Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Cor Invictus Social Network Ends

by Brig Bagley

25 June 2014

As funding was short and support was lacking, the life of Cor Invictus has come to an end. It was a social network meant to connect Mormon/religious gay people, as well as their friends and families, for support, friendships, and dialogue. The activity on the site was low, although there were few days that saw no new members until recently. 

There are no current plans to re-ignite the site. But members are encouraged to follow and comment on this blog to continue the community as much as possible. There are also hundreds of other blogs authored by Mormons that discuss LGBT and similar issues. Google searches usually find most of them, but there are pages that attempt to link to many of them, such as

As LGBT rights are becoming a reality, the need for secret groups of LGBT Mormons is becoming less necessary. Businesses and churches are already including LGBT as equals, even funding the political and support groups that push for their rights. It is only a matter of time before society shuns the discriminatory people, just as it does the racists. Someday, those who wish to discriminate will be the ones hiding in the closet.

10th Circuit Rules Against Utah, Gay Marriage is Fundamental Right

by Brig Bagley

25 June 2014

The 10th District Court of Appeals released their ruling today against Utah, affirming that the Amendment 3 ban on same-sex marriage and recognized partnerships was unconstitutional. This means that in at least Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, and Oklahoma, same-sex marriage is the law of the land. The ruling was stayed, pending appeal by the state of Utah. Utah can either appeal to the entire 10th District Court (only 3 members were involved with this ruling), or to SCOTUS.

"Having heard and carefully considered the argument of the litigants, we conclude that, consistent with the United States Constitution, the State of Utah may not do so (deny a citizen the benefit or protection of the laws of the State based solely upon the sex of the person that citizen chooses to marry)," the court wrote. "We hold that the Fourteenth Amendment protects the fundamental right to marry, establish a family, raise children, and enjoy the full protection of a state's marital laws. A state may not deny the issuance of a marriage license to two persons, or refuse to recognize their marriage, based solely upon the sex of the persons in the marriage union."

The court went as far as to say that marriage, family, and children are a fundamental right to US citizens. This ruling has conservatives up in arms. Utah will likely appeal to the US Supreme Court, which currently has a conservative majority. However, this same conservative majority struck down both Proposition 8 in CA, and DOMA. 

Indiana Now has Legal Gay Marriage

by Brig Bagley

25 June 2014

Judge Richard Young ruled that banning same-sex marriage in Indiana is unconstitutional. Marriages began immediately, as no stay of the ruling was issued. The state of Indiana is expected to appeal for a stay, as well as to appeal the ruling. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Growing Purge of Unwanted LDS Voices

by Brig Bagley

19 June 2014

Kate Kelly and John Dehlin are just two of many LDS people being disciplined for dissenting from LDS belief and accused of apostasy. There are hundreds of blogs (a very common thing for a Mormon to have) that ring with the same voices of Kelly and Dehlin.

Rock Waterman from California has a strong voiced LDS opinion blog that accuses LDS leaders of straying from the true doctrine. A recent posts of his said, "Stop making up your own rules and try preaching the Gospel of Christ for a change." He was promptly contacted by his bishop and asked to stop blogging or resign from the church. If he did neither, he would be called to a disciplinary council to face excommunication for apostasy. Although the church claims these cases to personal and local, it is rumored that area authorities have been monitoring internet posts of members and contacting local leaders to call them out.

Several members of Ordain Women, created by Kelly, have public profiles on the group webpage. Several of them have been contacted by local leaders and have had member privileges revoked, like their temple recommends, which give them access to Mormon Temples.

An Ordain Women member, Dana, who anonymously participated in a chat room, was somehow discovered and her posts were quoted by her bishop. On June 1, her bishop called and asked her to stop posting or face discipline. She and her family decided to resign from the church four days later.

Denver Snuffer, a lawyer and a blogger, wrote that he was excommunicated for apostasy Fall of 2013 for criticizing Mormonism for straying.

