Thursday, December 11, 2008

What more can be said? I’m sorry

I’m sorry.

I am sorry to my gay and lesbian friends in California that we Mormons got involved in an issue designed specifically to deprive you of the social and legal comforts that marriage can bring.

I am sorry that we Mormons live in a world of contradiction. On the one-hand we condemn the homosexual community for its supposed instability, promiscuity, and immorality, while on the other we seek to deny you the very institution which, according to our own heterosexual world-view, would provide the stability, commitment, and moral fortitude we claim you lack.

I am sorry because we claim that that children have the “right” to be raised in a home with a father and a mother. We are so committed to this idea in fact, that we would rather see those children already born into difficult and non-ideal circumstances languish in foster-care and other flawed systems, rather than be given the love and stability that your homes are so ready and willing to provide. Oddly, we claim that children have this “right” to both mother and father yet our own divorce rates would indicate that many Mormon children do not enjoy this “right.” Also, I’m sorry that all of our attention has been focused on you and not on preventing single persons the ability to adopt, or stripping children way from single mothers or widows and who are depriving their children of this “right” to both mother and father.

I’m sorry that our Proclamation on the Family reads more like a threatening letter from a divorce attorney, than a Jesus-like plea for compassion, love, patience, and understanding.

I’m sorry that we have spent so much time and so many resources in this “moral” battle while ignoring other battles of equal, if not more certain moral concern. For a church that has, for at least one given reason, engaged in the Proposition 8 fight to protect the will of the voters, we have been oddly silent about troubling provisions of the Patriot Act, for example, which clearly violate the rights of voters and citizens.

What more can be said? I’m sorry.


Friday, December 5, 2008


I'm sorry my church did this, and I'm sorry I didn't say anything publicly about it.  It won't happen again.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I am sorry. I am ashamed. I am torn.

Dear friends,

I am sorry. I am ashamed. I am torn.

There are many things in the LDS religion that have left me torn in two. I am a faithful, married in the temple member, yet there is so much that I can't express to others that thrashes around inside of me. I no longer can sit through an endowment session without deep pain at the gender inequality. Relief society pains me. The culture upsets me. And now this.

I know, however, that the core doctrines of the Church are true and eternal. I believe in the plan of salvation, in my Savior Jesus Christ, and in loving Heavenly parents that sent me to Earth to be tested and tried so I might one day become as they are. I see so much potential in individuals within the Church.

But yet. I have friends that are LDS and homosexual. Many friends... and to see the fervor of the BYU students as they tried to deny my friends their rights blatantly to their faces, it really hurt. The Yes of Prop 8 posters plastered about campus, the phone banks, the blog posts. I wrote a letter to the editor of the Daily Universe expressing my anguish and disgust at some of the tactics being used to promote Prop 8 on campus, and received hateful ad hominem attacks demanding me to relinquish my temple recommend and "maybe if my husband served a mission, he should teach me the first discussion about following the prophet" (maybe I served a mission myself, why does my husband have to teach me?!) Nonetheless, these attacks on my faith which I hold so close to my heart, further testified to me the reasons why I can't support Prop 8. Although the Church said we were not to discriminate against gay people, it's exactly what we were doing. I see a clear difference in discrimination and condoning and support behaviors that are contrary to the ultimate goals of the Church to build and strengthen eternal families. Families are essential to the Gospel, but what about the individuals that Heavenly Father loves just as equally that want to create families in a different manner? Should a political system hinder them?

I do not see legalizing same sex marriage as devaluing my marriage to my dear husband. I love him fiercely, just as many homosexual individuals love their partners. Why should they be prohibited from expressing their love and commitment through a marriage covenant when I have that right?

Thank you for the outlet.


I am now rectifying that wrong.

I am writing to apologize for not raising my voice sooner! I stopped attending the Mormon church in 2000, when political lessons, sermons, and letters about proposition 22 were more common than the Gospel of Jesus Christ--but that is all that I did. I did not write letters of dissent, I did not actively participate in trying to defeat prop 22, and I did not have my name removed from the records of the church. I am now rectifying that wrong.

It turns my stomach that the Mormon church was so willing to impose their moral view onto the constitution of California, that they were willing to promote grotesque lies in order to strip Californian's of their civil rights. I feel that the leaders and members of this church need to be called to repentance! That the preisthood, the power to act in the name of Christ, was used to disenfranchise and abuse families, it is too great an injustice to overlook or swallow down.

The Mormon church stood in judgment on families--what sort of families are best, which are not ideal, and which families are so far from their divine understanding of family that they must be disallowed and disbanded in the state of California. Well I was raised in one of their "ideal" families, along with 10 other children, and I can say their judgment could use a little fine tuning.

