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BYU rehangs photo exhibit

Display depicting gay students is back in the Harris Fine Arts Center

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  • Anonymous
    Dec. 10, 2008 1:57 a.m.

    Nothing to see here. Move along folks.

  • Bill Gronberg
    Dec. 10, 2008 3:16 a.m.

    This article should prove to be a real "lightning rod" to attract Forum posters of all shades of opinion. One can hope that none of the comments will be "abusive, offensive, off-topic," or "misrepresentative".

  • Nov 31?
    Dec. 10, 2008 5:02 a.m.

    Nice story. I understand some things are different at BYU, but I thought they used the same calendar everyone else does.

  • So
    Dec. 10, 2008 5:24 a.m.

    So, if one proclaims to be gay yet he refrains from the act is he still gay?

  • Steve
    Dec. 10, 2008 6:02 a.m.

    The word tolerance was used twice here in the story and the words words hate and bigot were also used. Just because I don't tolerate certain lifestyles doesn't mean that I hate or am a bigot. Right is right and wrong is wrong. Those who accuse the L.D.S. community of intolerance ,are themselves hateful, and bigoted, and intolerant of my beliefs. Pictures are pictures, big deal.

  • Missing the Point
    Dec. 10, 2008 6:13 a.m.

    What don't BYU students understand about the church's policy. The LDS church does not condone homosexuality. Does the church love gay people? Yes. Loving someone and accepting the lifestyle they choose are two completely different things. Why the church is has to continually answer this question is beyond me. People just don't seem to get it. I have two great friends, not my best friends but good friends. They are gay. Do I think less of them, NO! Do I still love them as friends? Absolutely! However, I DO NOT accept homosexuality as a righteous practice, nor should I be forced to do so.

    Why is it that the gay community cannot accept my belief? Why is it that they cannot accept my vote by my conscience? It appears that in today's society I am being strong armed into accepting a practice that I STILL think is wrong.

    Does my morality have a place in society? I guess whichever way you look at it someone will not be happy but quit asking me to defy what I believe to be correct. Thankyou.

  • NCBYUALUM
    Dec. 10, 2008 6:23 a.m.

    The end result of this issue at BYU is an example of "patience is a virtue". That is why pentagenarians and above are called to lead at BYU. That sometimes patience and wisdom are required to make the correct decision.

    I applaud the artist for his talents and willingness to develop them at BYU.In addition I hope that he will develop the wisdom to use his talent to reflect the good in society and not the bad.(Please, no hidden meaning.)

    The Administration at BYU showed exemplary leadership with their judgement and decision. May Mr. Wiltbank strive to do the same in his quest.

    Regards,
    drw

  • Gary
    Dec. 10, 2008 6:38 a.m.

    While I have compassion for those who may suffer from same sex attraction I do not understand why BYU feels it needs to show an exhibit of openly gay students. In my mind to be openly gay means you not only have same sex attraction feelings but you act on those and have inappropriate same sex relationships. Why don't we have an exhibit of students who struggle with any other inappropriate behavior? The voice of the gay community is so loud and so constant it is beginning to wear us all down. I believe that to be the goal of the gay community. Wear us all down so we will finally admit that same sex attraction is normal and they can practice their craft with impunity from Church and state. Well, in my mind it is not normal, and never will be. Should we have tolerance and love for those who may struggle with this, absolutely. Should we view it as normal and good, absolutely not.

  • Tolerance to both sides?
    Dec. 10, 2008 6:43 a.m.

    I believe that BYU did the right thing to correct the misunderstanding by re-displaying the exhibit, since it does not violate the honor code which Mr Wiltbank signed. The fact that the school did this, in spite of a clear policy against homosexual conduct, should be applauded.
    I am disappointed with Mr Wiltbanks actions on this matter.
    As quoted,
    Wiltbank said he spoke with college leadership on Monday. Later that day, bloggers around the country began to criticize BYU and its owner, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
    Mr Wiltbank did the right thing to discuss it with BYU, and BYU did the right thing to redisplay the work.
    However, for Mr Wiltbank to prematurely criticize BYU in his blog, before a decision was made, is detestable. His actions unleashed criticism and propagated misunderstanding throughout the country before BYU even had a chance to act in good faith.
    Mr Wiltbanks premise of showing tolerance on both sides of the issue appears now to be an attempt to show tolerance on only one side of the issue. His actions have directly lead to further intolerance toward the LDS church and BYU. Poor form.

  • What change?
    Dec. 10, 2008 6:46 a.m.

    Does Wiltbank want the church to petition God to change eternal marriage to include gay partnerships in the celestial kingdom? Hmmm. I wonder how that dialogue will evolve. We'll have to change the words in the hymn, "Oh My Father". I was taught all my young life by my parents that I would live to see the day when every worthy male could hold the priesthood, and our family celebrated that revelation. But I was never taught that one day I would see temple sealings of anyone to anyone and that same-sex marriages are an eternal principle.

  • Wayne Rout
    Dec. 10, 2008 7:06 a.m.

    Many have missed the special thing about this display. They put it up November 31. As Paul Harvey would say, "Now that is news."

  • MissingthePoint = Right on Point
    Dec. 10, 2008 7:20 a.m.

    I agree with Missing the Point's comments. Tolerance is a two way road. More and more people are realizing how hateful, bigoted, and intolerant the gay movement is. I accept everybody as equals, but I do not accept certain behavior.

  • Voice of Reason
    Dec. 10, 2008 7:25 a.m.

    Wiltbank here seems to be walking a fine line. On one hand, his exhibit apparently doesn't violate the BYU Honor Code, since it doesn't engage in(!) or actively promote homosexual conduct. It's just photos of BYU students who claim to "be" gay.

    On the other hand, what is Wiltbank's intent here? Is it to put a face with a condition, like an exhibit of cancer sufferers? Or is it to very subtly promote gay marriage or homosexuality itself as normal and harmless? If so, he's smart to leave that unsaid. And the lack of a clear, non-fluff statement on his intent leaves me suspecting that promoting gay marriage or homosexuality itself is his private desire and intent.

  • Cats
    Dec. 10, 2008 7:39 a.m.

    I think Milbank was trying to create controversy when he put up the display. This is a particularly sensitive subject at this time and he just enflamed the situation even more by creating the display. It was really bad form.

    Under the circumstances, the School did the right thing by allowing the display and it will be nice if the whole thing just dies a natural death. But, it will probably be picked up nationally and cause even more controversy for the Church. Again, bad form on the part of Mr. Milbank.

    Neither the Church nor the School will not be intimidated into changing a policy that is based on right and truth. These principles are eternal and no amount of pressure is going to change that. God is the same yesterday, today and forever.

  • Tom Rose
    Dec. 10, 2008 7:45 a.m.

    What objective do gay individuals have in openly declaring that they are gay? If I was gay, I don't think I would be announcing it to the world. I would quietly strive to change, because I know that I want to become like my Savior. If I had a problem with pornography, should I try to defend my "orientation," or should I quietly meet with my bishop, and possibly counsel with loved ones, and strive to change and become virtuous in my heart?

  • Missed the Point
    Dec. 10, 2008 7:52 a.m.

    Seems to me that "Missing the Point" misses the point. MtP says, "The LDS Church does not condone homosexuality." Homosexuality is the state of being burdened with homosexual attraction. My understanding is that the LDS Church does not condone homosexual relations, but neither condones nor forbids someone being born with homosexual attraction. The state of being born with homosexual attraction is not a sin. The Church condones righteous behavior or forbids sinful behavior. It does not condone or forbid states of being. Does the Church condone or forbid children born with too many or too few fingers or toes? With IQ's of 85 vs. 145?

  • Anita
    Dec. 10, 2008 7:58 a.m.

    What does a group of pictures have to do with homosexuality? These were not, and are not pictures of a sexual act decipting homosexual behaviors - they are of PEOPLE. What is so hard, or so threating to members of the church to have to look at the person, not the sin? I am a fourth generation member, I am active, and could hold a temple recommend if I chose, but I am first a mother of a gay son who I adore - and never see his gayness when I look at him. He is 20 years old and is proud to admit that he is not sexually active, not has never been - how many straight kids in the church can honestly state that? It is a world of small minds that assumes that gender preference infers sexual deviance and immoral behavior - I think this artists display was lost on most of you. When will we all recognize that life is not all about YOU!

