What US Mormons can learn from NZ Mormons about gay stuff

It sure beats me how the issue of opposing same-sex unions became such a hot political potato in the United States.  I mean, is it REALLY that important?  I mean REALLY?

While Iraqi civilians were being killed in their hundreds of thousands, and US and Allied troops we being killed and maimed in their thousands, and while a nation was being ravaged by an invasion which frankly still has most of the world baffled (except George Bush, Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly), the political attention of the LDS community was apprehended by an obsession with California Proposition 8.  Prop 8 was a ballot proposition to amend the California state constitution which effectively restricted marriage to opposite-sex couples only. The US church waded in boots and all to leverage the might of the not insignificant LDS community in  California to get a ‘Yes’ on the ballot.  In NZ you wouldn’t have heard about it except if you were nosey like me.

I don’t intend to go into the ins and outs of the debacle but I have to come back to the question – was it really worth it?  As a New Zealander I must admit to looking on in bewilderment at this Prop 8 business and wondering why on earth the church got themselves involved in something so obviously punitive and frivolous as spending time, money and resources on Prop 8 when among other things their might could have been with World Council of Churches in opposing the invasion of Iraq.  WHAT THE HECK?

Yes I know its old news but it still baffles me.  It baffles me as a New Zealander who has lived in a country which with little in the way of religious grandstanding quietly passed the Civil Union Act in 2004 allowing for same-sex couples to have their relationship solemnized.  I do recall a letter floating through the wards at the time asking us to object or some such thing, but it went past most of our noses without much fanfare as I don’t believe we expected anything cataclysmic  if it did pass.  Marching down streets and chanting, handing out leaflets, baring testimony in church, getting on TV, sticking things to our cars seemed like such an American thing to do and got no leverage here.

We’ve had Civil Unions now for 7 years.  Quietly and with dignity a few of my gay friends and acquaintances have married.  And despite popular conservative US opinion that the sky would  fall down on any society which allows for gay marriage, heterosexual marriages remain as volatile, beautiful, messy and lovely as they did before.  Children of LGBT families continue to grow up as normal, healthy and happy kids, our schools aren’t infected with a scourge of ‘viral homosexuality’,  society hasn’t imploded and gay kids aren’t shooting themselves on the doorsteps of their local meetinghouse.  But people are still greedy, people still exploit the labour of others by keeping communities poor, they still get into stupid international scraps.  People are still brutalizingly competitive, are still jobless and are still losing their homes.  The wealthy are still sucking at the teat of the corporation, ma and pa businesses are still going bankrupt and universities are still treating education like a private good.  I think we have a lot more to worry about eh?

Consider the repercussions in both national contexts for one minute and ask yourself the question, was the campaign for Prop 8 REALLY worth it?  There are so many things we could be putting our hands up to defend and throwing our collective weight behind – that I’m truly baffled by this one. I anticipate that there will be those who will offer diatribes of religious indignation that I should in anyway sympathize with a cause that many in the  US church seems to have opposed. But  I can only offer my heart felt gratitude that I’m pleased that I can look openly and honestly into the faces of my gay friends and family knowing that at least here, Mormonism isn’t dancing a jig between us, that I don’t have to account for a spate of suicides of gay LDS kids, and I don’t have to front up at church and listen to people bearing testimonies of heterosexuality.

I don’t really know the great biological, genetic or canonical story behind homosexuality, and frankly I’m not sure any parlor theorists can be trusted on this one either.   I’m just satisfyingly comfortable being here in NZ where we dodged a bullet, where in the absence of any committed home and visiting teachers a gay couple who are cherished friends came to our rescue when we needed to go away and looked after our huge family asking nothing in return.  I love that when my gay  LDS friend died the Relief Society took casseroles  to her partner and the bishop invited her to say a few words at the funeral.  I love that I can talk to gay friends and family about their loves and losses without another dialogue banging away in my head, begging me to see them as a political abomination.

Yes there are issues with competing religious and culture identities out here in the boonies – but I can’t see in this matter that  I mind one jot.  Anyway, who are we as a church to talk about sexually aberrant practices?

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  • lpf43

    Amen Sister!

  • lpf43

    However even here we cannot offer gay couples complete participation in church life. This is an issue the church is going to have to address beyond our current don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy as more and more states in the US allow gay marriage. Right now even those relationships sanctioned by the NZ government are still not sanctioned by full participation in the church.