Kevin Kloosterman was a bishop from 2007 to 2012, and is a mental health therapist in Illinois. He publicly apologized to gay members rejected by their families in a conference that gathered media attention. He also was a major supporter for SSM is his own state. It wasn't until March of this year that a post of his on Twitter congratulating the first gay couple to be married in Utah, that his Bishop called him in for discipline. "Jesus wouldn't do that," Kloosterman says his bishop told him. He was also told that an Area Seventy was involved in monitoring his internet activities. Kloosterman's temple recommend has been revoked. 

The three reasons the church disciplines its members are to aid in the process in repentance, to protect the innocent, and to protect the good name of the church. It seems that the good name of the church has become the priority.

Adoptions, Adoptions, ... Gay Adoptions?

by Brig Bagley

19 June 2014

LDS Family Services has for many years acted as a venue for LDS people to adopt children. My own brother is a product of this agency. Operated by the LDS Church, many adoptions are heavily subsidized in order to provide affordable adoptions to Mormon families. Recently, LDSFS has decided to remove its adopting services to now only provide family counsel. Although it will complete the adoptions in progress, it will slowly move away from providing the connection between birth mothers and adopting families.

LDSFS says that the social acceptance of single parent families and unwed couples, it has decided that it can no longer offer the services it once did. Adoptions dropped from 600 to 200 in a year since 2007. It claims that the social issues of same-sex marriage and father's rights have nothing to do with the change. But it is uncanny timing to make them.

Although LDSFS would place the child of any mother, regardless of race or religion, it would only place children in active LDS homes. The typical active LDS home is also very white. LDSFS has also been known to strong arm mothers into giving their child to them by convincing them that the child has a better chance at life in an LDS home. And heaven forbid a same-sex couple be the recipient of a child.

Although the biggest issues seem to be related to the high cost of other adoption agencies, it does seem that the agency is avoiding the support of non-traditional families.

Another story lately is that of a Texas gay couple that just received twin boys. Each fathered an egg, both of which took in the woman they were planted in. Now that the boys are born, the two, new young fathers want their family to be protected by the government.

Unfortunately, not only did a judge rule that the fathers cannot cross-adopt the boys, but the children's birth certificates cannot be altered to have both men as parents. In fact, neither father was placed on either birth certificate.

It seems that gay rights are still on an upward battle, all hinging on the results of the same-sex marriage cases across the country. Hopefully, some day soon, LGBT families can be seen as equal in the law. And maybe that will help disseminate the social acceptance and equality for these families.

Read more here:

Monday, June 16, 2014

HRC Gala in SLC Welcomed "Modern Family" Actors

by Brig Bagley

16 June 2014

Ty Burrell and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, well-known characters Phil Dunphy and Mitchell Pritchett of popular sit-com "Modern Family," appeared on stage Saturday evening for the 10th annual HRC Gala in SLC. Jesse entertained the crowd with a couple of jokes while introducing his friend Ty to present to him the "Ally for Equality Award". Ty was very pleased and "humbled" to receive the award.

The plaintiffs for the case for Proposition 8 (that SCOTUS struck down, featured in the new "The Case Against 8" documentary) also spoke, as well as HRC President Chad Griffin and others. 

The dinner was preceded by a silent auction, all managed by online apps, and followed by an after party. The Grand America Hotel was the host of the event. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Influential LDS Members Face Excommunication

by Brig Bagley

John Dehlin, creator of "Mormon Stories", and Kate Kelly founder of "Ordain Women", are both facing church discipline for what is claimed to be "apostasy". Within 1 day of each other, both received letters from their local leaders demanding that both cease the activist activities they are heading and repent, or face church council and possibly excommunication. 

Dehlin is currently working on a PhD in Psychology at USU. He is involved with understanding and helping others understand difficult issues within the church. One of his biggest areas is LGBT people within the church. He seeks out stories that best represent the different populations in the LDS church that struggle with various teachings, policies, and doctrine. He has stated that he has "serious doubts" in or "no longer believes many of the fundamental LDS church truth claims." He wishes, however, to remain in the church with his family and continue to fight the hard battles that exist between the church and its members.

