals. For some members, that means finding the courage to attend church weekly, despite requests for donations of time and money to a cause in which they don’t believe. For some members, that means holding their tongues and counting to 10 to quell and angry outburst. For some members, that means explaining to friends – both gay and straight – again, that not all LDS church members think and act the same way, despite appearances.

We are all in this struggle together, and when November 5, 2008 dawns, it will be a day for coming together again, no matter what the California Constitution ends up saying. We will all need to spend time repairing fences, rebuilding bridges, reaching out to members and non-members alike, some of whose thoughts and feelings may have been changed for the worse as a result of the divisive nature of this political campaign.

Let us do what we can now to prevent as much damage as possible by listening to one another with open hearts and minds, by speaking and writing about our beliefs with respect and by being true under-shepherds for Christ, searching out and comforting those who need it the most.

If you would like to join us in providing support to one another as we navigate this turbulent storm, please leave a comment. Tell us who you are and where you live. Share stories that are “of good report, and praiseworthy.” If you would like to show thanks or appreciation for those who are willing to speak up for marriage equality, but you don’t feel safe using your real name, consider using initials or a pseudonym rather than calling yourself anonymous.

If you don’t agree with the positions taken by mormonsformarriage, this is not the place to make negative comments, call people to repentance or engage in debating the issues. There are many places on the internet where debates about same-sex marriage rage on night and day, and we respectfully request you allow this site to be a place of thoughtful peace. Remember, “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience and allow all [others] the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”

If you have a longer post or personal story to share in writing, consider adding it here.  If you would like to share your personal story in video format, contact the folks here.  If you have something specifically political in nature, check out this page.



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279 Responses to “For Those Who Want to Step Up and Speak Out”

  1. 1Jeanie Mortensen-Besamoon 03 Aug 2008 at 7:28 pm

    I’m excited to see this type of support for Mormons who are opposed to Prop 8. This didn’t exist in 2000 when I publicly opposed Prop 22. My decision in 2000 changed my life.

    If my experience in 2000 can help anyone this time around, please let me know.

    If it would be of value, I was one of the 3 individuals to whom Stuart Matis gave his essay regarding being gay and Mormon. (Stuart Matis was a young gay Mormon who took his life on the steps of an LDS church one week prior to the election in 2000.) It is as applicable today as it was 8 years ago. I can provide a copy that can be posted on this site if you let me know where I can send it. I also have a copy of the Newsweek article about him that was published in May 2000.

    –Jeanie Mortensen-Besamo
    Simi Valley, CA

  2. 2Krys Corbetton 03 Aug 2008 at 9:51 pm

    Thanks for all of the work in putting up the site. I mostly feel like I want to bury my head in the sand and make it all go away — and pretty powerless. This is a nice example of why that isn’t true.

    - Krys

  3. 3admin2on 04 Aug 2008 at 3:24 pm

    Jeanie, we’ve added a chapter of Carol Lynn Pearson’s book which talks about Stuart here, and I’ll get links up to the other documents soon.
    Krys, thanks for the kind words and please pass the link for the site along to others.

  4. 4Keithon 05 Aug 2008 at 9:50 am

    As much as I wish the Church had stayed out of the Prop 8 campaign, its involvement doesn’t surprise me. I expected it, and putting my desires aside, I believe I understand where it is coming from and don’t begrudge it for having taken this position. In other words, I will not criticize the Church leadership for getting involved abd for asking members to support the measure. The fact that I cannot come to terms and align myself with the Church’s position is of my concern — it’s a struggle that I can live with.

    My complaint, however, is not that the Church has taken a position on Prop 8. It’s the way this is being implemented. Politics is dirty, and when you play in mud . . . I believe the Church should be above that. But I fear the temptation will be too great to stoop to the level of politics that I detest, which includes demonizing and attacking the opposition. The Church and members acting on its behalf (another point I will get to) need to refrain from talking about the “gay agenda,” demonizing liberals, criticizing AG Brown for the ballot measure language, discussing out-of-state funding sources for the opposition, criticizing corporations and individuals who oppose the measure, referring to the Hollywood elite, etc. This goes way beyond standing up for what the Church believes in. But all of these things, and more, were discussed in priesthool opening exercises last Sunday. I kept silent, in part of out fear and in part out of not being prepared. But I won’t keep my mouth shut next time it comes up.

    My second complaint is that the Church needs to admit that members acting pursuant to its promptings are acting on its behalf. The instruction we received in priesthood was that, when canvassing the neighborhood, we were not to go in twos, wear white shirts and ties or do anything that would make us look like Mormons. (I was “we, ” but there’s no way I’m doing any of this.) Instead, we were to make it clear that we were acting on our own as individual concerned citizens and not on behalf of the Church. I think that’s a bit deceptive. If the Church is going to strongly urge its members to support the proposition, then it needs to take responsibility for the things those members may do. Perhaps if the Church took greater responsibilty for its members actions, there would be greater care to avoid the dirtier side of politics.

  5. 5Pamon 06 Aug 2008 at 4:53 pm

    I have felt incredibly upset, alone, and alienated since I first heard about this over the pulpit. I agree with Keith. I’m not surprised that the Church has taken a stand against Prop 8 but I feel bullied and threatened that if I don’t agree with and participate in its passage, I won’t be allowed back into the temple. I have kept silent for a while, wondering if I’m the only one who is confused and bothered.

    There are more heterosexual unions out that that destroy and cause the disintegration of the family than homosexual ones through abuse, abandonment and teenage pregnancy. I just can’t believe that gay marriage is enemy #1. What’s odd here is the Church is not opposing civil unions, just gay marriage. I say odd because I recently attended a meeting that reminded me of Communist terror campaigns of the 1950s where the government used fear as a sword. I left with the impression that leaders believed if they used enough scare tactics on how gay marriage would destroy the world, families, and education, then we’d all fall in line. While they said it wasn’t a ploy against homosexuals — just gay marriage — it was.

    They said children would be too confused to make sense of the concept of family in this world because they’d receive conflicting messages of what family really is. Well whatever happened to responsible parenting? If homosexual marriage becomes legal does this mean parents no longer have to be responsible for the proper upbringing of their children? They said gay marriage takes the family making process out of God’s hands and puts it into a laboratory or with an agency. I know plenty of straight couples who have opted for In Vitro and adoption… does this mean they’re not following God’s plan?

    Now I understand that this meeting was under local direction and not conducted by the prophet. However, it’s the overall act of telling me what to do that has made me rigid. I feel as though it takes away my free agency… my choice.

    I too, feel powerless. But now at least I know I’m not alone.

  6. 6Robert Bon 10 Aug 2008 at 7:49 pm

    I want to thank you for putting up/hosting this site. I am so glad that someone is speaking for the “other side” and encouraging people to think for themselves and to make up their own minds on this matter. The LGBT side desperately needs to be heard.

    I cried when I read the Stuart Matis material. I have been there, crying, praying, and asking God, “Why me?. While not LDS, I “was in a very fundamental church/school. Fortunately a psychology professor at the school with whom I could relate told me that I (my gayness) would not change, and that I needed to learn to be comfortable with it, and live the best life I could. I left that church shortly after that, as I felt I could not in good conscience remain. I have since found another accepting church home.

    It seems very unfair to me, that your Church Leaders seem to have such dictatorial powers. I admit, I do not understand your Church structer, so I only offer that as an observation.

    So again I thank you – and hope that you can reach many people with your words of support and encouragement.

    Robert

  7. 7Chadon 11 Aug 2008 at 9:05 am

    I wish to express my support for the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am grateful to live in a day that the Lord has blessed us with living prophets and apostles. I know that as we seek to align our lives to the teachings of the prophets and apostles we will find true happiness.

  8. 8Alan Hansenon 11 Aug 2008 at 11:23 am

    I oppose the church’s efforts on this matter.

    1. Children matter.

    I was a foster parent for several years, and cared for 30 children in my home. 100% of those children came from heterosexual unions or marriages. My assessment is that many parents who lose their kids to foster care are horrible, abusive, drug-addicted people who are not fit to be parents.

    On the other hand, there are wonderful couples who become parents for all the right reasons regardless of their sexual orientation:
    -The desire to raise children to be productive members of society
    -The desire to care for other human beings
    -Because they are NOT impoverished and have adequate means
    -The human instinct to raise children
    -etc.

    Sexual orientation is a terrible standard by which to judge the ability to be a good parent.

    Beyond anything else, I think the most important reason for gays to be able to marry is so that the children in those unions can have the same legal claim on their parents that my children have on my wife and me.

    2. The church has set up the wrong criteria for supporting their efforts. Instead of an open and thoughtful debate on the subject of gay marriage, they have put support of their position in the column of “follow the prophet”… which feels to members like the column of “follow God.” So, regardless of the consequences to the individuals who are affected by the outcome of the vote, Mormons are told to vote and campaign for the proposition as a matter of personal salvation.

    Its easy to say “I’d rather support this effort than go to hell.” In fact, not going to hell is a pretty good reason to do anything. Unfortunately, there are people who live in hell every day because the church tells them a) They don’t exist (homosexuality is a choice, so gays don’t exist…only sinners do) and b) They can’t enjoy God’s blessings because of their homosexuality.

    So the church’s case is very black and white. Follow God by supporting our campaign or don’t follow God and and accept those consequences.

    In order to be opposed to the proposition, members have to suspend their belief in the principle of “follow the prophet.”

    Ultimately, the church’s campaign is about sharpening differences and making people choose sides…but not on the matter of gay marriage. No, the church has set up the proposition 8 debate as a debate between good and evil. They want to separate the wheat from the chaff, as it were and force people to either choose their faith or abandon it.

    Instead of making the debate on this issue about whether or not one follows the prophet, the debate needs to be about families.

    I’m continually shocked (aren’t you?) that the church is on the side of this debate that tends to devalue and destroy families. Even the proclamation on the family seems to be at odds with the church’s stance in the debate. Some of my favorite quotes from the POTF:

    “Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalms 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.” (Do we think Gay parents don’t have this solemn responsibility? Do we think they are not accountable?”

    “The family is ordained of God. ” (Wouldn’t it be insulting to be a child, raised by the same two men or two women your whole life, and be told that your family doesn’t count)?

    “Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.” (I could not agree more with this statement. It is as true for families with same sex parents as it is for families with hetero-sexual parents. Interestingly, it is also true for single moms, single dads, families where older siblings help rear younger, families where parents have abandoned their kids and grandparents are raising grandkids…and all other types of families. Family is as beautiful and important as it is diverse).

    So, let’s make sure our debate is about family…and not about going to hell.

    3. The gay marriage debate is easily compared to other issues pushed by religious zealots through history. Some examples:
    -Flat earth. Obviously the earth is not flat. But the church thought it was (not a Mormon issue).
    -Slavery. Obviously, slavery was wrong, but the church didn’t always think so.
    -Blacks holding the priesthood. Obviously, God believes in equality among the races. But the church didn’t always think so.
    -Interracial marriage. Obviously, when people of different races want to marry, they should. But the church didn’t always think so.
    -Gay parenting. Obviously (read the research), gay and lesbian couples can be good parents who raise healthy (and for the most part, straight) children. But the church doesn’t think so.

    Today’s issue is about gay marriage. As countries and states have adopted laws allowing gay marriage, we see that obviously, gay marriage hasn’t hindered families or society or God in any way. Yet, the church opposes it.

    One day soon we’ll say, “Obviously, there is nothing wrong with gay marriage, but the church didn’t always think so.”

    Protect Marriage…ALLOW IT!!!

    Alan Hansen

  9. 9Sarahon 11 Aug 2008 at 8:24 pm

    I think it’s wrong for the church to try and dictate so much of the lives of others. It reminds me of the Church of England hundred(s) of years ago. It’s my honest feeling that so much of what we are told is human interpurtation or human desires by just a few, and not actual thoughts and revelations from God.

    Just because you care for someone of the same sex doesn’t mean that God loves you any less, or that you are a wicked person. Two men or two women can be just as good of parents as one man and one woman. Maybe even better, since they would teach their children to be open minded. I just wish I were in CA so I could vote. Our ward hasn’t talked about this, but I’m sure if they did people would want to lynch my for my views. :)

  10. 10Georgeon 11 Aug 2008 at 9:56 pm

    I am the father of a gay son. I am the sibling of two gay brothers (one deceased). I am the nephew of two deceased gay uncles (though we didn’t acknowledge them publicly in those days). I left Sacrament Meeting when
    the SL letter was read last month. No one can tell me my loved ones are
    unworthy of a marriage commitment. No one can question their devotion,
    their love, their commitment, to their respective life partners. It is to late
    for my uncles and brothers to be legally recognized by the state. But it
    is not to late for my son Spencer. He is the most honest man I’ve ever
    known. It nearly destroyed him when he had to leave the LDS church.
    He had finally, after a decade of pain and bad advice, realized that he
    could no longer love a church that didn’t love him. fortunately he
    stills follows a Savior, Christ Jesus, that loves him.
    A member spoke in testimony meeting recently against prop. 8. I with
    several others, lined up to shake his hand. The time has come LDS,
    lets start acting with agency, rather than simply preaching it.

  11. 11Dallas Stephen Ayreson 12 Aug 2008 at 7:31 am

    My partner Anthony and I were recently wed here in our own Country and our own state of California. This was our second wedding, one I never thought would be possible, after we were wed in Canada last year.
    I am a member of the LDS Church here in Southern California, though I have been inactive for years due to the fact that I am what the Brethren lovingly term a “so-called gay.”
    By having stepped away from the daily influence of those who wish to control all aspects of lives, I have been blessed to experience my own spirituality and growth with minimal condemnation from “leaders.”
    I belong to several gay Mormon blogs/discussion groups and see constantly the hurt, anger, fear, self-loathing and depression engendered by attempting to come to grips with a given fact of life in such a religious setting.
    I am so appreciative of groups like this where love and common sense reigns supreme. I will do all I can to be sure others know of the presence of this site and the support it offers.
    Remember, “Man is that he might have joy,” and there is nothing more joyful than to be able to share you life with the person you truly love.
    Stand true to yourself. Thank you.

  12. 12CJon 12 Aug 2008 at 11:05 am

    I am a less active. This issue has gotten my desire to go back to church and stand up in a fast and testimony meeting and share my “testimony”. I dont want them to turn off the mic on me.. I will mention this website tho. Thanks for the website. I would like to help in anyway I can.

  13. 13admin3on 12 Aug 2008 at 11:34 am

    CJ – If and when you stand up in church again to bear your testimony, please remember that all of us are children of God. Just as we request to be treated with love and respect, so we need to provide that same love and respect to others who do not share our beliefs. It’s the Golden Rule.

    Please remember, also, that testimony-sharing is best when we focus on our personal relationship with our Lord and Savior. The purpose of bearing a testimony should always be, I believe, to lift up and support the faith and spirits of the listeners first and the speaker second. Turning church worship services into political standoffs does no one any good.

    St Francis said, “Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is doubt, faith; where there is injury, pardon. O Divine Master, grant me that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console, to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love.”

    Let’s work together to spread understanding in all our personal interactions during this turbulent time.

  14. 14Shaneon 12 Aug 2008 at 12:32 pm

    First of all, I want to thank those that set up this website.

    I grew up in a great Mormon family, went to BYU and on a mission. I went through hell trying to reconcile my beliefs with who I was, a gay man. No amount of prayer, fasting, temple worship or “reparative” therapy can make change someone’s sexual orientation. Just ask any honest gay person. I went through 2 years of therapy through LDS Services and met so many wonderful gay men and women who had been in therapy for decades. Their self esteem had been wittled down to nothing.

    My wake up call was when I came to the conclusion that suicide was a better option that being gay. That is when I finally did the best thing for me and left the church. Even after 10 years, however, those thoughts of suicide are never far away. Being rejected by your church, family and friends does a real number on people especially when they are in a society that is not much more accepting.

    I applaud everyone’s efforts. You have no idea how much it means for me to hear Mormon relatives of gay people sticking up for their relatives.

  15. 15krys corbetton 12 Aug 2008 at 1:08 pm

    One thing some of the recent mobilization at church has made me realize:

    My fellow church members really want to do the right thing, and really do love their fellow men.

    I’ve been contenting myself during some of the upsetting things lately by thinking of some of the (what I consider) more positive things all of the energy directed toward prop 8 could bring about. Feel free to post what you think should be on my list — particularly those things with doctrinal and scriptural support.

  16. 16Spencer Joneson 14 Aug 2008 at 2:03 pm

    I am a gay Mormon from Utah, who just married my partner (also a gay Mormon, from Idaho) on the first day we could — June 17th — here in San Francisco after six years together. Our marriage was much awaited and among the happiest, most significant, most special moments of my life. We love each other and see marriage as the only way to fully and truly commit to each other in a way that is recognized by society and protected by the state — no other second-class status can compare. We are so thankful to the state of California for giving us this right, for treating us equal — and we will be devastated if it is taken away.

    Your website is much, much appreciated — as it lays out the very
    obvious arguments why members of the church should not see marriage equality as a threat. Allowing gay and lesbians the opportunity to marry will encourage stronger, more committed relationships, extend vitally-needed legal protections to LGBT households, and end the unfair and demeaning impact that discrimination has on gay and lesbian individuals. The Church’s efforts will certainly not turn any of us “straight” — and will serve only to keep us in the shadows and fringes of society where unhealthy, abusive, and immoral habits predominate.

    I reject, as this website does, the Church’s attempt to relegate my partner and my life together as a “lifestyle choice” that is out of sync with the fundamental doctrines of your faith and with God’s plan. I think most people would agree that the truly “fundamental” tenants of the gospel of Jesus Christ — which continue to be the bedrock of my own belief system — are to love and acknowledge God, and to love and do good to our fellow man. Similarly, the fundamental expectation of God’s plan is not to physically procreate (as that would doom not only us, but singles, couples that don’t have children, the disabled, etc.), but to use the skills and gifts God has given us to continually work to better ourselves and society. That is how I strive to live my life, and I am much better equipped to do so with the support, companionship, and love of my partner. He fulfills and completes me. Just as I believe God would not deny anyone else the opportunity to find a companion and live fulfilling lives, I know he does not expect that of me. Ours is hardly a “lifestyle choice” – but rather our attempt to live full, complete, and happy lives. God made us this way, God wants us to be happy, and — if you honestly consider our options — I don’t see how you can argue that living otherwise (i.e., living a lonely, unfulfilled, unloved life) furthers His plan or His gospel. Scores of churches have realized this and have put the handful of scriptures (almost all from the Old Testament, which contains all sorts of antiquated prohibitions and rules that we don’t follow anymore) in their proper context, allowing their gay brothers and sisters to live equal and meaningful lives. It’s only the Mormons and other more conservative congregations that continue to invoke religion to deprive us a place in their version of God’s plan — just as they’ve done before for blacks and other minorities, and as they continue to do for women. I’ve no doubt whatsoever that the Mormon Church, as its doctrine continue to evolve and its leaders come to better understand this issue, will eventually catch-up on this issue — just as they did for polygamy and with blacks receiving the priesthood, as well as they continue to do on the stated role of women.

    A compilation of some of the footage of our wedding at San Francisco City Hall can be seen at the link below. I don’t know how anyone can watch this and still argue that our act of love somehow undermines family or marriage — it only affirms and celebrates both!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5YHrSCsdvg&feature=related

  17. 17Susanon 14 Aug 2008 at 7:49 pm

    I’m wondering if there’s anyone who could share a story or suggestions for how to effectively respond to this issue when it comes up during church.

    This website forum is great, but the most frustrating thing is to sit in Relief Society when a ward leader is reading an announcement about it and not know what to say.

    There must be a way to respond that reflects the importance of voicing disagreement on this matter, but does so in a way that doesn’t alienate people or drive away the Spirit further.

    Can someone complete this visualization for me?:

    I’m sitting in Relief Society. The Second Counselor walks in with a piece of paper and is given the floor to make an announcement.

    He says, “There is going to be an email list serv set up to organize flyering in support of Proposition 8. Sister X has been asked to take leadership of this effort in an unofficial capacity.”

    I raise my hand. He calls on me and I say…

  18. 18admin3on 14 Aug 2008 at 10:59 pm

    Susan,

    That’s a wonderful question, and I think it deserves it’s own post.

    Here you go

    Perhaps this will help you, too, Krys (#15).

  19. 19LRCon 15 Aug 2008 at 8:10 pm

    Krys – I came up with some ideas of what good might come of this situation over at the post linked to from comment 18.

  20. 20Kyleon 16 Aug 2008 at 3:02 pm

    Thank you for publishing this web site. It gives the story from the other side of the coin. A story that many members of the church have yet to hear and understand. It gives a voice to many faithful members of the church who would otherwise remain silent, “in quiet desperation” living their lives within the confines of the gospel but without the understanding, love or true fellowship of their church member peers or leaders.
    If the church would put forth as much time, effort and energy (and money) to reach out to gay and lesbian church members practicing “true religion” as they have done in promoting their political agenda in support of Prop 8, it would certainly make the church and the world a much better place in my opinion. What would demonstrate more christ-like love?…
    1.) Knocking doors and calling phone lists to try to persuade people on how to vote on a proposition that alienates and jeopardizes the rights and free agency of a specific minority
    or
    2.) Reaching out and showing love and concern for gay and lesbian children of our Heavenly Father by organizing Stake sponsored support groups, temple nights and family home evenings and allowing free dialog in Priesthood and Relief Society meetings to aid in the education and understanding of the whole gay issue?
    I think it’s clear what the answer is! We have a long way to go…
    Best regards,
    Kyle

  21. 21Edelmuton 17 Aug 2008 at 1:39 pm

    Chad in #7 implies that we should get married to someone of the opposite sex “to align our lives to the teachings of the prophets and apostles,” testifying that when we do that “we will find true happiness.” The reality is that many who are not attracted to the opposite sex who do enter into heterosexual marriages end up in heart-breaking situations.

    In defense of Marriage, I testify that as a woman, being married to a gay man is the most unfair thing that can happen for all involved–husband, wife and children. Even though your gay spouse is the best father ever. You can do what the prophets teach and end up with true anguish.

    If you are not attracted to the opposite sex, don’t try heterosexual marriage.

    However, also testifying in defense of Marriage for All, I say you should marry the individual you are attracted to, the individual you love, the individual who completes you. If that happens to be someone of the same sex so be it. In so doing you will find true happiness and spare yourself and others anguish and misery (that would have inevitably resulted from marrying heterosexually).

    And so it is that, Gay Marriage actually PROTECTS heterosexual marriage. It would be nice if the Brethren could understand that.

  22. 22Marilyn Johnsonon 17 Aug 2008 at 9:23 pm

    I was an active, devoted Mormon for 60 years. Back in the days of Prop 22, I lived in California and found myself in the same position California residents are in now. I was YW President, and in a Ward Council Meeting the bishop played a tape in which Neal A. Maxwell presented the church’s position on Prop 22 and told us that all members would be expected to donate $, put placards on their lawns, pass out literature, and vote for it. As soon as the tape was over, I said to the bishop, loudly enough for everyone in the room to hear me, “I can’t do that.” And I didn’t. And he respected me for it. I was able to keep my temple recommend. I left the church several years laster because I wanted to. I just could not support a religious organization that spent my money persecuting a group of people who had never done anything to hurt me or anyone I know. I know I did the right thing, as I have found a church in which respect for others, including those who are different from ourselves, a higher value than persecuting others under the guise of “morality”. Love is the highest morality of all.
    Thanks for letting me post.
    Marilyn Call Johnson
    Ogden, Utah

  23. 23Jeanie Mortensen-Besamoon 18 Aug 2008 at 4:54 pm

    #8: Is this Alan Hansen from Tracy, CA? Prop 22 revisited, huh? At least I don’t feel alone this time around.

  24. 24Jeanie Mortensen-Besamoon 19 Aug 2008 at 12:27 pm

    Why is it important to let others know that you oppose Prop 8?

    The decision as to whether to be public about your decision to not support Proposition 8 can be a difficult one. Most Mormons were raised in a culture where conformity within the church is pretty important and anyone deviating from the norm is often viewed as “not as faithful”. Let me share a few stories with you as to why it is important to not keep your opposition to Prop 8 a secret.

    In 2000 during the Proposition 22 campaign, I made enough statements in church (usually correcting inaccurate information that was being disseminated regarding the gay and transgender community) that most people in my ward soon figured out that it would be rather pointless to offer me a yard sign or sign me up for canvassing. I did worry though about whether my public dissention was embarrassing to my then 15-year old daughter. My fears were put to rest one Sunday morning when my daughter and her friend came up to me after church. The friend covertly said to me, “Don’t tell my parents, but several times I’ve pulled up our yard sign, thrown it in the gutter, and stomped on it.” She smiled and walked away.

    A Unitarian minister told me about a group of her church’s teenagers who showed up at a youth activity and proudly presented her with a stack of yard signs that they had commandeered en route. A gay man who was working on the campaign also told me that teenagers in his neighborhood frequently presented him with yard signs that they had taken. Both he and the minister had to delicately let the teens know that their support was greatly appreciated but stealing yard signs was not OK.

    One more story…At a national PFLAG conference in Salt Lake City several years ago, I was with a group of a dozen or so parents and two gay young men, waiting to cross the street back to the hotel. In front of the hotel were two dozen anti-gay protestors with the most hate-filled posters you can imagine. “We got your backs,” said one mom to her gay son. We all took a deep breath, preparing to enter the gauntlet. Sitting on the grass by the pedestrian crossing on our side of the street were three rather punk-looking boys about 13 or 14 years old with their skateboards. Assuming that they were afraid to cross the street because of the protestors, we offered to let them cross with us. One of them looked at us and quietly replied, “That’s OK. We’re on your side. We’ll stay here for the others in your group.” When we got to the other side of the street, several of us were wiping tears from our eyes because of this unobtrusive show of support.

    I remember wondering whether they were LDS. It was a Sunday. They probably should have been in church. But by their dress and the length and style of their hair, I doubt that they fit in with most deacons’ quorums. I wondered if some LDS parents were lamenting about how their misfit sons were such a disappointment. But these boys had just demonstrated that Christ-like love is not wearing a white shirt with tie and passing the sacrament. No other Mormon in the entire city of Salt Lake City had thought it important to skip church that day in order to support families who were confronted by a hate-group.

    Our teens can’t vote. They often don’t have the words or the opportunity to make their feelings known about these issues. But they observe what we do and say—and they learn from it. I’d be willing to bet that many of the teens in your ward may actually disagree with their parents’ support of Prop 8. Your example may not change the minds of the adults in the ward, but it may have a huge impact on the teenagers.

    (And by the way…the sign-stomping teenager is now a 24 year-old registered Mormon voter who came to my house to tell me that she is opposing Proposition 8.)

  25. 25danon 22 Aug 2008 at 4:50 pm

    I find that we are not seeing the big picture here. Emotion, faith and attempts to control others are clouding our judgements. When I think of a priest or deacon I think of a person that is supposed to teach their congregation how to live their lives according to their religious beliefs. We have seen in the last few decades religious organizations that attempt to not only tell their congregation how to live but also attempt to force their beliefs on all the people. Faith has no value without the freedom to choose it or not to choose it. That is why we call it faith. Even God allows us to make those choices for ourselves. Our country is fighting a war right now, not for oil, not for power but for religious freedom. In the middle east their faith is forced. Non believers can be shot in the street. With the extremists comes the threat of death to all non-believers. They actually believe they will automatically go to heaven if they kill people of differing faiths or non-believers (infidels). Organizing a religious group for the purpose of forcing religious beliefs on all the people is terriorism. Our Government must rule not only for the religious groups but for all the people. While I do believe that a religious organization does have the right to exclude certain groups from their congregation I do not believe that any religious group has the right to force their beliefs on all the people. I’m not hearing that the Mormons are saying we don’t believe in homosexual marriage so we are not going to do it….what I’m hearing is the Mormons are saying we don’t believe in homosexual marriage and so we are going to prevent anyone else from doing it. In the coming years I feel that religious organizations will be forced to stay out of government decisions or lose their tax emempt status. I also feel that freedom of choice will come for all Americans regardless of race, color, faith, gender or sexual preference. I hope that these comments make you think about your motivations and about your faith. If you are involved in maneuvers to attempt to force any religious beliefs on others I hope that you can recognize that you are taking away their religious freedom and losing part of yours as well. Homosexuals are your sons and daughters, your brothers and sisters and yes even your mothers and fathers. They are us and we are them. Taking rights away from any Americans takes rights away from all Americans. We must see the whole picture. I hope my comments help to open your eyes.

  26. 26Barbara Graftonon 22 Aug 2008 at 5:22 pm

    I’m a 50 yr old heterosexual woman, and I’ve always supported my gay friends and family and for that I’ve lost alot of people who said they were my friends. Ask me do I care….HECK NO!!!! I’ve been in more gay pride marches than I can count and have no regrets about ever marching or standing up for what’s right. I just watched Clark Pingree’s video and all I have to say about that is….TOUCHE’ to you sir!!!! I joined the Mormon Church back in 2003 ( I was Cathaolic before that) and I do belive that the church is true and all but, I really do (and this is just my opinion) belive that they should address their gay congregation with and open mind and an open heart. Because, I know that GOD loves all of us….whether we are gay or not. So, KUDOS to all of you who are stepping up and speaking out. Love ya bunches!!!!

  27. 27Scotton 22 Aug 2008 at 5:43 pm

    I don’t live in California, but I fully support the efforts of those sponsoring this website. I am a lifelong member of the church and this issue has caused me to have serious concerns regarding the direction the church is heading. I for one would like to know how the church is able to keep it’s tax exempt status when openly encouraging action for a specific piece of legislation. It is one thing to teach doctrine (although I question how the church’s stand truly follows Christian doctrine), but it is quite another to endorse legislation from the pulpit…and quite another yet to have priesthood leaders encouraging the actions that a previous poster mentions.

  28. 28Gloria Montgomeryon 22 Aug 2008 at 5:47 pm

    What I want to know is how can a man and another man be happy
    or a woman and another woman the thing is that I read my Bible
    and I haven’t found any thing , where two man or two woman betogether
    It dose say God made a man and a woman
    marriage is a Holy bonded for a man and a woman
    in light me I like to know more.
    write me back at gmontgomery73 @ yahoo.com
    Thank- You

  29. 29George Wineson 22 Aug 2008 at 5:57 pm

    As a active LDS, father of a gay son, who also had two gay brothers and two gay uncles, I oppose the church getting involved in a political issue. When I lost one of gay brothers, fifteen years ago, his long-time companion nearly
    lost their home, when another family member went after it, claiming they
    weren’t married and that our aged mother was the closest living relative.
    I stood up for the longtime companion and we remain friends till this day.
    He visits my brother’s grave monthly. You see, they loved each other.

    Marriage would have protected their life together. As it was my brother had
    left our mother a $10,000 life insurance policy. He was also a loving son.
    My son has left the church. Aftr a difficult decade following his mission,
    he finally announced, “I cannot love a church that doesn’t love me.”

  30. 30admin3on 22 Aug 2008 at 6:18 pm

    Scott – #27

    The rules for 501(c)3 non-profits do have specific requirements when they want to speak up about political issues. The Church itself has its own position of neutrality on partisan issues. At a recent Sacrament Meeting, one of the members of our Stake Presidency spoke about Prop 8 and began his talk by reading the Church’s neutrality position.

    The biggest problem for churches speaking out on political issues comes when they begin endorsing candidates. So far the church has not endorsed specific candidates over these issues, and hopefully it won’t (and hopefully local leaders won’t either) as that would be crossing the line.

    Another problem comes when churches make donations to political causes. Part of the formula for crossing the line there has to do with how significant the financial donations are. Considering the finances of the church, it would be hard for it to cross this line, either.

    I am sure that church attorneys are working carefully to make sure that it complies with all applicable laws and regulations, both within the United States and throughout other countries in the world.

    If you want to find out more about regulations concerning non-profit involvement in the political arena, there are some very good guidelines “out there on the internet”

  31. 31admin3on 22 Aug 2008 at 6:34 pm

    Gloria #28

    I suspect there are many things in this world that the Bible does not address, such as artificial insemination or hermaphrodites or Downs Syndrome. There are also many things in the Bible that seem strange to modern eyes, like prohibiting the eating of shellfish or stoning people who don’t honor their parents.

    If you would like to know how gays and lesbians can be happy together, you might try watching some of the video clips linked to from our main page. Some of those people might ask you how a man and a woman could be happy together.

    More importantly, though, even if we never understand each other completely, and even if we can never come to terms with the beliefs and practices of others, the Bible’s Golden Rule always applies: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    We all need to remember that God has extended His invitation to each and every one of His children. He invites ALL to come unto him and to join His feast. It’s not up to us to tell others they are not invited to participate – that’s God’s job.

    Now, perhaps there are people reading this column who have better answers for you. Perhaps they will be able to send you an email at the address you’ve provided and tell you how they have been able to find happiness.

    In the spirit of this thread, let’s find positive ways to step up and speak out and help one another better understand the issues at hand. Let’s listen and read carefully and think twice (at least) before we question the lives, motives or choices of those around us, whether they agree with or oppose our own political and moral views.

  32. 32Nadineon 22 Aug 2008 at 9:43 pm

    For those who would like to understand what the Bible says about homosexuality, I suggest this website:

    http://www.soulforce.org/article/homosexuality-bible-gay-christian

    Here is a brief excerpt:

    “….[M]any Christians don’t know that:

    * Jesus says nothing about same-sex behavior.
    * The Jewish prophets are silent about homosexuality.
    * Only six or seven of the Bible’s one million verses refer to same-sex behavior in any way — and none of these verses refer to homosexual orientation as it’s understood today.

    “Most people who are certain they know what the Bible says about homosexuality don’t know where the verses that reference same-sex behavior can be found. They haven’t read them, let alone studied them carefully. They don’t know the original meaning of the words in Hebrew or Greek. And they haven’t tried to understand the historical context in which those words were written. Yet the assumption that the Bible condemns homosexuality is passed down from generation to generation with very little personal study or research. The consequences of this misinformation are disastrous, not only for God’s gay and lesbian children, but for the entire church.”

    Anyone who is serious about understanding what the Bible says about homosexuality is invited to read the entire article at the cited website.

    Admin: maybe you should post the link on your home page.

  33. 33Maxon 23 Aug 2008 at 6:01 am

    Thank you for this forum. Congratulations and good luck. It was depressing to hear that the Church had decided, once again, to pour its energies and resources into this hateful political distraction, despite all the heartbreak they caused when they did so in 2000. If what happened to Stuart Mathis failed to communicate the danger of pushing for unjust legislation of this sort, what will succeed? How many of our brothers and sisters, daughters and sons will have to pay that price before the Church decides that the welfare of individuals is more important than mere dogma and institutions? The sabbath–and marriage–were made for man, not the other way around. Countless young gay mormons battle despair and self-loathing, and are forced to do so in total solitude because the Church is not a place where one can speak honestly and openly about these issues. Isn’t it about time for the Church to put the well-being of God’s children before their outdated prejudices? Until they do, the most vulnerable and isolated will continue to suffer in secret and too many families will have to endure the tragic deaths of those they love.

