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. Mormons and Bible People.


    April 17, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
  2. swohio

    And by the way, CNN...update your filters for these comments sections. Why is it somehow okay to include the words "h o m o s e x u a l"....and "s e x"....in the body of the article itself, but not in a comments section??

    April 17, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • melikeydrinky

      that's a good point. how are we supposed to discuss the article if we are not allowed to talk about what's in the article. Brilliant.

      April 17, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • DP

      The leftist media that adores and promotes the gay agenda and its tireless rhetoric blocks the very words that they are trying to promote. The irony is unlike anything we've seen from the news w h o r e s.

      April 17, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
  3. heguido

    Here is an analogy:
    If someone has the tendency to eat too much, what's the best way to help him? Telling him: "c'mon, embrace your fathood, eat all you can", or helping him keep a diet?
    The first one will make him "feel" happy, but it will have consequences on his health, and will finally produce an early death. The second one will make him "feel" unhappy, but will probably save his life.
    Unluckily, if you have all the media 24/7 telling him "You have the RIGHT to be fat". "Be Fatty, Be Happy". "There's nothing like a good 'lipoinjection'". "It gets fatter"... the chances that he would choose the diet vanishes...
    It's an analogy. I know this one is much harder and frustrating.

    April 17, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • chubby rain

      Being gay is akin to eating too much? That's idiotic.

      April 17, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • heguido

      Not knowing what an analogy is...

      April 17, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • chubby rain

      I know what an analogy is. Yours is idiotic.

      April 17, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • melikeydrinky

      here's an analogy for you. a 14 year old kid tells everyone he sees god in the woods. he reads a new book out of a magic hat and people buy it. wait, that's not an analogy, that's mormonism.

      April 17, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • heguido

      Yeap. God calling prophets to teach and warn His children. Giving revelation and scriptures. That's mormonism. And it's awesome.

      April 17, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • chubby rain

      "Yeap. God calling prophets to teach and warn His children. Giving revelation and scriptures. That's mormonism. And it's awesome."

      Or Catholicism, or Islam, or Judaism, or pretty much every other religion. And it's most definitely not awesome as the odds are you're wrong and going to Hell, Jahannam, Naraka, or some other really bad place.

      April 17, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • heguido

      it's not a matter od "odds", but of "choices". And the oportunities are outstanding!

      April 17, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • chubby rain

      I'm sure there are plenty of Muslims, Jews, other denominations of Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, etc who believe themselves to be just as right as you, just as deserving of eternal bliss/virgins/better reincarnation. They have shiny holy books, given by divine prophets, etc.

      April 17, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • heguido

      Good for them!

      April 18, 2012 at 6:19 am |
    • GodPot

      Here is a better analogy:
      If someone has the tendency to eat Bacon, what's the best way to help him? Telling him: "c'mon, embrace your bacon", or helping him keep a kosher diet?

      You have provided NO evidence to suggest that being gay has any negative health effects, in fact, eating bacon could be considered far worse as it can increase your levels of cholesterol that may increase heart disease. But i'm guessing you are not one to shy away from a BLT.

      There is nothing "harder" or "frustrating" about your moronic example since we can show being overweight has severe and immediate negative effects whereas being gay only has the negative effect of ignorant people like yourself pointing and saying "ewww, gross". Hey Guido, go get an education before you try your hand at educating others.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
      • heguido

        I think you don't get the "analogy" part. Of course I'm not talking about "physical health".
        Thanks for the "name calling", again.

        April 18, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • GodPot

      The fact that you can provide no evidence of any negative physical effect, and you cannot show that it has any negative spiritual effect, in fact you cannot even prove that there is a "spiritual" anything. So for you to claim you are helping them the same way we would try and help an obese person is beyond stupid. There are hundreds of millions of people in the world who would claim you are risking your spiritual soul by not getting on your knees five times a day and praying towards to the east, would you consider them to be in the same catagory as yourself, just trying to help someone who may be commiting spiritual suicide? And there we get back to the crux of the issue, you believe only in your church, your faith, your spirituality and your understanding of scripture which allows you to justify the guilt, shame and hate you pile on others.

