Over the last few months (really years and years), I have been searching for articles of individuals who support gay-rights and the acceptance of the LGBT community among those of the Mormon faith. It has been my attempt to gain a little more hope in the culture that I grew up in. These articles include an editorial by Cary Crall, questioning the motivation behind the LDS support of Proposition 8. It was published in BYU's Daily Universe only to be revoked from the website 24 hours later. Along with Crall's words, this article about the grassroot movements occurring in LDS congregations in Northern California supporting gay rights and finding remorse in the LDS church's actions taken in the Fall of 2008 has also acted as a small success in my mind. And as always, the Exponent blog has delivered thought provoking entries on the topic.
Sadly, the voice that will be heard around the world, especially the LDS world, will not be that of those above and the many others out there who speak of acceptance and tolerance but what was heard in a General Conference session on October 3, 2010. A talk given by Boyd K. Packer threw down the iron fist on homosexuality in many people's eyes. He used a metaphor of the absurdness of children voting on the sex of a kitten in a classroom to be equal to the "absurdness" of voting on legalizing gay marriage. He also discussed pornography side by side to gay marriage in what I can only see as an attempt to show a connection between the two. It is one thing to stand by one's belief against gay marriage (I don't agree. However, we all are entitled to our own ideas) but it is a completely different thing to do so in the fashion that degrades and belittles other human beings. Have we really come to the point where we find homosexuality so vile that we categorize it, synonymously, with the objectification of women and men? I hope not.
Hours after this talk, I read this entry on Facebook. It was what prompted me to find Packer's talk and listen to it for myself. I do not know the author of the Facebook writing but I feel as though his words are some of the most genuine thoughts on the matter. I usually keep these things to myself but I feel as though I need to, at the very least, write them down. Since my journal has collected dust over the last few months, here I am. I will never be as eloquent and clear as women like Jana Riess. I like what she has to say. She's level-headed, thorough, and unforgiving of her personal beliefs.
For that, I thank her.
Additional Reading: This article about Professor Bill Bradshaw of BYU discussing the evidence that shows homosexuality is, in fact, biological.