  • Zell
    Dec. 10, 2008 8:01 a.m.

    What next? Maybe we could photograph pedophiles and the kids they are attracted to. Of course the photographer would not be promoting deviance would he? Wake up people or slide down the slippery slope! Any promotion of homosexuality is wrong. Get the photos out of BYU and make a statement. I'm tired of having to "tolerate" perversion.

  • Straight
    Dec. 10, 2008 8:03 a.m.

    Just as I would not view pronography, I will not view the "message photos", vote with your attendance. I will not be attending any other fine arts events for the next few months, voting with $ is my way of making another statment about this display.

  • Stenar
    Dec. 10, 2008 8:09 a.m.

    @So and @Gary,

    If you were a straight student at BYU, or just following the church's admonition not to have sex before marriage, does that make you asexual rather than heterosexual? You don't have to be actively having sex to be gay.

  • Missing the point
    Dec. 10, 2008 8:10 a.m.

    I have not heard the gay community go after the mormons for their beliefs in god, jesus, or spirituality. The problem is the LDS leadership and members have targeted the gay community mercilessly at the legislature, media, calling on members to finance hateful pieces of legislation. If you had not stuck your necks into this as an organization, this would not be happening. Yes, tolerance goes two ways, reach out to the gay communities and help them to gain equal rights. That is all they are asking for, dialog and support.

  • I wonder ...
    Dec. 10, 2008 8:15 a.m.

    if a photo-essay about a person who struggles with alcohol attraction / addiction, and the family that supports them, would elicit the same uproar? That question is rhetorical. Of course it wouldn't. We would focus on the compassion of the family and have compassion for the struggles of the alcoholic.

    However, the homosexual community has, for the most part, successfully altered the dialogue such that homosexuality is spoken of as just another natural division of the human genome; White - Black, Tall - Short, Male - Female, Heterosexual - homosexual. To them, it's a natural division that should be given equal rights.

    That fundamental change in the way society speaks of homosexuality alters this discussion. We view alcoholicism as a condition which includes personal choice (even though many struggle with a strong attraction to alcohol). Unless we correct the dialogue where homosexual behavior is a lifestyle choice in response to an attraction, we'll continually face this angst.

    Lastly, it seems to me that previous discussions regarding those who choose to be gay included the notion that 'openly gay' was equated to practicing the gay lifestyle which includes homosexual behavior that would violate the honor code. What am I missing?

  • TNHick
    Dec. 10, 2008 8:17 a.m.

    From the article: "The artist's statement said labels create societal divisions"

    I realize I'm just a dumb'ol country boy, but isn't a display of gay photos, or however you want to label it, perpetuating a societal division?

  • Otis Spurlock
    Dec. 10, 2008 8:21 a.m.

    BYU has come a long way from the old days of electro-shock aversion therapy.

    I applaud BYU allowing this photo exhibition at their campus. In 1985 when I was a BYU student, I can tell you that this would not have been allowed.

  • what the?
    Dec. 10, 2008 8:24 a.m.

    Why don't the next project be photos of people who are attracted to porn and the people who support them? Why not? Seems like the logical next step dontcha think? Let's put up pics of everyone and their dirty laundry!!!

  • Wow
    Dec. 10, 2008 8:27 a.m.

    And we wonder why people think we are judgmental and petty. Let's take his exhibit at face value and appreciate that people with different life circumstances are still people who deserve to be loved.

  • Wrong Call
    Dec. 10, 2008 8:29 a.m.

    I'm a BYU grad and I think BYU is splitting major hairs here. It's one thing to display photos of people who just happen to be gay as part of some neutral theme and quite another to display photos of gay people when homosexuality itself IS the theme. At BYU? Come on! As far as I'm concerned that is promotion of homosexuality and is an inappropriate display to have at a university owned by a religious institution that unapologetically disavows homosexuality. LDS people are all taught the 'love the sinner, hate the sin' principle, so we don't need to be schooled in "tolerance" (in the true meaning of that word--not the current skewed meaning, which seems to include not only tolerating, but accepting and even embracing beliefs you don't share). The display is promotion and it should be taken down, permanently. It's a really sad day when you can't even escape having the militant homosexual agenda rammed down your throat at BYU. Sorry BYU, you got this one dead wrong.

  • To: Missing the Point
    Dec. 10, 2008 8:29 a.m.

    >>Why is it that the gay community cannot accept my belief?>>

    Why should the have to accept YOUR belief?

    >>Why is it that they cannot accept my vote by my conscience? >>

    Because you're wrong?

    If you "believed" the earth was flat, should I be required to uphold your fantasy?

    What so many of the posters in here, and in LDS strangleholds don't understand is that gay men and women are up to 10% of our population. Homosexual behavior, despite biological directives, exist everywhere in all species.

    God made us all. What can you not understand about that??

    No one is required to acquiesce to your misguided fantasies or "beliefs."

    Feel free to not accept or tolerate gays. But don't expect people to pat you on the back and cater to you for, basically, being ignorant.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 10, 2008 8:30 a.m.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly, Tolerance. And Otis, get over yourself and move on.

  • des
    Dec. 10, 2008 8:33 a.m.

    I liked the display. It shows that our perceptions or assumptions may not be true. You know someone who is gay but may not know it. Would knowing change how you feel about that person? Should it?

    Being gay doesn't mean you act on the attraction any more than being heterosexual means you act on the attraction. If heterosexuals can comply with the honor code why would you expect less from someone who is gay?

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder
    Dec. 10, 2008 8:34 a.m.

    Otis Spurlock | 8:21 a.m. Dec. 10, 2008 wrote:

    "BYU has come a long way from the old days of electro-shock aversion therapy.

    I applaud BYU allowing this photo exhibition at their campus. In 1985 when I was a BYU student, I can tell you that this would not have been allowed."

    Why is this a good thing, Otis?

  • John Pack Lambert
    Dec. 10, 2008 8:38 a.m.

    Otis Spurlock wrote:

    "BYU has come a long way from the old days of electro-shock aversion therapy.

    I applaud BYU allowing this photo exhibition at their campus. In 1985 when I was a BYU student, I can tell you that this would not have been allowed."

    What are you talking about?! BYU never used shock aversion therapy. Check your facts before you post.

  • Honor Code Fan
    Dec. 10, 2008 8:38 a.m.

    I love the Honor Code. BYU is a tremendous institution in part because of it. But I am sometimes disappointed in the administrators that apply it. This might well be one of those instances.

  • gay vs honor code
    Dec. 10, 2008 8:43 a.m.

    I think that the BYU students who are gay must be free to date, kiss, and show other affection in their same-sex relationships, but are not allowed to have sexual relations outside of marriage. That is what is a violation of the honor code. Do I understand this correctly?

  • Trust the BYU leadership
    Dec. 10, 2008 8:46 a.m.

    If you don't want to see it, don't go.

    I have enough faith in the leaders at BYU to know they're not "sliding down the slippery slope." They're the leaders...I trust their judgment call. I might not have done the same thing if I were in their position, but I'm NOT in their position, am I?

  • Honor Code Fan
    Dec. 10, 2008 8:46 a.m.

    To Otis and John P. Lambert,

    Aversion Therapy is no longer practiced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The practice of electroshock therapy at BYU ended in the 1970s. Aversion therapy had to be abandoned by BYU because electroshock aversion therapy failed to cure homosexuality.

    End of story. Now you guys can go back to whatever you were doing and let us continue this discussion.

  • To: Honor Code Fan
    Dec. 10, 2008 8:51 a.m.

    Hugh Nibley was also bothered by what he saw as the unthinking, sometimes almost dogmatic application of some portions of BYU's honor code.

    Hugh Nibley said, "The worst sinners, according to Jesus, are not the harlots and publicans, but the religious leaders with their insistence on proper dress and grooming, their careful observance of all the rules, their precious concern for status symbols, their strict legality, their pious patriotism... the haircut becomes the test of virtue in a world where Satan deceives and rules by appearances."

    I don't think he would have been too pleased with this decision to pull the photo exhibit either.

