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Gay rights activists see Mormons softening attitudes toward their community
Gay rights activists hold hands in protest in front of the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah, in July 2009.
April 17th, 2012
12:25 PM ET

Gay rights activists see Mormons softening attitudes toward their community

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) Kevin Kloosterman, a former Mormon bishop, said he “came out” last year just not in the way that many people associate with coming out.

“I came out and basically made a personal apology to (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) folks for really not understanding their issues, not really taking the time to understand their lives and really not doing my homework,” Kloosterman said in an interview with CNN.

Though not speaking on behalf of the church, the then-bishop stood in front of a crowd of gay and straight Mormons at a November conference on gay and lesbian issues in Salt Lake City, Utah, where the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is headquartered.

Donning a suit and tie, Kloosterman was visibly shaken, struggling to find the right words as tears welled up in his eyes.

“I’m sorry deeply, deeply sorry,” Kloosterman told the group in a speech that was captured on video. “The only thing I can say to those of you who have been so patient, and have gone through so much, is for you to watch and look for any small changes with your loved ones, with your wards (Mormon congregations), with your leaders. And encourage them in this repentance process.”

Kloosterman’s apology was just one example of what many Mormons and church watchers see as a recent shift in the Mormon community’s posture toward gays and lesbians, including by the official church itself.

Though the church’s doctrine condemning homosexuality has not changed, and the church remains opposed to same-sex marriage, many say the church is subtly but unmistakably growing friendlier toward the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, including voicing support for some gay rights.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Students at the church-owned Brigham Young University recently posted an “It Gets Better” video about the gay and lesbian community there, while a gay Mormon in San Francisco was selected last year for a church leadership position.

A new conference series on gay and lesbian Mormons the same one Kloosterman addressed last year is seeing an uptick in popularity.

Church spokesman Michael Purdy would not comment on whether church members are changing their stance toward gay and lesbian issues but said in an e-mail message: “In the Church, we strive to follow Jesus Christ who showed immense love and compassion towards all of God’s children.”

Purdy wrote, “If members are becoming more loving and Christ-like toward others then this can only be a positive development.”

‘It is definitely getting better’

The Brigham Young students who taped the pro-gay video this month were contributing to a popular video series meant to inspire hope in young people who are struggling to come to terms with their sexuality identity.

The video featured students telling stories of being gay at Brigham Young, sharing tales of heartache, loss and even suicide.

“It kind of is a very different world to be gay and Mormon because it feels like neither community accepts you completely,” said Bridey Jensen, a fifth-year senior and acting president of Understanding Same Gender Attraction, the group that posted the video.

Explain it to me: What’s Mormonism?

“We put out the message for youth that are going through this, and we want them to know that we were them a few years ago, and it gets better and there is a place for you,” she said.

Though chastity is a requirement at Brigham Young, gay and lesbian students say they are under more scrutiny. The school’s honor code says that “homosexual behavior is inappropriate and violates” the code.

But Jensen said reaction to the video, which has been viewed almost 400,000 times on YouTube, has been “overwhelmingly positive.”

Carri Jenkins, an assistant to Brigham Young's president, told CNN that the production of the video is not a violation of the honor code and that the students will not be punished.

The honor code, Jenkins said, is “based on conduct, not on feeling and if same-gender attraction is only stated, that is not an honor code issue.”

Jensen said that while gay and lesbian Mormons face a tough road, she sees a shift toward greater acceptance. It is definitely getting better within the church, she said. “They are not so quick to judge. They understand that they don’t understand everything. I am glad I can be a little part of it.”

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Some scholars of Mormonism, such as Columbia University’s Richard Bushman, said they see the very existence of such a gay rights group at Brigham Young as a step toward greater acceptance of gays and lesbians.

“The last 10 years have been a huge sea change in terms of willingness to accept homosexuals,” Bushman said. “Gay kids are still going to have a tough time in the church, but this level of acceptance and acknowledgment that is really that last decade I would say.”

Most gay Mormons point to 2008’s push for Proposition 8 in California, which banned same-sex marriage in the state but has faced legal challenge in the courts, as a low point in the relationship between the church and gay and lesbian community.

Mormons make up 2% of California’s population, but they contributed half of the $40 million war chest used to defend Proposition 8, according to a Time magazine report.

The church’s Proposition 8 activism angered many gay rights groups around the country, with some labeling the church “bigoted,” “homophobic” and “anti-gay.”

But church officials pushed back against the perception that the Proposition 8 backlash has provoked a Mormon softening on gay and lesbian issues.

“Many positive relationships have come from the Church’s experience in supporting traditional marriage in California,” Purdy, the church spokesman, said in an e-mail exchange with CNN.

Purdy draws a distinction between being against same-sex marriage and against equality for gays and lesbians.

He reiterated that the church was “strongly on the record as supporting traditional marriage,” but he said its stance should never be used as justification for violence or unkindness.

