It is not news that LGBT folks have suffered abuse and atrocities at the hands of organized religion. From independent Christian Churches who have literally threatened to kill or exile us, to the Catholic Church who for years declared us “intrinsically disordered”, we thought we had heard it all.
That was before the Mormon Church decided to go after our kids.
They have added this to their handbook:
“Policies on Ordinances for Children of a Parent Living in a Same-Gender Relationship, The following additions to Handbook 1 have been approved by the Council of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for immediate implementation…A new section in Handbook 1, 16.13 will be added as follows: Children of a Parent Living in a Same-Gender Relationship. A natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting, may not receive a name and a blessing. “ In order for that child to get an exception from that rule? The child must accept and commit “to live the teachings and doctrine of the Church, and specifically disavows the practice of same-gender cohabitation and marriage. 2. The child is of legal age and does not live with a parent who has lived or currently lives in a same-gender cohabitation relationship or marriage.”
I should not be surprised that the Mormon Church is vindictively damning my kids and those in all LGBT families and encouraging them to “disavow” their parents. The church has been one of the most publicly anti-gay forces in fighting against LGBT rights. Not only did they bankroll a huge portion of the Proposition 8 campaign in California, they encouraged their followers to take mortgage loans out on their homes and do the same. Even though the proposition won at the time, long term, it was a poor investment.
Karma is a bitch, and it seemed to play out when after the Supreme Court overturned Proposition 8 and DOMA. Utah, the epicenter of the Mormon church, was one of the first states where a federal court ruled they had to accept same sex marriage post-DOMA. That had to be a bitter pill for the Latter Day Saints to swallow.
Many of the people in the Mormon fold did not react well. One writer notoriously threatened to starve himself to death if same sex marriage was not abolished. Another saw the LGBT agenda coming in all directions including as hidden messages in the movie Frozen. Some gay Mormons saw themselves as anti-LGBT rights prototypes who forced themselves into straight marriages so they could then declare that legalized same sex marriage somehow violated their choices.
As strange as all those arguments and actions were, none approached the naked vitriol of this current move.
Dear Mormon Church,
I cannot at this moment call you “saints” as your current move is very un-saintly.
It is one of the biggest ironies for LGBT people: for many years we were warned of the detriments our prospective children would face should we have them. We were told we were inadequate, incomplete, possibly depraved and that our children would be persecuted. Only that very last prediction is proving to be true.
It is proving to be true because the people who made the prediction are seeing to it that it will be true.
The Catholic Church had a theological opinion published in the 1990s who declared that parents like me were doing “violence” to our children simply be being their parents. That was completely offensive, and of course, a lie.
You have taken that hateful sentiment and moved it up a notch. You don’t accuse LGBT parents of committing violence against our kids, you have decided to commit the violence yourself.
You have let it be known that innocent children, too young to even know what a church is, are damned, nameless and unwelcome. You have set forth a rhetoric to inspire them to feel less than any other children and inviting them to self-harm and suicide. Your hope is to ultimately disrupt their family, have them reject the parents who have loved, nurtured and would do anything for them and their safety.
All so you can say you won.
For me, as a gay dad, I cannot describe the depths of anger I feel towards you. My sons, adopted from foster care and drug exposed in their birth mothers’ wombs, are the most precious things in my life. Being their dad is the most important thing I have ever done, or will do. I never realized that it was possible to love another human being so profoundly, let alone two of them. I would die for either one, if it came to that.
More importantly, I will fight for them. I am not Mormon, and will never be one. My kids are not likely to be either. You rejection and message extends to us, however. You have publicly declared my kids lack of value.
While I am not of your religion, I know many who are. There are Mormon LGBT families, who feel the same as I do. I am not unique.
Your attack is not traditional doctrine. There is no biblical reference that supports it (and many that refute it). There is no historical, moral or even ethical precedence for it. While other large denominations are seeking to release themselves from homophobia, you codify it.
You have put out a video claiming that this has been done with kindness. It is a hallow claim when what you have done has no empathy in its intent. All this action says is that you are bitter and vindictive. There is no holiness in that. You cannot excuse it away.
I respect your religious freedom, but you have crossed a line when you go after the children of loving families. I will do everything in my power to rebuke you, speaking out being the first thing. That is part of MY freedom as a dad.
From there, history has already shown how your homophobic intentions have blown up in your face. I don’t see this playing out any differently.
I hope to have compassion for you when it happens, more than you have had for our families and the love in our lives. The truth is, the backlash and consequences will have been earned. You wanted our children’s blood figuratively, and potentially literally, on your hands.
It will be mixed, figuratively, with your own.