God's view on homosexuality as expressed by Mormon prophets and leaders has changed so many times that the Mormon church has no credibility on this subject. From G.Q.Cannon advocating the utter destruction of homosexuals to B.K. Packer not ruling out violence as a defense against someone who is gay to now not condoning violence against gay people. From adamantly proclaiming that "God does not make people that way" to now "stating that whether nature or nurture — those are things the Church doesn’t have a position on." From being certain that homosexuality was caused by pornography, masturbation, and selfishness, to now saying, "...who can say?" From assuring homosexuals that they can "overcome and return to normal happy living" to now asking them to remain celibate. Mormon prophets claim to have a direct line of communication to God, is God changing His mind, or is the Mormon prophet doing the best he can with what he knows? Given all of the doctrinal changes that have already occurred with regard to homosexuality, one can only assume that the prophet will get it right about 20 years after the rest of the country, i.e. Spencer w. Kimball and preisthood for all worthy males in 1978 21 years after the first civil rights bill was signed into law. Hey maybe they will figure out that women can be true equals too.

I did follow my conscience in the voting booth and ignored my church

I was shocked when our Bishop announced from the pulpit that church leaders would be seeking members to become politically active and work against our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. Surely there is some legal implication to this religious attack on their civil rights. Our stake President told the local paper that no in-church campaigning was done but that was a lie! This gracious, kind, good man was forced by church leaders to do what he did but I also know the LDS church preaches free agency adamantly and he could have chosen otherwise. But if he had, he would have lost everything and been excommunicated and shamed and shunned by the church leaders in Utah and elsewhere. My best friend is a gay man, one of the best people I have ever known. It is important to me that he knows I did follow my conscience in the voting booth and ignored my church. I am so sorry for what the Mormon Church and the Catholic Church did. I am ashamed to have been Catholic most of my life and Mormon now. If there were ever legal action taken against what the church did I promise I would testify they did use "church" to manipulate "state" and violated your civil rights.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I'm apologizing because of my own belief that God loves everyone and I should too.

I do not live in CA and probably never will but the events of the past few weeks coming out of CA have greatly affected me. Oh, I wish the Church hadn't called on its members to use their means and time to support this proposition. I am truly sorry it did.

I am not gay, have no gay relatives, and have only a few gay acquaintances. I'm apologizing because of my own belief that God loves everyone and I should too. Civil unions are fine with me but so is marriage, if that is what people feel strongly about. Gay marriage will not hurt my marriage. I hope that CA courts begin work on this quickly and overturn the "will of the people."

I will continue to be a practicing, card-carrying Mormon but the last few weeks have been difficult. Writing my apology has been almost therapeutic for me, allowing a venue for my thoughts to be expressed (other than my poor wife). To all those who are gay and who happen across this blog: Hopefully the future brings us together through compromise, mutual respect, and education. Until then, I'm sorry.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

This has been a huge crisis of faith for me.

I have never understood how anyone could believe that banning legal marriage from someone with a different sexual orientation somehow protects heterosexual marriage. I am confused, mortified, and profoundly distressed by my church leaders' 2008 directive to LDS members to donate time and money to intensive pro-Prop 8 propaganda campaigns. This has been a huge crisis of faith for me. In my opinion this effort should have been directed towards ways to protect all marriages from the things that really endanger couples and families like domestic violence and our too high divorce rate, among others. Please know that many in my family prayerfully voted against Prop 8. Please also know that there are many other LDS church members in distress over this civil rights issue. I profoundly hope that the California Supreme Court will uphold the recent marriages that are now so unfortunately banned, and that they will find a legal loophole in so doing that expands marital rights to all. Lastly, I have been profoundly moved by Carol Lynn Pearson's books, especially her landmark "Goodbye I Love You" and her more recent "No More Goodbyes". I have appreciated websites like that teach marriage equality to the LDS community and others. I hope they will continue in their good work to educate Mormons and others about the importance of equal marital rights for all.

I am so sorry for what my church and other churches did.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

You have the right to love, you have the right to marry.

It was not anyone else's to take away from you.

A great injustice has been committed, I am aghast that it was done by a church in the name of Jesus. So many injustices done in that name. When will people learn what Jesus really stood for?

I am sorry for what this church, other churches, and the rest did. I am so deeply sorry. It was wrong and I wish I could personally do something to change it. Tyranny of the majority. I hope it doesn't make you feel like society as a whole is against you, though I can understand that feeling given this treatment of you. I for one see you as a complete equal. No different. You should have all the same rights and privileges that anyone has.

I mean honestly I feel stupid even saying that. What right do I have to tell you that you have the right to love. You just do. You always have. That is what it means to be a human being. You are no different than me. I am no different than you. We all have the right to love and marry as we choose.

I hate that the church did this. That's the only hate I feel. I am sorry.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I can not find solace, except as I write this words: To my friends, brothers and sisters in my true family.

I have been holding back my tears since I learned the LDS Church was launching an extensive campaign to support Proposition 8 in California. I am a convert to the Mormon Church since 1968. I went on a mission in my home country in Latin America, I came here with a scholarship to BYU got as far as an MBA, and now I am a college professor with a PhD. In essence, my life could have only been possible in this country and because of the support of the Church. However, even before I became an educated critical thinker, I knew by reading the scriptures that our Heavenly Father does not want us to be ignorant but to gain in wisdom and increase in our degrees of intelligence. I also understood Joseph Smiths statement, "I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves" (D&C 130: 18-19).