“The Church’s doctrine has not changed but we certainly believe you can be Christ-like, loving and civil, while advocating a strongly held moral position such as supporting traditional marriage,” Purdy wrote in an e-mail message.

“We do not believe that strong support of traditional marriage is anti-gay,” he wrote. “We love and cherish our brothers and sisters who experience same gender attraction. They are children of God.”

Church doctrine says that sex outside marriage is a sin and can lead to excommunication. Since gay people cannot be married in the church, any sex for them would be premarital and, therefore, sinful.

“The distinction between feelings or inclinations on the one hand, and behavior on the other hand, is very clear,” the church’s website says. “It’s no sin to have inclinations that if yielded to would produce behavior that would be a transgression. The sin is in yielding to temptation. Temptation is not unique. Even the Savior was tempted.”

Openly gay and a church leader

Mitch Mayne seems to relish his role as a lightning rod.

Mayne, an openly gay Mormon who blogs about homosexuality and the church, received the calling a term Mormons use for being invited into a church position in August.

Mayne is now executive secretary in a San Francisco ward of the church.

“I view myself as gay and being completely whole as being gay,” Mayne said.

Many observers of Mormonism say Mayne’s calling marked a unique moment in church history. Purdy said that Mayne’s appointment is “not unique,” but it’s hard to find precedent for an outspokenly gay executive secretary.

Mayne said he sees his job as building bridges with the gay community in San Francisco and showing them “there are pockets in the Mormon Church where you can be yourself.”

The biggest obstacle toward building those bridges is the threat of excommunication, said Mayne, who told CNN that in some wards just being gay can lead to expulsion from the church.

According to church doctrine, a formal disciplinary council can be called at the request of church leader.

While the leaders of the church mandate councils called for murder, incest or apostasy, it has a long list of reasons to call a disciplinary council.

According to the church’s website, the list of reasons includes “abortion, transsexual operation, attempted murder, rape, forcible sexual abuse, intentionally inflicting serious physical injuries on others, adultery, fornication, homosexual relations. …”

Some wards are observing that guidance while others aren’t, Mayne said.

“Here in the Bay Area ... we are no longer seeking out LGBT members of the church and excommunicating them,” Mayne said. “Our role is to bring people closer to the Savior, so if we are routinely excommunicating people, then we are really not doing our job.”

Mayne said he believes the challenge is to convince church leaders that they don’t ever have to excommunicate gay members.

And he said the Proposition 8 campaign was the “least Christ-like thing we have ever done as a church.”

“Not only did we alienate gays and lesbians, but we alienated their parents, their friends, those who support them the ripple effect went way beyond the gay community, and I don’t think we were prepared for such a negative fallout,” Mayne said. “I think the church deserved the black eye they received.”

He added, “As a result of that really horrible time, I think we are entering a really good time to be a gay Mormon. It is getting better.”

‘Mormonism doesn’t simply wash off’

When the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints speaks, the City Council of Salt Lake City listens. At least the council seemed to in 2009 when it voted on an ordinance to make it illegal to discriminate against gay and transgendered residents in housing and employment.

"The church supports these ordinances because they are fair and reasonable and do not do violence to the institution of marriage,” church spokesman Michael Otterson told the council.

Shortly after the church’s expression, the City Council approved the measure unanimously.

Many gay rights activists said they saw the move as an olive branch after the Proposition 8 debate.

“The tone and the culture is evolving, and the way the LGBT people are being treated is changing. I don’t think the church’s policy has caught up to that change in culture,” said Ross Murray, director of religion, faith and values at the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. “The Mormon church hasn’t gotten nearly as politically involved as they had since 2009.”

Though Murray sees the church lobbying for anti-discrimination laws as a positive step, he said the church’s shift is more about style than substance.

“It is going to take a lot of intentional effort to actually prove they are different,” Murray said. “That burden, because of the really public nature of their support of Prop 8, falls harder on the Mormon church than others.”

Joanna Brooks, a popular Mormon blogger and president of Mormon Stories, a nonprofit group that facilitates conversations on Mormon issues, echoes Murray’s sentiments.

She said she sees the church’s stance as challenging gay Mormons to choose between the religion they most likely grew up with and their desire for romantic companionship.

“Mormonism doesn’t simply wash off,” she said, adding that the church can’t make it that “either you are gay or you are Mormon, or either you support gay rights or you support the church.”

- Dan Merica

Filed under: California • Gay marriage • Gay rights • Homosexuality • Mormonism • Utah

soundoff (1,904 Responses)
  1. Trancend

    Accept Jesus christ as your lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Trancend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ will result in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Currently.... your constructing your own path that suits your sin lifestyle.

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find a truth you can take with you in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life. You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf, the greatest minds knowledge fate or are eventually plagerzed, your good deeds are forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated, your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over .
    Trancend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Relise your a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent....

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth.

    Sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment. You don't get what you want you get what you are in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Down is up. Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.

