Utah State Legislature drafting Nondiscrimination Bill

The Utah State Legislature is currently drafting a bill for housing and employment nondiscrimination for LGBTs statewide after months of closed door discussions.  Good, right?

Well, here’s the scary part:  one of the sticking points is whether churches as institutions should be exempt from the discrimination ban, or if adherents to faiths should be, as well.

If that’s a sticking point, that does not bode well.  Has such a thing ever been done before, where individual adherents of faiths have been made exempt from civil rights laws, as opposed to just religious institutions?  Basically, that would mean any and all private property would be exempt — say, a business or apartment complex owned by a Mormon.  That’s a shockingly major step backward from what passed in Salt Lake City in 2009.

Let’s be clear here about the Church’s goals.  The Church only supported the SLC law because it explicitly made the Church exempt.  The Church does not support nondiscrimination in employment or housing, as it will fire any BYU teacher who has a same-sex relationship.  The Church only supports nondiscrimination in the sense that it supports others’ beliefs in the public sphere (as per Article of Faith #11); the ultimate goal is to “spread the Gospel” and, frankly, a gay-friendly public sphere is an impediment to that.  So, if you can’t fight the gay-friendliness (the plurality), then you fight the publicness and expand the private sphere (and call it “religious freedom”).

Sure, there would still be nondiscrimination if you work for the city park or live in state-subsidized housing, but the private sphere (where most jobs and housing exists) would be exempt.  The entire private sphere, mind you.

I seriously hope this sticking point does not stick because if it does, it would be a travesty.  I assume what we’ll probably (hopefully) see is an expansion of the SLC model to the state level, or something along those lines.  But I just want folks to be clear about what the Church (or at least, some Church representatives) are aiming for.

Bishop’s Guide to Same-sex Attraction posted, and then removed

Check out this cache of a Bishop’s Guide to Same-Sex Attraction that the Church posted and then took down.  (Note:  Link is no longer functional.)  Such documents are useful because they give a snapshot of everyday policy and counseling advice that affects millions of lives.  One can also get a sense of how the Church currently frames the issue of “same-sex attraction.”

The site says, “seek to remove shame and combat stereotypes and myths” with the exception, of course, of the myth that “same-sex attraction is a mortal experience, not an eternal identity.”  It’s odd how the Church says, “We don’t know what causes homosexuality,” and then they go around telling people that they know what the eternities are like.

Rather than advice of “don’t have friends who are public about their attractions” (which was the advice given as recently as 2006), they say, “Recognize the priorities of others who may be helping you and be willing to understand that they also have shortcomings.”  In other words, be mindful of gay friends who might be trying to convince you to act your attractions solely by showing you how happy they are.  View their happiness as a shortcoming.  (Also see Comment 3 below about how this advice is perhaps more geared toward “Listen to your bishop even though he’s not perfect.”)

Try to “develop a plan of action with alternative responses to limit exposure to triggers.”  Only hang out with ugly people.

Okay, now I’m being facetious.  But I would suggest that as the Church has been recently rolling out subtle policy changes…creating a more “welcoming” atmosphere…it’s actually more of the same.  Consider this letter to Dallin Oaks’ from a parent, which he quoted in his 1995 Ensign article “Same-Gender Attraction”:

[A] concern we have is the way in which our sons and daughters are classified as people who practice deviant and lascivious behavior. Perhaps some do, but most do not. These young men and women want only to survive, have a spiritual life, and stay close to their families and the Church. It is especially damaging when . . . negative references are spoken from the pulpit. . . . Many simply cannot tolerate the fact that Church members judge them as “evil people,” and they, therefore, find solace in gay-oriented lifestyles.

Notice how this letter assumes that gay people act on their attractions because straight people are mean to them.  It would seem that the Church as a whole has adopted the same line of reasoning.  “Be extremely nice to gay people, but firm about ‘sin’, and that’ll convince X number of gays to stay faithful.  We can only hope that X increases as Niceness increases.”

Consider Oaks’ response to the parent:

The person that’s working [to resist] those tendencies ought not to feel himself to be a pariah. Now, quite a different thing is sexual relations outside of marriage. A person engaging in that kind of behavior should well feel guilt. . . . It’s not surprising to me that they would feel estranged from their church.

Ah, I see.  So, if the gay person acts on their attractions, it’s either because (a) straight people were mean to them, or (b) they were selfish and wanted to sin.

That was the logic in 1995.  The same logic is in place in 2013.  (Actually, you could compare it to Boyd Packer’s writing in the 1970s about homosexuality as “selfishness in a subtle form”…the EXACT same logic is present today, even as Mormons say they’re turning away from Packer’s views of homosexuality.)

And Mormons wonder why people think their church is “anti-gay.”

A MESSAGE TO ALL HOMOPHOBIC PEOPLE AND A LETTER TO MY MOTHER

A MESSAGE TO ALL HOMOPHOBIC PEOPLE

Another 17 year old boy named Jack Denton Reese committed suicide on April 22 in Mountain Green, Utah after being bullied for being feminine and/or gay, the day before his boyfriend Alex Smith spoke at a panel about the bullying Jack experienced.  The panel was held in connection with the screening of the documentary film, “Bullied.” Alex did not even know that his boyfriend had already killed himself the day before the panel convened. “You’ll always be remembered,” wrote a close friend on the mortuary’s guest book. “I know you’re looking down on us all right now, telling us all to be ourselves no matter what people say or how harshly they judge. I know it because that’s all you wanted. I love you, Jack. Love forever in our hearts. You’re amazing just the way you are.” And “I remember Jack when he was in our ward and when he would pass the sacrament,” reads another entry. “What a handsome and dedicated young man!” Jack attended Morgan and Weber High schools. On April 27, Weber High students attended class in their Sunday best in Jack’s honor.

Although I am not personally so affected by personal attacks on me (at least I do not let it show), my heart bleeds and my soul aches with severe pain and extreme anguish when I read these stories; and the tears come gushing out.  Jack and his boyfriend Alex are so cute, cuddly and adorable and innocent looking, that it hurts me all the more and makes the intense pain unforgettable.  It almost makes me want to go out and kill those dam f$&%ing bastards who did the bullying (and I do not care if you pardon my French or Not). I am simply baffled and hurt, and cannot believe that this innocent boy is no longer with us and that his gorgeous and awesome presence will no longer be around for us to see him grow up to be a man.  I don’t just cry, but I bawl every time that I look at his beautiful and flawless face.  How can anyone in this cruel world, possibly want to hurt or tease, or ridicule or in any fashion bully this most wonderful and adorable boy.

It is my greatest hope that those who provoked this beautiful child to kill himself and cause so much pain to his equally gorgeous boyfriend, that they suffer the pains of hell and degradation that only a vengeful God in all his wrath and fury can unleash to their miserable souls.  May they rot in hell and in endless and eternal torment with gnashing of teeth and the pains of eternal damnation and May a Just God grind their souls into the oblivion of “outer darkness.”  God the Father says that I must forgive them, but He, God, does not have to forgive them and it is my wish that he not forgive them as he says he does not have too.  Oh how exquisite and endless will be their pain and no man will know the eternal torment of these dammed souls, only those assigned to the awful pit of hell and the internal endless lake of fire and the smoke that ascends up forever and ever, only they will know the eternal anguish of that dark and horrible place.  Give them all you got Lord God and do not hold back one iota of your eternal wrath, even the endless wrath of almighty God the Father who is quick and powerful and slow to hear the cries of the wicked.  I personally never want to see them again or hear their hatred and prejudice and bigotry and cruel remarks again.

I may have to forgive such people but I do not have to forget and I do not have to wish for God to forgive them either and I certainly do not, hell no!  I may even be commanded to love such individuals but I do not and will not love, condone, or in any way accept their evil actions and intentions for which they will suffer for all of eternity.  God did not say that I could not hate and loathe their damnable behavior for which he God will never forgive or give pardon to.  Christians say “Love the sinner but hate the sin” and that is exactly what I am doing here and I am no hypocrite either. (Thanks for letting me vent).

MY LAMENTATION:

My, my, my how I cry, cry, cry and say why, why, why and want to die, die, die and I hope you sigh, sigh, sigh when you nod good bye, bye, bye to the kid who die, die, die died.

IT’S PRETTY “LAME” ALRIGHT, ISN’T IT?

I will never forget the story of Jack Reese and his boyfriend Alex Smith.  Just another Gay Mormon boy child whose candle went out to soon like a candle in the wind, even before we got to know the beautiful baby or even say good bye!

I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO SAY TO WHOEVER MAY BE INTERESTED:

My comprehension of my own life is that I am a truly wise person; I know this because I have been told by many that I have the gift of discernment and the bible says that all who have the gift of discernment especially at a young age, and I did at the ripe old age of 10 years old, are truly those individuals that will not only have wisdom but will be wise indeed AND NOT BE CONFOUNDED.

A MESSAGE AND LETTER TO MY MOTHER IF SHE WERE PRESENT

So in conjunction with that I wish to say to my Mother, if she were still alive; and she is not:

Hi Mom its Robin Lee Johnson here, your second oldest son who grew up like the oldest because I was the only boy amongst my siblings after my older brother passed away.  I have wanted to tell you that when you clapped your hands over your ears, and yelled at me at the top of your lungs: “Shut the F%$#@ up!!, and don’t ever speak to me about this again” when I tried to tell you that I was being repeatedly and forcibly molested at the ranch; you really hurt my feelings and made me think that you did not love me or even care about me at all.  Not only that, but you did not protect me, and so I was repeatedly molested again and again after that and raped also.  There was no use telling you, because you would not listen to me in the first place.  I learned to be helpless because I was being forced to do something I did not want to do, and no one was there to help me, not you Mom, or Dad either.  Only Cassie my little 5 year old sister tried to help when I asked her for her help, but failed also, in the end, because he viciously threatened and scared her away.  I was hurt badly and still bear the deep emotional wounds of your actions (and lack of appropriate actions) to this day, some 40 years later!

Because I was emotionally damaged for your lack of intervention on my part, I hold you responsible for many of my emotional problems and mental illnesses with their accompanying years of psychological as well as physical pain.

I can only imagine how you would react to the news that I am a faggot, queer or homosexual.  Would you react the same way as when I tried to tell you I was being molested by an ugly 52 year old man when I was just 10 years old?  Would you support your only surviving son, out of the 14 boys that you conceived but never got to raise?  Or would you just hate me for being gay and therefore show to me that it was wise of the Lord to not let you raise my other brothers because in all likelihood some of them would probably be homosexual also.

You were there for my older sister when she got raped at gun point and also for my two younger sisters when they were molested by that “Hell’s Angel” character; and you did all in your power to bring them to justice including court trials in which I even testified at when I was just 12 years old.  Why did you try and help them and not me?  Are you that different in your treatment of girls over boys or are you so homophobic that the very thought of me being with another male disgusted you to the point of holding back your love from me in my greatest time of need?!?

In any case, I forgive you only because I have the capacity to do so, and God has commanded me to do so.  But until I die, I will always wonder if you will accept me for who I am when you know the truth about me; that I am gay as hell!  I always figured that it would be Dad that would reject me for my sexual orientation and even want to go out and shoot me in order to put away that filthy faggot!

Daddy did not really support me being gay, but at least he did not reject me either.  He did not understand me being gay and I suspect that he does not even understand the homosexual people at all, not the slightest clue; because like the Mormon Church, he does not give it the time of day, because he has always believed that homosexuality was simply evil.

I do not blame my Dad for his attitude, because he was taught this attitude by the Mormon Church and other so-called Christian organizations and people.  My Dad was not sophisticated enough to be able to tell when someone was wrong or right, especially not in social and family issues or even matters of the heart.  He was simple, yet he agreed with those he chose to agree with and would say: “to hell with everyone else.”  My Dad even told me that he was angry with the Church leaders, who he said had no right to excommunicate me like they did and that he felt that they were wrong.  In that way I did get some support from my Dad, but I do not know if it was more or less that he usually disagreed with Church leaders anyway, or if it really was just supporting his son over the Church.  Either way, I am glad that he said what he said.  In a lot of ways my Daddy was cool and a somewhat fair man, but a poor man just the same; poor financially and spiritually.  I love my father, so don’t get me wrong, he never tried to destroy us with words like my Mother was always trying to do to us kids.

