Thursday, November 12, 2009


Over on Abelard's blog there is a comment-trail going on regarding the reaction to the Church's recent statement of supporting nondiscrimination ordinances in SLC.

I have taken the position that this is a positive step, that the timing was good and appropriate and that the reiteration of Church statements in the past in standing up for nondiscrimination legislation is a "good thing". I feel it was a swaying influence and it did have an affect on the outcome of the vote. But, more than anything, it gives substance to those like me who are arguing with neighbors about anti-discrimination measures and having the Church on my side and not on the side of the ilk of the Sutherland Institute supporters, including some of my fellow quorum members who see any step as a step onto that proverbial slippery slope.

(Note: Just seeing the Sutherland Institute's reaction has been hilarious! It just shows how out of step they are, even with the Brethren! And that makes me happy! I can't help but feel that as SI continues down their path of hate, they will move more and more out of step with the Brethren (need I say apostasy?) instead of lock-step with them - and this is a "good thing"!!!)

Sure, I was disappointed that the Church remained silent in last year's legislative session not putting their muscle behind the equality measures being considered. And yes, I will be disappointed again if the Church does not follow up this stance with one on Capitol Hill next year.

But, what really gets me is the underlying spirit of bitterness, cynicism and anger that has enveloped the MOHO community at large. I could be wrong, but am I the only one in this community who sees this action as a "positive step" without having to throw out a zinger about "motives" or "just a PR move", or "too little and too late". Can't it be seen as just a step in the right direction without the cynicism and bitterness?

Am I viewed as "settling for too little" and not being "gay enough" to not feel the hurt and pain and bitterness? Am I not homosexual enough?

It feels like I'm alone out here. I've moved myself from the general MOHO community for other reasons, but maybe, unbeknownst to me, I've moved myself from the general community in more ways than one. No one is really going to read this anyway, but I saddened. I'm sad that because things are going better for me and I don't feel the bitterness as much that I'm not "gay enough". I'm saddened that any view that looks at the Church in a positive light is considered as "giving in to the enemy" or at best, being an "apologist".

I'm also saddened because I do feel the pain and hurt and anger - personally. My personal homosexual battle with the Church has placed me in destructive places. But, now that things are going a bit better, and because I choose to see silver linings in the dark clouds above me, does that make me a Pollyanna?

Bitterness is poison. I have been bitter. It isn't the way I choose to live.


Abelard Enigma said...

It feels like I'm alone out here.

I highly doubt you are alone in your feelings on this issue.

I think there are more voices out there who just aren't making themselves known. Sadly, I've noticed a decline in MoHo's blogging in support of the church - not just with this, but in general - possibly out of fear of being attacked for their views.

I acknowledge that I may be totally off base here and may be seeing conspiracies where none exist. Time will tell if this was just an anomaly, or an indication of a kinder gentler approach in dealing with the gay community.

Sean said...

I agree with you that it is a positive step. I don't understand why everybody is freaking out so much. Oh well, such is life sometimes.

Ned said...

My dear Beck, You are not alone. In fact you're in very good company, if, that is you consider none other than Dustin Lance Black to be good company. Take a look at this clip:

I also see it as, well just what I said in the headline of my blog "a step forward"--notice I didn't say it was a baby step or a giant leap, just a step. To me that is positive.

But if you want to see the viewpoint of it being spectacularly postive take a look at this Tribune editorial:

But since these damn Trib URLs become dated, I'm just going to cut and paste the full text here for you so you can read it any old time you like:

Landmark Moment

It's the Utah equivalent of the march on Washington, the lunch counter protests, the freedom rides; a landmark moment for basic civil rights.

Salt Lake City became the first municipality in the state to extend some of the most fundamental rights to members of the gay and transgender community -- protection against discrimination in housing and employment.

The City Council approved the ordinance unanimously Tuesday. And -the effort was preceded by an unexpected endorsement from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which praised the city for crafting a "fair and reasonable" law that does not jeopardize traditional male-female marriage.

Hallelujah! With the church on board, the new ordinance is less likely to be challenged, and the stage is set for even greater change.

Opposition to the city ordinance was forming in the Legislature, and a bill that would repeal the city law seemed a certainty. But now, LDS legislators, who comprise a super-majority on Capitol Hill, will be less likely to overturn the ordinance.