    Your all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.

    April 18, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • EndTheHate

      I know that I am allowed no contact
      with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanness – Lev.15:
      19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women
      take offense.

      Any advise?

      April 18, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Relise your a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix"

      Yeah you are part of the problem and a menace to society.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • just sayin

      Advise to the hate obsessed post . Be married for life as one man and one woman. Anything outside of a God sanctioned union is sin. God bless

      April 18, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Be married for life as one man and one woman. Anything outside of a God sanctioned union is sin."

      If gays get married before your god who's partnership is filled with love and respect, they do not sin according to your bible. Nowhere in the bible does it condemn the saved loving respectful partnership of a gay couple as we know and understand it today. Your bible does condemn you for passing judgment on them.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • sam stone

      just sayin': anyone who purports to speak for god needs to be heavily medicated.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      Trancend,,,,,, ,,,,,, ,.

      "Socialistic ingrates" will ever abound upon any word of Truthfulness accordanced as revelations! The bigotted and the harlotted will eve be enmassed! A goodly counselor will ever be mocked by their counseled lots! Keep on writing and do never sway too nephariously from one's roadway! Stay then, ever focued upon Christ Jesus and God the Father of all Creation and living creationisms upon the celestialness's planets that are so capable! Let Go! Let God Alone for Christ's sakes!

      April 18, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • GodPot

      @justsayin – "Anything outside of a God sanctioned union is sin."

      I've read the bible several times cover to cover and I still cannot find the scripture where God tells man to put the pe.nis in the va.gina. Also, God sanctioned Lot's daughter to get their father drunk and to sleep with him, so that must not be a sin. And Abraham got his wifes maid Hagar pregnant so I guess thats not a sin, and David was at least forgiven for killing the husband of Bathsheba so he could do some impregnating himself and only his first born child was punished and he still got the privilege of having God's son born in his lineage so that must not have been so bad...

      April 18, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • lynne

      Trancend,

      I have read the Bible. I believe in God. That doesn't mean I don't recognize that it is a book written by men every bit as human as we are, not to mention that the book they wrote was then translated no fewer than a couple dozen times, and then again even since if you don't read King James version. There are several different translations still in print today just in the English language alone. It is a book. Neither God or Jesus wrote it. Sorry if I don't believe every word of it as a legitimate basis for living my life in the year 2012.
      However, I do like the part about how you should treat all people with respect because we are all God's children. I think that part was pretty clear.
      Also – if you have children, and they dishonor or disobey you, do you stone them to death? If so, I trust you are typing this from prison. STOP MAKING PEOPLE THINK ALL CHRISTIANS HAVE NO BRAIN AND ARE HYPOCRITES.

      oh, and also, you spelled your name wrong.

      April 18, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  2. Pipe-Dreamer

    1Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.

    Cherish this one Truth above all truths!

    April 18, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      You are truly beyond any psychological help.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • EndTheHate

      Leviticus 25:44 states that I
      may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from
      neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but
      not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

      April 18, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  3. dsbsky

    When your religeon is based, on a guy who read stones, with stones, in some hat, hidden from the view of everyone else, then lied, when he was asked to recreate them.. What do you expect. Of course they are.. They believe anything..

    April 18, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Lewis Keseberg

      Weird beliefs aren't the exclusively confined to mormons. The Catholics, after all, like their Jesus-meat and Jesus-blood.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      dsbsky,,,,,, .

      1Cr 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.

      My building called a body is soon reaching a time for it being demolished. My God, God's Sons and Daughters and on down their lineages do await my death's "discompensing"! One teeny weenie pebble of God's choosing will be afforded me to be My New Home within the everness of "Micronial Cosmologies' Sublimations" beckonings! Never again will my spent days upon this celestial chasm of great size be afforded me in memories of newness as will be encased me by God's Willing Way! Let Go! Let God alone in His Way! Let Go! Let God have His Day! Let Go! Let God come what May!

      April 18, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  4. reason

    The evolution of religion continues. It must in order to stay relevant. According to Pew Research the majority of Americans now accept Evolution is true, and have watered down their creationist fairytale to be yet another story not to be taken literally.

    It is fun to watch religious morality bend to cultural norms of a society starting to rely on reason instead of superstition. Religious morality is totally dependant on each individual's subjective interpretation of their god through scripture, prayer and other experiences. There is no objectivity.

    The only path to any sort of objective morality is reason, since only the rules of logic are universal.

    April 18, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      And as the fundies say "So be it".

      April 18, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  5. lynne

    MAN, you should have to pass some kind of test to be allowed to comment, it would weed out so many ignorant comments.