Also don’t misunderstand me Mom; and think that I do not love you, because I do; and I am not taking Dad’s side over yours either, it is just that you are the one that failed me when I was always loyal to you.  This is something that you did not understand, like the day you permanently exiled me from your life and told me to “get the F@#$%& out of my house, and I hope the door hits you in the ass on the way out too” when I was 17 years old and a junior in high school.  You were the one that got me put in a foster home because you fought with our Landlord about my sister not doing the dishes, and then you, because of your pride, threw our butts on the street, not because the landlord said we had to go, but because you were angry.  And when I tried to inquire as to when I could move back home, after you and my younger sisters had moved back home already, and you asked me first before I could open my mouth, “So when are you going to move back in son” you threw me out of the house because I answered “I don’t know…” (You did not let me finish, either!)

You did this because you thought, I was not sure that I wanted to move back home, because like usual, you did not let me finish talking, for I was trying to say: “I do not know, when do you want me to move back in, because I am ready at any time to move back in, but it is your call.”  Mom, you have always been the boss, no one in this world tells you what to do, that is why I answered the way that I did.  But you assumed that I was going to say something like: ‘I don’t know if I really want to move back in’ and thus you figured that I was not being absolutely loyal to you.

Quite ironic when you think about it though, isn’t it?  The fact that you were the one that was not loyal to me on several occasions and I was never disloyal to you ever.  So if you threw me out of the house when I was a minor child, and did not give me a chance to explain myself, all because I did not answer a question of yours exactly the way you wanted me too, then I can only imagine what wrath you would pour down on me when you discover that, God forbid, my son is queer!  I for one fear your wrath, more than the wrath of Almighty God.  I ask for your forgiveness mother, in advance, if I have offended you in anyway; for you always said that we were a reflection upon you, and that whatever we did either complimented you or were an embarrassment to you.  I can only hope that you are not embarrassed by me because I am gay!

Your Loving son Robin Lee Johnson!

A GAY PROCLAMATION TO THE WORLD FAMILY

The Proclamation of Robin Lee Johnson and his own life experience.  I believe that all gay people are valid human beings who have the God given right to marry the person who they love and as long as they are monogamous and keep the law of chastity which they are doing by being married, they should have all of the 1,049 rights and privileges that comes with being married.  This is the first and foremost belief I have.  I have someone that I wish to marry right now and I do not think that I am sinning because I am not able to get married right now due to the fact that it is not legal in Oklahoma right now.  I am hopeful that a federal law is enacted to force all states & commonwealths, territories and so forth in the union of the United States of America, to allow marriage of all of its citizens.  And now for my formal long overdue Proclamation to the world and to myself and my boyfriend and his and my family that is an adaptation of the one on “The Family” from The LDS Faith or Church.

A PROCLAMATION TO THE WORLD

 Robin Lee Johnson formerly of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

WE, Robin Lee Johnson and George Allen Circle and all gays of the CITY OF MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA, DO solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a man or a woman and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

ALL HUMAN BEINGS gay, LESBIAN or straight—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit sons or daughters of heavenly parents, and as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender orientation or the sexual identity, and transgender identity is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose and all are acceptable before God and the host of heavenkkk and Jesus Christ and even the devil agrees.

IN THE PREMORTAL REALM, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and also ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships and gay couples to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families and gay couples as well as transgender couples to be united eternally in bonds of holy matrimony and other unions and bonds as well also.

THE FIRST COMMANDMENT that God gave to “Adam and Steve” as well as “Mary and Martha” pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and husband or wife and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth and to adopt those children who are orphaned remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation and surrogate motherhood as well as Invetro-fertilization are to be employed only between men and men and women and women, lawfully wedded as co-husbands and co-wives.

WE DECLARE the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed and scientifically supported and so classified. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan of joy and happiness for all of his children.

HUSBAND and husband or wife AND WIFE have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, be accepting of all gay relationships and sexual identities and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Gay Husbands and Lesbian Wives—pairs of mothers and pairs of fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations and for loving all gays everywhere in the world and transgender people as well.  No matter what someone’s sexual identity, orientation or attraction are, love and respect should rule the day.

THE FAMILY is ordained of God no matter what the make up of that family might be. Marriage between two men or two women is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by their fathers or their mothers who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in gay family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages in all the gay families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities including gay parades and gay pride day and celebrating the lives of gays and lesbians everywhere. By divine design, gay fathers are to preside over their families and lesbian mothers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and mutual respect and caring and kindness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life, joy and happiness and protection for their families. Gay Fathers and Gay Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, gay fathers and gay mothers are obligated to help one another as equal gay partners in their respective homosexual relationships. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support, love and kindness when needed, even from straight neighbors and friends of gays.

WE WARN that you individuals who  do violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities in these gay unions will one day, stand accountable before God and Christ. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family and gay relationships will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets as well as psychologists and scientists.

WE CALL UPON gays and lesbians and transgender people  who are responsible gay citizens and gay officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the gay and transgender family as the fundamental unit of society and gay and lesbian and bisexual & transgender communities around the world & universe.

From Gays and Homosexuals in the United States, Robin Lee Johnson and George Allen Circle and all transgender people and bisexuals and Questioning and Gay Supporters and especially Mormon Gays!

Get it straight, don’t hate, and just be full of love if you want to go to heaven above!!!!!!!

SOME THINGS I HAVE LEARNED BY BEING GAY AND MORMON

SOME THINGS THAT I HAVE LEARNED

One thing that I have learned is: although Gay people are born gay; when gays have gone through the process of: first denial, then self-loathing and other steps, and finally acceptances; then Gay people are ready to move on to healthy relationships.  Another thing that I have learned is: that for relationships to work; each person in that relationship, must learn to deal with all the rejection from family, friends, the clergy, members of their church, and other so called Christians or any religious people and all other haters of gay people.  Along with this, there are the normal problems of a relationship, which for a Gay person, are similar to a heterosexual relationship, yet are different also, and for most gays, even more difficult than it is for straight people to handle, especially without expert help.

The difficulty for us gays to have relationships in the first place, is what I am getting at.  Because it is so hard to have a gay relationship, this is why so many gay people give up and just go to bars to try and “Hook-Up” (have anonymous sex).  But even these gay people still dream of having a wonderful relationship some day.  Now those who diligently strive for a long lasting relationship; if they find one, they are much more appreciative and thankful, than those whose relationship was not so hard or difficult to find or achieve.  This is why I have known gay couples who have been together for 27 years, 30 years, 36 years, 55 years, 63 years or even longer.  The point being, that Gay relationships can last a really long time or even for a lifetime if the two partners work at it and they love one another and are dedicated to one another.

Some gay people used to go from one relationship to another; but since the AIDS epidemic and Hepatitis C, many couples are staying together longer, and many singles are now seeking out a Gay relationship much more diligently than before.  These new Gay relationships stay together longer as well.  However, a relationship lasting longer than 6 months is still considered a long term relationship; one lasting a year, marriage is expected, and 4 years, a full term relationship.  If you pass 7 years, then your relationship is considered to be extremely long term, and finally if you reach and pass ten years then your relationships considered a life long relationship.  Many relationships between Gay couples unfortunately only last for a few short months and then they break up or one partner begins to sleep around.

ANOTHER THING THAT I LEARNED FROM EXCOMMUNICATION

On January 19th 2012, homophobic bishop Bobby W., excommunicated me from the Mormon Church.  Just as I was making plans to go back to church this happens and now I have not gone back.  I attend church at the Church of Christ in Porum, Oklahoma, with Cody and his family.  George’s grandpa is the minister in that particular congregation, which consists of George Allen Circle, his mom Sharon, his step-dad Jaun, his sister Juliana, his brother Roy, his grandpa the minister, me of course and 22 other people.  We sing several songs, we have Holy Communion; except for me of course because I am not allowed, do to the fact that I am not a member; they take collection, and then Grandpa gives the sermon, we then have closing prayer.

Cody and I are very happy together over these past 9 months and I have officially moved in with his family who completely accept me, at least a lot more than the Mormon Church does.  Cody and I share the same bedroom and bed and we have our desk in the back room.  Cody and I are good companions for each other and he is completely devoted to me.  We bring comfort and joy to each other and we share our lives together.  He gives me a sense of purpose and helps me to not be lonely.  I need him in my life and he needs me and we are there for each other.  Cody is my partner and significant other, and I do love him and I do love his whole family.

I miss the Mormon Church, so I went to the LDS church on Sunday just 2 days ago on September 23rd 2012.  I do not believe that I should have been excommunicated.  I still have a testimony of the church, the prophets and apostles and seventy; as well as the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Christ, The Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price.  The Church is true.  I do wonder though, why President Benson did not get more revelation about gays than he did (they fear change or did not like what they have heard already).

I HAVE LEARNED THIS ABOUT MY FIRST BLOG

I challenge anyone to prove to me that I “misrepresented” any general authority in my first BLOG.  I had before me several talks by Gordon B. Hinckley, Jeffery R. Holland, James E. Faust, 2 by Dallin H. Oaks, and 3 by Boyd K. Packer.  I read them over and over again, and I marked them with underlines and then I included all the underlined statements in this BLOG and none of them were taken out of context.  I also quoted all the scriptures from some of the talks that were listed and which were supposed to back up the points the brethren were trying to make.  I did not think that all those scriptures related to homosexuality, but apparently the brethren did.  Since the bishop supports all that the brethren say, I wrote that he was saying these things also that the brethren were saying and quoting, by way of agreement.

But I was mistaken about that; the bishop does not agree with all these talks by the brethren or the supporting scripture they used, or else he would not have excommunicated me himself.  I am excommunicated right now, primarily due to a homophobic bishop.  Because I was excommunicated before when I wanted to be, and it was justified; now I may not ever be baptized again in the Mormon Church.  It is very difficult to be rebaptized, let alone be rebaptized a second time.  Brother Bailey my dear sweet Home teaching Companion and church Choir coach was rebaptized twice, but I was told that it was very rare.  Also if I would have received my blessings back, the bishop would not have been able to excommunicate me himself; he would have to get his superior, the Stake President, to do it (and I do not believe he would have excommunicated me the way the bishop did).

The biggest problem the bishop has with this BLOG is that he thinks that I am going against Boyd K. Packer; but it is other general authorities that are disagreeing with him too.  In my understanding of things, if several different people are saying different things, or complete opposite positions about the same subject, then some one is wrong, or they are all wrong together.  There is only one truth out there and I for one do not believe we have all the truth about same-sex-attraction yet.  The Articles of Faith tell us that we believe that many plain and precious truths will yet be revealed to us.  I simply sided with the majority of those general authorities, who spoke on the subject of homosexuality and it is not my fault the bishop disagrees with those talks.

A WORD ABOUT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH’S BELIEFS

The Catholics have the same problem with the Bible; they believe in the “divinity of the Bible,” which means that they think it is perfect and infallible.

I have heard, that when the Bible says that a Priest must be 30 years old to make sacrifice in the Temple; and in another spot says that he must be 3 years old to make sacrifice in the Temple; the Catholics say, both are right, and if you do not understand, they say “just have faith my son”.  I know that one of these Old Testament verses is wrong.  I choose to believe that the correct age is 30, because that is the age that Jesus Christ chose in the New Testament to start His mortal ministry.

WHAT I HAVE LEARNED ABOUT THE MORMON CHURCH

Bishop W., like many other Mormons, believe that our general authorities are also perfect and infallible.  This is not true, because Joseph Smith said of himself, that he was only a man, and that he was not perfect.  One of my favorite general authorities who was a seventy, even Paul H. Dunn who was nicknamed the “great orator,” was later released and all his books and tapes were no longer sold at LDS Bookstores and his works were censored by the Church, because he embellished his stories.  In other words, he lied to the youth of the Church, which was his main group that he spoke to.

If a Seventy can lie to us, then why can’t an Apostle simply be mistaken about a certain subject, or even possibly be prejudice.  Well, I have already been punished for saying these things and I do not know how I am supposed to see it any other way.