  • http://kiwimormon.wordpress.com kiwimormon

    Yes, that’s the other part of the story isn’t it? I think about BYU professor Bill Bradshaw who laments that he will never be able to sit in church with his gay son, his partner and their daughter. That all of the lines around questions of salvation and participation have been drawn and there seems no way around them. I wonder though if we another OD isn’t possible. Consider the vitriol around changes to polygamy and blacks having the priesthood prior to those official declarations. One thing I know about this church is that it does change when enough social pressure comes on – so who knows?

  • Sarah

    Love this posting. When Proposition 8 was going down in the US I too was completely baffled, my sister living in the US was down right embarrassed and was having to constantly apologise to her gay friends and colleagues for our churches/members behaviour which in many individual cases was down right abusive. I was so baffled I even mentioned my displeasure about it at a temple recommend interview, stating I opposed the churches official stance on it and would if I could affiliate with any organisation opposing it – my priesthood leader agreed the whole thing was very weird and not to worry about it affecting my worthiness.

    I too have many homosexual and bisexual friends who are good and wholesome and quiet frankly better parents than many heterosexual parents I know in the church. I don’t understand what there is to fear in allowing all people the same rights.

    I have had some stand up arguments with an American brother in law over this one, he was of the opinion that New Zealand is an evil country that does not fear God – unlike the US – that is why we are so accepting of homosexuality. Listening to him and his views on this is like going back 100 years…..seriously people (including my ignorant brother in law) really do believe that homosexuals are evil and will harm our children and their’s and their homosexuality is infectious, ie if we see too much of it we will all join in. Baffling.

    Homosexuals being accepted in full participation at church? I agree change certainly could come….I would feel somewhat cheated if homosexuals are accepted fully into the church before women get the priesthood…only cause I have been waiting very patiently for some time now :)

  • Jeff

    Proposition 8 had nothing to do with the issue of civil unions – if a gay couple want to signify their commitment to each other through a ceremony that the state recognises like a civil union then that doesn’t cause any alarm for me as an LDS member. But what gays in the US have been saying is that a civil union is not enough. California’s legislature (like NZ’s did before the Civil Unions Act) passed a series of laws that granted to gays pretty much all the rights that they have been seeking (ability to bequeath their assets to their partner, equality with pensions, hospital visitation rights and so on and so forth – things that IMO are only right and proper). Yet these law changes were not enough – they wanted to be able to be married. Many churches (not just the LDS church) take the view that marriage is between a man and woman. The institution of marriage in that form has been unaltered since the beginning of our mortal existence. Proposition 8 was an amendment to the CA state constitution that defined marriage simply as what it has always been – a union between a man and a women. This amendment in no way nullified the existing civil union laws nor in any way abbrogated all the other legal rights granted to gays by other law changes.

    Critics of the church’s involvement in the Yes on 8 campaign significantly exaggerate the church’s influence on the vote. Prop 8 passed by over 800,000 votes. If you look at the LDS church membership in California as detailed in the most recent LDS Almanac (that breaks down membership state by state) and eliminated all members under 18 (who can’t vote) even if every single eligible voting age LDS member voted for Prop 8 it would amount to 250,000 votes max. The reality is that the voter turnout for the ballot initiatives was under 40% so there will be LDS registered voters in CA who supported Prop 8 but who never bothered to vote. Furthermore California is a liberal state with a very low level of voter registration for the Republican Party vs the Democrat Party and so whilst LDS members are generally more conservative voters, it would be fair to say that a sizeable minority of LDS voters in CA are more liberal in their inclination and voting patterns and so it was by no means a given that LDS members voted as a block in support of Prop 8. I believe that when you factor in the voter turnout and liberal LDS voters voting No that the contribution to the Yes vote margin from LDS members would more likely be 175,000 so WELL short of the winning margin. Prop 8 passed because Catholics, Jews, Muslims and Evangelical Christians voted strongly in favour. People I know who attended interfaith meetings on Prop 8 said that the African American church going community were heavily in favour and it got a huge push from the pulpits of the large black churches. Ditto amongst the Hispanic population who are quite conservative on social/moral issues and the Catholic representatives said that Priests in those congregations made a big push for parishioners to vote Yes. Finally the mega evangelical churches (who have a big media presence in California as some have a nationwide televangelist presence) were huge Yes on 8 supporters. Rabbis from conservative Jewish congregations did likewise and a few Imams from mosques were very vocal in their support and in getting out Muslim voters.So it was a combined effort that would never have happened without the support of the people from many faiths.

