Thank you for this thoughtful essay. After all is said and one, regardless of
our religious persuasion and no matter where we stand on the issues of the day,
respect for each other is the most important consideration that is needed. If
you believe we are all God's children that concept should already be
engraved on your thoughts. If you don't believe in a higher power then, it
seems, fostering a respectful and loving society in this life would be equally
as important.Thanks again for elevating this important issue.
Wow. Bravo to the Deseret News.Though now well into my middle age,
I remember well the absolute terror I went through as a youth, increasingly
realizing I was gay, increasingly isolated and scared. I knew no other gay
people, and had never even talked to anyone else about what I was going through,
so intense was the fear and the certain knowledge of ostracism that I kept
quiet. I doubt that a day went by when I didn't pray for the
"change" that so many non-gay people insist is possible--but which, at
least in my case, proved elusive.I can't know for sure how my
life would have evolved had I read an editorial like this one back then. Such
editorials simply didn't exist anywhere.I have to think it
would have helped. A lot.And maybe, just maybe, it will help some
kid today to understand that we all deserve love and support.Thank
you, Deseret News, from the bottom of my heart.
Anyone who looks objectively at this issue, has to be open to the possibility
that people can be born gay.Unfortunately, the religious can not
accept that because it causes too many conflicts with their religious
beliefs.So, just like the flat-earthers, the 6000 year old earth,
and the evolution deniers, they cling to their Sunday teachings which fly in the
face of common sense and scientific study.I am not gay. But, I
cannot fathom anything happening in my life (or anyones life) which would affect
my gender attraction.Can anyone give me a scenario that may have
caused them to become gay?
Well said. Thank you.
Excellent! Thank you so much! It is so important for us to make changes as a
society in this regard.
Joe Blow said, "Unfortunately, the religious can not accept that ..."I think you are painting a broad brush here that simply isn't true.
Didn't you see the active Mormons marching in the Gay Pride parade in SLC.
Don't you understand that "religious" people all around the world
are standing arm in arm with LGBT folks in support of giving them civil and
human rights? Yes, there are many who think they are religious who
are actively working in the opposite direction. Somehow they have rationalized
that treating others with less respect than they would expect for themselves
falls in line with their theology and religious traditions. But it just a
rationalization. Treating anyone as less than human does not match any
religious tradition that I am aware of.
I too welcome this article. I feel that some members (plus some other
Christians) sometimes use the scriptures to justify their own prejudices.
Unfortunately this is not limited to SLC. The same occurs in the UK. We cannot
justify any hatred, bullying or abuse of anyone, regardless of their sexual
orientation, or anything else that may be seen as an alternative lifestyle, that
appears off centre to LDS teachings. If we really listened to each other,
without judgement, what a blessing it would be to and for us all. Not listening
to see how the other ought to change but listening to really understand.
"It is as though he listened and such listening as his enfolds us in silence
in which at last we begin to hear what we are meant to be." Lao-Tse. It is
interesting, to me, that the Saviour never condemned same-sex relationships in
the Gospels or the Book of Mormon or the Doctrine and Covenants. Or am I
mistaken in that? It seems it was later teachings that did so. Could a change
come in the future similar to how at one time the Priesthood was not available
As someone who was bullied extensively in school, I have trouble sympathizing
with any certain group. It is always the strong taking advantage of the weak no
matter their race, religion, national origin or sexual orientation. The reason
is happened to me in when I was growing up is because teachers and
administration were afraid that they would look bad for punishing the popular
kids, the athletic kids and the kids that were well-connected politically. It
still happens in school today, if what my kids tell me is true. We should
simply stand up to all bullying and not set aside special classes. When it
comes to bullying and abuse, there is only the strong and the weak the bullies
and the victims. If there were no gay kids in high school, there would still be
victims of bullying.
" We should simply stand up to all bullying and not set aside special
classes. When it comes to bullying and abuse, there is only the strong and the
weak the bullies and the victims."Nobody disagrees with what you
are saying--all bullying should be addressed. The point is that LGBT youth are
far more likely to experience bullying--and far more likely to attempt
suicide--than their straight peers. All bullying is wrong, but to put your head
in the sand and not recognize that some groups ARE more vulnerable than others
doesn't help tackle the issue at all.
Goly, gee. I can't think of any reason why gays are mistreated so badly in
Utah. Well, maybe one.