Kelly is a D.C. Lawyer in Virginia. She created the group "Ordain Women" to protest and stand for equality for women in the LDS church, ultimately asking for women to be given the same equal priesthood roles, responsibilities, and opportunities as men. She organized a group of women to one-by-one ask ushers at the LDS general priesthood session to be allowed into the meeting. Each woman was in turn rejected for entry. Many women also carried cards of names of women that could not join the protest in order to participate in proxy. Kelly is scheduled for discipline on June 22, after which she will be out of town with her husband in Kenya. A vigil is to be held for her at the Church Office Building on that day. She sees excommunication as essentially "spiritual death", but she will not give up her cause.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

How Conservatives Tried to Ban All Same-Sex Marriage

by Brig Bagley

11 June 2014

Since 2002, conservative groups have submitted constitutional amendments to the US constitution 7 times to define marriage between a man and a woman only. The point of putting it so deeply into law is so that it would take 75% of all of the states to remove it again, and it would also prevent judicial courts from ruling same-sex marriage bans as unconstitutional. 

In 2006, the LDS Church encouraged members to contact their state representatives to approve of the amendment. I was one of them, and trying to be a "good Mormon", did so in hopes to gain "blessings for my obedience". I received a response (probably from a secretary) from CA senator Barbara Boxer, saying that she appreciates my concern, but she believed that marriage was a state issue, and she would not vote for the amendment.

In 1996, the Defense of Marriage Act was signed into law by Bill Clinton. The law was to clarify that the federal government would not recognize same-sex marriages. This was in response to Hawaii's law that (at that time) permitted same-sex marriages. Conservatives didn't want to stop there. They wished to prevent states like Hawaii from starting a trend of permitting marriage for same-sex couples across the nation. This is what gave birth to the several proposed "Federal Marriage Amendments" that started in 2002.

With the several failed attempts to get the amendment passed at the US constitutional level, conservatives sought to target major states' constitutions for marriage amendments. In 2008, California became eligible to put a state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage by popular vote. It passed with a mere 52% majority.

Once the LDS church was aware of the ballot measure, it immediately mobilized its entire California membership to make calls, knock doors, and display signs to support Proposition 8. I, as well, was again guilt-ridden to participate in the efforts to pass the law. I remember calling citizens in San Francisco and getting chewed out for asking for their support. The LDS Church even asked students at BYU that were from CA to make calls from Utah to CA. It was also known that non-California residents at BYU also helped in the phone calls. 

The LDS church also asked members to donate significant funding to the cause. Although the LDS Church reported that it contributed almost no money, its combined donations from its members numbered over $20 million. The LDS Church was later taken to court for committing election fraud by the California Fair Political Practice Commission and was fined $5,538. It has since stepped away from getting involved with marriage politics.

Conservative groups have continued to push for similar laws in several other states, also succeeding.

Now that both DOMA and Prop 8 were taken to the courts--all the way to SCOTUS--and struck down as unconstitutional, conservatives have inadvertently paved the way for national recognition of same-sex marriage. Traditional marriage supporters have proposed the Federal Marriage Amendment once in 2013, but the momentum for it has dropped significantly.

In polls, popular approval of the Federal Marriage Amendment has gone from 57% in 2003 to 38% in 2013 (in a conservative poll) and 24% (in a liberal poll).  A year later, popular support for banning same-sex marriage will have dropped even more, possibly creating a super majority of US citizens that approve of same-sex marriages. Although majorities may not exist in some ultra-conservative states, such as Utah, the split has been shown to be very close.

Now that homosexuality has become the everyday talk, more people are accepting them, and more people are willing to identify as LGBT. Large companies have publicly declared support for LGBT, also influencing people to accept them. 