    1. Let's not regurgitate buzz phrases read god-knows-where on internet blogs.
    2. Equating all Mormons as polygamist fundamentalists (an offshoot sect not even recognized by the Mormon church) is as ignorant as calling all Muslims terrorists or all Christians creationist evangelicals. I am not a Mormon, but if you're calling for tolerance while in the same sentence condemning and profiling Mormons, then I have a real hard time respecting anything you have to say.
    3. Equal rights is about taxes, the economy, and other government rights. Not about religion. Every human being deserves the same rights as everyone else, because they are citizens of this country, regardless of how you feel about their lifestyle. PERIOD.
    4. Please, research something before you spew intolerance, hate and stupidity.

    April 18, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
  6. Voice of Reason

    I am starting a movement called EARS (Eradicate All Religions Simultaneously). Want to join-up?

    April 18, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • Keith

      Why? Are you too cowardly to do it yourself?

      April 18, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • sam stone

      Keith: Apparently, not as cowardly as those who beg for salvation

      April 18, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Whine of Treason

      How about A.S.S (Atheists Should be Skinned)?

      April 18, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  7. Rainer Braendlein

    The Zeus of today can be a distorted Jesus (or the Mammon, which is an idol too).

    How do I mean that?

    One could assume: "Oh, my Jesus payed the account in advance, hence I can increase sinning or at least continue to sin."

    This is, of course, an utterly perverted gospel and perverted Jesus, which will lead the "believer" to complete destruction.

    The cheap grace – Jesus is an idol, which leads to destruction.

    The real Jesus delivers you from sin and gives you a life of divine love and righteousness.

    Jesus Christ died for our sins and resurrected for our justification. Get convinced of God's love by this great gospel and return into the community of the Lord, the eternal God, which has made heaven and earth. He is the LIGHT and the LIFE. He will set you free completely.

    April 18, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "He is the LIGHT and the LIFE. He will set you free completely."

      Like the truth that being gay is not a choice, it's not a mental illness, it can't be voluntarily changed. That experts around the world have proven that what Christians try to change gays that it doesn't work and all their reports are false. Nothing can change a true gay person into being straight that has been proven world over. Now your bigotry and prejudice could be changed but obviously you continue to choose to fuel the hatred towards this group and deny them their civil rights, that is NOT kind nor is it love.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • sam stone

      You must forgive Rainy. He is a self-loathing closet queen whose orientation is counter to his religious indoctrination. I believe the term is Cognitive Dissonance.

      April 18, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  8. Voice of Reason

    If anyone wants to leave a legacy of dignity for their children and grandchildren then open your mind, become godless and fight for the truth. Eradicate religion and its evil perpetuation. Your ancestors will be proud you did.

    April 18, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Keith

      Jam 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world.
      Oh yes. By all means, let's do away with that. Moron.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • mema

      I shal pray for you VOR so God will cleans you of your blindness. And you shall bear witnesd to the truth. Amen.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @mema

      Direct your delusional thoughts in another direction please, the stench of ignorance is polluting our planet.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • mema

      You have hardened yourself to the face of God and your savior Jesus Christ. He loves you nonetheless and says we should love and pray for our enemies. So I follow his direction and will pray in your behalf. God bless.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @mema

      You are delusional and dangerous.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Primewonk

      @Keith –
      Deuteronomy 22: 28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and ra.pes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.

      What a lovely god you've decided to worship!

      April 18, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • just sayin

      @prime wonk
      That is not what it says you miserable wretch. Try the passage in the original language and you will see the error of your interpretation. God bless

      April 18, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Primewonk

      @ just sayin – Sorry Sparky, but that is a direct copypasta from your bible via biblegatway.

      And since your god claims that all scripture is god breathed, if you are claiming that Deuteronomy 22:28-29 does not say what it says, then either your god lied, or your god was wrong.

      April 18, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  9. Keith

    Saudi Arabia has barred "gays and tom-boys" from schools; students will only be permitted to return if they stop “unacceptable behavior.”
    Well, they are much more progressive than Iran. Iran would've hanged them.

    April 18, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Keith

      I'm sure the muslims aren't "hate-filled, ignorant bigots", though. Those are terms reserved for the Christians.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Frank

      “I'm sure the muslims aren't "hate-filled, ignorant bigots", though. Those are terms reserved for the Christians.”

      Nope. That would make them the same kind of hate-filled, ignorant bigots as those loving Christians.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Persecution Complex Detector

      Careful, @Keith, your persecution complex is showing.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Keith

      You know as well as I do that the h0m0 advocate hates the Christian but runs to defend the muslim. Happens all the time on this blog and in society in general. Bizarre. Supporting someone who wants you put to death for lifestyle.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Frank

      Keith,

      Nobody, and I mean nobody would trash a christian for being the bigot they are, and then turn and defend another group for the same bigotry. You are deluded to think otherwise.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Keith

      Persecution Complex Detector
      No. I live in the U.S.-not Sudan, nor Egypt, etc. We're not being killed here, yet. And many of us won't be 'soft' targets, either.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Keith – the Muslims are simply following the command of YOUR GOD.

