Post updated August 10th to include link to subsequent Deseret News story. Another update detailing the LDS Church's response posted August 11th. Updates posted in green.
For a long time, the gay LDS support group Affirmation claimed that all they wanted the LDS Church to do was to say that they weren't bad people simply because they are gay. And the LDS Church did just that; they issued this statement that clearly revealed that homosexual orientation by itself was no problem, only the practice was a sin. In addition, they sent out this pamphlet to every stake and ward leader.
However, that appears to be no longer sufficient for Affirmation. They now want LDS General Authorities to make a clear, unambiguous statement at the church's next semi-annual General Conference that homosexuality is not a sin or a disease and that mothers don't cause it. They also want the church to teach Mormon families to love and respect their gay sons and daughters, help gays and lesbians feel safe at church and to reconcile their sexual orientation and their spirituality. Full story published by the Salt Lake Tribune; later story posted by the Deseret News.
The second objective has long since been met. LDS leaders have made it quite clear that members are not to look down upon gays or mistreat them. However, it is not the church's responsibility to make them feel "safe" at church; gays need to take responsibility for their own self-esteem.
And above all, there is NO WAY IN HELL that the LDS Church will make the suggested ridiculous statement at General Conference, because homosexual practice is a sin, period, and the General Authorities will not assume the right to override scripture on their own. I for one am getting sick and tired of gays asking us to say it's O.K. to be gay; they should be satisfied with tolerance and quit pestering us.
Affirmation had originally planned to make their case to Church leaders at a scheduled meeting with them on Monday August 4th when they were scheduled to meet with two LDS officials from the church's social services, but the church postponed the meeting indefinitely because LDS Family Services Commissioner Fred Riley left his position and has not been replaced. Instead, the LDS gay support group will present its proposals to the public at a press conference scheduled for Monday August 11th.
On August 11th, KSL Channel 5 reports that in response, the LDS Church issued a statement. Church spokesman Scott Trotter issued a statement saying: "It has always been the intent of the Church to engage in an open and honest discussion with Affirmation leaders to listen to their concerns. When the Church was originally approached by Affirmation, Church officials offered a much earlier meeting date. The meeting was put on hold until August at Affirmation's request. The Church asked for the same courtesy as it hires a new director of Family Services, a position crucial to this conversation. The issues surrounding same gender attraction deserve careful attention, not public posturing. It appears from Affirmation's actions today that it has opted for a public rather than a private exchange."
Why is Affirmation so hot for this issue? According to Affirmation's Assistant Executive Director Dave Melson, too many LDS gays are shunned by their families and end up homeless, or commit suicide. Melson made his remarks during a session on gay spirituality at the annual Sunstone Symposium, an independent forum for Mormon thought. Nevertheless, Melson is not a Mormon-basher. "President Monson is a very, very good man," he said. "We believe we can work together. We want to move forward without recrimination. I believe that is what the Savior would do."
Four other LDS gays spoke at Sunstone, including Olin Thomas, Affirmation's executive director, Micah Bisson, the group's youth director, George Cole, its young adults chairman, and David Nielson, president of Reconciliation, a "gay-positive, LDS-positive" group with ties to Affirmation.
Commentary: Once again, a gay rights group is upping the ante. It doesn't matter what you do for them; they'll always come back with more demands. And note that it is always a one-way street; it's never what gays can do for society, but always what society can do for gays. They've got to be one of the most narcissistic, self-absorbed group of people who ever walked the earth.
Do they really think that if the General Authorities proclaimed that homosexuality was O.K. that no gay Mormon would ever get abused again? Hell no. Many parents are understandably shocked when their son or daughter comes out to them. To expect them to hug their kid and throw a parade for them is ridiculous. The fact is, the more the gay rights lobby nags us, the greater the possibility for backlash. Or did they not read about D.J. Bell?