This is why the Articles of Faith say that “we believe in the Bible as far as it is translated correctly”.  Mormons say that 2% of the Bible has mistakes in it; and it is not a perfect book, or set of books, like the Book of Mormon is.

Mormons are so against Gay marriage that they spent 22 million dollars to stop gay marriage in just California, and it was all for nothing, because it was declared unconstitutional; I guess then that Mormons are also just unconstitutional in their thinking when it comes to gays.  Mormons wanted equality for women, Indians, black slaves and anyone else, but they draw the line with gays.  They hate homosexuals so much they did everything in their power to get Catholics to also vote against gay marriage.

Mormons believe that you cannot enter the gates of heaven, the Celestial Kingdom of God the Father, if you are not baptized.  But my understanding of this doctrine is, that this is for people who refuse to be baptized in the Mormon Church especially after being exposed to the Church and rejecting it.  I have not rejected Christ and his Church, it is just one man, a bishop in the church named Bobby W., that has excommunicated me and he probably believes that I will never go to heaven now.  I know that he does not want me in the Celestial Kingdom because of his hatred of Gays.  I do not hate brother W., I am just disappointed in how he treated me, when I let him know that I still had same-sex attraction, even though I was still keeping all of the commandments and I was certainly not acting on my gay feelings or participating in any way, in the gay lifestyle for over 14 years yet.

WHAT I HAVE LEARNED ABOUT MYSELF

The time has come for me to stop obsessing about the Church and just be happy with the life that I have right now.  Besides, it would take someone like Joseph Smith to get all the correct information that we need from God.  I just know that I am not evil minded and that I love God and our Christ, and that I did not deserve to be just excommunicated the way that it was done.  But since I am not a member of the Church any longer, I think that I will continue to have an ear ring in each ear, and nail polish on my fingers and toes.  I also wear pants and t-shirts that are really women’s clothes, because they don’t have men’s clothes in pink.  I will continue to be in love withGeorge Allen Circleor Cody as he likes to be called.

I really believe that I would have been much happier in my lifetime if I were born to a family that accepted homosexuality a lot more.  If I could have had boyfriends when I was young, like my present husband has had, and if I had been able to accept my own sexuality then I do not believe that I would have developed so many mental illnesses.  My childhood sucked anyway, for many other reasons as well.

I am now glad that I am gay, and do not want to change myself anymore, like I used to.  I want to get married legally to my husband and spend many years with him.  Cody Pooh is my baby and I love him very much.  I cannot be happy any other way than being gay.  I am definitely not your average Joe; no, the gay life is the only life for me, from now on and for the rest of my life. Gay life is pretty cool when you are accepting of yourself and you are not being persecuted by your peers, family, clergy, neighbors, or just strangers.  Then it is really fun to be gay.

I really like myself now, and because I have got to know so many other gays; intimately and otherwise; I have grown to see that there is not really anything wrong with me, I just love young men and not young women.  I do not need to be fixed; I am not broken or maladjusted in any way.  I feel much better about myself, and I have a much better support system than I did when I was growing up inCalifornia; which is really weird when you stop and consider that this isOklahoma, home of the red man and redneck.  I am not recommending the gay lifestyle to anyone; I am just saying that it is right for me and for anyone else who knows that they were born to be only this way.  For if you are born this way there is really no problem as long as you can accept yourself the way that you are and do not give a damn what all other people think of you.

When I was growing up I thought that God would change me and that I must have done something wrong in the Preexistence to deserve being gay.  I now know that I am not sick nor am I a pervert, or deviant like Boyd K. Packer says that I am.

Because I have publicly stated that I am for gay marriage, I have been excommunicated from the Mormon Church and I will probably not ever be allowed to be rebaptized again, especially since I already was once before rebaptized & now excommunicated again.

Now that I am in a gay relationship I am still affected by my upbringing in the Mormon Church, because I almost never have any kind of sexual relations with my boyfriend.  Like I was saying earlier, we are like a couple who just love to be with each other and share our lives together.  I support him and he supports me and we are there for each other.  Love is what we have for each other, not lust.  Some other Latter-day Saints stay in the Church and deny themselves sex and just join clubs and participate with other members of the same sex in a somewhat intimate way, such as hugs and long embraces and maybe an occasional kiss on the cheek.  It really sounds too hypocritical for me though.  Besides bishop W. took that choice away from me and did not give me a chance.  His contempt for me will be judged by the Lord Jesus Christ and I know that the lord will be sympathetic towards me because he knows how I was living and what was in my heart.  After all, I think that I had proven myself, by the fourteen years that I was either faithful to my wife or celibate and single.  The misery that I was going through, the sadness, the intense loneliness and heartache and the incredible desire for a loving relationship that I was missing are all a testament to my devotion to the Church and it’s principles, doctrines and rules and regulations.

WHAT I NOW KNOW NEEDS TO HAPPEN

I need to put an end to this debate over gay and straight.  Gay marriage should be legal everywhere so that gay people can love each other and be happy; after all, what is wrong with more love in this world anyway.  I believe that straight people need to stop interfering with honest, happy gay couples that are not hurting anyone.  I believe that the reason that straight people do not want gays to marry, is not just because they think that it is wrong, but it is because they do not want us gays to have the one thousand and forty-nine rights and privileges under the law that they have and enjoy, who are already married legally and that is just the federal laws that would benefit all gays in the United States.  Most straight people are not even aware that they have this many (1,049) federal laws for married couples, let alone what they are or what they are entitled to under State laws; they just no way in hell want gay people to have them what ever they are, that is for damn sure.

Like I have said in my first Manifesto; the civil rights of a minority cannot be decided by a plebiscite; for if you allow this to happen, we will all be going backwards and not forward in the arena of civil rights for all minorities.  This is why we have a Constitution of These United States and elected officials to govern us and protect minorities and individuals from the more “immoral” majority.  Especially when a minority has many fellow citizens that hate them and/or are prejudiced against them like our recent past has shown against Indians, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Women, Children, certain religions, Gays, Lesbians and Transgender people.

THIS IS WHAT IS BEST FOR ME

Have I mentioned lately that I am completely happy with my life here with my Fiancé and his whole family. My boyfriend’s dad defends me all of the time and his mother is always kind and supportive of me and his little sister and brother just love me to death, so to speak.  I do like living in a house.  My boyfriend and I have our own dog, Ariel, and my boyfriend’s mother has a dog, Scooby and a cat named Whiskers.  No other pets though, except for a few mice running around.

I feel like I am really married to George Allen Circle, not just because we would have already been married by now if it were legal in this State, but it is not.  But also because we are so settled together and happy at the same time, and we both want the same things out of life.  We both voted for incumbent President Obama because we know that he will continue to fight for gay marriage.  George’s grandfather voted for the Mormon, Mitt Romney, just for the opposite reason; he is against Gay Marriage.

SOMETHING I LEARNED FROM MY FATHER

My father believed that you must suffer the pains of hell here on earth, in order to go to heaven.  The church identifies this belief as one of the seven deadly heresies.  Believing in this doctrine and practicing it only creates bitterness and unhappiness and of course leads to apostasy.  For years, my father was practically apostate, because he did not follow the Prophets and he lived his own way, and he several times said to me, “the hell with the prophet” when I would quote something that the prophet said, he did not like.  My dad was miserable and lonely for years and he thought this would get him into heaven.  I no longer subscribe to this doctrine which is a false doctrine at best.

Robin Lee Johnson

GAY COUPLE FIND GREAT HAPPINESS AT LAST, DESPITE MORMON BISHOP’S HOMOPHOBIA

I am now, and have been for over 11 months to date, very happy and my depression has become almost non-existent.  I have found out for myself, that being gay or homosexual, is not only right for me, but also can be enjoyed, and bring much joy to the lives of gay people.  Life is beautiful, and God has blessed me abundantly since I came out of the closet for the second time in my life.  Since “wickedness never was happiness,” I must not be all that wicked after all, because I am very happy!  I am happier than I have ever been at this time, in this life of mine, so far now.

I Prayed, back in October 2011, to Heavenly Father for help and understanding, and more specifically, for a boyfriend.  I reasoned with the Lord on the fact that in the Bible, God granted to the children of Israel, what they wanted, even though it was not his will for them to have what they longed for.  The children of Israel wanted meat, and God wanted them to have “Manna” that he had so graciously provided for them.  It was not the Lord’s will that they have meat.  But the Lord did bend his will to the will of the people.  They got their meat in the form of Quail.  In a similar fashion, his children wanted a King, but the Lord was their King, and therefore, it was not his will that they have an earthly King.   However, once again the Lord gave in to the will of the people, because of his love for them.  Granted, certain consequences befell them for this desire, but the point is; the Lord is willing to compromise, if his children desire something bad enough or if their hearts desire for it, is great enough.

In my case, I desired a boyfriend who would be able to love me.  I even asked for a nineteen year old male, so that I would recognize his hand in the matter, if my wishes were realized.  I also thought to myself; if the boy is real cute and likes older men that will be a sign unto me that the Lord approved.  I, in turn, covenanted that I would be a help to the young man in question and help a fellow Gay man, deal with his being Gay.  I did not know that this could happen or not, but I remained VERY hopeful.  You could say I had faith that Heavenly Father would bless me, or at least answer me.

Well, I have had a new boyfriend for 9 months now, and I love him very much and he loves me very much.  He was 19 years old, and is very cute to me.  He is everything that I hoped for and much more.  He is just my perfect type also.  His name is George Cody Allen Circle, and he is gay, but he was suicidal over being gay.  I have kept my part of the bargain, and I have been a tremendous help to Cody.  His mother and step-father really think I am helping him as well, and they really appreciate all that I do for their son.  I have brought Cody from the brink of suicide, to being very happy with his life.  I still have a challenging work to do ahead of me, but I am up to the task.  I will not be doing this alone however; I will use the aid of professional help for Cody.  I am helping Cody with Doctors, Psychiatrists and Medications and getting his insurance squared away.  I also help him with spiritual and emotional matters.  Cody also has mental illnesses, like I do, primarily due to his issues with homosexuality and dealing with the rejection he gets from the world at large, but especially his family and former Church—The Church of Christ, in Muskogee; but his Mother supports him also on the issue of being Gay.  Cody needs more support than this though, he really needs me, especially now that his grandfather rejects him and said that he wants nothing to do with him anymore, even though he helped raise Cody from 3 years old.  His Step-grandmother totally rejects him now that he has come out to them about his homosexuality.  She thinks she will get AIDS from him.  How ignorant is that and so uneducated are his grandparents.

Cody and I met at a critical time for both of us.  We need each other more than we want each other, and we want each other very much.  Our relationship is not based strictly on sexual attractions alone, as I very much knew that it would not be.  Our relationship is based on Love and companionship and all the other attributes that I mentioned in my previous documents.  Our relationship is based also on mutual respect for each other and it sparks much growth for both of us.  Cody was looking for an older, more mature person to have a relationship with, he told me so himself.  I believe with all my heart that God has brought us together for a purpose, and that purpose is good.  Now Cody smiles, which he didn’t do before.  I am like a surrogate father to Cody, and he likes that, especially since his earthly father past away when Cody was 8 years old, and he has no adopted father.  His grandfather does not even try to understand his same-sex attraction, because he’s a minister of the “Church 0f Christ” in Muskogee; and his step-father is very abusive.

I have not been going to Church, because of my homophobic bishop, but now that my depression is gone, and I have become stronger, I plan to go back to Church, but in a different ward.  Other members, like my friend Eddie Yadon, have left the ward also, primarily because of the Bishop, and because of the atmosphere that this bishop has created in the ward.  Most of the ward is happy with the bishop, mostly because they do not like to think negatively about anyone, especially their bishop.  The bishop has, however, created a lot of negative feelings and negative vibes in the ward that continues to go on behind the scenes.  It really is a shame that this is going on.  My bishop and Cody’s grandfather are a lot alike; they both totally reject us because of religious prejudices.  The more devout people are to their religion, the more hate they have for gay people.

