9 comments on “Have Mormons faced the same degree of persecution as gays?

  1. Over the years (and in some places still today), gays have certainly been tortured, killed, raped, nazi holocausted, turned out of homes, etc. just for being gay. As for leaders being assassinated, since homosexuality isn’t a movement that people decide to join it’s never really had a specific leader, but the assassination of Harvey Milk isn’t a completely inapt analogy to Joseph Smith’s cold-blooded murder. Your facebook friend might be willfully ignorant?

    Your facebook friend might be* right to say that comparing what gays are going through _right now_ in America shouldn’t justly be compared with Mormon persecution in the 1830’s and 40’s, but around the world gays and lesbians are still being persecuted under any definition of the word.

    What was the facebook comment made in response to?

    * The fact that, even here in the US, there are still hate crime murders and beatings and that a stunning percentage of homeless youth are LGBT means that I don’t think it’s *that far* of a stretch even to compare current American gay experiences with that of 19th century Mormons, but I’ll give him/her the benefit of the doubt on that one bit.

    • Below is the comment to which he replied. I think I was wrong to have used the word “persecution” in this context — but I still cannot understand the Church’s involvement with things like Prop 8 given their history of plural marriage.

      “It is rather ironic to me that July 24th is celebrated in Utah as the day the Saints moved West because people persecuted them for their religious beliefs and practices (e.g., plural marriage, slavery) and is also the day gay marriage became legal in the state where modern Mormonism was born. It seems many Mormons have turned their back on the past and returned the persecution (e.g., Prop 8) …”

      • As a Gay Mormon who has gron up with the stories of pioneer persecution and the real-life experiences of being Gay in America now I agree with Austin that the qualifiers of “in America” and “right now” make your FB friend correct, but that in total context it isn’t any different. I do like the comparison of SF to SLC that you made Ryan so good job.

        I have seen personal persecution and have felt like a pioneer paving a new way into the unknown as a gay Mormon because I take the criticism from both sides. My gay friends wonder why I don’t drink with them, or have sex at all and my Mormon friends wonder how I can dare pass the sacrament after coming out in my ward last week. I have seen far worse than those, but I see it from both sides and the similarities are there.

  2. I think what’s interesting to me is how unwilling your Facebook friend is to acknowledge any level of unfair discrimination and violence against homosexuals, at least in that comment anyway. It’s like people want to get in a pissing contest to see who suffered more and therefore who is more deserving of love and compassion.

  3. Why doesn’t WordPress have a like button? I would’ve “liked” both of your comments, Jon and Austin.

  4. Well shucks, Dan 🙂

    And Ryan, I hadn’t noticed (or had it pointed out to me) that marriage equality came into force in NY on Pioneer Day–that’s awesome.

  5. I agree with what your FB friend is saying to a point. Except for the offended part… I don’t take offense by this comparison. (I’m mormon btw) I think that there are quite a few commonalities between modern persecution of mormons and gays. I think as a society we need to be more accepting of differences in belief, culture, characteristics, and really what ever differences. I think that we need to be less ignorant too. I still hear people say things that are so far off the mark about my religion is blows my mind. People really say the most ignorant things… the like demonize things they don’t know. This has happened to the gays too. I have gay friends that I love and respect…

    My thoughts on Prop 8 are this though. I think there has been a great misunderstanding about the LDS’s motive here. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not hate gay people. Mormons however believe that marriage was/is an institution that was established by God first and foremost. We believe that God defines marriage as something between Man and Woman. And we don’t believe that man should try to redefine this unless/until he tells us otherwise. If you look at the Church’s moves in Utah it has encouraged quite a few rights for gay couples entering into civil unions in Utah. I think there are some Mormons that are critical of gays, but this is true of every single sub-culture/group in the world aside from the LGBT community.

    • Britt – re Prop 8: I am completely supportive of LDS beliefs regarding marriage: they have every right to worship how, where, or what they may. And I agree that Mormons don’t hate gay people. In fact, the Mormons in my life have been surprisingly supportive and kind. Let me frame it in a slightly different way to communicate how many perceive the situation. LDS people believe an LDS baptism (along with temple ordinances) is the only way to get into heaven. Baptists (and all other religious denominations) also have beliefs on how to get into heaven. They also believe these things are dictated by God. What would happen if Baptists enacted laws that only Baptists can practice baptism? The analogy is far from representing every point that exists with the gay marriage debate, but I think it highlights the critical point: we live in a pluralistic society. I cannot see any justification for using religious beliefs to deny financial benefits to gay couples. Legalization of gay marriage will not prevent Mormons from marrying in the temple, getting baptized, or participating in any other rites. The legalization of gay marriage doesn’t change any of that.

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