      April 20, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
      • heguido

        You are right, and I'm not trying to "prove" anything. Anyone can believe whatever they want. But at the same time, I don't allow anyone "impose" it's beliefs in me.
        I try to help those who believe the same way I do. I can't see where is the "guilt, shame, and hate" I'm supposedly "piling" on others.

        April 20, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  4. swohio

    Yes, gays and lesbians are God's children and should be allowed as members of any church, so long as they understand they are to remain celibate. The problem is that too many of them aren't happy with that – and once they are elevated to positions of authority, they want to want to rewrite church doctrine (and even Christian history) to mold to their OWN ideas so that it accomodates their views that h o m o s e x u a l s e x isn't sinful. THAT'S when the trouble starts.

    April 17, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • chubby rain

      Ah, the nefarious gay agenda. Getting people to accept them for who they are. The way God made them, if you will. What a horrible thing.

      April 17, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
  5. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    April 17, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things


      April 17, 2012 at 9:33 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 11:30 am |
  6. Jason

    We in the church are and have always been taught to hate the sin and not the sinner. A true Mormon does not show hate toward any other human being or judge them, that is Gods job. That being said, just because a couple of church members have decided that they wanted to appoint themselves ambassadors to the gay community does not mean that the church is changing its view on principals that are clearly stated in several areas of scripture. Just because you don't show hatred or discrimination to your fellow man does not mean you agree with their actions, after all Christ sat with sinners but did not partake in their sins.

    April 17, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • sam stone

      jason: fair enough. keep it out of the civil law

      April 17, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • swohio

      Fair enough Sam....so long as gays and lesbians quit trying to change church doctrine.

      April 17, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • Primewonk

      " We in the church are and have always been taught to hate the sin and not the sinner. "

      I see you guys post this all the time. Yet whenever I ask for the book, chapter, and verse where your god says this, all I get is silence. Is it because this never appears in your bible? In fact, it's a quote from Gandhi – a Hindu.

      Your god, on the otherhand, commands that you kill gay folks. Yet, most of you refuse to do this. Why?

      April 18, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • Jason

      Well prime today you get your answer. First off I should let you know that the phrase predates Gandhi, it was in fact a Christian who wrote it, or at least some form of it. In 424 St. Augustine wrote the phrase "C u m dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum" which is roughly translated "with love for mankind and hatred of sins". As far as using the exact quote by Gandhi, there are many people on this earth that are not Christian who are very wise and while they may not share all the same beliefs there will still be some areas where we will share common ground.
      As far as the scriptures, while you won't find that exact phrase in the bible, read through the new testament, you'll see that Christ's actions speak louder than his words and then you'll understand why we use that phrase freely. Christ taught us to love our fellow man without restrictions and not to judge others. So the question I'll ask you, can you love someone and not hate the things that you believe will cause a person eternal harm?
      With regards to your statement about killing gay people, I can only assume that you are referring to a statement in the old testament about killing those who lie together in adultery or in a gay manner. What you may not understand though is that when Christ came to earth he did away with the mosaic law and said this, at Matthew 22:37-40.“37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt alove the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." I really don't see where that would give room for murder. If there is another in the new testament or book of Mormon after Christ came please let me know. A good place to look for the new ways is in the letters the disciples wrote after Christs death.

      April 20, 2012 at 9:06 am |
  7. Sodomy = Yuck!

    I can see it now! A geoligist explaining to an apprentice in 3012.....................You see son, these Americans where once a great nation, but it is obvious from the layers of their disgards, that they fell soon after they started worshiping these golden monuments shaped like rectums.

    April 17, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • sam stone

      Yeah, much better they worship a guy nailed to a cross. Good advice

      April 17, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • nonbeliever

      Christianity: The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree. Now that's STUPID.

      April 17, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • nonbeliever

      It's "geologist" by the way, Uneducated religious bigots=YIKES!