    Where the church differed was the money that individual members paid to help with the advertising and signage. Opponents of the Proposition destroyed upwards of 200,000 signs placed on supporters’ private properties. LDS members were visible in waving placards on two key rallies that were staged along the length of the Pacific Coast Highway in the 3 major cities. Sadly on those days members were spat at, had objects thrown at them, had cars drive towards even children and swerve away at the last minute, had foul language and abuse hurled at them and parked cars that were keyed. The church was prepared to be seen as supporting this issue but the initiative would’ve never have passed so easily had it not been for the many millions of people from many faiths who take the same view about marriage.

    I feel that gay activists have tried to exaggerate the legal effect of the Constitutional amendment as some attack on their rights which is wasn’t and they similarly exaggerated the role Mormons played in the referendum’s ultimate success. The civil union and other laws granting equality to gays remain intact.

    • Gacp

      All that said – isnt the relationship each of us have with our Heavenly Father and Saviour a personal one? If so what gives any of us heterosexual people the right to say to two people that love one another and wish to make a commitment to each other “with God as their witness for better or worse” – that they aren’t entitled to do so. What happened to “we claim the privilege of worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience and allow ALL MEN the same privilege…” and ” if there is anything virtuous lovely or of good report or praiseworthy we seek after these things” – to me that is exactly what marriage is …!!,

  • lpf43

    Be that as it may the church sent a ‘point man’ from SLC to help organize the members’ efforts even though technically the church was not officially involved. He was introduced to my group in the assembly room in the Seattle temple as the ‘point man’ for Prop 8. He was passing through on his way home. I felt at the time that here was the church telling us over and over it didn’t get involved in political issues and in this case it certainly did.

    • http://kiwimormon.wordpress.com kiwimormon

      Agreed Blackie! I think you missed the point Jeff. It’s not the extent to which they were involved, its that they were involved in the first place.

  • Jeff

    The church wasn’t trying to hide its involvement, on the contrary it was front and centre about it particularly in congregations in CA and Arizona (AZ and Florida had a similar ballot initiatives proposing similar State Constitutional Amendments called Prop 102 and Cause 3 that were on the ballot at the same time as Prop 8 in CA). The church was careful to make the point that it would not use church funds at all for the campaigns and it made its reasons why perfectly clear as they did not want to run afoul of any charitable tax status (advice that no doubt was given to all the other churches involved and who likewise used their church’s influence over members to assist in the cause). The church makes it clear that it stays out of pretty much all political issues except ones that strike at the heart of core values and defence of marriage is a core value. It would appear on the issue of defence of marriage that the church is in strong ecumenical company.

    I thought that the point of your post was that US Mormons could learn from NZ’s Civil Unions laws and NZ LDS members’ seeming benign acceptance of this law was in marked contrast to the strident militancy you see amongst the church members here in the US. The inference was that because the church got involved with the Prop 8/102/Cause 3 campaigns that that was evidence of its (and more particularly the wider US church membership’s) intolerance of gays compared to NZ. My point was that defence of the institution of marriage in no way violates gays’ rights to equality and is not any definitive evidence of this difference in acceptance that you allege. Gays in the US were not satisfied with civil union laws (that pretty much mirror NZ’s law), they wanted to strike at the heart of the centuries old and widely accepted defintion of marriage in a symbolic act to force acceptance. It was beyond the issue of equality of treatment under the law because equality in all areas of the law is now widespread. Now there are some states where there may still be laws or regulations that discriminate against gays but CA, AZ and FL aren’t in that category and for LDS members to support these Constitutional Amendments in favour of marriage is not evidence of anti gay sentiment. It would appear that you have an additional point which is to oppose the church’s involvement in political issues and that is where political bias starts to influence the argument because I’m sure if the church supported a pet cause of the left, those on the left would be in support of it. Since supporting laws that defend marriage is seen as a right/more conservative issue, those in the church who tilt to the left invariably are opposed to such efforts. I see defence of marriage as apolitical as evidenced by the strong support of the Latino Catholic and African American congregations whose parishioners could reliably be described as being historical strong supporters of the centre left party in American politics.

  • lpf43

    Absolutely not! The church sends us letters to our wards telling us to
    be involved in issues as members and that the church itself does not get involved. I expect to be able to take them at their word….no involvement no matter the issue…right or left.

    Washington state looks as if it is going to pass a gay marriage bill. Here we go again.

