Given the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there will, in the next three months, be much talk about the fastest-growing religious group in the country.
And although gay activists have all but demonized the church, with HRC for example, saying that you “just gotta love” Tom Hanks for calling Mormon supporters of Prop 8 “Un-American.” (Although Louis Farrakhan criticized the president for supporting gay marriage, HRC has never questioned his patriotism.)
Mormons may have helped fund the campaign to pass Proposition 8, but my Mormon friends tell me that the church is reconsidering its attitude toward gays, with attitudes changing in wards across the country. One of those friends recently shared with me this essay by Dr. Donald C. Fletcher, the bishop in a San Francisco ward:
Working as a bishop in the Bay Ward, I have heard firsthand the stories of members who are gay and felt their pain as I work to bring them back into church activity. The emotional pain and isolation of LGBT members rejected by parents, friends and loved ones after coming out is more severe than any other I have yet experienced in my ministering, and it motivates me to continue in the work I am doing.
Read the whole thing. Fletcher didn’t just share his thoughts with a few select friends, but in the Salt Lake Tribune, the paper with the largest circulation in Utah, the state with the largest concentration of Mormons on the planet — and the state which houses the administrative and leadership offices of the church. What Rome is to Catholics, Salt Lake City is to Mormons.
I could find no evidence online that Dr. Fletcher was reprimanded for his sympathetic piece on gay people.
It would be nice if more gay organizations would recognize the changes taking place in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This article was published in June, over a month ago; I wondered if HRC had perhaps referenced it to show signs of improvement in a conservative faith. Here’s what my search for Donald Fletcher yielded:
Wonder why that is.