|This is one of a series of web pages I created between 2001and 2006. I was angry and frustrated at the LDS Church. Since then I have moved on and calmed down. So please remember, if you read these pages, that they reflect my past and not my present feelings. Thanks for your understanding! - Chris Tolworthy|
The best way to find up to date information, including links to official church statements, is to visit Affirmation, the support site for gay and lesbian Mormons. Many of the church's anti-gay activities are linked here: http://www.affirmation.org/learning/anti-gay.shtml. Gaymormon.com has more information.
It all began with a letter from the FP dated February 1, 1994, which was later codified in the CHI as the policy against gay marriage:
"The Church opposes same-gender marriage and any efforts to legalize such marriages. Church members are encouraged "to appeal to legislators, judges, and other government officials to preserve the purposes and sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, and to reject all efforts to give legal authorization or other official approval or support to marriage between persons of the same gender." (First Presidency letter, 1 Feb. 1994)." - Church Handbook of Instructions, 1998 edition, p. 158.
Here is a copy of an official church letter encouraging church members to vote against gay marriage. Note that Gordon B. Hinckley says the church does not get involved in politics.
See 'affirmation' for more details
1998: Hawaii considered legalizing gay marriage. The church donated $600,000 to fight it. (Three times the size of donations from every other source combined).
1998: Alaska considered legalizing gay marriage.The church donated $500,000 to fight it. (Four times the size of donations from every other source combined).
1999: California considered legalizing gay marriage.Church donations are unknown, but all Californian wards and branches read out a letter condemning the plan, and bishops and stake presidents were raising funds to attack it.
From Dallin H. Oaks, Same-Gender Attraction, Ensign, Oct. 1995, 7
"What we call gender was an essential characteristic of our existence prior to our birth."
"The purpose of mortal life and the mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is to prepare the sons and daughters of God for their destinyto become like our heavenly parents."
"Our eternal destinyexaltation in the celestial kingdomis made possible only through the atonement of Jesus Christ (through which we became and can remain innocent before God [ D&C 93:38]) and is only available to a man and a woman who have entered into and been faithful to the covenants of an eternal marriage in a temple of God (see D&C 131:14; D&C 132)."
From the same talk:
"Because Satan desires that all men might be miserable like unto himself (2 Ne. 2:27), his most strenuous efforts are directed at encouraging those choices and actions that will thwart Gods plan for his children. He seeks to undermine the principle of individual accountability, to persuade us to misuse our sacred powers of procreation, to discourage marriage and childbearing by worthy men and women, and to confuse what it means to be male or female."
" Because of Gods great love for his children, even the worst sinners (or almost all of them) will ultimately be rewarded with assignment to a kingdom of glory. Persons who have lived good lives and received most of the ordinances of salvation but have failed to qualify for exaltation through eternal marriage will be saved in a lesser place in the celestial kingdom where there is no eternal increase (see D&C 131:14)."
See 'affirmation' for more details
14 Feb 1994
The First Presidency issues a statement that reads, in part, "We encourage members to appeal to legislators, judges, and other government officials to preserve the purposes and sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, and to reject all efforts to give legal authorization or other official approval or support to marriages between persons of the same gender."
LDS headquarters acknowledges that it has been "calling" married couples with political action and advertizing expertise on short-term missions to aid the work of Hawaii's Future Today.
7 Mar 1997
Gordon B. Hinckley in the LA Times: "`We're engaged right now in the same-sex marriage problem in legislation in Hawaii,' Hinckley said. `We just made a decision today concerning the filing of a brief in that case. That's spreading around the country now pretty largely and we've become rather actively involved in that kind of thing,' he said" (LA Times, 7 March 1997, Page B-1).
See gaymormon.com for more details
[A]lthough the Utah press reported hundreds of "hate" attacks annually against gays and lesbians, the First Presidency in 1992 orchestrated the defeat of proposals to include "sexual orientation" as a protected category in Utah's law against hate crimes. While President Hinckley has recently condemned hatred and violence against "those who profess homosexual tendencies," the First Presidency from 1976 onward has also repeatedly published Apostle Boyd K. Packer's talk praising a Mormon missionary for beating up his homosexual companion. This official church pamphlet, titled To Young Men Only, encourages teenage boys to assault any males "who entice young men to join them in these immoral acts." Yet President Hinckley (who was a senior apostle in 1976) expresses bewilderment regarding the literally thousands of violent attacks against gay males in Utah during the decades since the First Presidency began publishing Apostle Packer's talk. This endorsement of gay bashing continues to be printed in pamphlet form and is currently distributed by LDS headquarters. From 1976 to the present, local LDS leaders have been encouraged to give this pamphlet to young males in their teens and twenties, those most likely to commit hate crimes against gays and lesbians.