  34. 34LRCon 23 Aug 2008 at 8:12 am

    For those of you who are enjoying these comments, a similar thread can be found here.

  35. 35David Humphreyon 23 Aug 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Thank you for this forum, your consideration and respect. I am a christian in a 11 year relationship with a wonderful man, and yes, gay. I am tired of having little recognition of who we are and what we are building – a family. I don’t want a lot of attention or even a parade. I just want respect and to be left alone – to go to to work, to build my home, provide for my family. Because of the constant attacks of people who can’t or won’t mind their own business we can never be sure how to insure our future, our home and we are certainly prepared to involve children in this constant uncertainty; us much we would love to have children, and grandchildren. It offers hope to see the lines of division are not so clearly drawn. Thank you again.

  36. 36Katharine Daltonon 23 Aug 2008 at 2:12 pm

    I have known many gay men and women throughout the course of my lifetime, and I wish to support their right to legalize their unions.

    I feel the LDS church does not fully understand the challenges and trials homosexual individuals face, nor do I believe church leaders are “inspired” as to the true nature of same-sex attraction.

    I believe all of God’s sons and daughters deserve equal opportunites for basic, human rights under the law. I also feel that church interference of civil law is a violation of the same constitution that so many Mormons feel is divinely inspired.

    Please include my voice among the many here who desire to extend the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness for all.

  37. 37Brianon 23 Aug 2008 at 3:46 pm

    I posted this today in response to an article by Jennifer Dobner that went to the Associated Press —

    Many gays & lesbians have been in committed relationships for a lifetime without the protections of marriage, nor the blessing of society. Commitment under such circumstances is admirable, and should not be undervalued!

    Being homosexual does not automatically mean that someone is promiscous, nor that they are incapable of living in loving, committed relationships that last a lifetime.

    There is a way that the LDS Church could accomodate this issue, and it is found in the fact that church members in many countries are required to marry civilly first, before they can be “sealed” in a Mormon temple.

    Such marriages are “for time only,” in Mormon-mindset, and would thus not affect either Church doctrine nor their ideas about eternal families. (After all, many things will NEVER be resolved in this live — no matter how much we think we know, so why not let this issue rest in the arms of Eternity?).

    There is no reason that the LDS Church can’t eventually make accomodations for the loving, committed, “earthly” relationships of same-sex LDS couples and their children, adopted or otherwise. Doing so would apply both the principles of mercy and justice in Christian thinking! Gay & lesbian members of the Church are as fully capable of living “the law of chastity” prior to marriage as are their “straight” brothers and sisters in the gospel. (After all, there never has been a Mormon tradition of celibacy — “chastity” has always been the standard!!).

    One other thing: with the LDS belief that the Bible is the word of God only “insofar as it is correctly translated,” there is no reason that LDS leaders should not reexamine the their current assumptions about the very few “homosexual” scriptures — especially in the light of current day biblical scholarship and scientific knowledge. However, this will need some rethinking of old prejudices!!

    Other churches have done so, and have realized in the process that Christianity’s past understanding of these scriptures has been based in cultural and religious biases and ignorance — and a limited understanding of who and what homosexuals are.

    Gay and lesbian Latter-day Saints are as fully capable of living the gospel as their fellow church members — however, why would they even wish to remain in a church that asks for lifelong singlehood from them?

    Their romantic and spiritual inclinations towards their own sex are as natural to them as are the inclinations of their straight counterparts to the opposite sex — and yet gays and lesbians are asked to do something that no heterosexual Church member would agree to — choose a life of voluntary celibacy and reject the precious opportunity to share their lives with someone whom they love.

    And all this from a Church that still believes in marriage between a man and MANY women — despite their caveat that this will be in the next life only!!

  38. 38Jimboon 23 Aug 2008 at 4:27 pm

    I’m impressed. This site now has a direct link from MSNBC.com, where I found it.

    I would be “one of those homosexuals” who had drifted away from the church. It’s pretty disheartening that people you grew up being around for 16 years would just quietly turn away if you expressed any interest in not being involved.

    Truth be told, the whole of being in the Mormon Church, for myself, was one of the most painful, suppressing, demoralizing times in my life. This site is reminding me more of what I missed from being around some people: The fact that we’re supposed to care for each other and help the fellow man. Not just church member, help the FELLOW MAN. Being good, AND HONEST, to yourself and others.

    Myself, along with a small handful of others, always had the impression that the only thing you could do was keep your mouth shut. Regardless if you could even point out any statement was biased, contradictory, demeaning, or just outright discriminatory. In my case, the only thing I could do was leave before I was forced to do so.

    Nobody was told I was gay, but I’m sure (whether it was from redneck town taunting or genuine recognition) people knew… but nobody ever tried to help. The culture in my ward was mostly people are nice to you when they see you and you fit the mold of what’s expected from someone in your position within the church… but they’re also among the first to quietly turn away when they learn something about you that they disprove of. I knew there were people out there who wouldn’t be that judgemental… but what are you to do but do what’s expected unless you also want to be pointed out for doing something that would be deemed against the model conduct for one in the church.

    This made reaching out to people I wondered if I could trust essentially impossible.

    And despite being in a redneck small town, my high school’s (my own class year, at that!) student body attempted, for the first time in the area, to develop a gay-straight alliance for support of gay teens in the school. Who were the biggest opposers? The local Mormons. My own ward.

    Talk about awkward.

    Imagine how much further along, more progressive the church could be seen if it didn’t foster the culture of intimidation and denial. I may have ended up with adults in my life from my time within the church that I could actually trust. But I felt like I couldn’t trust -anyone-.

    Love one another as I have loved you, try to show kindness in all that you do…

    Yeah, right.

    If I sound bitter, I still am… 15 years later. I’ve forgiven but it’s not something that can be forgotten. It’s part of what made me who I am today. For better and for the worse. It doesn’t have to be this way for other kids still in the church and struggling with their feelings about themselves and how other adults, through their actions, make them feel like they cannot trust or confide in them. Quite frankly, the people I trusted the least in my own ward were the leadership! The Bishop, for crying out loud!

    Anyone reading this, please do what you can to make sure other kids in your own ward don’t have to feel that way. Don’t be the one that they have to question whether or not they’re going to regret trusting you because of the culture of silence that surrounds the church when someone isn’t the expected model member. Nobody’s perfect, so why do we shun those who lead a good, clean, honest and respectful life just because they have feelings for someone of the same gender?

  39. 39Marisaon 24 Aug 2008 at 9:03 am

    I am a straight married Mormon woman from Utah and I am so thankful I found this site after reading about it on msnbc.com. I have many beloved homosexual friends in and out of the faith and I would never deem my union with my husband as more important, more valued, and more valid than their unions with their loved ones. As a liberal Mormon I am often on the outside political fringes here as it is often accepted in church to demonize liberals. Although I don’t know the pain of growing up gay in the church and being ostracized for that, growing up I lived in a part member family and was often told that my family wasn’t as “good” as a family who had been sealed in the temple. All of this has got to stop. I can’t imagine Jesus admonishing his followers to discriminate against each other. Isn’t the first song we learn in Primary, “I am a Child of God?”

    I’m sorry to all of the California members who have been pressured into supporting Prop 8. We in Utah have not faced the same things here. And I’m sure if a statement was read in my sacrament meeting telling me to put my money and time into passing Prop 8, I too would have walked out. I have free agency and I’m using that to extend my hand in fellowship and love to all of the gay members who have ever felt rejected and unloved. You have support and there are people who care and love you.

  40. 40Andreaon 24 Aug 2008 at 2:15 pm

    I am a straight woman married for 8 years and living in Idaho. I too, do not see my union with my husband as more valid or important than that of a union between a man and a man or a woman and a woman. I know several gay mormons who feel trapped and alone and it breaks my heart. Happiness should be attainable by all, no matter where you find it.

    Any God worth believing in would not exclude anyone from happiness.

    It is time for our generation to change the traditions and stop living off of our ancestors testimonies.

    Good luck, and know that you have supporters.

  41. 41Sherrion 24 Aug 2008 at 2:20 pm

    I want to echo Marisa (39). I am in the same situation she is in. If any gay members want to come to church, they can sit by me. I’m not afraid of them or their desire to marry. I think it’s commendable. I want to support families and especially families with children.

  42. 42Franon 24 Aug 2008 at 4:12 pm

    I just stumbled upon this site and thought it was interesting to see that something like this is “out there”. I think this is an interesting and important discussion that I have given much thought since a relative living in CA has approached me to hear my thoughts on the matter. I’m not a US citizen and therefor cannot vote, but have a family member struggling with SSA or homosexuality or whatever you want to call it. I’ve thought a lot about what I would vote for if I had the right to vote.

    I’ve tried to read up on what the Church’s stance is on gay marriage, and wasn’t able to find much besides the general “marriage should be between a man and a woman”. I can see how upsetting it is to sit in church and feel like you have to act on something in one particular way when you’re not convinced that that’s how it should be. I can see how frustrating it must be for some members who have different views on the topic to have to deal with the zeal that others take on when they hear something/anything from the pulpit.

    To leave my own input on the topic, which I find extremely difficult…The problem I see is not with the doctrines or official leadership of the church, but what oftentimes happens when you let the members “run loose”. Where a prophet/apostle may be able to declare something as inappropriate and do it in a loving fashion, many members are not, and instead many members turn rude, hateful, and prideful. None of these behaviors to me are any better than what they think of as the big, horrible sin of homosexuality.

    I feel that homosexuals may find more peace and stability in marriages than they would otherwise. I think society may also benefit economically from more stable unions like marriages than otherwise. I am confident that children can be raised well by homosexual couples, and that they can have good marriages. However, having read/talked with a lot of homosexuals, I also feel that marriage will not help to find the peace they are seeking. I don’t think that a marriage is good or better just because it entails a man and a woman. But I think the depth of joy and happiness that come from a marriage can only be attained when we live in tune with God’s will and purpose. Having had the conversations I’ve had with homosexuals, whose struggle to me is heartbreaking and not something I wish on anyone, I do feel that marriage will not bring them the happiness they seek, because the nature of their relationship is unable to provide that happiness. I have no problems with them getting married, so to speak, I just don’t think it’ll achieve what they are hoping for. I love my family member who’s gay, and want nothing more than happiness for him. But, I also see that even though he’s now choosing to “live it out”, and in our home country can get married if he chooses to, he has not been any happier than before. In fact, he’s even more distressed now, feeling that what he has is still not filling the gaps in his heart. I don’t know how it all works, and why it is that marriage, in a certain way, brings the happiness it does…but, it seems to be the case.

  43. 43Amandaon 24 Aug 2008 at 7:41 pm

    I am an inactive member in Texas who left the church several years ago primarily because of its position on these issues. I have young children and as they got older I just couldn’t see them growing up in a faith where many members advocate discrimination against the gay and lesbian community. Brothers and sisters would make bad jokes about homosexuals in the lobby before/after sacrament meeting, not to mention rude and inappropriate remarks, and it all got to be too much. I didn’t want to get into debates with people – they turn ugly and as it was said above, church isn’t the place to air your political laundry – but I couldn’t just stay silent either. There were many things I loved about the LDS church, but this one issue is so important to me, and has been ever since I was very young, that I couldn’t abide living in a place that felt too oppressive. I’m so glad that this website is up, so glad to learn there are others out there like me.

  44. 44Markon 25 Aug 2008 at 12:01 am

    I experienced an interesting irony during sacrament meeting today. A stake presidency member speaking on this issue made a lengthy comparison of the Church’s efforts around Prop 8 to the North’s efforts during the battle at Gettysburg. I’m not sure, but I think it was originally someone else’s analogy that he was elaborating on.

    At any rate, I don’t think you could pick a more ironic comparison. The civil war was about the question of whether we should grant equality and liberty to other humans even though it might bring discomfort and difficult social consequences. These same principles are at play in the present debate, however, the Church is essentially taking the exact opposite of the position taken by the North during the Civil War. The Church is using its own moral views and fears of future social consequences as grounds to deny liberty and equality to others.

    The Church’s position confuses me in part because I am yet to hear any cohesive, convincing argument that gay marriage is a legitimate threat to traditional families. But I am even more confused that a church with a such a strong history of valuing agency and personal and religious freedom would so vocally devalue these rights in this circumstance.

  45. 45Owen Edwardson 25 Aug 2008 at 2:10 am

    I felt called to post a short message here. As a gay man and a former member of the church, my decision to come out publicly was in no way an easy one. For years I was fine with not attending any church function. At the point when I finally got up the nerve to send my letter of resignation, it had been years since I had attended services. More than anything, what galvanized my personal decision to do so was the stance than the church had taken on Prop. 22. As someone who had come to terms with being gay, I was fine with the idea of being honest with myself about who I was and whom I loved. I had not before this moment really wanted to make an issue of it. I was fine with having my name still on the church records for what that was worth, which to me did not really mean all that much. It was more of I did not want to have to talk to my family about why I left the church officially and all that goes along with such.

    Well that changed. When I was reading in the local newspaper about how the church was spending money and strong arming members into showing support for this fight; I reached the point that I could not in my mind feel right about not doing something. As a socially active gay man living in San Francisco, with a partner of five years at that point, I could not look myself in the mirror and know that I was still if just on paper a member of the fold. In my world view I had always made a point of not talking about my religious background when speaking publicly. In many ways it’s almost humorous that I was still on the records and not excommunicated for some of my speaking up while living in Salt Lake City. But I guess since I never spoke against the Church; I only spoke out for LGBT issues and basic human rights that would make a difference. Point being, I sent a nice simple letter to the Church asking to be removed from the records. I did not want at that point to make a issue about it. I just wanted to know that if only in name I wasn’t supporting something that did not support the love I had in my life.

    To make a long story short, I was told months latter that the Church would not grant my name removal and I would be facing a excommunication hearing. This was shortly after Prop. 22 had already passed, so I almost felt like just letting it go. I couldn’t do that. I needed to close this chapter of my life and do it in such a way that I wasn’t just walking away. So I went public with my story. The hardest part of this was the phone call I had to make to my Mother still living in Salt Lake City. I did not want her to read about what I was doing in the newspaper first. I at least wanted her to hear about it first from me.

    In hind site perhaps I should have just let sleeping dogs stay as they say. Perhaps I should have just stayed quiet. But I don’t feel that would have been the best thing to do. I have no hard feeling with a Church that inside of the four walls of a meeting house wants to say what they want to say. As a gay man, I am not interested in being a member of the LDS Faith. But I do ask the Church this one simple question. How many people like myself are you hurting when you take a stance such as the Yes on 8 campaign? How many family’s are now having to have phone calls like the one I made to my mother? And finally how many lives are you throwing into chaos by this?

  46. 46Steeleon 25 Aug 2008 at 1:14 pm

    After reading all the posts from this topic hoping someone might be able to answer some of the questions I have about homosexuality. With those questions not answered I will ask them.

    What does someone who is homosexual and a member of the church think it will be like after this life for them? Something the church teaches is that we have the promise of eternal progression if we are faithful, and that includes having children, so how does a homosexual, whos biology prevents them from conceving naturally, view their promise of eternal progression?

    Also, there was a post about someone not being able to find any church stance on the issue of homosexuality here is a link http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/public-issues/same-gender-attraction

  47. 47Pamon 25 Aug 2008 at 5:00 pm

    Thank you so much for creating this website. As a heterosexual Utah Mormon with “liberal/progressive” leanings, I’ve had a very difficult time balancing the true feelings of my heart and conscience with my “duty” to follow the admonitions of the First Presidency without question. The “if you’re not with us, you are against us,” doctrine that we were all rasied in has tested my faith many times in my life. It used to be a very noble declaration for me to say “I’m LDS” but now…? It’s very hard for me to identify myself as LDS these days. How can I align myself with and/or pledge allegiance to an organization that so openly professes intolerance and discrimination? Is it fair for someone to be ashamed of their faith? If someone knows I am LDS, will they assume I am in line with this ugliness, this bigotry? How can I have such, deep, personal beliefs–and a testimony–yet disagree so vehemently with prophetic counsel?

    I read the stories of faithful members who bravely spoke out in support of our brothers and sisters and were met with decidedly UN-Christlike behavior from church officials. What has become of these people? If more of us speak out, what is our fate?

    I was profoundly moved by Stuart Matis’s “Letter to a Cousin,” and deeply distressed by the struggles that led to his tragic death. Brother Matis wrote the words and ideals that I have never been able to formulate–although my heart has been aching to shout them from the rooftops–about the sinful injustices perpetrated by the very people who preach love and family values. If Brother Matis (or any of the other tortured saints who chose death over isolation) were here today, I would embrace him and welcome him into my home. No isolation here.

    I no longer attend church; the atmosphere of bigotry, teachings of discrimination, and outright hatred so freely expressed (and encouraged) within the walls of God’s house frighten and discourage me. (It’s bad in California, but even worse here in Utah.) I have tremendous regret that I permitted my bishop to quote from The Proclomation while performing my wedding ceremony (in front of my gay best friend and his husband), and I’ll never be able to take that back. My husband and I long for an eternal marriage, but at what cost? I’ve never been to the temple; I’m afraid of what I may have to deny in myself to go there. I don’t want to leave the church or rescind my membership, but this particular issue is becoming so big and the church’s position so divisive that I feel lost and alone. Aren’t there bigger fish to fry? Why is THIS issue suddenly THE defining issue of our generation? Why is it even an issue at all? If homosexuality is so harmful, sinful, evil and destructive, wouldn’t it be plastered all over the scriptures or at least in the Ten Commandments? Let’s look at the actual commandments being broken and work on those; that’s what’s destroying society, not sexual orientation.

    It is encouraging to know I am not alone in my views. I look forward to reading more about what others like me can do to remain faithful LDS members and express steadfastness in our core values without sacrificing the truth in our hearts or betraying our conscience. My wish for all of my brothers and sisters on this earth is to know that I love them, I support them, I value their rights and I know God loves them just as much as He loves anyone else. And, that I am not the only “straight Mormon” who feels this way!

    Thank you again for providing a safe haven, a loving online community, for all of us who pray for true fellowship and acceptance in the world.

  48. 48admin3on 25 Aug 2008 at 5:48 pm

    Steele #46 –

    There are many heterosexual who are biologically incapable of having their own children. There are also many heterosexual people with no desire whatsoever for children. What are they to expect in the eternities?

    There are many homosexual people who do, indeed have biological children, either through heterosexual relationships or through fertilization assistance. Further, there are many more who have children who are adopted, and you will recall that LDS doctrine is that if children are sealed to parents, there’s no difference between adopted children and biological children. As Christ said, God is able to raise up children of Abraham from the very stones of the earth.

    LDS beliefs also include the teaching that, no matter what glory we finally obtain in the future, we will be pleased to be there and satisfied with the mansion Christ has prepared for each of us.

  49. 49Kalonon 25 Aug 2008 at 9:09 pm

    Edelmut #21 -

    I am so sorry that your husband decided to enter a heterosexual marriage. Though not having the same experience I sympathize to how unfair it must be. I do hope that he was open in his feelings before marrying you.

    However President Hinckley has stated, “Marriage should not be viewed as a therapeutic step to solve problems such as homosexual inclinations or practices.” Please realize that the Brethren counsel against what happened to you and DO desire to protect heterosexual marriage.

  50. 50Hans and Michelon 26 Aug 2008 at 2:39 am

    Wonderful!

    We wish you all the best! Equal rights for everybody!

    Lots of love, Hans and Michel, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  51. 51Jeanieon 26 Aug 2008 at 9:14 am

    Steele #46-
    A few years ago my some of the members of extended family got together in a hotel lobby in Utah at a family reunion. My lesbian cousin was answering questions in a a “first-of-its-kind” discussion for many of my family. My very conservative daughter-in-law said something like “I believe that homosexuality is like blindness. After this earthlife those people will be made whole and then they will have the opportunity to have a normal relationship.” My cousin responded with “That sounds like hell to me.” Most in the room were taken aback. Then my cousin proceeded to explain that being gay was not an illness, it was who she was, and that she looked forward to an afterlife where she would be with whom she really loved, another woman. It was pretty eye-opening for the group.

  52. 52Aaronon 26 Aug 2008 at 7:24 pm

    Thanks for doing this, I feel great that there are more active members that feel there should be equality in all things in this nation and this world…..i hope you guys make a difference.

  53. 53Captain Moronion 27 Aug 2008 at 6:35 am

    Must We Vote The Way The Brethren Tell Us To Vote?

    Consider the following quotes -

    “Some of my friends begged me to come out and appeal to the people individually, to ask every Latter-day Saint to vote to maintain the Eighteenth Amendment. I believe men that have lived the gospel just as well as I have ever lived it, many of them, were conscientious in voting for repeal.”
    (Heber J. Grant, GOSPEL STANDARDS – Selections from the Sermons and Writings of Heber J. Grant, Compiled by G. Homer Durham, Ch.9, Pg. 144)

    “As a public official in my young manhood, I was given some wise counsel by a Church leader. He said: “The only action we will ever ask you to take is to vote for that which in your heart you feel is right. We would rather many times over that you would make a mistake doing that which you felt was right, than to vote for a policy sake.”
    (Harold B. Lee, Ye Are the Light of the World: Selected Sermons and Writings of Harold B. Lee [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1974])

    As the above quotes show, we can vote differently than the Brethren wish we would and still be just as righteous. You are to “vote for that which you felt was right, (rather many times over) than to vote for a policy sake.” This is especially true when the thing being proposed is contrary to the scriptures.

  54. 54chadnnocalon 27 Aug 2008 at 10:51 am

    As GLBT Americans, we are legally deemed second class citizens by our government and are expected to pay full taxes for that treatment. As U.S. Citizens, we abide by the law and take every opportunity to move our country in a direction that is consistent with our Constitution “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    As member of the LDS Church, we are spiritually marginalized to the point that many of us simply cease to exist, while others manage to maintain our spiritual journey’s finding crumbs of truth in other religions that are slightly less hateful towards us.

    At some point we GLBT Mormons must stand up for something. Through activism for the good of our country, supporting our brothers and sisters in their conflict from a church that condemns them or moving far away from our families that don’t want us.

    For years I viewed GLBT Mormons as disposable people, anomalies that were born at the wrong time, in the wrong place or in the wrong bodies. I no longer believe that. Our numbers are too great and voices too similar to be an accident. For whatever reason God has put us here on earth and I know he has a plan for each of us. Until that plan is revealed we must continue to challenge conventional wisdom, support, care for and nurture our own.

    My greatest concern is not what the U.S. Government or LDS Church decides today, tomorrow or next week. It is the decisions of Mormon GLBT youth that concerns me the most. They see themselves as I once did, disposable. To anyone reading this who feels that way, know that we are all connected, despite what others might say you. Whatever choices you make in life, make sure you are here for as long as possible. We NEED you!

  55. 55Guenevere Nelsonon 27 Aug 2008 at 12:11 pm

    I’m an active Mormon and I support gay civil rights because of the strict ethical code I was taught as a Mormon girl and that I shared as a Mormon missionary: do unto others as you would have them do to you.

  56. 56LDS Poeton 01 Sep 2008 at 1:50 pm

    I cannot fight love

    I cannot fight love–
    Not while children anywhere die from simple diseases,
    are sold for sex or bread,
    or bang their heads against iron crib rails
    in radioactive forests.

    I cannot fight love–
    Not while women anywhere walk miles for clean water,
    or make do with local cisterns steeped in coal or uranimum,
    or give their babies breastmilk thick with uninvited chemicals,
    as I did, as we all do, our soft bodies filters for fouled water and air.

    I cannot fight love–
    Not while our bombs rain onto Pashtun weddings,
    or crazy addicted heartland boys patrol oil-fired Iraqi cities,
    taking lives, or giving lives, or limbs, for a lie.
    Not while the janjaweed watch refugee camps burn
    from the darkness of the desert.

    I can not fight love.

    Because in the last days,
    Jesus taught,
    love would wax cold,

    I will not fight the glorious public yes
    of human longing
    the promise to care and shelter
    clouds of seagulls hovering
    witnesses to the miraculous warmth
    of our families.

  57. 57gmhon 02 Sep 2008 at 8:09 am

    I have read so many of your comments and I read about this website in the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

    I have 2 (of 5) children who are gay. It broke my heart to watch the pain that they lived through. But they are now good citizens and good children of God. You see we are all created in the image of God.

    People say that gay marriages would ruin heterosexual marriage…no the heterosexual marriages are ruined by heterosexuals!

    I had a neighbor who got into a discussion about gays and he was a “born again” Christian! He did not know I had 2 children who are gay. And he went on and on, and finally I said to him that I truly hoped that some day one of his 3 children would tell him they were gay! He was so shaken and horrified that I would say something like that. And then I told him that it would be at that time that he would know the TRUE meaning of Christian love.

    I worked with a gay man to help him build a home based business, and my gay son asked me why I was with gays so much, and I thought for a moment and then looked him straight in the eye and said, “everyone is”!

    So I pray for all of you…hold your heads high – God created you, now discover why! You have a mission to tell about his love for you – special you.

    As I read #13, and there was a mention of the Golden Rule…remember that for he who has the gold makes the rules! LDS is a very rich church and very controlling, so find someplace you can nourish and live your faith to the glory of God.

  58. 58concernedon 02 Sep 2008 at 9:38 am

    I believe deeply in the law of tithes, and have always payed it fully. I’ve always gotten additional satisfaction out of this decision knowing that my money would be going to great causes, like humanitarian aid, temple building, supporting families, providing education, etc.

    I realize that the vast majority of the church’s resources are still going towards these things. But now I’m worried that some of my tithing is going to support a campaign that I find very discriminatory, and absolutely do not want to fund.

    How have all of you handled this dilemmas? How do you feel about paying tithing knowing what it might support?

  59. 59Toddon 03 Sep 2008 at 9:38 am

    I am an inactive member in Southern California. I am appalled at how the church dictates how its members should think and feel. Demanding support of Prop 8 from its members over the pulpit should be a red flag for the IRS that this church is actively involved in politics.

    One of my best friends and former roommate at BYU is gay. Why should I or anyone try and deny him the right to marry someone else that he wants to spend the rest of his lifetime with? Marriage is the outward expression of this commitment.

    Fortunately for him, he left the mind-controlling influence of the church many years ago when he came out of the closet and knew he had to do what was best for him.

    I wish all those “dissenters” within the church the best. You’re fighting an uphill and probably never-ending battle.

  60. 60admin3on 03 Sep 2008 at 8:36 pm

    Concerned, at #58, asks about tithing.

    It seems fairly certain at this early date that actual monetary donations are coming directly from individuals and not from Church Headquarters at the moment, if that helps. Of course, the internal church resources of leadership expertise, volunteer recruitment and mobilization, conference calling, volunteer training, physical facilities, etc., and possibly satellite resources for video conferencing are being provided to the protectmarriage coalition regularly. The coalition has hit the jackpot in using the church’s scaffolding to support all on-the-ground volunteers – there aren’t many organizations that can mobilize 15,000 supporters in less than a week and have them out making a difference almost immediately.

    Donations to specific church programs, such as fast offerings, the humanitarian fund, the Perpetual Education Fund, or the missionary fund will probably have less chance of being diverted for anything even remotely related to this “moral” issue. Indeed, the missionaries are specifically and adamantly excluded from participating in anything involved with the campaign, no matter how desperate individual wards or branches are for volunteer power.

  61. 61LHFon 03 Sep 2008 at 10:50 pm

    Mormon Church Donations, I was told by my Stake President, the church did contribute money to support Prop 8. When asked if the money came from tithing, the Stake President did not know.

  62. 62EmWattson 03 Sep 2008 at 11:25 pm

    I really appreciate the thoughts and comments in this forum. Years ago, when I went to Stuart Matis’ funeral, I went not knowing he had struggled with being a gay Mormon. I wish I had known what was going on in his life and his head….and had been able to be there for him as a friend.

    No one attending his funeral that day came away unaffected. That changed my views, my heart, and my mind forever. It haunts me to this day. I simply don’t understand how anyone could have attended his funeral, been friends with him, read his letters, and still back Prop 8.

    My husband and I are active members in the Bay Area. I have a serious inner conflict about the church’s involvement in backing this. Our Bishop called and asked us to donate $ toward the cause, and to call neighbors and ask which way they were voting. I was also asked to call earlier, and said no. We will likely *not* donate money to the cause.

    Some of the thoughts that I found to be particularly interesting:

    1. The whole “Follow The Prophet” justification that should supercede all thoughts, feelings, and rationalization. This is a trump card–you either follow him, or you don’t. No one wants to be in the “don’t” camp.

    2. The notion that heterosexuals should worry about their own state of affairs first. We’re doing a fine job of screwing up marriage all on our own.

    I found everyone’s comments interesting and insightful. Thanks for sharing.

  63. 63Natalieon 07 Sep 2008 at 7:35 pm

    Hey folks,
    So I’m REALLY bothered by the whole church stance on Prop. 8. I have a button on my backpack that says “Straight, but not Narrow”. I’m really tempted to move it to the bag I take to church, just as a subtle way of showing my position. But I don’t want to start a fight at church, or offend people. I’m also YW President, and I don’t want people running to the bishop concerned about me indoctrinating their children with the liberal mantra of Satan. :)

    What do you think? Let sleeping dogs lie, or speak out at the risk of alienating some? I really don’t think church is the place for politics, but our leaders have sorta made it a political forum. Well, in Cali, and I live in Philly.

  64. 64admin3on 07 Sep 2008 at 10:28 pm

    How about a nice, “Family – It’s About Time” button?

    http://www.zazzle.com/familly_its_about_time_no_on_8_button-145752963610493116

    Seriously, though, unless you make a big deal about it, there’s a good chance nobody else will, either if it’s just a button on a bag. They might come sidling up to you and ask where you got the button, though. And, who knows, maybe the kids will think you’re the “cool YW leader”.

  65. 65Teresaon 08 Sep 2008 at 9:23 am

    Not a call to repentance, because I immensely respect the peaceable atmosphere of this website, but just a question. As church members, we believe that the prophet´s words are scripture. Why, then, is it acceptable to acknowledge some scriptures such as, “Men are that they might have joy,” but not the modern scripture that we have, which truly makes our religion unique? I do not write this in anger or defensiveness, but honestly in pure curiosity as to why the picking and choosing of some scriptures or teachings and not others is not considered “convenient.” Or why we heed Nephi or Alma´s counsel, but not that of our modern prophet? Do we really think that the prophet is “out of line” and has lost his ability as a “seer?”

    I apologize if I offend anyone by these questions- I am sincere in my curiosity.

  66. 66Natalieon 08 Sep 2008 at 7:25 pm

    Teresa,
    I think if you really thoroughly examine this site and others like it, you will find that all the thoughts and concerns are very grounded in scripture. There are numerous quotes from past prophets and general authorities discouraging blind obedience, encouraging free-thinking, and saying directly that we shouldn’t let any authority tell us how to vote. There is also a healthy dose of canonical references: citations of the 11th Article of Faith, D&C 134:4, etc. Let me paste that one here as an example:

    4 We believe that religion is instituted of God; and that men are amenable to him, and to him only, for the exercise of it, unless their religious opinions prompt them to infringe upon the rights and liberties of others; but we do not believe that human law has a right to interfere in prescribing rules of worship to bind the consciences of men, nor dictate forms for public or private devotion; that the civil magistrate should restrain crime, but never control conscience; should punish guilt, but never suppress the freedom of the soul.

    In this instance, I think it is hard to say that two same sex people being married constitutes a “crime”, so I know that I feel following the present counsel would be in direct violation of the above scripture, which has become official church canon for a reason.

    On a less literal level, I think it is very important that we each, on our own, strive to receive a witness of each of the Lord’s commands for us, which he has promised he will give us. I do not feel the spirit when reading the racist comments of past leaders, so I do not accept those words as scripture. Other comments they make, of a spiritual nature, enlighten my mind and bring me closer to God. These are the fruits that let me know they are good.

    I really appreciate the careful, understanding tone of your post.

  67. 67Lara Cleveland Torgesenon 08 Sep 2008 at 8:47 pm

    My two cents on this topic: Back in 2000 when we voted on Prop 22 in California (defining marriage between one man/one woman–this is the law that was struck down last spring as unconstitutional, opening the door for legalized gay marriage in the state), I remember being very uncomfortable in church when an entire Sunday School hour was devoted to what we could do to get the proposition passed. Packets were passed out and members were encouraged to put signs in their lawns, canvas their neighborhoods, etc. My husband and I both said “pass” to the packets, citing our busy schedules. We didn’t state that we didn’t feel that church was the appropriate forum for discussing and trying to influence members on what we saw as a political matter. I remember feeling quite conflicted on the matter. My husband told me he had no problem voting no, but I felt doing so was akin to “defying the prophet.” At the time, I felt that the First Presidency could never be wrong and so we shouldn’t question them. In the privacy of the ballot box, I voted yes, but I later came to regret that decision, feeling that I had abdicated my own personal judgment to higher powers. A young gay Mormon man shot himself to death on the steps of a Los Altos church meeting house shortly after the measure passed. That made me feel so sick. We had sent him a message that there was no place for a person like him–not at church, not in his LDS family, not even in civil society. And he got the message.

    Now the church is backing Prop 8, and it sounds like the battle is even more fierce than before. It seems rather ironic, considering the church’s history battling the U.S. government over the definition of marriage. It would be a different story if gays were asking to be sealed in the temple. The church would never be required to do that because we have freedom of religion. Gay people are asking that they receive equal treatment under the law–including the right to marry the consenting adult of their choosing. I believe we are going to see this issue eventually go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Lawrence v. Texas (2003) case has already set the precedent. The Supreme Court overturned a Texas law that said sodomy is okay for straight people–just not gay people. In the court opinion, the justices clearly stated that the U.S. government may not discriminate or deny equal treatment based on sexual orientation. Scalia, in his dissenting opinion, wrote that this opens the door for gay marriage, and I think he’s right.

    At any rate, if we are concerned about marriages and families, I think there is much we can do to strengthen them. But working to deny a certain group rights that we expect for ourselves probably isn’t the answer. I could be wrong, but that’s how I see it.

  68. 68Brittaon 09 Sep 2008 at 2:50 am

    In the past few days I’ve spent many hours reading the posts on this site and others like it – posts both from those for and against Proposition 8, from those who have found solidarity here and those who have found what they believe to be blatant rebellion against their leaders and, thus, against God. I haven’t been surprised that LDS proponents of Prop 8 haven’t agreed with many of the posts on these sites, but I have noticed several themes among many of their responses; disappointment in the members who are not fully following their leaders, a supposition that such people are not as devoted to the gospel or have weaker testimonies, and confusion as to why people are even questioning the issue when we’ve been told what to do. In response to these confusions and assumptions, I would like to explain why I, as a faithful member of the LDS church, am opposed to Prop 8, and why many of us are experiencing such conflict with the issue.

