Over the course of the last few years, I’ve heard conservatives within the LDS and without the LDS church openly denouce homosexual relationships. As most of us also know, the LDS or Mormon church has taken a political stance to openly support groups in favor of not legalizing gay marriage alongside the Catholic and other predominantly Christian faiths.
As an LDS member, I’ve seen the church’s stand divide members. Historically, the Mormon Church’s leadership has advised its membership not to mix religion and politics, but in this case it is evident that the LDS Church puts aside that advice and has pushed for political action.
Although I feel the intentions of the LDS church are not to be anti-gay, I have sensed that some members of the LDS church may view the Church’s actions as being anti-gay, or promoting intolerance, etc. I’ve even heard some members who have said they would never allow a gay person in their homes so their kids wouldn’t be corrupted.
I personally do not condone homosexuality, and I feel that I’m a pretty tolerant person. However, I’ve wondered myself how I would react if one of my children, relatives, or close friend were to come into my home with their significant other.
The opportunity knocked on my door late in the evening recently—literally. We were having a birthday party for my oldest daughter and family and friends were gathered around our home. It was about 7:30 p.m. and we heard a knock. The party had been going for a couple hours already so we joked it must be someone late to the party.
When I opened the door, I was surprised to see a relative of mine, who was a returned missionary but had since left the Mormon faith and come out that he was gay. He had felt unwelcome by our family in recent years and had chosen not to participate in reunions and such.
My first reaction was a bit of surprise, but then I felt a genuine excitement to see him. All thoughts of him being gay were gone and I remembered how personable and nice he was. I saw his partner (also a former elder of the LDS church) coming out of the car as well and again, I didn’t feel any sense of judgement or hesitation to let them both into my home.
They both sat down and I introduced him to everyone in my wife’s family. We sat down and had a very good discussion, catching up on life in general and how each of us were doing. As they explained the efforts they had made to come visit, I even felt more appreciative that they had stopped by. On the way through our town, he had remembered the name of the town and called my uncle for our address and phone number. My uncle only had our address so he and his partner turned around and back-tracked about 45 minutes to get to our house, not knowing if we would be there, but willing to take the time to stop by.
Our evening together was very pleasant. Our discussion was a very normal conversation and not once did I feel like taking my kids and hiding them in the back room as they both interacted with our kids.
It wasn’t until they had both left and I started thinking about our conversation that I remembered they were gay and that I had wondered within myself how I would react if someone who was gay were to come by with their other half in front of my kids. I was glad for the experience as the official words from the LDS church’s position on homosexuality became a reality for me:
…we reach out with understanding and respect to people with same-gender attraction.