Cody and I have more things in common than you could possibly ever realize.   We are extremely affectionate and loving to each other.  I find it hard to really understand why he loves me so much, but of course I love him with all my heart and soul, and he says the same to me all the time.  He means everything to me, and I would not give him up for anything that this world has to offer.  We truly share our lives together, do literally everything together, he even goes to all my doctor appointments with me.  Already, he cannot stand to be without me, and I cannot stand to be without him for any length of time.  For instance, he will walk all the way to Wal-Mart or Big Kmart with me and back, just not to be with me for a couple of hours.  I believe we have a strong interdependency for each other now.  Nothing or no one is going to come between us, or lesson our powerful love for each other.  Cody tells me he loves me, more than 40 times a day or more.   We are extremely close!

We watch movies, play games, play video games together and everything else everyday.  Cody Circleis the boyfriend of my dreams, come true!  My wife told me, that whenever she died, she wanted me to get a boyfriend and be happy.  I know, that she knew, that I could only be truly happy in a gay relationship and not in a heterosexual relationship.  She loved me so much, that her hopes for me were that I find a boyfriend or lover, and get married to him.  Cody and I consider ourselves a married couple, even though that is not legal in this state yet.  However, we had ourselves our own ceremony, and he wears my ring.  Cody likes to think of me as the “girl” in this relationship, and I only see him as a “boy.”

Cody tells me that he thinks that gay relationships are better than straight relationships, because we get along so well together.  The only thing that bothers either one of us is mood swings that we both have, because we are both bipolar.  We both have schizophrenia and depression, anxiety, issues with rage and anger, yet we are always kind and gentle with each other.  The thing that I worry about the most is that Cody tells me that if I leave him, or I die, that he will kill himself for sure.  Also, he wants to go to The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints with me.  This is fine with me, however, he wants the Church to accept his same-sex attraction as normal and love him just the way he is, as a gay man, and us as a gay couple.  In the recent past, when the “Christ for the World” church rejected us as gay, he tried to kill himself, and I had to stop him.  It took weeks for him to recover from depression over this situation.  I just don’t want another situation like this with the Mormon Church.  I have warned him about my bishop, and told him that we will go to another ward, but he wants to show my present bishop that we are a couple.  I do not want to make the bishop hate me any more than he already does right now, so I do not think that is such a good idea, but I understand why he does.

Cody, bless his sweet heart, wants to find a church that will rejoice over our new found happiness as a couple, and not reject us at all.  I know that he will not find this in the Mormon Church, and this worries me.  I do not want to forsake Jesus Christ’s true Church, but I will not forsake Cody and our relationship either.  I have never, ever, been this happy in all of my hard and miserable life, until now.  Now, doesn’t my happiness matter to anyone, or not?  Why should I become miserable again, just to please others, and so they can think that I am doing the right thing, when it is not right for me to do so?  I plan to stay in this relationship and keep it just the way it is.  Cody and I are both very happy right now, for the first time in a long time.  Cody is right for me and I am right for him.  Cody tells me that he has not been this happy with his life in years and years; and I am not going to mess that up at all!

On November of last year, 2010, on the 14th day of the month, Cody asked if he could come over to my apartment and visit.  After he did so, in the evening of the same day, he asked if he could spend the night with me.  I said yes, and he did so.  After that, he has never left my side and did not even want to go home and get his things and he asked to move in with me, and I agreed readily and happily.  He is now on my Lease with the housing authority, and he is my lover, and husband, and as you can easily see, he is very, very happy.       I will not do anything that threatens his emotional health and cause him to become depressed and unhappy again!  We are happy now and that is all that matters to me at this time.  Cody was not happy before he met me; this is what he told me.

We are openly gay, and we are not hiding anything from anyone.  The whole building of 200 apartments knows that we are gay and that we are a couple as well.  Cody wants everyone to know that he is gay, and is ready and willing to “kick anyone’s ass” that has a problem with it.  He is much bolder about his sexuality, and he is helping me accept myself, more than I have in the past.  My self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence have all gone to heights previously unknown to me before.  The Church was never able to do all of that for me before.  That is because the Church members do not accept me as I am and still do not.  I know that it is their rejection of my sexuality and same-sex attraction that make me unhappy and miserable, because I cannot do what they want me to do, or change my life for them.  They do not know how to make me happy.  Their way has never worked for me, not in 44 years now, and I really tried very hard to make it work their Gospel way also.

Brother Marcellus and Patrick L. and Brother Parks came over to my place with the new Elders Quorum President, Brother Ferguson, the other day.  They read in Alma of the Book of Mormon, the story of Korihor, an Anti-Christ individual, who went around bad mouthing the Church, and leading people away from Christ.  I already knew the story (almost by heart), and could have told them from memory, the story.  I do not know if they were suggesting that I was like unto Korihor or not; but it seemed that way.  After we read the scripture, we had a short discussion. This visit, supposedly by persons, who care about me, left me deeply depressed and I was suicidal for about a week following the visit.  It took me a couple of weeks to get over the depression, and mood swings.  All they did was hurt me deeply.  I can’t help how sensitive I am, but they can stop being so insensitive to me like they are.  Patrick was the only one who I knew that loved me.  The others just want to save my soul, by destroying me socially (i.e. break me up with Cody).  They have proven to me, that I cannot trust them with my feelings.  They hurt me, more than they will ever know or admit to.  This is not what I need from the Church right now.  I need love and support and empathy, but I know that I am not going to get this from these homophobic members of the Church.  They never befriend me or visit me socially, just try and change me to what they think will fit with their understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or I should say, their interpretation of the Gospel as they see fit.  Gordon Bintner Hinckley, former President of the Church taught that we did not choose to be gay and that it was not our fault that we are Gay either.

Brother Ferguson I like, but Brother Marcellus only made me upset and hate myself and want to die.  He says that I choose to be gay. This is opposite of what President Hinckley taught.  Yet he does agree with Hinckley, in that, I should remain celibate my entire life, or at least what is left of it.  This is the man that my friends in the Church, thought would be understanding and help me with my feelings.  How, by destroying me?  Because that is what would happen if I committed suicide, and that is all he caused me to have, is thoughts of suicide and hurt feelings.  He seems to think, like this is all new to me, and discounts the fact that I have been dealing with this issue all my life.  Cody has been dealing with this issue since he was a kid also; like when he was just eight years old, the same age I knew I was gay also.

It does not get better unless you can accept yourself for who you are.  Because this same-sex attraction was not going away, and it never did either; nor do I believe that it ever will.  Like some of the Church President’s have said: it will be settled in the next life.  I am sure the Lord will be much fairer about it, than the Church members are now.  Christ ways are not our ways, and our ways are not his ways.

I hope that I will not become depressed again, from going back to Church, and having to deal with the homophobes.  I believe that I can go back to Church and be happy, as long as my husband goes with me and we are not harassed by members of the Church, or the leaders either.  I do not expect anyone in the Church to understand my relationship with Cody.  I will not be telling anyone about my lifestyle, at least not in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  This way I will not be giving the members cause to further persecute or harass me and my husband.  Neither one of us needs anymore of that in our life.

One thing that I have always wanted to know from the Lord is: why do I have same-sex attraction in the first place, and no attraction to the opposite sex?  I have a good understanding of why, scientifically speaking, but not any real spiritual answers so far.  I have covered that information in my first and second Manifesto, and I will not elaborate here.  I know that many heterosexual people have the opinion that we queers chose to be this way.  They are dead wrong of course, and are not qualified to speak to this matter, because they can not empathize with the gay communities.  The old saying: “it takes one, to know one” really applies here.  My very good psychiatrist’s opinions are very relevant here also, which they said: “only you can know your own feelings and not someone else.”  They were so right, and most people with common sense, also have come to an understanding, that being gay or lesbian, is something that the individual homosexual, did not just decide to become a faggot or lesbo, and that they cannot change themselves from being that either.  It is just the straight Mormons and other churches also who have a lack of understanding about gays, and these straight Mormons are stuck in the dark ages still, on this issue of human sexuality and the gay world.  They do not want to leave their “comfort zone” either.  They cannot empathize or even sympathize with gay’s either.  Some so called Christians are now preaching hate and murder of gays here in the USA and in other countries.  One church holds up signs that say “God Hates the Gay’s” and another says “Death to All Fags.”  I have even heard it in Mormon Church’s also.  Hatred of homosexuals is much higher in the Mormon Church than you might think it is.  Most will not admit this to your face though; just behind your back.

Mormon leaders have the correct understanding about gays, because of revelations to them; see “the First Presidency Letter of November, 14th 1991” for details.  It’s not like these average straight Mormon members, are going to actually study out the issue themselves, like I have already done.  Instead, they would rather hang onto the same beliefs that were believed in, all through the “Dark Ages” regarding homosexual people.  Thus, they ignore, and are in non-compliance with our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the enlightenment that our deities have already provided.  Most members of the Mormon Church are not even cognizant of the revelation given to President Ezra Taft Benson in 1991.  These Mormon members here in Oklahoma, are 20 years behind in their understanding of homosexuality.  This is because, the subject is taboo in their eyes, and not something they care to learn about at all.  They have their own opinions and they do not want to change it.   They should educate themselves.

Straight Mormon members ought to read: “Born That Way” by Erin Elderidge and “Fred’s Story” which are usually available through Deseret Bookstore.  Both of these books helped me very much.  My Stake President Mark Ralph Sylvester, in California, gave me a copy of “Fred’s Story” because it was recommended by Salt Lake Leaders, not only for the bishops to read, but to let known gay members, that they were counseling, read also.  This book was written by a Mormon Psychologist, who studied homosexuality at none other than Brigham Young University, in Provo, Utah.  The book has extra wide margins on each and every page of the book, for the gay individual to take notes, or write personal experiences down, and other comments and thoughts that the information in the book relates to the reader.  I read the entire book and filled every margin in the book with comments and my understanding of the subject back then.  This book helped me and my Bishop, or “Bish” (as we priests affectionately called him), come to a much better understanding of homosexuality, and all the problems I was having with it.  My Bishop valued what I wrote in the Margins so much that he kept the book to this very day.  He would not give it back even though I asked for it many times.  Mark told me that what I had written in the margins had helped him much and that it was helping a lot of others as well that were struggling with same-sex attraction or homosexuality.

This California bishop, counseled me monthly from the age of 15 {picture below} thru the 1½ years while he was my bishop, and the 3 years while he was a counselor in the Stake Presidency, and then for 14 years while he was my Stake President.  He has been my Priest Advisor, My Young Men’s President, My Bishop and Stake Counselor, Stake President, and most of all, my mentor and best friend.  Mark was later called to the High Council, then Scout Master, then Bishop again, and now Stake President again.  The Lord keeps calling him to leadership positions in the Church because of his gentle nature, and his tender hearted feelings toward the members of the Church, especially those he counsels with.  Mark is especially helpful to gay members in the Church.  I told a friend of mine, who was gay, to talk to President Sylvester; and that Mark would be able to help him, and he did.  My friend, Gayland Cook, who was considered the “Black Sheep” of his family, could not thank me enough for recommending he talk to Mark.  Gayland told me that talking to Mark, changed his life for the better.  Mark has now helped a lot of Gay’s in the Mormon Church.

Mark loved me into the Church, got me active again at 16 years old and he then laid his hands on me, and bestowed the holy priesthood on me making me a Priest.  He set me apart as an Elder, and took me to the Temple for the first time; he gave me many blessings by the laying on of hands.  Mark put in my Mission papers and helped me prepare for my Mission, because I did not have a Father to do so.  He was like a Father to me and he said this as well, on my mission farewell, which he spoke at, before I left on my mission.  Mark has done more for my emotional well being, than any other person I have yet encountered in my life so far.

Mark is the one I went to six years after my mission, when I decided I must “come out” of the closet and explore the possibility that I was gay, and that it was not going to change.  At that time, in 1988, Mark said to me: “Robin, I would want for you to be gay, if I thought that you could be happy that way, I am just not sure if you can be happy doing that.”  I told him that I must find out for myself.  I left his house and went to find some gay clubs that I could go to and meet other gay people.  When I found them, I spent 157 hours in the clubs, in just the first month, just talking to and observing other gay people.  This means that I spent as much time, in a gay bar, than a year of church meetings, spent investigating the gay lifestyle.

