Thursday, August 18, 2011

Gay Friendly Mormons?

I am going to say yes.  There are some unfortunate exceptions, but yes.

A general question was asked on face book if anyone knew of any gay-friendly LDS wards.

Frankly, I hoped that we were passed this.  Should we be asking if there are black friendly wards, or Hispanic friendly wards as well? 

...And you can as well, 
but those over there will have to leave.

First, what is a gay friendly ward?  Mormons that are friendly to gays?  I hope they all would be - as I hope everyone would be welcome anywhere in the LDS Church they go.

I have been in some "cold" wards before - ones whose members were not very open to newcomers, or wards that are slow to warm up to new comers, but I have never seen a ward that had a list of people who were welcome and people who weren't.

Okay, I take that back.  When I was doing summer theater in Jackson Hole Wyoming, the ward there was wary of young Mormons moving in for the summer, wearing out the bishop with appointments to confess sins and then leaving for their home-land like geese in the fall. Since they didn't know who was setting weekly appointments with the bishop and who wasn't, we all got the evil eye.

Other than that episode (which I hear is still happening to summer stock college kids) I haven't heard of a ward that is either friendly or unfriendly to gays.  I have someone in my ward now who thinks that they (we?) should all pick-up and move to Quebec, but that is one fool amongst many other kinder fools.

The thought that Mormons - or any other group - would have organized naughty and nice lists makes me queasy.  If this behavior was to rear it's ugly head, hopefully the foolishness would be attributed to the rather foolish person or persons - if there were somehow more than two of them in one neighborhood - not the whole organization. At least, that is how I would wish it to be.  Do I look at all republicans with disdain because Rick Perry is delusional?  I would hope not.

I am not saying that all of us Mormons are politically correct, or that we are enlightened.  I am saying that everyone is welcome - even if there are some hold-outs.

Since the whole idea of "specialty group intolerance" seems ludicrous to me in this day and age, I am going to assume that the guy on face book was asking if there are wards that allow their gay members to hold offices or have temple recommends.  The answer is that they all do.  It is church policy to allow all worthy members church callings and temple recommends.

Of course, all are welcome to church, including those who do not have a temple recommend, or a church calling, or who wear a white shirt.  The no show socks bugs me, but I will get over it or convince you to wear socks. But none of these things really matter in the long run.

What matters is that everyone that comes through that door knows he is welcome in a real, candid and sincere way - including those of us that are doing the inviting. 


  1. Is he wondering where gays are completely accepted? preference and partner and all? Do they give out temple recommends to homosexuals if the are living every law but the law of chastity?

  2. Come on ... Really? Are we so naive to think that some Mormons are not prejudice? Every ward I have been in has had people (some more vocal than others) who have had very strong opinions on certain classes of people. With partisan politics, it has become even more prevalent (just look at the things Chafetz, Lee, Hatch, McKeon, or Bishop say).

    Most of it is from ignorance or uncertainty, but it still exists. Many people still don't know how to address why Blacks could not hold the priesthood (unfaithful in pre-existence? sinful like the lamanites with 'darker skin'?). I hear comments about smokers (they are just disgusting), illegal immigrants (send all those wetbacks home), singles (they'll just be angels), people on welfare (good members aren't lazy, they should just get a job), democrats (how can you be for a party that accepts abortion), and gays (they chose to be gay). And, have you not heard a gazillion gay jokes from Mormon guys?

    It isn't part of the gospel. It isn't from teachings of Christ. It isn't attributed to all members. And, it doesn't mean that the members hate these groups of people. But, it is pretty easy to find people who have these feelings or that say disparaging things about groups that are non-traditional.

    I wish we were over these, too. Until we are, every ward will be just as good as the next. And, maybe we can continue to educate and love and serve others.

  3. P.S. .. This wasn't meant to be an attack, as much as it was to call out that I think your friend had some validity to the question they asked.

    Of the active gay mormons I know, only about ... 2 or 3 are "out" to their wards. The reason that the others are not out seems to be due to the insensitive comments and joke and lessons that degrades ANYONE who is gay. To many members, gay is gay. They loop all gays together. Sad? Yep. Wrong? Yep. Fixable? Yep. But, like everything in this world, it will continue to take education and empowerment.

    Thanks for sharing. Keep on smiling!
    - Max

  4. I think Cal is doing something I wish we all could do; choose for ourselves the importance to place on the words, opinions, and actions of others. When others make judgment calls, we can be victims, or we can teach and enlighten. A friend recently overheard a comment at church that he should not be allowed to home-teach as a divorced man because he could taint families in the ward. At this point he had several options – Be sad that someone would say such tripe (I would be sad,) take a victim stance, get mad and huffy, or take a deep breath and move on up. People who make these comments and judgments simply don’t know.

  5. It's all about ignorance. I wouldn't want to be judged on what my opinion would have been a few months ago. I do enough of that lately. I just know that I think very differently now and should be grateful other people in the ward aren't going through whawt we are, judge as they may. I can choose to forgive them because of their ignorance. I would give anything to be blissfully ignorant again. Hopefuly one day I will say differently.