Protecting LGBT+ Members

Protecting LGBT+ Members May 15, 2020

Tireless work by this papa dragon.

Today’s guest post is written by Thomas Montgomery. Opinions shared on guest posts may not completely reflect the positions of the blog’s author. 

Thomas Montgomery is a father of a gay son who has done much work within the LDS church to bring awareness to issues facing LGBT+ members. His family was featured in the documentary Families are Forever, part of the work of the Family Acceptance Project.  

Meridian Magazine has once again published an article protecting the LDS Church in any/every way possible regarding harm the LDS Church causes its own LGBTQ youth and adult members. The article meanders through many arguments without actually presenting anything new and attempting to put out many fires.

https://latterdaysaintmag.com/is-latter-day-saint-theolog…/…

It challenges John Dehlin‘s study saying that “most studies” say something else – except for the fact that there are no “other studies” that either contradict or challenge John’s study. John’s study is published and peer-reviewed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MxCXjfAunk

It ignores that John’s study is fully consistent with Brian Simmons‘s study on PTSD
among LDS-LGBTQ Mormons. Brian’s study is published and peer-reviewed.

https://athenaeum.libs.uga.edu/handle/10724/38227

It ignores that John’s study is fully consistent with the Family Acceptance Project’s research on the harm of rejection from orthodox religiosity. The Family Acceptance Project is published and peer-reviewed.

https://familyproject.sfsu.edu/

It ignores the spike of suicides from 2008- in Utah while saying Utah is comparable to other states in the region. Except for the past twelve years…..years in which the LDS Church’s political activism against LGBTQ people also spiked. From Prop 8 in California onward, the LDS Church has been actively, politically hostile to LGBTQ people. The only notable exception is the Utah work and housing bill extending rights to LGBTQ persons (with the notable exemption of the LDS Church to the rights outlined in the bill.) To think that this doesn’t seep into the minds of LDS members is significantly naive – even if they were not homophobic to begin with.

https://rationalfaiths.com/utahs-escalating-suicide-crisis…/

Saying that suicide is complex and multi-faceted, which is true, does not remove the demonstrable fact that several of those facets are (1) exclusively heterosexual/patriarchal theology, (2) Mormon anti-LGBTQ culture, (3) homophobic members and leaders, (4) continuous political activism against LGBTQ people, and (5) extensive history of harmful rhetoric and actions from LDS Church leaders.

For active members, ignorance is a shield, and articles (like this one) are taken as fact in the vacuum of that ignorance. In order to maintain this ignorance, no mention can be made of Greg Prince‘s comprehensive book “Gay Rights and the Mormon Church: Intended Actions, Unintended Consequences.” You can’t read this book and remain ignorant. Its final chapter is about the current suicide epidemic in Utah.

https://www.amazon.com/Gay-Rights-Mormon-Chur…/…/ref=sr_1_1…

To all this, I would add my own writing on the subject. Eight years immersed in the pain and harm the LDS Church causes its LGBTQ members and through its political activism, the LGBTQ community at large.

What Can’t Be Said (November 2018) – 

http://www.nomorestrangers.org/what-cant-be-said/

The Safe Way (September 2018) – http://www.nomorestrangers.org/the-safe-way/

Sacred Spaces (October 2017) – http://www.nomorestrangers.org/sacred-spaces/

Grace (July 2017) – http://www.nomorestrangers.org/grace/

Rejection and the Family (March 2017) – http://www.nomorestrangers.org/rejection-and-the-family/

Anger (November 2016) – http://www.nomorestrangers.org/anger/

A Tale of Two Weddings (September 2016) – http://www.nomorestrangers.org/a-tale-of-two-weddings/

Clarity (July 2016) – http://www.nomorestrangers.org/clarity/

Emotional Distance (May 2016) – http://www.nomorestrangers.org/emotional-distance/

The Scarlet Letter: Apostasy (December 2015) – http://nomorestranger.wpengine.com/the-scarlet-letter-apos…/

Sadness (October 2015) – http://nomorestranger.wpengine.com/sadness/

Trust (August 2015) – http://nomorestranger.wpengine.com/trust/

Seeing Through My Tears (January 2015) – http://nomorestranger.wpengine.com/seeing-through-my-tears/

Doctrine of Celibacy (October 2014) – http://nomorestranger.wpengine.com/the-doctrine-of-celibacy/

What Words Can’t Define (August 2014) – http://nomorestranger.wpengine.com/what-words-cant-define/

A Difference of Opinion (June 2014) – http://nomorestranger.wpengine.com/a-difference-of-opinion/

Shame and Affirmation (June 2014) – http://nomorestranger.wpengine.com/shame-and-affirmation/

Cool Tolerance (March 2013) – http://nomorestranger.wpengine.com/cool-tolerance/

It’s Complex (August 2013) – http://nomorestranger.wpengine.com/its-complex/

Christmas Cards (January 2014) – http://nomorestranger.wpengine.com/christmas-cards/

What the Heck is Traditional Marriage? (July 2013) –http://nomorestranger.wpengine.com/what-the-heck-is-tradit…/

Defending Marriage (May 2013) – http://nomorestranger.wpengine.com/defending-marriage/

Why Does the Lord Allow His Covenant People to Err? (April 2013) –http://nomorestranger.wpengine.com/why-does-the-lord-allow…/

The Catalyst (January 2013) – http://nomorestranger.wpengine.com/the-catalyst/

The Victoria Theater (June 2013) – http://nomorestranger.wpengine.com/the-victoria-theater/

Of Pain and the Journey (September 2013) – http://nomorestranger.wpengine.com/of-pain-and-the-journey/

I See the Image of Christ in My Gay Son, Lord (August 2012) –http://mitchmayne.blogspot.com/…/a-fathers-poem-to-his-gay-…

It is odd that the author of the Meridian article cites his own study, but doesn’t source his study. The LDS Church’s theology and culture harm LGBTQ youth and members. It may not harm every LDS/LGBTQ member, but it harms enough of them to be demonstrable. I think I have provided ample sources.

 


Natasha Helfer Parker, LCMFT, CST, CSTS can be reached at natashaparker.org and runs an online practice, Symmetry Solutions, which focuses on helping families and individuals with faith concerns, sexuality and mental health. She hosts the Mormon Mental Health and Mormon Sex InfoPodcasts, is the current past president of the Mormon Mental Health Association and runs a sex education program, Sex Talk with Natasha. She has over 20 years of experience working with primarily an LDS/Mormon clientele.

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