Chad Griffin, head of the Human Rights Campaign, said, "I don't believe
that there is any church, any school, or any set of parents that want to
intentionally inflict harm on our young people…" True, and yet one
must assume that…the incidents of taunting or bullying in Utah are, to at
least some degree, a reflection of attitudes found within some of the homes
where the bullies live.=============== Bigotry,
Intolerance, Bullying, ect.They are learn it in the HOME.And Utah has nearly twice the National average of this kind of intolerant
behavior toward others.WWJB?Who Would Jesus Bully?Seriously, We are trending 180 degrees - polar opposite from what we
Re: "The survey may not be statistically accurate."Duh.
Unlike real science, this "study" amounts to nothing more than a
publicized gripe session. With no attempt, whatever, to separate acceptance of
persons from acceptance of their life choices and lifestyle.Giving
undue credence to this sort of pseudoscientific tripe, and taking us to task for
behaviors that, not only have not been shown to exist, but which are inimical to
our culture, is just another abandonment of reason and proper journalistic
"I don't believe that there is any church, any school, or any set of
parents that want to intentionally inflict harm on our young
people…"I disagree, for instance there's video of
that one pastor in North Carolina who expressed support for putting gay people
in concentration camps. We know where the Westboro Baptist Church stands on gay
people. Anyway, kudos to the Deseret News for this editorial.
@BCA: Claiming this is a Utah-only problem is a weak argument and I am sure you
didn't mean it this way but, insinuating that Mormons treat these people
badly as part of their religion sounds a little ignorant of the Mormon culture.
procuradorfiscal - do you really think that you can separate acceptance of
persons and their life choices? If a person is gay (or different in any other
way) how can you accept them as a person whilst at the same time be overtly
critical of their life choices and lifestyle? You may not agree with a
person's life choices and lifestyle but the moment you start being publicly
critical of what they do you are starting to bully them as an individual. And
that is where the abuse, etc. comes from, people saying gays are wrong, evil,
etc. Listening for understanding and them accepting differences is one thing.
Railing against differences is not right and not what Christ would do. Your
words sound as if you feel under threat? If same-sex attraction is really so
wrong why didn't the Saviour himself say so in the Gospels? See my comment
above."taking us to task for behaviors that, not only have not
been shown to exist, but which are inimical to our culture" - to understand
you, please can you explain how have they been shown not to exist? How are they
inimical (harmful or hostile) to your culture?
@procuradorfiscalcounsellmoell is right, let me give you an example closer
to home (keeping n mind I really do not feel this way) what if i where to say, I
accept and love my LDS brothers but i cannot accept their life style choice to
use the book of mormon as if it where the same as the bible and I cannot accept
their misuse of the bible to justify their behavior choice to be LDS and
don't you dare call be a bigot because I love the LDS people just not their
behaviors and lifestyle choice and I don't think they should be given
special rights for it.
Re: "You may not agree with a person's life choices and lifestyle but
the moment you start being publicly critical of what they do you are starting to
bully them as an individual."First off, no one but the critic
mentioned being "publicly" critical, but let's lay that aside for
the moment. Positing that public non-acceptance of behaviors with which one
disagrees constitutes bullying, is the same as suggesting it's somehow
immoral or uncivilized to oppose ANY behavior, no matter how destructive.Which is, of course, disingenuous. Unless the writer is willing to admit
LGBT activists, who are more than willing to disagree with me, even publicly,
are bullies.Second, no one said that bullying behaviors have been
shown not to exist. But the "study" cited assumes they do, merely
because a tiny sample asserts as much, without even a valid operational
definition as to what constitutes bullying. And the comments demonstrate how
dangerous that is.Finally, while sticking up for decency is part of
our culture, so is living and letting live. Utah has among the Nation's
lowest statistics regarding advocacy violence.
@Proc:"Finally, while sticking up for decency is part of our
culture, so is living and letting live. Utah has among the Nation's lowest
statistics regarding advocacy violence."--Yes, live
and let live, that's why Utahn's supported and voted for Amendment 3
and why Mormons participated so heavily in California's Proposition 8.
Live and let Live. Um, no.This study indicates that Utah's
violence rate is not among the lowest in the nation, at least not in this
Most of our teens accept their peers for who they are, despite sexual
orientation. But we still have some work to do, because a high percentage of
our gay teens still feel some level of persecution. Keep teaching tolerance and
acceptance of multiple sexual orientations in our homes and churches!
George & counsellorneilI think you may be overstating the case.