  • conduct unbecoming?
    Dec. 10, 2008 8:52 a.m.

    to 8:43. You make me wonder if the honor code extends to all kinds of unbecoming activities, like students hanging out in bars (not drinking of course), going to 'R' rated movies, looking at pornography, gambling, participating in pro-gay events, etc. are against the honor code. Is dating and kissing members affectionately of the same sex unbecoming? How restrictive is the honor code?

  • Institutionalized Discrimination
    Dec. 10, 2008 8:52 a.m.

    Gay vs. Honor Code, no that is not correct. Two gay people holding hands is a violation of the honor code which forbids any homosexual behavior or advocacy of homosexual behavior whether it is sexual behavior or not.

  • Cats
    Dec. 10, 2008 8:53 a.m.

    To: To Missing the Point: Gays amount to about 1% of the population--not 10%. Also, there is no study ever conducted that has come to the conclusion that anyone is born gay. There was a study conducted in Holland that concluded that genetics may play a roll, but it is only one of a number of factors, one of which is CHOICE. This is the study that most gays point to in order to claim that gays are born that way.

    To the mother of a gay son--I feel really sorry for you, but there is NO study that supports the position that ANYONE is born gay. I hope your son can get some help.

    And we do tolerate gays. If we didn't they would be in prison or executed. That's what they do in some countries. We don't do that and would never tolerate any such practice. So you see, we are very tolerant. What gays want is not tolerance but total acceptance. They want the rest of us to tell them their behavior is natural, normal and morally equal to heterosexual behavior. God has stated that homosexuality is an abomination and GOD WILL NOT BE MOCKED!

  • BYU Grad and Active LDS
    Dec. 10, 2008 8:57 a.m.

    I applaud the reposting of this exhibit and the BYU administration. Just because we LDS have some controversial moral stances doesn't mean we can't be accepting and examine ourselves and our reactions. Gay members of the church are a fact of life - we should not shy away from it nor should we shun them or condemn. I lost a lot of faith in BYU, not the church mind you, when I was there but this restores much of my good will towards the school. Brave steps and big hearts for BYU.

  • Cats
    Dec. 10, 2008 9:01 a.m.

    I'm not so sure Hugh Nibley would have been tolerant of the gay display at BYU. His lesbian daughter nearly broke his heart with her pro-gay, anti-Church activities.

  • To JPL
    Dec. 10, 2008 9:02 a.m.

    "What are you talking about?! BYU never used shock aversion therapy. Check your facts before you post."


    I don't think BYU has ever denied using shock therapy and I have heard too many first hand stories from gays who were subjects to question it.

    What makes you think they did not try this? It makes sense. If, in the 1970's, the church believed it was a learned response, it could be unlearned. Thus, reparative, shock therapy. They do not do it any longer as it did not work.

  • gay vs honor code
    Dec. 10, 2008 9:06 a.m.

    Thanks I.D. 8:52. I was not sure. I imiagine that the students pictured in the display are those with same-sex attraction who have chosen to follow the honor code. They have proven that we can all choose our actions, in spite of our attractions and propensities. The display can be taken as a pro-responsible choices in spite of adversities declaration. Am I correct?

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 10, 2008 9:06 a.m.

    re: So | 5:24 a.m. Dec. 10, 2008

    >>So, if one proclaims to be gay yet he refrains from the act is he still gay?>If you were a straight student at BYU, or just following the church's admonition not to have sex before marriage, does that make you asexual rather than heterosexual?>You don't have to be actively having sex to be gay.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 10, 2008 9:09 a.m.

    I would be terrfied to advertise my gayness at that school!

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 10, 2008 9:13 a.m.

    re: Trust the BYU leadership | 8:46 a.m. Dec. 10, 2008

    Blind trust is a slippery slope.

    re: TNHick | 8:17 a.m. Dec. 10, 2008

    I agree its perpetuating a societal division

    re: what the? | 8:24 a.m. Dec. 10, 2008

    There is an incredible amount its all about be & having look at me moments 24/7 so people wanting to air their dirty laundry s/b no surprise.

  • Jeff
    Dec. 10, 2008 9:13 a.m.

    Cats: Some of your remarks can't go unanswered. I'm sure that as a woman you do things every day that would get you stoned to death in many countries.

    You imply that the opposite of tolerance is execution or imprisonment. What an attitude! Also the bible says lots of things that rational people don't believe or act on. I think America is the wrong place for you. You belong in Saudi Arabia.

  • The key word....
    Dec. 10, 2008 9:15 a.m.

    in this article is "change". Tolerance?.....Yes....Support?......Yes.....But the word change ought to be deleted because BYU won't change as expected....

  • Sneaky Jimmy
    Dec. 10, 2008 9:16 a.m.

    It seems that few get the point of the exhibit. We have met the enemy and he is us. Same gender attraction is a normal part of the "Mormon Lifestyle". THEY are among us, our sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers. Until we accept the fact that someone like the apostle Paul could have a same gender attraction and still be a man of God we will make no headway.

  • Glen
    Dec. 10, 2008 9:16 a.m.

    Are you guys serious? Shock therapy?! Did BYU really give gay students shock therapy in an attempt to cure them?

    What is the source for this information?

  • Re: Missing the Point
    Dec. 10, 2008 9:19 a.m.

    "Why the church is has [sic] to continually answer this question is beyond me."

    The reason why the church is, and will continue to be, harangued about homosexuality is due to their refusal to address it.

    LDS doctrine requires Temple matrimonial ordinances in order to ascend to the highest level of Celestial life. Since gays cannot marry each other, they must either forfeit their eternal reward, or conceal their proclivities and feign affections for their partner. This certainly would not be fair to the hetero spouse; this marriage would most likely be doomed.

    Homosexuality is NOT a choice. The "choice" is whether or not to ACT on those innervations. Gays can be no more impressionable to alter their innate orientations than we. I am a hetero male, but I never chose to be hetero, nor did I choose to be male. It just worked out that way for me.

    Since LDS church Presidents and General Authorities are so divinely inspired, it stands to reason that something that could bar one of God's children from achieving such Celestial happiness and everlasting joy would be something of a concern to them. Why, after 178 yrs, has the church not addressed it?

  • To Cats
    Dec. 10, 2008 9:27 a.m.

    "God has stated that homosexuality is an abomination and GOD WILL NOT BE MOCKED!"


    And neither will you, obviously!

    I think God can take care of himself. You do not need to speak for him or do the judging for him. That is his job.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 10, 2008 9:32 a.m.

    Wow. As I've been reading these comments, most of them just sound so hateful, mean-spirited, and contentious. Is this how Mormons talk? If so then I suddenly feel less sorry about all the recent attacks on your church- you guys are no better than the people making the attacks. You get what you give.

  • Great Decision BYU
    Dec. 10, 2008 9:36 a.m.

    I applaud BYU's decision to put the display back up. There is a huuuuuuuuuuuuuge difference between homosexual attraction and homosexual behavior/activity. As the article says, those who are experience homosexual attractions are more than welcome at BYU; only when those attractions end up in behavior do these people violate the Honor Code. Also, there is nothing sinful at all about being attracted to someone of the same gender. I understand completely those who would argue that putting someone's struggles and temptations on display is something that is unnecessary, but art is never about what is or is not necessary. It is often about a message. Any piece of art that helps those with same gender attraction know that they are accepted at BYU and that helps people understand that it is alright to be attracted to members of the same gender, but not to act on those attractions is praiseworthy in my eyes. Here's to hoping there are future opportunities for BYU to stand up for its true viewpoints again in the future.

  • Penny
    Dec. 10, 2008 9:42 a.m.

    Have you seen the photos? They are not that good...

  • Re: Splitting Hairs
    Dec. 10, 2008 9:47 a.m.

    I agree, BYU is splitting hairs here. This is an area where hairs need to be split. So many people attach to their intolerance of homosexual behavior (which I share) an intolerance to anyone with homosexual attractions. If this project can send the message to people that you can struggle with same gender attraction and still be acceptable at BYU and still be "worthy" in the eyes of God, fantastic!!!

    Same Gender Attraction is not a sin!! I understand that people might be uncomfortable discussing the issue and that it is not necessary for people to where their sexuality on their sleeve; but, I don't see this display as an advocacy for homosexual behavior. It is a recognition that there is an entire class of people at BYU (and in the LDS church) that struggle with major trials in their lives. Despite these trials, they chose to live a chaste life. If that is not the best message that can be sent to those who advocate gay marriage and homosexual lifestyles, I don't know what is!

