Maybe I am wrong. A well placed apology hasn't ever done anyone harm.
|What lovely ears you have...|
On first look or first read or first out-of-context-quote-from-facebook, what he said seems brash. Again. I encourage you to listen to the talk. I listened to it in real time, and I was not offended, nor did I worry about any of my friends or family taking offence. It seemed to me at the time (and still does to me) that it was a rah-rah moment for families.
One can get a better feeling for what was actually said by hearing the thing in its entirety. https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2015/04/why-marriage-and-family-matter-everywhere-in-the-world?lang=eng
The topic was families -- all families; Mormon ones, Catholic ones, Muslim ones. Elder Perry and the LDS church have historically promoted the family as the only reliable way to raise children and come closer to Heavenly Father. Elder Perry said as much in this talk.
The family is the group created by God to nurture children. Famously, the family and the home is the one place on earth that is said to be by Mormon leaders as sacred or more sacred than a dedicated temple. Elder Perry said clearly that not making a commitment to the family is dangerous.
Elder Perry started his talk with a quote from Pope Francis, who opened the first session of a recent international assembly with this statement:
“We now live in a culture of the temporary, in which more and more people are simply giving up on marriage as a public commitment. This revolution in manners and morals has often flown the flag of freedom, but in fact it has brought spiritual and material devastation to countless human beings, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. … It is always they who suffer the most in this crisis.”
The tone of the talk did not change from there: Elder Perry stated: “We believe that the organization and government of heaven will be built around families and extended families.”
Elder Perry: “One problem is that much of the media and entertainment that the world shares does not reflect the priorities and values of the majority. For whatever reasons, too much of our television, movies, music, and Internet present a classic case of a minority masquerading as a majority. Immorality and amorality, ranging from graphic violence to recreational sex, is portrayed as the norm and can cause those who have mainstream values to feel like we are out of date or from a bygone era."
Here is the quote that people have latched onto – the majority of them not having read or having heard the talk. “We want our voice to be heard against all of the counterfeit and alternative lifestyles that try to replace the family organization that God Himself established." Counterfeit, as per his definition is anything that takes the place of marriage and parental commitment.
Not once does Elder Perry refer to anything gay, bi, lesbian, same sex, opposite gender, mixed orientation, LGBT… nothing. Nor does he refer to “them” in funny quotation marks. There was not one “knowing nod” or a wink to the balcony throughout the entire talk, and I watched.
The closest he gets to controversial is when he mentions traditional families. As near as I can figure out, by traditional he means a family where there is a committed parent or parents raising a child or children. There may or might not be a pet included. He did not get specific.
Am I looking at this with a blind eye?