I am not your typical gay man. Nor am I your typical Mormon. As with all callings in the Mormon faith, mine is both a duty and a privilege. It provides me with an opportunity — and a responsibility — to be of service to both the Mormon and the LGBTQ communities, and to help those around me better integrate deep and often conflicted parts of their lives.
My father raised me in the Catholic faith that taught lessons about justice and the common good. He taught me that as a Catholic, I can be part of a powerful, positive force in the world. He taught me that God's greatest gift is love. And I passed these values on to my children. By avoiding the divisive politics of this election year, Maine's Catholic Church has seemingly learned from past mistakes. In 2009, more than 140 churches across Maine took a second collection to oppose marriage equality for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
Shari Johnson is a proud mom, and rightfully so. Her daughter Cholene is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, the second woman to fly the U-2 spy plane, and was a captain for a commercial airline. But Johnson admits to the Washington Post that she was not prepared embrace her 37-year old daughter coming out a few years ago. At that time, being gay and being the perfect daughter were mutually exclusive. She writes, “In my experience, ‘gay pride’ was not on the acceptable list of parental bragging rights.”
The Mormon booklet is the first in a series of publications aimed at various faiths by the Family Acceptance Project and is sprinkled with statements from LDS leaders such as former church President David O. McKay and current apostle Jeffrey R. Holland extolling the importance of familial love.
After announcing that she supports marriage equality, singer Carrie Underwood has come under fire from some fans.
In an interview with U.K.'s The Independent, Underwood said, "As a married person myself, I don't know what it's like to be told I can't marry somebody I love, and want to marry. I can't imagine how that must feel. I definitely think we should all have the right to love, and love publicly, the people that we want to love."
The abstract principle behind marriage is a life-long commitment to share oneself with a loved one. But abstract principles are just that -- “abstract” -- while people are real. How can you say you favor justice for gays and lesbians while advocating discrimination against them in law? It’s a contradiction to favor the practice but oppose the principle. “Anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen” (I Jn. 4:20).
It took a while, but I have gone from devastation, to a grudging acceptance, to full-on joy. I don’t “accept” my daughter; I embrace her for who she is. Cholene pointed out to me that when we “accept” someone, we are putting ourselves in a superior position — we are “more than” and they are “less than.” That is the last thing I want to do.
Father Bob Pierson, a Roman Catholic priest in Minnesota, speaks out against the proposed anti-LGBT marriage amendment in that state. Father Pierson’s video demonstrates that even those within the priesthood do not agree with the anti-LGBT antagonism of the Roman Catholic hierarchy.
For years, gay rights organizations and major civil rights organizations viewed each other warily. African-American leaders often saw the gay rights groups as insensitive to racial concerns, and some resented the movement’s use of civil rights language to make the case for marriage. Advocates for gay rights, in turn, sometimes blamed socially conservative African-Americans for their defeat in crucial electoral battles.