To disagree with another's lifestyle is not tantamount to bullying. I have
lived most of my life in areas where folks do not necessarily accept or agree
with my choices as a member of the church. But that is not bullying.I do not agree with many choices people make from drinking and drugs to most
divorce. But that is not bullying. It is disagreeing. Nothing more.If being gay is innate, other things are as well (addiction is often
genetically traced and, according to those who suffer from it, can be stronger
than sexual drive). Still, as a society we often disagree on these things.The issue is how we disagree. Not that we do.If bullying is
wrong and if disagreement is bullying, then we as a society must never disagree.
Ever.Democratic debate goes out the window and freedom follows.
Maybe the reason that the LGBT kids are depressed and feel guilty, is because
they know in their heart and soul that what they are doing is not right.Bullying is wrong and needs to be confronted and stopped in schools.I do
feel that LGBT adults teach the LGBT kids to take on a victim mentality in many
ways.Not saying it does not happen, but it is not only gay kids that are
@twin lights you are right there clearly is a difference between
bulling and debate. There is even a difference though much smaller I would say
between bulling and using the law to restrict basic protections and rights. How
would you feel if these places you lived decided that they would not protect
your right to practice your religion, offer basic protections against people
discriminating against you in the work place and housing and not refuse to
recognize your temple marriages?
What does the word "accept" mean? Do I have to "accept" a
lifestyle that I know will bring misery and hopelessness to those who live it?
Do I have to "accept" a lifestyle that requires that those who believe
in it "recruit" teenagers even when that "recruitment" destroys
the lives of the "recruited"?We have moral laws that we can
choose to obey or that we can choose to ignore. Those who ignore those laws
will feel the pains of disobedience. Who are we to try to take away the pains
of disobedience from those who would choose to disobey moral laws? We reap what we sow. Those who sow mischief will reap mischief. God allows
us agency to choose what we will do with our lives but He does not prevent us
from receiving the consequences of our choices.Teenagers should be
protected from foolish acts that will ruin their lives. They should be
safeguarded from those predators who would use them and abuse them. Teenagers
are children and as children they still need to be protected from adults who
would lie to them and ruin their lives.
George,Let's lay aside for a moment the issue of marriage (too
hot - you and I will both run out of comment space).Though I get
your point, bullying and legal restrictions are not really analogous. One is
how I act. The other is how society as a whole does. We often treat the
actions of the societal group differently than the actions of the individual.Over the last decade or two, the law has increasingly protected the
rights of the LGBT community. Not saying it is now perfect, but the trend is
clear reference housing and jobs.But I would doubt that most teens
who feel bullied feel that way because of housing or job situations. I assume
it is because of how others (friends, family, peers, teachers) treat them, talk
to them, etc. That is what needs to change.BTW, I have a good
friend who was kept from an apartment because she is LDS. No, I am not saying
that two wrongs make a right or that it is worse or even the same for LDS folks,
just noting that religious discrimination is not dead yet either.
@ Mike RichardsThere is a difference between accept and bully.
Nothing Christ ever taught, nor any of His prophets authorize to treat anyone as
second class, regardless of the lifestyle they choose to live.Accept
can simply mean, I disagree with your choices, but I understand they are your
choices and you can make them. Ever hear "I teach them correct principles
and they govern themselves."?
@Darrel,What about property rights? What does the 5th Amendment
say: "nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of
law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just
compensation."Can the government force me to rent my property to
someone whom I would rather not rent to?Can the government force me
to serve hesomeone in my business whom I would rather not serve?Who
gave the government that right? Where is it stated in the Constitution?Granted, kindness is not defined in the Constitution. We, who are
Christian, believe in a higher law, but will government force Christ to allow
entrance into His kingdom those whom Christ has not qualified?You
seem to be saying that our property is not our own and that we are all pawns of
the government, a government that derives its powers from the governed. If we,
the people, hold all the power and all the authority, then where did the
government get the right to tell us how we would rent our property and how we
would decide who would be renters?
@Mike,I never brought up property at all. But..."Can the government force me to rent my property to someone whom I would
rather not rent to?" Depends on the reasons...because they are LDS?
Because someone offered you more? You cite the 5th ammendment,
which also takes about life and liberty, before property. Government has the
job to protect both of those, so it protects my rights to be LDS and to not be
denied a roof over my head because I choose to be so.Again, with the
business, if you can come up with a professional bona fide reason, no. However,
the government can control Interstate commerce i.e. how business is
conducted.Christ can allow whom he desires into His kingdom. He has
earned that right. What He has not given us is the authorization to treat
anybody with any less than the love He has shown us. Let God judge them, that
is not our place.