      April 17, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
  8. billy

    So how does lesbianism among sister-wives fall into this whole Mormon thing? Cuz plural marriage is hot-hot-hot!

    April 17, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
  9. billy

    This is all one guy, just changing his name and trolling the religion blog.

    April 17, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
  10. billy

    Religion is very very bad.

    April 17, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
  11. Sodomy = Yuck!

    You and yours may follow your nasty bunghole religion................But that does not mean those of us with more traditional American views on morality have to!

    April 17, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • BRUCE


      April 17, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • edwardo

      Yes, you have the monopoly on morality. Good for you! BTW – I slept with your husband. Now you can hate me.

      April 17, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      I didn't know intolerance, bigotry, and a denial of civil rights were traditional american morality. Sounds more like hate toward those you don't agree with.

      April 17, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • scoobypoo

      hey Rick [Santorum], nice of you to drop by

      April 17, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • sam stone

      bunghole religion? wow, thanks for the insightful post, pendejo

      April 17, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
  12. CS Madison

    Watch out folks you may soon be the victim of proxy celestial gay marriage!!!

    April 17, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
  13. HWC``

    They should be happy because most of those missionaries you see riding on the bikes are GAY. 2 men living together and treating each other as man & wife makes for a gay relationship. What they dont understand is there teaching them to be gay partners for life.

    April 17, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
  14. Reality

    Some gay nitty-gritty:

    Hmmm lets see, in gay se-xual activity, who plays the guy and who plays the gal? Who is on top and who is on the bottom? A coin flip? To say the least, an unusual situation. Then there are those "made in China" toys/strap-ons. Lets hope the FDA has checked them for lead and other toxic components. And do said "toys" come with sanitizers and/or sterilization instructions.

    Lots and lots of "gays" doing their hot and heavy things on Internet tube sites but nothing about coin flipping, who is on first, and sanitizers sites?? There must be some "Gaying It For Dummies" books out there somewhere. Hmmm, I wonder if said books/sites have to have FDA and CDC approval??

    Is said activity wrong and worthy of a trip to hell? Of course not but to the general heterose-xual population it is yucky, unusual and not normal to them. With that mind set, approval by the majority is not always sanctioned in law.

    The general population to include many of the voters in California, rightly or wrongly, find gay s-exual activities, married or not, to be unusual and typically associate such activity with the spread of AIDS which is of course wrong. Said AIDS epidemic in the gay male community at the start of the AIDS crises will always remain unfortunately a stigma on the gay community.

    And from below, on top, backwards, forwards, from this side of the Moon and from the other side too, gay se-xual activity is still mutual masturbation caused by one or more complex se-xual differences. Some differences are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O'Donnell.

    Yes, heteros-exuals practice many of the same "moves" but there is never a doubt who is the female and who is the male.

    And a warning for both the straight and gay communities:

    -"Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-

    Here's a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active "post-teeners": Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.

    "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (It should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome ??)

    April 17, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • billy

      It's funny that you have all these opinions then you talk about hell. Your opinion is invalid. You have a bird for a head.

      April 17, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • keeth

      Someone is obsessing and really needs to work on coming out the closet.

      April 17, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • C J Huckabee

      I think the focus here needs to be the unnecessary use of hyphens. That needs to be the real focus, and we all need to band together and obsess over t he hyphens and question the sanity, moral standing, and political affiliation of anyone showing signs of not understanding spelling and/or hyphenation. Let us all obsess and let us start the obsession right now and in a shrill, unpleasant tone through garbled tangles of irrational sentences with poor spelling, incorrect punctuation, and showing the mastery of syntax comparable to a simian.

      April 17, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • spatrick1234

      "Hmmm lets see, in gay se-xual activity, who plays the guy and who plays the gal? Who is on top and who is on the bottom? A coin flip?"
      ANSWER: Rock, Paper, Scissor, Lizard, Spock

      And do said "toys" come with sanitizers and/or sterilization instructions.
      ANSWER: Toys are dishwasher safe.