The current judicial cases have now struck down 14 bans on same-sex marriage. With the momentum growing, conservatives are calling "foul" on liberal, activist judges overturning the will of the people, even though the "will of the people" was rallied by conservative groups years ago to vote in said laws. Like-minded people agree with this sentiment, forgetting that constitutional review is in place to strike down majority vote laws that violate the constitution. This time, conservatives want marriage to be decided by the states, now that it appears that the federal government is moving to permit same-sex marriage nationally.

A final last-resort by conservative groups is to pull out the "religious freedom" card, claiming that their rights to discriminate against LGBT people is part of free speech and rights to practice their religion in their personal lives, as well as in business affairs. All but one state (Mississippi) that have proposed such laws have failed to pass religious freedom preservation that ultimately legalizes discrimination. 

Religious and conservative people and groups will continue to find ways to fight the approval of homosexuality and the legalization of same-sex marriage. They still believe they have a winning chance in the courts with cases such as the Amendment 3 case in the District 10 Appellate Court in Denver. State officials, such as Utah Gov. Herbert and AG Reyes will also fight the case to the top, most likely accelerating the national legalization of same-sex marriage.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Utah Pride Festival and Parade

by Brig Bagley

This year, over 140 entries (7-9 thousand participants) and an estimated 30,000 people attended the 2014 Utah Pride Parade. The largest entry was by far, Mormons Building Bridges, with about 450 participants. LGBT, straight, adult, and children alike attended the parade and festival.

The entire 4-day event was granted beautiful weather and countless family events. The festival Saturday-Sunday drew thousands. Booths were set up for supporting companies, political groups, and support groups to cater to the diversity of attendees. The attendance was even estimated to be a greater heterosexual population than LGBT. 

The two headliners for the festival music performances were by Betty Who (whose popularity grew with the Home-Depot proposal YouTube video of two gay Utah men that featured her song, "Somebody Loves You"), and growing gay icon, Steve Grand (whose YouTube video "All-American Boy" has gathered over 3 million views). 

Library Square was a new addition to the festival, as well. Additional artists and a new stage was placed on the square, while The Leonardo museum offered free admission to some of its exhibits to festival attendees. 

With lots of food, beer, sun, music, and colors, the event brought smiles to thousands and would certainly be considered a success.  

SLC Officer Reprimanded for Refusing Assignment at Utah Pride

by Brig Bagley

9 June 2014

Department spokesperson for the unit, Lara Jones, stated that they do not tolerate bias and bigots in their department. Officers are expected to complete their assignment. Personal beliefs are not to influence an officer's assignment. The department wishes to follow the city's nondiscrimination act put into city law recently. 

Gay men and women serve on the police force. Police officers have and will march in the Pride Parade. Jones says that refusing the assignment is unacceptable and shows unacceptable intolerance for their fellow officers.

Friday, June 6, 2014

It's Utah Pride Weekend!

by Brig Bagley 

6 June 2014

Gear up! It's Utah Pride! Take a look at the site below for events and locations. From The Leonardo Museum to Steve Grand, there will be plenty to explore and epic performances to attend. You can pre-order festival tickets, or get them at the gates. The parade is free and will proceed downtown on Broadway St. 

Marriott Chooses LGBT Business Over Personal Beliefs

by Brig Bagley

6 June 2014

Bill Marriott is the creator and owner of Marriott Hotels across the world. A signature of theirs is the Book of Mormon placed in the drawer of every room's nightstand. In 2011, due to Mitt Romney's influence during his presidential campaign, Marriott also removed pay-per-view pornography from its services--which turned out to be a very costly loss. Marriott is a prominent Mormon that proudly states his active membership in the LDS Church. 

He also knows that gay men love to travel and spend money. 

Gay couples are much more likely to spend money on non-essential purchases. They do, after all, have a double income and usually no children. Gays are also known to name-brand drop and recommend to others best places to shop, eat, and lodge. Because of their consumer experience, they know how to do it right. And they set the trends for others to follow, often leading to the booming success of many businesses, and the sudden downfall of others. Advertise as a supporter of LGBT people, and they will be much  more likely to patronize your business and recommend it to others.