    For me, the conflict is not about popularity or rebellion, not even due to friends and family members who are homosexual. The struggle is born out of loving the gospel and loving my fellow man, and needing to find some way to reconcile the fact that, in this case, the two appear to be in opposition – despite the fact that loving others is the very flesh and blood of the gospel. The struggle with Prop 8 is not based on a lack of faith, but, for me, a deeply felt faith in the principles of freedom, agency, and charity. For many members of the church, we’re questioning our leaders’ counsel not because we love the gospel less than those who quickly follow it, but because what we are being asked to do seems to contradict the gospel principles upon which we have built our lives, characters, and integrity.

    Despite the strong urging from church leaders to get involved, what I really can’t get past is this: as members of the church, we acknowledge that marriage and family are the most important things in life and our greatest potential sources of joy – so why would we actively try to keep many of our brothers and sisters from experiencing that in the only way they can?

    Let’s remember that God wants us to learn to love each other, and it would be a paltry learning environment if we always agreed – we shouldn’t be so worried about differing. Whether or not we agree, however, it’s essential for anyone who considers him or herself a Christian to at least acknowledge that the struggles some are facing are real, to not lightly dismiss a crisis of conscience or integrity as simple rebellion or weakness, and especially to not ignore how much this movement deeply hurts homosexuals in and out of the church. For anyone who loves both their church membership and their family, imagine having to choose between them – and, assuming you choose family, imagine having the church front a massive effort to keep that family from being acknowledged as legitimate. That I should resist joining that effort, I think, does not say anything less about me as a church member.

    Obedience should not become the yardstick with which we judge one another – there was one value which Christ valued infinitely more, and any time we move compassion to the back burner we move farther away from Him. As we respond to issues that arise in the church, let’s remember that how we choose to respond to them will ALWAYS be secondary to how we treat each other along the way.

  69. 69Teresaon 09 Sep 2008 at 5:07 am

    Natalie,

    Thank you for your response. I have perused the site and been impressed with all the scripture, but that is my very question. Is the agenda of this site to honestly say that the prophet no longer speaks scripture? And that President Monson (and President Hinckley, who supported traditional marriage openly and politically during his time as prophet) is wayward and has lost his ability as seer? Again, I do not mean to use strong words or to sound accusatory, I simply do not understand how the supporters of the cause of this site balance ancient (or written) scripture with modern (continuing) scripture. To say that the prophet is uninspired in this area, is that also to say that he is uninspired in general? I have also read the quotes about how the prophet is a human being and makes mistakes, so does that mean that these 2 generations of prophets we have (Hinckley/Monson) have repeated the same foolish mistake?

    I have spent much time on this website, pondering this idea and sincerely feeling sympathy and pain for these people who feel ostercized. My very best friend is a gay who is still in the closet, but who has not lost his sense that he belongs in the church since he has a belief in God’s plan and not just the social belonging. I feel for him immensely, and am grateful it’s not my burden to bear (although I wish there were a way to help bear his burden). But despite all my efforts to be open-minded, I do not understand how the word of one prophet is stronger than another. It’s as if we’re using the words of one prophet against another. Do you understand my question?

    Also, Lara,
    “It would be a different story if gays were asking to be sealed in the temple. The church would never be required to do that because we have freedom of religion.”‘

    Never say never. We have no way of predicting the legal changes that would come from legalizing same-sex marriage. I did not write this, but it gives a good point, “In Boston , MA (where gay marriages are now legal,) the Catholic Charities have closed their doors because the state has required them to allow adoptions to same sex couples, and they refused. They are a large and worthwhile charity with great power in the state and they were overruled. A Methodist church has lost their tax exempt status because the minister refused to perform a marriage of a same sex couple (they were not of his congregation). A physician who refused to do fertility treatments on a same sex couple because of religious reasons was sued, lost and the state is requiring him to treat everyone as equals. If Gay Marriage is supported by the government, then those who are same-sex married, who are ‘LDS’ and legally recognized as married by the government, can sue to be married in the temple.”

    Again, I am not calling anyone to repentance, I do not mean to argue, and I respect so much the peaceful atmosphere here. That is why I feel comfortable sharing things that might seem unpopular to this site’s readership. I simply have questions. I, too, am not following (either side of this issue) blindly, which is why I am inquisitive. Please do not mistake my questions for disrespect.

  70. 70Franon 09 Sep 2008 at 7:23 am

    Thanks for asking Teresa. I feel the way you do, but am a little afraid to voice my questions on here…but I keep reading what people have to say. But at any rate, I don’t see the matter as much as black and white as many seem to see it. For me it’s hard to feel strongly one way or another (as in permitting gay marriage is “right” or “wrong”). Right now, I derive peace from having read, thought and prayed about the issue and figured out what I feel would be right for me to do. I also gain a lot of peace from having talked to my gay brother, who is no longer a member but still actively participates in Church and any church activities. Having his input on what he feels would be “fair” and “right” has helped me to worry less about what others, who are not even affected by this struggle think should be done.

  71. 71admin3on 09 Sep 2008 at 9:09 am

    Teresa –

    You’ve posed some thoughtful questions – thank you. And thank you, also, to folks who have taken the time to answer. Here are some of my thoughts about the question of following the prophet.

    The first presidency has extended an invitation to church members to prayerfully study the Proclamation on the Family as it relates to this issue; to consider the moral obligations of the Church and its leaders. The letter says, “We ask that you do all you can” to support the cause. The Divine Institution of Marriage press release further asks members to refrain from gay-bashing.

    We all bring our own experiences and abilities to bear when we figure out what our best efforts are and what it is we can each do. For some of us, it is “all we can do” to make it to church on a regular basis as we hear statements that border on attacking our loved ones; for some of us, it is “all we can do” to keep from recycling every donation form we see inside a church building; for some of us, it is “all we can do” to say, “Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace; where there is hatred, let me so love, where there is doubt, faith, where there’s despair, hope;” for some of us, it is all we can do to sing, “Jesus walked away from none, he gave his love to everyone, so I will, I will. I’ll walk with you, I’ll talk with you; that’s how I’ll show my love for you.”

    We have heard that lack of support for proposition 8 is not something that should generally put church membership at risk. If that were the case, that only members who supported prop 8 were worthy to attend the temple, the church would be dictating members’ actions in the voting booth, and that would be despicable.

    None of these “best efforts” necessarily indicates any lack of support for the men sustained as prophets, seers, and revelators of the LDS church. In the end, the only people who know the hearts and minds of those on each side of the debate are those individuals and God. It’s probably best if we give each other the benefit of the doubt and recognize that God speaks Truth to each of us based on where we are in life and what we need to learn and what we need to teach others.

    As we get closer to November 4th, the rhetoric will only grow louder. Let’s not burn any bridges with our brothers and sisters in the gospel. Let’s not drive any more sheep out of the fold, but instead seek ways to find safe, green, well-watered parts of the pasture for all of them to dwell.

  72. 72admin3on 09 Sep 2008 at 9:17 am

    As for the second half of comment #69, beginning with the comments about the Massachusetts marriage laws: These are complex issues that have presented as black and white, simplistic arguments in much of the campaign literature. This thread is not the place for discussing them, please.

    If you would like to see those questions addressed and put into context, check back later in the week – we’ll have some more information for you about these. And, if you have other specific questions you’d like to see addressed, please share them on this thread.

  73. 73Jeanieon 11 Sep 2008 at 9:19 pm

    Has anyone seen the signs that are supposed to be posted on Sep 22? What do they say?

  74. 74Chino Blancoon 12 Sep 2008 at 2:47 am

    I’m not sure, but I’ve seen this “Yes on 8″ sign mentioned as the one that’s going to be used:

    http://signs.cafepress.com/item/yes-on-8-yard-sign/284379636

    I hope what I’ve heard is true, because it’s a truly ugly sign.

  75. 75Courtneyon 12 Sep 2008 at 12:34 pm

    There are two sides to every story, and I believe that they best way to find truth is to look clearly at evenly at both sides. I appreciate this site, and I believe that a lot of what it is accomplishing is good – but there are several paths of logic that I (reasonably) question. I think that not allowing for comments on this site takes away from it’s appeal, because the only opinions expressed are those that fit exactly with the opinions of the site’s creators.

    There are several, very different and sometimes at odds, opinions and facts in support of gay marriage. There are also some reasonable arguments against gay marriage. I think when you shut out the opinions of others, whether the same as yours or not, you shut out part of the truth.

  76. 76anonymousactiveon 12 Sep 2008 at 1:12 pm

    I am comforted as I read through these thought-provoking comments. I am tired of the closed-minded and judgmental attitude that seems so pervasive in the church. This is truly a breath of fresh air. I am drawn to those who are tolerant, open-minded, and are thinkers.

    I am not inspired by many of the people I meet through church. So many times I read a post on this site and in my mind I am saying “yes, Yes, YES!!” I am sure we have more things in common besides this gay issue. I wish I could meet many of you in person. It’s hard to find truly open-minded people who are active in the church. I wonder how we could ever get together. I don’t know if it’s possible or if it would work, but I would love it. What do you think Captain Moroni?

  77. 77admin3on 12 Sep 2008 at 3:59 pm

    Courtney #75-

    As you can see, we are not adverse to comments that are respectful and thoughtful. This thread, in particular, is not for debate, but for supporting one another. If you have particular questions about arguments, I’d encourage you to bring them up for thoughtful debate and discussion on this post about consequences of Prop 8 passage.

  78. 78admin3on 12 Sep 2008 at 4:03 pm

    anonymousactive #76 –

    The Political Action & Education thread includes several places where folks are meeting together in person. Check through there and see if there’s an event in your area. If not, you could consider hosting one yourself.

  79. 79Jeanieon 13 Sep 2008 at 11:52 am

    OK. I didn’t handle that so well. I didn’t realize I’d be so angry.

    It’s Sat. morning and my doorbell rang. I answered it and a white 50-something man is at my door with a clipboard in hand and a VOTE Yes button pinned to his shirt. (The button DOES NOT say Prop 8.) I know immediately what this is about. My stomach goes into knots.

    “I don’t think you want to talk to me” I blurted out.

    “So, I take it you are opposed to Prop 8?”.

    “That’s putting it mildly.”

    “So should I put you down as strongly opposed?”

    “Is there anything on your tally sheet beyond that? Are you LDS?”

    “Yes, but I’m representing the Calif. Yes on 8 campaign.”

    “I left the church in 2000 because of this very issue. Write that down and make sure you mention it when you report back. I’m serious. Write it down. What did gay people ever do to you?”

    “Nothing.”

    “Then why are you doing this?”

    “They are not going to lose any rights because of this.”

    “Really? It will take away their marriage! I find that to be pretty significant.”

    He walked away.

    I went out into my backyard, found my husband’s arms and cried.

  80. 80Krison 15 Sep 2008 at 2:40 pm

    I do not understand homosexuality, but I do understand that many people come to earth and have severe obtacles and tendencies to overcome. Examples like a person who has a very strong libido and feels uncapable of keeping themsevles virtuous because the desire to have sex is so overpowering; or a person who comes to earth and has to deal with an addictive personality and doesn’t have the strength to stay away from drugs, alcohol etc. I feel that homosexuality falls into this like catagory. (Although I have known people who say they are homosexual because they have experimented with bi-sexual activity and learned the behavior and decided that they preferred the same sex.) I do think that people are born with homosexual tendencies, but it doesn’t mean that they should embrace those tendencies or feelings. Just like a drug addict or a oversexed person should not embrace their feelings or urges. We are here to overcome our weakness. In the BOM in Ether, it states that our weaknesses can become our strength. If a person cannot overcome their tendencies or feelings then they should abstain from sex & anything like it (for life if needed). I also think if a heterosexual women or man doesn’t find their a person to love and make convenants with, they should also abstain from sex & anthing like it for life if needed. We are told that the rewards will be unmeasureable.
    The bottom line is sin is sin and no matter what you think your sexual preference is. Dallin H. Oaks stated: “Every Latter-day Saint knows that God has forbidden all sexual relations outside the bonds of marriage. Most are also aware of the Savior’s teaching that it is sinful for a man to look upon and lust after a woman (see Matt. 5:28; D&C 42:23; D&C 63:16).” I feel strongly that this isn’t just for heterosexual couples; this speaks for man lusting after a man or a women lusting after a women. I’m sure there will be many who will be angered by my comments, but these are my feelings and I felt that I should share them. The purpose of mortal life and the mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is to prepare the sons and daughters of God for their destiny—to become like our heavenly parents who are male and female. I love all of my brothers and sisters and know that we are all on a journey. I only hope that we can all help each other on our path so that we can become ALL that we are destined to become.

  81. 81Clayon 16 Sep 2008 at 11:45 am

    Largely due to Church teachings regarding “same-gender attraction” and the powerful impact those teachings have on millions of God’s Gay and Lesbian children I struggled for years with the very legitimate concerns brought up by Teresa. Gratefully once I prayerfully turned to God and prayerfully searched His words in our LDS scriptures, the Holy Ghost gently increased my understanding about God’s prophets and their words, which allowed me to put them in proper perspective.

    Those who have followed the Savior’s words to “search the scriptures” (John 5:39) know that the Lord has made it clear through His words in our scriptures that His servants can do and say things that are not His will. He also provided the knowledge and means for each of us to know if the teachings of His servants are true or whether they “speak of [themselves]” (see John 7:17).

    First, as Teresa stated: “As Church members we believe that the prophet´s words are scripture.” While many believe every thing a prophet or apostle says or writes is scripture, the Savior taught a slightly though profoundly different qualification defining which words of His servants are scripture: “And whatsoever they shall speak WHEN MOVED UPON BY THE HOLY GHOST shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation.” (D&C 68:4).

    We can’t know someone is speaking or writing by the Holy Ghost unless we have the Holy Ghost ourselves. Sadly many choose to surrender their spiritual responsibility and opportunity to seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost believing everything said, “in general conference” or “while acting as a prophet” or “on Church letterhead” is God’s word. If we allow it, the Holy Ghost can help us “feel” and know if their teachings are God’s will.

    Second, The Lord taught: “And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him. (Deut. 18:21-22). Would God give us these guidelines if we never had to use them?

    Third, Through our Doctrine and Covenants the Lord gave us to know that His servants, (the Apostle Paul in this case) “wrote unto the church, giving unto them a commandment, not of the Lord, but of himself” (D&C 74:5). Ironically that commandment of Paul and not of the Lord had to do with who can marry whom. If God allowed that to happen in His Church and kingdom by one of His most faithful servants anciently, I have to prayerfully consider the possibility that His servants today could write “unto the church, giving unto [us] a commandment, not of the Lord, but of himself”. Why else would the Lord have included that teaching in our modern canonized scripture?

    Fourth, Jesus even taught His followers to put His words to the test of truth, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (John 7:17). He also taught the way to know “By their fruits ye shall know them” (see 3 Ne. 14:16-20). As I understand it this applies to people as well as teachings or doctrines. If a doctrine is of God it will increase our love for God and all His children. It will increase peace, unity, agency and freedom etc.

    What fruits have been born by Prop 22 and now Prop 8? Stuart Mattis and many other Gay Latter-day Saints have suffered horribly and eventually taken their own lives, thousands of families have been split up over this issue. Many are leaving the Church because of it. Some pretty hateful divisions are being made in our communities, fear and animosity is increasing, and basic civil and Constitutional rights, including freedom of religion of our Gay and Lesbian neighbors and the churches who value and support them are being eroded by exclusive marriage laws and amendments.

    Fifth, we learn from the prophet Jonah that God’s called and chosen mouthpiece can resist God’s will and can eagerly hope for the destruction of thousands of God’s children while God wanted to give those same children the joyous blessings of His gospel.

    Sixth, In the Lord’s introduction to our Doctrine and Covenants the Lord reminds us Latter-day Saints that He gave commandments in these latter-days unto “my servants in their weakness… that they might come to understanding. And inasmuch as they erred it might be made known… And inasmuch as they sought wisdom they might be instructed; And inasmuch as they sinned they might be chastened, that they might repent; And inasmuch as they were humble they might be made strong, and blessed from on high, and receive knowledge from time to time” (D&C 1:24-28).

    We can believe and learn from these words of the Lord or blissfully blind ourselves to the realities they teach, assuming “all is well in Zion”, nothing will ever be said or done that is contrary to God’s will. These teachings of the Savior about His servants do not weaken my gratitude for them, their callings and devoted service, but they do strengthen my reliance, faith and trust in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. They encourage me to pray more fervently for the Lord’s servants, our apostles and prophets, that when they err they will be corrected and when they lack understanding they will seek and receive revelation, understanding, light and knowledge from God in all they do, especially in how they chose to bless instead of curse God’s Gay and Lesbian children. I pray the Lord will bless them for sincerely striving to do the best they can with the knowledge they have received so far.

    I am deeply grateful for the wonderfully humble and honest admissions of some of our Church leaders regarding their lack of understanding on issues involving God’s Gay and Lesbian children.

    While being questioned by Larry King on national television, Dec. 26, 2004 about Gay marriage and Gays, President Hinckley acknowledged, “I don’t know. I’m not an expert on these things. I don’t pretend to be an expert on these things.” (http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0412/26/lkl.01.html)

    In the April 2000 General Conference Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles stated simply, “Gender disorientation is poorly understood” (Ensign, May 2000, 76).

    Elder Dallin H Oaks’ 1995 Ensign article “Same-Gender Attraction” also makes it very clear that there is much we do not know or understand about homosexuality. (see Ensign, Oct. 1995, 13).

    Even President Boyd K. Packer, who has spoken so authoritatively for decades on this subject admitted in General Conference, “We are sometimes told that leaders of the Church do not really understand these problems. Perhaps we don’t. There are many ‘whys’ for which we do not have simple answers” (Ensign, Nov. 1990, 85).

    And most recently, in Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s article “Helping Those Who Struggle with Same-Gender Attraction” he wrote “As for why you feel as you do, I can’t answer that question. … Some things, including the cause of your feelings we may never know in this life… I too affirm… and acknowledge that many questions, including some related to same-gender attraction, must await a future answer, perhaps in the next life…. We have so little reliable information about it… Admitting my own inadequacy in this regard….” (Ensign, Oct. 2007, 42).

    And finally our Church’s newest pamphlet about “same-gender attraction”, “God Loveth His Children”, states: “Many questions, however, including some related to same-gender attractions, must await a future answer, even in the next life.” (page 1)

    These humble and honest admissions open a door to all of us, members and Church leaders alike, to seek further light and knowledge before we act recklessly and to the detriment of our Gay and Lesbian neighbors or loved ones, on the limited knowlege we now have. We can simply apply the marvelous principle which opened this last dispensation, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (James 1:5).

    As Teresa suggested, sadly many members jump to the foolish conclusion “To say that the prophet is uninspired in this area, is that also to say that he is uninspired in general?… so does that mean that these 2 generations of prophets we have (Hinckley/Monson) have repeated the same foolish mistake?” NO! Just because they humbly admit they do not understand or have a perfect knowledge of “same-gender attraction” or “those who consider themselves Gay or Lesbian” in no way implies that they don’t understand or KNOW by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ and that His gospel is true. They, like each of us are allowed to grow from grace to grace, line up line, receiving “knowledge from time to time” as we and they sincerely, prayerfully and with an open heart and mind ask the right questions. I absolutely KNOW by personal experience that God will liberally give us light, knowledge and understanding even regarding His Gay and Lesbian children and the blessings He wants all of us to receive. His answers are already there in His words found in the scriptures but they can only be found by those who prayerfully search and believe Jesus’ words.

  82. 82Mike Kessleron 16 Sep 2008 at 11:55 am

    Kris, no other sin is based on the mutual love between two adults — and, in fact, the sin you discussed is one of non-marital sex, not marriage. But this site is all about the ability of two people who love one another to be married, regardless of their gender. Many people who are heterosexual, including many members of the Church (extending to the Quorum of the Twelve and the First Presidency) have gotten married knowing they cannot bring a child into the world, due to advanced age or a medical condition, or even by choice. Still, the Church encourages those who are single to be married, even if they cannot raise a family, because it is not good to be alone. Should those who love and are loved by someone of the same sex be exceptions to this rule, and be forbidden to enter into a civil marriage that legally recognizes that these two people wish to spend their lives solely with each other, committed to lifting each other up?

  83. 83Franon 16 Sep 2008 at 4:50 pm

    Mike, I think you forget an important point in your argument. While it’s true that many couples may not have children, and were still encouraged (or even commanded if you like) to marry, I think the distinction the Church makes is about living the commandments as much as we can. While a single person ideally should marry, and then have children, not all can have children, but they can maybe, at least, marry. So they keep those commandments as much as they can until either things will be put right in the next life, or by some miracle things change in this life. Equally, I think the Church is not ok with gay people marrying because (doctrinally) they are heading in the opposite direction of the commandment. I think from the Church’s point of view, the best gays can do, if they cannot marry someone of the opposite sex, is to just not be in a sexual relationship at all rather than embracing sexual behavior that according to the Church is against God’s will. (Whether it is or not would be a completely different discussion). It certainly is not good for man to be alone, but unfortunately there are a lot of things that according to God aren’t good. The problem is that we live in a imperfect world and not all that God wants for us can happen in this world. So, we all have to try to get as close to the ideal as possible.

    And as a side note, I think there are other sexual sins that can include the mutual love of two adults. Adultery could be one of them. I mean, there are a lot of people leaving their spouses because they “love” someone else, and often have an affair with that person they love so deeply. Fornication could be another one. It could also include a sexual relationship between brothers and sisters, fathers and daughters or mothers and sons. Who’s to deny a brother and sister who love each other to get married, or a brother and brother? It could include all kinds of stuff.

  84. 84admin3on 16 Sep 2008 at 5:09 pm

    Hi Folks –

    One more reminder – this thread is not for debates. Please stay on topic if you don’t want to go to The Black Hole of Moderation.

    Discussions of the merits of various arguments are more than welcome on this thread, where you will find some detailed information about the facts behind the consequences of Prop 8.

    Thank you for being considerate of those who are coming to this thread looking for ways to step up and speak out.

  85. 85Jeanieon 16 Sep 2008 at 9:43 pm

    It’s countdown time for when the signs come out. Here is the letter to the editor that I’ve submitted to my local paper. I encourage others who feel similarly to write their own (or copy chunks of mine) and get it submitted right away. Please feel free to put my letter on any blog that you find appropriate. Chino, how can I get this submitted to other publications? It would be great if similar letters were published all over California on Sunday, the 21st!

    *****

    For those Mormons who are poised to place a Yes on 8 sign on their lawn on the morning of Sept. 22, I have an urgent plea….Don’t put it up!

    As Mormons dutifully plant the Yes on 8 signs that have been distributed to them at church, most will fail to realize the message they send to their gay neighbors and co-workers. I’m reminded of an incident in Ventura during 2000 of a Mormon family who lived right across the street from a gay couple. The family placed their “Protect Marriage” sign in their yard in direct line-of-sight of the gay couple’s kitchen window. The remaining neighbors on the street were so appalled by the insensitivity of the Mormon family that within a day or two, homemade signs of support for the gay couple showed up in the yards of all the other houses on the street.

    In 2000, those signs sent countless young gay Mormons deeper into their closets and were a contributing factor to at least two Mormon suicides. I had the opportunity to know Stuart Matis, who took his own life on the steps of his church one week before the election. His story touched my heart. In one conversation, he told me that he was finding it extremely difficult to leave his house because of all the “Protect Marriage” signs posted in the yards of his fellow Mormons. He said that they were a constant reminder that, in spite of rhetoric to the contrary, he wasn’t accepted or understood by the church that he loved.

    I’m not asking you to change your vote, just forego putting up your sign. Please be sensitive to those for whom this is an intensely personal issue. The tragedies of 2000 must not be repeated.

    Jeanie Mortensen-Besamo
    Simi Valley, California

  86. 86Chino Blancoon 17 Sep 2008 at 1:39 am

    Jeanie,

    I’d suggest you visit this link:

    http://newslink.org/canews.html

    And then from there, start visiting and collecting the relevant contact emails from the newspaper websites on that list.

    There’s another list here (lower-right side of the front page under “California News” displays a long list of papers):

    http://www.calitics.com

    Another method is to google these terms:

    california newspaper editor email contact

    The google method does a pretty good job of giving you a list of Contact Us pages (sparing you the trouble of wading through the front page of every site).

    As long as I’m here, I’m gonna invite everyone to please visit this link and leave a comment (or two):

    http://taxdollars.freedomblogging.com/2008/09/16/charity-spends-more-on-overhead-than-on-protecting-judeo-christian-values/

  87. 87Tristan Callon 18 Sep 2008 at 9:31 pm

    Hello,

    I’m scouring the site to see if anyone in California or Utah has begun plans to have public or private meetings in response to Proposition 8. I have a friend at Stanford who is considering sponsoring some meetings and I am here in Salt Lake City, considering the same thing. Options are open; from private testimony-type meetings to public-private discussion meetings at the public library to establishing a direct presence of protest at Temple Square. I assume that the most diplomatic tactics are the best starting point. Email me at tristancall@gmail.com if you are interested in doing meetings in Salt Lake or Utah counties or have already formulated plans for elsewhere.

    Thanks,

    Tristan Call

  88. 88Clay Essigon 19 Sep 2008 at 10:44 am

    Alma had a great idea which I believe is the most powerful strategy we can use to encourage others to do the right thing and vote No on 8. “And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them—therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God.” (Alma 31:5) As a Gay Latter-day Saint I am grateful for the amazing opportunity restrictive and exclusive marriage laws give us to teach (and live) the gospel of Jesus Christ, to promote truth over tradition. Whenever Prop 8 or similar issues come up in Church or at our front door we can teach any or all of these teachings of Jesus Christ, then ask thought provoking questions or share our testimony of the Savior’s words:

    Jesus taught the golden rule: “Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12; Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 14:12). Would we want the majority who oppose many of our LDS beliefs to be able to vote away our civil right to marry and raise families according to our beliefs? Can we truly call ourselves Christians if we do not live according to this teaching of Christ?

    The Savior said in our dispensation, “And now verily I say unto you concerning the laws of the land… that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that PRINCIPLE OF FREEDOM in MAINTAINING RIGHTS and PRIVILEGES, belongs to ALL MANKIND, and is justifiable before me. Therefore, I the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land; And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil.” (Doctrine and Covenants 98:5-7)

    The Savior also taught in our D&C: “…the laws and constitution of the people which I have suffered to be established, … should be MAINTAINED for the RIGHTS and PROTECTION of ALL FLESH, according to just and holy principles; That EVERY man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the MORAL AGENCY which I have given him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment…. ”
    “And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood.” (Doctrine and Covenants 101:77-78, 80).

    The Lord stated clearly, “And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man” (D&C 49:15).One of the evil’s the apostle Paul prophesied for our “latter times” was “forbidding to marry” (see 1 Timothy 4:1, 3). When the primary result of this marriage amendment is to forbid by law millions of God’s children to marry, how can we vote for it and say we follow Jesus Christ?

    Jesus taught, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:36-40)
    What love do we show our Gay and Lesbian neighbors by taking away their civil right to marry, have families and live according to their beliefs and conscience? The reality is, many Gays and Lesbians are fighting for the right to marry according to this greatest law of God – Love.
    Jesus also said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40)
    Since no laws or amendments are being promoted to prevent murderers, drug dealers, gang leaders, pedophiles, pornographers or spouse-beaters from marrying or having families, it is evident by their words, acts and legislation that some Christians, churches and politicians consider our Gay and Lesbian neighbors to be “the least” in society and therefore somehow undeserving of marriage, family, legal recognition, rights, benefits or protections. Regardless of positive or negative opinions about Gays, Lesbians and their families, remember we all are neighbors and children of the same God. Would you deny Jesus or His family the same legal recognition, rights, privileges and protections which you and your family enjoy? If you believe these words of the Savior, it is easy to see that if we deny our Gay and Lesbian neighbors some of the richest blessings and privileges of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness found in marriage and family, it is tantamount to denying Jesus the same blessings… if we believe Jesus’ words.

    Our Book of Mormon teaches: “…it was strictly contrary to the commands of God that there should be a law which should bring men on to unequal grounds.” (Book of Mormon, Alma 30:7). If State or Federal law allows some members of our community to marry according to their beliefs and forbids our Gay and Lesbian neighbors that same privilege, how is that equal grounds?

    These are just a few of MANY teachings of the Savior we could share and encourage each other to live.

  89. 89Lara C leveland Torgesenon 21 Sep 2008 at 7:25 am

    Just to clarify on my earlier post (#67). I mistakenly wrote about Stuart Matis’ suicide happening shortly after the election. It was shortly before, but I didn’t find out about it until after the election. Looking back, I’m not even sure finding out about it would have caused me to change my vote. I was still pretty much a rank-and-file, tow-the-line, (slightly brainwashed) member who presumed all the general authorities were infallible on any subject. I live in another state now, but I have been following the Prop 8 story closely and I so wish I could be there–this time on the right side! Stuart, wherever you are now, forgive me….

  90. 90Jeanieon 21 Sep 2008 at 9:04 am

    Lara,

    Your feelings today about the issue are what Stuart Matis hoped to achieve by giving his essay to 3 Mormons who were opposed to prop 22 in 2000 and allowing us to publish it on a website. It also reassures those of us who made the decision in 2000 to try to make the essay more public following his suicide, that we did the right thing. Thanks for the post. It really touched me. He changed my life too.

  91. 91Jeanieon 24 Sep 2008 at 8:24 pm

    Can someone verify that this article is true? Does anyone know which website this person put up? Sounds like some bishop overstepped.

    http://www.365gay.com/news/mormon-says-church-threatens-excommunication-for-supporting-gay-marriage/

  92. 92Jeanieon 24 Sep 2008 at 8:31 pm

    It apparently is SigningForSomething.com. It looks like Andrew Callahan is one of the administrators/creators. The site is currently down. Can’t tell if it is because of a server overload or if they voluntarily took it down.

  93. 93admin3on 24 Sep 2008 at 8:49 pm

    The threatened excommunication is, indeed, about and for Andrew Callahan. We’re working on a post which will provide accurate information about his situation, but Callahan has done more than just create and sign an internet petition and vocally oppose what the LDS Church has been campaigning for in California, Arizona and Florida.

    This blog discusses some of the specific things Callahan has done and includes links to his YouTube videos.

    A Church spokeswoman recently said, “The Church, of course, recognizes and accepts that some among its very large membership may view the issue differently. Church leaders teach important principles and invite our members to govern their lives by those principles. We do not desire to compel them, nor can we do so.”

    The First Presidency wrote, on September 11, 2008, “Latter-day Saints as citizens are to seek out and then uphold leaders who will act with integrity and are wise, good, and honest. Principles compatible with the gospel may be found in various political parties. Therefore, in this election year, we urge you to register to vote, to study the issues and candidates carefully and prayerfully, and then to vote for and actively support those you believe will most nearly carry out your ideas of good government.”

    Take a minute to familiarize yourself with the Church’s recent statements, with Callahan’s words and actions and with his videos and press coverage, then decide for yourself whether you feel he has been fairly or unfairly “called upon the carpet.”

    As there are many places on the internet where Callahan himself is posting information about and discussing his situation, we would recommend interested visitors to this site take a moment to search for those places and discuss the details of his situation with him.

  94. 94Dave Hoenon 29 Sep 2008 at 2:31 pm

    I was a devout member until ~25 years ago when I was excommunicated. I have two children who are now married, active in the Church and raising families of their own. I am living in Southern California with my partner of 16 years. We’ve had a good relationship with my children throughout, but the Church’s support of Proposition 8 has caused some strain. I am extremely angry with the Church that it has “chosen” to align itself with these fundamentalist groups (who by the way, think of Mormonism as a cult) on prop 8. I am saddened and disappointed that my children feel like they can’t be “good Mormons” by questioning the Church’s call for members to support prop 8. And though I’ve often defended the Church in the past, I too now believe that Mormonism is a cult. While I still feel there are many positive aspects of Mormonism, it saddens me to say that I feel it is my duty as a father to eventually lead my children away from this cult. Because after all, families are forever; churches aren’t. And the Church has really strayed on this one; the millions of dollars alone that have been donated by Church members for this campaign when it could have been put to so much better uses, is evidence enough!

    I was again angered yesterday to see that the Church has called for all California leaders, “members working in grassroots support of Prop 8″ and young adults to attend what appears to be some sort of televised “training session” on October 8th to get out the yes vote on Prop 8.

    I believe the article “I would really rather be dead” by Carol Lynn Pearson and the associated Newsweek article (posted on this website) should be required reading of all those who “volunteer” to participate in the Church’s get out the vote campaign. In a very real sense the blood of Stuart Matis and others who have (and have yet) committed suicide, is on the garments of those who participate in this “Yes on Hate” campaign.

    Would it be possible for those who are active members of the Church, who don’t agree with the Church’s stance on this matter to attend these meetings, note those attending and either then or later distribute these articles to the attendees? Or is the cult too strong and fear of Church action, prevent us from performing this life-saving mission of mercy? I think it is past time to step out of our comfort zones.

    I’m very serious about this and would gladly help defray the costs of printing these articles. I’ve even thought about showing up at one of these events myself, but since I wouldn’t know anyone, it probably wouldn’t take long for the Mormon mafia to escort me out. But maybe just a few copies distributed would be enough. And maybe the act of one will give others courage.

    Dave Hoen

  95. 95Lane Stilsonon 01 Oct 2008 at 12:31 am

    I am grateful this site exists to help support the minority of church members who disagree with the church’s intense political involvement. I’ve heard many members say, “I don’t really like that the church is so politically involved, and I don’t really understand it, but I’m going to vote for the prop because it must be God’s will.” They are clearly conflicted about it, but they feel obligated to vote yes on Prop 8. It’s disheartening. I wish more members would really study the issue in both mind and heart and then vote according to their conscience, without fear of God’s punishment. Or even leave the measure blank on the ballot.

    If members are conflicted, they needn’t default to blind obedience. I don’t think the church leadership would ever encourage that. http://www.fairlds.org/Misc/When_the_Prophet_Speaks_is_the_Thinking_Done.html

    Anyhow, thanks again for this site.

  96. 96laura copelandon 01 Oct 2008 at 2:01 am

    mel, you’re my hero. everyone should be as loving and open-minded as you are. i’m neither gay nor a member of the LDS church, but i can see the power of god in your words, and my faith in the world/people/religion is now amped up like never before!

    more people need to see this website. i’m sending it to friends.

  97. 97anonymousactiveon 03 Oct 2008 at 2:13 pm

    I hope the First Presidency is looking at this site and at least reading our feedback. I don’t know how much they realize that they are putting the church and its members in an awkward position.

  98. 98Captain Moronion 03 Oct 2008 at 9:01 pm

    Since this site and the one I run (lds4gaymarriage.org) were in a world-wide AP article. They know we’re here.

