During the summer of 2011 there were three separate hate-motivated violent attacks on three different gay men in Utah. As a Mormon, and a currently serving bishop of the church from Illinois at that time, I decided that I needed to do more to stand up against hate and support the civil and human rights of our LGBT sisters and brothers. As a result of that decision, I flew to Salt Lake City and “came out” as an LGBT ally. Since that time Mormons have been found marching in pride parades across the country, and the church launched a new website called mormonsandgays.org where church leaders reach out and affirmatively acknowledge that orientation is not a choice and family members should never shun or exclude regardless of the path their gay loved ones may choose. Only a few weeks ago, the church has taken a crucial step towards supporting change on an issue that would have been completely unheard of even a year ago—the change of policy on orientation in Boy Scouts.
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