Marriott is just doing good business. He knows the market and wishes to use it to his advantage. When asked how he reconciles his business policies with his personal beliefs, he says: 

“The Bible that I love teaches me about honesty, integrity and unconditional love for all people. But beyond that, I am very careful about separating my personal faith and beliefs from how we run our business.”
Other businesses would do well to heed this advice, given Marriott's successful status.

Read more here:

10th Circuit Puts Same-Sex Marriage Recognition on Hold

by Brig Bagley

6 June 2014

In response to Utah deciding to appeal Judge Kimball's ruling to require Utah's recognition of SSM, the 10th District court in Denver has issued a temporary hold on the ruling. The plaintiffs' lawyers have a period of time to argue against the hold while the case is open.

"Although the state recognizes the deep burden placed on families who must continue to wait for a final decision regarding their rights and those of their children, any decision by the highest courts that results in undoing what the district court has granted could be more disruptive than awaiting certainty and finality." –Attorney General Sean Reyes statement

The AG's office believes the Amendment 3 case and this case are so closely related that they could not be inconsistent with appealing both cases. Utah also believes it would "suffer" irreparable harm if it were forced to recognize same-sex marriages that are prohibited by Utah state law.

"Marriage benefits granted to same-sex couples would be "a lot more difficult to undo" if the 10th Circuit were to ultimately rule in the state's favor, said Joni Jones, litigation director in the Utah Attorney General's Office."

Take note the state's intention to undo marriages that were legally provided. This would be a first time in history that marriages were undone in the US. Utah is willing to go that far to defend a 10-year-old voted law.

Read more here:

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Utah Decides to Appeal Ruling that Recognizes Utah's Same-Sex Marriages

by Brig Bagley

5 June 2014

The Governor's and the Attorney General's office have agreed to spend more Utah taxpayer money to appeal Judge Dale Kimball's ruling that Utah should recognize the gay marriages that took place during the legal window. Here are some comments on the KSL story and my rebuttle:

1. @kiwistone:

I agree! Shelby made the mistake! If same-sex couples need rights, give them rights under re-written laws that allow "Civil Unions", but don't call them marriages! Same-Sex Couples deserve rights, and to be treated civilly as much as do the rights of opposite-sex couples. "Marriage" should be between a man and a woman. I know the following is not new info; but, there is a difference between same-sex couples, and opposite-sex couples, one can Procreate one cannot, this is the fundamental difference. Do not let the World (or corrupt judges) keep trying to overrule the Highest Court, our Creator. Redefining Marriage isn't fair to those of us who hold it Sacred.

My response:

Not all hetero couples can (or even choose to) procreate, should they be denied marriage? Why does the word "marriage" make a difference? Calling it something else but attempting to give the same rights is a failed system called "separate, but equal." And if the world as a majority starts supporting (as it already has) LGBTQ rights, isn't that the democratic system that you're complaining was overruled by a "corrupt" judge? But that's not the way our system works. Judges are in place to review law and decide if it's constitutional or not. 14+ federal judges say no. None have said yes, so far.


Allow the recognition of same sex unions, and privileges that come with marriages, But not the right to marry here in this state. They can go marry somewhere else and then come back. Therefore you are not denying them their rights.

Some may think this is a hassle, but you got to understand that this state was made with God in mind. This state stands because they were persecuted for their beliefs in Christ. Now you want to spit in their faith and preach equality. Please be respectful to the pioneers who walked here to be free from getting their faith spit on.

People keep forgetting, just because times change. The scriptures don't.

My response:

If marriage is so sacred, than why don't you call it something else in your religion that separates it from the world? How about... a sealing, maybe? Isn't that what LDS people do to "sanctify" an eternal marriage? Rule your religion independently. Don't bring it into government.

What difference does it make if they marry outside, then come back? You're still going to have legally married gay people as neighbors, co-workers, and customers. It's pointless. There are thousands of people that waited to get married here... over 1,300 couples in just 2 weeks. People born and raised here want to marry HERE.