I found out that I was just like the other gay people, or they were just like me.  Also many of them told me how they had always been gay or thought they might be and how no doctor or psychiatrist, priest or parent could help them change their attraction to the same sex.  Many of them told me that they had been rejected by their clergy, and parents and siblings and friends, and that this was a great source of psychological pain for them.  Like me, their churches had screwed up their lives and caused them to be suicidal, also.  Other churches can be even more brutal than the Mormon sect, to spiritual people who are homosexual or transgender.  My poor Cody cannot handle any church’s rejection of him.

My friend Mark, later Excommunicated me from the Mormon Church, even though he really did not want to, and tried to influence the high councils vote, not to excommunicate me.  Although those 15 men chose to excommunicate me, I never felt more loved at that time, as each and every one of them embraced me with their arms and their hearts.  I felt very loved at that time, and I felt happy and relieved after I left that high council room, still, I drove away from church and parked my car somewhere on the street in town (I was homeless at that time) and now excommunicated, and I cried for 4 hours straight.  And what do you think happened at this time when I was most vulnerable? Some cute guy came by, and saw me crying, and tried to comfort me.  It ended up as a gay “hook-up” in the park no less and I did not feel guilty about it.   However, I was determined to get back “straight” with God and the church and be straight again.  3½ years later, I was re-baptized, one month after I was married to a Sister in the church.  Mark was my best man at my wedding, and although I spent the next 14 years as straight as an arrow, and was completely faithful to my wife for the 9 years that we were married, (until she past away on March 22nd 2006) I was never given back my Priesthood.  Even after 5 very long years (2006—2010) in which I was completely celibate, I am still denied the priesthood and all participation at church.  Even though I felt that if, my wife had not past away 5 years ago, I would still be married and faithful right now; I am denied blessings, treated like a social outcast, and persecuted by my present church leaders, all because I told my bishop that I still had gay feelings.  Now I really feel cast out into the street, for being gay.  I was not sinning by telling my bishop I still had same-sex attraction, after all, I was obeying all the commandments.  I just reached out for help, and in doing so, I was misunderstood and treated with contempt by Bishop Robert (Bobby) W.  Bobby W. most certainly, must be a “Redneck.”

Now it seems that coming out of the closet for the second time, I feel better than I ever have before.  I am not so needy, for the church now; I feel more and more independent from the church.  With a committed and loving gay relationship now and several new gay friends, I am much better off.  Since the church members only make me depressed and unhappy, and have such a huge lack of understanding of gay relationships and such, I will pursue a course that is correct for me and one that will benefit me both spiritually and make me happy at the same time.  Like I said before, I am really happy right now.

Just keep in mind that I will never forsake the Lord and his Church entirely.  But, I also cannot let narrow minded people make me suffer needlessly, especially when that suffering is not creating any positive growth for me in this life.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not have a “plan of happiness” for its gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, and that is not my fault, it is their fault entirely.  Until the Church endorses a real plan of happiness for us gays, that is truly fair and that does not take away someone’s faith; then I will be forced to find my own way along the path that leads to the tree of life.  So far it is going very well for me and Cody.  I am growing spiritually, despite those homophobic members.  I have become a lot stronger than I used to be when I rejected myself.

There is a lot of hate for gays out there and it overlaps into the Mormon Church also.  Where are all the hate groups for the adulterer’s, fornicators, and other home wreckers, and the like out there?  Apparently, the real problem is not just who sins or not, but it is about who is different from us, and who we are willing to accept among us as equals.  The real hate is about, who is black or white, fat or slender, beautiful or homely, short or tall, big or small, gay or straight, republican or democrat.  Heavenly father rejoices over our differences, and we, his children, who are all equal in his eyes, fight and bicker and point fingers at each other, hate each other and even kill one another over them.  We blame all our problems in life, on the ones who are different than we are.  That way we don’t have to blame ourselves or hate ourselves for our own imperfections and mistakes.   If we were all the exact same, then none of us would grow, and we would waste our mortal probation here on earth.  I have always been different from my peers in school and other members of the Church, and people I have worked with and certainly different from non-gays.

Well I am different, and I am not going to be miserable, just so others can justify themselves, and feel better about themselves, at my expense.  The Lord taught us not to be intolerant and to Love everyone, including our enemies.  That means that members should Love the homosexual, not shun them and find endless fault with them.  If you all think that life long celibacy is the answer for all gays, then why don’t you try it yourself.  As for me, I want to laugh and be happy.  I no longer want to be changed from who I am and neither does Cody; we are happy just the way we are.

I can only be happy now, by being left alone, and allowing me to be myself, which is gay.  I won’t tell you how to live your life and you don’t have to tell me how to live mine.  I am no Korihor, I am no Anti-Christ, I do not bother anyone, I do not tell anyone how to live, I live and let live.  I certainly do not try and stop people from believing in Christ, or try and get them to not believe in Heavenly Father. In fact I teach the Gospel all the time to my friends, neighbors and to Cody all of the time, and everyone I know, knows it.  I helped bring more people into the Church while off my mission than I did on my mission back east.  I love all people, and harm no one that I am aware of.  I want a better life for all people, I have never hated anyone, including my enemies of which I have very few.  I am very loving, kind, generous, sweet, and have charity for all people.  I don’t lie, steal, cheat, murder, or commit adultery.  I do not even have sex with my partner, and I do not push my lifestyle on anyone else.  I am not trying to persuade anyone to do anything wrong either.  I just want to be happy the only way that I presently know how to be happy; so leave me alone.

Happiness has been fleeting for me, because of my life long depression and mental illness that I still have.  I have been my own worst enemy all my life, because I listened to all the hatemonger rhetoric, and I have hated myself because of it.  I will hate myself no more, nor will I persecute myself any longer and I will tolerate persecution from the Christian world, not for one more second, either.  I would rather be a Gay Rights Activist and Gay Counselor than anything else.  This is where I have come to at this time in my life.  I recently heard on a Gay Documentary that we gays often expect our straight friends, families and neighbors to accept us the minute we come out to them, when in fact; it took us years to accept ourselves.  She was right, and this is not fair.  Therefore, I will give all people as much time as they need to adjust to the idea, as they need to.  But, I will avoid those who would hurt me, try and change me, and bring me back to my depression.  I believe that I have suffered long enough for this one area of my life.  Enough is really enough!  I am now very content with my life, and I plan to keep it going this direction.  I do not see the point in trying to fix something that is not broke.  I am not busted, do not fix me.

My doctors and nurses have noted a huge growth in me, since I came out this last time, as well as a big lift in my depression.  I do not know how long my relationship with Cody will last, but for now, it is working out very well for me and for him.  No matter what happens in the future, Cody and I will forever love each other, and that love is a gay romantic love that we share.  Call us evil, if you must, and if we are evil, then love is evil.  If love is evil then God is evil, because God is love.  This is how the world makes sense to me, and this is the only way that I can make peace with it.  All those who love us, will wish us the best, and hope for our happiness, just as we hope that the rest of this world has love and peace as well. God bless the peacemakers and all of us who continue to love one another and themselves.

Love to all, love to all, love to all!   I love God with all my heart, might, mind and strength, and I love my neighbor as I love myself.  I wish to tell all my friends, who have stuck by me, through my difficult times, that I love you with all my heart and soul.  May the Lord bless and keep you all.  To all good people everywhere, I hold no ill will or bad feelings, toward anyone who has been unkind to me, because I know that we are all of God’s children, and we are still growing and learning.  The day will come, when all of us will know, all of the answers, to the world’s most perplexing questions.  But in the end, what will matter is, who loved and who did not love his fellow man.  What will matter is, who was kind and who was not, who spread the word of God and who was afraid to open their mouth for their Heavenly Father, who gave of themselves and who did not, who helped others and who did not help, who worked for peace and understanding and who did not.  It will matter who loved God and who did not, who was tolerant and who was intolerant, who had charity and who did not have charity to all people, and who would die for his neighbor and who would not.  In other words, who was like unto Christ and who was not, this is all that will matter in the world to come; not the traditions of each generation and every morel of the day or each leader’s interpretation of what’s right and what’s wrong; many things change with time.

To other gays I would say: what makes you happy and truly brings you joy in this difficult world, is what you should pursue.  Do not listen to the haters and non caring people of this world.  Those people are only selfish and have an ulterior motive for trying to change you to something of their own liking.  God loves you the way that he created you and no one can change you from being gay anyway.  People will always hate and find fault with others, instead of looking after their own life and taking care of their own business.  What matters are your feelings about yourself and what you can live with.  If you know that you are a good person inside, then you do not have to have approval from others, just God.  Pray about it and you will get the same answers that I have gotten in life.  God loves you, and you can know for certain that I love you, even if I do not know you, I know of you and I have been there where you are now.  Also, be sure that you love yourself as you love others.

To all the non-gay people out there, know this one thing, and get it into your stubborn souls, that gay people did not just decide to be gay one day, just to bother you or anyone else.  We gays have an inborn attraction to the same sex, just like you have an inborn desire for the opposite sex.   Our parents did not make us this way and neither did anyone else, nor did we do it ourselves.  It is just part of our natural make up and we cannot change even when we want to, and most of us have wanted to, sometime in our lifetime.    We would change for you if we could, but we cannot do this, so get over it already, we had too.  Just be thankful you are straight.  This message goes double for Elder Boyd K. Packer, who is so hell bent against homosexuality that it is not funny.

The book, “Born That Way” that I bought In Salt Lake City, Utah, at the Deseret bookstore, will tell you the hell that we gays go through with our own selves, let alone the hell you straight people put us gays through. Many gays become alcoholics or drug addicts because we do not except ourselves and then the straight world has the nerve to judge us when they have not spent one day in our shoes.  Many straight people would not last a month if they were in our situation.  How dare they say that we chose this life for ourselves!  The only choice we have before us is to accept ourselves and be happy, or reject ourselves and be miserable.  Mormons say that we have the choice to act on our being gay.  True, but to not act is to be alone without love in your life, something that they themselves would not put up with or endure either.  “…and God said, is it right that man be alone, and Jehovah answered, no, it is not right that man should be alone.  And so they made an helpmeet for man…” I have a helpmeet now, it just happens to be another gay male not a female.

Now I can move on with my life in a positive way and stop hating myself.  I no longer have to figure out what am I going to do with the unhappy feelings that I have had all my life and that other people have perpetuated throughout the years of my life.  I will be 50 soon and probably lived more than half of my life already.  I hope others do not take as long as I did and have as many hardships as I have had in this life.  Now life is great and I love it for the 2nd time “coming out.”  I was very happy the first time I “came out” also; so I do not know why I let others talk me into going back into the closet for 14 more years.  Especially when those people did not forgive and forget like they were supposed to either.  They remained against me even when I was doing so well.  If they will not forgive me in 14 years I believe that they never will forgive me and let me have full fellowship in the Mormon Church.  I cannot get the priesthood back or be sealed to my wife  in the Temple because I am Gay.

When the Good Sheppard comes again in his glory, I believe he will call my name, because I have done the best that I can do to live in harmony with other people as well as the Gospel, and Jesus Christ, my savior and redeemer.  I keep the Ten Commandments and nearly all of 637 other commandments that I have gleaned from scriptures.  I do not believe that Jesus Christ, who is my judge, will hold against me the fact that I am gay or that I have same-sex attraction or that I have mental illness either.  The prophets have spoken on this and they agree with me.

The Mormon Church has completely cut me off, and now no one comes to see me monthly for the last 9 months.  I am supposed to receive Home-teachers each month in my home, but instead my Home-teacher has been released and I do not know who is going to be my new Home-teacher’s either.  Also, I asked for a blessing when I was in the hospital and in ICU, and nobody gave me a blessing at all.  When I moved a few months ago I asked for help to move from the Elders Quorum, because that is what they do; but they all refused to come and help me move.  I was told someone was coming for 3 days straight and nobody came to help us move.  Then I called and told my old Home-teacher that I and Cody had no food for 3 days and we needed help.  My friend Eddie came over the 3rd day and gave us some MacDonald’s food and that was good; but the Bishop would not give us a food order.  This Bishop used to give me food orders from the Bishop’s Storehouse.  After I told the Bishop that I still had same-sex attraction, he stopped giving me food orders, even when I was still active in Church.  It is the Bishop’s stewardship to take care of the poor; however, Bishop Woods refuses to help me at all.  This is proof that the Bishop is homophobic.