  99. 99Jeanieon 04 Oct 2008 at 12:39 pm

    To Dave and others concerned about the upcoming meeting:

    I too heard about this meeting from my daughter and her husband who are still active in the church. Personally, I wouldn’t have a problem standing out in front of the church and handing out articles. They really can’t do too much to stop that. However, I don’t think that it will do much good. The individuals whose hearts will be changed by reading these articles are not going to be at that meeting. There are LDS, particularly young adults, who are feeling pretty conflicted about this. My little sister is really struggling. I doubt that she would go to such a meeting because it would make her even more uncomfortable. She is trying to figure this out on her own.

    The polls are showing that No on 8 is gaining ground…primarily because the “undecideds” tend to be the “uninformed” and typically don’t even know what Prop 8 is. When it is explained to them, they are often deciding to be fair-minded and not take away the current rights of same-sex couples to marry. I personally witnessed this at an action eariler this month. A group of us went out into a surburban So. Calif. shopping center with LED tealights that had been labelled “Share the Light. Vow to Vote No”. We were looking for supporters of No on 8 who would agree to take the tealight and then pass it on. At first, there was apprehension about doing this, but we were amazed at how easy it was to find people to take the tealights. People were coming up to us to ask for them. Very few people refused them (which we assumed were Yes on 8 people.) Almost everyone reported finding people who didn’t know what Prop 8 was and when it was explained to them, they agreed that it was wrong to ban marriage for same-sex couples. It was an incredible experience. Phone bankers are reporting similar results.

    While it is discouraging to see the Mormon church doing this, (because we try to hold on to the “good stuff” that the church has brought into our lives), I think that the best way to fight this is to make sure that Prop 8 is defeated by doing what is effective…sharing the message with those who haven’t made up their minds or who don’t know what Prop 8 even is. Sign up for phone banking in your area. It really isn’t all that scary.

    That said, I am worried about the impact on young gay Mormons when the signs go up (which I hear are supposed to be distributed tomorrow in Church) and the continued rhetoric in church. The thought of another suicide scares me spitless. Because I no longer attend the LDS church (if I did, I’d be wearing a rainbow ribbon every week), I am doing what I can in my own sphere of influence. I am a high school teacher and I volunteered to be the GSA ((Gay-Straight Alliance) advisor. This week I talked to our club members about my concern that closeted gay teens would be disturbed by the appearance of a plethora of Yes on 8 signs. We needed to show these individuals that there were plenty of people who supported them. In the past week we have distributed 100 rainbow ribbons to students and teachers on our 1000-student campus. (And I need to make more this weekend because we ran out!) They are pinning them to their backpacks and purses. “Free to Be” posters are being hung in classrooms. Yesterday at a “Club Rush” event, 75 students signed up to be part of GSA. (Most of these will turn out to be straight allies.)

    If you want to make a difference in protecting gay youth, one idea would be to contact your local high school, find out if they have a GSA, and donate rainbow ribbon and safety pins for the GSA club to distribute. If a young LGBT person visually sees how many people do support them, perhaps it will counteract what they are experiencing elsewhere.

    Sorry for the long post…It’s been a busy week but with some awesome results.

  100. 100Dave Hoenon 05 Oct 2008 at 2:59 pm

    Jeanie,

    Thank you for your compassionate and thoughtful messages on this website. Since my posting, I have had second thoughts about attending the “televised training session” this coming Wednesday, because you are right that those attending will not be swayed by voices of reason unless they come from within their ranks (and maybe not even then). But I am really curious as to what possible training could be given this Wednesday that won’t come off as baseless, hateful or just plain silly. Maybe the training will just consist of sales tactics on how to lie about what will happen if Prop 8 fails and sound really sincere while doing it.

    I wonder if Church authorities are noting those members who have become obsessive in passing Prop 8? As we see all too often, obsessive behavior on something like this is usually compensation for internalized sexual hangups. The Freudian term for this is “reaction formation” and some recent widely publicized examples are Colorado megachurch pastor Ted Haggard, Idaho Senator Larry Craig and New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. I’m sure we can all think of examples in our own wards as even the “most perfect families” turn out to have some dark secrets. There is wisdom in the phrase, “moderation in all things”, and those members who have become obsessive in their hatred of LGBT people would do well to take the beam out of their own eye. I’m sure when we look back in a few years, many of the “grassroot volunteers” within the Church will have been found with enough beams to build another tabernacle.

    The Church’s relatively late entry into joining the “Protect Marriage” coalition makes me wonder if there was disagreement within the leadership of Church on this matter and that the less thoughtful and intelligent members of Church leadership swung the bigger bats. Regardless of how the vote turns out, the Church has another huge P.R. problem on its hands. Even as the Church still has huge P.R. problems with various issues of the past, they now have a P.R. problem with how it’s gay and lesbian members have been treated and it will only get worse with this Prop 8 blunder.

    When it was widely publicized that the Church was surprised by the backlash against Mitt Romney because he is Mormon, the Church stated that they needed to do a better job of portraying the Church as a mainstream religion. When it is projected that 80% of the private donations to this hate campaign have come from Church members, no doubt they have shot themselves in the foot again.

    But I agree with you Jeanie, that our time is better spent talking to those who are on the fence. Like you, my partner and I do a lot of volunteer work in our community and have become fairly well known. We have been out visiting with those on the fence and it is an amazing and gratifying experience to find how much support we have, including from members of the Church. I dare say that the Church is really missing out on our missionary efforts and it is too bad that they are waging this hate campaign against our family.

  101. 101Captain Moronion 05 Oct 2008 at 3:30 pm

    Dave – Go to the training. It MAY be instructions from Salt Lake. Go and see what they say. Gather info/documentation, etc… I know an AP reporter that would LOVE that info. We can also prepare for their tatcics rathre than be caught with our pants down.

  102. 102Jeanieon 05 Oct 2008 at 7:52 pm

    I can pretty easily get one of my adult children or one of their young adult friends to go to the meeting. I suspect that the reason that it is directed at the young adult couples is because that is the group that IS NOT supporting Prop 8. Statistics show that the younger a person is, the more likely they are to have LGBTQ friends and are supportive of equal rights. I’m wondering if the church is trying to bring this group back into the “mainstream” Mormon idealogical fold.

    Also, I’m seeing those “6 consequences” being brought up repeatedly in letters to the editor in local papers here. I’d like to get a letter to the editor out refuting these. Does anyone have a 300 word synopsis of the commentary refuting these (or is willing to write one in the next 24-48 hours?) It should conclude with a link to actual article. I’ll send it out to my local papers and perhaps others can do the same.

    I also think that it is time to get some press for Mormons who are fighting this thing. I can’t be the face this time around because I’m no longer a member. Is there anyone willing to go public? I think that there is enough of us who know how to get the interviews if we have the individuals who are willing to be interviewed. Any volunteers?

  103. 103Captain Moronion 05 Oct 2008 at 9:23 pm

    Here ya go…300 words on the nose –


    Here is a logical rebuttal to the “6 Results If Proposition 8 Fails”.

    “Children in public schools will have to be taught that same-sex marriage is just as good as traditional marriage.” – Kids aren’t taught today that religious marriages are superior to civil ones. The Education Code simply requires discussion of “ the legal and financial aspects and responsibilities of marriage”. No value judgments are made regarding one type of marriage is better than another.

    “Religious adoption agencies will be challenged by government agencies to give up their long-held right to place children only in homes with both a mother and a father.” – Adoption Agencies that take government funds must abide by government’s non-discrimination laws. LDS Family Services doesn’t accept such funds and therefore able to place babies only with devout LDS members.

    “This change in the definition of marriage will bring a cascade of lawsuits. People will be sued because they refuse to provide services to gays.” – Gays will simply be protected as are ethnic minorities. People wanting to operate a business must abide by the law, even anti-discrimination laws. You can’t discriminate against Blacks or gays.

    The last three have the same rebuttal – “Churches may be sued over their tax exempt status if they refuse to allow same-sex marriage ceremonies in their religious buildings open to the public.” ….”Religions that sponsor private schools with married student housing may be required to provide housing for same-sex couples”… “Ministers who preach against same-sex marriages may be sued for hate speech and risk government fines” ….. If ANY such thing happened, you can bet that the citizenry would IMMEDIATELY pass a state or federal constitutional amendment to remedy that. Even non-church-goers would support the amendment preventing such abuses.

    All of their assertions shed far more heat than light.

  104. 104BJon 06 Oct 2008 at 3:52 pm

    I was watching General Conference and everything was fine until the last session when Russell M. Nelson stood up at the podium. As he delivered his talk, the good feeling I had was no longer with me. That’s fine if the church does not want to recognize gay marriages, but why prevent gays getting married outside the church. This thinking is so backward and harmful that I am stunned that it came out of the mouth of one of our general authorities. What if Christ were on the earth at this time? Would he be as judgmental and critical. Somehow I don’t think so.

    I have been a member of this church my whole life. Now I am wondering if it is for me anymore. Please someone help me out as I am losing faith.

  105. 105admin3on 06 Oct 2008 at 5:36 pm

    BJ – I am so sorry that you had that experience with Elder Nelson’s talk. I’ve heard of more than a few others who had similar reactions, and it seems that particular analogy was lacking in many ways.

    There were some good things said at conference, and I think Pres. Eyring’s talk about becoming one is a good example for all to follow, no matter which side of the Prop 8 debate we come down on. I also appreciated Elder Holland’s comments about people being God’s angels.

    All of us are human beings and our life experiences shape and define who we are and how we understand the world. God speaks to us in ways we will understand and when we explain to others what God says to us, the messages we send go through our own filters before they reach the ears of others. As a result, sometimes they don’t understand things as clearly as we do – kind of like the “telephone” game.

    In the end, the Gospel is not about odd analogies at General Conference. It is about love. It is about learning to love ourselves and each other, despite our faults and weaknesses and misunderstandings.

    I believe that in some ways this is the real test surrounding the whole same-sex marriage issue: Will we learn to love others? Will we put aside “the foolish traditions of our fathers” and open our hearts and minds to see and know the world the way God does? For some, loving gay members with Christ-like compassion is hardest, for others, loving with Christ-like compassion those who would shun gay people is the hardest.

    You will have to work out how you deal with your version of this test with your own self and with your Lord and Savior, whose atonement covers all of us. That does not mean you have to do it quietly by yourself, though. We are all here to help one another on our life journeys. It doesn’t matter who comes in first, only that we all get there. And Christ is driving the trailing vehicle to pick up all of us who “poop out” along the way and need a lift for part of the distance.

  106. 106Ricky Kendallon 06 Oct 2008 at 6:45 pm

    I have come to the conclusion that the church doesn’t really care about the suicides resulting from their lack of understanding sexual orientation. I came very close to committing suicide myself, at the age of 16, because of the church’s position. How could the leaders of the church be inspired by God and be so lacking in knowledge and understanding. They still think we chose to be gay. I don’t think they care and could care less if we all off ourselves.

  107. 107Melanieon 06 Oct 2008 at 7:44 pm

    My cousin, who was recently married to her partner of 10 years, referred me to this site. I think that my conflict may be different from some others- although many might not see it that way. I live in Utah and am an active member of the Church. Both my uncle and my cousin are homosexual.
    It has pained me to have to face this debate. I love my cousin and I think that her partner is kind and caring. When I heard that my cousin was getting married to her partner, my heart ached in pain. I want her to be happy, but I don’t agree with her lifestyle (I am not trying to pass judgment on whether or not homosexuality is biological or not, I just don’t know any other way to say this.)
    What has brought me a lot of peace is when I think back on other comments that the church has said in relation to our treatment of others. As a member of the church and having prayerfully studied the Proclamation on the Family I believe that homosexuality is against the law of God- HOWEVER- I believe that each person has a right to dictate their own path. What I have decided is that I will love the sinner but not the sin. I remember Pres. Hinckley long ago talking about how we love and embrace all people, including homosexuals. I do believe that marriage is a moral issue and that if the government does not dictate morality, no one will. At the same time, I do think that partners shoul be allowed to receive medical insurance and other benefits that married people have, but I do not agree that they should be allowed to marry. I have seen the evidence both ways as to how homosexual partnerships affect children- my degree is in Marriage, Family, and Human Development. I think that it is true that there are far worse things than growing up with homosexual parents (parents that rape for one).
    I am sorry if this is coming out contrary to what everyone has written. It is not meant to be angry or to pass judgement- I hope that everone would open-minded enough to listen to all opinions. I want to emphasize that I try to be charitable to all people. I am sorry for those of you that have been around people that have pashed harsh and angry judgement- that is not the way of the Lord. It is true that we are not told to follow blindly, that we are to take the doctrine and pray about it and get a testimony for ourselves. I hope that those of you who have been hurt by the prejudiced and unjustified comments of others will recognize that each of us are here to learn and to grow- we all make mistakes. Those with an attitude of hate and anger towards anyone, regardless of who they are, is not in alignment with the Lord. We ought to treat all people with respect but leave our moral codes firmly in place. There is a middle ground. Pray, follow your heart and know that the Lord knows what is inside of you and will judge your heart without regards to others opinion of you- it is his judgement that matters, not that of an angry and ignorant person.
    That being said, I hope that everyone will be able to find a peace in their hearts and will know that they made their decision after careful thought an prayer.

  108. 108BJon 07 Oct 2008 at 2:01 pm

    Thank you admin3 for your encouraging words!

    I have tried to implement balance in my life regarding my membership in the church and church activity. Though I am an active member with a current temple recommend, I for me, enjoy socializing with good people who are not LDS. This way I can have relief so that I am not suffocated by the LDS cultural dogma. I’m not one of those people who can do church stuff 24-7. I need other outlets in the community. This has really helped keep my sanity.

  109. 109Dave Hoenon 08 Oct 2008 at 10:53 am

    Melanie -

    Your conundrum is not unlike what many members of the Church are experiencing. While the phrase, “Love the sinner, but hate the sin” sounds very altruistic, the very phrase itself implies that you have already passed judgement and have taken the Church’s word for it and concluded that gay people are sinners. For those of us who have come to the other conclusion, it is extremely offensive when someone uses that phrase with regards to gay people. It’s as ridiculous as saying, “I will always hate that you are left handed and in the hereafter God will make you right handed if you do your best to never use your left hand, but I will still love you even if you choose to use your left hand.” Murderers, Rapists, Child Abusers, Spouse Batterers, Thieves, Drug Abusers, etc. are sinners. And most of us can remember being taught that being gay is on an equal plane as those sins. Can you begin to understand why that phrase is so offensive?

    In addition, I have to take exception to your statement, “I do believe that marriage is a moral issue and that if the government does not dictate morality, no one will”. I take it then, that you feel the government was justified in persecuting the early saints for practicing polygamy. While the supporters of Prop 8 continually try to use the argument that allowing same-sex marriage is a slippery slope, for religions to start determining civil rights issues completely destroys the foundation of our government. We will be no better off than the extremists in the middle east and they will have won.

    Most Church members who are supporting Prop 8 will one day be very ashamed and embarrassed about it. Some will still be bigots, but we’ll do our best to still love them anyway.

  110. 110Emilyon 08 Oct 2008 at 12:02 pm

    The last article I read regarding the big push the church has made in encouraging its members to stand up against equal rights of homosexuals to marry was pretty much the nail in the coffin for me (http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,700264880,00.html). I can no longer reconsile my feelings of disgust over the churches actions. At this point in my life, I am done. I am not going to sit in sicelence and suffer. I am going to express my feelings openly and stop giving my money to an organization that encourages bigatry. This decision will bring me greater happiness, and more money, than the church could ever have brought to my life. My husband and I are happier together than we ever have been. I do appreciate this web site and am glad that not all LDS people are intolerant lifestyles that are different than their own!!

  111. 111Tomon 09 Oct 2008 at 8:06 am

    Dave,

    Are we not taught that engaging in sex outside of marriage is immoral? Therefore heterosexuals can be sinners in this regard (and in a plethora of others). Being gay is not a sin. If you were taught that in Church, maybe we grew up in different churches. It is actions that make us ALL sinners. Me for yelling at my children, a gay couple for engaging in extramarital sex, a heterosexual couple for engaging in extramarital sex, a member of the Church for not expressing sufficient gratitude for her blessings (which was mentioned in Conference so many times). We all sin. It is perfectly okay to hate these sins that we commit and still love the sinners, each other. I still love my parents despite their many sins! I would hope others love me, despite my many sins (while not condoning the mistakes I make). We must be careful to not get so defensive that we start accepting all sorts of sin and passing judgment on others for passing judgment! In calling Church members bigots, are we not also judging? Those of us against this proposition have a fine line to walk. It is IMPERATIVE that we continue to love our brothers and sisters in the Church who are for this proposition, as much as we love the ones this proposition is hurting. To love one group and not the other is to turn us all into hypocrites. The straight brother who sits next to me in church with his own struggles and issues is as important in God’s eyes as the homosexual who feels ostracized. God loves everyone. It saddens me that people who proclaim to oppose this proposition because they want to be Christ-like and love everyone, end up hating others so freely.

  112. 112Natalieon 09 Oct 2008 at 10:01 am

    Hey all!
    So a bunch of folks are fasting this Sunday, the 12th, for “Yes” on Prop. 8 in California. There is now a facebook event for the fast. See here: http://www.new.facebook.com/event.php?eid=83034960573&ref=nf

    If you, like me, think that Prop. 8 is wrong, please join me in a fast for enlightenment, understanding, and Christian compassion surrounding the issue of gay rights this Sunday.

    Let us fast for our brothers and sisters who may be going through so many difficult emotions at this time, and fast and pray that liberty will be preserved, and newly formed families protected.

    If anyone knows of a way to make this more of an official “event”, please do so.

  113. 113Mikeon 09 Oct 2008 at 1:26 pm

    I appreciate all the input on this site. I also love the way people are very respectful of each other’s feelings. I am not sure if posts from those of opposing views are welcome, but here it goes.

    My only input is that when I am faced with a difficult question, I always try to ask myself, “What would the Savior do”. I think that most Mormons believe in loving the sinner but hating the sin.
    The only sexual relationship that I can see the Lord permitting in the scriptures is permitted within the bonds or marriage. Is this not supported by the teachings we have received about the pre-existence and the Lord’s plan to send spirit children to the earth to gain mortal bodies and have experiences designed to strengthen us and prepare is to come back to God? These children arrive on the earth through sexual relations between men and woman. Doesn’t the legitimizing of homosexual behavior by calling it marriage diminish the Lord’s plan? Don’t we read in Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

    Many sociologists now site that the rearing of children is greatly enhanced within the bonds of marriage due to the gender specific roles that each parent plays in insuring the successful upbringing of each child.

    If the homosexual act is a “sin”, then why would we want to become complicit in doing something contrary to the will of God by elevating it to the status of marriage? Is it not implicit in our relationship as Disciples of Christ to defend the Lord’s teachings?

    Finally, as LDS members, our Church has already stated in years past that Marriage is between a man and a woman. If we believe in the Church structure and how the restoration came about, then how can we deny this as being prophetic truth? For if the Church’s position is false; then doesn’t the Church just become another of the thousands of Christian Churches that exist, and not the true Church of God?

  114. 114Dave Hoenon 09 Oct 2008 at 3:26 pm

    So I attended the broadcast last night. I behaved myself. Didn’t speak to anyone and wasn’t approached by anyone. Didn’t hand out articles or anything like that. I took lots of notes. I could regurgitate them, but I don’t think that’s necessary.

    I would estimate there were approximately 300 in attendance at this Stake Center. Average age was probably around 45-50. Not really very many young adults in attendance which surprised me because the presentation was geared toward young adults and I believe there is a young adult ward within this Stake. Not much diversity in the congregation; mostly white anglos. Since there are a lot of hispanics in this area, I was expecting to see a large proportion, but really didn’t see any at all. One black family that looked out of place. I guess I’m not really surprised because this is typically how all Mormon congregations look in Utah, but I was expecting a little more diversity here.

    It was a pre-taped presentation with Elder M. Russell Ballard, Elder Quentin L. Cook and Elder L. Whitney Clayton giving the presentation. They were sitting around a small round table and reading from teleprompters, with no live audience which made it look “robotic” at times. The presentation didn’t seem inspiring and it didn’t appear to me that those attending felt inspired.

    Much of the presentation was geared toward young adults and even Elder Ballard (who admitted he didn’t understand what it meant) was encouraging them to “go viral” on the internet. On more than one occasion they implored the conversations and web chats, etc. to not be antagonistic. They showed a sample of YouTube videos and encouraged those with the know-how, to post their own. A portion of the presentation was college age students asking an Institute Director, questions about the proposition and it’s consequences.

    It was obvious that the Church has gone full bore political machine on this issue with all the attendant lies, half-truths and exaggerations in an attempt to spread FUD to get people to vote yes. They laid out the schedule of “phases” up through election day, and it looked like any other political campaign strategy. (I’ve been involved in a few myself, so I know what they look like.)

    I was curious to see if they would bring up any of the “six consequences if Prop 8 fails”. Sure enough they brought up the first three several times. Although they added the disclaimer that these consequences wouldn’t all happen right away, they nevertheless emphasized these consequences will surely befall us. I was a little surprised that two of the Apostles would compromise the integrity of the Quorum of Twelve by repeating these lies and encouraging members to repeat these lies in their “Get out the vote” campaigns. As I said, It was obvious that the Church has gone full bore political machine on this issue with all the attendant lies, half-truths and exaggerations in an attempt to spread FUD to get people to vote yes. But as they say, Politics is Politics and apparently the only way to get your side heard is to lie. After all, the Church is clearly on the wrong side of equality on this issue and they have to present some sort of scary story.

    One other tactic was mentioned which I believe borders on unethical. They asked if people know someone who is not currently living in California, that they make sure they vote. I could have been reading this wrong, but it seemed the subliminal message was to get your friends and relatives throughout the country to register and vote in California. As I said, I may have read that wrong but I wonder how many people had a light bulb turn on at that moment.

    It could be that the Church feels they are justified to pull out all the stops – a take off on “it is better that one man perish than a whole nation dwindle in unbelief” attitude, but I believe the message last night compromised the Quorum.

    Being there with three hundred saints was sort of a melancholy experience for me. These are the people I spent the first thirty years of my life with and I would have been right there with them in my previous life. It is hard to describe, but I believe I felt compassion for them. They were there firmly believing that they are about the work of the Lord. I wish them no evil. I believe most of them are probably very kind and gentle people and probably would be heartbroken if they really understood the turmoil they are causing for some of the young (and even some of the older) members in their midst. And I felt sad. Sort of how I felt at the end of Stepford Wives.

  115. 115admin3on 09 Oct 2008 at 4:30 pm

    We’ve created a post to specifically address issues about the October 8th Satellite Broadcast from Salt Lake City like Dave’s bringing up.

    If you’ve got responses to his post, please add them over here: http://mormonsformarriage.com/?p=43

    Thanks!

  116. 116Linda Stayon 09 Oct 2008 at 9:50 pm

    I am Linda Stay, Mormon mother of two gay children, of whom I am very proud! As I watched these two grow up and develop their personalities, it was very clear that they didn’t fit the typical stereo type of a masculine tough boy, or a barbie doll carrying little girl. They were unique in their own ways. As little children, there is no way you can convince me that they “chose” to be different or that there was any evil temptation influencing them. They came from heaven just the way they are. Did God make a mistake? I think not. Anymore than someone born with Down Syndrome is a mistake. They have a role and a purpose and things to learn and teach the rest of us, as we all do. As I have watched them be rejected and shunned, ignored and invisible to so many they love and are were close to, it is ludicrous to believe they “chose” this “lifestyle” any more than I chose to be heterosexual.

    It saddens me as I read the opposition to the equal rights of gays and lesbians to marry and commit to each other. I am saddened that the church that once held the ultimate light of truth in my eyes, could be so quick to enlist and encourage it’s congregations to rally in judgment, bigotry and disdain for the civil rights of humans in our present day. I am appalled at their use of fear tactics to influence its members and stooping to the same devices that our politicians use to manipulate. I am shocked by the antiquated attitudes of so many and clearly cannot believe that this is what a loving God would condone or inspire anyone to do. I believed that the LDS church held the family to be of utmost importance, yet I watch families being pulled apart, divided and separated over this issue of the right for homosexuals to commit in marriage to each other and have the same civil rights. What happened to the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” which teaches love
    unconditional?

    My son Tyler was able to be married to his love and partner, Spencer, on June 17, 2008 in San Francisco. The video below has clips of that union which were captured on the news. As you watch, I cannot understand how anyone could read some negative “gay agenda” designed to destroy the sanctity of marriage. It is purely the joy of two people in love committing devotion and respect to each other. How is that a sin? How does that threaten my temple marriage? Quite the opposite…. It strengthens and inspires me to the same level of love and commitment!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5YHrSCsdvg&feature=related

    My hope is that each of us will release the “fight” and find the acceptance to let everyone worship and vote according to the dictates of their own heart. I pray that we teach more love, tolerance, peace and acceptance and less judgment, bigotry and indignation. Respect and protect the civil rights of all human beings regardless of race, gender, religious affiliation, or class. It really is that simple……
    There are a couple of sites that maybe of interest to you if you align yourself with the issue of protecting civil rights to all. Please take the time to let yourself be heard. Do what you can in good conscience to help.
    http://signingforsomething.org/blog/
    http://mormonsformarriage.com/
    http://noonprop8.com/home
    With love,
    Linda

  117. 117Lynetteon 10 Oct 2008 at 10:39 am

    I have been reading these posts now for about an hour. I’ve learned about the feelings of church members who are gay and struggling with their membership, and I’m trying to understand that. I also have appreciated the civil tone of all the posts, which is so unlike other sites I have visited. The teachings of the church possibly has had some influence as most people have spoken with kindness. I wasn’t even going to leave my own post until I read something from Admin3. I quote:
    “There were SOME good things said at conference”
    This is a very telling comment. General Conference is for us what the Liahona was to Lehi. It is our direction from the Lord. I was on a spiritual high for days after listening to ALL the talks and I can testify with all my soul that it was from God….every word, every talk. If you pick and choose which words you like and which you don’t, then I suppose sometimes you will be headed in the right direction….and sometimes you won’t. And by the way, those wonderful men and women who spoke to all of us in such a loving way, shared with us their compassion for the trials we are all experiencing. They encouraged us to stand firm in the faith, no matter how hard it is, and if we will, great blessings await us.

  118. 118admin3on 10 Oct 2008 at 11:54 am

    Lynette and others –

    Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to look around the site. We appreciate all views that are considerately stated as yours is, but please remember our comment policy:

    “If you don’t agree with the positions taken by mormonsformarriage, this is not the place to make negative comments, call people to repentance or engage in debating the issues.”

    Since you have taken the time to read posts on this site, you likely have some perspective that there are many who have struggled with some of the talks which inspired you. Imagine for a moment what you would have done if just one of the talks you heard was not so inspiring. What if you listened to conference with a cup slowly being filled but then one of the speakers not only drained the cup but knocked it out of your hand? Would you appreciate a reminder that there was Living Water in your cup at some point, or would you rather remain focused on your loss? Would you want to find your cup and try to refill it?

    The purpose and intent of the comment I made earlier was to point some of the “strugglers” to talks that were easier to handle. Different things inspire us at different times in our lives, and wouldn’t it be a shame if someone were to throw out ALL of the conferences addresses without finding even one thing to hang on to?

    Sometimes we struggle in the darkness, searching for just one rope to keep us connected to the Light. For some people the connection is but a small thread, easily broken or cut by even a dull knife. For others, perhaps yourself, the connection is a strong cord that is firmly attached to a strong anchor, an anchor which, if attached to another person’s small thread, would break the thread altogether, leaving a brother or sister to drift away.

    Please continue to enjoy the conversation, but remember, too, the recent admonitions from Elders Ballard, Cook and Clayton to be especially patient, charitable and kind toward those among us who are struggling because of the issues at hand.

  119. 119Natalieon 10 Oct 2008 at 4:00 pm

    Hey everyone,
    For those who want to get involved, I have created a Facebook event for a fast on Sunday to peacefully oppose Proposition 8. Please, if you are a facebook member, check it out and join in.

    Here’s the link: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=620183&ref=name#/event.php?eid=29716898910&ref=mf

  120. 120sandraon 13 Oct 2008 at 2:37 pm

    Okay, this is getting out of hand. Several ward volunteers were passing out prop 8 signs in the church parking lot on Sunday. They positioned themselves in the exit so they could bombard everyone. We have a major fire going on in Southern California and other important issues facing our world right now. Why is the church getting so aggressive on this issue?? I don’t get it.

  121. 121Machelle Thompsonon 13 Oct 2008 at 8:53 pm

    Thank you so much for this site! It said so many things I try to say. I feel so sad for the homosexuals I know and love. I feel such pain at the alienation many feel from the healing comfort of Christ because of the bitter words of His followers.

    Please know, if you are gay… God did create all of us. He loves all of us. The Lord died on the cross for everyone. He wants us all to experience joy in whatever place in life we find ourselves.

    I fervently pray that you find refuge in the Lord’s peace and love. Give it all to Him. Release your life, your struggles and striving to His will and power. Let Him fill you with His Grace that surpasses all understanding…where no guilt or turmoil resides…Where nothing but love and a full understanding of who we are fills our souls with light and peace… Where He fills us with knowledge of what is our personal calling within the circumstances He set us into. And thus, by fullfilling that personal calling with love and guidance from Him, the fullness of salvation becomes available to every single one of us… Really! This is what I know is truth.

    If only the money wasted on these propositions could go to help His children feed themselves, to help His children find adequate medical care and housing, to help strengthen in love all kinds of families….

  122. 122Natalieon 13 Oct 2008 at 10:09 pm

    Sandra, I feel for ya. I really, really, really wish the church had decided torture was a big enough moral issue to leave its shell of political neutrality for. Compared to things like that, giving this much attention to gay marriage seems almost comical.

  123. 123Brett Bradshawon 14 Oct 2008 at 8:42 am

    Friends,

    In just three weeks, California voters will decide whether to change the California Constitution to single out gay and lesbian couples and eliminate their fundamental right to marry. I believe this is inconsistent with Mormon values and in this final hour I urge you to do what you can to defeat Proposition 8.

    So many of us from LDS backgrounds value our own Constitutional protections and believe strongly that the Constitution should protect freedoms, not take them away. Regardless of how any one person or faith feels about marriage for same-sex couples, we know that it is wrong to use the Constitution to treat a group of people unfairly.

    The truth is that passing Prop 8 would hurt gay and lesbian couples – our family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors – and devalue their relationships and their lives. Coming from Mormon backgrounds, we believe in the importance of families and want all families to be treated equally and fairly, which includes having the right to marry the person you love.

    As you may already know, proponents of Prop 8 have a significant fundraising advantage and are currently blanketing the airwaves with advertisements that contain misinformation designed to scare voters into voting Yes on Prop 8. Despite what the Yes on 8 Campaign would have us believe, the vote on Prop 8 is not about what children are taught in school, whether churches will lose their tax-exempt status, or whether people of faith may define marriage however they choose. The proposition mentions none of these things. The vote is about whether the State of California should take away the right of a group of people to get married and enjoy the dignity and respect that comes with marriage. Doing this would be profoundly wrong.

    I call on all people from LDS backgrounds – active members and former members alike, those in California, Utah, and across the country – to make a personal sacrifice and donate to the No on 8 Campaign. You may do so at the following URL:

    http://www.actblue.com/page/mormonsagainst8

    If you haven’t donated yet, please do so; if you already have, please consider doing so again.

    For those who would like to volunteer to call undecided voters in these final weeks, please contact the No on 8 Campaign to learn how to sign up. You may volunteer at phone banks across California, or you may also phone bank remotely from your home anywhere across the country. Go to this URL to sign up:

    http://www.noonprop8.com/action/phone-bank

    Thank you for helping to defend the fundamental right to marry for all Californians. Contribute as much as you can today and remember to VOTE NO ON PROP 8!!

    Brett Bradshaw
    Oakland, CA

  124. 124Luke Asplundon 14 Oct 2008 at 3:47 pm

    I find it a little ironic–I was originally opposed to the church’s position on Proposition 8 because of its urging its members to donate. I didn’t feel it was proper. Now this website is asking me to donate.
    My thoughts are complex and running. I am a member of the church, but I feel like gays should be allowed to have equal marriage.
    And yet…
    I feel as though I have not been truly converted to the church if I do not totally obey what the presidency says. Wasn’t there a time that I believed that they received their doctrine not from themselves, but from God? From a higher being?
    So should I toss that aside when I, personally, disagree and feel it is wrong?
    It has led to nights of suffering, thinking, praying, for the answer. Wondering if I was too prideful, if I was wrong, if the church was wrong.
    Even now, I am not sure.
    But at the same time, it makes sense–either the church is totally right, or it is totally wrong. There is no middle ground, it is not a “choose your doctrine” church. Is it right or wrong?
    Just now, as I typed this, I have concluded that it is right.
    And while I still have feelings of hesistancy, I will donate to groups that are working to pass Proposition 8. Not because I think it’s right, but because the Church says it is–and I believe in the church, which means I know that the general authorities have received this direct commandment from God.
    And now, even as I type, I feel floods of comfort.
    Thank you for the chance.

  125. 125Captain Moronion 14 Oct 2008 at 5:48 pm

    Luke Asplund – I will donate to groups that are working to pass Proposition 8. Not because I think it’s right, but because the Church says it is–and I believe in the church, which means I know that the general authorities have received this direct commandment from God.

    CM – Luke, please visit our site – lds4gaymarriage.org We have an essay entitled, “Must We Vote The Way The Brethren Tell Us To Vote?” It deals with the conflict between the Church and what is right. Please give it a look and let us know your thoughts. Thanks..

    Oh, BTW, we have a short overview on why Prop. 8 is contrary to the Gospel. please comment on that as well.

  126. 126Daniel Bon 15 Oct 2008 at 11:23 am

    What a relief to know that this website exists! I came out years ago after an agonizing teenage struggle with homosexuality, amid vain attempts to be just like the “other kids” in my ward. Now in my late twenties, with my partner for over 5 years, I hope to solidify our union this coming year with a real wedding. Though I buried the axe I had with many issues of the faith years ago, I was still so disappointed, though not surprised, to hear of the church authorities’ plans to help pass Prop 8. This website has restored a measure of faith in Mormons – the Mormons I remember with a lot of love. Thank you!

  127. 127anonymousactiveon 15 Oct 2008 at 2:18 pm

    I am directing my comments to Luke (response 124).

    I clearly remember when Spencer W. Kimball issued the statement that mothers are not to work outside the home. This statement brought up so much controversy and angst among women in the church. To this day, I will never forget it. My bishop’s wife spoke to us in Relief Society. She boldly told us she wanted to work because it made her more fulfilled thereby making her a better mother. Many women in the gospel made it a personal choice to work even though the prophet advised against it. Were the working women disobeying the prophet and not exerting enough faith to exist without working?? I believe we can listen to what the prophet says and find our own path through personal inspiration as many women did during this time period.