Plus, with a church-backed measure for a model, elected leaders in other Utah municipalities may be more likely to pass nondiscrimination ordinances of their own.

The door is also open for the Legislature to approve more far-reaching reforms, specifically a package of bills known as the Common Ground Initiative, which would extend the nondiscrimination measures statewide while also granting probate and
hospital visitation rights and health insurance benefits to domestic partners.

LDS leaders did not oppose the initiative last year, simply stating that the church "does not object" to the extension of rudimentary rights like those in the initiative to gays. But they didn't explicitly endorse the proposal, and the bills were killed in committee. That, too, could change.

The church erected a figurative fence between the church and the gay community by supporting a gay marriage ban in California and having a gay couple arrested for kissing on the church-owned Main Street Plaza. And it can help tear that fence down, and build on the relationship forged in recent meetings with leaders of the gay rights movement, by giving its blessing to the Common Ground Initiative.

City Councilwoman Jill Remington Love, speaking after the council vote, said it best. "We are a stronger, better city this evening." And, thanks to a progressive council, an enlightened mayor, determined activists and the LDS Church, the potential now exists for a stronger, better state.

So there you go, Beck. Are you feeling a little less alone? I hope so, my brother.

Bravone said...

I see it as a positive move. Almost everyone on North Star, who have commented, have seen it as a step in the right direction. You're not alone!

Beck said...

ABE said: "Sadly, I've noticed a decline in MoHo's blogging in support of the church..."

This is what I'm referring to. I know I'm not alone on the feelings regarding this issue, but in finding that there is becoming an even more dissatisfaction with anything to do with the Church, even if it is a positive step.

SEAN: I will try not to join in the "freaking out" so much.

NED: You missed my point. Thanks for the article and links. I understand them and the hope articulated by the Trib is great! However, this post is more about this MOHO community's response being much more bitter, angry and disgruntled. That is what I'm addressing. I'm trying to understand why THIS community is so negative and cynical.

BRAVONE: Maybe I should visit North Star more frequently. It's just that I like to hear alternate opinions. This may be a bit unfair, but North Star seems at times to be so "party line" that everything the Church does is considered positive to the point that it has no value or meaning.

I'm just noting how polar the communities have become over the course of the last four years.

Good to be Free said...

I apologize for not checking here more often. I will try and remember to look a bit more often.

I was not a part of the "sphere" before prop 8, but I imagine that this may have been a catalyst for the shift in attitude that you are referring to.

I think the gay community began to see the church in a more political light and now view any move by the church as political rather than altruistic. It is a consequence of the church moving into that sphere. It is a place full of mistrust deceit, and closed room deals. It is unfortunate, but a natural consequence of political involvement.

You and I and many of the married guys also don't have a figurative "dog in the fight." We are able to be a little more objective. We have married, we have families. Those who feel that possibility was taken away do feel very bitter.

Just a few thought.

MoHoHawaii said...

Actually, I don't think sincerity (or the lack of it) matters much in this case. It's the deed that counts.

And as you've pointed out, the Church has drawn a line in the sand. This is of tremendous help to those in the Church who are trying to show compassion about this issue and influence others around them.

If there's less support for the church recently among MoHos, it's probably continued fallout from the Prop. 8 debacle last year. Its echos will be heard for a long, long time.

I often think there's not so much difference among us. What brings us together is more than what divides us. I could be wrong, but that's what I think.

Beck said...

GTBF: You're right... the political process has turned the argument more intense against the church. There is a difference from 3 or 4 years ago when that political process was not so much an issue.

And, the married factor does affect it as well. I do feel somewhat removed from the dog-fight because of my marriage. That is a softening factor. I'm just bemoaning that it has to get so cynical, even though I understand the history of cynicism out there.

Thanks for checking in. Yes, I still exist and appreciate your commenting.

MOHOH: I definity agree that the echos are still out there. what brings us together is more than what divides us.

What I've noticed over the weekend, however, is a division and a disgust "within" the LDS community as I attended church yesterday. Comments I heard included the Church "giving in" to demands from outside interests, and one disgusting comment of those who have been shut out from the kingdom with a follow-up under-the-breath comment of "good riddance" - just make me so upset at my fellow "brethren". I wanted to confront him, but decided to do it privately instead of publicly. Maybe that wasn't right, but at least he knows of my disgust of his remark.