      YOUR GOD commands that you do the exact same thing – go and kill gay folks. Your Muslim cousins at least have the balls to obey your god. Why don't you?

      April 18, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Keith

      Primewonk
      allah and Jehovah are NOT the same. Sounds like you've been to a Rick Warren crislam event.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      The RCC recognizes Allah and Jehovah formally as one in the same.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Frank

      Keith,

      Elohim, Yahweh, Jehovah, God, Allah. They’re all the same imaginary deity revealed through the hallucinations of a man named Abraham. You can deny it all you want because it doesn’t fit your worldview, but it won’t change the facts.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Keith

      frank, You are wrong. Mohammed did not come along until loooong after Abraham.

      April 18, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Frank

      Keith,

      Mohamed’s timeframe is irrelevant to what I said. All three of the Abrahamic religions tell the same stories about Abraham and his dealings with god. So you want me to believe that the god referred to in the quran is not the same god referred to in the tanakh and the bible just because you say so? Do some research if you dare, but I doubt it would do any good since you’ve made up your mind already and all the evidence in the world won’t change it. Like I said, you can deny it all you want because it doesn’t fit your worldview, but it won’t change the facts.

      April 18, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Keith

      Frank, Your definition of what is considered a "fact" is questionable at best.

      April 18, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Keith

      Just for you, I will make no qualms about this.

      ANYONE (Christian, Islamic, Jewish, Muslim, even atheist I don't give a shi.t) who marginalizes the LBGT community for how they are born (It is NOT a choice) is a hate-filled bigoted ass hole.

      April 18, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "You know as well as I do that the h0m0 advocate hates the Christian but runs to defend the muslim."

      It's amazing how much Christians lie There are gay churches, gay Christians and gay clergy. DUH!

      April 19, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  10. Rainer Braendlein

    @YeahRight

    The Greeks invented sinful gods like Zeus, in order to relativize their personal sin. For example a fornicator could say, what the hell, even our highest god Zeus is a fornicator, hence I will continue in fornication.

    The Romans took over the Gods of the Greeks.

    In fact the Greek gods were demons and cooperated with the sinful flesh of the people. The germ of gayness is in everybody by birth. As the Greeks and the Romans legalized sin by making sinful gods, which were empowered by demons or just were demons, their sin exploded.

    The Greeks and the Romans had utterley forsaken the source of life God, he finished his protection consequently and hence they became slaves of their inherent lust and the demons.

    The same happens today, if someone doesn't return to the loving God, which is life in fullness, by the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    April 18, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "The germ of gayness is in everybody by birth. "

      LOL! Thanks for proving you don't understand any of what the experts have proven today. All you are doing is trying to find excuses to justify your personal judgments against gays and you continue to post your lies..

      April 18, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
  11. Kelsi

    The only reason the Mormon Church is quote "SOFTENING THEIR VIEWS ON GAYS" is because they now have a prospect for a Presidential Candidate that is Mormon. If Romney had not made it this far, this would not even be a news story. It is all POLITICAL, what ever serves them at the time. I grew up in Utah. It reminds me of what they did to the African Americans before their Divine Revelation.

    April 18, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • tnfreethinker

      "Whatever serves them at the time".....that can be said about all organized religion.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Then by your ownliness perception one can argue, "The religious folks are wired differently, they don't have a choice, they have been born into it via genetics"

      Such Fvcking defamations regarding one's social constructivisms weighs upon the politically serviced!"

      Then by all means provide the science to your generalization, oh that's right you can't. The problem with your logic is religion has been protect by laws and yet gays are still being denied their civil rights.

      April 19, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  12. EndTheHate

    Can anyone give a specific example of how gay marriage harms America or straight marriage in any way?

    Please only rational, factual and logical responses.

    April 18, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Gays are wired differently, they don't have a choice, they have been born into it via genetics. I am beginning to think the religious may be genetically wired differently, however, doubtful. They do have a choice and choose intolerance to anything that they believe.
      Gay is a moral issue for the religious , it is archaic, outdated, and dangerous. Education is the key and religion is trying its best to force its way into the schools to perpetuate the evil they perceive.
      Do not vote for believers, keep them out of our schools and our government.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • AndriconBoy

      You’ll not get an answer because no one can give you a rational, logical explanation. There’s no logic or reason in religion, and since all their reasons to hate gays revolve around a book of stories with no more factual credibility than Grimm’s Fairy Tales, you’re likely only to receive hateful gibbering. Sorry, friend.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • pervert alert

      First lets call it what it is. Qu-eer not gay, gay is a word stolen by ho mo se xuals to try to disguise their dirty disgusting criminal activities. In all rational reasoning societies ho mo se xuality has been a crime. When a nation enters a decline one of the biggest danger signs is when ho mo se xuality becomes rampant and society ceases to view the perversion as the crime it is.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • EndTheHate

      pervert

      Nice try at deflection. But you did not answer the question.