    How things have changed! Many mothers need to work outside the home for financial reasons. The point being is that we all need to make choices for what is best in our own lives.

    I have prayed about prop 8 and my answer is not to support this proposition. I will again fast on November 1 and will be surprised if the answer changes. If we truly believe that God is a respector of persons, then we will want everyone to have equal opportunities in life.

    I don’t want to belong to any organization that does not allow us to question. It is dangerous to allow someone else to do all of our thinking. Aren’t we told that we are entitled to personal revelation? I believe that the gospel in its truest form allows us the personal freedom to make choices and to make righteous judgments.

  128. 128anonymousactiveon 15 Oct 2008 at 5:59 pm

    In my previous post, I referenced one of Spencer W. Kimball’s talks regarding mothers. If you are curious, go to http://emp.byui.edu/SATTERFIELDB/PDF/ToMothersofZion.pdf. The talk is entitled “To the Mothers in Zion” and it was given in 1987.

    “The Lord clearly defined the roles of mothers and fathers in providing for and rearing a righteous posterity.In the beginning, Adam–not Eve–was instructed to earn the bread by the sweat of his brow. Contrary to
    conventional wisdom, a mother’s calling is in the home, not in the marketplace.”
    “….the counsel of the Church has always been for mothers to spend their full time in the home in rearing and caring for their children.”

  129. 129Jeanieon 15 Oct 2008 at 7:17 pm

    Another good historical example of what anonymousactive is talking about is this: Following the martyrdom of Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum, Brigham Young told Hyrum’s widow, Mary Fielding Smith that she should NOT go to Utah because she would be a burden on whatever company going west that she went with. She was not going to be left behind and told the prophet that she would beat him to the Salt Lake Valley. She and her children received very little help going west and there are many stories about her travails and courage (lost and sick oxen, etc.) She did indeed beat Brigham Young’s wagon into the valley. And it’s a good thing that she followed her own personal reveleation and “disobeyed” the prophet. Her descendants include Joseph F. Smith and Joseph Fielding Smith. It is highly unlikely (if not impossible) that these men would have become prophets if she had stayed behind in Nauvoo with Emma Smith, Joseph’s widow. This story was told by Ida Smith, a descendant, at a BYU Women’s Conference at the time that the “working mothers” controversy was at its peak. I personally attended the conference and heard her tell this story.

  130. 130Lisa Jenkinson 16 Oct 2008 at 11:05 am

    I’ve been working hard for months to sort out my feelings on this issue – feelings that I’ve hidden for some years because of the Church and society’s standing on it.

    This year I sat in Sacrament meeting, Sunday School, etc., and listened while people used flawed arguments to support revelation. Something doesn’t smell right to me about that.

    Thank you for this site. I hope you and others will visit my blog where I discuss the issue, hoping others will open their minds and at least stop a moment to realize just what it is they’re saying – what kind of a spirit it emits.

    Lisa Jenkins

  131. 131Danielon 16 Oct 2008 at 12:43 pm

    This is for Luke Asplund. I recall two events from my childhood which I found disturbing regarding the Church’s contradictory teachings about free agency and following church authorities. These are both from Sunday School, both when I was about 8.

    1. Being taught about personal revelation, we were told to pray for answers and to follow our inspiration. I asked, “What if our answer is contrary to what we are told by the authorities?” The answer: “Then your answer is coming from the wrong place.” My question: “So we should always follow the authorities?” Answer: “Yes.” Question: “So why bother to ask?” Answer: “Stop confusing the class.”

    2. In another class, we were told always to follow the Prophet. Question: “What if he Prophet is wrong?” Answer: “He won’t be. The Prophet receives revelation from God.” Question: “But what if he’s speaking from his own opinion, and not from revelation?” Answer: “He wouldn’t do that.” Question: “What if he made a mistake and heard wrong?” Terse answer: “God wouldn’t let him.” Question: “What if he had, say, a brain tumor and was kind of crazy?” Angry answer: “Then just do what he says anyway, and God won’t hold it against you!”

    That answer scared me, and still does. If Church members claim to believe in personal revelation and free will but are willing to disregard their personal convictions of right and wrong and abdicate personal responsibility and accountability to follow the dictates of a group of men who have said many things over the years that clearly were base on personal belief and bias rather than revelation, where does that leave us all? It reminds me of the experiments done after World War II (at Princeton, I believe), where students were told to inflict pain on other students by administering electrical shocks, and did so (or so they believed) – contrary to their own beliefs – because they were told.

    If you are willing to support the denial of equal rights and dignity to an entire class of human beings although you believe otherwise, what else might you be willing to do if you were told?

    I ask this not as an accusation, but out of sincere hope that you can look into your heart and follow your true convictions. Your own integrity is what hangs in the balance (and I mean “integrity” as wholeness, the integration of your entire true self).

    Good luck – you seem like a sincere and thoughtful person.

  132. 132Machelle Thompsonon 16 Oct 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Luke, I guess the all or nothing approach plagued me for a long time. Then, through a very long prayerful struggle with God, I felt strongly that we each have a calling from God, and that we are individually given every single thing we need to fulfill that calling. So, I was given the gift of compassion and an intense love of the Lord as he called me to work with children who had been severely abused. But, He did not give me other gifts and strengths such as great organizational skills or a strong testimony in areas unrelated to my specific calling. It was through working at my calling that I realized that some of our brothers and sisters are going through things that my brain could not have ever imagined. If a young child who was repeatedly raped can later have a stable consensual adult relationship; that is an amazing feat… regardless of whether that relationship is hetero- or homosexual. I have seen the Lord gather all that early pain and, I believe He is genuinely happy when one of His children comes so far finding love.

    Additionally, I realized that I can learn and respect the revelation of others, but some of it is just not directed at me. I, for example, believe that Moses was a prophet of God. I do not believe however, that I personally am supposed to be Jewish or wander in the desert for forty years. I do, however ask the Lord how his life and revelations apply to my life. I do not see a difference between this example and examples of today. I am given the gift by the Lord to love all of his children and to be genuinely happy when each finds a loving partner that they can share their lives with. This makes my calling possible. But, it may not be another’s calling. Every revelation has a very important purpose in the Lord but not for every individual… we are all created so different. For some, the calling may include a lifestyle that calls one with homosexual feelings to remain celibate as parts of that culture can be dangerously promiscuous. For another, it may be finding the soul mate that, whether hetero- or homosexual, is meant to be with a particular person.

    I guess that is why I am against the proposition, or other laws that intrude on the personal decisions that don’t cause harm to others. Interestingly, the LDS church is not pushing us here in Florida on Amendment 2 at all. All this was brought to my attention in my husband’s CA ward we visited this summer.

  133. 133Melanieon 16 Oct 2008 at 7:10 pm

    I feel compelled to address some of the statements that have been made recently. I hope that all will understand that my words do not come out of anger or as an attempt to call you to repent. I am hoping to clarify some things, specifically on the issue of the Church vs. Civil rights.
    First, I would like to address the ideas that Captain Moroni has presented. The Bible does actually say that homosexuality is a sin; it calls it an “abomination”. In Genesis 19 it talks about the angels that visited Sodom and Gemorrah. These men were asked to come out of the home they were in so that the men outside of the house might “know them”. In biblical terms, “knowing” someone means have sexual relations with them. This is not an idea that is soley brought forth by the Church. The word sodomy comes from sodom. Also, type in sodom and gemorrah in a search engine and you will find entry after entry referring to homosexuality.
    Second, (still referring to Captain Moroni’s comments) on lds4gaymarriage.org it also refers to D&C 134:4 which states: “We believe that religion is instituted of God; and that men are amenable to him, and to him only, for the exercise of it, unless their religious opinions prompt them to infringe upon the rights and liberties of others; but we do not believe that human law has a right to interfere in prescribing rules of aworship to bind the consciences of men, nor dictate forms for public or private devotion; that the civil magistrate should restrain crime, but never control conscience; should punish bguilt, but never suppress the freedom of the soul.” lds4gaymarriage.org state this: ” LDS scripture (D&C 134:4) says we can’t use our religious opinions to justify infringing upon the rights and liberties of others.”
    IF you read D&C 134 the “rights and liberties” it is referring to is the right to worship and that the government should not infringe upon those rights.
    Third, it has been stated that the Church has often been on the wrong side when it comes to civil affairs, specifically referring to plural marriage, blacks and the priesthood, and women. The Church has never said that plural marriage, being a different race, or being a woman is a moral issue. Homosexuality is a moral issue. It is immoral according to the scriptures as well as the leaders of our Church.
    I am a stay at home mother of three. Staying at home was a very hard decision for me to come by- I struggled with it for years before I had my children. Now as I look at my babies- my oldest just entered kindergarten- I can see why i is so essential to stay home. I do not feel at all supressed staying at home- in fact I feel quite liberated.
    Fourth, I would like to defend my previous statement of the government protecting our morals. Our government was made to protect the rights of the people- aren’t a lot of our rights based on morality? I.e. being punished for killing, raping, etc. Aren’t we warned throughout the Book of Mormon to make sure the morals of our society today remain firmly in place or else our society will fall?
    Finally, I want to reiterate what Luke said in #124. The church is either true or it is not. We do not get to pick and choose which doctrines the church teaches are right. Did we not just raise our hands in sustaining the our leaders? The apostles and Prophets are called to witness of Christ- Christ teaches to love all people, but He did not condone the sin. When the adulteress woman was brought to Him he showed her compassion, but He also told her to go and sin no more.
    I believe in our leaders. I may not always understand their teachings, but I know that they have been called of God. I also know that no prophet or apostle can teach contrary to the will of God or they will be removed from their calling.

  134. 134Captain Moronion 17 Oct 2008 at 11:24 am

    Melanie sed – First, I would like to address the ideas that Captain Moroni has presented. The Bible does actually say that homosexuality is a sin; it calls it an “abomination”.
    CM – We have never said it wasn’t a sin. That is not the issue here. We believe a 14 y/o girl wearing a bikini on a date with a iced tea in her hand is a quadruple sin, but do you think we should try to out law it?

    Second, (still referring to Captain Moroni’s comments) on lds4gaymarriage.org states D&C 134:4 LDS scripture (D&C 134:4) says we can’t use our religious opinions to justify infringing upon the rights and liberties of others.”
    IF you read D&C 134 the “rights and liberties” it is referring to is the right to worship and that the government should not infringe upon those rights.
    CM – It doesn’t mean just the right to worship because it refers to rightSSSS and libertiesssss, not just one. Even if you were right, do you think that the Lord would approve of us using our religious opinions to justify infringing upon ANY rights and liberties of others?
    You also conveniently forgot about 1 Cor. 10:29 where Paul denies that people can infringe/limt upon his rights based on their religious opinions/sensibilities/morals, etc… We are in violation of this.

    Third….Our government was made to protect the rights of the people- aren’t a lot of our rights based on morality? I.e. being punished for killing, raping, etc.
    CM – Laws should be geared to punish those who infringe upon OBJECTIVE rights, ie..the person, property or rights of others. Murder, rape, theft, arson, fraud, etc…infringe upon the person, property or rights of others. SUBJECTIVE morals, as Paul says, mustn’t be used to form laws. Outlawing subjective “sin” that OBJECTIVELY harms no one else is contrary to freedom. This is what the taliban do…force women to wear Bhurkas and beat them if their ankles or wrists show through. Almost every LDS women wearing her typical Sunday attire would be beated and labelled as whores for their immodest dress and wearing make-up.

    Finally, I want to reiterate what Luke said in #124. The church is either true or it is not. We do not get to pick and choose which doctrines the church teaches are right. Did we not just raise our hands in sustaining the our leaders?
    CM – Sure it’s true, but our leaders are fallible men.
    M – I also know that no prophet or apostle can teach contrary to the will of God or they will be removed from their calling.
    Cm – The prophets disagree. Harold B. Lee and Joseph Fielding Smith said that if the say or write anything contrary to the scriptures, the scriptures prevail. Supporting Prop. 8 violates AT LEAST 1 cor. 10:29.

  135. 135Melanieon 17 Oct 2008 at 1:13 pm

    Captain Moroni,
    I am glad that you have so freely expressed your opinions. I can see from your standpoint what you are trying to say, but I do not believe that all brethren throughout all the history of the church have been wrong on this topic.
    I do want to say- you keep saying that my point of view is contrary to the scriptures. You made a distinction between subjective and objective. Isn’t all law subjective? In the Muslim culture it is acceptable to treat women the way that they do. It has only been the recent pressure from outside cultures that has brought any change to their society. To them, what they were doing was right and moral.
    I do not believe in or support the way they treat their women. In the case of gay marriage, it is going against the very basic unit of the church- the family. Prophets have constantly warned us that Satan is waging war on the family- the only way in which we can get to the celestial kingdom is with our spouses. I am not prejudiced against gay people nor am I homophobic. All that I am trying to say is that giving them legal status as married couples means that we are accepting their sin and supporting it. I will reiterate what I said in my last post. When the adulteress woman was brought to Christ, he did not stone her. He showed his love for her but also told her to go and sin no more. As with all people, we should love them and treat them with respect, but that does not mean that we should enable their lifestyle.
    After this, I am not going to post. This site has asked that we not debate the topics, just give our opinions and create a loving and supportive environment. I just hope that my comments have made some people at least understand why I would not support Proposition 8 or any other gay marriage laws. I believe in the Church. I know that the prophets and apostles are servants of God and that their will is the will of the Lord. We may not always understand his ways, just as the men back in Joseph Smith’s time did not understand why the Lord banned the use of tobacco. The Lord, not the brethren, has made his will clear in this situation. The Church very rarely gets involved in politics, it should stand out in our mind how critical this must be to the Lord that they have so vociferously come out in support of Proposition 8. I want to end by saying again that I know that the church is true, I know men are fallible but the Lord is not. I have prayerfully considered this issue and other related issues for many, many years. I am firm in my faith in the church and know that the Lord has spoken.

  136. 136Troyon 17 Oct 2008 at 2:17 pm

    As a gay guy myself having been raised in the LDS church, this issue is very important to me. I was surprised to find this website, and this group of free-thinking LDS members.

    It is hard for me, to grasp the idea that some straight people can really understand and articulate the hardships of what it must be like to be gay. Of course they can’t really put themselves in my shoes, but I’ve seen some very enlightened and intellectual minds put to work on this site, and I am in awe.

    Whether you’re against Prop. 8 because of a strict belief in the separation of Church and State, or because you’ve taken a step further and are questioning the Christian belief that homosexuality is wrong in the first place, I salute you.

  137. 137Bryce Evanson 17 Oct 2008 at 4:02 pm

    This site has helped me immeasurably. I’m a student at BYU, and I struggle with my own homosexuality (although I’ve resolved the issue on a personal level) – not the easiest combination to deal with. Needless to say, I’m quite vocally against Proposition 8, and that position makes my life quite difficult at times here on campus.

    Anyways, referring some people to this site has cleared up many misconceptions that run rampant through my family and friends. I’m incredibly grateful for that. It’s nice to see such a large group that actually somewhat understands what I’m going through – I hate the ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’ mantra those close to me embrace so tightly and the expectations I face every day to live the rest of my life alone and in fear.

    Although the friends that I’ve actually come out to aren’t particularly supportive, seeing that there are people out there who actually care about the hell I live in and are okay with me being who I am has had a major influence on my life. Unfortunately, suicide was far too tempting for far too long during my teenage years. Only during the past year have I finally understood that I’m okay being me, and that God is okay with me too. Sites like this have been instrumental in my newfound love for life.

  138. 138Lara Cleveland Torgesenon 18 Oct 2008 at 7:58 pm

    Bryce, I wish I could give you a big hug right now. I look at my own son, who is only two years old. I have no idea what his sexual orientation will be, but if he turns out to be gay, I know I could never tell him, “I love you as a person, I just hate your natural inclinations.” How false, how cold that sentiment is. I could never look him in the eye and tell him that, the Lord’s answer for a person like him is to either force himself into a married heterosexual relationship if he wants to experience intimacy or to remain forever single and celibate–to die alone. I think it’s a basic human desire to find someone to share your life, love, and dreams with. Not everyone finds that ideal partner, but we never give up hope for the possibility. Bryce please live your life, find happiness, find love, and be who you are. The church will eventually come around. Don’t put your life on hold in the meantime. Much love from a sister in cyberspace.

  139. 139Chantalon 19 Oct 2008 at 3:09 pm

    I am a lesbian living with my partner in Los Angeles. I am so moved by your website and your message. Over time, I have become increasingly isolated from and angry at almost all religious communities because of their intolerance toward homosexuality. I was always confused as to how these views fit in with religious ideals (such as loving others).

    I thank you for giving me pause in my feelings toward religion and religious people, and for reminding me in turn to avoid judging others.

  140. 140anonymousactiveon 19 Oct 2008 at 6:08 pm

    I’m trying to search for all the websites concerning mormons against prop 8. So far I found signforsomething.org or .com? and lds4gaymarriage.com. I’m sure there are others out there. Does anyone know?

    If you are too afraid to speak out in your ward/stake, please stand up and speak out on this website and others. It will make a difference. The more of us that stand up to our convictions, the better.

  141. 141admin3on 19 Oct 2008 at 6:40 pm

    There’s also GaysandTheGospel.org. Take a look at our sideblog for many resources.

  142. 142Connieon 20 Oct 2008 at 8:16 am

    I appreciate this web site for its clear and concise explination of the main issues. I did, however, go to the opposing website and found that one of their big concersn is that gay marriage and relationships will be taught in schools to young children.
    Is the ultimate goal of no to prop8?

  143. 143admin3on 20 Oct 2008 at 8:52 am

    Connie –

    Brett Bradshaw said it best earlier in this thread:

    “Despite what the Yes on 8 Campaign would have us believe, the vote on Prop 8 is not about what children are taught in school, whether churches will lose their tax-exempt status, or whether people of faith may define marriage however they choose. The proposition mentions none of these things. The vote is about whether the State of California should take away the right of a group of people to get married and enjoy the dignity and respect that comes with marriage. Doing this would be profoundly wrong.”

  144. 144Summeron 20 Oct 2008 at 4:21 pm

    I think it’s interesting that people say homosexuality isn’t a choice. Nobody is arguing or denying the true feelings that people are dealing with. The argument is how they are CHOOSING to act on them. It is so convenient for people to lump the person and their actions together, making anyone who doesn’t accept those actions seem like they don’t accept the actual people.

    Stop by for my personal experience and thoughts. I’d like to hear yours.

    Mean and rude might get deleted- but come on by.
    http://summervw.blogspot.com/2008/10/prop-8-elephant-in-room.html

  145. 145Sheryl Becketton 20 Oct 2008 at 11:46 pm

    So happy to have found this website and know that I’m not the only one struggling with the Church’s involvement in this California election.

    I was raised LDS, my second husband and I were married in the Temple. Somehow I don’t recall all of the emphasis on Prop 22 as there is on Prop 8. I’d call myself a semi-active Mormon at the moment. And, if it wasn’t for my teenage stepdaughter, I’d become totally inactive at this point.

    I graduated from BYU and drifted away from the church only to come back into the fold when pregnant with my almost 29 year old son because I wanted to raise him with good values, not the way his dad and I were living our lives.

    Now, I’m struggling with my feelings toward the church that I love and feeling that because I don’t agree with the yes on 8 campaign perhaps I don’t really belong. I don’t go to church to be told how to vote, I go to church for spiritual uplifting (not getting much of that lately, as Prop 8 seems to sneak its way into the lessons). I find it difficult to understand how a people who were so persecuted because their beliefs were different can turn around and tell a segment of our society that although they are law abiding, tax paying citizens because they live differently, they are second class citizens.

    And, the fact that my wonderful son is gay only makes my commitment to No on 8 stronger.

    Wondering if anything will be said about my “no on 8 bumper sticker” this coming Sunday.

    So wonderful to find like-minded Mormons.

    sheryl

  146. 146mmatneyon 21 Oct 2008 at 11:36 am

    I’m confused. Why is it okay for Dave Hoen (#94) to call Mormonism a cult? I take offense to that and wonder why the admin didn’t remind him that this is a site where we should not be name calling. I thought this was a site for members who are against Prop 8 to express their feelings. I also take offense to people saying that members are “brainwashed.” Seriously? Just because you do not believe in the religion any longer does not make those who do “brainwashed”. Please be tolerant of those who desire to remain in the church.

    Thank you for listening.

  147. 147admin3on 21 Oct 2008 at 11:46 am

    Just because you don’t see a reprimand here doesn’t mean one was issued. But, for the record, let’s all be nice going forward, okay?

  148. 148Tommyon 21 Oct 2008 at 3:22 pm

    I’d like to thank everyone involved in the creation of this site. I grew up in South Carolina, and while not mormon, I had several close friends who were. All were open-minded, wonderful people who were cognizant of their status as a religious minority and were gracious to others who happened to be different in other ways. It’s been difficult reconciling the people I knew then with the mormons I’ve seen campaigning so strongly for Yes on 8. Thank you for standing up for equality and reminding mormons and non-mormons alike that hatred is not a family value.

  149. 149J.B.on 22 Oct 2008 at 9:54 am

    I’d like to clarify a few things about proposition 8:

    1. It is not about love. Whether you support 8 or not, it does not mean you love or hate homosexuals; there is no correlation whatsoever.

    2. It is not about determining qualified parents. Many homosexuals may be better “qualified” to parent than many heterosexuals; this is not at issue.

    3. It is not about taking away rights. The supreme court opinion actually discussed the fact that no additional rights would be obtained by same-sex couples in California by granting them the right to marry.

    4. It is about maintaining a special relationship between husband and wife, a belief that sexual orientation matters, and identifying as a society the fundamental unit for continuing a successful community.

  150. 150anonymousactiveon 22 Oct 2008 at 11:37 am

    Attending church has gotten to be very annoying if not difficult over the past several months. I have a suggestion that maybe a few of us can support one another and go to a sacrament meeting the Sunday before election day, November 2. This isn’t to cause a commotion, but for support during this tough time. Any suggestions on where to meet? Long Beach?

  151. 151Sherlynn9on 22 Oct 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Great idea about all going to the same meeting. Unfortunately you are in southern Calif and I’m in northern, a rather long drive.

    So wish I had found this site sooner.

    Sheryl

  152. 152admin3on 22 Oct 2008 at 1:51 pm

    Our ward meets in Cupertino at 10 a.m. anyone’s welcome to join us for Sac Mtg, then sit in on our Family History SS class. We’ll even host a break-the-fast afternoon BBQ and debriefing session. This Sunday (Oct 26) is the Primary program. If you want to join us, send an email to aurlarae (at) yahoo (dot) com.

  153. 153lauralynon 22 Oct 2008 at 5:31 pm

    This is very heartening. As a woman who converted after the issue was raised in 2000 I was stunned and appalled when the call came out to donate time and money for a political campaign. I have been a very active member and my husband and four children and I were delighted to be part of the community. Now they pick my children up for seminary demanding to know where my yes on prop 8 sign is and are trying to indoctrinate my children with information that is not true, not kind, and not at all okay with our family.

    Even if this issue were about something that directly affected my family in a harmful way, which it is not, I still don’t believe that the pulpit and politics are compatible. I keep thinking I’m an American. I have a right to my private thoughts and my private ballot. When it was discovered by someone on the ward comittee that I hadn’t changed my voter registration address and was therefore not on the roll call of registered voters, (I did re-register, btw) I received a phone call asking me to register. Whether I’m registered to vote or not, it shouldn’t be the business of anyone in my church. I certainly would not allow some politician to tell me where to worship.

    This is so disturbing to me. I have lost all of the spark of testimony I used to have, and it’s like I’m holding on to what’s left of my faith with the tips of my fingers. I know that there’s a difference between the path and the people on it. It’s hard going when you have to keep your mouth shut and your eyes down. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one feeling this way.

  154. 154toujoursdanon 23 Oct 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Thanks so much for your site. I am not a Mormon, nor do I live in California.

    I live in Canada where gay marriage has existed for almost 5 years. For the 90-95% of Canadians who are not gay, their lives have not changed at all. For the 5-10% of Canadians who are gay and may want to get married, having equality before the law makes all the difference.

    The amazing thing is that once Canada enacted the gay marriage law, gay rights ceased to be one of the “hot button” issues here. Gays were equal, there isn’t weren’t rights left to fight for or against, people turned the page and moved on to other issues.

    For those who believe that Civil Unions are enough, keep in mind that while municipalities and states may regard Civil Unions as equal to marriage, there is no requirement that other institutions must. Many gay couples Civil Unioned in places like New Jersey have had trouble accessing benefits – health insurance, gym memberships, etc., because Civil Unions are not considered married by the corporate sphere.

    Separate but equal is never equal.

    Dan
    Gatineau, Québec

  155. 155Dave Hoenon 23 Oct 2008 at 6:53 pm

    Whence The Fervor?

    We haven’t seen this kind of religious fervor since Joseph Smith was wondering which church to join. The amount of energy members are putting into this proposition battle is just incredible. And it seems there has even been a moratorium temporarily called on keeping the Sabbath day holy. Not just here in California but in other states as well. And oh, the stories you hear! True Story: My sister called me from Utah and said she was told by a member of her ward that if this proposition doesn’t pass, people in California will begin marrying their pets. After a good laugh she nervously asked me, “Tell me that’s not really true, is it?” To which I said, “Well, I have to admit I have proposed to our cat Maxzine, but she hasn’t given me her answer yet.”

    So I have a theory why Mormons have turned into zealots on this one issue. It is rooted in frustration.

    - Mormons overwhelmingly voted for Bush in the 2000 and 2004 elections. Let’s face it, the Bush administration has been a huge disappointment, even for Mormons. Their frustrated.
    - Mormons got excited about the possibility of Mitt Romney becoming the next President and many “donated of their means and time” in support of him. Despite his apparent flip-flops on social issues (because he needed the far right), he was arguably the most capable candidate on either side of the aisle. Ironically, it was the current bedfellows of the Mormon Church on Prop 8, who scuttled his primary run. It was well publicized that the Mormon Church was surprised how the Republicans rejected Romney because he was Mormon. They didn’t realize that many still think of them as non-Christian and a cult. Frustration upon frustration.
    - Mormons were hoping that at least McCain might pick Romney as a running mate. They were disappointed that Romney not only wasn’t chosen but they were not thrilled with McCain’s choice for two reasons. 1, There’s lots to not like about Palin and 2, Mormons for the most part still believe that a woman’s place is in the home. Frustration heaped upon frustration.

    So for many Mormons the last eight years are a great disappointment and after their hopes for Romney were dashed, the next four don’t look too promising either. Add that onto the current economic woes and they’re understandably uber frustrated. For many Mormons the only thing to get excited about is Prop 8. Sadly, very real families both inside and outside of the Church have unfairly become the targets of their misplaced feverish frustration.

    Maybe it’s time for all of us to take a time out and do as Joseph Smith did and go into the woods and pray.

  156. 156Jake Ron 23 Oct 2008 at 7:36 pm

    OK… So I also posted this on the Political Action page, but I wanted to make sure people saw it. This isn’t intended to be SPAM, I just want to get as many people involved in this as possible!

    The sunday just before the election (11/2) I am working to organize leaflet distribution at Mormon churches accross the state.

    I have created a flyer that I think could get some members to reconsider their vote. The flyer focuses on the historical persecution of the Mormon church and asks members to consider their heritage when voting.

    I am in the process of working with the NOon8 campaign to get media attention for this.

    If you would like me to send you a copy of the flyer with details of how my 3 brothers and myself plan to distribute them, please email me at noon8@sbcglobal.net

    According to the campaign Catholics are already targetting their churches. We should too!

  157. 157admin3on 23 Oct 2008 at 11:35 pm

    We are quite happy that so many of you have found our site and each other and that you have been eager to comment here.

    With all of the comments, perhaps some guidelines have been lost. If you would like to discuss the topic at hand, please go back and review the original post on this thread, paying particular attention to this part of it:

    “The First Presidency of the Church has asked members in California to do all that they can in this election season to support Proposition 8. For some members, that means crying as quietly as possible when they hear harsh words about homosexuals. For some members, that means finding the courage to attend church weekly, despite requests for donations of time and money to a cause in which they don’t believe. For some members, that means holding their tongues and counting to 10 to quell an angry outburst. For some members, that means explaining to friends – both gay and straight – again, that not all LDS church members think and act the same way, despite appearances.

    “We are all in this struggle together, and when November 5, 2008 dawns, it will be a day for coming together again, no matter what the California Constitution ends up saying. We will all need to spend time repairing fences, rebuilding bridges, reaching out to members and non-members alike, some of whose thoughts and feelings may have been changed for the worse as a result of the divisive nature of this political campaign.

    Let us do what we can now to prevent as much damage as possible by listening to one another with open hearts and minds, by speaking and writing about our beliefs with respect and by being true under-shepherds for Christ, searching out and comforting those who need it the most.

    Most of the people involved with this site have not come to their decisions lightly, and some have yet to come to a final decision about how to respond. Many have spent considerable time fasting and praying about the issue; some have received answers that are as valid as answers you may have received. Many have respected your testimonies; please offer others the same courtesies.

    Please remember the recent counsel of Elders Ballard, Cook and Clayton and show an extra measure of respect, understanding, honesty, and civility for those who continue to wrestle with this question. This especially includes calling into question the worthiness of anyone commenting on or participating with this website. As our leaders have told us, “There are faithful temple-worthy members of the church who struggle with this great challenge, often in silence, fear, and great pain.”

    We would really like to be able to keep this forum open and available throughout the remaining days of this year’s election cycle. It provides a valuable place for thoughtful, considerate discussion and support, and has so far been able to maintain a very civil tone most of the time. So long as participants continue to act with love and respect, we will be able to provide this service for everyone.

    Thank you for your help and understanding.

  158. 158cowboyon 24 Oct 2008 at 8:39 am

    I, too, am fearful of what has already has changed even before the outcome on November 5th. The mere placement of a “YES” sign on your lawn is not going to be forgotten by your gay neighbors. Not that they will hurt or vandalize you in any way but impressions and bad feelings will take eons to repair. I am not sure it is going to take a simple little “repairing of fences”.

    Sad.

    I pity the missionary efforts after this.

  159. 159Edenon 24 Oct 2008 at 8:45 am

    Thank you for this site. Though I do not live in California, members of my ward have been asked to spend at least two hours a week calling California residents asking them to support prop 8–and I can’t bring myself to do it. Some of the things I’m hearing from local members is nothing more than hate speech and certainly does not follow Christ’s example of loving our neighbors, and I will not support it.

    I’ve felt so alone in my dissention–in fact, I have not made any of my feelings public. As an active member (former full-time missionary and Relief Society President), I worry that disagreeing with the church on this issue is a sign that I need to reconsider, but I cannot make my conscience go away.

    Thank you for letting me know that I’m not alone.

  160. 160Jenny Turneyon 24 Oct 2008 at 11:46 am

    From the bottom of my heart, thank you. It restores my faith in human good and my strong belief in religious freedom and tolerance to see that some LDS members do not oppose Prop 8.

    I recently made contact with a dear friend from childhood, only to receive an extremely hurtful email from her over Prop 8. I grew up in a heavily Mormon area and have always respected your support for each other and the good you do in the world, even though our religious beliefs are different. Knowing that some of you respect my right to civil marriage and are willing to publicly disagree with your church over this issue is incredibly touching.

    With kind regards,
    Jenny

  161. 161Danon 24 Oct 2008 at 1:49 pm

    “The world is changing, and marriage, like it or not, is changing, too.”

    I agree that the world is changing, like it or not.

    I diasgree that marriage should change to adapt to the changing world. There are some things that should not change, and marriage is one of those things.

  162. 162Mikeon 24 Oct 2008 at 2:25 pm

    How nice to find this site. I wonder if some of the people here could help me understand why the Mormon church is so aggressive in this political fight, since it contradicts my own memories of what the Mormon religion was all about.

    Where I’m coming from: 35 years ago, I was a Mormon child, and I have fond memories of growing up in a Mormon household.

    It is my recollection that Mormon history includes a significant chapter in which Mormons settled in Missouri were persecuted by their neighbors, that those neighbors passed legislation making it legal attacking and even killing Mormons– all because their beliefs differed from other citizens of the state, and because Mormons were considered threatening or scary in some way.

    So it’s especially hard for me to understand how so many of today’s Mormons want to change the laws to single out another group, gay people, from being treated equally in the eyes of the law.

    How is legislating against gay people now different from legislating against Mormons then?

    I know my understanding of modern Mormon beliefs is probably quite simplistic, but why don’t more Mormons feel totally hypocritical in singling out a group of people whose beliefs are different from theirs, and feel it is wrong to set out to make their lives more difficult?

    Since childhood, I have always thought of Mormons as more truly Christ-like than so many other Christian religions– a group that held love and free agency at the center of their beliefs. This episode has truly damaged by opinion of Mormons generally, and I wish I didn’t feel that way. I’m really trying to make sense of it.

    I can’t understand why Mormons started to behave like other more aggressive religions and join the war on regular people who simply want equal access to the laws, and to be left alone to pursue their own lives according to their own beliefs. Why this issue, and not so many others?

    I feel awful for the gay people in your families and neighborhoods. I don’t see how this situation can be good for anyone. For myself, I feel as if my memories of childhood have been, in a way, betrayed.

    As a non-Mormon adult, can someone help me understand how the Mormon church has come to believe it gains something from keeping gay Americans from the legal and financial mechanisms designed to help people care for each other and build a life together? I get that being “gay” is “sinful” to Mormons, but what does persecuting others have to do with the lives Mormons lead?

    I have long defended Mormons when people around me use them as a punch line or act as if they are freaks. The unfairness and meanness on display now makes that hard to keep doing.

    I am trying hard not to be critical of Mormons, but don’t know how to reconcile what I remember about Mormonism with what I’m seeing now. I would appreciate any insight that some of you who are conflicted about this could share with me.

    Sincerely,
    Mike

  163. 163anonymousactiveon 24 Oct 2008 at 5:00 pm

    I’m glad that I have this website to confide my thoughts regarding this issue. It’s a great feeling knowing others feel the same way I do. During lunch with a mormon friend, we disagreed on this topic and I was sorry that the topic even came up.

  164. 164Dave Hoenon 24 Oct 2008 at 6:42 pm

    Dan -

    Like it or not, the application of the marriage covenant has changed significantly over time. As recently as 1967 it changed significantly when miscegenation laws were overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, much to the dismay of some religions. Now we as Americans can’t believe we were so irrational and hateful just forty years ago. Hmmmm. Are we being irrational and hateful again?

