Everyone on the West Coast knows about the millions of dollars LDS Inc funneled into opposition of Propaganda 8 a few years ago, a law that would have legalized same-sex marriage in California (that’s right, the Mormon Church cares so much that it can’t tolerate homosexuality two states away from it’s main hub). Growing up in Cache Valley Utah, I got to see another side of the Church’s discrimination against homosexuals in my classroom.
Now at twenty years old, I have two friends whom I’ve had for over five years. Providing fake names, the first is Jake, and the second is Clay. We all grew up in Cache Valley and as part of the Mormon Church.
When Jake turned 18, he wanted to serve a mission for his church. A “mission” is when a young man leaves his home for two years in order to convert people all over the world to his faith—so basically, Jake wanted to give two years of his life up to go work for LDS Inc.
Also, the young men pay LDS Inc thousands of dollars to be allowed to work for them. Hmm.
When Jake sat down in his bishop’s office to get mission papers started, he was staunchly rejected and told he needed to work on his sexuality before they would accept his money and let him work for them.
Jake was determined—he loved his Church, and gay or not, it is still taught to all young men from the time they are five years old that they HAVE to serve missions.
Did I mention that they pay the Church to go?
After three years of trying to “fix his sexuality,” launching himself into depression after depression and feeling constantly shamed and unworthy, Jake gave up. He was done with feeling like dirt because he liked men. He is currently inactive and one of my greatest friends.
My friend Clay, however, is a much sadder case.
Clay is also gay and still Mormon. Despite the fact that he sorely wanted to date Jake six months ago, when Jake left the church behind him to pursue what made him happy (which happened to be a cute boy from Salt Lake City), Clay used my living room to stage his rant about how Jake is sinning and is never going to reach “eternal happiness” by doing what makes him happy in this life.
Besides the fact that Clay’s rant is a different load of bullshit, gay Clay has that standpoint because of the Church’s mantra:
IT’S OKAY TO BE HOMOSEXUAL. HOWEVER, IT’S NOT OKAY TO ACT UPON YOUR HOMOSEXUALITY.
Meaning, Clay will suppress his homosexuality in the name of LDS Inc, marry a woman, and produce more babies for the brainwashing. He will never let himself be happy in this life.
And that, to me, is a thousand times sadder than leaving the Church.
For the Church’s official stance, see here: https://www.lds.org/topics/same-gender-attraction?lang=eng