A lot has been said in the week since news about 300 Mormons marching in Salt Lake City’s Pride Parade spread across the internet and around the world. I was surprised to see how many members of the church questioned the motives of those who participated in the parade. Many doubted the activity level of the participants, and they condemned them for not being in church. I know LDS members are stereotypically a judgmental group. I used to think that was an unfair generalization, but the words and actions of many this week proved me wrong; and I am disappointed.
A strange phenomenon among a certain segment of the LDS population, however, is the roundabout way they pass judgment on others. You see, they would never come right out and say they dislike homosexuals, but they will share stories or thoughts that subtly hint at the idea.
One Facebook friend, for example, spent the past week posting quotes from LDS President Joseph F. Smith. One quote focused on putting away the natural man and nurturing our spiritual beings. Another one was about being a good example, staying true to the faith, and associating only with those who share similar standards. Now, my question is why is he suddenly posting these quotes? I had never seen him do this before. I decided to check out his Facebook time line/wall, and I saw a post he made in response to the pride march; he thought those members should have been in church instead of participating in an event that celebrates immoral behavior. I couldn’t help but feel that these quotes have all been subtle follow ups to that comment. It’s a roundabout way to call those of us who are sinning to repentance.
Next, I saw many, many former ward members post a link to a blog post that has made the rounds quite a bit over the past week. Blogger Josh Weed and his wife made a public announcement of their mixed-orientation marriage. He’s gay, and she’s straight. They claim to have a healthy, strong marriage. He admits to being sexually attracted to men and not women, yet they have made their marriage work and have three beautiful daughters.
I do not want to question their sincerity and happiness, but I wonder what the true motivation is for what they wrote. The church leadership over the past 10 years has discouraged gay members from marrying someone of the opposite gender. They realize that past mix-oriented marriages have led to broken homes and bad feelings. Why, then, would this marriage and family therapist willingly enter into a marriage that will not offer him the complete fulfillment that all couples deserve? Isn’t it a little cruel to the wife to admit that he isn’t even remotely sexually attracted to her, yet he will marry her anyway?
Now, many of the people who posted on Facebook thought he was wonderful. After all, his general message was that love is what’s most important. I think many of my friends—mostly single women in their 30’s and early 40’s—thought that this was a strong message to the single men in their lives. Are they at a point that they would be willing to settle for a gay man like Joshua Weed? Maybe they are, but I still don’t think that’s fair to them.
The Deseret News posted an editorial about stopping the abuse of GLBT youth today. I was impressed that the editorial board of the newspaper owned by the LDS church would finally say something about this major problem. Many of the readers comments, however, show that we still have a long way to go, but I appreciate another baby step.
I regularly visit a website called Cor Invictus. The website was set up to provide gay LDS members a place to meet and feel the support of each other. I have corresponded with a few people, and I have attended a couple of social gatherings. I think it will be a great place for those of us with similar religious backgrounds and convictions to come together and share our burdens.
A strange thing, however, happened this week. I received a message from a woman who said she enjoyed my Cor Invictus profile and some of the comments I have made on the message boards. She said she would like to meet and go out to dinner. She is interested in finding someone that she could eventually marry, and for some reason she thinks I could be that someone. Well, I haven’t responded yet because I am a little bewildered about the whole thing. Perhaps she also read Joshua Weed’s blog post and thought she would start using gay websites to find possible dates and potential husband.
Finally, I was pleased to read this little comment on another blog:
“And I found this post rather touching. Stuff like that makes it all worth it to me.”
I haven’t done much to publicize my blog yet. I was planning on getting enough material on here before I start that, but I am happy to see that people are finding me anyway. It’s also heartwarming to read that somebody has appreciated something that I have written. Thank you Gay LDS Actor.
- Mormons Take Even More Activist Message to DC Pride March (religiondispatches.org)
- Mormon Pride March – I Dreamed a Dream (ssaorgay.wordpress.com)
- Devout LDS to march in gay pride parade (abc4.com)
- Straight Mormon Allies at Gay Pride, in Nine US Cities. (queeringthechurch.com)