Dan Reynolds Wants to Combat Anti-LGBTQ Hate Among Mormons. Will It Work?

In an interview with The Daily Show‘s Trevor Noah, Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds talked about growing up in a conservative Mormon household and culture that opposed LGBTQ rights.

He’s now behind a Utah music festival called LoveLoud that brings together Mormons and LGBTQ people. The HBO documentary “Believer,” which premiered last night, showcases his journey between those two worlds.

Near the end of the interview, Noah asks a question that may come to the mind of a lot of people: Why not just tell young LGBTQ Mormons to leave the faith? Reynolds’ answer makes sense, considering that leaving the faith isn’t a reasonable option for everyone. That’s important to recognize.

Still, even though his intentions are good, it’s hard to believe there’s a good compromise waiting to be found. Mormonism is anti-LGBTQ rights even if individual believers aren’t. We don’t need more people trying to show the humanity of LGBTQ people to devout believers; they’ve had plenty of opportunities to recognize the obvious, yet they cling to their faith (opposing same-sex marriage, among other things) no matter how much harm it causes other people. Their beliefs need to be called out.

Reynolds attempts to bridge this by saying parents need to know that rejecting their gay children makes those kids more likely to commit suicide. Shouldn’t that be reason enough to accept them?

It should be. But it’s not. Not always. That’s the problem with religion: it’s impervious to reason.

That’s why it’s long past time to tiptoe around the real issues here. Former Mormons need to condemn the religion until the good ones get out and create enough pressure on LDS leaders to discover a new “revelation” about their beliefs. Until that happens, the LDS Church isn’t going to change.

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