    See Don’s response in “A Mother’s View on Church Involvement in Prop 8″ for an excellent review of how marriage has evolved over time.
    http://mormonsformarriage.com/?p=47#comment-784

  165. 165Loreleion 24 Oct 2008 at 11:37 pm

    I feel like I just found a sanctuary when I found this website. When a dear friend who is gay told me last May that Prop 22 had been reversed, I couldn’t help feeling so pleased. I felt like society had finally extended a fellowshipping hand to a group that has been repeatedly and ferociously put down. I had a sinking feeling that this would bring opposition from our church but I did not realize to what degree.

    Ever since the letter from the First Presidency was read from the pulpit I have felt like I’m in a roller coaster car that is continually dropping full speed until it reaches a brick wall (Nov 4th). When I am honest with myself, I really do want to see marriage available for my gay brothers and sisters. Yet I’ve never not followed the prophet. This is the first issue that my instincts differ from what our leaders have said. I have a testimony of the restored gospel. I know how the Lord has blessed my life. I don’t want to be “disobedient”, but I also don’t know how to turn my back on my friends. I don’t know what the consequences may be but I feel happy and peaceful when I visualize myself voting no on Prop 8 and openly rejoicing along with many others when it is defeated.

    Thank you. I don’t feel so along now.

  166. 166Julieon 25 Oct 2008 at 10:35 am

    I am so grateful that I found this website. I am 57 years old and a life long member of the LDS church. I have felt so alone because I do not support Prop. 8. I felt scare tactics were being used from the start and now that I am finding out that is the case, I have so much frustration towards my friends in the church. I feel sorry for them because they are ignorant. I suspect my youngest son is gay; he has moved to SF and chooses not to speak to his dad and I. I love the gospel and it has brought many blessings to me and to my family over the years, but I also love all people and this has literally cut me to the core. I hope and pray that Prop.8 is defeated. My husband and I pray everyday that our son will soften his heart and remember that we have loved him unconditionally for 21 years; he is as precious to us as his four siblings are…..yet my emails and phone calls go unanswered. He means the world to me.
    Thank you for the Commentary by Morris Thurstron. I will be providing copies of it at church.

  167. 167sandraon 25 Oct 2008 at 1:51 pm

    The ignorance and intolerance that is going on is bone chilling. Here I am reading American History from 1830 when Andrew Jackson supported the Indian Removal Act. Almost 50,000 native americans were violently forced to give up their homes in the south and the east to move west of the mississippi.

    I am also reading about slavery. Many slaves were hung as slave uprising was occurring prior to the emancipation proclamation.

    The examples can go on and on……

    Have we not learned anything from history? Let’s all treat each other with love and respect.

  168. 168Jeanieon 25 Oct 2008 at 9:21 pm

    IT WAS AN AWESOME DAY!! There were probably at least 150-175 No on 8 people, mostly with handmade signs on corners throughout our conservative city. I think they found every street corner that had Yes on 8 people standing there. I wore my Affirmation T-Shirt that has a big logo on it with the words Lesbian and Gay Mormons, held up my sign that says “My Marriage Doesn’t need Protection, Civil Rights Do!” and planted myself in the middle of groups of yellow Yes signs at various corners throughout the day. It was interesting watching the Yes on 8 people read my shirt and then not say anything. I printed up a bunch of 2″x4″ labels that said “I’m here because…”, armed myself with some markers and as I went from street corner to street corner, I checked in with the young people, told them how proud I was of them showing there to support equal rights and then asked them if they wanted to write on the label why they were standing on the street. It was very therapeutic for people. I’d then go stand for 10-20 minutes among yellow signs while young No on 8 people would periodically come up, give me a hug and ask if their friend could make a sticker. Then I’d go on to the next street corner. I did the rounds twice and was thrilled when the 2nd time at a corner I’d hear “There’s the sticker lady!” At the end of the day, we all gathered at just 2 intersections for quite the rambunctious rally that only young adults can put on. It was so energizing. What was especially cool was that there were several of us “older folk” there amd the ones that had written on their stickers “I’m here because of my gay son/lesbian daughter” had a lot of young people with “I’m here because I’m gay/lesbian” stickers talking to them and telling them thank you. I saw a lot of straight kids with “I’m here because I believe in equality” stickers talking to gay couples that were there with their young children. It was a very gratifying and uplifting experience.

    If any of you are going to participate in a rally in the next week, I’d seriously recommend doing the “I’m here because…” stickers, particularly if there are going to be a lot of young people there. It gave me a way to talk to many, many people and hear their stories. The teenagers especially liked to tell me why there were there. (The stickers are also how I know how many people showed up. I gave away 230 stickers. Some people asked for two, but I think my estimate of 175 is pretty accurate. )

  169. 169Dave Hoenon 25 Oct 2008 at 10:52 pm

    Jeanie -

    You are an incredible example of the energetic, creative, dedicated, intelligent and loving souls that the Church is losing out on. And you’re just one of the many that have so much to offer. I guess we’re just too good for them ;-)

    Thank you so much for what you’re doing.

    Dave

  170. 170Adamon 26 Oct 2008 at 1:14 am

    Thanks so much for sticking up for my right to marry my partner of 11 years. We are sickened by the lies and are happy to see that there are still good people of faith in this world. I have forever left the catholic church over this issue as they do not get it. God would never want me to be unhappy or to love someone. This is a sick and twisted attempt to control people and I’m so glad that its not working with everyone. We are marrying on Nov. 3 and no matter what happens the next day that can’t be taken from us. We appreciate all of your support for equality.

  171. 171CAppleon 26 Oct 2008 at 10:25 am

    I am so angry at the church for fighting against gay marriage. I don’t understand their need to be involved at the capacity. I have a family member who has been gay since before she was old enough to know what gay was. Beautiful, talented & smart I hope she has the joy of marrying if she chooses. Good luck to those who are preparing to marry in the future!

  172. 172Jeanieon 26 Oct 2008 at 1:31 pm

    I just found out today at church that a Mormon family moved their sign that was pointed directly at the house of a lesbian married couple after I wrote a letter to both the family and to their bishop asking that the sign be moved out of sensitivity for the feelings of my friends. Yay!!!

  173. 173Clay Essigon 27 Oct 2008 at 11:49 am

    I agree with Captn. Moroni and others that Prop 8 is clearly in opposition to our LDS scriptures and teachings of Jesus Christ. Our web site, http://www.GaysAndTheGospel.org and a new downloadable pamphlet, “11 Scriptural Reasons Latter-day Saints Should Oppose California’s Prop 8″ contain other scriptural resources that can be shared in Church or at anytime to promote truth, understanding, love, unity and the Lord’s principles of freedom and agency. The pamphlet is a double sided, three-fold and can be printed at home in color or black and white. It would be great to to share with our LDS families, friends and neighborhoods before the election!!! As a Gay Latter-day Saint I am so grateful to all on this site who so actively and courageously care about God’s Gay and Lesbian children. THANK YOU and God bless us all!

  174. 174Jake D.on 27 Oct 2008 at 12:21 pm

    There were only a few voices brave enough to speak out against the church’s discriminatory policy’s against blacks, again only a few brave ones who did so against the Church’s opposition against the ERA.

    I applaud Laura and the others on this sight brave enough to speak up for what they believe is right.

    Jake D.

    Salt Lake City, UT

  175. 175JCLon 27 Oct 2008 at 4:34 pm

    Wow, I guess I didn’t expect to feel alone in this, but I didn’t expect to find so many who believe what I do. God was pro-choice, which is why we came here. Supporting gay marriage is pro-choice and I don’t see how we can take something so meaningful away from them. My brother is gay. He is the strongest person I know and left the church. I feel sick to my stomach every time someone says something like “someone who is pro-marriage should be excommunicated.” I watched him try to live another life for so long. Since he came out I have never seen him more happy. How could I want to take that away from him?

    Logan, Utah

  176. 176Justin Utleyon 27 Oct 2008 at 10:06 pm

    There is an off-broadway show opening this week in New York City called The Play About Henry, which is based of the true events involved in the suicide of Henry Stuart Matis. Interviews were conducted with friends and family of Henry, as well as his bishop at the time.

    A very moving story for those who have the opportunity to see it. There is a trailer on YouTube about it. Search for “the play about henry”.

    -Justin Utley

  177. 177Colleenon 28 Oct 2008 at 5:21 pm

    I am weeping as I type this. Just sobbing. I have felt so alone, turning quietly away from conversations at playdates, biting my tongue as the pro-8 lies keep getting told over and over again, breaking into tears as I did what I thought was the right thing and phone-polled people, saying the horrible words that I was a volunteer for the Yes on 8 campaign, then hiding the yes on 8 sign that the ward “sign fairy” brought over. My son thinks I’m voting yes, but I just told him that I can’t support it. I have felt like such a coward, afraid to be a social outcast in the church yet again (I have a long history of being a contrarian when my conscience dictates I must). I have considered inactivity, I have felt so outside the fold on this. I am so unspeakably glad to find you all.

    I live in south Orange County, CA.

  178. 178Jeanieon 28 Oct 2008 at 8:42 pm

    Colleen, I wish you were a bit closer because I’d give you a big hug! How about joining me on Sunday and we’ll find a “visibility event” to attend. The No on 8 campaign has called for 10,000 people to be on the street from now until the election so there are going to be events at lots of places now. There’s going to be a big one again in my city (Simi Valley) on Saturday, but I’m going to be at a conference for adults that work with LGBTQ youth. I was planning on finding an event on Sunday (if there wasn’t a local one on Sunday). What do you think? Anyone else like to join me?

  179. 179Machelle Thompsonon 28 Oct 2008 at 8:47 pm

    Jeanie,

    I’m here because one of the most Godly, Spiritual people I have ever known was gay and died of AIDS. I am here because many people I know who struggle with their sexuality have no one to talk to. I am here because there are approximately a thousand laws here in Florida, both federal and state, that favor heterosexual over homosexual unions. I am here because I want to see everyone find happiness. I am here because I believe in free agency. I am here because so many causes like poverty, hunger, war, homelessness & child abuse deserve our financial support & attention. I am here because so many of our GLBT brothers and sisters feel ostacized by churches all over the world and because of this prejudice do not find the loving embrace of the Savior. I am here because I trust the Holy Ghost to guide each individual in their own path. I am here because I believe it is a miracle when two people find each other and can love, serve, support, cry & rejoice with each other for their entire lives.

    Thank you,

    Machelle

  180. 180Sheryl Becketton 28 Oct 2008 at 10:52 pm

    First, my comments to Julie, I can only imagine your pain. If my son were to cut me from his life, I’m not sure I could keep life together. He is such a joy. As I live in the SF Bay area, if there is anything I could do to help you establish contact with your son, I’d be more than happy to try. Don’t want to put an e-mail address here but perhaps there is someway the moderator could put us together.

    This Sat. my gay son and I are going to volunteer at the No on 8 phone bank by his house. Can’t think of a better mother/son activity this weekend.

    So proud of my husband, I came home today and he had a No on 8 bumper sticker on his truck!!!

    I so wish I had found this site weeks ago and gotten the courage to stand up for what I believe sooner. I was just quietly going to vote No, now I’m vocally voting NO.

    Wondering if there any others reading or posting here that live in Concord, California. Would love to meet with you.

    I now carry a sign in my car so that the next time I’m at a stop sign and the Pro 8 people are out with there outrageous signs, I can hold my No on 8 sign up.

    Sheryl

  181. 181Jessica Luceroon 29 Oct 2008 at 6:04 am

    What a blessing it was to find this site! I’m thrilled to read through the dialogue, and filled with a new hope and sense of community. I have been a member of the church my entire life, but have consistently struggled with issues such as prop 8 and other social and cultural expectations of the church. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ, and like so many others here, I know that we are all blessed sons and daughters of God who loves us equally. With that in mind, I cannot support prop 8.

    I attended a conference this past weekend, “Change the World” in Gighamsburg, Ohio. Jim Wallis was the keynote speaker. He is a Christian leader with an incredible committment to social issues. He said that when he was in Seminary, he was interested in finding out just how many verses in the Bible included discussion of the oppressed, sick, needy, underprivileged etc. His count turned up more than 2000 verses. In essence, a Bible which eliminates loving and compassionate reference to the marginalized, is a Bible that eliminates the intent of Christianity–to love our neighbor as ourself and do unto the least of these my brethren…I cannot support prop 8 and likewise authentically love my gay brothers and sisters. I understand that differing views abound, but my notion of Christianity and membership with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has given me a framework which encourages and promotes the love and unity of all people. I am compelled to extend my hand to those who are less privileged, the LGBTQ community, the povery-stricken, the ethnicaly disenfranchised, because that is what Jesus taught.

    I appreciate the good conversation that is taking place here, and kudos to the creators of this website!

  182. 182Tayloron 29 Oct 2008 at 12:18 pm

    I am glad that the church stands up for the principles that our loving Heavenly Father has set in place. A lot of people and churches today are so inclined to just “go with the flow” on various issues. The core to Heavenly Father’s plan includes principles based on families consisting of a mother and father. This is why males and females have the sacred reproductive characteristics that they do. Thankfully, Christ’s church has gotten involved in Prop 8 and is willing to stand up for the principles God has put in place. So many people are willing to give up their testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel because they simply disagree with the church’s stance on a certain issue. We must all remember that it isn’t us, as members of the church (or anyone one, member or non-member, for that matter), who decide what Christ’s gospel is and isn’t. It is exactly because of this reason that there is so much confusion and turmoil in the world today-people choose to follow their own doctrine and not that of the Father’s. I am thankful for a loving God who has a prophet on the earth today to help us know His will. Heavenly Father’s doctrine, as taught by his Holy prophets, is that marriage is between a man and a woman. I hope that we can all have an added measure of faith and courage to follow and keep the principles that our loving Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ have given us. God and our Savior Jesus Christ live today, Joseph Smith, a young humble boy, saw them in what we now call the Sacred Grove. Thomas S. Monson is the Lord’s mouthpiece on the earth today- what a great blessing the gospel is!

  183. 183Fiona64on 29 Oct 2008 at 3:42 pm

    Dear Taylor:

    I respect your differing point of view. However, this is not about church business, but civil contracts (marriage is a contract with the state). No church will be made to change the way it does business if Prop 8 is defeated. My husband and I are not LDS; your church would not be forced to perform a marriage ceremony for us, even though we are heterosexual. No more would your church be forced to perform marriages for gay people.

    I leave you with this scriptural reference: Matt 22:21, both in English and in Greek, “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” (“Ἀπόδοτε οὖν τὰ Καίσαρος Καίσαρι καὶ τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τῷ Θεῷ”)

  184. 184Bryanon 29 Oct 2008 at 4:00 pm

    Taylor,

    Thanks for sharing what so many of us feel: a sympathy of political principle with opponents of Proposition 8, and yet a firm testimony of and committment to the Church of Jesus Christ, the “Kingdom of God on earth.” Doing what the Lord asks can sometimes be horrendously difficult and require the nth degree from us. 1 Nephi 3 comes to mind.

    Probably the hardest thing we’re asked to do is to shed the idea that “I know best,” and submit our will to the Lord’s. I wish I could say I’d mastered this. But I do try. I’m voting Yes on 8 for this reason.

    Thanks,

    -Bryan

  185. 185L. Joneson 30 Oct 2008 at 2:30 pm

    i would like to thank everyone who has contibuted to this site. is softens the blow of the churches stand on prop 8 – L. Jones

  186. 186David P.on 30 Oct 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Tear Taylor

    I have been an active member of this church for almost ten years (I converted at the age of 19.) I served a mission, I have been sealed to my wife for five years. A big reason I was drawn to this church was the fact that nobody ever told me who or what to vote for, until lately. After the first meeting dedicated to this issue I went straight to my stake president and told him if this is where the prophet stood, then I cannot support him.
    My stake president was very kind and listened to my and my wife’s position on this. He told me not to worry about my standing in the church, and that I had a right to vote how I wanted. He told me to not attend meetings about this and politely decline any invitations to participate, and most importantly, to prey about it.

    I am sad I only just found this site because I would love to have known there were members of this church that felt the same way I do. I have had a few problems with various members of the church since I made it known I will not participate. My wife was accosted rather harshly by a particularly passionate supporter of the bill. But one cannot expect everyone to be Christ-like about this, there are always going to be people that just don’t understand that “Men are that they might have joy.”

    My opposition to this bill centers on the fact that; laws made to dictate ones morals on others is in the same ballpark as laws made to dictate ones religion on others. This is a country of religious freedom. This is a church that teaches the article of faith that states: “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.” Anything less than that is Satan’s plan as far as I am concerned.

    Bless you for this site, I loved what you had to say, and I am glad to see that I am not alone on this. Please tell me what I can do to support you and your cause.

    Dave P.

  187. 187David Littlefieldon 30 Oct 2008 at 3:41 pm

    I think this rift needs to be healed. May I suggest the following: HEALING WITHIN MORMONIM. The only way this will be healed, is with one Mormon at a time.

    -David

  188. 188Opheliaon 30 Oct 2008 at 7:59 pm

    I am the mother of a gay son, whom I love so very much. The pain he has experienced during the last few years has been heartwrenching. Fortunately, he seems to be doing quite well right now. I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know that I will always love him, and I will always support him no matter what. Even though I have a very strong testimony of the gospel, there have been times I have actually looked for another religion that would be more accepting and loving concerning this issue. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ll just have to live “in the ward, but not of the ward.” I am so very grateful to know that we are not alone — in more ways than one. Thank you for creating this website!

  189. 189LuckyAon 30 Oct 2008 at 9:06 pm

    Great to see this site.
    I’m afraid I am also alone in my ward. The same freedoms our Constitution gives us to practice our religion are being compromised today. Amendments should never be used to limit the rights of anyone. I believe the family is the central unit to the church and society. I, myself, believe a family is a Man, a Woman and their children. I however would never impose my personal and religious beliefs on others. Many find themselves in different situations due to tragedy, finances or even their sexual orientation. The freedoms that are being attacked with prop8 are the same that allow the LDS church to exist.

  190. 190Jeanieon 30 Oct 2008 at 10:41 pm

    Couldn’t resist passing this on. My adult LDS daughter stood with her sister at the end of a long line of 50 or so Yes on 8 supporters with a sign that said “Be Nice. No on 8″.

  191. 191Charityon 31 Oct 2008 at 7:50 am

    Marriage has not always been an institution of religion. It has, however, been an institution of love since the human race embraced it.

    Love.

    Love.

    Love.

    It’s what we are capable of. It is what we are very short of in these days. It’s what we preach. Yet, we are still arguing over validating love between two consentual adults because of fear of where this new equality will take us! No matter what the bible says about homosexual relationships… (you have to remember that the bible also condones slavery and sexism, among other things), we are living in a time when the world is progressing towards equality. The bible, as wise and important as it is, was also written by man. Man’s prejudices, man’s imperfect ability to see the whole of eternity. We are not equipped to understand fully what God is and what God intends for us. It is extremely self-centered of us to believe that we know everything about eternity. We are, however, fully capable of accepting change, as God presents it to us. Change is here… and love is the on the ballot. Do you support love, or do you fear it?

  192. 192Lisa Johnson Mandellon 31 Oct 2008 at 2:32 pm

    I’m a BYU graduate, returned missionary, former Relief Society and Young Women’s president, and I spent eight years as an editor of the New Era Magazine. My (Jewish) husband and I just hosted a gay wedding in our backyard, which I was authorized by the state to officiate. While it’s been many years since I have been active in the LDS church, I have cherished family members who are, and I was stunned to learn that not only is the church preaching in favor of Proposition 8 from the pulpit, but that my sister had posted a sign in favor of it in her front yard.

    How am I supposed to explain this behavior to my husband, whose first and only exposure to the LDS church has come through me and my family? I’ve always told him that the church does not involve itself in political issues. I’ve always told him that the church holds the institution of marriage sacred, supports it, and encourages its members to get married. I was told that church intervention in politics, in this case, is a “moral” issue, and therefore the church thought it was appropriate. But I ask you, which issue on the ballot is not a “moral issue,” including the choice for president?

    My husband was listening to NPR last night and heard Andrew Callahan, an LDS church member in Nebraska speak about his experience opposing Proposition 8. “I care about your sister and her family very much,” my husband told me. “Do they realize this is going on? Why is this happening? How can they accept it?”

    We are both speechless and profoundly saddened. Could it be that church leaders have no idea how their support of Proposition 8 looks to the rest of the world? I realize that they probably don’t care, but they should. Calling so much negative attention to themselves because of an equal rights issue in one state does not sound like a savvy, nor a compassionate move. I have no logical explanation for my husband, nor for myself.

  193. 193Sherylon 31 Oct 2008 at 10:02 pm

    Jeannie, just wanted to say that is wonderful that your LDS daughter stood out with the Yes on 8 group with her No on 8 sign.

    Tomorrow, I will joining my gay son in volunteering for No on 8 in San Francisco.

    As I’ve said before, I wish I had found this site sooner. Thanks to knowing that there are others who love the church but cannot agree with the churches stand on this issue, I am becoming more outspoken and not afraid to let my opinions known. The youth of the ward are doing door hangers tomorrow to remind people to vote (no problem there, but since they will also be hanging Yes on 8 reminders, my stepdaughter will not be participating. When I let the YW president know this, I also included the information that we are a No on 8 household.

    I know that not every Mormon (or those of other faiths for that matter) who votes Yes on 8 is doing so because we have been directed that it is the right way to vote and I can respect their opinions and continue my friendship with them. It is those who are not objectively researching the issues and making up their own minds that really bother me.

    Sheryl

  194. 194Chino Blancoon 01 Nov 2008 at 12:25 am

    I’d like to publicly thank Steve and Barbara Young for their awesome Halloween yard decorations.

    If you haven’t seen the gravestone inscriptions yet, they’re fantastic.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akt908vnUT0

    Spoiler alert:

    RIP inequality, Nov. 4

    RIP
    May discrimination
    be a thing of the past,
    May hate and fear
    be gone at last
    RIP prop 8!

    Those who forget
    the past
    are condemned
    to repeat it.
    No to 8!!!

  195. 195S.J.on 01 Nov 2008 at 12:48 pm

    I am so glad that this site is here! I can’t tell you how anxious I am for Nov. 5th to get here just to stop feeling so stressed about things. Many of my friends can’t see why I don’t agree with Prop. 8. I’m glad I’m not alone.

    Many people are surprised that I’m not supporting 8, especially because I am a member. (My husband doesn’t support it either.) I’m tired constantly when I see the signs, hear about it, look on websites and see my friends so adamantely supporting it and bashing those that don’t.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this little bit of peace!!

  196. 196Keithon 01 Nov 2008 at 7:09 pm

    Today, I drove past a small group of mostly ward members standing at a street corner with “Yes on 8″ signs. A couple blocks later, I drove past a much larger opposition demonstration. I honked when driving past both groups, as I’m for equality.

  197. 197Granton 02 Nov 2008 at 7:30 am

    I appreciate the sincerity and relative civility of the posts on this site.

    This is a difficult issue for many California mormons, bringing into conflict core values of tolerance and faith. I have been moved by many of the posts on this site, the mormonsfor8.com site, Carol Lynn Pearson’s anguished letter, the youtube clips by Clark Pingree and others, etc. I feel particular sympathy for parents and siblings who see family members tortured by conflict between sexual orientation and church teachings. It is striking that such a large percentage of people posting here seem to be in that difficult position. If one of my sons felt overwhelming attraction only for other men, was battling suicidal depression, and was convinced that he could find happiness by “marrying” another man, I expect that I personally would find it very hard to oppose that.

    Without wishing to try to argue or “debate,” but in the spirit of trying to promote understanding and lay some groundwork for healing, I’d like to express some views as one who after long soulsearching has decided to support prop 8.

    I agree with the poster who said that the feelings of most Mormons on this are not at all motivated by hatred, but driven primarily by fear. Speaking for myself, I love my faith and my family and want to be able to do whatever I can to protect and guide my children away from what I believe is the misery inevitably associated with homosexuality (because all sin ultimately leads to misery). I see part of our society advocating acceptance of homosexuality itself as a “civil right” entitled to equal protection under law. If that view prevails, I fear that our religious beliefs will be labeled hatred and bigotry — just as they are now being by No on 8 advocates in this campaign — and a torrent of conflict will follow between the “civil rights” of homosexuals and the freedom of religion of those who believe homosexual practice is wrong. As the NPR article notes, that conflict has already resulted in religious organizations and believers being sued for practicing their religious beliefs, with a clear trend of courts putting civil rights ahead of religious liberties. (“When Gay Rights and Religious Liberties Clash”, http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91486191.) This fear, at bottom, is what I believe drives throughtful religious people to oppose gay marriage and other legal measures that would place the crushing authority of the state behind the enforcement of “gay rights.”

    This is what makes it so disturbing when No on 8 advocates label the position of the Church and its members with terms like “hate” and “bigotry” and “lies.” That is not only unjustified, but reinforces precisely the fear that compels me to support Prop 8. In fact, as I think everyone who is close to the Church knows very well, there is a tremendous effort within church leadership (at all levels) to be as understanding and loving as possible while remaining faithful to what is clearly a sincere understanding (whether one agrees with it or not) that homosexual activity is a sin and destructive to human happiness. I appreciated the post of David P. (#187) describing the kind and tolerant response of his stake president. That response is typical. It clearly is NOT hatred or bigotry. Thanks for that, David. In contrast, it is not helpful when “Captain M” posts these labels on another site: “Intolerance. Bigotry…. Bias. Prejudice. Inequality. Civil rights abuse.”

    It is harmful and destructive to the healing that will need to occur when this is over to mischaracterize the views of pro-8 mormons as hatred and bigotry. For most, I hope and assume that this is due to ignorance rather than a malicious desire to portray the Church and its members falsely. (Captain M, you clearly should know better.) Whatever your position on prop 8, I would hope that all who are aware of this reality will work diligently to correct these false portrayals of the attitudes and position of the Church and pro-8 members.

    I have seen sweet and sincere Mormon friends accosted while dropping kids off at school, angrily yelled at and accused of being a “bigot” and a “hater.” If those are the views that prevail in this election, I fear for our ability to preserve religious liberty in a society of tolerance. Closer to home, if those attitudes are condoned or even encouraged by No on 8 advocates within the church, I fear for our ability to heal as a church community.

    My conscience and beliefs are leading me to support Prop 8. I respect the rights of others to disagree, and encourage all to vote according to their own consciences. Please respect the rights of pro-8 mormons to do the same.

  198. 198Jennifer Gillmor Smithon 02 Nov 2008 at 9:08 am

    I am so happy to see others like me who love the church but disagree with their stance on gay marriage. I found pride in the church for staying out of politics, at least officially. I am disappointed that not only they get involved politically but that this was the issue that was chosen. There were so many stances I wish we would’ve taken, like against the genocide in Sudan, the war in Iraq, but I understood that the church didn’t want to affiliate its self politically.
    I have felt the need to speak out publicly, but have just now found the strength, partially due to this blog.
    Thank you all for of your words.

  199. 199ANDYon 02 Nov 2008 at 3:23 pm

    On Sunday November 2nd, 2008 at 6:00 P.M., I will be joining the Mormon Mothers protest in Salt Lake City, UT at our main city library.

    I will be carrying a 6 inch tall by 5 foot wide sign that says MORMONS FOR MARRIAGE .ORG – I expect it will make it onto the evening news.

    I have never been religious, but have lived the last 20 years of my life in Salt Lake and appreciate the Mormon community and culture. Supporting the mothers that support their children is one way to help.

  200. 200anonymousactiveon 02 Nov 2008 at 8:28 pm

    Today, of course, was fast and testimony meeting. As testimonies were shared, most mentioned something about prop 8. Halfway during the meeting, the lights mysteriously went out in the chapel. Several ward members went out in the hall where the circuit breaker was located to fix the problem. Nothing worked. It wasn’t pitch black as we got some light from the hallways and a few overhead lights.

    I’m not a superstitious person, but I thought it was somewhat ironic that darkness prevailed with all the prop 8 talk. I know these people are well meaning and they are trying to do what is right. However, I remain adamant in my position to NOT support this unfair proposition. I hope we can all learn from this experience and move on! I hope we can also try to have love and compassion for people on both sides of the issue.

  201. 201Robert Copeon 02 Nov 2008 at 8:37 pm

    I too appreciate this website. Many of my 12 siblings don’t accept that I am gay, are blindly following church leaders and feel compelled to remind me how wrong I am in living my life as a gay man.

    I miss my family a lot. This whole fight is so divisive and saddening.

    An old friend of mine who also left the church for conscience sake has written a great blog about Prop 8:

    astraightgirllikeme.blogspot.com

  202. 202Sheryl Becketton 03 Nov 2008 at 1:26 am

    Lots of thoughts going thru my brain tonight. First, is that my heart so goes out to all of the GLBTs whose families are not understanding. Kind of an interesting side note (well, I find it interesting), when my son told his dad, his dad’s family (we’ve been divorced for years), was concerned about how I would react if I found out. Well, I’d already known for more than 1 year. I simply cannot imagine not supporting him. He did not choose this, he just is.

    As I told him on the Prop 8 issue, even if he weren’t gay, I’d be voting no on 8. I could not look at myself in the mirror every morning knowing that I’d voted to deny other citizens the same rights that I have.

    Robert, thanks for sharing your friend’s blog. I really enjoyed it.

    I only wish my church had not gotten so involved in this issue. Makes it very hard to be loving to some of my fellow brothers and sisters when they express the pro 8 rhetoric.

    Sheryl

  203. 203ANDYon 03 Nov 2008 at 7:28 am

    On Sunday November 2nd, 2008 at 6:00 P.M., Mormon Mothers protested in Salt Lake City, UT at our main city library. The turnout was around 600 people.

    Here are the links to coverage of that event:

    KUTV CH.2 – http://www.kutv.com/mediacenter/local.aspx?videoid=66257@kutv.dayport.com&navCatId=5

    KTVX CH.4 – http://www.abc4.com/mediacenter/local.aspx?videoid=88436@video.ktvx.com

    KSL CH.5 – http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=148&sid=4689399&autostart=y [VERY SHORT]

    FOX CH.13 – http://www.myfoxutah.com/myfox/pages/News/Detail?contentId=7775364&version=3&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=VSTY&pageId=3.2.1

    SALT LAKE TRIBUTE – http://www.sltrib.com/ci_10883312

    DESERET NEWS – [NO STORY]

    It was reported that a parallel vigil was held in St.George, UT and that another will be held this Monday evening in Provo, UT.

    I was able to hold up the sign for this website. A couple news stations and papers took shots but didn’t seem to make release. Two LDS guys doing a documentary saw it and interviewed me for a short while.

    As the marchers returned to the square, I was able to post the sign with some candles.

  204. 204Carlyon 03 Nov 2008 at 11:37 am

    I am a member living in NYC, I had not heard of this news until this week, and I was nearly outraged that the Church is organizing a political activity such as this. I understand the Tax exempt issues about it, but I Do NOT feel we as LDS members should be getting involved in matters of Church vs. State. I am a supporter of Gay Marriage and I will contiunue to be one regardless of the Church’s stance. I am thrilled to see that other members are open minded and able to seperate the two.

    Thank you for this site and your support.

  205. 205Sheri Lawsonon 03 Nov 2008 at 11:51 am

    Thank you – Thank you – Thank you! I’m a straight mother and grandmother, born and raised in tthe church, married in the temple for 20 years. I left the Mormon church over Prop 22. never could reconcile how they could justify it. Prop 8 has just fueled my fire even more. You can see my No On Prop 8 videos on YouTube under the username Janonda42. I do have a copycat clone who is posing as me under the username janondO42 to try and make people believe I’ve changed my mind about Prop 8 and am now voting for it. Definitely NOT TRUE!
    Thanks so much for taking the time to do this! I wish I would have found this site sooner. I have had around 6 or 7 thousand views on my videos however, so I really hope it helps.
    God Bless you!
    Sheri

  206. 206Davidon 03 Nov 2008 at 3:29 pm

    Thank you for creating this site. I am not a Mormon and it’s good to know that there are people within the LDS church who are thoughtful and open. Yes, it matters — I’ve had a bad image of the Mormon church for years based on experiences earlier in life.

    When I was a teenager, my best friend had a few Mormon friends who always attended our group parties and events. They were always very nice and open to me until they found out that I was gay, and thereafter they stopped coming to our events. My friend later told me it was because they were uncomfortable with our group allowing somebody like me to be part of it.

    One of the Mormon friends was an obviously gay boy who was engaged to be married to a girl in the group. I could not help but feel at the time and wonder even now if he went ahead with what I consider to be a tragic mistake. He wore his conflict on his sleeve.

    I read the information linked to herein about the church’s views on same-gender marriage, with the quotes from the elders’. It seems to me that they have no vision — a gay marriage can be everything a straight marriage can be excluding procreation between the two partners, and can hold as much love, commitment, and family values.

  207. 207Jacob Aon 04 Nov 2008 at 6:39 am

    I am against gay marriage for the simple reason that it is not morrally correct. I don’t hate gays, two of my best friends are openly gay, however, I do believe that marriage is a sacred thing and that God intended it to be between one man and one woman and not between same sex couples. In a world where the population is diminishing, how is supporting same sex marriage going to help the problems of tomorrow. If any of you haven’t read the book, America Alone, I suggest you pick it up today and start reading it. To me it is simple, the prophet and apostles have asked us to support these props to protect the sanctitiy of marriage, so we do it. I am not blindly obeying, it feels right to do so.

  208. 208Harryon 04 Nov 2008 at 11:02 am

    I just want to express my appreciation and admiration for the support you’ve given this cause. I’m not a Mormon, and I don’t live in CA, but I am gay. Creating this web site, and taking this position must have required tremendous strength on your part, not to mention courage. Thank you for helping to strengthen my faith in the basic goodness among most people.

  209. 209Lizon 04 Nov 2008 at 11:37 pm

    I’m a student at BYU and I’ve been overwhelmed by lectures and forums about why gay marriage is wrong. It’s so nice to realize that I’m not alone in my convictions! I’ve been trying to get the courage to stand up for what I believe, and this site has helped me a ton. Thanks!

  210. 210Betheron 04 Nov 2008 at 11:44 pm

    Thank you for standing up.

  211. 211Carrieon 05 Nov 2008 at 1:45 pm

    Jacob A: Is the world population diminishing, and is that a bad thing? I thought we were becoming dangerously overpopulated. (That would be a practical rather than a moral point, but you did bring it up.)

  212. 212anonymousactiveon 06 Nov 2008 at 10:36 am

    Gay marriage will happen in California. We have progress in our side. In 2000 Prop 22 passed by 61 percent and this time it passed by a much smaller margin, 52 percent. This is going to be voted on again or it will eventually end up in the Supreme Court. It is all a matter of time. In the meantime I feel awful that discrimination was written into the state constitution.

    I heard that the LDS Church may lose its tax exempt status for their involvement. Anyone else heard this? The Church is going to have so many negative repercussions from their involvement.

    I hope I can be vocal in my church meetings. I am such a chicken.

    There are many of us in Southern California. I would suggest that we meet together for a dinner at a restaurant. This way we can get to know one another and to provide support. Write a post if you are interested in this idea. I have several open-minded mormon friends, but it would be nice to have so many more.

