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Mormon Leader Rants Against Gays After Suicides
Maybe I should post this in the 'Rant' forum...


Mormon Elder Boyd K. Packer still hasn't corrected his inaccurate and dangerous statements.

Five days ago, in the wake of multiple suicides of gay teens who were "bullied to death," the second highest-ranking official in the Mormon Church told an audience of millions that same-sex attraction was "immoral and impure" and can be "overcome" something the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association both say is harmful.

100,000 of you signed our open letter to Elder Packer asking him to make it right. But he still hasn't expressed the truth, love and encouragement our kids need to hear.

Please forward this important action and ask your friends and family to sign onto the open letter to Elder Packer.

On Tuesday, I'm taking your signatures to Utah. Along with our friends at Affirmation and the Utah Pride Center, HRC will hold a press conference and then hand-deliver your petitions to Elder Packer.

Before we go to Utah, can you help us hit 125,000 signatures? Please forward the email below to everyone you know, post it on Facebook and Twitter, and show that 125,000 Americans are willing to speak up on behalf of these kids.

The recent suicides of several gay teenagers have made national headlines. Yet this is the moment of all moments that a top Mormon leader decides to broadcast a verbal rampage against gays to millions of viewers.

I couldn't believe it either. Boyd K. Packer, the second-highest leader in the Mormon Church, said in a sermon broadcast to millions last Sunday that same-sex attraction is "impure and unnatural" and can be overcome, and that same-sex unions are morally wrong.

Do we need more proof than the suicides of teens as young as 13 that words like these can do unimaginable damage?

We cannot stay silent. By speaking out together, we can show the Mormon Church hierarchy that it has literally risked the lives of children by inciting their tormentors. And we can ensure that the young people who heard this sermon know that it is scientifically wrong and profoundly misguided.

Add your name to our open letter debunking Boyd Packer's lies.

Speaking before 20,000 people and broadcasting to millions more, Packer said same-sex unions are morally wrong and "against God's law and nature" and that the church hierarchy would continue to support marriage bans like Proposition 8 (which was funded largely by Mormons).

It makes me physically sick to think how many young lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender kids had to sit in those pews and listen to that venom.

Comments like these are exactly what makes young LGBT kids think there's no way out but suicide that their parents will reject them, that their communities will shun them, and that living openly will bring pain or violence that even God looks on their very identity as a sin to be "overcome."

And these lies fuel the bullying, harassment, and violence that plague our schools.

Packer's lies have been disproven over and over again by science and by the spiritual experience of Americans who know their LGBT neighbors and care about them. We know sexual orientation cannot and should not be changed and that two people falling in love is beautiful, not evil.

But unless we refute these lies whenever groups like the anti-LGBT National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and the Mormon Church repeat them whether through letters like this or projects like HRC's we risk another young person hearing them and believing that LGBT people are "defective." And that belief contributes to violence and suicide.

Help us speak out so young people understand the truth and so that Mormon leaders know that spreading this poison puts lives at risk.

Americans are sick of the Mormon hierarchy trying to dictate what they should believe. They know commitment and love when they see it. That's why they are turning away in droves from limitations on their friends' and neighbors' freedom to marry.

Edited by Hypatia on 10/08/2010 15:31

Utah gay activists protest Mormon church remarks

By JENNIFER DOBNER, Associated Press Writer Jennifer Dobner, Associated Press Writer Thu Oct 7, 11:50 pm ET

SALT LAKE CITY Gay rights activists staged a silent protest Thursday outside the headquarters of the Mormon church in Salt Lake City in response to a church leader's remarks that homosexuality is an immoral condition that can and should be overcome.

The sermon by Boyd K. Packer, president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, came Sunday during the 180th semiannual general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City.

In his remarks Packer said some would argue that gays "were pre-set and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and unnatural. Not so! Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone?"

Activists nationwide have called Packer's remarks hurtful and say they ostracize gay church members and can lead some to consider or attempt suicide.

On Thursday night, activists dressed in black to symbolize the loss of young, gay Mormons to suicide, activists lay head-to-toe on the sidewalks circling the church's six-block downtown campus.

Police estimated the crowd at roughly 1,000, although organizer Eric Ethington, who runs the blog PrideinUtah, said event staff counted close to 4,500 participants.

"We want to tell men like Boyd K. Packer that we are tired of watching our children die. There are consequences to your words," Ethington said to the crowd to kick off the event. "You cannot change us, we cannot change ourselves and the more you try, the more dead bodies you leave behind. Stop."

Ethington defended Packer's right to express his opinion, but say the church's gay youth also need to hear a message of hope.

"We love you. You are beautiful. You are perfect just the way you are," he said, drawing cheers.

In a statement issued near the end of the rally, church officials said they support the right of groups to voice their opinion in the public square.

"Those familiar with the Church's doctrine on the importance of marriage and family know it is based on principles of respect and love for all of God's children," spokesman Scott Trotter said in the statement. "We have continually emphasized that there is no room in this discussion for hatred or mistreatment of anyone."

A similar statement was issued in the days following Packer's speech, which also defended the faith's stance against gay marriage. Packer, 86, who is next in line for the church's presidency, said those who tolerate or advocate voting for same-sex marriage want to legalize immorality, "as if a vote would somehow alter the designs of God's laws and nature."

The Human Rights Campaign, the largest national civil rights organization for the lesbian, gay, transgender community, has since called for Packer to recant his "inaccurate and dangerous" comments.

In a news release, the group noted that the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association dispute the efficacy of reparative therapies that attempt to alter a person's sexual orientation and said a 2009 study in the medical journal Pediatrics found that telling teens they can change their orientation often increases the likelihood of suicide.

Protest participant Elan Matotek, 26, was raised Mormon and said the messages she heard in church that homosexual behavior is wrong were difficult to hear.

"It makes you uncomfortable for people to come out. It makes you feel like less of a person," said Matotek, who attended the protest with her girlfriend, 22-year-old Jasmine Clark. "But, I feel like I am the person I'm supposed to be."

Packer's message heard by more than 20,000 in the church conference center and millions more through worldwide television, radio and Internet broadcasts could have far reaching affects on young church members wrestling with their sexuality, Matotek said.

"You know they will listen to him and believe that what they are doing is wrong," she said. "I think it's just wrong. He has power and I think he's using it in the wrong way.
Unfortunately, it doesn't surprise me. Impure and unnatural? Other animals have incidence of homosexuality, so it isn't unnatural. Impurity is a value judgment. If purity means accepting the Bible, the Book of Mormon and the accompanying insanity as fact, let's hear it for impurity.
I thought Mormons were impure and unnatural. Mormanism doesn't occur in nature and there is nothing pure about Mormanism except perhaps the level of stupidity they exhibit.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
Doubting Thomas
Funny how homophobes always quote high suicide rates as reasons why people shouldn't be gay - not understanding that it's the homophobia which causes gay people to be depressed & suicidal in the first place. I mean, face it: If you were constantly being told that you're a sick, disgusting pervert and no better than a child molester, you'd get depressed too.
You're just jealous because the voices are talking to me and not you.
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