Tomorrow will begin the Rainbow Mormon Initiative, founded by my colleague Dr. Kristy Money. This is an initiative meant to provide all Mormons a chance to show their concern, love and support for the LGBT+ members of our church community by wearing a rainbow pin (or other clothing item) on Sundays (whether you attend church or not). Regardless of how we feel about current policies or doctrine in regards to this matter, Mormons have been fairly united in the belief that LGBT+ members should be shown love and welcomed in our congregations. For a variety of reasons, this belief is not always practiced by those who hold it nor felt by those who need most to know they belong. Suicide rates among LGBT+ youth is alarming, as is rates of homelessness. This is a small gesture we can all partake in as we strive to do better in loving one another and sharing each other’s burdens.
Quote from the Huffington Post article linked to below:
When asked about why LGBT+ teens are being kicked out of their homes by loving, Mormon parents, Money says that “they’re trying to do the right thing and the church is giving mixed messages.” The church teaches that homosexual behavior is wrong and that excommunicating is a loving gesture to stop sin. Money says, “so parents believe it too, and do the same thing (rejection from home) hoping it will have the same effect the church hopes for (repentance, obedience).” But in the end, Money warns that psychologists have found the opposite happens, rejected teens feel “alone and shunned and don’t tend to come back.”
Rainbow Mormon Initiative facebook page
Natasha Helfer Parker, LCMFT, CST can be reached at natashaparker.org. She authors the Mormon Therapist Blog, hosts the Mormon Mental Health and Mormon Sex Info Podcasts, writes a regular column for Sunstone Magazine and is the current president of the Mormon Mental Health Association. She has 20 years of experience working with primarily an LDS/Mormon clientele.