    Civil unions are another ‘separate but equal’ illusion. While I as a straight personally admit to a certain ‘ick’ factor about gay relationships, I know and like a few gay couples. As long as I don’t have to dwell on what they do in their bedrooms, I see no reason why

    they cannot have all the rights that I have. It is none of my business.

    All along I have felt it was about money rather than theology. If the church has to give up its tax-exempt status because of its beliefs it will change things in an unimaginable way.

  • Jeff

    Blackie – the church’s position on what it does or does not do in the political arena is made abundantly clear in section 21.1.29 of Handbook 2: “While affirming the right of expression on political and social issues, the Church is neutral regarding political parties, political platforms, and candidates for political office. The Church does not endorse any political party or candidate. Nor does it advise members how to vote. However, in some exceptional instances the Church will take a position on specific legislation, particularly when it concludes that moral issues are involved. Only the First Presidency can speak for the Church or commit the Church to support or oppose specific legislation or to seek to intervene in judicial matters. Otherwise, stake presidents and other local leaders should not organize members to participate in political matters or attempt to influence how they participate. …
    Members are encouraged to support measures that strengthen the moral fabric of society, particularly those designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.”

    I see nothing in the church’s actions over Props 8/102 and Cause 3 that contravenes this publicly stated policy. Now you are free to disagree with the policy but no one could ever accuse the church of springing any surprises on its membership.

    I’m curious to know what legal rights that are granted to married couples that are denied under civil union legislation and the raft of other amendments to laws that were made specifically to grant equality to gays. Marriage by definition is the union of a man and a woman and has been since the beginning of time. Just because a gay couple want to be able to tell the world they are married not just civil unioned doesn’t change their legal rights to equality or give them the right to demand that the remaining 97% of society should abide by their wishes (the reputable, non agenda driven population surveys put the gay/lesbian percentage of the overall population at 3% on average). I’m the same as you – I find the personal sexual orientation to be not my orientation and what a couple wants to do in their own bedroom is indeed their choice. But I support the actions of ours and many other churches attempts to legislatively protect a centuries old institution.

    • lpf43

      “However, in some exceptional instances the Church will take a position on specific legislation, particularly when it concludes that moral issues are involved. Only the First Presidency can speak for the Church or commit the Church to support or oppose specific legislation or to seek to intervene in judicial matters”.

      OK I have misunderstood the policy. It appears to apply only to candidates. Fair enough. I still contend though that morality cannot be legislated. The ‘centuries old institution’ has traditionally not been kind to women and I am not sure is so sacred as it is practiced by many both in and outside our church. It is what couples make of it. If gay couples feel they are missing out on something, then why not let them into the club? Then they will find out that it is no more and no less than what they make of it. Why should I or my church or anyone else’s organization deny them that? Seems a total waste of resources to fight it. It was this waste of resources that Gina initially addressed. There are SOOOO many more pressing issues.

      I have been incredibly lucky in having found a husband who according to one of my male co-workers ‘is the only man in the world who could live with me’. Our relationship has been sanctioned by both government and two different churches. Would our relationship be different if it were only a civil union? Would we have worked at it so hard if it were not a ‘marriage’? I don’t know. If gay couples want to call relationship ‘marriage’, why not?

  • Jeff

    You are right Blackie – you married a great man, morality cannot be legislated and not all marriages are happy. But I do actually believe the Proclamation on the Family does sum up some of the benefits of marriage and states succinctly why it is divinely inspired. Because the church does so rarely enter the political fray especially this aggresively I have to believe that the Brethren did so because they felt inspired to defend the institution of marriage. Most lesbian couples I know who are happy find marriage to be a symbol of the heterosexual patriarchy and don’t care for it and find a civil union is more than enough to meet their needs. Only a small percentage of practising homosexual men ever settle down to anything manogamous as a marriage like state. For these reasons the actual numbers of same sex civil unions (in NZ at least) represent only a small portion of co-habiting gay couples in much the same way that many heterosexual couples now co-habit rather than marry or have a civil union. The subset (perhaps 10%) of the small subset of the total population that is gay (3%) that really really wanted to be married was so small (maybe 0.5%) as to not warrant the state upending all its laws with respect to marriage to accomodate them IMO.

    • lpf43


      • http://kiwimormon.wordpress.com kiwimormon

        Ha Ha!!

