SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Mormon church officials have issued a rule change that says members in same-sex marriages can be kicked out and their children must wait until they’re 18 and disavow homosexual relationships to be baptized.
The revisions triggered a wave of anger, confusion and sadness for a growing faction of LGBT-supportive Mormons who were buoyed in recent years by church leaders’ calls for more compassion and understanding for LGBT members.
“It feels like they are extending an olive branch and hitting you with it,” said Wendy Montgomery, who is Mormon and has a 17-year-old gay son. “It’s like this emotional whiplash.”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints disseminated the handbook changes this week to local church leaders around the world. The goal was to provide clarity to lay leaders who run congregations, church spokesman Eric Hawkins said. He noted the church has long been on record as opposing same-sex marriages.
“While it respects the law of the land, and acknowledges the right of others to think and act differently, it does not perform or accept same-sex marriage within its membership,” Hawkins said in a statement.
Montgomery said Friday the news left her son sobbing and forced her and her husband to consider leaving a religion they’ve belonged to for generations. The couple has been trying desperately to stay in the church despite a harsh reception to their son coming out.
Montgomery also echoed a response shared by many on social media: She can somewhat understand the hard stance on same-sex marriage, but she can’t comprehend singling out gay couple’s children.
“We just put a scarlet letter on these kids,” Montgomery said. “This isn’t my church. I don’t see God in it. I don’t see divinity it. It just feels evil.”
I was a Mormon once upon a time, but I’m not even a Christian anymore, and with good reason. Christian churches hate gay people. Remember in the last couple of years when the Mormon church announced they are accepting gay people? Well, now they’ve slapped all those gay people in the face with this new rule saying they will be kicking out all gay members, and children of said gay people will not be allowed to be baptised or even attend church until they are 18, and they have to move out of their family home and disavow homosexuality, and that includes disavowing their parents.
Tell me how that is fair to a child? Tell me how that is fair to a family, like the Montgomery family who have been Mormons their entire lives. They used to live in Bakersfield and the church here gave them such a hard time, so much so that their son Jordan stopped going to church altogether. They were so excited to leave Bakersfield and move to a whole new city in a new state to be in a new community with a huge gay/gay friendly Mormon population, only to now be told that Jordan can’t attend church anymore because of this new rule.
Do the Mormons realize what they are doing? They are alienating not only gay people, but also the friends and families of gay people. It’s really no wonder why people are becoming atheists every day. This is exactly why I turned into an atheist.
When I was 17 and came out of the closet to my mother, all she could do was tell me “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” and that I was going to hell, and she called me a faggot. My own mother. My boyfriends mother called me a faggot and she also told me that she wanted to know where we lived so when God caused an earthquake, she’d know where to dig for her son’s corpse. Then when I was no longer homeless, my sister found me and invited me to live with her, and she started telling me how I was going to hell too. I went from being a born again Christian, to Atheist in less than a year. I had been told at least 100 times in 10 months that I was going to hell, and there was nothing I could do to change it. So yeah, I said screw that, I’m done with religion.
Look, I’m not going to tell people what to do with their lives. You can be a Mormon, you can be a Christian, or you can choose what religion you want to practice, but there is one thing you cannot choose, and that is to be gay. No one chooses to be gay. We don’t just wake up one morning and say “I think I might like to suck a dick today.” We may decide today is the day I will come out of the closet to my parents/family/friends, but we’ve always been gay. We came out of the womb gay, and we will die gay. You cannot change that fact. And I don’t care what anyone says, it’s not a choice. Deal with it.
If I ever decided to go to church, which will happen when hell freezes over, you can believe that I won’t give a crap what they think about my sexuality because it’s none of their business. I don’t think they should worry about who is gay and who is straight. They shouldn’t be focusing so much on hating gay people, because Jesus is not about hate. Jesus never said one thing about gay people, so why is the church so focused on hating gay people? Isn’t the church supposed to be all about love? I mean, that’s what I used to think. Now it seems the church is pure evil. If I wanted to go to an evil church, I’d choose the church of Satan. And you know what? I heard that the actual church of Satan actually accepts anyone, and they give food to the homeless and they donate money to charity. The church of Satan actually does a lot more good for society than the church of God. What does that tell you?
Anyway, I’m getting off my cross, er um I mean my soapbox. I’m sick of this subject. I wish all religions would just go away.