  • roger
    Dec. 10, 2008 9:49 a.m.

    peace is a good thing

  • Bravo
    Dec. 10, 2008 9:57 a.m.

    As an active LDS person who lives with same gender attraction, recently attended BYU, and chooses to live a chaste life, I can tell you that homosexual attractions are not a choice. I don't know whether the source of such attractions are biological or environmental, and I honestly don't really care (I happen to believe it is a little bit of both). I strongly believe that what the Church teaches about homosexuality is 100% correct; the problem is that most people have no clue what the LDS church actually teaches about homosexuality (at least they don't act like they believe it). Go and read what President Hinckley has said on the matter; read the interview given by Elder Oaks and Elder Wickman. On the churches newsroom site, there are several videos and articles explaining their position. I am not suggesting that homosexual attraction is something that should be celebrated and broadcast to the world, but if this art display can cause people (lds or not) to really find out what the church's position on homosexuality is and to be a little more tolerant themselves, then it will be a huge success.

  • to Cats
    Dec. 10, 2008 9:59 a.m.

    Hugh Nibley's daughter, Martha Beck accused him of molesting her, which all her siblings vehemently denied.

    Many gays feel they were born gay, are not aware of having made a choice to be gay. There are many who talk about feeling gay at a very early age--7 years old for example. Additionally, there are many gays who have spent their entire lives trying to deny their gayness, trying to avoid feeling gay, praying and fasting mightily to be cured of gayness, yet not being able to escape. We have a long way to go in this church in our level of knowledge and understanding about what it is like to be gay.

  • Gandolf
    Dec. 10, 2008 10:07 a.m.

    The point of is article and photo essay is to point out the intolerence that exist in Utah and at BYU. Intolerance has always existed at BYU, rather it be with non-LDS, non-white, non-conformist.
    It's OK to teach that homosexual activities are not acceptable with god, but taking away their rights is another issue all together.
    Homosexuals have always existed in mass numbers but during some times they were driven underground due to intolerance. I know there are lots of gays that exist within the church but are driven underground because of the hate that is present amongest most members. Example- this blog.

  • Hmmm
    Dec. 10, 2008 10:13 a.m.

    "Right is right and wrong is wrong."

    Radicals from any religion have long justified hate and murder as "right."

    Instead of issuance of a definition of what "right" is, it seems to me that we would all be better off doing good instead of needing to be "right."

    I don't think anyone can argue what is good and what is bad. So, I for one, will try to do good, and ignore definitions of "right" and "wrong."

    Perhaps there is something peaceful in doing good. If that's the case, I'm walking that way.

  • Penny, you miss the point
    Dec. 10, 2008 10:27 a.m.

    Penny must mistakenly think BYU removed the pictures because "they are not that good . . ." I'm pretty sure the quality or lack of quality wasn't the problem. Good on BYU for backing off their communication problems and replacing the exhibit. Presumably they had review the photos before approving the display, it is sad to see small minds at work.

  • Troy
    Dec. 10, 2008 10:33 a.m.

    Will Mormon culture ever be released from the grasp of ignorance regarding homosexuals?

    Some people here get it, but many do not and much of what has been said is extremely disheartening for me, as a Latter-day Saint, to read. This discussion has completely overlooked the true intent of Michael Wilbank's display.

    What has happened to love? What has happened to compassion? What has happened to understanding? What happened to remembering that we are all brothers and sisters? Mormon culture sometimes forgets. And it is the "forgetting" of these quality's that will help lead to society's fall--not the mere existence of homosexuals.

    Thank-you BYU for doing the right thing and allowing the project back up :)



  • Why Gays so Special?
    Dec. 10, 2008 10:43 a.m.

    Why should they hang pictures of gays who live the honor code? What about people who are attracted to married people at BYU but who live the Honor Code? What about recovering alcoholics at BYU? What about students who lust after the opposite sex but live the Honor Code? What about anyone who has an inclination to disobey the Honor Code, but lives it anyway? I can't understand why gays get all the attention.

  • dave smith
    Dec. 10, 2008 10:45 a.m.

    Michael wanted attention, and he got attention. Only time will tell if he got the kind of attention he was seeking. I will say that he showed an amazing display of tolerance when he posted my unfavorable comment on his blog, an attribute that many of his supporters lack, as they attacked me personally for my opposing viewpoint.

    Tolerance is a two way street, and the sooner we all understand the right to dissent exists for us all, the sooner we will move forward. While I understand the challenges that being gay in an intolerant society can present, my advice is simple. Practice what you preach, and show equal tolerance for even those that may oppose you.

    Lead by example,and take the higher road. The one who talks loudest, rarely if ever wins the argument, and often the one who whispers is heard the best.

  • blue is the color of the day
    Dec. 10, 2008 10:47 a.m.

    I think that there is a natural knee jerk reaction when you work for a church owned institution that is likely normal for any such environment. Better to err on the side of "looking righteous" than to err on the side of possibly promoting a behavior discouraged by the institution. Would he lose his job if he pulled the photos's? Probably not. Could he lose his job if he didn't pull the photos? Probably yes if the administration viewed the display of the photos to be against the mission of the school.
    This is just a case of covering your butt to keep your job. However, I would not be surprised if this went all the way up the hierarchy of the church and a decision was actually made at the top or very near to the top.
    Prop 8 only adds to the temperature of this issue.
    we love gay people. They are our brothers and sisters. They are children of God.

  • Re: Sneak Jimmy
    Dec. 10, 2008 10:50 a.m.

    I am sincerely intrigued by one of your comments. Where is there a reference in the bible to the apostle Paul's possible same-gender attraction? This is not a rhetorical comment of any kind, just a question. Thanks for your post.

  • Re: Anonymous @ 9:13
    Dec. 10, 2008 11:16 a.m.

    I know blind obedience is a slippery slope. But I think you understood me wrong: some people posting here are appalled the BYU administration allowed the display, but I'm saying that I trust their judgment to replace it.

    It seems like the "blind obedience" argument would be used if they had taken the display down and then I completely backed them on it on the basis that they're leaders.

    Lose your self-righteous attitude.

  • MMM
    Dec. 10, 2008 11:27 a.m.

    I dont really think gay people are special to do all these kind of stuff so they can feel better, everyone of us take day to day decisions, and for those decisions we must be enough mature and responsible to live for.
    If you are trying to change GOD's law for those decisions, and Im not talking if you are gay or not, there is many issues today to discuss. You cannot change GOD's law, He was, is and will be the same forever.

    About these pics @ BYU, I think we can spend that money in pics about saving lives from genocide or finding the cure for AIDS.

  • RE: dave smith
    Dec. 10, 2008 11:32 a.m.

    How do know what Michael "wanted"? We as human beings tend to see the world as we see ourselves. Unless you know Michael personally and he told you that he wanted this kind of attention, or that somehow you are mysteriously able to "know" the real intents of his heart, you're making a VERY HUGE assumption about his character.
    The words you posted on his blog are very manipulative.

  • Too much inflammatory language
    Dec. 10, 2008 11:34 a.m.

    Fellow members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,

    It is embarassing to read some of these posts. Beliefs can be upheld and positions stated without finger-pointing, inflammatory language, and spiteful argumentative words.

    It has been my experience that if you really want to cement someone's idea about something or someone (Us for instance), the best way to do it is to attack them and their ideas.

    BYU is not about to change its position nor its honor code.

    Verbal attacks only fuel the fire of those who are attacking the Church.

  • Mormon Scholar
    Dec. 10, 2008 11:36 a.m.

    To Sneak Jimmy,

    Nothing about Paul was moderate. He was tightly drawn, passionately emotional, filled with enormous feelings of self-negativity, seeking to deal with those feelings in the timehonored way of external controls, unflagging religious zeal, and rigid discipline. He could not, however, master the passions that consumed him.