  • Jabba

    “But what gays in the US have been saying is that a civil union is not enough.” People who are gay have been saying this in NZ too- why can’t people who identify as gay have the same? we get the same pay (mostly)- buy the same food, drink the same water- drop our kids off at school the same way as you, hell, we even pay taxes and expecting the same rights goes hand in hand with being EQUAL- that’s right, we are equal to you.
    you all seem to know quite a lot about people who are gay (and from your own ommission, you dont know many, and you are not your self gay). Maybe talk to some one who is gay about what they would like- how they want to be treated, not only in your church -however if you do want a church you can always move to the Methodists, who although they follow tradition, are brave enough to be inclusive, able to understand the notion that ‘Knowledge and social action go together’- (Burr 1999).
    If you do consider that civil union is adequate- we can always swap over for a couple of hundred years-
    I put arguements such as this one on a par with ‘white-only buses’- one day we will wake up and wonder what we were thinking!! Hell- people are created equal- especially in God’s eyes- and so should afford each other the same rights and oppotunities.
    and by the way… what you do is ‘iky’ too – it’s called sex!

    • http://kiwimormon.wordpress.com kiwimormon

      I was waiting for your comment Jabba – my wonderful married GAY friend!! Teehee – you go girl!

      • Jabba

        sorry to keep you waiting!

        • http://kiwimormon.wordpress.com kiwimormon

          Here’s my position for what its worth. The issue of gay marriage is such contested territory. On the one hand we have an institution which the church, since Adam was a donkey, has always positioned as being a sacred God given arrangement between a man and a woman. The church has theoretically ‘owned’ marriage and over time the State picked it up as a social relationship they needed to ratify as a legal domestic arrangement for the purposes of probate etc. I think the reluctance to see gay marriage legalised is that it actually steps onto some sacred territory which the church hasn’t yet worked out. One the other hand the church hasn’t been good at engaging with the lived reality of same gender attraction and their resultant relationships. Its too busy thinking in terms of ‘standards’, rules and commandments and miss out on knowing the other’s truths. They have done the same thing with race issues and women’s rights. I think rather than vitriol and recrimination however we actually need to map out this discursive territory. Granted the Methodists have worked a way through it and the Anglicans are making an effort, and what they could offer the Churches is a robust, well documented rationale which is included as a broad interfaith discussion between the churches. The churches need to be sharing a discussion with the gay community about the role of belief, faith, tradition, change, inclusion, relevance etc. Instead of talking about the LGBT issue, I think you are right Jabba, the churches need to be talking to the LGBT community, documenting their stories of loss, alienation and persecution and measuring this up against the Christian message. But if I have learned anything useful from being a race activist and a feminist it the importance of resolution as a dialogical process. We don’t get any where by hunkering down in our corners and spitting tacks at the other side. I also feel that my church for one needs to shut up, be more circumspect, make some apologies for their past infractions, acknowledge the hurt that their actions have caused and begin to find a way to have this conversation without retreating into these useless ‘righteous v evil’ binaries. They also need to find a way of finding a practical public ethics that actually count toward making the world a better place. I’m not convinced that they did that with Prop 8 when there were so many other issues they could have been dealing with.

    • Gacp

      You go Jabba …. !!! And I really don’t want to think about anyone else’s sex life irrespective of their sexual orientation ,

  • JohnnyS

    Greetings All,

    This is an interesting discussion, one that Blackie has made me aware of. I really like kiwimormon’s point about the dialogic process and about not very helpful binary thinking. IMHO, the church sometimes falls victim to the generally pervasive rhetoric of the fear of the Other that permeates this country (U.S.A.). This is especially true of anything involving any kind of sexual politics/behavior/identity or the human body generally. Usually, topics involving this subject are seen to have the least amount of wiggle room by most members, whether we’re talking about gay marriage, the law of chastity, dressing modestly, tattoos, etc., I suspect because Mormons have imbued their culture with a fear of the body that rivals the medieval Catholic Church’s. So really, I think it’s unreasonable to expect the church to be progressive or even open to other possibilities regarding said topics. That being stated, the church needs to at some point acknowledge that its emphasis on family and on following the pattern of the Savior’s teachings and life fundamentally contradict its behavior on the Prop 8 issue. This involves realizing 2 things:

    1) The definition of “family” must be acknowledged to be more inclusive. Even if the so-called nuclear family is the “ideal,” it’s certainly not the real. Over 40 % of adult members of the church are single. There are also many, many one-parent homes. They are not the ideal family as set forth in the Proclamation (a document, by the way, that sets back women’s rights hundreds of years), but they are families nonetheless. Same with homosexual couples (and individuals, for that matter). I think the church really doesn’t want gays to be married because marriage, as opposed to merely the civil union, is seen as a ratification of the relationship, and in Mormon theology, marriage is also the stamp of approval that lets you have sex, so the church doesn’t want to support anything that makes it seem like gay sex is acceptable. That’s only to be expected, I suppose, but gay people are going to have sex whether able to marry or not, so working against gay marriage isn’t going to do anything about that. Further, if the Savior doesn’t want people having gay sex, he probably also doesn’t want anyone to work against curtailing other people’s civil rights. This is what the church must accept, but hasn’t yet.