      There must be some "Gaying It For Dummies" books out there somewhere.
      ANSWER: We don't let dummies into our club.

      April 17, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • scoobypoo

      Wow, the gay-dar was going off like an air raid siren.

      Reality is just laying out some of his favorite fantasies.

      April 17, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • Reality

      The moderators of this blog have set up a secret forbidden word filter which unfortunately not only will delete or put your comment in the dreaded "waiting for moderation" category but also will do the same to words having fragments of these words. For example, "t-it" is in the set but the filter will also pick up words like Hitt-ite, t-itle, beati-tude, practi-tioner and const-tution. Then there are words like "an-al" thereby flagging words like an-alysis and "c-um" flagging acc-umulate or doc-ument. And there is also "r-a-pe", “a-pe” and “gra-pe”, "s-ex", and "hom-ose-xual". You would think that the moderators would have corrected this by now considering the number of times this has been commented on but they have not. To be safe, I typically add hyphens in any word that said filter might judge "of-fensive".

      • Make sure the web address does not have any forbidden word or fragment.

      Sum Dude routinely updates the list of forbidden words/fragments.

      Two of the most filtered words are those containing the fragments "t-it" and "c-um". To quickly check your comments for these fragments, click on "Edit" on the Tool Bar and then "Find" on the menu. Add a fragment (without hyphens) one at a time in the "Find" slot and the offending fragment will be highlighted in your comments before you hit the Post button. Hyphenate the fragment(s) and then hit Post. And remember more than one full web address will also gain a "Waiting for Moderation".
      Zeb’s alphabetical listing

      o “bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN "awaiting moderation" filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      ar-se.....as in Car-se, etc.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, lubco-ck, etc.
      co-on.....as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      cu-nt.....as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters...!
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sh-@t.....but shat is okay – don't use the @ symbol there.
      sp-ic.....as in disp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!

      There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this list is complete.
      Allowed words / not blocked at all:
      raping (ra-pe is not ok)
      shat (sh-@t is not ok)

      The CNN / WordPress filter also filters your EMAIL address and NAME as well – so you might want to check those.

      April 17, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
  15. daneste613

    is god gay friendly?

    April 17, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • scoobypoo

      Is Santa? Is the Easter Bunny? Is the Tooth Fairy? Are leprechauns? Are unicorns? ...

      April 17, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • Snow

      if he is not, why did he create them? if he did not create them how do they exist (for so many centuries and over so many species)? if they exist, how is god a powerful god? if he is not powerful, why follow him?

      April 17, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
  16. yannaes

    Why not! I met some Mormons and they seemed very happy and content in their life. They were very happy people.

    April 17, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • edwardo

      Cult members are brain-washed, and convinced they're happy. Drunks are happy people too.

      April 17, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • billy

      oh crap now we are bashing the drunks too?

      April 17, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
  17. SokrMom

    Well, at least until the election...

    April 17, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
  18. Reality


    "Abrahamics" like the Mormons believe that their god created all of us and of course that includes the g-ay members of the human race. Also, those who have studied ho-mo-se-xuality have determined that there is no choice involved therefore ga-ys are ga-y because god made them that way.

    To wit:

    o The Royal College of Psy-chiatrists stated in 2007:

    “ Despite almost a century of psy-choanalytic and psy-chological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heteros-exual or hom-ose-xual orientation. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of ge-netic factors and the early ut-erine environment. Se-xual orientation is therefore not a choice.[60] "

    "Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab state in the abstract of their 2010 study, "The fe-tal brain develops during the intraut-erine period in the male direction through a direct action of tes-tosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hor-mone surge. In this way, our gender identi-ty (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and s-exual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender ident–ity or s-exual orientation."[8

    See also the Philadelphia Inquirer review “Gay Gene, Deconstructed”, 12/12/2011. Said review addresses the following “How do genes associated with ho-mose-xuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?”