    What were these passions? There is no doubt in my mind that they were sexual in nature, but what kind of sexual passions were they? Searching once again through the writings of Paul, some conclusions begin to emerge that startle and surprise the reader. Paul's passions seemed to be incapable of being relieved. Why was that? Paul himself had written that if one "could not exercise self-control" that person should marry. "For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion" (1 Cor. 7:9). But we have no evidence from any source that Paul ever married. Indeed, he exhorts widows and the unmarried to "remain single as I do" (1 Cor. 7:8).

    Also, Paul has been perceived as basically negative toward women. He did write that "it is well for a man not to touch a woman" (1 Cor. 7:1).

  • Cats
    Dec. 10, 2008 12:19 p.m.

    To Jeff: I don't recall saying what gender I am. Interesting that you just assume that I am a woman. HHHMMMM.

    You are making my point. There are many countries who do NOT tolerate homosexual behavior. We are NOT one of those countries and LDS people are not one of those religions. We DO tolerate gays. That's why we would ALWAYS oppose any of those laws or practices.

    What we won't do is accept homosexual behavior as normal, natural or morally equal to heterosexual behavior. When gays say they want tolerance, what they really want is for everyone else to embrace and accept their lifestyle as normal and moral. That is what we will not do. That is a completely seperate issue from tolerance.

  • Bob in Boise
    Dec. 10, 2008 12:21 p.m.

    But is it art? Seems like a display of this kind would be better suited to a social science setting.

  • Cats
    Dec. 10, 2008 12:24 p.m.

    To: Sneaky Jimmy: There is aboslutely NO evidence that the Apostle Paul had same gender attraction. In fact, he was a member of the Sanhedrin. In order to be a member of the Sanhedrin, one HAD TO BE MARRIED. So you see, your comments are incorrect.

  • Cats
    Dec. 10, 2008 12:29 p.m.

    To: TO Cats: Those quotes are from the scriptures. If you disagree with them, your arguments is not with me, it is with GOD. I don't speak for GOD, I am only quoting the scriptures.

    And, I reiterate, there is NO scientific study that concludes that anyone is born gay no matter how much gays or others try to say there is. One study, conducted in Holland, (the most gay affirming country on earth) conluded that there may be a genetic component to it. If so, it is only one of several factors, ONE OF WHICH IS CHOICE. That was the conclusion of the study.

    To Those who struggle with this problem and have chosen to life a chaste life, I really admire and support you. YOU WILL BE BLESSED FOR YOUR FAITHFULNESS.

  • BYU Grad
    Dec. 10, 2008 12:32 p.m.

    Why are people denying that BYU tried to "fix" homosexuals by applying shock aversion treatment? This was very common in the 1960s-1980s, and even as recently as 1995. Just do a simple Google search for "BYU shock treatment".

  • Cats
    Dec. 10, 2008 12:35 p.m.

    To Gandolf: I have not seen one blog here that has exhibited ANY hate whatsoever. That is so typical of the gay movement to use the word HATE every time someone disagrees with them. This sort of intimidation will not work.

    And to the blogger who said the Church won't adress same gender attraction or "gayness," that is absurd. The Church has completely addressed this issue. They have made their position clear. Case closed.

  • To Cats
    Dec. 10, 2008 12:37 p.m.

    "I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers" (Galatians 1:14).


    However, Paul might not have advanced far enough to be a member of the Sanhedrin before He converted to Christ.

    How do you know that he became a member of the Sanhedrin?

  • Mark
    Dec. 10, 2008 12:39 p.m.

    I support the human race. Homosexual activity does not support it because they cannot reproduce. It would seem homosexual activity along with pornography, pedophiles, and whatever other attraction people act upon is because of selfish desires. Everyone needs to get over themselves and see the bigger picture. P.S. All people regardless of gender attraction still have the right to get married. They can ALL marry those of the opposite sex. No rights have been lost.

  • Cats
    Dec. 10, 2008 12:51 p.m.

    TO: TO Cats: I am quoting scholars from the Neil A. Maxwell Institute. These scholars maintain that he had to be a member of the Sanhedrin and, as such, was persecuting Christians. Jewish men were expected to marry at about the age of twenty. It would be extremely unusual for one not to be married after that age. In order to reach a position as eminent as being a member of the Sanhedrin, one had to be married. That is what those scholars maintain. I refer you to them.

  • Otis Spurlock
    Dec. 10, 2008 1:15 p.m.

    Mormon Scholar | 11:36 a.m. wrote:

    "Nothing about Paul was moderate. He was tightly drawn, passionately emotional, filled with enormous feelings of self-negativity, seeking to deal with those feelings in the timehonored way of external controls, unflagging religious zeal, and rigid discipline. He could not, however, master the passions that consumed him.

    What were these passions? There is no doubt in my mind that they were sexual in nature, but what kind of sexual passions were they? Searching once again through the writings of Paul, some conclusions begin to emerge that startle and surprise the reader. Paul's passions seemed to be incapable of being relieved. Why was that? Paul himself had written that if one "could not exercise self-control" that person should marry. "For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion" (1 Cor. 7:9). But we have no evidence from any source that Paul ever married. Indeed, he exhorts widows and the unmarried to "remain single as I do" (1 Cor. 7:8).

    Also, Paul has been perceived as basically negative toward women. He did write that "it is well for a man not to touch a woman" (1 Cor. 7:1)."

    Sounds gay to me.

  • A Better Exhibit
    Dec. 10, 2008 1:19 p.m.

    I would have liked to have seen a picture of an alcoholic, a student in a wheelchair, someone struggling with pornography, an older single person, a person addicted to anti-depressants, and a gay person all in the same picture, arms wrapped around each other. (Labeled of course). To me, that message would portrait an understanding of the trails people go through. To see just gay people sends an awkward message to an awkward audience that doesn't quite know how to deal with this issue.

  • Only the Facts
    Dec. 10, 2008 1:21 p.m.

    To John Pack Lambert:
    You wrote: "What are you talking about?! BYU never used shock aversion therapy. Check your facts before you post."
    May I suggest you go to the BYU library and ask for the PhD dissertation, "Effect of Visual Stimuli in Electric Aversion Therapy," by Max Ford McBride, 1976. It reports on what happened at BYU. It will clear up your questions. Unless, of course, it has been "temporarily removed from circulation."

  • Question
    Dec. 10, 2008 1:41 p.m.

    So why is it so many BYU students can't accept homosexuals, when they are sodomites? They walk around with a giant stick up their...I can't say because I'll be edited..but you know what I mean. Anyone outside of LDS org, and an admirable few inside, can see that BYU is close minded and deserves any critism it gets on this. Gays are people too, children of God, you claim to love them (just not the sin)...but then you can't support and love them, or show pictures of them! No no no. It's better to keep a faceless enemy you can despise, in the name of righteousness.

  • A few thoughts.......
    Dec. 10, 2008 1:46 p.m.

    Cats: "What we won't do is accept homosexual behavior as normal, natural or morally equal to heterosexual behavior. When gays say they want tolerance, what they really want is for everyone else to embrace and accept their lifestyle as normal and moral."
    Would that "normal heterosexual behaivor" include promiscuity? Promiscuity is really the issue which has degraded our society. Promiscuity results in out-of-wedlock pregnancies, higher rates of abortion, STDs, AIDs etc. The church approves of "civil unions." So what we are arguing about here is the term we use?
    Why don't we work on the main issue instead of focusing our attention on an easily targeted group of people? Especially when the history of our church included a practice viewed abhorently and depraved by the outside world...............

  • Re: Missing the point
    Dec. 10, 2008 1:52 p.m.

    You have every right to vote the way you see fit. Nobody is forcing you to abandon your beliefs, however misguided they may be. And, we have every right to view you as misguided and bigoted, just was we view those who supported slavery and segregation as bigoted as well. The these were both once majority views, similar to this issue.

    What I don't get is how you can argue that you "love" the gay person and then turn around and vote to take away their right to marry, a right that had been granted by a Republican majority court. That, sir, is not love at all. Intolerance, fear, and homophobia.

  • absurd
    Dec. 10, 2008 2:15 p.m.

    these comments are pure absurdity... do any of you realize what you are saying?

  • Cats
    Dec. 10, 2008 2:23 p.m.

    TO: a few thoughts: That was REALLY off point. Talk about setting up a straw man. Are you trying to distract attention from the real issue here? No one would disagree with your comments about promiscuity. That's a completely seperate issue from homosexuality.