I left Utah many years ago, I was going crazy there. At the same time, I took 20-years leave of absence from the Church; I had to be honest with myself and accept the fact I have always been attracted to women and I had fallen for someone in the Church who I could never have.

Throughout all these years, I missed the spirit of partaking of the sacrament, participating in worshiping services; and, no, I did not break many of the covenants I have made, and I kept the law of chastity. But more importantly, I did not miss the political efforts of some powerful LDS Priesthood holders determined to impose their world view and morality on others that are not even LDS.

Unfortunately, now that I am back into the fold, I realize some things do not change. Once again, using their never-questioned decision making processes, the institutional leaders decide to take away the only solace that my Gay and Lesbian brothers and sisters have at making family from "scratch". Yes, that is what we have to do sometimes. Among my many gay and lesbian friends we identify each other as family when referring to another friend when we may not be sure whether he or she is gay. Our families, the families we construct from scratch, are very important to us for they keeps whole and sane, and give us the sense of community we desperately need.

Many of us have no families of our own for various reasons, the most common is disenfranchisement and abandonment from our own families and communities like the church, who fear us or are ashamed of us. So, in our yearning for family, community and companionship, we create our own. We find friends that accepts us unconditionally and who are there for us with kindness and generosity.

How sad it is that the same religious community that rejects us, it is at the same time so powerful that command the loyalty of its wealthy saints to collect 20 million dollars to take away our meager accomplishments in securing an earthly, temporal, symbol of comfort and belonging, a family of our own. A family and community they deny us.

Ironically, the same week when supporters of Proposition 8 were collecting money by the millions for this unjust political cause, my LDS Bishop in my current Ward visited our Relief Society meeting to ask us sisters to do away with unnecessary luxuries and donate more in our fast offerings because the local funds dedicated to help the needy in our Ward were depleted. See, our Ward in the state of Nevada is one with many needs because of high unemployment, bankruptcies, and home foreclosures within our congregation. Yes, that same week hundreds of thousands of dollars were channeled from Arizona, Nevada, and Utah (only a few miles away from my needy Ward) to support this unjust political cause.

Somehow something does not seem right within my LDS Church... It is a challenge to be back into the fold and to work at loving and supporting the same Priesthood holders that agreed to collude with the San Francisco's Catholic Archbishop and joined them in a political effort that has little or nothing to do with the Mission of the LDS Church.

What solace is it to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the institution that purports to have the keys of the priesthood and the restoration of the Gospel of Christ to get letters from another religious institution with such a cruel history of persecution during the inquisition years... Why is this "good" What is this of solace to the LDS Church? Have we forgotten the last sentence in our Articles of Faith? "If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."

What is more disturbing is the little effort made by the legal minds of the Church to look into all the misinformation printed and handed out with the support of the LDS church to pass and in support of Proposition 8, these are very sad days indeed.

I am sorry my friends, brothers and sisters, and true family my heart is broken as well.



"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." --I love this sentiment, so easy to say, so hard to do.

That statement, taught to me when I was a young Mormon girl, is why I voted with my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters on election day. That is why I agonized over my church's stance and why I let people know that I disagreed with that stance.

And I am sorry that if you are gay, you may think that I am your enemy, just because I'm Mormon. Because I am not. I'm just sorry.


I love you

I am so ashamed to be a mormon right now. All I can say is, mormons are good people at heart. They are also susceptible to fear as a control device, and I am sad that many of them fell for it. One day they will look back on this time with great shame and regret.

Stay strong, you are the valiant ones that the world needs right now. You will one day be regarded as heroes.

I love you,
Crystal Evans

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I only feel a sense of pause, and a desire to listen, and to seek healing before seeking to be right.

Dear sisters and brothers,

You have all, undoubtedly, been tossed about by voices clamoring for not only your attention, but for your mind and your faith. In each of you is probably, down deep in your soul, very private feelings about yourself and how you make sense of everything, and yet so often, we fellow citizens fight to penetrate those feelings, to argue and bicker with you about what is your true self, your true identity, what makes you happy, what makes your suffer. In a way, we play God, acting as though we really know those inner feelings. Were I to even assume to praise you because we "agree" on something, I'd probably be doing you a disservice; I actually don't and can't know you well enough to judge how perfectly my own feelings can equal yours. All I can really do is try--try to notice if you say you are suffering, try to celebrate if you say your are happy. In a spirit of meekness, I acknowledge how incapable I am at understanding you the way you understand you, and how I am certainly and totally inept at knowing you the way God does. I shake my fist at the temptation to force you to understand me, but, with any humility I can honestly say is in me, I will try to first seek to understand you.

