Monday, September 15, 2014

Affirmation Conference


by Brig Bagley

15 September 2014

This past weekend was the Affirmation conference at the University of Utah guest house in Salt Lake. Several influential speakers participated, including a man highly involved in the inclusion of blacks in the LDS Church. The conference focused on acceptance of LGBT in the Mormon community, and even provided some training for local church leaders in respect to working with LGBT people in their wards.

Although active gay people cannot be baptized members of the church, some leaders are encouraging their gay members to participate as much as possible, while asking ward members to include them just as much.

Many people that grow up LDS have a hard time leaving their traditions while embracing their feelings for the same gender. Affirmation hopes to provide the bridge that will allow gay Mormons to partially fit both aspects of their life together--even if just a little.

Affirmation is the only gay Mormon support group that officially celebrates intimacy in same-sex relationships. Mormons Building Bridges doesn't make any statement about what is acceptable, but promotes civil open discussions in the LDS church concerning LGBT people. In contrast, the former Evergreen (now absorbed into NorthStar) sides with LDS teachings and policies. Their teachings prohibit same-sex intimacy and encourage celibacy, reparative therapy, and mixed-orientation marriages.

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