I have straight friends, like Kayla Johnson, Ace Pardue, Carol Didway, Carol Turner and many others like Evelyn, Tom, Clarence Richardson and more that accept me and I can talk to about my homosexual feelings and they do not judge me or put me down.  Instead they support me and encourage me and help me. There are also many friendly people here where I live that continue to be friendly even though they know that Cody and I are a couple and that we are Gay.  Some LDS people are supportive but most are not.  My Psych Nurse, Marie Leaf is very supportive, and so is a friend who is a Psychologist, Shirley VanHalen; they both help me a lot with understanding hearts and helping me deal with the judgmental people.

With all the judgmental Latter-day Saints in the Church and their unwillingness to accept people as they are, it’s no wonder that the retention rate is less than half.  Some bishops make you feel guilty for being poor, and therefore many of the poor stop going to church.  I find myself getting help from the Baptist, Catholics and Presbyterians because my bishop will not help me at all.  LGBT have it much worse in the Mormon Church because of these same judgmental members and leaders.  I have been rejected by most members of the Mormon Church just because of the way I would dress, which was more colorful and perhaps feminine also.  I do know that Heavenly Father Loves me and so does Jesus Christ; and that they are more accepting than the members of my Church.  Therefore I can be happy and endure the rejection of the members, no matter what they do to me.

Peace, Love and understanding to all; I forgive you all of any wrongs done unto me, whether perceived or real, it does not matter.  Most of all, please forgive me of my personal weaknesses that I have, and seek only to help me grow in a positive way.  I especially want to thank, Mark R. Sylvester, my bishops past and present that actually helped me, Eddie Yadon, Patrick Lewis and Brother Marcellus for trying to help.  I thank all my friends like Marie Leaf, my friend Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father.  I also thank, David Goodwin, my first boyfriend, for teaching me how to be loved, and Cody Circle, my present boyfriend, for making me feel loved and for allowing me to love them back.  Cody has shown me more love than anyone I have ever known in this life.  Now how can that be wrong anyway?  I did not choose to live here in Muskogee, Oklahoma, but I was sent here by circumstances beyond my control.  Now I know why I came here, God led me here so that I would meet Bishop W. and subsequently meet George Cody A. Circle and become the very happy person that I am right now, so that I can start helping others, because I will no longer be bogged down by my depression, Thanks God for All You Did For Me. —Robin Lee Johnson. LOL (Lots of Love).

ANOTHER GAY MANIFESTO: MY PROBLEM WITH THE MORMON CHURCH

What Can I Say…I Am Still Gay!

I have never been known to stay where I am not wanted.  My present Bishop and Elder’s Quorum President do not like me because I am now openly Gay and they know it.  They are both very Homophobic. L Therefore, I have been refused all my Temple blessings, the Priesthood, and participation in home teaching, or teaching Church lessons or having callings or doing other meaningful service or being able to participate in church activities or other special events in the church, and other blessings as well.  And the Bishop has also forbid me from socializing with any of the youth, and he has told me to not make any friends with the adult males at Church or non-members as well, and not to hang around them either, so I  should not shake their hands as well.  But, I do not know, what I am supposed to do with the friends I already have; am I supposed to ignore them and just forget that they are my friends?  I must try and stay isolated during priesthood, from now on!

The Bishop has also violated my confidentiality, and told several people that I am Gay, including the Stake President, and the Elder’s Quorum President.  And who knows who else he has told, and how many they have told, and how many they have told, and so on and so forth.  Now much of the Ward knows, and they gossip behind my back, I know this, because my friends, (the ones I’m not supposed to have),  tell me so.  I have had 30 other Bishops in my lifetime, and not one of them has ever broken confidentiality before, at least not without my permission, and most bishops never ask for permission to do that.  But this was not the reason for telling the bishop in the first place.  I wanted understanding and compassion, and maybe some help with my feelings and heartache; like most bishops give, but, I never received any comfort or help.  Instead I was betrayed and caused much more pain and heartache.  Now this has become the most hurtful thing that has ever happened to me in the church, even worse than my excommunication.  The bishop has overstepped his bounds in my opinion and he has gone against Church doctrine and policy as well; because I was not doing anything wrong!  Anyway, I did not appreciate being “outted” by him, which is something that I should decide to do, or not to do, myself. 😉 J  This Bishop was not critical of me until I “came out” to him, then he began to treat me unfairly and not help me anymore and cut me off.  After the Bishop told the Elder’s Quorum President, (Brother George), he also started treating me badly.

My Bishop, along with Boyd K. Packer, say that I am a  Perverted Person and a Deviant Person, and that I am a Predator of the young and vulnerable. 😮 (YEAH RIGHT L NOW I AM REALLY INSULTED!). They say that I and other Gays try to recruit others into the lifestyle.  This is not true because it cannot be done, and every gay person knows this to be true. They go on to say that I am Wrong, Lustful, Dangerous, Destructive, Not Desirable, Unnatural, Abnormal, Immoral, Unseemly, and an Affliction.  Also they say that I Have Vile Affections, I Am a Sick Individual, I Am Of the Devil, I am Sinful, and that I am involved in Moral Mischief and other Transgressions.  These are all very negative words and amount to Verbal Gay-Bashing by an Apostle and a Bishop; and even Dallin H. Oaks, of the Twelve says this is verbal gay-bashing also, and I agree; and no one else has disagreed, so far.

Now, on October 4th 2010 Elder Packer is calling same-sex attraction “impure and unnatural” and claiming that “it can be corrected,” (it cannot be corrected at all!!), and he says that “same-sex marriage is immoral.”  Packer’s inaccurate and dangerous rhetoric comes on the heels of the suicides of at least seven gay teenagers that we know of; all victims of anti-gay bullying or harassment.  An additional seven more gay teens committed suicide this year, three of which were the result of anti-gay bullying as well.  Elder Packer must learn that Words Have consequences, particularly when they come from a faith leader. These are exactly the kind of statements that can lead some kids to bully others, and still others to commit suicide.  It also emotionally devastates those who are LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender] or those who may be struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity.  It’s both inaccurate and very, very dangerous.  Packer should know better than this, he being immersed into this subject, and he must know how such talks cause suicides.  Gay people are 3 to 8 times more likely to commit suicide than straight kid’s, ages 14-24 years old.  And Mormon gay boys are higher in suicide than anyone in the country, especially in Utah, California and Idaho (Mormon states).

Packer says that church opposition to same-sex marriage “will not change.” Of course not, The Mormon Church is a key supporter of the so-called “National Organization for Marriage” or (NOM), a group that regularly encourages anti-gay attitudes and behaviors, which will undoubtedly lead to more suicides of Gay Mormon boys. The Mormon Church also funded “Proposition 8,” the anti-gay marriage initiative in California, and this has been proven now.  Proposition 8, has now been overturned by a U.S. District Chief Judge named Vaughn R. Walker. J 😀

NOM board member and famous Mormon writer, Orson Scott Card, has said, “Any government that attempts to change marriage is my mortal enemy.  I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage…”  (I do respect and support marriage, that is why I believe in Gay marriages, and I think that we should have a Constitutional Amendment making marriage available to all…sweetie!!)

“Packer’s remarks in general conference were not only ill-advised and contrary to fact, but were mean spirited and will be perceived by many as bullying,” said David Melson, Executive Director of Affirmation: the Gay and Lesbian Mormons, he went on to say: “We see no potential for good coming from his words and much possible damage, to the church, to individuals, and to families.  The LDS Church should be a source of love, Compassion, and Conciliation, and not of fear and unfeeling petty hatred,” I thought so myself as well.  Packer is a hate-monger, at least against gays, and he stirs others up to hating gays as well, he is very dangerous to gay people. He is very dangerous to my testimony as well.

Also, my bishop is dishonest, and a liar.  I got the Bishop to admit that he told my Elder’s President that I was gay.  But the Bishop lied to me at first, by denying he said anything to anyone, and then He tried to mislead me, and say that he only told the Stake President, but I continued to be direct and be assertive, until he finally told me the truth.  He then said that he had to tell others that I was gay, because they might need to know, in case that I might try and do something (like teach a lesson, {oh how terrible that would have been}), anyway, he felt that I should not be allowed to do anything like that.  This is why brother George asked me to give a lesson in priesthood, and on Sunday, after I had completely prepared the lesson, brother George changed his mind, and did not let me teach the lesson I had prepared.  I thought this was very mean of him.  Now, the Elder’s President, (Brother George), won’t even shake my hand anymore, or talk to me, or even give me eye contact anymore. He used to be super friendly before he knew about me being Gay or homosexual.  Most of the congregation will not greet me or shake my hand either anymore.  They used to be nice also, before they discovered I was gay or homosexual.  Boy, do most Mormons hate homosexuals like this?  Unfortunately the answer to that question is a resounding yes.  I have been in the Church all my life, so I know just how bad the prejudice is!  I have heard many people say many derogatory things about people they do not accept especially gay people.  Many Mormons thought that the disease AIDS was a special plague that God gave to the gay community and not just another venereal disease; now more heterosexuals have it, than do the gays.

In a talk by President James E. Faust, 2nd Counselor in the 1st Presidency of the church, Entitled: “Serving the Lord and Resisting the Devil,” He talks about several sins including Abortion and other severe sins that make the devil happy, if we do them.  Then on the 3rd and 4th page of that talk, he says that: “There is some widely accepted theory extant that homosexuality is inherited (it is, I say!). How can this be? (he says).  No Scientific evidence demonstrates absolutely that this is so.”  I know that Science rarely, if ever, proves something absolutely; however there is very much scientific evidence showing the causes of this condition, and that it is inborn.  It is misleading for him to make statements of this kind, or to make this statement.  He used the word absolutely, absolutely on purpose.  Our youth are particularly vulnerable to these and other statements.  Making statements like these causes depression, low self-esteem, low self-worth and even suicides; I know that it surely has for me, and I have almost killed myself twice.  And this is no laughing matter, either; to be in the Intensive Care Unit for a day, on two separate occasions, and have the doctors not knowing my chance of survival for several hours.  This really frightened my friends as well, not to mention me.  I really believe that all suicide attempts should be taken very seriously. 😮

Next, President Faust says: “Besides, if it were so, it would frustrate the whole plan of mortal happiness…” (Yes it does, but because of false beliefs), he continues, “respectable authorities,” (those would be authorities that agree with him, and him only); he says they “contend that homosexuality is not acquired by birth.  The false belief of inborn homosexual orientation denies to repentant souls the opportunity to change and will ultimately lead to discouragement, disappointment and despair.” (I take it that, these “respectable authorities” are not scientific authorities, being that, the word: REPENTANT was used here.) One could also say that being celibate all your life would also frustrate the plan, both by not having relations with the opposite sex, and not having children.  But you know what? We are born this way, I was born this way,  I have been Gay all my life; and so I have been denied the opportunity to change, and it has led to discouragement, disappointment, and despair, because I have tried to change to something that I am NOT, nor can I ever become or be, at least not in this life.  It is impossible to change your sexual orientation!!!  Does anyone think they can just change their sexual orientation? No!!  It cannot truly be done, not if you are truly honest with yourself anyway.  This is why we did not choose to be Gay or homosexual because the choice was made for us, we had nothing to do with it.  I would like to see a straight person just try and be a gay person by making that choice; not possible is it? 😛

My mortal happiness is found in being Gay.  But, President Faust goes on to say: “Any alternatives to the legal and loving marriage between a man and a woman are helping to unravel the fabric of human society.”  Then he says that the fabric he is talking about is the Family.  It seems to me that things like, oh say, War, Pestilence, Extreme Poverty, Plagues of disease, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Divorce, Hatred, Murder and Terrorism, to name a few, would be much worse on the family, than Gay people getting married. Yet the family goes on, undaunted by these things, at all.  Gay people only want the same commitment and love that straight people have in a bond of holy matrimony.  Besides Gay people only make up less than 1% of the Population of this world and the straight population grows faster than the gay population does, 99 times faster, to be exact.  This is true because Gays and Lesbians do not have their own children, and if they did have their own children, they would probably not be gay.  In fact, 99% of them would be straight.  The children that gays adopt are ones that no one else wants, like gay kids, or “crack babies” and such.  I knew when I was gay at four years old, and some of us know all along.  This is how kids know they are Gay.  These gay kids should be with other Gay families, where they will be loved for who they are; and not hated by them.