@twin lights I can agree with you they are different but it does influence
the kids I work with because it is another reminder that they are viewed as less
then, which frankly some bullies use as an excuse for their bulling behaviors.
I really was not trying to show disrespect for your religious beliefs and if I
did I do apologize. I was attempting encourage you to step into the shoes of
the LGBT community in a small way and see it from their perspective. Living in
NY , though I am not LDS myself , I am acutely aware of discriminatory attitudes
towards the LDS church and other religious minority groups. It is a little
strange but I often find myself trying to straighten out misconceptions about
the LDS church and while a lot of what I see and hear is more a miss
understanding of your religion there are definitely those that would not think
twice about discriminating against a member of the LDS church. I hope social
attitudes continue to evolve towards increased respect towards both the LGBTQ
and religious minorities. thank you for the civil discourse are rare commodity
in todays market of ideas.
Obviously Mike Richards would not rent to a homosexual if he was a landlord.
Wonder if he would rent to blacks back in the 60's and 70's?You're not making a good show of yourself Mr. Richards. Best read that
bible again and start praying for answers because from what I'm reading
you're misguided at best.
"Maybe the reason that the LGBT kids are depressed and feel guilty, is
because they know in their heart and soul that what they are doing is not
right."With respect, I don't know what you think I was
"doing" during the many years in which I struggled with my sexual
orientation, but for the record, I was celibate-- completely. Sexual orientation isn't a behavior. The depression and guilt I felt had
nothing to do with knowing I was "doing" something that wasn't
right.Rather, there was a profound fear that I was something that
others despised or made fun of. I didn't "earn" that. I simply
recognized that I had a trait that others found evil. And there was simply
nothing I could do about it except pretend that I didn't have that
trait.That's the source of the unhappiness and the stress and
the misery. It is often referred to as "the Closet."Peace.
This article will do more good that you can imagine. I've worked with these
kids for more than twenty years. I've also been shocked by those who
somehow see violence as being acceptable when you encounter something you
don't understand. Maya Angelo expressed similar sentiments to those
expressed in the editorial. "Hatred is an acid that destroys the vessel
that contains it."
Utah seems to be the private TEEN TORTURE capital of America. How many innocent
kids are locked up in re-education camps presently? Tens of thousands, I
suspect.Provo Canyon School, Diamond Ranch Academy, Discovery
Academy, Teen Help (formerly WWASPS) ET CETERA....These places
reportedly torture kids for profit. And when kids die in these programs, no one
is held accountable. That is an indication of deep corruption. I was
locked up in a place like these programs as a teenager. It harms you in a way
that no one can see and it never leaves you. When your mind breaks, it is never
going back to normal.
Steps should be taken to make sure all who are bullies are stopped. A lot of
these bullies are victims in their own homes and need counseling themselves.I don't think however that there should be a special class of
victim.Children are bullied for being poor,overweight,learning
disabled,socially inept, or physically less attractive. Why not address all
I suspected this might happen. Finally there is a move to deal with
bullying in school, something that has, more or less, been a problem for ages.
Then all the attention is diverted to only one class of bullying - that directed
at practitioners of the LGBT lifestyles.Let's talk about
bullying and let's expose it as wrong but let's regard straight
victims of bullying as being at least equal to those not included in the LGBT
agenda. I suspect there are thousands of victims of bullying being ignored
because of this unequal viewing of victims.
Mike RichardsSouth Jordan, Utah@Darrel,Granted, kindness
is not defined in the Constitution. We, who are Christian, believe in a higher
law, but will government force Christ to allow entrance into His kingdom those
whom Christ has not qualified?=============== Gee, I
don’t know if I agree with you Bro. Richards….1st of
all, read the Sermon on the Mount;2And he opened his mouth, and taught
them, saying, 3Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom
of heaven. 4Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. So far, these bullied kids inherit the Kingdom of Heaven and shall be
comforted.Next, I know many Gay and Lesbian Latter-Day Saints –
Temple Worthy.Judgement is not yours.Least Ye be judged by
that same measure...
So the assumption is that because I teach my kids right from wrong (right - self
control and living the law of chastity no matter what my inclinations are,
wrong- doing what feels good)that I'm encouraging bullying?