LDS headquarters has never promoted a similar distribution of statements opposing violence towards homosexuals. Recent public statements by LDS leaders against gay bashing have the appearance of a smoke-screen to conceal the ongoing private endorsement of gay bashing in Apostle Packer's pamphlet. In fact, because it has officially promoted this endorsement of violence against homosexuals for twenty-five years, I believe the First Presidency has been morally responsible whenever LDS young men have attacked or killed homosexuals from 1976 to the present. This includes the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard in Wyoming in 1998.
There are some men who entice young men to join them in these immoral acts. If you are ever approached to participate in anything like that, it is time to vigorously resist. While I was in a mission on one occasion, a missionary said he had something to confess. I was very worried because he just could not get himself to tell me what he had done. After patient encouragement he finally blurted out, "I hit my companion."
"Oh, is that all," I said in great relief.
"But I floored him," he said.
After learning a little more, my response was "Well, thanks. Somebody had to do it, and it wouldn't be well for a General Authority to solve the problem that way"
I am not recommending that course to you, but I am not omitting it. You must protect yourself.
From Newsweek, May 8, 2000, by Mark Miller
It had become an all too familiar sound. Late on the night of Feb. 24, Stuart Matis's mother lay awake in bed, listening to her 32-year-old son pacing his room, unable to sleep. She worried that his depression was worsening. A year earlier Matis had told his parents he was gay, and all three, as devout Mormons, had struggled to reconcile Matis's homosexuality with the teachings of their church. Matis found little comfort in Mormon doctrine, which regards homosexuality as an "abominable" sin. A church therapist instructed him to suppress his sexuality or to undergo "reparative therapy" to become a heterosexual. Matis was especially frustrated by the church's energetic efforts to pass Proposition 22, California's ballot measure banning same-sex marriage. The yes on prop 22 signs that dotted his Santa Clara neighborhood, many placed there by church members, were a reminder of his failure to find acceptance as a Mormon and gay man.
Matis concluded he could not be both. That night, his mother got out of bed and wrote a letter asking the church to reconsider its position on gay Mormons. Only later would she learn that her son had been up writing his own letter, to his family and friends, explaining why he couldn't continue to live. Early the next morning, 11 days before voters would overwhelmingly approve Prop 22, Matis drove to the local Mormon church headquarters, pinned a do not resuscitate note to his shirt and shot himself in the head.
Before 2001, on page15: "Homosexual and lesbian activities are sinful and an abomination to the Lord (see Romans 1:26-27, 31). ... All Latter-day Saints must learn to control and discipline themselves."
After 2001, on page 28: "Homosexual activity is a serious sin. If you find yourself struggling with same-gender attraction, seek counsel from your parents and bishop. They will help you."
"We feel nothing but love, compassion, and the deepest appreciation for the rich talents, endowments, and the earnest strivings of our Negro brothers and sisters... But we believe that this work is directed by God and that the conferring of the priesthood [to black men] must await His revelation. To do otherwise would be to deny the very premise on which the Church is established."
--The First Presidency, 15 December 1969 (Source: Church News, 10 January 1970, p. 12).
"We of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reach out with understanding and respect for individuals who are attracted to those of the same gender. We realize there may be great loneliness in their lives but there must also be recognition of what is right before the Lord. As a doctrinal principle, based on sacred scripture, we affirm that marriage between a man and a woman is essential to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children. The powers of procreation are to be exercised only between a man and a woman lawfully wedded as husband and wife. Any other sexual relations, including those between persons of the same gender, undermine the divinely created institution of the family. The Church accordingly favors measures that define marriage as the union of a man and a woman and that do not confer legal status on any other sexual relationship."
The First Presidency, 19 October 2004. http://www.lds.org/newsroom/showrelease/0,15503,3881-1-20336,00.html
Love is a good thing. Marriage is a good thing. But the church attacks and opposes some forms of love and some forms of marriage. Over the years it has softened, and eventually wil come around to the mainstream. But meanwhile the church is on the wrong side of the argument as usual, and spends time and money making people miserable and often suicidal.