    Of course, those gays who belong to Abrahamic religions abide by the rules of no adu-ltery or for-nication allowed.

    And because of basic biology differences said monogamous ventures should always be called same-se-x unions not same-se-x marriages.

    April 17, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • edwardo

      I have 6 siblings. My parents were big on ensuring all of us were treated the same. If one got a toy, the rest got a toy. I'm the only one gay. I don't need a study to know that, in the words of Gaga, "I was born this way". If I wasn't born this way, I'd be happy to tell you I chose it. Could care less what anyone else thinks.

      April 17, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • get a life

      So...how do they explain bi s exual?

      April 17, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • mema

      Key word "it would appear" that does not sound like scientific facts, more like we don't really know. If thats the case why don't we see this in all species? Wouldn't it be seen in animals as well? That reasoning is full of made up so called facts. Wheres the proof other than someones educated guess?

      April 17, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • DP

      Oh, thank you for quoting the unbiased, left-leaning, religion-hating scientific community. Now that you brought them into the discussion, citing their undeniable and infallible research, there's no need to keep this discussion alive. We can all go home now!

      April 17, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Primewonk

      @mema -we find ho.mose.xual activity in many species of mammals, fish, birds, insects, other vertebrates, and invertebrates. 1500 + species.

      April 18, 2012 at 8:26 am |
  19. Sodomy = Yuck!

    Whoever would have thought that U.S. citizens would ever debate on whether a person putting their tongue up anothers rectum, or one man putting his penis in another mans mouth or rectum, or two females licking eachothers pleasure zones was sick, immoral, and an abomination of humanity? Just shows how far we are falling and how fast we are getting there.

    April 17, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Ahhhh !

      Keep talking....I am turned on...So bad....yes...yes...yes....yes...

      April 17, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • momoya

      I agree.. Who would have ever thought that we would debate such acts.. Any reasonable person would say, "You don't like gay s3x, don't have it; you don't like abortion, don't have one; don't like ho.mos3xual marriage, don't get married to a person of the same gender.". And on and on in like manner..

      I mean, I don't like lizards, so I don't keep one as a pet; I don't want there to be an anti-lizard law.. Bigotry is never a good reason for a law.

      April 17, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Ahhhh !

      I have a lizard for ya.....oh yeah...oh yeah.....Thats it....

      April 17, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • edwardo

      Been fantasizing ???

      April 17, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • mema

      Yeah and these scientist posting here would have you believe thats how humans evolved and they.dont choose to be gay. If it was evolution then why do they they get anual tears and rips, or hemmeroids, or loose(not misspelled) the ability to effectively hold in there own stool. Poop for the lay person! Disgraceful!

      April 17, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • Observer

      Sodomy = Yuck

      MILLIONS of heteros engage in sodomy. Get an education. Tell them they are wrong.

      April 17, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • George Takei

      Oh my. Sounds like you never had your prostate massaged.

      April 17, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • Hey mema

      It is ANAL you back ass loser!
      Something you like to do!

      April 17, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • justme

      they will receive in full, do not ever doubt.

      April 17, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Observer


      All of those things occurs for heteros, too.

      Did you have ANY point at all?

      April 17, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest


      Who said that hom.ose.xuality was a result of evolution? We don't know the exact cause, but it has been clear for years that it is not a choice and that some people are that way, and it is beyond anything as simple as a personal choice.

      April 17, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • Jonathan

      "MILLIONS of heteros engage in sodomy. Get an education. Tell them they are wrong."

      Sodom wasnt call Sodom for lack of Sodo-my. Ever wonder where the word came from? Of course its wrong.

      April 17, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • sam stone

      No, it just shows how man people got their heads up the asses of Iron Age sheep boinkers

      April 17, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
  20. We the people

    Are they doing so for the right reason? OR...is it just to get Romney into the White House? I suspect the later.

    April 17, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • edwardo

      Yep. They're up to something. Don't trust them for a minute. They should lose their tax exemption because they are political.

      April 17, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
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About this blog

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.