  • shocked
    Dec. 10, 2008 2:40 p.m.

    Electro-shock aversion therapy?!
    That's shocking- SHOCKING!

  • annoyed
    Dec. 10, 2008 2:55 p.m.

    Are you proud of yourself, Michael??

  • Rich
    Dec. 10, 2008 2:56 p.m.

    Simple fact: This is a boring idea. A bunch of face photos of people with no expression. This is a classic case of hanging nothing and calling it "Art."

  • closed minded?
    Dec. 10, 2008 3:04 p.m.

    How can having a mind that doesn't agree with your thoughts be 'closed minded'? I'm so tired of the gays trying to cram their lifestyle down our throats so we will accept their evil ways. Believe how you want and allow others to believe how we want. That's freedom and free agency. I am tired of gsys telling me to 'love' them. Yes, I can love them. But, I don't have to accept, nor embrace their lifestyle.

  • Penny
    Dec. 10, 2008 3:11 p.m.

    @miss the point

    No, I know why they were removed. I also know that skill-wise, they are crummy. If this kid tried to put these in his portfolio, he wouldn't get a job. You know why? Coz they go for "statement!" instead of craft, and a very narrow statement at that. (Honestly, is that statement that creative? No one in New York would give a flying rat about it. No, it's only there to let BYU and LDS people show how close-minded they are. Now that's open-minded!)

    As far as the review board goes, you must mean the "You gotta do a show or you won't get your BFA degree" review board. Yea I know that board. I graduated with a degree in BFA at BYU so I should.

  • Re: Bravo
    Dec. 10, 2008 3:18 p.m.

    Celibacy works until you meet the love of your life. Then what do you do?

  • Paperboy
    Dec. 10, 2008 3:21 p.m.

    This is a great article. Very insightful. To my thinking this is the first acknowledgment from the LDS Church that it is not only aware that many of its BYU students are Gay and but that they [the students] feel comfortable outing themselves. Talk about progress...now if we can only stop treating them like 2nd class citzens...

  • Question
    Dec. 10, 2008 3:22 p.m.

    Um, "Cats", some people would disagree with "A few thoughts"'s comments about promiscuity. Not every one in the world thinks that having more than one sexual partner in their life is contributing to the end of society. Not everyone has the same point of view on these "moral" issues. Isn't that half the problem? BYU classifies homosexuality as evil, but to the person with those feelings it's natural. People are people are people.

  • Yes, close minded
    Dec. 10, 2008 3:28 p.m.

    You can think gays are evil, and the rest of the world can think mormons are close minded. You can't put judgement on one group and then complain when the same thing happens to you.

  • Chris Dutkiewicz-BYU Alum
    Dec. 10, 2008 5:20 p.m.

    I don't like the exhibit at BYU. However, I trust the President of BYU and the President of the Church to make the right choices for this institution.

    But I don't like it one bit. Of course, I didn't like scheduling Elon College for the Men's BBall team either, but that's not my job.

    So I'm still a proud Alum, but I don't like even the appearance of promoting that lifestyle and the potention for destruction to the family it represents.

    Chris Dutkiewicz

  • The Rock
    Dec. 10, 2008 5:59 p.m.

    Tolerance of vice is no virtue.
    Intolerance thereof is no vice.

    I am sick and tired of people using my tithing money to promote an agenda that is contrary to the teachings of the church that pays for 66% of his education.

    Either support the churches positions or go to another university.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 10, 2008 7:01 p.m.

    ok, what's for dinner?!

  • Shame
    Dec. 10, 2008 7:20 p.m.

    Only homophobia and bigotry can possibly explain why BYU took down the exhibit in the first place. The fact that they corrected their error only shows that they have a politically savy administration, but it doesn't change the fact that prejudice, discrimination, and bigotry are fundamental to the mindset of BYU and LDS leaders!

    Shame on BYU! Shame on the LDS church!

  • I was there
    Dec. 10, 2008 7:40 p.m.

    To Glen,

    As a student volunteer, I worked in the BYU Psychology Department/Clinic-sponsored research studies and I can assure you that these electric-shock therapy experiments to try to cure homosexuality DID HAPPEN! I was a volunteer helping out with no less than 3 separate studies, each examining aspects of homosexuality, its origins, and its modifiability. The results of these studies were communicated to Salt Lake and the Brethren, and it is because the results indicated that homosexuality may be inborn and is extremely resistant to the most powerful forms of electro- and chemical- therapies that the Brethren have taken the official stand they have taken. Officially, same sex attraction is NOT a sin! Only homosexual behavior is considered sinful in the Church.

  • Zadruga Guy
    Dec. 10, 2008 7:46 p.m.

    To Shame, what evidence do you have that the explanation for the temporary removal of the exhibit was anything other than the miscommunication stated in the article? If you have any, then state it. If not, then apologize for your slander.

  • Re: Shame
    Dec. 10, 2008 9:35 p.m.

    Lets put your picture up for public viewing and see if you approve! Say what you think, but please think before you say it!

  • In the exhibit
    Dec. 10, 2008 9:51 p.m.

    I have read through most of the comments and I would like to say a few things. I am one of the people pictured in this exhibit. I consider myself gay, but I am not "openly gay" meaning, acting on my attractions and desires. I guess some people call it having same-sex or same-gender attractions. I am also a member of the LDS Church. I participated in this project to break down stereotypes and for people in the BYU and Mormon community to gain a better understanding of the subject. Most of you have no idea what it is like to feel hated, to be made fun of, be alienated, and to feel alone for something that you did not choose and that has been a part of you your whole life. I am not an evil person and I am not a gay rights activist. I am just trying to live my life the best way that I can. I hope that people will look at the exhibit for what it truly is for, understanding. Look into my eyes and see me for who I am.

  • Re: in the exhibit
    Dec. 10, 2008 10:18 p.m.

    I too have read most of the comments on this board and I would like to add my comments. I too struggle with same sex attractions. I was weaker than you and unfortunately, I gave in many times. I finally went to my Bishop and he was very helpful to me. With much prayer and determination I have lived the law of chastity for over two years now. My temptations were strong but have gotten easier over time for me to handle. I chose to be celibate. I am a bit different than you in that I have not been made fun of or hated. I do not find fault with anything anyone has said on here, but just wanted to give my perspective. I think I do understand you and what you are going through. What helps me is that I believe I have this issue (challenge) to bear during my mortal life. Many people I know have spiritual, physical or mental challenges and I admire those who bear them with dignity and honor. I want to do likewise. I have no interest in changing the world or the Gospel. Thanks to all who wrote here.

  • B
    Dec. 10, 2008 11:54 p.m.

    Why are we so quick to pass judgements? I think the artist was trying to make a point and he made it. Not all art is easy to swallow, and apparently this topic is very difficult for many of us.

  • me
    Dec. 11, 2008 1:53 a.m.

    It is like troy was reading my mind.

  • Sal
    Dec. 11, 2008 7:25 a.m.

    I don't understand don't want to understand the Bible anymore. The Bible does talk about tolerance and Love. Never does it say we should tolerate the sin nor does it say that if we don't toelerate sin that we are unloving. Our Savior says, and we accept, that we should love everyone, but sin is unacceptable. The Book of Mormon talks of ALL men (women) being a natural enemy of Christ unless we yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit. So if you want to claim homosexuality as "natural" that is your choice, but it doesn't mean it is not a sin and therefore must be repented of.

  • Don't use my money for that
    Dec. 11, 2008 9:24 a.m.


    "I am sick and tired of people using my tithing money to promote an agenda that is contrary to the teachings of the church that pays for 66% of his education."

    An agenda such as understanding other people? Heaven forbid charitable donations be used for things such as that.

  • Grimble
    Dec. 11, 2008 10:17 a.m.

    Commentor at 9:24am: If you're complaining about how YOUR tithing money is spent, I don't think you quite understand tithing.

  • Oh Yeah
    Dec. 11, 2008 10:47 a.m.

    Of tempests and teapots...

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 11, 2008 10:54 a.m.

    If it is MY tithing money, then I will keep a good grip on it so frauds and charlatans don't deprive me of it!

  • BYU Honor Code Review
    Dec. 11, 2008 11:05 a.m.

