In Sexual Orientation on July 14, 2012 at 9:27 am
Last year, as a sitting Mormon bishop, I came out publicly as an ally to my LGBT sisters and brothers in and outside the church.
In the aftermath of my talk in Salt Lake City apologizing to the LGBT community and LGBT Mormons for the pain that they have gone through and recognizing that all too often that pain has been inflicted in the “house of their friends,” their families, their religious institutions, and their communities, people have asked how I made my journey from an adversary to fence sitter and finally to becoming an ally and advocate.
One of the turning points was when I first began developing personal relationships and friendships with LGBT individuals. For me this came about first in a surprising way. I began watching a television show called Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. As is sometimes typical for Mormons on a variety of issues, I was late. I didn’t see it until a year or two ago, when it went into syndication.
What seemed to be a unique twist on the typical makeover show became for me my first significant introduction to the LGBT community. I had never had contact that I knew of or built a friendship with an LGBT person outside of work. The show spoke to me from the start. It had a catchy synth intro that reminded me of the dance grooves we used to club to in the late ’80s when I was at Brigham Young University, where I met my wife for the first time.
For me it was much more than watching five gay men help get straight guys’ act together in grooming, home decor, fashion, culture, and cuisine. It began to create a bond for me to these men. They had a certain synergy that kept me wanting to watch more. I liked them as people. I saw them as individuals expressing their God-given talents and trying to make people’s lives and the world a little bit better. As Carson Kressley, the show’s fashion guru, would often say, it’s not a makeover show, it’s a “make better” show.
-full commentary at Advocate.com
In Gay pride on June 28, 2012 at 9:50 am
This weekend, organized contingents of Mormons marched in LGBT pride parades in 8 cities, from New York to Santiago de Chile, marking the high point in an historic season in LDS LGBT history that began with the Mormons Building Bridges Parade in Salt Lake City on June 3.
In Seattle, the Mormons for Marriage Equality contingent counted 55 marchers at the beginning of the Pride parade. As the group made its way down the parade path, an additional 20 Mormons left the sidelines to join, repeating scenes witnessed in Washington, DC, when the parade route became a site for reunions between active Mormons and gay Mormons long estranged from the faith community.
In New York City, 50 gay Mormons and allies marched behind the banner of Affirmation, the nation’s oldest Mormon LGBT group. Some held signs quoting a verse from the Book of Mormon: “All are alike unto God.” Nineteen LDS marchers held the Affirmation banner in Houston, as did an estimated 100 LDS LGBT and allied marchers in Santiago de Chile.
The largest contingent of the weekend gathered in San Francisco, where more than 100 LDS people gathered to march behind the Mormons for Marriage Equality banner, winning the parade’s award for “Absolutely Outrageous” contingent. Mitch Mayne, who is openly gay and holds a leadership position in his San Francisco LDS congregation, offered an opening prayer for the group. “I felt prompted to ask our Father to bless us with the capacity to be ambassadors of His unconditional love,” said Mayne.
-full report by Joanna Brooks at Religion Dispatches
In Gay pride on June 22, 2012 at 11:14 am
A new wellspring of support will be on display when the annual Pride Parade gets underway Sunday in downtown Seattle. People of faith are coming out for same-sex marriage, speaking with voices and feet, even if their bishops continue to stand against marriage equality.
The Mormon contingent in Seattle’s Pride Parade on Sunday will dress in classic missionary attire of shirts and ties, over which marchers will be wearing “Approve Referendum 74″ t-shirts.
“We stand for marriage equality: We don’t stand AGAINST anything, and we are not interested in attacking anyone,” said Scott Holley of Mormons for Marriage Equality. Holley’s church stood against same-sex marriage four years ago and was instrumental in passage of California’s Prop. 8.
The newly formed Catholics for Marriage Equality will be marching nearby in the parade under a big, newly made banner. Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain has fought against marriage equality, but CME leader Barbara Guzzo is standing her ground and walking her talk.
In Gay pride on June 4, 2012 at 2:48 pm
Mormons Building Bridges came out in their Sunday best and celebrated the LGBT community
Over 300 Mormon allies dropped their bibles and marched in Utah’s Gay Pride parade on Sunday (3 June).
The group Mormons Building Bridges said they wanted to send a message of love to the LGBT community, saying it was compatible with their faith.
-full report: Gay Star News