Faust goes on to say: “These so-called alternative lifestyles must not be accepted as right, because they frustrate God’s commandment for a life-giving union of male and female… If practiced by all adults, these lifestyles would mean the end of the human family.”  Oh Please!  Give me a break, will Yah!!  The entire human race is not going to be homosexual.  Right now more than 99% of the human race is heterosexual, and that is not about to change.  Besides, ⅓ of all gays, have their own children anyway.  In my lifetime, I have never known a single straight person who wanted to be homosexual or even bisexual; it almost doesn’t exist, so I think that the human family is safe from Gays; let us not be ridiculous!  Besides Gordon Bintner Hinckley, former President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has said that all homosexual people should be celibate their entire life.  If all gays did this, and everyone was homosexual, it would still be the end of mankind, (but that would depend on the whole world being Gay and nobody wanting to breed, even to save mankind. Yeah!! Right!!  Besides, homosexual people usually want children anyway, so I am sure they would find a way to have children anyway, duh!!  I personally know of many Gay men and women that have their own children and being gay never stopped anyone from having kids that wanted to have them!  I am Gay and I was married to a woman for over nine years and we would have had children also, if she had not had a hysterectomy that saved her life, before we were married.

I have not lived the Gay Lifestyle since about August, 1996, and I was married on January, 4th 1997 and I was rebaptized on February, 4th 1997.  Thomas S. Monson, with the First Presidency, NOW states that I am not sinning, did not choose to be Gay, and that I am not to blame myself, God, or my parents for my being Gay, (so you see, I did not choose to be gay at all, after all).  The problem is that not all of the Twelve or The 70 follow the Prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley or Thomas S. Monson either.  However, most do follow the Prophet like they shoud do.!

Because My Bishop and an Apostle now verbally Gay-bash me, I no longer feel appreciated or loved or comfortable, accepted, or welcome at Church. I do not feel wanted at church either, because I am not allowed to do anything in the church, and I have a strong need to actively participate at church.  I do not like to be made fun of, or have people talking behind my back, like they have been doing.  I do not want to be unhappy all my life.  The Authorities in my church do not understand why I am not happy.  They say that happiness comes from family, marriage, children, companionship and loving relationships, etc. and then they turn right around and tell us gays to abstain from all of these things, and then they cannot see why we are not happy.  It seems obvious to me, why not to them.  They just don’t empathize with us single adults, because they are all married with children, and happy with their families.  I knew this, when I was in Young Single Adults.

My Elder’s President asked me if he had to accept Gay peoples lifestyle or condone it; if Gay’s are afforded civil rights.  How ridiculous is that?  I’m surprised he allows us gays the right to live and breathe at all.  The Church now takes credit for New Gay Rights in Utah.  Thus, the Mormon Church, In Utah, has recently given the Gays the LEGAL right to secure a place to live, and a job to make a living, without discrimination. But, no other equal rights!  It has taken the Church 180 years just to grant these 2 rights, to Gays.  So I think it may be a long time before the Church allows Gays to Marry, adopt children, have school clubs, have parades, cohabitate with their partner or partners, celebrate Gay-Pride day, cross-dress, or even have friends for that matter; so much for free-agency, anyway.  I thought that it was only the devil that tried to take away free-agency.  There is the possibility that the church will never grant these rights, also. And then there are those opportunities to teach, socialize with the other Saints, have the priesthood, or go to the temple, be a leader, conduct a hymn, sing in the choir, say the prayer, socialize with same-sex LDS people, work with the youth, play music, or go home teaching and many other privileges, that heterosexual Saints have and take for granted every day; these are all not available to the Gay Saints, because of Bishops in the church, and not because of General Authorities.  The Prophet’s approve of these things for gays, especially Monson and Hinckley and Benson.

The Leaders in Salt Lake City, UT have now commanded that all Gay & Lesbian members of the Church stay single and celibate for their entire lifetime.  And many bishops have extended this to mean, not having friends at all (even with non-members).  The Bishops have also forbid Gay Youth, to associate with the other youth, and given them other restrictions as well.  No wonder the gay youth commit suicide.  The leaders make the gay youth feel flawed, and that they are evil, and that it is their fault that they are gay, and then they cut them off from their friends and peers, at a time when they are usually already struggling with their own family problems concerning their sexual orientation.  Then the leaders mention that we gays will suffer anguish for this entire lifetime, and that it will be a very difficult struggle all our life, but, that we will reap a reward in the next life only. Boy, if I were a youth again, I would attempt suicide again, myself. A reward in the next life?  YEAH RIGHT. Straight people get to enjoy a happy and joyful life, (if they are righteous), and they still reap a reward in the Celestial Kingdom. But Gay people only get the same EXACT reward, after living a lifetime of loneliness, despair, unhappiness, pain, anguish, frustration, heartache and also,  not having any intimacy, or even any sex at all, in mortality; NOT exactly fair is it, no, not at all, I say,  of course it’s not, any one can see that.  Besides, this goes against the Mormon: “Plan of Happiness,” which is only for straights now because there is no “Plan of Happiness” for the gays now.

I cannot accept this new “plan of unhappiness,” because I have already endured 44 years of loneliness, heartache, anguish, misery, sadness, anger and depression, with 23 suicide attempts; I forgive all who have helped cause me pain, but I do not wish to continue a life full of pain and loneliness.  I need to have Love and affection in my lifetime, along with joy and happiness and intimacy and companionship.  If not, then God is not a fair God or a just God or an impartial God either; because everything that the Church teaches, that is supposed to bring joy & happiness to us, like family, an eternal companion, children, the priesthood, marriage, love, intimacy, family home evening, service to others, fellowship with the Saints, friend-shipping, acceptance from others,  family and companion prayer, the Temple, and all the thousands of joys that these things bring; these things are all denied to Gays, by commandment, from our Prophets.  This is so CRUEL; it challenges my testimony and faith and understanding.  However, I know that, God is a fair and just God, who loves us all equally; it is just that his followers are not fair and just and are unequal in their dealings with their fellow men, and now I find out that Mormons are just the same, very much so, and sometimes much worse.

Each Person I have talked to about these things, my 8 different doctors, my 4 nurses, my DHS worker’s, my 2 CNA’s, 12 of My past Psychiatrists, my past 17 Psychotherapists, and 22 of my past and present Counselors, My 2 Psych-Nurses, both of my providers, 23 of my Neighbor’s & all of My Friends, and even some strangers, they all tell me, to do the same thing, “find another Church.”  The only people, who tell me to stay with the Mormon Church, are 3 of it’s members, and 2 Missionaries, and this does not include the Bishop or the Elder’s Quorum President, (brother George, as he likes to be called), in the three, (of course not, they do not want me in the church).  Now, the members do not know, and may never know, the kind of pain, and yes, anguish, I have gone through, and continue to go through this very day.  This is why they tell me to stay with the Mormon Church; and because the church makes them happy, so they think, why not Robin also.  Of course, missionaries are always going to tell Gay People, to either join the church or come back into the church.  They have no idea what they are asking, they simply follow what they are told to say and do.  Other former Missionaries, who are also Gay, know what I am talking about. You see even former missionaries who are gay, leave the Church also.  Anyone can be homosexual, even bishops and other leaders of the church, or anyone else, even the valiant Saints.  Because it happens before birth, and it takes different people, different times in their life, to realize it, and possibly “come out,” even if they have had these feelings all of their life, but just did not fully understand those feelings.  It happened to this return missionary, when I was just four years old, which is not typical, but in my case this was true.  I guess that I am just s-p-e-c-i-a-l!  I am you know.

I believe the members of many Christian churches, and yes, even the Mormon Church, are extremely selfish, and have very little love for Gay people. I say this for many good reasons and also because they allow any heterosexual person to get married, and have children, no matter how bad and abusive they are.  And then, when they are abusive to their spouse and offspring, they continue in those relationships, even if they molest their own children.  But, Gay people are not allowed to marry, even if they are the most loving people in the world, (and they usually are), and would never harm their significant others.  I for one do not want to be alone all my life.  I do not do well alone and isolated from others.  Loneliness makes me miserable.  I cannot be alone any longer.  If you do not let us gays marry each other, then we might end up getting married to you.  {Not for me though, I have already been there and done that}.  I was married to a woman for over 9 years, and although it was a very good marriage, I was not completely fulfilled or happy.

In the united States alone, over 70 million children have only one parent in their life, I was one of those children, yet the Church says that Gay couples would be worse of an influence, on their children, than a single parent would be, (even though children who have been raised in Gay homes, are much more well adjusted than kids from a broken home, and they are much happier also).  And, what about children, who are already Gay, and have been thrown out of their own home, by their own Mormon parents (how dare they), just because they are Gay?  Yes, this really does happen!  These gay children, would be much better off, in a totally Gay Family where they can find acceptance and unconditional love. (Like with me!).
When Gays try to get a “Gay bill of rights,” members of the church go against it. L (See: “Disagreeing without Being Disagreeable” by Joanna Stephenson Price, Ensign, Mar. 2005 Page 27-29), for an example of this situation.  A “Gay bill of rights” is not a license to have indiscriminate sex.  What it does is reasserts, or reestablishes or even establishes, the basic human rights that heterosexual people already enjoy, but are being denied to Gays and Lesbians because of the hatred of religious people.  Religious people are worse than any other group, when it comes to hatred and prejudice.  More people have been killed in the name of religion, than for any thing else, I know this to be true, because I am a history teacher also.  For some reason, many religions cause their parishioners to hate other sects and non-conformist to their particular religion, like Mormons do. 
The Church is True, and the leaders are inspired, however, some of these same leaders are blinded by their repugnance, and their complete revulsion, and utter Disgust of homosexual people.  All they can think of is that we gays will be having all kinds of sex They do NOT consider that what we want is Love, Compassion, Companionship, Affection, Fondness, Friendship, Kindnes, Beauty, Intimacy, Tenderness, Happiness, Consideration, Company, Close-ness, Empathy, Caring, and Solace. And a lot more thingsJ that I did not feel like writing down just right now. We also want the end of loneliness,L celibacy, isolation, despair, discouragement, unhappiness, and longing for Love.  We just want to be happy, man!  As long as we are not happy, we will continue to fight for our rights, for as long as we live, down through the generations, just like we always have, and I believe that we always will until others leave us alone.
Finally, what do I plan to do about this situation?  I plan to find myself a companion and partner in life, to share my life with, and to share their life with me.  I am going to find true happiness and joy, and love, and end the years of loneliness and despair.  This means, that I am going to find a “Gay-boy” (as I like to call the gay young men), and work for a relationship, and I will even have a Gay wedding, and adopt beautiful children (preferably Gay children).  Because, I do not believe that these joys are reserved for breeders only.  I will continue to Love the Lord and do well to my fellow man, just as I always have.  Also I will find a Church with more love for me and dignity and respect and who will support me and my lifestyle, and where I will be treated well, and I will be able to make many new friends.  There are many churches out there where all this is possible you know, because I have been to several of them and they are growing in number and size.

I know that I will be much happier doing this, than staying with the Mormon Church, because I have been in the Church for 49 years, and because of the Church, I am sad, lonely, miserable, unhappy, joyless, depressed and angry thanks to the Mormon Members.  Members of this Church try to tell me things that I know are not true, like Gay people choose to be “that way,” {even President Hinckley says No to that}, so this is not true at all.  Also that we Gays cause others, and especially the youth to be gay by our example, or our influence on them; this has been proven to be wrong. People do not convert, to be a homosexual, we are only born this way, and nothing can truly or completely change us in this life.  They also say that we Gays are immoral, faithless, unbelieving, and evil.  These things are not true at all either.  The truth is known by the higher leaders, but they do not enforce the truth to the local authorities, so most members may not accept the truth in my lifetime.  Then again, we must not give up hope for these are the latter days, and God loves us just as we are!!!!  With God all things are possible, especially when you also have great faith.  I have very much great faith in the LORD, my GOD.  Besides I am not evil like the bishop thinks I am, I can have a lot of faith and believe and still be gay.  Just because I love men, I am not faithless or without hope.