Because I voted for Prop. 8, I naturally want to withdraw when I read the headlines of protests on the front gate of places that are the most sacred to me. I certainly wrestle with coming out of my comfort zone and engaging those who are vocal about their distress over this issue. But, from what is clear from the protests, I'm trying to understand how I'd feel if something, whatever it was, effected me so much that I would grab a sign and march to the steps of someone else's holy place and seek for change. There's no question I would feel abandonment, profound sadness, maybe even despair to bring me to such an action. I know it's not an apt comparison, but as I try to understand before being understood, I realize that these feelings resonate with me as I contemplate my own experiences as a Mormon. I've been thrown out, taunted, teased, persecuted, and physically abused because of my Mormonism. I've watched institutions mock my faith and I've read the histories of a whole country marching into my people's hard-earned land, paid for with blood and sweat, and level their plural marriage customs. All I can say is that I feel humbled by all of these facts, I don't feel at all equal to you, or that my struggles are anything like yours because they certainly aren't. I only feel a sense of pause, and a desire to listen, and to seek healing before seeking to be right.

Sitting in priesthood meetings and being told to "defend marriage," and that it was as though I had been "assigned a priesthood duty" to be a political activist made me squirm. It was all I could do to hold on, to keep coming back to church, to keep my faith in my religion. I had been a missionary, and at great personal sacrifice, gave it everything I had to help others find a better life, and was ardent about defending my faith. But now, I felt shame at some of the behavior around me, and I certainly did not feel acceptance. I fought with feelings of immorality; immorality in the sense that I had such overwhelming evidences my whole life that God was in my faith, that he was in my family, and that I had a duty and a love for him to defend what he had revealed to me, and to abandon all of this, or to not stand up in my place as a priesthood holder, or to quickly insist on a different position without deliberation and careful study would, for me, feel immoral. I wrestled over this vote, I considered as many sides as I could, I got out of my comfort zone and approached those whom I knew were from backgrounds very opposite to my own. I made a decision and checked it against some challenging responses. I reconsidered my decision several times. I prayed. I tried so hard to try to understand how others would feel over this vote. I felt sick to my stomach here and there when conversations were rough and ideas that challenged the very fabric of my testimony were presented to me. I voted. I've prayed since, I've tried to listen, I've tried to understand, I've wept, I've talked, I've hugged, I've waited. I watch. I feel sorrow, not because I doubt myself or my decision or my experiences, but because I feel as though we have all been put through one of those excruciating trials of life and these are never fun. I know these issues will continue, and I refuse to categorically dismiss them because of one election. We can be siblings in this diverse human family, I hope I can be a loyal and loving brother.


Dear friend,

I cannot understand what it is like to be gay. I do not understand what it is like for the world to tell me that the love I have for my signifigant other is wrong or sinful. I do not understand what it is like to have the government not allow me to enjoy the same benefits that heterosexual couples do because my companionship doesn't fit the social norm. I don't know if homosexuality is right, wrong, sinful, or part of God's plan. But there are things I do understand.

I understand the principles of freedom and as the LDS Church teaches - free agency. I understand that God's plan is to not make us choose righteousness but to allow us the opportunity to choose good or evil. And to do so requires that we individually determine what is good and what is evil. I understand the importance of the separation between Church and State. And I know that if it did not exist in this country I would not be able to practice my religion; as peculiar as it is to so many.

I understand the only way for me to truly protect the sanctity of marriage is to work on my own, not to prevent others from enjoying this union. I understand that instead of donating time and money to a political proposition, focusing more attention on my significant other protects the sanctity of marriage. I understand that allowing hate and bigotry into my heart does not protect the sanctity of marriage but will destroy it.

If there is one good thing that has come out of Proposition 8 it is the conviction it has brought to the hearts of heterosexuals like myself that are willing to do all in their power to fight for the civil rights of the gay population. My apology is a promise that I will be your advocate and I will fight for you. Whenever a Proposition for or against gay marriage is brought to my State I will be on your side; and I believe yours is the right side.

- D

I am not a great writer, so I'll keep this short and simple.

While I do not live in California, I witnessed what was happening with Prop 8 firsthand. The church I belong to has a belief that marriage should be between one man and one woman. It is fine with me that that is their belief. However, I was appalled when they began to use that belief as a weapon against others. I do not believe that I have the right to impose my beliefs on others. I do not believe anyone has that right. I believe that everyone has the right to believe whatever they wish, but when their beliefs take away anyone's basic rights that is wrong and immoral.

I wish my church hadn't gotten involved in Prop 8. Normally the LDS Church stays out of political affairs. It is not their right to impose laws on others based on their religious beliefs.

I wish my leaders hadn't asked members of their church to donate time and money to Prop 8. How much good could all of the time and money spent towards prop 8 could have done elsewhere? Like feeding the poor, consoling the sick, and countless other causes.

I wish my church could recognize its error and apologize for the oppression, fear, and hate they have sparked among members of my church.

I wish they could have seen you as people and not objects to fear and oppress.

I wish you could someday forgive me. I wish my voice could have had as much power as the leaders of my church's voices.

I wish you could someday forgive my church.

I wish I could someday forgive my church.

