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Mormon’s Aggravating Relationship with the LGBTQ+ Community

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Mormon’s Aggravating Relationship with the LGBTQ+ Community

Renee Bright

Renee Bright

Renee Bright

Amber Hawkes, News Writer

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Growing up in the Mormon (LDS) church and identifying with the LGBTQ+ community is not easy. With constant comments against the LGBTQ+ community and indirect negativity surrounding the community, it can be hard for kids to feel safe. With the large population of LDS members in Utah, this issue seems to be more predominate in the area. Where as there is more pressure to follow all the rules of the religion. With the LDS General Conference meeting with their religious leaders broadcasted to all members happening recently, it was upsetting to hear them again comment on how they do not support same-sex marriage. This is aggravating not because their views have changed, but because they haven’t changed at all. Ever since the Mormon church was founded, homosexuality has been looked at with a negative light. Now that we are in the 21st century, many communities have come around to accept or tolerating homosexuality. However, the LDS community is one that still push against it. Not everyone who is within the church believes these things, but still many leaders and members do.  

The history with LGBTQ+ and Mormon communities in Utah has been very difficult. This directly has affected students in East High when they tried to start a GSA, Gay-Straight Alliance, club in 1995. At that time it would be discriminatory for them to ban only the GSA club, so the school board for SLCSD combatted this by banning all non-curricular clubs. The ACLU, along with  National Center for Lesbian Rights and a few other administrations filed a lawsuit against Salt Lake City School District in 1998. In court they argued, proving the importance of having a GSA as well as other non-curricular clubs.


Gayle Ruzicka, President of the Utah Eagle Forum, an affiliate of Phyllis Schlafly’s national organization, said, “Homosexuals can’t reproduce, so they recruit. And they are not going to use the Utah high school and junior high school campuses to recruit.” However, recently, President Trump has come out trying to change and take away Transgenders rights, showing that the issue isn’t just with the Mormon church. Although, this is where one of the issues lie.


One rule the religion made in November 2015 upset the LGBTQ+ community more than before. This rule banned kids of same-sex marriages to join their church without disavowing them when they turned 18 and joining the church afterward.


Then in 2017, Mitch Mane, in an article on Huffington Post, writes this about the continued issue, “June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month—and for a growing number of Mormons, it’s a time for celebration. Social media is awash with rainbow-colored profile pictures of devout Latter-Day Saints and their families, and active Mormons are planning marching contingents in several LGBTQ+ Pride parades throughout the country.”


After the long struggle of gay marriage becoming legal and allowing same-sex couples to adopt kids, this rule being placed among the requirements to be in their religion was infuriating to many same-sex couples.


Imagine Dragons’ lead singer Dan Reynolds, a Mormon who supports LGBTQ+ rights, put on the LoveLoud Festival in Utah. However, the influence of the religion has still affected his life in a negative way. In an article on Washington Post talking about the documentary Believer, he was staring in, it talks about one way it affected him. It said, “Just before he found stardom, he met and fell in love with singer-songwriter Aja Volkman. They were married in 2011 in his parents’ backyard, after Volkman agreed to learn and accept LDS doctrines. “And I felt fine about it,” Volkman says. “Except for the gay rights.” Two of her closest friends, a lesbian couple, took a pass on attending the couple’s wedding.” The LGBTQ+ community when invited to events held by members the Mormon church, although it doesn’t happen often, tend to decline the invitee. This is due to their underlying belief in how the community chooses to live is wrong, and that the church they support believes this too.


Overall, all these factors are proof enough that something needs to change. It isn’t fair to exclude children of same-sex couples from a religion based on a choice they didn’t make. The relationship between the two communities is very toxic and hate-filled. It affects so many people across Utah and the country. This can cause big issues between family members and friends, ruining relationships for no good or valid reason.

 

Brooke, James. “To Be Young, Gay and Going to High School in Utah.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 28 Feb. 1996, www.nytimes.com/1996/02/28/us/to-be-young-gay-and-going-to-high-school-in-utah.html.

Green, Erica L., et al. “Trump Administration Eyes Defining Transgender Out of Existence.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 21 Oct. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/10/21/us/politics/transgender-trump-administration-sex-definition.html.

Stuever, Hank. “In HBO’s ‘Believer,’ a Mormon Rock Star Delivers an All-Too-Easy Message of Love.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 23 June 2018, www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/tv/in-hbos-believer-a-mormon-rock-star-delivers-an-all-too-easy-message-of-love/2018/06/22/86193ef8-7588-11e8-9780-b1dd6a09b549_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.b712b8680062.

Mayne, Mitch. “LGBT Pride Month Highlights Deepening Divide Between Mormon Leadership and Members.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 9 June 2017, www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/lgbt-pride-month-highligh_b_10315372.

“ACLU of Utah – East High Gay/Straight Alliance v. Board of Education and East High School PRISM Club v. Cynthia L. Seidel (1999).” ACLU of Utah – Home, www.acluutah.org/about-us/item/206-east-high-gay-straight-alliance-v-board-of-education-and-east-high-school-prism-club-v-cynthia-l-seidel.

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Amber Hawkes, News Writer

Amber Hawkes is a sophomore at East High, she was born in Salt Lake City in 2003. In 2013 she moved to the San Francisco Bay, in northern California and...

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Mormon’s Aggravating Relationship with the LGBTQ+ Community