How does your religion suffer from marriage equality? Your churches will not be required to marry gay people. Nor your temples. You are not required to marry someone of your gender. But, if someone did, there will be government institutions that will permit it. Please tell me how that affects you.

And you say scriptures don't change, but they do. The bible is a huge conflict in itself. Christ even said in the NT that the laws of the OT were no longer valid. The D&C also changes bible law. The D&C itself was amended twice. Don't LDS people call the scriptures "living scriptures", because the prophet can make an announcement to change it all in an instant? Your post is so confusing.

3. @htfsman

Where were all these people whining about wasting tax payer money when the gays were suing the State of Utah. It was the gays that filed suit against the state first. The state is just defending itself against what the gays initiated.

If all these people are so worried about what it is going to cost the state to fight this, they should have been on here complaining when the gays first filed their law suit.

Apparently they are only against wasting tax payer money after the fact, but it is just fine to waste tax payer money litigating the initial suit.

My response:

"The Gays" did not spend a dime of taxpayer money. They raised their own money to defend their cause. I think the "religious people" should raise the money to pay for the State's defense... if that's who they back.

Read more here:

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Will Gay Marriage Case Make it to US Supreme Court?


by Brig Bagley

4 June 2014

Utah politicians are split on whether the US Supreme Court will take the marriage equality case or not. Utah Republican Senator Brian King says that the Supreme Court usually only takes cases for which there is federal circuit courts rule differently. A judicial split is a common "vehicle" to taking a case all the way up to the top. But Utah Solicitor General Bridget Romano believes that the marriage case is heavy enough of a topic for the Supreme Court to take on and make a historic ruling.

If the Supreme Court takes the case, it will almost definitely rule in line with its rulings of last year, as well as in line with the 14+ other federal rulings in the least few months. The details of the ruling are uncertain, but it would most likely mean the legalization of gay marriage in all circuits involved with the rulings, as well as the recognition of all gay marriages across the whole country. 

If the Supreme Court does not take the case, or any of the others, each district will individually have legalized marriage equality with details distinct to the respective cases. The final word for each of these cases will come from the federal appellate courts if the federal judge rulings are appealed by the respective states. The ruling for Utah's Amendment 3 appeal case could be released at any time. 

SLC Council Called out for Influencing Days of '47 Parade to Include Gay Mormon Group

by Brig Bagley

4 June 2014

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has called out Salt Lake City Council for attempting to ask organizers of the Days of '47 Parade (Utah's biggest parade on Pioneer Day) to reverse their decision to deny Mormons Building Bridges (MBB), a group of Mormons advocating rights and acceptance for LGBT people, from participating in the parade.

The ACLU states, "After all, the First Amendment is at its strongest and is most important when protecting speech that the government disapproves of or that is otherwise controversial." Since the parade is a privately organized and sponsored event, government--even if it disagrees--must not use its power to influence it. 

It is good to hear that the SLC Council wishes to push the growing acceptance of LGBT people, and it is also sad that parade organizers are not willing to recognize the LGBT pioneers in the state that have struggled for so long (and clearly still do). But, if the government were to intervene with all private events to push its perspective, we wouldn't be a free, let alone free-speech country. The ACLU is correct in its statement.

SLC councilors said that the letter intended to parade organizers was not meant to be a heavy-handed order or a threat. But using official letterhead that mentions municipal code was reaching a little too far. Not attending the event would be a perfectly appropriate method of protest, said ACLU. I advocate that each council member could have sent private non-official letters to the organizers as well. Or even encouraging like-minded citizens to join together in writing a mass of letters to let MBB into the parade.