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry that I cannot take away what my church has done to you.

I pray that you will be able to marry the one you love as soon as possible.

I love my husband. I am so happy we have the right to be married. I want you to have that same right because it is yours to have. I want you to have all the happiness in the world.

Love, Heather

I am sorry

I am sorry that the LDS church decided to jump into a political issue. I am sorry that this is even a political issue. human rights, the rights of individuals to love the person of their choice seems like a no brainer to me. I am sorry that this has cast such a negative light on the LDS church and its members. I am sorry that lies, hate, fear, and anger have become common on both sides of the ¨fight¨.

I do not apologize for either sides stance on homosexuality, because as a religion, as people, we can believe whatever we want. but as a society that touts ¨all men are created equal¨, i wish we were supporting that statement.


Monday, November 10, 2008

This has been heartbreaking for all of us.

My husband and I agonized over Prop 8 and the request from the church to support it. It never felt right to me and it has broken my heart to see the pain it has caused so many in and out of the church.

To all of my gay, lesbian and straight friends and colleagues: I am so sorry you've been hurt by this. I know that "Yes on 8" sounds like "We Hate Gays" to you, and I understand why. It didn't mean that, at least not to any Mormons or 8 supporters I know, but I know it sounded that way. In your shoes I would feel the same way.

Please know that just as gays are not all the same, Mormons are not all the same either. My feeling about Prop 8 has been and ever will be a deep and abiding sadness.


Dear Self

I've known you for a very long time. You are smart, funny, an extremely faithful member of the church and gay.

I know that it was painful for you to go to church every week and hear the derrogatory comments made by not-so-few people in your ward. The majority didn't know that their hurtful comments about gays were affecting you personally. I know that it was even more painful for you to hear those comments from people who you have come out to, and who you assumed would be more tactful about their support for prop 8.

I know that you quit going to church a few weeks ago because you couldn't stand to hear the defamation of your gay peers during discourses given over the pulpit or in sunday school classrooms. I know that it's going to be difficult to really convince yourself to go back. But I urge you to do so. Remember that the gospel is about your relationship with Jesus Christ, and not about your relationship with a group of people.

Self, the core doctrines of the gospel are true. The core culture of the church is not doctrine. Just as segregation used to be preached over the pulpit and is now a faded memory of the past, I sincerely hope that this issue follows suit. Be strong and know that you are loved.

Your friend,

Many Mormons weep with you tonight because another law that discriminates is in another Constitution

In light of the comments I have seen posted on the message boards in the past couple of hours and the offensive and hurtful commercial directed at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members, I would just like to make a few comments, and hopefully extend an olive branch of Christ like love and tolerance.
I know that you are all frustrated, and angry, and I can understand why the church is any easy target. As a member of the Church in good standing, I am sorry that all of the negativity and mean spiritedness had to take place. I have a roommate from California/and several gay friends, and have seen first hand the emotion of this issue. I will not apologize for the Church's statement on marriage (which is their legal right, and a position I and most Latter-day Saints who opposed Prop 8 would agree with *that marriage is between a man and a woman, not that secular state marriage should be regulated*). I am sorry that throughout this whole campaign you saw some of the ugliest members of our church. Understand that most of them have live in Utah for most of their lives, have strong LDS families, and do not truly understand what would happen if the measure failed.
Please understand that most members of the LDS Church (Regardless of their support for same-sex marriage) are good people. They really are. Please know that a vast majority of them do love you and wish you nothing but happiness (I know it sounds odd) for you and your family. They respect your opinions and beliefs, and ask the same from you.
Please know that the men who lead this Church are great, kind, and honorable men. I know you might now cringe when you hear the name Thomas S. Monson, but please know he is a good, caring loving man. He is a prophet of God, and that he loves each and every single one of you, even if you right now hate him with all your guts. I know that some of you have extremely low opinions of the LDS Church right now, and that they may never change.
I ask you that your hearts will soften. I pray that you will try (as hard as that might sound) to put this campaign behind us, and look at the great thing all churches do.
If you see missionaries on the street or on you front door, be kind to them, for they love you, and want to serve you (No matter you or what you are). If you have anger, express it at the guy who judges everyone from his mother basement in Orem Utah behind a computer, not at fine young men and women, who have sacrificed so much for a cause they see just.
With all that said, many Mormons, Catholics, Baptists and others of faith weep with you tonight, not because they are Christians, but because they are Americans. They weep another law that discriminates is in another Constitution, a Constitution which is designed to protect the freedoms, rights, and liberties of its citizens.
I pray for all of the LGBT couple in California tonight, as well as those who are happy about the results that they will be able to find a median between faith and government.
However, this issue will come up again, and I ask that you take comfort in Mayor Newsem's promise "its [gay marriage] is going to happen whether you like it or not." It will, it will just be a bit longer.
But till the time comes when we are divided again, let us unite in common goals and ideas. Let us work together in eliminating evils that we can all agree on; abuse, poverty, and so many more. As I have said before, please know you are loved by your enemies, and I hope that you will please follow the ideas of love, tolerance, and understanding that you have promoted throughout this campaign to those who destroyed it.
With Love and Hope for my Church and for Our Republic,
Scott McNeil

Dear G&L Community,

I've been deeply saddened by the involvement of my church in the backing of Proposition 8. I've been a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints my whole life and this is the first time I have experienced such a cross over between religion and politics. I was taught and believed that politics were up to the voter. However, in this case, the church’s leaders have encouraged their members to vote against your civil rights, and has in turn, created much sadness, anger, and resentment among many of you reaching far beyond the borders of California.

