USU holds online study on LGBT Mormons

According to the Associated Press, Evan Clayson, a Houstonian, is participating in an online study on gay Mormons with nearly 1,000 others. It is believed to be the first study to focus specifically on the gay Mormon demographic, said Renee Galliher, who is leading the study.

Boyd K. Packer

Clayson came out as gay to his Mormon congregation from the pulpit in Houston earlier this year. Like many gay Mormons, Clayson wasn’t so keen on outing himself due to the church’s stance on homosexuality.

Like many faiths, Mormonism teaches not only that relationships outside of a traditional marriage are a sin, but that any homosexual feelings whatsoever are sins all on their own. Boyd K. Packer, next in line for the faith’s presidency, said he believed gays could change their orientation through prayer.

Researchers at Utah State University are hosting the online study, which is open to Mormons of the whole LGBT spectrum.

“You’ll see that we’re asking them to talk with us about a whole range of experiences both related to and unrelated to their religiosity,” said Galliher, who is neither gay nor Mormon.

They hope the data gathered will provide understanding and insight that can be beneficial to both Mormon church leaders and families. It also aims to separate the truth from the myth in the gay Mormon experience.

“We’ve tried to develop a survey that was framed neutrally enough that people would be able to tell their stories,” said Galliher, “whatever their story is.”

—  admin

Must read column: ‘The Bully Pulpit’ by Mike Signorile

This is a very important and insightful column from Mike. Yes, the situation is getting better for LGBT adults, but not kids. The haters are, directly and indirectly inflicting pain and suffering on kids:

Breaking every nasty stereotype perpetuated by bigots, the kids of gay parents are indeed all right. The irony lies in the fact that it’s the children of straight parents who are very much in a full-blown crisis, be they gay and victims of bullying or the perpetrators of bullying themselves. It’s hard to know if gay teen suicides are on the rise or if media reports—and the use of the Internet to get news out—have focused more attention on them. But one thing is certain: They’re happening at an unacceptable rate.

Syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage, who started the It Gets Better Project on YouTube in response to the suicides, believes that despite the gains of the gay equality movement and the coming out of celebrities here and there, life is worse today for LGBT teens than it was 20 years ago, particularly for those living far from urban areas. While the gay political movement has made dramatic strides, he says, most of those advances have been for adults in big cities. And, at the same time, the religious right has come full force out of its own closet—condemning homosexuality and pushing “ex-gay” therapy. In suburban and rural areas, preachers attack gays, ugly campaigns have been waged to bar gays from marrying, and politicians rail that gays shouldn’t be teaching in schools.

Savage is on to something: As we have moved ahead with a civil rights movement for LGBT adults—marriage, employment nondiscrimination laws, adoption and gay parenting—the organized political movement has largely ignored the backlash our success has triggered and, more significantly, ignored how that backlash hurts gay youths. Yes, there are excellent groups focused on these issues, such as the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network and Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. But many gay adults, unless they have children themselves, are far removed from these issues and often see fighting discrimination in their own lives as more important. It’s true, of course, that progress for LGBT adults helps everyone in the long run. If LGBT people had full civil rights—equal marriage rights and federal constitutional protections against discrimination—homophobia would diminish in society and young people would grow up in a better world. Surely that’s a common goal of all of those fighting for marriage equality and an end to discrimination. But in a world of instant gratification we sometimes forget that full equality is going to be a long time off. And the hate will only get worse.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

Minn. pastor back in pulpit after gay report

PATRICK CONDON  |  Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — A Lutheran pastor in Minneapolis who opposes homosexuals being allowed to lead congregations says he is attracted to men but says he’s not a hypocrite because he never acted on his urges.

The Rev. Tom Brock told The Associated Press on Monday, Aug. 2 that he has known for many years that he is attracted to men. He says he is still a virgin at age 57 and doesn’t consider himself gay because he hasn’t acted on his attraction.

Brock’s sexuality became an issue after a gay magazine reported on his membership in a support group for Christians battling same-sex attraction. Brock was put on leave while a task force at Hope Lutheran Church looked into the matter.

Hope Lutheran’s executive pastor says the task force found Brock credible, and he was back in the pulpit on Sunday.

—  John Wright