      Care to try again?

      ps remember logical, factual and rational this time.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • pervert alert

      For the good of the nation ho mo se xual activity should be in itself re criminalized, not adapted into some perverse misrepresentation of what a family is.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "For the good of the nation ho mo se xual activity should be in itself re criminalized, not adapted into some perverse misrepresentation of what a family is."

      The hundred of thousands of experts have proven you wrong. They have proven that gays have wonderful families and raise children just as well as straights. By the way if you did try to outlaw that straights would be going to jail too, husbands do it to their wives all the time. LOL!

      April 18, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      Voice of Reason,,,, did so declare,,,,,, "Gays are wired differently, they don't have a choice, they have been born into it via genetics"

      Then by your ownliness perception one can argue, "The religious folks are wired differently, they don't have a choice, they have been born into it via genetics"

      Such Fvcking defamations regarding one's social constructivisms weighs upon the politically serviced!

      April 18, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  13. Logic

    We can say that all ahteists are gay but not all gays are atheists.

    April 18, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • YeahRight

      Wow the stupidity of people is amazing some times. I sure hope you're not a Christian since lying is a sin, now we get to take away your civil rights.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Is you screen name supposed to be ironic?

      April 18, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • tnfreethinker

      YeaRight....all he has to do is ask forgiveness. Live as badly as you want, then ask forgiveness. That's the Christian way.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • mema

      I shall pray for all athiest, for God to open their eyes to the truth. And the truth shall set them free. Amen.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "YeaRight....all he has to do is ask forgiveness. Live as badly as you want, then ask forgiveness. That's the Christian way."

      Being born gay and having a loving relationship believing in your god then a gay person does not sin and therefore they don't live badly. Now regardless of your delusional beliefs it still doesn't make for a good reason to deny them their civil rights, especially since the bible clearly states you are all sinners and shouldn't be judging. LOL!

      April 18, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "And the truth shall set them free"

      Like the truth that being gay is not a choice, it's not a mental illness, it can't be voluntarily changed. The truth that experts around the world keep proving the Christian community wrong. No matter what your excuses are about your prejudice toward gay people you can't justify blocking their civil rights.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • tnfreethinker

      YeahRight....I was being sarcastic. I have a gay son. In no way do I consider it living badly. I was referring to your comment about the original poster being a liar. Sorry for the confusion.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • fred

      Logic
      You can say a significantly higher percentage of atheists are gay than the general population. What you claim is wrong.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • mema

      Yeah right why do you buch all persons of faith into one group? I would never try to deny the rights of anyone. My best friend is my cousin and he is gay. We talk every single day and I love him dearly. I would never do anything to jeapordize his happiness. He kows my stand on his lifestyle but respects my point of view. If he is fine with that then it is you who judge! I respect his point of view and right to live as he wants. Simply because we have different views on the subject does not make us enimies. We are as close as ever. You want religion to end. I tell you I carry my faith with me in my heart so no government or rulers or laws can take that from me. If religion as we know it ends tomorrow I will still follow my faith. Treat of death can not seperate me from God. I have a conviction that no scientist or man can destroy. So if your wish for religion to go away comes to furition then it has not ended the faith people have within themselves.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • fred

      mema
      Interesting comment, I note many in the Nordic area have lost "religion" but kept the "faith". It seems to be working well as they have incorporated the teachings of Jesus into their heart yet no longer think of it as related to Jesus. They would say they are not Christian

      April 18, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "would never do anything to jeapordize his happiness."

      The happiness of gays is being denied because their partners and children don't get the same rights as straight people. Religious people can talk about their faith all they want...your rights are protected by our laws, gays are not. That's the hypocrisy of your post.

      April 19, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  14. eric

    Jesus taught us that we would know the false prophets by the fruit that falls from their tree. What is the fruit that falls from this fundamentalist attack on God's gay children? And epidemic of youth suicide. Strange fruit indeed.

    April 18, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
  15. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    April 18, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!!!.~!

      April 18, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • AndriconBoy

      Science flies you to the moon.
      Religion flies you into buildings.

      The next time you pray, replace the word "God/Lord/Jesus/Allah/Shiva/Whatever" with Batman or Flying Purple Unicorn, and the net result will be statistically the same.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
  16. I M

    Nope. Too little, too late. You're pretty much permanently in the "bad guy" column on this one. You picked your side, and you don't get to suddenly switch sides because you've realized you're gonna lose.

    April 18, 2012 at 11:57 am |
  17. Nope Wrong

    @Yeah Right

    "Nowhere in the Bible does the god condemn the saved loving respectful partnership of a gay couple."

    Try Leviticus 20:13

    April 18, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • YeahRight

      "Try Leviticus 20:13"

      You might want to actually learn your bible that is part of the Holy Code and doesn't apply to Christians today. By the way if you want to use that scriptures, then use ALL of it. When your child talks back to you, you must stone them to death. When a woman gets raped she has to marry that rapist. Thank you for continuing to show why Christians like you have no justified reason for blocking the civil rights of gays!