I personally see no logic in the propaganda that states that my marriage is being protected by denying you yours. I see no Christian values in humiliating a group of people by taking away the right to choose whom they will marry. I see no compassion in denying loving partners the right to commit to one another for a lifetime.

I'd like to say sorry to the G&L community for the pain and sorrow you have experienced because of this. I'm sorry that the details of your personal lives are dictated by beliefs and/or misconceptions of those around you. I would like to apologize for Christians the world over who teach "love thy neighbor" but boldly add "and tell them how you think they should live."

I'm sorry, again.
Jen Holmes

Another apology

Another apology here. I can't express how embarrassed I am that my church was so instrumental in pushing for this proposition. Not only is it incredibly hypocritical (we would not have been fighting for the traditional view of marriage 100 years ago) but it fails the Love Our Neighbor test.

I believe in free speech, and our church is free to preach whatever it wants. But when it crosses the line into legislating our version of morality for the whole state, then we have gone way too far.

Good luck in the future, and take to heart the fact that things change, even in the Mormon church. It may take a long time, but you will be accepted eventually.



To the G&L community, my deepest apology and unconditional love.

I'm active LDS. Attending church the past 12 weeks has been so difficult.
Talks, testimonies, flyers, all build on the Yes on prop 8. As the brother
of two gay men, the father of a gay son, I was offended. I will probably
never feel quite the same about the church. To the G&L community,
my deepest apology and unconditional love. I would gladly pay for my
son's wedding, if he chose to marry his life partner. Marriage is about
love and trust, the gender of the parties involved doesn't matter.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Please forgive us and help us repent of this evil.

As a straight, active, recommend holding, RM, married in the temple, yada yada yada Mormon, i want to express my heart felt sorrow for what the church has done.

In the Book of Romans, it says, "Be not ashamed of the gospel of Christ..."

I am not ashamed of it, I'm just ashamed of how my church portrays it.

Please forgive us and help us repent of this evil.

Captain Moroni - Webmaster,

Why would we spend so much energy defining what marriage is, when we have war and hate to fight.

My husband and I want to say we are sorry for many different reasons. During this whole Prop 8 debate, we've kept mostly quiet. We didn't agree with Prop 8, but we felt stuck in between a rock and a hard place. We wish we'd had the courage to be more vocal in our opposition of Prop 8, but since we weren't, we can at least be vocal with our apologies to all those affected by it.

While we still love our Church and our faith, we recognize that it was a personal decision to live this lifestyle. How dare we judge others for the lifestyle they chose to live, just because it is one we, ourselves did not pick. We are all equal! We are all just trying to live and love and laugh our way through this life. How dare we say that we are more superior to anyone else and the way they live.

We were married about 15 months ago. We met and fell in love as any couple, gay or straight, would. We keep trying to imagine how we would feel if some one told us that our marriage was not a "real" one, or less than anyone else's marriage. When we think about this, our hearts break. Why would we spend so much energy defining what marriage is, when we have war and hate to fight.

Please, from the bottom of our hearts, know that we are so, so sorry. The people of our church are not perfect. We are all humans and we make mistakes. We hope that we can correct this mistake someday soon.

Your Equals,
Aimee and Tyson Waters

To whom it may concern:

I am deeply saddened by the Church's decision to fight to strip rights away from our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters in California and elsewhere. I recognize that this type of discrimination now supported by the church is reminiscent of the discrimination that we saints once experienced because of our unique religious beliefs and practices. I also recognize how quickly the tide can turn, making us once again the persecuted, as opposed to the persecutors.

I beg for the forgiveness of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters and others who are rightly outraged by the church's involvement in this measure. I hope that you can realize that while we may be the minority, there were those of us within the church who openly opposed this measure and foresaw the backlash that is now justly directed towards the church and its members who supported this.

I hope that we can one day find a way to heal these wounds. I pledge my support to ensure that the healing happens.

With Sincerest Apologies,
Joel H., North Carolina

As a Mormon, I believe in equality for EVERYONE.

As a converted Mormon, I am deeply ashamed...ASHAMED! of my fellow brothers and sisters that fought to pass this measure in California (Prop 8). One of the express reasons I converted to being LDS back in 1993 was because of the message that God, and his son Jesus, loved us all...that we were ALL children of God, that there was no hell, and that He loves us UNCONDITIONALLY.
If I had known then, that the church would use MY religion and lure fellow brothers and sisters into misleading the American voters who are non-LDS in California, I would not have converted!!!
One of the MAIN reasons that I chose LDS as my religion was that I could not believe in a God that couldn't believe in me, nor one that would discriminate against other human beings!
I, personally, would like to take this time to let any gay, lesbian, transgendered HUMAN BEING to know that as a Mormon, I believe in equality for EVERYONE.


