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A gay dad weighs in on the Mormon Church’s attack on children in LGBTQ families

A gay dad weighs in on the Mormon Church’s attack on children in LGBTQ families
It’s not news that LGBT folks have suffered abuse and atrocities at the hands of organized religion. From independent Christian Churches, who have literally threatened to kill or exile us, to the Catholic Church, who for years declared us “intrinsically disordered,” we thought we’d heard it all. That was before the Mormon Church decided to go after our children. They recently added this amendement to their handbook:
“Policies on Ordinances for Children of a Parent Living in a Same-Gender Relationship: The following additions to Handbook 1 have been approved by the Council of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for immediate implementation… A new section in Handbook 1, 16.13 will be added as follows: Children of a Parent Living in a Same-Gender Relationship. A natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting, may not receive a name and a blessing. In order for that child to get an exception from that rule? The child must accept and commit to live the teachings and doctrine of the Church, and specifically disavows the practice of same-gender cohabitation and marriage. 2. The child is of legal age and does not live with a parent who has lived or currently lives in a same-gender cohabitation relationship or marriage.”
I shouldn’t be surprised that the Mormon Church is vindictively damning my kids and those in all LGBT families and encouraging them to “disavow” their parents. The church has been one of the most publicly anti-gay forces in fighting against LGBT rights. Not only did they bankroll a huge portion of the Proposition 8 campaign in California, they encouraged their followers to take mortgage loans out on their homes and do the same. Even though the proposition won at the time, it was a poor investment in the long term. Karma is a bitch, and it seemed to play out when, after the Supreme Court overturned Proposition 8 and DOMA, Utah — the epicenter of the Mormon church — was one of the first states where a federal court ruled they had to accept same sex marriage post-DOMA. That had to be a bitter pill for the Latter-Day Saints to swallow. Many of the people in the Mormon fold reacted poorly. One writer threatened to starve himself to death if same-sex marriage was not abolished. Another saw the LGBT agenda coming in all directions, including hidden messages in the movie Frozen. Some gay Mormons saw themselves as anti-LGBT rights prototypes who forced themselves into straight marriages so they could declare that legalized same sex marriage somehow violated their choices. As strange as all those arguments and actions were, none approached the naked vitriol of this current move.
Dear Mormon Church, I cannot at this moment call you “saints” at all. Far from it. It is one of the biggest ironies for LGBT people: for many years, we were warned of the detriments our prospective children would face if we decided to have them. We were told we were inadequate, incomplete, possibly depraved — and that our children would be persecuted. Only that last prediction is proving to be true. It’s proving to be true because the people who made the prediction are making it happen.
This includes a judge who received his law degree from Brigham Young University; a man who’s broken up an infant’s loving home only because the parents are lesbians. The Catholic Church published an opinion in the 1990s that declared parents like me were doing “violence” to our children simply be being their parents. That was completely offensive, and of course, it was a lie. You’ve taken that hateful sentiment and kicked it up a notch. You don’t accuse LGBT parents of committing violence against their children. You’ve gone ahead and decided to commit that violence yourself. You’ve let it be known that innocent children — too young to even know what a church is — are damned, nameless, and unwelcome. You’ve set forth a rhetoric that will make them feel somehow “lesser” than other children, inviting them to self-harm and suicide. You hope to ultimately disrupt their family and force them to reject the parents who have loved and nurtured them – the parents who would do anything for them and their safety. Just so you can say you’ve won. As a gay dad, I can’t describe the amount of anger I feel towards you. My sons — adopted from foster care and exposed to drugs in their birth mothers’ wombs — are the most precious things in my life. Being their dad is the most important thing I have ever done, or will do. I never realized it was possible to love another human being so profoundly, let alone two of them. I would die for either one, if it came to that. More importantly, I will fight for them.

I’m non a Mormon, and will never be one. My kids aren’t likely to become Mormons, either. But your rejection certainly extends to us. You’ve publicly declared that my children are lacking in value.

While I am not of your religion, I know many people who are. There are lots of Mormon LGBT families who feel the same as I do. I’m not special.

Your attack is not traditional doctrine. There’s no biblical reference that supports it (and many that refute it).

There’s no historical, moral, or even ethical precedence for it.

While other large denominations are seeking to release themselves from homophobia, you codify it.

You’ve put out a video claiming that this has been done with kindness.

It’s a false claim — your actions are totally lacking in empathy, and prove you’re nothing but bitter and vindictive.

There’s no holiness in your actions; only hollowness. And you can’t simply excuse that away.

I respect your religious freedom, but you’ve crossed a line when you go after the children of loving families. I’ll do everything in my power to rebuke you — particularly speaking out against you.

That’s part of my freedom as a dad.

History has already shown that your homophobic intentions will blow up in your face.

I hope to have compassion for you when it happens — certainly more compassion than you’ve shown our families and the love in our lives.

The truth is, you will have earned the backlash and its consequences.

You wanted our children’s blood on your hands.

It will be mixed with your own.

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