      April 18, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • EndTheHate

      Nope A gay man does not lay with a man as they would lay with a woman, you know gay people do not have se x with the opposite gender DUH

      April 18, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
  18. Rainer Braendlein

    Dear gays, how about having a mutual friend, called Jesus Christ? Jesus is THE LIFE, which consumes the death. Jesus is the death of death and the hell's destruction.

    I don't hate and judge gays, but offer the gospel towards them. Some brothers on this CNN blog asked me, where the Bible calls gayness a sin. There are several passages in the Bible about gayness. I have chosen only one of Romans, in order to avoid a lengthy text, which would overchallenge habitual TV watchers.

    Epistle to the Romans by St. Paul (a book of the New Testament, which is a part of the Bible), Chapter 1:

    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

    I myself am a Protestant, which tries to keep the genuine doctrine of the Early Church.

    I don't hate and judge gays outside the church (even inside the church I don't hate them, but there they need a special treatment). It is only, if they want to join the Christian Church, they have to repent before.

    Assumed my workmate, relative, neighbour, etc. would be a gay, I would treat him friendly nevertheless. Only if he would go to church, I would admonish him privatly and tell him he should repent.

    Why should a gay church member repent?

    Gayness is one of many sins, which is an indicator for our alienation from the Lord, the eternal God, which has made heaven and earth. Inside the Church there should stay only people, which are reconciled with God.

    A church, which wants to be connected with the genuine Early Church, has to keep this.

    A church, which tolerates gayness in her midst is no Christian Church, but has apostated from her Lord.

    I repeat, I don't refer to gays outside the church, but inside the church.

    Gays, outside the church, I shall not admonish, but treat kindly (however, if a talk about Jesus develops, I may confess the truth, that God, the Father, delivered his Son for our sins and raised him from the dead for our justification, in oder to set us free form every sin and give us a life of love and righteousness).

    Everybody, who hates and judges gays, should ask himself, if he is sinless and consider that even the sinless Jesus did not judge the sinners, but offered the gospel of deliverance, in oder to set them free:

    Romans 1:

    28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

    Dear gays, Christ died for your sins and suffered a horrible death for you, furthermore he resurrected for you, in order to set you free. Can you remain gay regarding Christ's atonement for you?

    April 18, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • eric

      you're a bigot. Do you preach to all of your divorced and remarried friends that every day they stay with their second spouse they are living a life of unrepentant sin and adultery? Or do these arcane and mistranslated biblical text you take out of context only to be used as weapons against a minority you despise, when they don't apply to you or your friends? You're no Christian – just another bigot using the bible to hide your prejudice.

      April 18, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • YeahRight

      How many times are you going to posts this crap.

      "23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: "

      It always amazes me that Christians like Rainer skip over this part of that scriptures...they were worshiping a pagan god using sex that was part of Roman culture, it has NOTHING to do with the Christian gay partnership as we know and understand it today. The people doing it were straight former Christians who switched over to that religion. Now you have to ask yourself is your judgment against gays using this scripture telling them their sinners still a just reason NOT to give them their civil rights. NO it is NOT! ! There are worse sinners in the Christian communities but you're not blocking their civil rights now are you! What a hypocrite!

      April 18, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Primewonk

      Rainer – your god commands that you kill gay folks. How many have you killed?

      April 18, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Ting

      Don"t blame me. I'm only prejudice because the Bibke tells me so.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Gays, outside the church, I shall not admonish, but treat kindly "

      Then give them their equal civil rights to otherwise means you are not treating kindly!

      These rights include:

      Tax Benefits
      -–Filing joint income tax returns with the IRS and state taxing authorities.
      -–Creating a "family partnership" under federal tax laws, which allows you to divide business income among family members.

      Estate Planning Benefits
      -–Inheriting a share of your spouse's estate.
      -–Receiving an exemption from both estate taxes and gift taxes for all property you give or leave to your spouse.
      -–Creating life estate trusts that are restricted to married couples, including QTIP trusts, QDOT trusts, and marital deduction trusts.
      -–Obtaining priority if a conservator needs to be appointed for your spouse – that is, someone to make financial and/or medical decisions on your spouse's behalf.

      Government Benefits
      -–Receiving Social Security, Medicare, and disability benefits for spouses.
      -–Receiving veterans' and military benefits for spouses, such as those for education, medical care, or special loans.
      -–Receiving public as-sistance benefits.
      -–Employment Benefits
      -–Obtaining insurance benefits through a spouse's employer.
      -–Taking family leave to care for your spouse during an illness.
      -–Receiving wages, workers' compensation, and retirement plan benefits for a deceased spouse.
      -–Taking bereavement leave if your spouse or one of your spouse's close relatives dies.