-Theresa Petersdorf

There was at least one Mormon in the woods of Southeast Texas who was also hurt

Everyone knows what the Church of Jesus Christ did this year to take away legal rights of Gay and Lesbian Americans. Everyone knows how much Mormons have complained about discrimination through their history.

I cannot imagine how much pain this process and decision must have brought so many of my fellow gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. However, I want everyone to know is that there was at least one Mormon in the woods of Southeast Texas who was also hurt by the outcome of Prop 8.

I am sorry that my church felt the need to fight against your rights. I am sorry that I felt powerless to do anything but tell others around me about how I felt. I am sorry that I feel powerless to make any difference for good.

On a night where for the first time in my adult life, I could truly say that I was proud to be an American, I had to come to grips with how far we still have to go to have liberty and justice for all.

Hal LaPray
Vidor, Texas

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.

I sat in the LDS Temple in Los Angeles tonight and tried to clear my head of mundane or "worldly" thoughts, as I usually do when attending the temple. The temple is a haven, where I go to remind myself of the great spiritual truths I believe. Tonight, however, it was a little harder to separate the worldly from the spiritual. Just two days earlier, my haven had been a battleground.

Two nights ago, I read reports and saw pictures of the protest in front of the temple. I, like most of the LDS community, felt sick. Yet I couldn't feel any anger for those protesting. All I felt was a horrifying sadness that the actions of my church and many of its members had hurt a group of people so deeply. I left the library where I was studying, walked around the block a few times, and cried. I cried because the temple, my symbol of hope and love, had become a symbol of oppression for thousands of people.

Pondering this in the temple tonight, the words of St. Francis of Assisi came to my mind as they often have the past couple of weeks. I hope and pray that I can remember and apply them, to show a greater love for all my brothers and sisters, and to help heal wounded hearts.

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;

For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.


Saturday, November 8, 2008

A letter to the gay community

My brothers and sisters,

I am sorry for what my people did to you on Tuesday.

I am sorry that thousands of my people felt an imperative to strip you of your constitutional rights--and dignity. I am sorry that the tens of thousands of you who have married in California over the past few months now face uncertainty and anxiety as to the legal status of your union.

I am sorry that so many of my people directed vicious lies and accusations at you. I'm sorry that they could not look outside themselves and realize that your desire to marry stems from a commitment to--rather than a desire to "destroy"--love, fidelity, and family.

I am sorry that my people have apparently forgotten how much it hurts to have your constitutional rights denied because moral and religious majorities disagree with your lifestyle.

I am sorry that so many of my people chose to demonize and characiture you, rather than get to know you and try to understand you. I am sorry that they did this in the name of He who was sent to "heal the brokenhearted."

I mourn with you today. But I will fight with you too.

Your brother,

Active Mormon

seeking forgiveness

"thanks. i am one of those guys who hopes to get married soon."

i had never voted with a punch card before. each time i had voted in utah it was with an electronic voting machine, which was rather simple: press your finger on the name of the guy you are voting for, watch it change color, and then press confirm to move onto the next one. these punch cards scared me. it's not that they are difficult to use, any child could do it. it's that this year i felt my vote was more important than ever.

i wasn't too worried about my vote for obama, whose electoral votes were pretty much locked in california. i was much more worried about proposition 8 where a simple majority (50% +1) could strip away the rights of california couples because of their sexual orientation.

is the ballot fully inserted? check. are the two red knobs poking through the holes? check. obama/biden. punch. did it punch through? check. not too difficult... prop 8. the space next to 'no'. check. ok. that's the right spot, right? ok. double check. ok. punch. did it punch through? check. double check. am i sure i punch the right one? check. double check. triple check. alright...

i turned in my ballot, watched it get counted, and left the building with a sticker on my chest telling the world that i had just participated in our democratic process.

outside the polling station in the parking lot stood a couple of volunteers with their last attempts to urge voters to vote down proposition 8. in blue with red and white lettering their signs read:


i walked up to one of the volunteers and thanked her for her work. her name was jeanette. with her cheerful smile she thanked me and wished me a good day.

as i pulled out of the parking lot i noticed a woman across the street standing in her yard which was thoroughly decorated with signs supporting proposition 8. she sat in a lawn chair near the road holding a yellow sign with baby blue lettering:


she was also smiling. though i obviously disagreed with her, i admired her braving the cool weather and possible scorn for going out of her way to support what she thought was best.