It's not likely that MBB will be seen in the parade on July 24th. But, this weekend, they will be marching in the Gay Pride Parade in downtown SLC at 10am, June 8. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Corporation Known as the LDS Church

by Brig Bagley

3 June 2014

A friend of mine share this article concerning the corporate nature of the church. I quote his comments: 

"The LDS church reported its financials to the membership (and therefore to the public) up until 1959. Since then, it has ceased to give any account for its financials. Through data collected in other countries, however, where churches are required to report them, we have a good idea about what it is worth. 
The LDS church is owned and by the "Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" which also owns a long list of for-profit entities. The quorum of the 12 and the first presidency is the board of directors for all of those entities. In 1997 Times Magazine estimated the corporation's worth at $30 billion with $6 billion of tithing money coming in annually. Today it is estimated to be worth $40 billion with an estimate of $8 billion of tithing being paid annually.

To put that in perspective, a $7 billion company would be a mid-range Fortune 500 company if it was listed as a corporation instead of a church. Bill Gates- the wealthiest man in 2013 is worth just under $80 billion. However, while the church reported that from 1985 - 2009, it's humanitarian efforts amounted to $327.6 million in cash and $884.6 million in commodities of aid (given throughout 178 countries), Bill Gates and his wife have given $28 billion (28x that of the church's donations over the span of 24 years even though Gates is only worth 2x what the church is worth) to charity and plan to give 95% of their entire wealth to charity when they die. 
The Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began with the actual religion. Many people would like to believe that this massive corporation was not funded by tithing, but where else did the church originally get the money to invest and buy the property, stock, business entities, and other for-profit endeavors? At the very least, members deserve stock in the corporation their money was used to build don't you think? But the real question is, why? Why is so much of the church based on for-profit endeavors. If there wasn't anything concerning about the financials, why did the church stop telling their members about them in 1960? And if it is all for Christ, would he really use that money to pay for things like the $4 billion City Creek mall built across from the Salt Lake Temple and another $3 billion for luxury condos and office space in a year when no other malls were built in America because no one else had the cash to fund such a project? Food for thought." - Jonathan Adamson

Open-Minded Ward Welcomes LGBTQ

by Brig Bagley

3 June 2014

A post in Mormons Building Bridges speaks of an undisclosed ward that is surprisingly welcoming and loving to LGBTQ people. A counselor in the bishopbric even said that the problem is more about teaching members to be more accepting:

"Then the counselor in the bishopric followed by stating LGBTQ people would always be welcome and that many serve in callings around the world. He continued, stating that being gay isn’t a person’s “struggle” to be overcome, rather it is the church’s struggle to be more accepting."

Read more here:

Monday, June 2, 2014

NorthStar/Evergreen Conference In Provo Last Weekend

by Brig Bagley

2 June 2014

Ty Mansfield, co-author of In Quiet Desperation,  is now president of NorthStar, a group that attempts to help Mormons that exhibit sexual feelings for those of their same gender, or are inclined to change gender. It focuses on those who wish to stay in line with LDS teachings and standards while coming to terms with their feelings. May 29-31 was their conference. The program included several workshops, featured 2 BYU Professors as speakers, and cost $120 per participant. 

NorthStar recently absorbed Evergreen, a group that existed to promote sexual attraction changes in those who experienced sexual feelings for those of the same gender. The LDS church previously instructed leaders to promote Evergreen as a resource when members confided with their leaders about their attractions. Now NorthStar has assumed the role of teaching sexual preference changes, mixed-orientation marriages, and celibacy. 

Although Ty is currently living in a mixed-orientation marriage (with children) and claims that he is happy and that the arrangement works, he still counsels in non-disclosed cabin locations to participate in "man-promoting" exercises, including "appropriate man-touching". Despite Ty's and NorthStar's attempts to do good in merging gay feelings and LDS belief, there is still incredible damage when promoting hope that the two can co-exist. 

Several members of NorthStar, including myself, had to leave the group because of the overwhelmingly conflicting conversations. The turnover rate of members is incredibly high, making the group almost always a collection of brand new people. Nearly all participants use the group as a step to coming out, only realizing that the morals of the group itself do not fit what they need. Anyone who wishes to live a life combining same-sex attractions and LDS lifestyle is condemning themselves to endless conflict. Although you can take parts of both to build a life, both cannot co-exist without great sacrifice on one side or both.