    It's time for BYU to sit down and review its Honor Code and to define exactly what sexual behavior is for heterosexual and homosexual students. My understanding is that the church is benevolent to homosexuals who are not "practicing."

    I have several gay friends, due to the nature of my work in the theatre arts. I treat them all civilly and appreciate their talents and contributions.

    But I don't want my tithing to fund, nor my children to attend, any university that allows homosexuals to advocate for their lifestyle, as this photo display the student's blog do.

    Homosexuality is not a civil right. It is a sin. Furthermore, Simon LeVay, the father of "born that way" research has backed off because of the success of reorientation and reparative therapy.

    People are born with genetic tendencies to many other detrimental behaviors, such as alcoholism. We do not preach tolerance toward alcoholism. But we do love the alcoholic and desire to help that person. We rehabilitate alcoholism best through Christ-like 12 step programs.

    At the very least, BYU should require its gay students to complete a reparative therapy regimen in order to retain student status.

    Cherilyn Bacon Eagar
    World Class Education Research

  • dismayed
    Dec. 11, 2008 12:13 p.m.

    How very depressing to read most of these comments. To the artist! Bravo, you brilliantly put your finger on the pulse of the most explosive issue at BYU in a very classy way.

    To Cats: Lets turn your argument around. Mormons should be tolerated in the same way you tolerate homosexuals. We don't imprison them or kill them, we would never do such a thing here in the US. But we should not tolerate their bigotry or hatred either. Let's vote on a law in america to classify mormons as a cult rather than a religion, thus preserving the traditional definition of christianity and saving it from degradation and destruction. Love the mormon, but hate their religion.

    How does all that sound when it is turned back on you?

    I think it sounds incredibly small minded and bigoted.

    To everyone, someone you know and love is gay. If you don't know anyone... then it is just because they are too afraid to tell you. Whether it is one in 100, or 1 in ten, each of us has a family member or a close friend who is gay. That's what this exhibit is about.

  • sam
    Dec. 11, 2008 12:24 p.m.

    I thought it was a beautiful exhibit. Whether you agree or disagree with the subjects' lifestyles you cannot help but feel love and charity toward them- purely because they are people....and so are you. It's a humbling experience to realize that we are all God's children. Not one of us is regarded as better than the other no matter how much you light loath someone.

  • To Cheryl
    Dec. 11, 2008 2:46 p.m.

    "At the very least, BYU should require its gay students to complete a reparative therapy regimen in order to retain student status. "

    Cherilyn Bacon Eagar
    World Class Education Research



    Didn't you read these posts? Didn't you know that this has already been tried?

    I quote I WAS THERE:

    "As a student volunteer, I worked in the BYU Psychology Department/Clinic-sponsored research studies and I can assure you that these electric-shock therapy experiments to try to cure homosexuality DID HAPPEN! I was a volunteer helping out with no less than 3 separate studies, each examining aspects of homosexuality, its origins, and its modifiability. The results of these studies were communicated to Salt Lake and the Brethren, and it is because the results indicated that homosexuality may be inborn and is extremely resistant to the most powerful forms of electro- and chemical- therapies that the Brethren have taken the official stand they have taken. Officially, same sex attraction is NOT a sin! Only homosexual behavior is considered sinful in the Church."

  • re:grimble
    Dec. 11, 2008 3:44 p.m.

    "Commentor at 9:24am: If you're complaining about how YOUR tithing money is spent, I don't think you quite understand tithing."

    Sorry the sarcasm of my 9:24 post went over your head. (oops, there I go again.)

  • RE: Honor Code Review
    Dec. 12, 2008 8:59 a.m.

    Said Cheryl: "At the very least, BYU should require its gay students to complete a reparative therapy regimen in order to retain student status."

    I did attend reparative therapy at BYU, and I attempted suicide because of it. Thank God I failed. I know at least 30 people who have been through reparative therapy. Not a single one of them has been changed from gay to straight. Reparative therapy not only failed to give me an attraction to women and to remove same gender attractions, it almost killed me.

    If voluntary therapy couldn't change me, how would forcing someone into therapy change their orientation? You're proposed requirement would become capital punishment for many homosexuals.

  • John Pack Lambert
    Dec. 12, 2008 10:51 a.m.

    I think we need to reject the making of sexual orientation an identity. We need to realize our first and foremost identity is as children of God.

  • John Pack Lambert
    Dec. 12, 2008 11:07 a.m.

    I did not make the comments at 8:38. This again causes me to call for structured registaration.
    I do not know about the electro-shock aversion therapy. However I do know that most of the understanding of electro-shock therapy is an outgrowth of the lies perpetrated by "One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest". Electro shock theorapy may or may not have ever been a good idea. However, it was administered by people who believed that the electric shocks would help people function better, because they felt the problems of these people were caused by the electric impulses in the body not working. It was not meant to be a form of punishing people but of treating and helping people. It may have been ill advised and poorly administered, but the intent was to help those people it was used on, it was not a form of punishment and manipulation as some have tried to represent it.
    I thought the assesment of why homosexuality elicits different reactions that alchoholism was fairly good. However, the author ignored the fact that we have not spoken enough that homosexuals always have legally been allowed to marry, and people like Quinn prove they did.

  • John Pack Lambert
    Dec. 12, 2008 11:13 a.m.

    No where in the article did I see these people identified as open homosexuals. They are "self identified homosexuals". There is a difference. However, the assumptions about the fixedness of sexual orientation implicit in this description and in the rhetoric of the same-sex marrige movement are disturbing and untrue.
    I would also agree that this piece was meant to be provocative. I think the maker, growing up in an mainly Mormon town like Eagar, has no clue what effect this issue has on those of us who live outside of the Mormon Cultural Area.
    Lastly I think the creator of the display is too into publicity. He should have not publicized the ups and downs of this case. He should have kept quiet while the adminstration was sorting it out. Despite his claims to like BYU, his actions betray a desire to tweak it, which is clearly not a Zion attitude.

  • John Pack Lambert
    Dec. 12, 2008 11:21 a.m.

    My understanding of various rules would tell me that dating, kissing and other such behaviors by church members with those of the same gender would not allow them to reamin in good standing with the church. While a non-mmeber student at BYU engaged in such activity would be allowed to reamin, I think that behaviors that are meant to lead to activities that are universally an abomination to the Lord would not be acceptable.
    I would however like to hear from someone who has first hand knowledge on this issue, such as someone who has actually ajudicated such a case at BYU.
    At least my assumption was that the men portrayed in the pictures are men who feel same-gender attraction but do not act on it, which would mean they do not kiss members of the same sex. Well, at least not in a manner and under the idea of someone they are sexually attracted to. To me at least the line is an inward one, that only you can know if you crossed.
    At least I hope they understand if you don't want to burn you avoid playing with fire.

  • John Pack Lambert
    Dec. 12, 2008 11:32 a.m.

    To the 10:50 commentator,
    My guess is that someone things Paul's "thorn in the flesh" was same-gender attraction.
    However, there is a passage in one of the epistles where he makes explicit reference to his wife. The term appears in the KJV as "yoke-fellow" but based on its originally Greek it is almost certainly a reference to his wife.
    This will cause people to comment on his line "It is better to marry than to burn". He is not there saying that he is unmarried, but he lives as an unmarried man. Like the apostles early in this dispensation when they went to England, Paul left his wife behind in one of the Greek cities on most of his missions. Brother Griggs wrote an article where he explained all this much better than I have here.

  • John Pack Lambert
    Dec. 12, 2008 11:55 a.m.

    To the 9:51 commentator,
    Yes, we only know what it is like to be hated, made fun of and mocked for a religion we hold dearly.
    Yet, many of us know what it is like to have a strugle with something we wish we did not have, to get made when we wish we could stay calm.
    Your experience is not as unique or different as you think it is.
    Also you may say "I am not a gay rights activist" but the fact that people constantly tell us that "love the sinner, condemn the sin" and teaching against homosexual actions is wrong is distrubing.
    Also, I advise you to re-consider your decision to identify as being "gay". Same-gender attraction is not the only hallmark of this movement. The amount of active homosexuals who have over 500 sexual partners is sickening. What goes on in Castro is sickening.
    I would advise embracing the term of "same-gender attraction" for the very reason that the term gay carries with it the baggage of a movement that seeks to destroy monogamy as a social norm and other such things.
    Your basic attraction is not mutable, but your identity is.