      Medical Benefits
      -–Visiting your spouse in a hospital intensive care unit or during restricted visiting hours in other parts of a medical facility.
      -–Making medical decisions for your spouse if he or she becomes incapacitated and unable to express wishes for treatment.

      Death Benefits
      -–Consenting to after-death examinations and procedures.
      -–Making burial or other final arrangements.

      Family Benefits
      -–Filing for stepparent or joint adoption.
      -–Applying for joint foster care rights.
      -–Receiving equitable division of property if you divorce.
      -–Receiving spousal or child support, child custody, and visitation if you divorce.

      Housing Benefits
      -–Living in neighborhoods zoned for "families only."
      -–Automatically renewing leases signed by your spouse.

      Consumer Benefits
      -–Receiving family rates for health, homeowners', auto, and other types of insurance.
      -–Receiving tuition discounts and permission to use school facilities.
      -–Other consumer discounts and incentives offered only to married couples or families.
      -–Other Legal Benefits and Protections
      -–Suing a third person for wrongful death of your spouse and loss of consortium (loss of intimacy).
      -–Suing a third person for offenses that interfere with the success of your marriage, such as alienation of affection and criminal conversation (these laws are available in only a few states).
      -–Claiming the marital communications privilege, which means a court can't force you to disclose the contents of confidential communications between you and your spouse during your marriage.
      -–Receiving crime victims' recovery benefits if your spouse is the victim of a crime.
      -–Obtaining immigration and residency benefits for noncitizen spouse.
      -–Visiting rights in jails and other places where visitors are restricted to immediate family.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • EndTheHate

      You should keep reading...

      Romans 2:1
      1)You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • sam stone

      rainy is a self loathing closet queen with a bible jammed up his a$$

      April 18, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @YeahRight

      Understand the Bible rightly!

      The Greeks invented sinful gods like Zeus, in order to relativize their personal sin. For example a fornicator could say, what the hell, even our highest god Zeus is a fornicator, hence I will continue in fornication.

      The Romans took over the Gods of the Greeks.

      In fact the Greek gods were demons and cooperated with the sinful flesh of the people. The germ of gayness is in everybody by birth. As the Greeks and the Romans legalized sin by making sinful gods, which were empowered by demons or just were demons, their sin exploded.

      The Greeks and the Romans had utterley forsaken the source of life God, he finished his protection consequently and hence they became slaves of their inherent lust and the demons.

      The same happens today, if someone doesn't return to the loving God, which is life in fullness, by the gospel of Jesus Christ.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • sam stone

      "The Greeks invented sinful gods like Zeus, in order to relativize their personal sin. For example a fornicator could say, what the hell, even our highest god Zeus is a fornicator, hence I will continue in fornication."

      Of course, Rainy....every god other than YOURS is a "sinful" one. Santimonius gash

      April 18, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • tnfreethinker

      Ignore Rainer.....he admits he is a Nazi. Just visit my blog and read his comment....signed Rainer the Nazi

      April 18, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @tnfreethinker

      I just joked a little. It was selfsarcasm.

      Yes, I am a Nazi, because I am a German by blood. Yet, thank God, I am a Nazi in Christ by faith and hence behave different from a real Nazi.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "The germ of gayness is in everybody by birth. "

      LOL! Thanks for proving you don't understand any of what the experts have proven today. All you are doing is trying to find excuses to justify your personal judgments against gays and you continue to post your lies.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • sam stone

      tmfreethinker: i think it is the uniforms that he likes....alll that leather and marching. the bavarian village people.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • sam stone

      "Yet, thank God, I am a Nazi in Christ by faith and hence behave different from a real Nazi."

      yeah, thank god. real nazis were intolerant bigots and rainy is...rainy is....well, never mind

      April 18, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • sam stone

      "The germ of gayness is in everybody by birth. "

      well, that should settle the "closet queen" issue

      April 18, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  19. Rainer Braendlein

    @jimtanker

    You make a mistake. We can imply that the peoples, which should be wiped out by Israel, had been admonished many times until God gave the command to destroy them. They were utterly corrupted, when God finally delivered them.

    Also we can imply that single persons within the people of Israel, which did not want to repent from gayness, were admonished many times, before they got stoned to death. Certainly, everything was done with patience to lead back the sinner to piety, before he was judged.

    Today a (baptized) sinner inside the Church, which doens't want to repent, gets excluded from the Church. Outside the Church he will be harmed by Satan and his servants, which can peak in the destruction of the body.

    You may realize that the true Israel of today is the Christian Church (Israel of believers). The Christian Church doesn't stone the penetrating sinners, but excludes them, after a long time of kind admonition. Everybody wants the restoration of the sinner and not his death.

    April 18, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • eric

      Are all divorced and remarried people unrepentant sinners in your church too? Hypocrite.

      April 18, 2012 at 11:57 am |
  20. Voice of Reason

    All religions perpetuate evil, something they created.

    April 18, 2012 at 11:44 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.