'you need to go back and help jeanette'

in mormon lingo, we call it the still small voice. i tried to ignore it at first as it was almost noon and i had a lot of studying to do before my 4pm class. the more i tried to ignore it though, the stronger it became until i knew i needed to go back. i made myself a quick lunch, read as much as i could in an hour, and drove back to the polling station a few miles away.

the woman in her yard, who looked awfully like a mormon mother, was still outside. just inside the parking lot stood jeanette and another guy smiling and waving with their signs as cars pulled in.

"hey. do you have an extra sign i can hold for a while?"

she handed me a sign and asked how long i could help. for a couple hours, i told her, i have a class at 4 and have some studying left to do before then. she thanked me and told me a short list of rules about how far i away i need to be from the door of the polling station, about not being confrontive, etc, and said she was glad i want to help as she and the other guy would have to leave shortly for a break and would return with new volunteers.

i picked a spot near the entrance of the parking lot, turned on my ipod, and began smiling with my sign to all the cars coming in.

i am completely serious when i say that this was a deeply spiritual experience for me.

within 15 minutes, the other volunteers left for their break and i was left alone in the parking lot with my sign. the clouds began to block out the sun and cool breeze began to blow, just enough to make me slightly uncomfortable in my shorts and thin running jacket.

judging by the responses of those in the cars, i began to feel confident that the amendment would not pass. i received far more gestures of appreciation (smiles, thumbs up, and waves) than i received gestures of disapproval (disgusted frowns, thumbs dowm, and the occasional middle finger). though i had to remind myself that perhaps most who made no gesture at all were also going to vote yes on the measure.

two hours went by and i was still alone. instead of volunteers returning to take my place, the woman across the street returned with her yellow and baby blue sign, this time accompanied with her 8 or so year old son. he seemed excited to help and shouted out 'vote yes on prop 8!' as loud as his little voice could. it was getting much colder now and i wasn't sure how much longer i could stay out.

and yet i couldn't leave. i didn't want to leave.

the humid cold began to numb my fingers, requiring me to alternate which hand would receive some warmth in a pocket as the other held the sign, and a lingering cough from a cold i have had began to slightly increase and worsen. my legs were cold and my weak back was starting to ache from standing in place for so long.

a woman came up and thanked me for doing this. marilise. she grew up in claremont and said it took some courage to do this out here as claremont is fairly conservative. i told her i was more worried about people from my church seeing me and making judgments.

another woman in a white van pulled up, rolled down her window, and began yelling at me. she accused me of breaking the law with what i was doing. i smiled and said that i was well far enough away from the doors and that i was fine. she said she was going to call the police. i told her to do that and wished her a good day. she told me to go to hell and drove off.

an elderly couple drove by and smiled, both of them giving me a big thumb up.

a man about my age drove by with his middle finger waving proudly.

a married couple, middle aged, rolled their windows down to point their thumbs to the ground. they frowned at me with disgust. i wonder what it was that i was doing to them. am i hurting you? am i taking away any of your rights? what is it that i am doing to you?

a man holding his young son's hand approached me. he had his 'i voted' sticker on his chest. thank you, he said, thank you for standing out here and doing this. he asked if i was a student out here. we chatted for a few minutes, then he went away.

an elderly man drove by yelling something i couldn't quite understand. i'm pretty sure he didn't like what i was doing. again i wondered what it was that i was doing to him.

another hour passed and no volunteers had arrived. the woman across the street was now alone. she was looking at me. i wondered what she thought of me. was i her enemy? did she also think that i was somehow trying to hurt her?

it was getting really cold and my class had just started. my back ached and i needed to crouch in between cars to stretch my muscles. my fingers felt even more numb. i couldn't leave though. this felt too good. too right.

i don't know exactly why i felt i needed to be out there. i'm pretty sure most voters were already set with how they were going to vote. perhaps, i thought, there might just be someone or a few persons who might see me, alone with my sign in the cold, and that seeing me might just influence them to change their mind, or might finally convince the undecided. perhaps after seeing me, they would feel inspired to call and encourage friends to vote, or something. or maybe it was just for me. whatever it was, that small voice warmed what should have been frozen and encouraged me to stay. i decided to stick around for another hour until it began to get dark.

more people drove by and smiled or waved. a few others frowned or pointed their thumbs down.

a man in an suv stopped on the road, rolled down his window and yelled to catch my attention. when i looked his way he stuck out his hand with his finger held high.

others drove by and smiled and waved. others frowned. some thumbs up. another down. another middle finger.

a middle aged man in the parking lot stepped out of his car and approached me.

"thanks. i am one of those guys who hopes to get married soon."

tears welled up in my eyes. i wanted to hug him and beg for his forgiveness. i wanted to tell him how sorry i was for all who used fear and ignorance to hurt him. i wanted his forgiveness for the actions of my church. i wanted him to know that i knew that what they and so many others were doing was wrong, and hoped that he would forgive them for they know not what they do.

instead i smiled and wished him luck.

as the sun finished setting over the horizon, i wondered if and how we could be forgiven for what we have done.

driving out of the parking lot, the woman across the street was still there. i smiled and gave her a friendly wave. she smiled and waved back.

active, believing Latter-day Saint.
Claremont, CA

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