  • John Pack Lambert
    Dec. 12, 2008 12:02 p.m.

    To the 10:18 commentator,
    You have made a great progress. I am glad to hear you are standing in the Lord's kingdom. Remember, we love you.
    Your comments have helped me understand that this may well be a good exhibit.
    However, I think a lot of people forget the level of hate and intolerance shown to the ex-gay movement. To often people who are seeking to overcome same-gender attraction are told by psychologists that they should just give in.
    While it is true than you may have to actively struggle with this attraction all your life, we must remember than God loves us, and at times the power of Jesus can change our innermost desires.
    I do not know why some people are allowed to cast off this attraction and eventually reach the point of marrying in the temple in this life, and others struggle with same gender attraction all their life, but I do know that God loveth his children, and if you remain faithful to your covenants in this life, God will not deney any blessing to you.
    We love you 10:18 guy, and I hope there is a way we can help you more.

  • John Pack Lambert
    Dec. 12, 2008 12:16 p.m.

    To Sam,
    I thought the point of the exhibit was that these people do not practice a lifestyle but that they have deep seated attractions to the same-gender that they do not act on.
    I am beganing to realize more and more that the biggest problem is that we have never come to a dialogue where we differencite those who suffer from same-gender attraction and those who act on it.
    The main problem is the gay-rights activists who want both groups conflated into one so they can be the speakers for a larger power bloc.

  • re: Lambert
    Dec. 12, 2008 12:53 p.m.

    "I do not know about the electro-shock aversion therapy.....However, it was administered by people who believed that the electric shocks would help people function better, because they felt the problems of these people were caused by the electric impulses in the body not working."

    You just keep talking whether you know anything about a subject or not, Lambert. You state you don't know about the program used, but somehow you know their motives as well as stating "they felt the problems were caused by the electric impulses in the body".

    The program was "aversion" therapy. Students were shown slides of men and while seeing the slides, the were given electric shocks. The idea is to give the student an unpleasant reaction to seeing the slides.

    You remind me of my Sunday School students. So many are reluctant to pronounce Old Testament names because they don't know how to correctly pronounce the names. I tell them pronounce it however you want, just do it loudly and confidently. Everyone else in the room will be mistakenly impressed because they will think you know the corrrect
    pronunciation.

    You keep talking loudly and confindently, whether you know what you are talking about or not.

  • re: Lambert
    Dec. 12, 2008 1:09 p.m.

    "Electro shock theorapy may or may not have ever been a good idea."

    The reported suicides that came as a result of this program would seem to indicate that it may not have been a good idea. What do you think?

  • John Pack Lambert
    Dec. 12, 2008 2:17 p.m.

    To the 1:09 commentator,
    Just because someone commits suicide while in a program does not mean there is a cause and effect relationship between the two.

  • To JPL
    Dec. 12, 2008 2:48 p.m.

    "Just because someone commits suicide while in a program does not mean there is a cause and effect relationship between the two."


    What about more than one? What about more than five?

  • To JPL
    Dec. 12, 2008 2:52 p.m.

    RE: Honor Code Review | 8:59 a.m. Dec. 12, 2008

    "I did attend reparative therapy at BYU, and I attempted suicide because of it. Thank God I failed."


    What about all those who tried and failed?

    And yet this program went on for a couple of decades. Amazing. I actually know those who have scars from these shocks.

  • Hate to be inflammatory
    Dec. 12, 2008 5:48 p.m.

    But some of these comments are so outragious, such as Cats, just name one. Religion when practiced by fools is nothing but damaging to those around them. If you had done any research into the topic, you would know that church leaders do not say that homosexuality is an abomination. It is the action on those feelings. We cannot be judged on things we do not act upon. You're attitude towards these people who are attracted to those of the same gender is by far more grievous. They put there face on the issue to try and make people understand that they are people, who need love and support and are trying to get rid of the many many MISCONCEPTIONS reguarding homosexuality that so many flaunt on this forum. Actions are a choice. What we are tempted by is not. If you read any articles on homosexuality by church leaders, you would have known this. Marriage is not a cure, nore should be viewed as such. They are our children, fathers, mothers, bishops and leaders and live excellent lives, but are torn down in passing by those who understand nothing of the torment they suffer. Compassion... did we forget that?

  • Correction
    Dec. 12, 2008 5:51 p.m.

    Sorry for a couple of missing words. But I need to point out one last point... "If you read any article or talk of any church leaders about homosexuality published within the past decade". That's a very important qualification :D Miracle of forgiveness doesn't count ;) It's outdated and does not reflect the current attitude of living apostles.

  • I give up
    Dec. 12, 2008 8:21 p.m.

    "Miracle of forgiveness doesn't count ;) It's outdated and does not reflect the current attitude of living apostles."

    I can't compose a post that will get past the moderator on this one. My best attempt is this: the verbal dancing that LDS members do when prior statements were wrong and damaging to individuals astounds me.

  • Christopher
    Dec. 12, 2008 10:58 p.m.

    I am active, married, at BYU, and still gay (same-sex oriented.) I feel like most of those who have commented either don't know what they are talking about or are grossly misguided. Both the church's stance and BYU's honor code are completely in line with this display, as proven by its reinstatement. If you don't believe me, do a little research into the matter. It is destructive and inapproriate to equate being gay to pornography addicts and pedophiles. To tell the mother of a gay son to get over it is very low indeed. To assert that Witibank has "secret private motives" to promote gay marriage and homosexuality itself is just plain silly. Such rhetoric is what drives people like me away from the church when it ought to be welcoming us in. By telling the gay community at BYU to just shrink away proves that the display is timely and much needed. I sincerely hope that its message of understanding towards people like me is not utterly wasted on the BYU student body, because the impression I am getting by these comments is that it is.

  • To Christopher
    Dec. 13, 2008 12:27 a.m.

    I am sorry that you, and many others, have been treated this way by people who claim to "love the sinner." But I think this forum represents some of the most judgmental members of the LDS church, who might want to read that scripture about "he who is without sin..." Don't be discouraged - we're not all like that. In fact, A LOT of us are compassionate and have empathy, though we might not be able to understand your experience or what it's like to be in your shoes.

    I find it insulting when someone like Lambert equates it to "we know persecution" and "we all have struggles." He clearly has no idea - none of us do, unless we've experienced the same thing. To suggest that we do is presumptuous and reflects poorly on us.

  • Marcus
    Dec. 15, 2008 9:01 a.m.

    I'm suprised at the number of people who don't seem to have actually read the article and are just jumping to conclusions, attacking the artist and the gay community. First being openly gay does not mean that someone is sexually active, just that they are open and honest about their attraction to members of the same sex. Also, nowhere does the artist say or infer that he is himself gay, quite the opposite. He states that he has some gay friends, a statement that to me suggests that he himself is straight. His photographs don't identify who in the photo is gay and who is the straight supporter, thereby forcing viewers to test their views and prejudices of stereotypes, and show that there differences between gay and straight individuals aren't so great.

    And for those who say that the artist did not act in good faith by criticizing BYU on his blog before hearing back; if BYU had acted in good faith and spoken to him before removing his work, he wouldn't have had anything to criticize, but they jumped to conclusions and ended up looking stupid.

  • JL
    Dec. 22, 2008 2:36 p.m.

    BYU has the right to take down anything they deem to not be in accordance with BYU rules. Here, they had concerned individuals that thought it best to take it down. However, they reviewed it and found no offense. This art work could have been about anything, and BYU has the right. Case closed. The fact that it dealt with homosexuality just charged the issue to a different degree. Members of the church as a whole, are uncomfortable with other members saying they are gay. They liken it with anti-mormonism, excommunication and the such. I think BYU was brave to allow it back. Make the Mormon community understand that being a gay member means one thing--lonliness if you don't have the ability to overcome it to a degree and get married. Admitting you have feelings is not a sin, only not observing the law of chastity is the sin. I would love homosexuality to be viewed as just a weakness. Not every SSA individual immediately decides to take it to a sexual level. I myself deal with the weakness, and am married. Thanks to BYU for their decision, the artist for the work, and the students for their bravery.