    Also, what happened to the “How do I respond in church” link. It was one of my favorite threads.

    [Moderator’s note: the thread is still here. It just got bumped off the recent posts list. You can find it in the August archives, or you can click here: http://mormonsformarriage.com/?p=28

  213. 213Jeanieon 06 Nov 2008 at 6:40 pm

    I’d be interested in getting together with the So. Cal. group.
    Also, any rumors that the church may lose tax exempt status are false. A church has every right to participate in non-partisan political issues. That means that as long as that are not supporting a CANDIDATE, their tax status is not in jeopardy.

  214. 214Rachelon 07 Nov 2008 at 12:28 am

    I am a Californian, a practicing Christian but with no LDS affiliation. I am also deeply committed to marriage equality. To the folks who have formed Mormons for Marriage: thank you for your solidarity with gays and lesbians who want to celebrate their life-long commitment to each other. Your support means a great deal.

  215. 215Kerion 07 Nov 2008 at 5:42 am

    I am the mother of a wonderful gay son. I am so proud of him for having the courage to come out. It is terribly painful to know that society has the ability to vote on his personal life. Even though the issue at the moment is one of marriage — it is more a respect issue to me than a marriage issue.

    The marriage issue to me is very clear. The marriage certificates issued by the state should not discriminate. It is a civil right afforded to every American. Marriages performed in a church should have the right to deny people based on their own prejustices.

    I see denying gays and lesbians the right to marry a form of bigotry. I do not care what goes on inside a church, but for the marriages performed by the state, it is outrageous that in 2008 there exists such blatant discrimination.

    This site gives me faith that there are good Mormons that practice tolerance and love. Thank you!

  216. 216Not Molly Mormonon 07 Nov 2008 at 10:51 am

    I am an active single (all my life) Mormon living in NY from Southern California girl. Growing up in So CA 20+ years ago I had many gay friends in high school when it was not acceptable to be gay. I remember the hateful things other students would say to them and even threaten them with violence. I enjoyed my friends for the funny smart kind people they were and did not care if the others students no longer liked/accepted me because of my association with my gays.

    Many years later, I still have many gay affiliation some whom I met while attending various wards in my adult years. I now have a gay nephew who came out to me at age 18 whom I love and support very much. I encouraged him to be honest and tell his parents, he did.

    After reading many posts on this website I have these questions – Why are so many people thinking about leaving the church over this issue? Was your testimony that weak to begin with and are you looking for any reasons to leave the church? Why are so many members afraid to speak there minds with their LDS brothers and sister?

    I have been taught by example from a LDS mother to speak up and stand up for what I believe. Sometimes it is just me alone in church with my beliefs/opinions. It has sometimes been a scary experience to stand alone, but after it’s over and done I am always glad I did. Who knows what influence I have had on others by voicing my opinion!!

    I will continue to attend church every Sunday because I know the gospel is true. I will continue to speak my mind because that is the free agency my Heavenly Father has given me.

    I challenge you all to do the same!! Let your voice be heard!!

    It’s not about the people, it’s about the gospel!!!!

  217. 217Lisaon 07 Nov 2008 at 3:33 pm

    I am a lesbian, I dont live in California, but I did come there and get married this past summer. My wife Meghan and I had been “married” in Oregon the summer before. We wanted it to be legal, so we decided to do it again on our first year anniversary in California. It was such an amazing experience (twice). I wish that everyone could have the open mindedness that I have found on this page. I cant tell you what it means to me. My faith has been restored. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

    Lisa
    Austin, TX

  218. 218Bill Jensenon 07 Nov 2008 at 7:09 pm

    I am always eager to connect with church members who like to approach issues with reason, compassion and tolerance, and it is apparant this is such a ‘gathering’ place. Thank you so much for sponsoring this site.

    For me, it is very disappointing to see church dignitaries using their influence to call the general membership to arms against law abiding gay citizens struggling for the same status and social dignity the rest of us take for granted in our relationships. How arrogant it seems for any institution to judge the affections and emotional bonds of others as not being worthy of the same potections as their own – especially institutions claiming to have charity and compassion as their core charter! It certainly is not as if the church does not have a pofound institutional recollection of how it feels to be persecuted for practices which are out of the mainstream. How sad, therefore, it is to see this particular church lending its good name to such an inauspicious cause.

    I cannot help thinking that it does not seem so far-fetched now if the church were to begin openly advocating certain candidates over others, based on their personal inclinations as perceived by church leaders. This could be tragic for a faith which has historically been a force for healing and unity – not discord and sanctimony.

    We should not be timid in expressing our dismay where it counts!

  219. 219Charles Stombachon 07 Nov 2008 at 10:13 pm

    I am a retired veteran, two+ tours in Vietnam and one in Korea during the Pubeblo Crisis. I was in B co. 1/504 82nd Airborne, 509th Airborne Mechanized and 11th Air Assualt Division. I have a severe combat related disability; I am not gay.
    I support the same marrage rights for gays as the heterosexual have. THIS IS THE CONSTITUTION of which I swore to defend. This is for what I served and have suffered daily (since my parachute did not open correctly).
    I did not serve for JUST “straight” people but for ALL Americans. I DID NOT SERVE FOR BIGOTRY!
    Furthermore I know of a gay doctor in Vietnam who saved many lives in the field. Can any of those who voted for proposition 8 say they have the same bravery and strength!
    I must say though, I have a friend who is straight…

  220. 220E.J.on 08 Nov 2008 at 3:06 am

    I am not Mormon, but my family is, back to the pioneer days. I never wanted to be baptized as a child, and this decision it caused me, a very shy and sensitive child, so much discomfort and fear when I attended church and felt judged and harassed by my teachers, ward leaders, classmates, and grandparents to “get with the program”.

    I am so grateful that my own parents never pressured me to feel like I had to be part of any organization. They are truly kind, intelligent, and loving people who respect individual freedoms. They realize that the separation of church and state protects us all.

    It sickens me that my parents have been subjected to so much pressure at church and in our home (through phone calls, etc.) to be part of something that goes against their beliefs about equality. They haven’t openly supported Prop 8, but they haven’t exactly felt comfortable to “come out” against it either, which makes me sad. This has caused many stressful conversations in our home, and eroded any respect I had for the LDS church. It is not fair for leaders to use their unrighteous dominion, claiming to speak directly for God. The church seems to want to fit in with mainstream evangelists and neo-cons (remember Dick Cheney speaking at the BYU graduation?)
    My father read me a quotation where Joseph Smith (or one of the prophets, sorry for my lapse of memory) said he would die to defend the rights of someone from his church, or of any other denomination, because we should all share the same freedoms.

    People who wish that their own church was in charge of the government, don’t know history very well, or understand the danger of religious states. My own father, a devout Mormon said, “As I was saying the other night, as soon as some religion–any religion, including Mormonism–takes over the government, they trample individual rights, and much much more. All that people have to do is look at the history of Christianity after it became the official religion of the Roman empire. Or Islam at any time in history, oppression when they conquered medieval Egypt to the Taliban in Afghanistan. The Puritans in America — witch hunts, etc. The religious persecutions in Europe during the Reformation, the Thirty Years War, etc. From my study of history, the only times that Christianity has not been oppressive and obnoxious was when they were a minority with no political power and no aspirations to political power. And yet all the religious people I have talked to pine away wistfully: “If only we controlled the government!” Rubbish! They’re too uninformed about history to know what they wish for!
    The only religion that I know of that hasn’t done this is the Buddhists! I think everyone should watch the movie ‘Harp of Burma’ every couple of years to refresh their minds and hearts.”

  221. 221Laurenon 08 Nov 2008 at 1:50 pm

    I just want to say thank you to all the people on the page. I don’t know who created it, or how large your reach is – but it is wonderful to see a group of Mormons standing up for Marriage Equality. I want to give my deep appreciation to all of you for choosing love over fear. As the Mormon church poured money into the Yes on 8 campaign, the GLBT community has begun to lash out at communities of faith. Our frustration and anger is palpable. It is wonderful that I can point folks to this website when they come to me saying, “this is all the Mormons’ fault!” – I can prove that all communities are varied. This is a fight for civil rights that has to involve everyone, and I’m happy to have a group of Mormons in solidarity. Warms my heart.

  222. 222Triciaon 08 Nov 2008 at 10:08 pm

    I’m glad to have found this website. I’m an LDS member living in the Seattle Washington area, and I’m not sure if I’ve been living under a rock? but I had no idea about the level of participation by our church until election night. I was absolutely floored to learn we had spent millions of dollars supporting a proposition, that in my opinion, is a violation of church and state and essentially takes civil rights away from a group of people who mean us no harm. The reason our church as been allowed to prosper in this country is because there is supposed to be a seperation of church and state. To me, trying to use politics as a way to push our beliefs on others is WRONG. Since Prop. 8 has passed, I feel embarrased that my religion was part of this. And I feel that the money spent could have gone to much better causes. It’s interesting because I think that now that Prop. 8 has passed, what has happened has become much more apparent to the members living outside Utah and California. I now see friends of mine on Facebook publicly supporting or opposing gay marriage…I don’t even know how to deal with the supporters, I already feel like I’ve lost friends over this issue. I also have friends in Utah who are really upset as well and feel the church stepped over the line on this one. I hate to say it but I’m very glad to see I am not alone…this issue has been eating me up all week. I just feel horrible. Thank you for listening and creating this website.

    [Moderator's note: The millions of dollars in donations to the ProtectMarriage coalition were made by LDS church members (with substantial encouragement from local and general leaders). The Church itself donated only a few thousand dollars to the coalition. On the other hand, it also ran its own website, created its own satellite broadcast and conducted numerous conference calls and training sessions for California leaders, volunteers and voters.]

  223. 223anonymousactiveon 09 Nov 2008 at 6:44 pm

    I returned to my ward this post-election Sunday. I was surprised not to hear a single victory speech about prop 8. However, after going through this prop 8 trauma for several months, I can’t say that I am back to my pre-prop 8 status. It’ll take time to heal. How long will it take? I’m not sure.

    In the meantime, I am glad I have “met” many of you on this website. Thank you for your sharing your experiences and an endless thanks for the creator of this website. I am not the best at organizing events, but I would really enjoy getting together with a southern california group every once in a while.

  224. 224WRBon 10 Nov 2008 at 5:37 pm

    As an opponent of Prop. 8 and a member of the Calif. gay community, I wanted to add my heartfelt thanks to those who have made this site available and all those who support marriage equality. It DOES take a special kind of courage to stand up for what’s right when so many around you are not.

    THANK YOU!!

    PS I also want to apologize for some of the unfortunate and misguided attacks that have been leveled at the LDS in recent days. Please know that many of us are working hard to explain to our friends that many Mormons are with us, and that attacking the church is counterproductive and wrong.

  225. 225Dexter Francison 11 Nov 2008 at 7:02 am

    As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, regardless of our individual degree of “activity” we should be committed to seeking, knowing and upholding the truth, while at the same time honoring everyone’s agency. (D&C 93:24 & 25 and D&C 121:39-46)

    If this group is truly committed to upholding and sustaining the truth then there has to be an open dialog concerning the principles upon which it stands, particularly the claims that homosexuality is not a choice and that it does not go away. (These statements are presented as facts.)

    The deeper and much more significant questions are; Is *gender* a choice and; Is sexual preference learnable? Until these questions are fully and objectively addressed and answered, there will continue to be disagreement and dissent concerning this issue. Does anyone here have the courage, objectivity and knowledge to have that discussion?

  226. 226Shari Thornburgon 12 Nov 2008 at 2:03 pm

    I’m hoping you can create a separate post to inform people of the nationwide protests going on at city halls around the country this Saturday, Nov. 15th at 1:30 est, and 10:30 pst. Here is the link:

    http://jointheimpact.com/2008/11/prop-8-protest-a-call-to-the-lgbtq-community-friends-family/

    Walnut Creek, California is not listed on the site, but has a large group congregating at the Walnut Creek City Hall on Main Street. Many other locations across the country are listed on the site.

    It’s far from over… and this is an opportunity for those of us that wish we would have done more prior to Nov. 4th!

  227. 227Rebeccaon 12 Nov 2008 at 2:09 pm

    Thank you for being the voice of sanity in these troubling times. It was a great relief to find this website and meet other Mormons who are able to see the difference between the principles Christ taught and the actions of those who profess to follow him.

    Your points are calm, sane and rational, devoid of hatred and anger. Your points are ones that I have thought through and arrived at the same conclusion about over the years. It was weird to hear my ideas repeated back to me, so clearly, almost word-for-word sometimes. I am LDS and have several gay friends who I love dearly, one in particular. I have had no trouble disagreeing with church leaders about this issue while not getting angry because I know for myself that things are different than the way they say they are, and that God knows infinitely more than they do. God has also repeatedly said in scripture that he refrains from revealing things to us until we are ready to hear them. “Milk before meat.” When people in scripture started becoming prideful, intolerant and persecuting of those who were different from them, “who didn’t believe according to their own will and pleasure,” God would stop sharing his truths with them, and revelations and miracles would dry up and sometimes cease altogether.

    Hearing truths from a loving God is a huge privelege, an honor the church often is not collectively ready for.

    I believe that the church does sometimes need to “catch up”; as one person who left a comment said. I think the members of the church are not ready to hear the truth about homosexuality and need to grow in awareness and compassion before God will share that truth with them. I do wish we were ready to hear the truth about homosexuality now, though, for the sake of the gay members of the church who have suffered so much.

    Marriage for all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation, is to me the higher law. And when we’re not ready for the higher law, our individual and collective progress suffers.

  228. 228Fiona64on 13 Nov 2008 at 12:06 pm

    Dear Dexter Francis:

    The American Psychiatric Association has an interesting page that should answer your question. http://www.apa.org/topics/sorientation.html

    Here is one quote: most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.

    I did not choose to be straight, I simply *am.* My gay friends say they knew from a young age that they were not interested in the opposite sex. I see no reason to disbelieve them.

    If your argument is, for example, that some gentleman who was once married and had kids is “now gay,” well … he was gay to begin with and trying to hide it (“staying in the closet”). Given the societal intolerance toward homosexuality, this is not a surprise. The link I provided talks about the many reasons that people have trouble coming to grips with a minority sexual orientation.

    Gender constructs are a completely different matter from sexual orientation. A transgendered woman (male-to-female) who has always been sexually attracted to women has not changed her sexual orientation, merely its name.

    Finally, so-called “reparative therapies” that try to “teach” gay people to be straight are discredited by the APA and have a horrible legacy of damage. http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_exod.htm#know

    A couple of excerpts from that link:

    Many studies appear to indicate that sexual orientation (at least for males) is largely genetically determined. Some of these are:
    – Pedigree studies of the sexual orientation of the ancestors of gay males indicates that homosexual orientation is largely genetically determined and is passed by the mother via one or more genes on a specific chromosome.
    – Studies of identical twins who were separated at birth and raised in isolation from each other also show that homosexual orientation is primarily genetically determined.
    – Studies of twins who are born into and raised in the same family support the data from the previous study.
    – Studies of fingertip ridges shows a difference between homosexual and heterosexual males. (Fingerprints are fully formed by the 17th week of pregnancy).
    – Studies of index and ring fingers show that homosexuals and heterosexuals generally differ in the ratio of the length of their fingers. The relative size of a person’s fingers is also determined before birth.

    And:

    All of these treatment methods have a few points in common:

    1. None are currently accepted by most therapists.
    2. None were accepted by most therapists at any time in the past.
    3. All are, or have been, widespread forms of therapy by a minority of therapists and clergy.
    4. None have been meaningfully researched and shown to be helpful.

    Most of these have been shown to be frauds; all might eventually prove to be ineffective. Many generate a trail of devastated lives; some have been shown to trigger deep depression and suicide.

    Signed,
    A straight ally in favor of equality for all

  229. 229Kathleenon 13 Nov 2008 at 12:17 pm

    THIS IS A GREAT WEB SITE! ! Thank you for all your hard work. I no longer feel alone. I am really battling with the idea of staying in the church. I feel that the un-christian like behaviour I have seen in my ward is not something I want to be a part of. Are there others who have left the church because of this Prop 8 ordeal? I still love the gospel, however, I am choosing not to be around the prejudice that I see exhibited in the church.

  230. 230Scott Ennison 13 Nov 2008 at 1:19 pm

    For me the issue comes down to the constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law. If the law is going to support marriage, then it must support marriage for all its citizens. There are good reasons why we do not allow under-age marriages, polygamous marriages, inter-species marriages, etc. But there are no good reasons for denying same-sex marriage. The issue becomes one of dogma or personal taste. If those are the best reasons that can be summoned to restrict the personal liberties of a specific group of citizens, then the legal protection of marriage should be removed from all citizens. Either everybody gets to enjoy the legal benefits of marriage, including the term “marriage” or nobody should. I find it ironic that an institution with such high regard for the Constitution of the United States is willing to deny constitutionally guaranteed rights to gays simply because they don’t believe what they are doing is correct. What about free speech? If you don’t like Playboy magazine, don’t buy it. Teach your children to shun it, but you don’t have the right to ban the speech outright. Certainly pornography is as abhorrent to the Mormons as gay marriage. Yet we see no triumph in propositions outlawing pornography.

    “no state shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”

    Fair is fair.

  231. 231Derrickon 13 Nov 2008 at 4:58 pm

    I am glad I found this website. I have found some of it to be informative and some of it to be misleading.
    To those of you who opposed Proposition 8, I recognize and respect your opinions and I am saddened that some of you have been treated as unfaithful or ‘bad’ members. Condescension should never be the case with those who have differing opinions or who are in the process of understanding for themselves a position taken by the Church, or any point of doctrine for that matter.

    However, I would encourage you to examine your position fully and realize the implications of your reasoning. On the main page of this site, there are several reasons listed for supporting the legalization of gay marriage.

    The reasons that most worry me are; homosexuality is not a choice, it does not go away, and it is not good for a man or woman to be alone. The argument may go may be something like this:

    Homosexuality is not a choice
    It does not go away
    It is not good for a man or woman to be alone
    Therefore:
    Gays should be allowed to marry

    Unfortunately, the conclusion that follows from these premises cannot be separated into the legal realm on the one hand and the religious realm on the other. How can one say that gays should be allowed to marry because they can’t help it and they shouldn’t be alone but saying at the same time that church members are expected to follow the guidelines of the Gospel and be alone? First, this argument is flawed because gays are not alone because they cannot get married. No one is monitoring their celibacy and forcing them to live a life of solitude unless they are married. Legalized gay marriage will change very little in the way gays already to choose their lives.

    On the LDS Newsroom site, Elder Dallin H. Oaks and Elder Lance B. Wickman teach us about the Church’s stance on homosexual attraction.

    http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/public-issues/same-gender-attraction

    We are reminded that everyone, straight or gay, is expected to keep the Lords commandment of chastity outside the bonds of marriage.

    Please understand that by using the above argument, or other similar arguments, you are also asking the Church to accept gay marriage. It necessarily follows from the premises. If God has provided no way for gays to be happy outside of marriage, then He is an unloving God to condemn those with homosexual attraction to a life of lonesome misery. I do not believe in such a God.

    The issue at hand is more one of accepted social status. It is not about civil rights. Rights are not affected. If you oppose proposition 8 on these grounds, you may have some leverage, but please recognize that many arguments to legalize gay marriage also necessitate the idea that the Church should accept gay marriage. If that is your platform, then that is fine, but you should be aware of it.

    Personally, I am still vacillating on the issue. I have not reached a firm opinion on the subject. It will require much more research, thought and prayer.

  232. 232Fiona64on 14 Nov 2008 at 10:27 am

    Dear Derrick:

    You wrote: you are also asking the Church to accept gay marriage. It necessarily follows from the premises. If God has provided no way for gays to be happy outside of marriage, then He is an unloving God to condemn those with homosexual attraction to a life of lonesome misery. I do not believe in such a God.

    The issue at hand is more one of accepted social status. It is not about civil rights. Rights are not affected.

    —–
    Sir, I am sorry, but you are incorrect on several grounds. No one will force the Church of LDS to marry a given gay couple any more than the church is forced to marry a given straight couple. My husband and I are not LDS (although my parents hold temple recommends, I have chosen not to join for a variety of reasons); we could not make your church perform a marriage ceremony for us. This has not, and will not, change.

    Marriage was deemed to be a “basic civil right” by the US Supreme Court in their 1967 decision re: Loving v. Virginia. Rights are indeed affected, sir. Married couples have 1,138 rights conferred upon them automatically under the law; domestic partnerships do not carry those rights … most importantly the right of full faith and credit. http://www.religioustolerance.org/mar_bene.htm If my husband were hospitalized in Nevada in an ICU, I would be admitted to see him. If he were my domestic partner and this incident occurred, I would not be considered part of his family. That is just one example.

    Marriage is a contract with the government. Churches are permitted to perform the rites as a courtesy by the government, but still must receive the power from the state to do so (“by the power invested in me by the state of XYZ …”). Many people in this country are not religious at all. My husband and I were married by a judge, for example.

    I respect your right to worship as you so choose. However, to pretend that marriage is not a civil matter strikes me as somewhat naive. :-(

  233. 233anonymousactiveon 15 Nov 2008 at 11:36 am

    Derrick,

    Think about this: Did you choose to be heterosexual? I think not.

  234. 234Derrickon 15 Nov 2008 at 5:30 pm

    Fiona,

    Thank you for your kind and informative response. I am afraid I was not specific enough in my original post. My post was aimed at members of the Church. I think we can all understand that the Church will probably not be forced to perform marriages to which it is morally opposed. That was one of the fears that the yes campaign played off of. The intention of my post was to inform members of the implications of several of their arguments. To say that gay marriage should be allowed because someone who is gay cannot be happy without it is to directly contradict many teachings of the Gospel. I simply wanted members to know that if they claimed to adhere to certain doctrinal teachings, that they could not take such a position without contradicting themselves. My goal is to encourage more thoughtful consideration of one’s own stance and its implications.

    As for the marriage rights issue, you may be right. It appears I was misinformed. However, legal rights and moral rights are not always the same. If the law considers marriage to be a basic civil right, I challenge you to find a judge willing to honor that right by marrying a father to his daughter. Clearly it is within the jurisdiction of legislators to establish boundaries to this “right,” hopefully for the benefit of society.

    It is also apparent that what the gay movement wants is not equal rights, it is equal status. If domestic partners were truly only interested in rights such as seeing their partner while in an ICU, that is something they could push for seperately from marriage. One could argue that it’s easier to push for the legalization of gay marriage, which would include all said 1,138 rights, as opposed to sueing for each individual right, but I think we can all agree that this is not the true goal of the movement. If everything that pertained to a married couple was granted to domestic couples who underwent a ceremony called ‘Garriage,’ I do not believe that the gay community would be satisfied. I maintain that it is about accepted social status and not “rights.”

    Marriage may now be somewhat a civil matter, but first it was not. It began as an institution set forth by God to provide a stable unit to raise children in the best way possible for the benefit of mankind. If marriages were no longer recognized by the government and all rights associated with it were stripped, it would still be performed as a religious ordinance and would have as much meaning and importance as it ever had to members of the Church. After all, the laws of the land cannot affect the laws of God. The problem now is that a “divine institution” and a legal status with certain ramifications, have become so deeply entangled that they cannot be seperated. That is why the issue is drawing in religious organizations who have never previously been so outspoken.

    To those whose views differ from mine, I appreciate your civility. I wish the best for this country and its people. May we all seek the Lord’s guidance.

  235. 235Lara Cleveland Torgesenon 15 Nov 2008 at 10:37 pm

    Derrick, with all due respect, we don’t see hordes of family members falling in love with and wishing to marry each other. We do see many gays and lesbians falling in love and wishing to marry.

    You say they don’t just want equal rights, they want equal status. Precisely. In the eyes of the government to which they pay taxes and the communities of which they are a citizen, they want to have equal status. Why is that such a problem? Religions can continue to view their relationships as inherently unequal and to preach that view. That is also their right under the Constitution. Religions can discriminate; governments cannot, or at least they should not.

    During the days before legalized interracial marriage, how would you have reacted to an argument that called for the same “basic” domestic partership rights for interracial couples, as long as we call them “Blendages” to distinguish them from “Marriages”? Would the “Blendages” be viewed as no different from “Marriages”? How about the children from “blended” households compared to the children in “married” households? My point is, no matter how hard we would try to see them as the same, one would be slightly inferior and we know which one that would be.

    Gay people are not trying to infiltrate marriage to ruin the institution. Don’t you see that the people who want same-sex marriage do so because they can see the value of marriage as a stabilizing institution–one that signifies commitment and fidelity to the person they love? They want to raise their children within the governmental protections that marriage provides. There are a lot of scary people in the world, but committed, gay couples are not.

    Honestly, being raised in the Mormon Church, I do not see at all how a gay marriage would be viewed any differently from a heterosexual marriage performed at the local courthouse. Mormons view their own temple marriages as vastly different from civil marriages. Why wouldn’t gay marriage be treated exactly the same?

    One last thought, Derrick, what do you have to say to those Mormons who have honestly pondered, fasted, prayed over this issue and got a personal revelation to be against Prop 8? Are they wrong? Does the message from the First Presidency trump anything that differs from it?

    Just a few things to think about.

  236. 236anonymousactiveon 16 Nov 2008 at 1:55 pm

    Even though prop 8 was defeated, I was somewhat glad not to hear any prop 8 gloatings in last week’s sacrament meeting. However, today was stake conference. The stake president spoke in length about the evils of gay marriage. I walked out. In this large crowd, I was the only one who got up and left. I am wondering if there were others who felt the same. In the church we are taught to be nice and agreeable. I just couldn’t sit through this talk. Can you blame me?

  237. 237Jeanieon 16 Nov 2008 at 4:43 pm

    #237 anonymousactive: Good job maintaining your integrity.

  238. 238Captain Moronion 16 Nov 2008 at 10:38 pm

    You could have stood up and yelled, “Enough already, you’ve been jamming this down our throats for months. prop. 8 passed. You won’t say anything we haven’t heard 5 times in the last few months. Give us a freaking break will ya”.

  239. 239Calif Mormonon 16 Nov 2008 at 11:58 pm

    Oh, CM. You’re such a card (oops, not THAT Card)

  240. 240Carrieon 17 Nov 2008 at 11:16 am

    Derrick: I am not Mormon. Most of California isn’t either.

    If I were gay, then *your* beliefs would prevent me from marrying *my* girlfriend. It would directly and materially interfere with my life and future. Non-Mormon gays do not necessarily choose lifelong celibacy. Nor do some Mormon gays, and I wouldn’t hold that against them.

    It amazes me how many people are not grasping that most of America functions outside of their beliefs. When a church steps into a *legal* fray, it needs to accept that its beliefs are NOT the authority. Church members who see this are NOT contradicting themselves.

    Please do not compare incest to homosexuality. The incest taboo has historically (acc. to a classics professor of mine back in college) been to keep families from becoming too isolated. We can comfortably legally prevent a father from marrying his daughter for the same reason a prisoner cannot legally consent to sex with a guard. In both cases, one party has too much power over the other for the law to assume consent is voluntary. (We see this behavior in cults.)

    Marriage existed before Judeo-Christianity. Marriage in the United States has always been a matter of state, and for the first 100+ years after the Reformation, it wasn’t even performed in Lutheran churches.

    Marriage is and always has been about property. Families are a great joy of life (they beat a Ferrarri any day of the week, duh), BUT you must realize that the state has always had an interest. Greek city-states had strong laws protecting small farmers (which means their property and their families) because that is where they got their armies.

    “Marriage” has always been between a man and a woman, but we must realize that until very recently, births in the family and community were the key to its survival. We now have plenty of humans, plenty of ways of keeping them alive, and there is absolutely no doubt that more will keep coming.

  241. 241Catherine Iveson 18 Nov 2008 at 10:35 pm

    Since homosexuality is not a choice and since marriage between same gender people does not threaten heterosexual marriage I am in favor of same gender marriage if that’s what the two parties would like to do. Homosexuals should have the same rights as the rest of us. I hope that someday the LDS Church will be convinced by science and drop its opposition to and rather shabby treatment of the gay people in our community.

  242. 242Dannyon 21 Nov 2008 at 11:29 pm

    I just watched the video posted on the main page and I couldn’t agree more. If the money, time, and energy spent on both campaigns were going to the community think of all the good we can do. I did spend some time campaigning for No on 8, because it is about civil rights, an issue worth fighting for. Yes on 8 argues that they are protecting Marriage. From what? I really don’t get it. I have argued with an LDS church member for weeks on the issue and never understood. I really think it comes down to the fact that the LDS church, from the highest levels, said this is how we must think and act and there are many sheep and too few lions. I am glad to see this website though. It gives me hope.

  243. 243Melanieon 23 Nov 2008 at 9:15 am

    I know I said before that I was no longer going to comment, but a friend sent me this quote and I found it to be extremely interesting as well as prophetic. I am including an excerpt from it but the entire article can be found at:
    http://lds.org/ldsorg/EmailArticleProcess?action=view&cmlId=330409&locale=0&emId=187565102

    In 1978, in a speech delivered at BYU, Elder Neal A Maxwell said:
    “Discipleship includes good citizenship. In this connection, if you are a careful student of the statements of the modern prophets, you will have noticed that with rare exceptions—especially when the First Presidency has spoken out—the concerns expressed have been over moral issues, not issues between political parties. The declarations are about principles, not people; and causes, not candidates. On occasions, at other levels in the Church, a few have not been so discreet, so wise, or so inspired.

    Make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters, in the months and years ahead, events are likely to require each member to decide whether or not he will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions. (See 1 Kgs. 18:21.)

    President Marion G. Romney said, many years ago, that he had “never hesitated to follow the counsel of the Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional or political life” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1941, p. 123). This is a hard doctrine, but it is a particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ!”

    I would suggest reading the entire article. What proof more can we ask that the Prophet and Apostles are true followers of Christ and that they do, indeed, represent the will of the Lord!

  244. 244Angelaon 23 Nov 2008 at 10:05 am

    Thank you for putting up this sight. It is such a relief for me to find it.

    My story.
    I was raised in Utah, I come from a HUGE Mormon extended family, but as my parents were not so active, my strong activity in the church(high school and college) was my own choice.

    At 22 I became inactive (for reasons not relavent to this discussion).As I have moved further away from the churches teachings, I have never spoken ill of the church, and simply felt that organized religion was not for me. Prop 8 has added more conflict and upset me and my feelings towared the church and its leadership in ways that I can barely express. I know now, at 30, that I will never feel at home in the walls of one of the churchs.

    My boyfriend also grew up (a non-member) in Salt Lake, and has less favorable views of the church, but more importantly, both of us have very negative veiws of marriage.

    Our views of marriage were not damaged by any homosexual we know, but from the very members of the church itself. From seeing marriage treated as a license for sex(the ‘we are really attracted to each other and since sex is bad, we should just get married’ relationships). Watching roomates drop out of their last semester in college just to move up that wedding date. Cousins getting engaged to someone they met 2 weeks before, without every developing a deep commitment and love fore each other. Without talking about the realities of future plans for family, careers, finances, etc. Without ever seeing the other person angry or upset, without knowing what the other persons expectations for the marriage are.

    I have seen so many youth in the mormon church mistake the importance of marriage with urgency. I have heard a member of the 70 tell al of us college kids that getting kissed while on the USU “A” should be one of our college goals, in a singles ward I had marriage shoved down my throat at every opportunity (5 relief society lessons in a row, and I finally started walking out), and yet none of the marriages I witnessed had anything that I wanted to emulate.

    As my boyfriend and I have discussed marriage, we have tried to find definitions or characteristics of a good marriage we would want to emulate, a different definition that we would like to live up to. Of the people we can point to – saying ‘wow, they really get it’, or ‘isn’t that amazing’, only one is mormon. We are struggling to find our own definition of marriage, because the one we saw growing up in Utah is largely unpallitable.

    On the other hand, I have seen and known more devotion and care among some of the homosexual couples I know. I was touched hearing an interview with Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon by how enduring their love for each other was, and felt proud that my state had given them the right to finally marry.

    Which is all to say, I don’t understand. I don’t understand why the leadership of the church is against committed long term caring relationships. I don’t understand why my state has now voted to support Prop 8, and I am incredibly sad and somewhat outraged by this decision.

    No one has done more harm to my view of marriage than the members of the mormon church. Now that the leadership has made this position, I feel incredibly torn and conflicted in both my views and my relationship with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  245. 245Daveon 02 Jan 2009 at 10:30 am

    Like many out-of-staters who gave the Prop. 8 campaign minimal attention, thinking the ballot measure would be defeated, I was shocked to find out how significant LDS contributions were in the outcome. I also feel that the opponents of Prop. 8 have unfairly been characterized as “meanies” for the way they responded to the role of the Mormon Church.

    At the same time, I think a lot of Mormons who gave to Yes on 8 do not truly understand the hurt they have caused. Therefore, I decided to do something in my Texas university town, far away the fray in California, but close enough to have been affected by the struggle.

    I researched local contributions to the ballot measure, and was surprised to learn that two two academics at Texas A&M had donated thousands to quash same-sex marriage. I thought they shouldn’t escape unnoticed–not in some desire for vengeance–but to let them know how they affected other locals for whom the chance to be legally married meant a lot.

    Thus, my first in a series of blog posts on the subject:

    http://theaggieinsurgency.wordpress.com/2008/12/31/aggies-dont-lie-cheat-steal-nor-break-up-other-aggies-marriages-prop-8s-long-and-intrusive-reach-to-texas-am/

    If you like what I wrote, or even if you didn’t, please comment on the blog, as I probably won’t be back here to read any response you leave. And stay tuned. Follow-up posts are coming.

  246. 246Lizon 18 Apr 2009 at 1:56 pm

    I know things have died down a bit since November, but as recent events in the midwest and east coast show, the issue is not gone and will likely not go away. If fact, many more Mormons are likely to have to make decisions about supporting or opposing gay marriage initiatives in the future as more and more states grapple with the issue. Thus, this is something I still think about and follow in the news!

    I, like many others, was shocked that Prop 8 actually passed in CA. But I was also was frustrated by reports that Mormons were being targeted as THE cause of Prop 8′s passage (I’ve seen some interesting articles in the NYTs about why other populations might have also supported Prop 8). BUT, I also felt sympathetic to their outrage – when you feel you are fighting for equal rights and you are denied them, it makes you angry!

    As an active LDS member I have decided NOT to support any Prop 8-like measures should I have the opportunity to vote on one. I firmly believe that such measures come down to the separation of church and state. I understand our religion’s position on gay marriage. BUT as long as the state provides social, legal, and economic benefits related to marriage status then I believe the state has an obligation to make those benefits available to any and every adult citizen, regardless of sexual orientation.

    Thank you for creating a place where LDS members can build solidarity on this issue. The difficult task that lies ahead of us will be how to help our brothers and sisters think about this issue in a different way.