"Children are bullied for being poor,overweight,learning disabled,socially
inept, or physically less attractive. Why not address all these issues?"I'm sorry, but when I was growing up we thought those were the only
kids who were being bullied. It was NEVER discussed that we should treat
homosexual kids like everyone else. I don't remember anyone getting
chastised for telling a boy to "stop acting like a girl." It seems to me
one of the most popular games played at recess was Smear the Queer. Like Linguist mentioned, most of these LGBT kids who are bullied, who feel
alone, and who are misunderstood are not sexually active. I am sure it tears
them up to be reminded that it's their own fault they are depressed. They
are suffering from an extreme internal conflict that is brought on by
small-minded people who think they understand what is going on with the teens,
but they really don't. It's time many of us stop thinking
we know what's best for others and just love them.
George,First, there is no need for you to apologize. I felt no
disrespect from you at all. And I appreciate your defense of LDS beliefs.
Thank you.Second, I think that no person (whatever their challenges
in life may be) should be made to feel as if they are somehow less. Given the
enormity of what so many must face (in a variety of circumstances, not just
LGBT) they simply do not need to start with that kind of handicap in life. They
need to know they are more than adequate to the challenges ahead.The
problem we (the LDS community) must address is what behavior we must expect from
ourselves even as we deal with those with whom we disagree. As I have tried to
indicate, my view is that tolerance and love do not require agreement or
sanction - just love and the ability to continue to interact with those whose
choices are different than our own.Finally, thank you as well. More
can be solved with civility than without. The marketplace of ideas really
cannot function without it. An understanding that our society seems to be
@ O'really"So the assumption is that because I teach my
kids right from wrong (right - self control and living the law of chastity no
matter what my inclinations are, wrong- doing what feels good)that I'm
encouraging bullying?"============No, teaching your
kids right from wrong is fantastic. But most people would teach that bullying
and being mean, regardless of your opinion is wrong.
What I'm tired of is the "bullying" done to ALL children by Media,
who insist on blowing the gay issue waaaaay out of proportion to reality. (See
The Atlantic article last week that stated while only approximately 2.8% of the
population is actually gay, our youth when surveyed report their belief that
fully 25% of their friends are gay.) This is a problem! Why such a
disconnection from reality? Our youth are at risk of being "taught"
that they have a 1 in 4 chance of being gay!!! This is ridiculous. As a 50+
year-old it is crystal clear to me that the Media has an agenda and it is NOT in
the best interest of our children.
@VIDAR"Maybe the reason that the LGBT kids are depressed and feel
guilty, is because they know in their heart and soul that what they are doing is
not right."I'd say it's more likely that it's
because they're told they're going to hell and others saying how they
feel is not right. I know I probably shouldn't cite fiction but... after
all, public condemnation of your love never did have a good effect on Romeo and
I'm sorry, but I was bullied quite a bit growing up, and my experience
taught me EMPATHY for ANYONE who goes through similar painful treatment.
Several people in here have stated that Jesus never mentioned same-sex
attraction as being a sin, or wrong. What needs to be understood, is that The
Bible, in both testaments, does condemn all sexual sin, including same-sex
relationships. In Mark, chapter 10, Jesus' enemies try to entrap him with a
question about divorce. In answering, Jesus answered, quoting from the Old
Testament: "...from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them
male and female.’‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and
mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’; so
then they are no longer two, but one flesh." (Mark 10:6-8) Right here, Jesus
upholds traditional marriage relationships. Here and in numerous places in the
Gospels and the rest of the New Testament, Jesus, as well as all the writers of
the New Testament, uphold the veracity of the Old Testament. God has defined
proper sexual relationships for all time, and while we mortals are free to
choose whatever lifestyle we like, God has reserved for Himself the consequences
of our choices. Don't use the Bible to justify your rebellion against God.
@jttheawesome,The article isn't about the morality or
immorality of homosexuality, but on bullying those kids who are. Regardless of
your stance on the issue, nothing is taught that makes it right, or even
tolerable for society to treat them as anything but the Sons and Daughters of
God they are. Nothing authorizes those who are straight to somehow feel
superior to those who are not.Jesus taught "Inasmuch as ye have
done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto
me." How we treat each other, is an indictment, for good or bad on how we
would treat Him. Most people all share the same worries, fears.
Most people love, and want to be loved. In reality all of us are much more
alike, than we are different, regardless of orientation.
@LDS Liberal"Next, I know many Gay and Lesbian Latter-Day Saints
– Temple Worthy.”As long as they remain celibateThe Apostle Paul saw the Lord and because of that he was converted.
Apostles speak to the people the word of the Lord, anciently as well as today
and Paul spoke to the Saints who were in Rome. When it came to same sex
relations he did not mince any words and he was speaking as a representative of
the Lord Jesus Christ. He also told what awaited if people indulged in those
behaviors. You can read his discourse in the first chapter of Romans.