On March 19th, I’ll speak as part of the closing plenary panel at Sunstone West Symposium in Cupertino, California, sponsored by the Sunstone Education Foundation. The panel itself will focus on the aftermath of Proposition 8—and more specifically, on what efforts have been undertaken by individuals of both the Mormon faith and others, to help mend the damage and real human cost of this divisive phase in our history.
Please join me. You can find out more about the Symposium and register here.
My remarks will not seek to disparage the Mormon Church, nor will they seek to disparage the gay community—both have been done, and both accomplish nothing other than making deeper the divide between these two worlds. I will, however, speak openly about my feelings about the Mormon Church’s involvement in Proposition 8—both as a gay Mormon specifically, and as a Mormon in general.
That said, the crux of my focus will be on local Mormon leadership which has sponsored and been involved in multiple LGBT events since 2009. And, the more important issue of the spirit in which my local leadership approaches the issue of homosexuality.
Never, at any time, have I been pitied. Never have I been viewed as suffering, damaged, or afflicted. Instead, I have been blessed to be surrounded by a Mormon community that understands me as their equal—a man with a path somewhat different than their own, but a path designed for me by our Father, just as theirs is. And as such, a path that is respected and honored.
There is much, I believe, to be learned from both my church leadership and my individual experience. And while the jumping off point might be political, the emphasis will be on the spiritual. My focus will be on the compassion, love, understanding and equality granted to me by my Mormon leadership and fellows.
It is my hope that by giving voice to my experience, recognizing my leadership and Mormon fellows, and talking specifically about some of the LGBT events we’ve accomplished, that other communities will follow suit—irrespective of faith.
There has been a remarkable amount of change accomplished in a very short time. And yet, there is much left to accomplish. To play a part in this transformation—however large or small that part may be—is a humbling, soul-stretching honor.
I am both grateful, and blessed.
About the Sunstone Education Foundation
The Sunstone Education Foundation seeks to frankly explore and examine topics of faith as they relate to the complexities of today’s world. While a completely independent organization from the Mormon Church, there is an emphasis on intellectual rigor on LDS theology and doctrine. In their own words: Through its many forums, Sunstone serve…Latter-day Saints and many others for whom life and faith is a wonderful but unique adventure. Sunstone brings together traditional and non-traditional Latter-day Saints, promoting an atmosphere that values faith, intellectual and experiential integrity.