  247. 247Fiona64on 21 Apr 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Hi, Liz. I wanted to respond to this: “BUT as long as the state provides social, legal, and economic benefits related to marriage status then I believe the state has an obligation to make those benefits available to any and every adult citizen, regardless of sexual orientation.

    Thank you for creating a place where LDS members can build solidarity on this issue. The difficult task that lies ahead of us will be how to help our brothers and sisters think about this issue in a different way.”

    I have found a good way to frame this argument: some churches teach things differently from other churches. For example, some churches think it is okay to ordain women, and other churches teach differently. Some churches perform same-sex marriages and others do not. Because I believe strongly in the separation of church and state, and the freedom for churches to teach different things to their members, I do not think the government should enact laws based on a particular church’s beliefs. That’s not fair to other churches and their members, and we do not have the right to dictate how other churches do business.

  248. 248Sherion 22 Apr 2009 at 7:01 am

    Fiona, I often find that your words temper my anger; I appreciate your insight. I need to come up with ways to communicate with the those supporting “Traditional Marriage” where I don’t put them on the defensive:-) Your approach above is an excellent example of good talking points to use. My husband Steve gave me another great bit of wisdom last night as I lay in bed crying and unable to sleep because of images of Matt Shepherd, Stuart Matis, and others who are nameless to me, but their stories all live on in me, driving me forward with this cause.

    As I was asking him what more I can do or say to help soften hearts and bring awareness to those who perhaps unwittingly are inflicting such hurt on the homosexual community? Why don’t they get what I, and so many others like those who created this website and support their views, get? That the GLBT community, are not the enemy and this assault on them is not in God’s plan. What he said brought me comfort and peace. He said “perhaps you need to focus all your efforts on supporting those being hurt by this and forget about trying to change anyone’s heart.” That did it. That’s where my joy comes from; when I get an email or comment on my videos thanking me for supporting love, no matter who is doing the loving, makes this work meaningful and positive for me.

    I love this website. What a blessing it has been to me and so many others. Thank you!

    The Matthew Shepherd Act is up again for vote. Please help support this Hate-Crime bill. Here’s a link to the Matthew Shepherd Foundation if you’d like more info.

    http://www.matthewshepard.org/site/PageServer

  249. 249Fiona64on 22 Apr 2009 at 3:15 pm

    Sheri, I appreciate your kind words. I am constantly working on my skill set, because I tend to be very left-brained and want to trot out the facts because that’s what works for *me.* When it comes to these issues, though, you kind of need to find out where people are coming from.

    If the answer you get to “Why do you feel this way” boils down to “Because the church said so,” well, I’m with your husband. You need to cut bait early, because you aren’t going to change anyone’s mind. Sometimes, though, you can plant a seed of thought that will change someone over time — for instance, if people think that their church will be forced to change how it does business, you can explain that churches select *now* those for whom they perform marriages, and that this will not change. No church will be forced to change its practices in that regard whatsoever. If they bring up schools, you need to know your state’s law because they differ; in California, parents have to opt their children *in* to health ed classes, and the only thing taught at all is respect for marriage and other committed relationships. (Be prepared to deconstruct the Parker case sometimes …) The main thing, though, is to find out what the real fear is and try to plant a seed that defuses it.

    The big argument always seems to be about religious vs. civil marriage, and that’s why I bring up the separation of church and state issue framed in ways other than gay marriage — to show why it’s not okay to tell some other church how it should do business, let alone to force those ideas into law. We are talking about civil marriage law, after all.

    Thanks again for your kind remarks. :-)

  250. 250Fiona64on 22 Apr 2009 at 4:13 pm

    PS to Sheri re this comment: What he said brought me comfort and peace. He said “perhaps you need to focus all your efforts on supporting those being hurt by this and forget about trying to change anyone’s heart.”

    You may want to look for a local PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) chapter. http://www.pflag.org is their website. You’ll be welcomed with open arms.

  251. 251Sherion 26 Apr 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Fiona,
    Once again Thank you – I have contacted the local chapter of PFLAG and hope to hear from them soon.

    My husband Steve created a short 36 second response on YouTube to the NOM Storm Gathering ad. It’s pretty cute and cuts right to the point. It’s depicting Jesus in the boat with His apostles during “the” storm, and what he says to them. Check it out if you are interested. The link is below.

    I’m always trying to find better ways to illustrate how the action of protecting traditional marriage has a side-affect that causes much harm to others and instills homophobic ideas in people without them even knowing it. I sent out an email to all the prop 8 supporters I know with an article from the Christian Post attached where victory was claimed when the Matthew Shepherd hate-crimes bill failed. I also included a video of Matthew Shepherd’s mom pleading for all of us to get involved to make sure it passes this time since it’s up for vote again. One of the responses I got from a young men who had been in my ward when I was still active, simply broke my heart. Here’s an excerpt:

    The laws as they read now should suffice. Now judges may view things differently based on their prejudices, but they will always be that way and so will we…that is the beauty and quite possibly the downfall of America. I wonder if this lady just wants the legacy of her son to live on forever by having a law named after him and at the same time blame the system for this horrible tragedy that befell her family. May the boy rest in peace and may we all look heavenward for guidance rather than be left to our own devices and stumble along the way as we lose sight of the path without the light of the Father.
    ~

    Am I being overly critical, or does this illustrate my point how this very divisive issue of gay marriage is helping to turn some hearts cold? I really want to know?

    Thanks again, Fiona.

    Sheri

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I73RufF4SJQ

  252. 252Fiona64on 29 Apr 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Sheri, I am so disappointed to read your former ward-mate’s words. It is obvious to me that some folks have indeed closed their hearts to the plights of gay men and lesbians in this country when such words can be written.

    I think that a lot of people objectify gay men and lesbians (and many other groups as well) because it makes them feel justified in their prejudices. If “those people over there” aren’t really human to them (which is what objectification really does — it dehumanizes people different from oneself), then they can feel like their mean-spiritedness is somehow righteous. What a sad commentary. :-(

  253. 253Sherion 30 Apr 2009 at 8:36 am

    Fiona, Again brilliantly spoken. I’ll be getting my book back from the publisher soon with finall edits, and would love to include your paragraph above in it. It says so much! Would you be opposed to that? And if it’s okay, do you want me to use your name? I sing the praises of this website over and over again in the book:-)

    My book is called The Spell of Religion and the Battle Over Gay Marriage. The other day I sent one last email out and challenged Prop 8 supporters and anti-hate-crime bill supporters to give me reasons how all of this effort to stop gay marriage and the hate crimes bill is based in love and serves humanity in any way. What I got back was a lot more of the comments like the one in my last post here. Someone told me I was the one spreading hate and intolerance.

    Anyway, let me know if you’d like me to add your name to the coment or make it anonymous.
    Blessings for a beautiful day,

    Sheri

  254. 254Fiona64on 30 Apr 2009 at 10:43 am

    Hello, Sheri. I would be honored and delighted to be included in your book. You can use my handle, “Fiona64,” if you would like; that would be great. I look forward to seeing your book.

    Isn’t it amazing when people equate standing up against intolerance with intolerance itself? I will never comprehend that position.

  255. 255Sherion 30 Apr 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Thanks Fiona. I wish there was a way I could forward to you the string of emails I received from prop 8 supporters who used to be my close friends. I’ve now been called everything but the Antichrist, and I think they’ve just held back on that one;-) I’ll let you know when the book is finished.

  256. 256Sherylon 04 May 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Thanks to everyone who is still posting here, especially Sheri and Fiona64. Sheri, I look forward to your book.

    Sheryl

  257. 257Sherion 08 May 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Thanks Sheryl, I actually have to hold back from writing something everyday (I don’t want to become a nuisance;-) I found the perfect place for Fiona’s quote and then just finished entering all the edits that my editor friend was nice enough to do for me. I will be sending it off to the publisher this weekend. YEA!

  258. 258Robert Hogan - NJon 12 May 2009 at 8:12 am

    Thank you for the site and letting people, both mormon and non-mormon express their views on the love that creates a marriage. Whether it is homosexual or not. Marriage is love between two people who love it other and no one should judge or question that love. The results of Prop 8 and the influence of the church is very dissapointing.

    One day we will look back on these days with the same astonishment that we look back on Women Sufferage and the Civil Rights movement of the 60′s. As we think of our parents and grandparents that lived during those times, our children and grandchildren will look upon us in the same way. “Why was it that way?”, “How did they allow those thing to happen?”, etc.

    We evole, and will continue. There is no ‘agenda’ other than the agenda of love, for one another, for your children and a love of the human race. We have learned to love and treat women, minorities and people of different religions. Why is the respect and equality lost on homosexuals?

    We will, with the help of those who stand up as before like Dr. M.L. King, and simply ask that the world live by the GOLDEN RULE.

    ** Don’t forget it was Utah and Idaho who were last to ‘enfranchise’ women rights to equality in the late 19th centrury and include blacks with the same equality. So then it seems fitting that the same states and people and church will be the last to “enfrachise” the right of same-sex marriage.

    As a mormon, I struggle with my own beliefs in the GOLDEN RULE and try to reconcile that with the mormon church’s stance of same sex marriage. Why is my belief in the GOLDEN RULE different than that of the church I so strongly beleive????

    It will change and so will the church’s opposition.

    God bless the work that you do and thank you for this website.

  259. 259Fiona64on 13 May 2009 at 9:20 am

    Dear Robert:

    The Wesleyan Quadrilateral teaches us that there are four pillars of faith: scripture, experience, tradition and *reason.*

    As much as some people would like to believe otherwise, scripture is *not* a rule book; it’s stories of people having extraordinary experiences. So, that’s not enough in and of itself to have faith. Experience? That’s what we all learn as we go along the road in life. Tradition? That’s the “here’s what our faith stands for” part of the equation … and it varies from faith to faith.

    However, all of these require the fourth pillar: reason. For example, if scripture tells you to love your neighbor as yourself, and your experience of your religious tradition is that it tells you to *not* to do that because said neighbor is gay (or a different religion, or a different ethnicity, etc.), well, it’s time for *reason* to kick in. What is the action a *reasonable* person would take? What does critical thinking about the issue tell you — not what someone else says you should think or do, but what your own experiences and critical thinking tell you.

    Unfortunately, a lot of faith traditions would prefer that you not employ reason. :-( It makes you *question* things, and that is the antipode of some belief systems.

    At the end of the day, you must look yourself in the eye when you stand before the mirror. If you would find yourself ashamed to do so, then perhaps the action or stand that you have chosen is not all it could have been. (Obviously, I am referring to the general “you” and not any particular person.)

  260. 260Sherion 13 May 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Fiona, once again your words simply touch my soul and resonate with my “reason”;-) And Robert, thank you for such insight as well. Since most of my time (outside of my job that pays the bills) is spent trying to understand the reasoning behind activities and beliefs that create nothing but division among people and hurt some of them deeply, I’m always looking for insight that helps me find ways to communicate — where they may have that “AHA ” moment and say “I get it now!” Because this website is such a wealth of that type of information I think a book could be created with a collection of the essays and comments here. I think it would be a big hit.

    I would love to learn more about the Weslayan Quadrilateral — what beautiful wisdom you shared from it, Fiona.

    I did have a sort of epiphany the other day. As I was contemplating what else I could be asking my friends and family who are prop 8 supporters to get them to really think this issue through, it occurred to me that one question I have never asked them is this: “What is the BEST thing that will happen if gay marriage is allowed?” I’ve asked about the worst thing, and how will it hurt them, etc. But I think if they have to answer the question what’s the best thing, they will have to put themselves in their shoes for a minute or two. What do you think?

  261. 261Fiona64on 13 May 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Hi, Sheri. I hope you conduct your experiment and report back. My suspicion is that you’ll hear lots of “yeah, but …” and stammering, LOL. As for the Weslayan Quadrilateral, there is some great information here: http://www.wesleyanquadrilateral.com/?p=30

  262. 262Sherion 14 May 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Fiona, LOL;-) It’s really too bad I didn’t have this information from the Weslayan Quadrilateral before my book went to the publisher the last time. I tried in so many different ways to say exactly what he clearly explains in just a few short paragraphs;-) The “reason” idea is what I’ve been pushing a lot lately, but with woefully little affect;-( I have finally sworn off initiating debates at all – it’s too draining. I’m back to what I promised myself a couple of months ago: to simply use my energy helping those who are being persecuted to finally gain the equality and respect they deserve. It’s going to take a shift in the entire collective of the millions of Prop 8 supporters to reach “ANY” of them and I’m just running out of steam on that front.

    If you hear of any openings with a Non-Profit org fighting for equality like, EQCA or the HRC in South Orange County, CA let me know. I’ve already been in communication with EQCA about a possible opening with them so wish me luck.
    ~Sheri

  263. 263Jeffon 26 May 2009 at 11:24 pm

    This website raises good questions, many of which have come to mind over the past few months watching all of this unfold. It does seem very odd that the church has become so involved in this topic. I don’t understand why and it doesn’t seem to fit with what I understand. For now I am going to suspend what appears to be a simple choice and just follow the prophet. I don’t completely understand why the church is going in the direction it is but I think that in time it may become apparent. If you look at the history of the church and the scriptures in general you will find that following the prophet is not always the easiest or most obvious choice.

  264. 264Auntieon 26 Jul 2009 at 9:27 am

    In response to #46 and to anyone questioning what life will be like in the hereafter for the LBGT part of the congregation, open your hearts. Remember: More Will Be Revealed. Eternal progression is not how we see it now because our views are limited by our prejudices. There are things we don’t understand because our hearts are not open. It’s not up to us to judge how families will be formed in Eternity. That will be dealt with out of pure love by our creator.

  265. 265jenniferon 26 Jul 2009 at 11:10 am

    I am a 5th generation Mormon on both sides of the family, and a decendent of the prophet Joseph Smith. I have always been fierce and proud of my beautiful heritage.

    Until this past year.

    As my parents were contacting families door to door in CA to make them aware of the “atrocity” that needed to be fought and destroyed, I, their daughter, was living in the most beautiful, spritual, positive, and loveing relationship I have ever had. With my girlfriend.

    I have always cherished with delight the amazing gifts I have been given concerning my spiritual beliefs and strength. And have a deep understanding that I would not be the marvelous and successful person I am without these teachings.

    And I choose Love. As I always have.

    Love for my neighbor.
    Love for my family.
    and Love for each and every tiny speck that inhabits this earth.

    And love for the ability to choose whatever path suits your beliefs. Because those beliefs do not hurt another, or take away the rights of the meek or disenfranchised.

    So I choose Love.
    And stand for it.
    And will continue to believe in it.

    One day my parents might come around.
    But until then, I will do it for them.
    And continue to keep myself surounded in peace and happiness.

    Respectfully,
    That 5th generation Mormon

  266. 266Linzion 29 Jul 2009 at 2:18 am

    Hey, I just found this website tonight while I was searching around online for some information on whether not I was alone in my opinion that homosexual relationships and gay marriage aren’t simply the end of the world! I was recently over at my fiancee’s house and somehow the discussion turned to gay marriage and while I was listening to his parents and siblings ramble on and on about the “atrocity” of it, I had to bite my tongue to avoid confrontation! Me and my fiancee both don’t oppose gay marriage (me especially) and have felt fairly alone in this stance! I am grateful to have found this site, just to know that we, as members of the LDS church, are not alone in our opinions. Just thought I’d post a grateful note to whoever began this, and to those who are willing to voice their opinion (if only on this blog :)

  267. 267Jon 25 Aug 2009 at 11:40 pm

    Thanks everyone for your support of this website. It is a great comfort to me to know that not all members of the church follow blindly follow without listening to their conscience.

    As a gay Mormon it is difficult to describe my experiences of “trying” to date, live LDS Standards so closely, serve an honorable mission and graduate from BYU only to be disappointed that I could not overcome my same sex attraction. Others labled me gay from a very young age (8 or 9) and due to my religious upbringing I was horrified and humiliated by my peers. I couldn’t believe I could possibly be gay, I was a good little mormon boy and wanted nothing but to do the right thing. I suffered from self-hatred, depression and anxiety throughout my youth and to this day. I always wondered why I had so many girl friends but not girlfriends and why the guys avoided me for the vibe I seemed to give off.

    After college, I continued to question my sexual orientation, and worried, and after talking to a series of bishops sought the help of an LDS Family Services Therapist. Although I made a very small income, I insisted on paying for my counseling sessions. I was informed by the therapist that most people did not have successful results and many discontinued therapy. I am so grateful to this therapist for trying, he never forced his views on me, he didn’t judge me, and was a great support to me when I really needed it. Unfortunately this didn’t change my attractions. A year later I found myself severely depressed, having panic attacks at work, and suicidal thoughts on a daily basis, my depression and anxiety began to effect my health, my heart, my work, and my relations. I sought the help of a clinical psychologist. He saved my life, he helped me to make some very, very, difficult decisions, and I am so much happier now. I did not believe I could be.

    I have found real love and acceptance whereas in the church I was destined to always be lonely and miserable regardless of how many friends I had, what calling I worked at, or how hard I tried. I’m not that young anymore and I’ve been in a fantastic relationship for quite sometime now, this really could be the love of my life. We love each other very much, we are good, intelligent, ethical, hardworking people, we resolve our own problems and we like to help others, we enjoy spending time together and if we keep this up, there’s a chance we may want to spend the rest of our lives together. There’s a problem though, I was raised the old fashioned way, I believe in commitment and monogamy, and after Prop 8 passed, so did this opportunity with all the legal rights and privileges of marriage. Here I was, gay, Mormon, and I never believed I could ever get married, now apparently it’s true. I was not aware that there were huge differences between marital rights and domestic partnership. Take a look at gay marriage on wikipedia.org if you like.

    I was so ashamed and sad when Prop 8 passed, it was difficult to tell so many gay and non-member friends that the LDS church was not all bad. I can see why it would be hard to believe. But I know that there are good people out there. I completely respect the religious views of the LDS church, but I witnessed legislated discrimination, and it was disheartening.

    Thank you for trying to understand and be supportive, it means a lot to me.
    J

  268. 268For This Causeon 27 Aug 2009 at 10:12 am

    I have struggled with homosexuality from a very young age, but have found help and hope in the Church. I am now happily married to the woman of my dreams. I live a happy life, something that I don’t believe would have happened had I continued with homosexual desires. I don’t mean to judge, but just because some homosexuals don’t find change doesn’t mean that others don’t. I love the restored gospel. I love the doctrine of eternal marriage between a man and a woman. Don’t forget that people like me are out here too. Change is possible, and it does happen. Take care,

  269. 269Sherylon 27 Aug 2009 at 6:40 pm

    For This Cause,

    I have some curiosity questions for you. Do you still find yourself attracted to someone of your same sex? How many children do you have? How long have you been married?

    My reasons for asking have to do with having read Carol Lynn Pearson’s books. I have no doubt that you love your wife and family. So do/did the gay people she writes about, including her husband (now deceased, their story is her book “Good-bye I love you”).

    Thanks,
    Sheryl

  270. 270Sandy Wellson 01 Sep 2009 at 9:52 am

    My dear friend Carol Lynn Pearson and I worked together on her book “Consider the Butterfly” several years ago. We speak often and I remember the day she called me to let me know that she was starting a brand new project, a play, not yet sure of the title.

    She eagerly mailed me the very first rough draft manuscript and I read it, along with her notes, carefully and thoughtfully.

    I couldn’t wait to pick up the phone to tell her how compelling the subject matter was, how thoughtful, brilliant, dramatic even though I was disappointed we were not going to work on a screenplay of a different topic I was eager to begin.

    Carol Lynn was dedicated to her subject matter and felt it was her duty, and I must admit, it was as if her beloved Gerald was guiding her towards the love and compassion he knew still more needed on earth.

    Thus was born “Facing East”, then later “No More Good-byes”.

    My friend is not just a loving genius, but a prophetess much like Nathan whom God sent to King David to tell a story of a powerful, rich man who had many lambs and who then took the only lamb a poor man took care of and loved with all of his heart.

    David cried with anger, “As the Lord liveth, the man that has done this thing shall surely die!”

    Nathan responded with power and authority, “Thou art the man.”

    Later Nathan explains how the powerful and much blessed King David killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword of the children of Ammon by leaving him alone on the front lines of battle, making it appear that he died of misfortunate circumstances and causes.

    Nathan further explains how the Lord had given everything to King David, but because of this thing the sword would never depart from his household.

    It is often a lowly and independent Prophetess who calls the rich and great to humble repentance, even large organizations who use power and resources to damage those who are on the fringes of society because they are deeply frightened of them.

    As a faithful member of the church I’ve learned that the Church has and does “sin” as is evidenced in the several apologies it’s issued over the years in the matters of Child molestation cases that went untreated, unprosecuted.

    Seeing my beloved Church sin, then repent is both frightening and concerning, much like seeing my parents get in trouble with the IRS or some other governing authority when they have done something wrong, inadvertently, or even with good intent.

    But, even goodly parents make mistakes, but that does not mean that the children cease to love them, hence my tender feelings for my Church that has salvaged and loved my soul, brought me to my Redeemer.

    The Church is my parent, and I am afraid for it, because I know it is wrong in this marriage thing, but I still love it, I still stand by it, I still protect it, but I must watch in horror as it is being touched by this thing.

    My personal viewpoint is that I know that Jesus Christ is the God of the whole universe, He is the God of the isles of the sea, of every Continent, of every Country and State…and if this is so, and this is His true Chuch, which I know and believe… then… why has this organization which I have given time, money, and my life to ignored child prostitution in foreign lands?

    Why has my beloved Savior’s servants focused on homosexual adults in the free world?

    Why would my tender Church tell me that homosexual adults who wish to marry and have families are more threatening to MY temple marriage than men in far away places who purchase children for sexual gratification?

    A) the only people who are authorized to be a threat to MY temple marriage are myself, my husband, or my God since it’s a union of three. The rest of the world is not invited in.

    B) the only actions on this Earth that can damage “marriage as an institution” are those that damage children as human beings, who later grow to adults who cannot function properly.

    So it stands to reason that the only actions on this earth capable of threatening the sacred institution of eternal marriage, or temporal marriage at those things which damage the innocence of humanity.

    This happens so frequently in Central America, and South America that it is considered a normal way for a family to earn an income.

    If the Church really loved children and families, or marriage as an institution… then all of the money raised to fight Prop8 would have been taken directly to the families who participate in this evil in order to buy the freedom of the child sex slaves, pay for education, housing, clothing, and teaching them the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    It is only my opinion, and it is based on the Christ I personally know, the one I worship, the One I adore, the One I see in the painting “Suffer these little ones” as my beloved Redeemer gathers the little ones to him for security and protection, knowing He is protecting the family by protecting it’s most vulnerable members, some of which even include gay children.

    And, scientifically speaking, naturally speaking….Since all gay people are born from heterosexual unions, then it would be safe to assume that heterosexual people, genetically traced, have destroyed themselves.

    And, (if we were to blame any force of nature or action on the destruction of marriage as an institution) by propogating homosexual genomes (gay people) that cannot reproduce, are we also to include sterile heterosexual individuals as a “threate to the marriage institution because they cannot reproduce”?

    Seeking to destroy the fruits of the loins of heterosexual couples who produce homosexual and/or sterile heterosexual offspring, is a cancer of our Church.

    It is so sad to me that ancient civilizations actually had a place for the GLBT persons given to them by God. These GLBT were revered as “Holy Ones”, “Shamans” seen as able to know and understand the human condition of both sexes and as such were held in high esteem, highly valued.

    I’ve come to know that how one is treated in any culture simply depends on when & where one lives, including my savior Jesus Christ, when He lived on the earth as a mortal.

    I for one believe that He died in order to heal these wounds that societies will continue to create as long as the earth exists.
    Sandy

    Author, To Spin True Purple
    Photographer, Consider the Butterfly
    The Doors of Zagreb: Croatia, a people & land engraven upon his hands

  271. 271Sandy Wellson 01 Sep 2009 at 10:56 am

    So, my solution:

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints should quickly marry all gay persons, couples who wish to be married temporally, but require them to adopt any child from a foreign land who is currently enslaved in the sex trafficking business, injured by war, poverty, crime, illness, or failed heterosexual unions.

    Organize these families into Wards, Stakes, Areas. Label them as “Angels of the Lord”.

    In my opinion, this is the reason God created sterile, unable to reproduce, ‘lovers of beautiful things’… gay people, because He has a special work for them to do, a calling.

    Use their skills and talents to help others, to hide them under a bushel is a crime and a sin.

    If only these needy children in the world could have a small portion of the care and attention, and love that the Church allows gay people to legally give to abandoned animals rescued from stench filled animal shelters.

    Once the Church opts to involve itself in the Political arena, then it must be held accountable for lack of involvement in all aspects of our Societies Political forum.

    Omission, lack of concern, and neglect have perpetuated ‘death by suicide of gays’ and continued neglect of desperate children. And the Church is making itself appear to be the one left standing, holding the sword that has committed these great crimes of humanity by failure to organize, use, and bless all of God’s children.

  272. 272Sherion 01 Sep 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Sandy,

    If the passion that I feel for the GLBT cause could have been put into eloquent words such as yours here, or Carol Lynn’s words in her profound and beautfiful books, perhaps my book “The Spell of Religion and the Battle Over Gay Marriage” would be reaching a greater audience right now. What power your comments hold! What depth of feeling that resonated to my very soul. I have been at a loss as to how to bring to light what I know to be true about the souls of our GLBT brothers and sisters.

    I started my campaign for gay-rights by doing a series of YouTube videos. I even did one which I titled “Divine Gays” because I also believe they are here to teach us like the Shamans and others what it looks like to be blessed with both the divine feminine and masculine. I left the church over the gay marriage issue. I was so dissolusioned that I simply could not reconcile the two, and made the choice to leave. But I’ve contiued full speed ahead with my spiritual pursuits in other ways. My book, “The Spell of Religion and the BAttle Over Gay Marriage” describes my history out of the church over the gay marriage issue, and my feelings about how the leaders must seek forgiveness from every soul they have shattered and every child of God left drowing in fear because they have been taught they are an abomination in the sight of God.

    Thank you Sandy, for reconciling this truth with continued activity in the church as Carol Lynn has. You, along with Laura and the creators of M4M are better than me in that. But it’s people like you who have reconciled the two who may have a greater chance of reaching my children with this important concept, that as of yet, I’ve been unable to do.

    Many blessings,

    Sheri

  273. 273Sandy Wellson 01 Sep 2009 at 7:53 pm

    Sheri,

    Thank you for your sweet letter. I sometimes too have difficulty putting my feelings and thoughts into words, especially with complicated topics such as this one. I find that I do best when I just let it flow.

    Sheri, I am sad to learn that someone as lovely as you has distanced herself from the Church over this issue. You have a birthright, a heritage. Such a connection should never be lost. I know it is sometimes hard to see past the governmental structure, on into the spirit of the Gospel.

    Just like the many gay men in Utah who have ended their own mortal lives over this topic; others have committed it spiritually.

    Sheri, I can only tell you this… that just as Lazarus was risen from the dead, so can those who have perished under the heavy push stones of the gospel as it has rolled forward.

    And just as many self righteous will accuse some of trying to “steady the Ark of the Covenant and dying quickly in the process,”, embracing the erroneous belief that those persons are “getting what they deserve”…some truly have innocently fallen victim to it’s relentless onward path just by nature of being there.

    And just as Old Testament “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” salvation was done away on the day the miraculous star rose in the night sky when a tiny baby was born, so shall more understanding and love come in this strange political climate today.

    We all must remember, that throughout the history of the Prophets, few have escaped correction from the Lord.

    Jonah was swallowed by a whale, Nephi was lost at sea, our beautiful Joseph was exiled and forbidden to translate, Moses was denied accomodations in the Promised Land due to misuse of Priesthood power, even Peter was face to face with our exhausted Savior as he was reminded at the crowing of the fowl on the bitter morning of his sunken shame.

    Even entire groups of sacred covenant peoples have been taken captive for generations, held as slaves, or driven as lost geese, even their very bloodlines extinquished due to the corrections of the Lord.

    I for one believe He allows these social circumstances to take place so that the stage can be set for a miracle just as the leper was outcast from the temple and deemed too “unclean” to enter, so Jesus healed the leper thusly making them worthy of temple admission, only for the Church leaders to raise the bar higher and still deny entrance.

    Jesus’ politics are why the Church leaders did not like Him.

    Remember, it was the Church leaders that ordered His death.

    Is it any wonder that tradition carries on? Some things, even on into these last days, persist and are stubborn when it comes to men and power.

    Jesus kept usurping their politics and it angered them. And they kept trying to socially outcast those Jesus had liberated because they had developed their own set of morals and standards for what was “popular” in Church culture.

  274. 274Sherion 02 Sep 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Dear Sandy,

    Thank you so much for your heartfelt letter back to me. My journey out of the church actually began before the gay rights issue. I tell my story in my book, which explains how my exit from the church has actually liberated me, and the thought of returning into activation, for me, would be like stuffing my spirit back into a box. With that said, I truly mean no disrespect. I love that some people, like my children, find complete fulfillment within the confines of the church, or any religion for that matter. However, I do not, and never have. The knowledge I have received through my direct connection to my Source, fulfills me in ways that the doctrine of the church never did.

    My path is not for everyone, as your path is not for me. My greatest desire is that ALL people will one day understand how we all are connected by the same force that grows our crops, lights our planet and allows us to love. When we create divides because of tribal beliefs (religion in particular) then it’s difficult to get past the “us vs them” mentality. But when we see all people as “true” children of God regardless of our differences, and don’t have expectations that in order for them to be favored by God they must come to believe like us, then the wars that have been raging for millennia will stop and peace will reign on the planet. I believe it is our efforts to convince others to conform to one belief system that is causing the divides in families, communities nations and the world.

    There are two commandments that if we live by, will allow us to truly understand; Do unto others as you would have others do unto you, and Love thy neighbor as thyself. When we are guided by these two principals – always, without exception, we can’t help but be the loving, compassionate and ethical people that God would like us to be.

    Warmest blessings,
    Sheri

  275. 275Dennison 11 Nov 2009 at 10:55 am

    Hi,

    Wow! Look at how we’ve come together to support LGBT rights for marriage!
    This thrills me. How isolated a person can feel when you’re a LDS Church member that supports gay marriage.

    Momentum is gaining for human rights and we must continue to support such efforts. We live on a tiny planet as a human family and we must learn how to live together. This is what our Savior wants.

    Love,

    Dennis

  276. 276Christine & Paigeon 23 Jan 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Hi. We are an Anglican-Quaker couple, but we found this website and it profoundly moved us. We bring greetings from the Orange County and San Francisco Meetings, and want you all to know that we are holding you in the light. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you all. Thank you so much for sharing your stories and having the courage to speak out. We love you all.

  277. 277Anthonyon 13 Feb 2010 at 1:04 pm

    I’am LDS and I’m very angry at what this Church has done I have been thinking of leaving this Church . I’am angry because I belive in the sepration of Church & State and also the LDS said if I’am correct that were not to get into policital affiaris at least as a Church and that is what they have done with this.

    I have quite a few gay and transgenderd friends and being black member of the Church I’am aware of the history of the priesthood ban till 1978 of corse I was only 1 at the time of that. LOL

    But I would have hoped that the LDS had learned from that but I guess not and it has still not learned from the priesthood ban as well scince there are still raicist around the church.

    What I do not understand is for the life of me is how will Gay Marriage destory Hetrosexual Marriage were doing that alreddy :) with affiars , domestic volince, ect .

    And to thoese who live CA I can only say this no one one told me of this I’m from New Orleans I only found out about it later the Church did not tell me or others about there involment in this .

    I feel as though I was draged into this without my knowldge and I’am angry for that very very angry . I personly feel that if the LDS want to fight the destruction of marriage and immorialty they should look in a Mirrior .

    Here is somthing for all thoese wonderful moral LDS should look into. The state of Utah is leading the USA in online porn serches .
    If that is corect then maybe some self searching is in order before they go and pronunce judgement on others.

    I’m Sorry for this RANT I had to get this off my chest.

  278. 278Scotton 06 Jan 2011 at 8:24 pm

    I’m mormon and support gay marriage. “We believe that religion is instituted of God; and that men are amenable to him, and to him only, for the exercise of it, unless their religious opinions prompt them to infringe upon the rights and liberties of others; but we do not believe that human law has a right to interfere in prescribing rules of aworship to bind the consciences of men, nor dictate forms for public or private devotion; that the civil magistrate should restrain crime, but never control conscience; should punish bguilt, but never suppress the freedom of the soul.” D&C 134:4

    I’m sorry that my church is trying to make human law prescribe rules of worship, bind your consciences, dictate your form of public and private devotion, control your conscience, and suppress the freedom of your soul.

  279. 279Benjion 19 Jul 2011 at 9:24 pm

    I’m Jewish, a friend gave me this website and I found it fascinating to read. I must admit I was skeptical of the Mormon religion as being somewhat of a cult, even more so when they entered the political arena on Prop. 8. But this site opened my eyes, I had no idea there were many Mormons that felt disappointment at their Church’s direction in the matter of the Prop. Many, many years ago I left the Orthodox sect to join the Reformed. I was uncomfortable in the views they were presenting, after all we no longer use some of Leviticus commands, (stoning a non-virgin bride, an insolent son… etc.) What troubled me most was it’s views on homosexuals, they pointed to 18:22, but the prior verses to it switched from the usual condemnations of sexual relations, to pagan gentile practices before asserting the infamous ‘Thou shalt not lie with a man as with a woman’ As it is an abomination… as particularly poor translations of the original Hebrew word which really means “ritually unclean” translation of the Hebrew Scriptures (3rd century BCE) translated “to’ebah ” into Greek as “bdelygma,” which meant ritual impurity. If the writers of Leviticus had wished to refer to a moral violation, a sin, he would have used the Hebrew word “zimah.” Having sex with your wife while she was on her menstrual cycle was considered an abomination also, but not a moral violation.

    Sodom and Gomorrah, G-D had already decided to destroy these towns before the angels went to Lot’s house. Although I agree with the events of that night that the men sought to rape the angels at Lot’s house, the word Yada has several meaning, one to make love as Adam did to Eve to concieve Cain. The men of Sodom had no intention of making love with the angels. Also to know as in seeking knowledge, two other meanings for Yada are to show mercy and to act justly.

    The word homosexual was not invented until 1869, and first inserted into the bible @ 1955.

    Picking up at the new testament, I believe Paul when writing to his letters at the Corinthians was admonishing his newly created flock that didn’t mind a new worship, but wanted to go and continue the sexual pagan practices of their old temple, same with Romans.

    If homosexuality was such an issue in the bible why was there only 6 passages in it out of a million? Why did Rabbi Jesus cure a centurions ‘pais’ (male lover).

    Sorry for the very late rant, again this site opened my eyes to a new view on Mormons, one that I can respect.

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