    2) Perfect love casteth out all fear. According to Joseph Smith in the Lectures on Faith, it is impossible for fear and faith to dwell simultaneously in the human heart. That fact implies that fear can inhibit one’s faith–one’s connection to God and one’s brothers and sisters. If this is indeed the case, isn’t it better to help our gay brothers and sisters to secure their rights and trust God to work things out however He will rather than act out of fear that gay marriage will somehow destroy/diminish straight marriage? I mean really, if we were so concerned in this country with the sanctity of straight marriage, shouldn’t we legislate against divorce rather than gay marriage? Just food for thought.


    • http://kiwimormon.wordpress.com kiwimormon

      Couldn’t agree more JohnnyS! Well said! We haven’t done well as a church to work through healthy notions of heterosexual sex let alone gay sex! There are so many broad and interlocking discourses here from not only issues of sexuality, but also issues of practical Christian ethics. US religious life also seems so enmeshed with a political culture there that is difficult to know where one begins and the other ends. For those of us in this part of the world we can only look on in bewilderment and wonder what it means for us!! But I’m still baffled by Prop 8. I’m hoping that more LDS leaders are called from the ranks of those of the same ilk as Marlin Jensen! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/holly-welker/elder-jensen-prop-8-apology_b_739609.html

      • JohnnyS

        Thanks, kiwi. The account of the apology is very moving. I’m reminded of Martin Luther King who, when speaking of my country’s civil rights struggles said: “Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

        I do think the church will eventually/gradually become more accepting. Have to go now as Footloose is on.


      • JohnnyS

        PS. Liked the adultery thread as well. This is a good blog.

  • Sophia Grey

    Irrespective of the whole gay “issue” surrounding laws and whatnot, I think the LDS church needs to come to a better place regarding the whole notion of homosexuality. Apart from the fact that you’ve already established that mormons, as a whole, aren’t comfortable with the idea of sexuality full stop, homosexuality and the church is a very, very muddy area indeed.
    Take, for instance, the example of my friend “E”. We got on very well and all that, became very good friends. She knew I was mormon, and very straight, and I knew she was agnostic and very gay. And we were both fine with that. (I don’t know if it’s my personality, or if I’m just a product of my age, but the sexual orientation of others does not bother me in the least). But as we got into deep discussions that delved into the areas of belief and religion, I was rather stumped as to how I could share with her a gospel that still considered her to be a sinner. For this subject is one that has bothered me throughout my teenage years, having had quite a few bi/gay/other friends throughout my time at high school. When I’ve asked at church I’ve always been told “the church doesn’t condone homosexual behaviour” and “love the sinner, not the sin”. Which is all very well. But how the heck do you explain this to a non-member that you believe in “Adam-and-eve, not Adam-and-Steve” without coming across as a homophobic, narrow-minded prig? She was very open to a lot of the doctrine we discussed, and was interested in quite a few of the LDS things I talked to her about. I would have loved to have brought her to church. But E would have felt like an outsider in a church that condones what she feels to be a crucial part of her identity.
    So, advice? What is the kiwimormon stance on all of this? Just curious ;)

    • http://kiwimormon.wordpress.com kiwimormon

      My response is pretty emphatic: I simply don’t know. I know exactly what you are saying but find it hard to navigate. Want to write a blog about it?

      • Sophia Grey

        Oh, I think I’m far too lazy to set up my own blog. I’m content with reading yours and ranting at those who will listen X)

  • http://beehivestateradical.wordpress.com BeehiveStateRadical

    Amen! Lovely. And thank you!

  • Raymond McIntyre

    Compassion is surely about seeing that of God in the ‘other’ irregardless of what or who that other is. We remember the Biblical stories of the Good Samaritan and the Father’s Love (Prodigal Son) BECAUSE we see in them a compassion that transcends societal and cultural norms and sees the ‘other’ as someone lovely and loved. It is the eternal shame of many denominations that they have contributed to separating folk from one another and have dared, speaking in the name of God, to declare some beyond the pale.