You Try Being Second Class 

The Mormon church set up a website where it acknowledges the humanity of homosexuals, and people fell all over themselves hailing this “progress.” In a way, it is progress. Hopefully, it will help prevent Mormon parents from kicking out their gay teenage offspring and Mormon queers from killing themselves.

But why, in heaven’s name, would any self-respecting adult homosexual want to remain a part of this church where they remain second-class citizens? Will the Mormon church validate gay relationships? Will it give temple recommends to anyone involved in a same-sex relationship? It still tries to invalidate our feelings. When we fall in love, we do it as deeply as Mormon church members do.

To those of you who are 100 percent heterosexual, a Kinsey zero, who’ve never sensed even an inkling of romantic/sexual feeling for a member of your own sex, I’d like to pose a question. Think back to your best friend in college. Can you imagine being told by the church you love and devoutly believe in that, in order to go to heaven, you must either remain lonely and celibate or spend eternity trying to force yourself into not only emotional, but physical intimacy with that best friend? Then try to imagine how your friend might feel.

Let’s say your best college buddy happened to be homosexual and totally in love with you. How would that friend feel knowing you don’t reciprocate those feelings? Always worried, from Day 1, you might fall in love with someone else? Imagine raising children in that kind of setting. Parenthood and marriage are hard enough without that kind of strain.

The alternative? Celibacy and loneliness in a church where marriage and parenthood are everything. That, or being denied a temple recommend and being marginalized. “Loving” marginalization is still marginalization, still second-class.

JEFF LAVER
Salt Lake City

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