I want to find a Christian Church where Gays are accepted, and uplifted.  I know of some churches like The Metropolitan Community Church or (MCC), which is an international church for Gays and Lesbians.  I know of Dignity (the Gay Catholics), and Affirmation (the Gay Mormons) of which I am already a member.  I do love the LDS Church very much; however, I have been ridiculed by some of it’s leaders and also I do not appreciate being rejected, ridiculed and treated the way I have been treated.  When the Church made the priesthood available to men of color, (The Blacks), in 1979, some members did not accept this new Revelation that was an answer to President Spencer W. Kimball’s humble prayer. K LDS Members have several prejudices, that they should not have, and they have a serious need of repentance, if they want to be forgiven.  President Kimball’s book: “The Miracle of Forgiveness” gives you some excellent advice, but, it really condemns Gays & Lesbians.  Why do heterosexual people always assume that we Gays are just interested in Gay Sex? It seems that they hopelessly have sex on the brain. Gay men like me, only want positive things, like Love, and Affection, and yes, some Intimacy before we die, some companionship, friendship, and fellowship with other homosexuals.  There is a lot more love in the Gay community, than there is among the straights. That is because we are bonded together, because we are persecuted and hated by the world of straight people; and we are more accepting and tolerant than the non-gays.

I like being Gay, so much now, because I know that this is normal for me, and I know that happiness will come to me, and many other homosexual’s, if we just do not pay attention to the hate-mongers, and the Gay-bashers, and the Bible-bashers, and all of those who think that they are better than we homosexuals.  Because they are NOT!! They are not at all better than we gays are; they just think that to themselves!  In fact, Mormon’s think they are superior to other churches.

Once I knew the truth about myself, that it is alright for me to be gay or queer, I suddenly felt free and liberated from the dark prison of lies that had been told to me all of my life.  The truth really does set you free, after all.  I am attracted to young men, and that is all there is to it, and my attraction is very, very strong also—stronger than I am able to bear and then try to be alone for a lifetime.  I cannot handle being alone, like some people are.  For me, I become very depressed when I am all alone.  I very much need to have a companion to share my life with or else I am quite miserable and eventually I become very suicidal and hopeless.

I find gay men to be comely, (which means gorgeous and beautiful), especially if they are, what I think of as, a “pretty boy.”  They are adorable to me, and my heart goes out to them.  I do not know how I have resisted those urges for so long, but I do believe that it has been a great contributor to my ongoing depression and unhappiness.  I do not see why I should remain sad, lonely, unhappy and celibate any longer.  Life can be hard enough without me adding to the problem.  We all need to LOVE and be LOVED, it is built into our psyche and never goes away.  And why should it anyway.  Unless you are a sociopath, and most of us are not, then we all have needs.  Gay people have special needs also and these needs are often not met.  It can be a very difficult life, the gay life that is, and it can be filled with pain and sorrow.  The rejection by family, peers and even teachers can be devastating to a young person.  Why would anyone choose this life with all of its difficulties? I don’t think anyone would.  {I just saw on TV a 14 yr. old boy who committed suicide because he was Gay}.  You see, we are this way, because we are born this way, and no one can change us, and we cannot change ourselves. Happiness only comes to us by accepting who we are, and not what some one else wants us to be. Most homophobes, somewhere deep inside, are just a homosexual that is too afraid to admit to the world, that they are Gay, so they fear their own selves and hate other Gays.  I for one have never been a homophobe.  I love all gays and most lesbians, just kidding; I love all the lesbians and even bisexuals and transgender people too.

If you only knew, what it is like, to be attracted to someone of your own sex, when you know the rest of the world was not like that, and that most of the world would hate you for being “that way,” but there was nothing you could do about it; and the attraction was very strong, and it was also, the only thing that made you happy and caused you to like yourself, or even be able to love yourself; but again, the world made you feel that you had to give up these feelings.  These feelings, which will not go away no matter what you do, are the only feelings that made you feel good about yourself, in a world that hated and persecuted you.  Then you came to believe, that you could never be happy in this life.  What would You do then?  Especially when, even a Prophet of God cannot help you out of your misery, and your parents and bishop cannot help either.  Then you are sad and alone with no chance of happiness.  After some time goes by, you begin to lose hope and then you begin to hurt all over and deep depression sets in.  Without help, it just gets worse and worse until you can no longer stand to live any longer.  This is how I felt many years ago, but things change and now I am trying to get better and try and overcome the past.

This is why so many Gay young men, and even Mormon boys, decide to take their own life, and end the pain and conflict.  {I just wanted you to understand why, so many boys and young men, who are Gay, and even some lesbians, end their own life by their own hand.}  Now, ask yourself this question, (and this includes Mormon boys and girls, who are Gay, especially Mormon Gay boys): “why isn’t the Mormon Church able to help these Gay boys and girls” [or me]?  And so they keep on dying!  Help us please! (And not the way that the church has been doing it all of these years, either).  Try loving us unconditionally for a change.  The Church advocates “reparative therapy,” which does not work for the vast majority of homosexuals, and in fact, this therapy causes many homosexuals to commit suicide, who, would not have done so, if they had not gone through the “reparative therapy torture,” and some people have secretly brought in video equipment and taped what was going on in order to prove what was happening in these places and also provided proof of the suicides as well, so now we all know that it’s true and it is true!

Mormon boys and girls who are gay, should be stronger than other kids, (at least you might think so), but sometimes they are not!  Why not?  Because, the things that they usually build their spiritual and other foundations with, and that should be there for their strength, are either missing or not there for them.  I am talking about the Family and the Church.  Instead, their family and the church are often against them, or are not supporting them in their time of need.  Your family is often not there for you, when you are gay, because of what the church teaches about homosexuals and how the church treats them also; and the members treat them; therefore, many of these teens kill themselves when tormented by their peers.

Therefore, it is the Church that is causing these premature deaths of young gay people who are members of the church.  Any church that provokes the suicides of its own children, gay or not, has some serious problems!  I cannot be a part of a church that has these practices, at least not until that church changes its ways, and makes amends or penance for all their hate and wrong doing.  Church people are supposed to be in the business of showing love anyway, not petty hatred.

My only regrets in life are that I do not have my own children to  raise, because I would have been a very good father, and many of my friends, counselors and psychotherapists have told me that I would have been an excellent father as well.  My other regret is that I was in the proverbial “closet” for so long (until age 27), and then I went back into the closet for over 14 years, because that is what the church told me would bring me happiness and joy.  The church supported me in my getting married to a woman.  Now the church has changed its position on marriage for fags, (to the opposite sex).  Now we fags cannot marry at all.  I have been celibate for almost 5 years now, ever since my wife of 9.3 years past away.  I am so lonely that I can hardly stand life at all.  The church program for faggots, is not working at all, it needs help, otherwise gays will continue to leave the Church in ever increasing numbers; and they will be less and less likely to come back to Church either.

When the Prophet commanded that all faggots stay celibate for life, I believe that the President was not inspired, he just did what he thought was best; because, only man can be this thoughtless and cruel.  How short-sighted this idea was, and still is.  I believe that this new position will easily drive out many of the 169,080 fags that are all admitted gays in the church, and even more of the approximate 344,000 other fags that are both in the church and in the closet.  If you want any of us back, then write to the Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, and ask him for a better solution, one that does not contribute to the 3,800 suicides of Gay people, world wide, each and every year!  Ask for a solution that does not cause major depression and sadness and loneliness.  Remember these are your brothers and sisters that you are condemning to a lifetime of celibacy and no love.

The church needs to be unified again, because right now there is a division and strife in the church, concerning the Gay issue.  Some members listen to the prophet and stop persecuting homosexuals, while others, along with their local leaders, continue to alienate and mistreat homosexuals, and are unfair and sometimes just plain mean to them.  Only I know all the unfair things my bishop did to me.

There needs to be greater love in the LDS faith.  The Mormon Church needs the kind of love and charity that Christ had for his own church.  The members who think that all homosexuals are going straight to hell, after judgment day, may be surprised one day when they end up in hell themselves, all because of either, how they mistreated homosexuals, or how they hated them.  The Bible says, you have no faith, if you hate your brother, and that you do not love God, if you say you do then God says that you are a liar.  (see the book of James in the New Testament).

I Have given most of my life, to Heavenly Father and Christ’s true church, and now my reward is, or so it seems to be, nothing short of a promise, that I will live a lifetime of sheer hell.  Goodbye Mormon Church, I love you, but, we have irreconcilable differences.  I will always miss you, and I will forever have fond memories of you.  My friends at Affirmation told me that it is almost impossible to be homosexual, and remain a member of the Mormon Church.  They were so right!  Especially if you live in Oklahoma, and in towns like Muskogee!  This is what happens when you have a redneck for a Bishop and an Elders Quorum President.

I never wanted to leave the Mormon Church before, but now, I feel like I am being pushed out, by the members, and especially some of the leaders, like Elder Boyd K. Packer and Bishop Robert W.; who have more hate in their heart, for fags, than they have love for them.  But I will not stay away for too long anyway.

I have spent a lot of time researching facts and figures, history and information, as well as reading many articles from the Church, especially from their website; in preparing this Manifesto.  I have tried to make this paper as accurate as possible, however, if I have made any mistakes, please overlook them, and forgive me.  I have also included some personal opinions of mine, that may seem to be a bit insensitive, but, I did not intend to offend anyone; so if I have offended you, please excuse me.  I just have very strong feelings about this subject. This paper is also a statement of my personal beliefs, and they are very important to me.  What I have said, I have said, and I am very serious about what I have written.  {The purpose of this Manifesto is to make known to my friends and family, my status with the LDS Church and my feelings regarding homosexuality}.  I am not trying to convince anyone of anything, [for it says in the book of Proverbs: “Convince a man against his will, he will be of the same opinion still”].  I know that the information in this Manifesto is correct and true, and I could have submitted numerous articles, (mostly from the Church), for your review, however, I felt that using only select and relevant portions from those articles, would suffice.  I have used many exact quotes from Church Leaders, which are in quotation marks.
I also hope that this work will help others who might be struggling with same-sex attraction and/or thoughts of suicide.  If you or someone you know, is struggling with these issues, you should all know this: God Loves You, and Jesus Christ Loves You, and I Love You Very Much, and over 700,000,000 (that’s seven hundred million) LGBT {Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Trans-Gender} all love you too.  Our hearts go out to you.  Be good to yourself, and be happy.  And do not even think of suicide, (but if you are, Please, Please Get Some Counseling).  Don’t apply a permanent solution to a temporary problem.  Believe me when I say that you can feel better and be very happy while still being homosexual, bisexual or transgender people.

God be with us all, until we meet again.  LOVE AND KISSES, AND LOTS OF HUGS TO ALL, and LOL (Lots Of Love).

LOVE you all with all my heart & soul: Robin Lee Johnson. 

The End of “Manifesto #3” (original title).

OUR MANIFESTO: THE TIME HAS COME

I Robin Lee Johnson and my boyfriend George Allen Circle have made a decision. We will no longer debate the issue of homosexuality in the Mormon Church or any Christian church with anyone. We will no longer engage the biblical ignorance that emanates from so many right-wing Christians about how the Bible condemns homosexuality, as if that point of view still has any credibility. We will no longer discuss with them or listen to them tell us how homosexuality is “an abomination to God,” about how homosexuality is a “chosen lifestyle,” or about how through prayer and “spiritual counseling” homosexual persons can be “cured.” Those arguments are no longer worthy of our time or energy. We will no longer dignify by listening to the thoughts of those who advocate “reparative therapy,” as if homosexual persons are somehow broken and need to be repaired. We will no longer talk to those who believe that the unity of the church can or should be achieved by rejecting the presence of, or at least at the expense of, gay and lesbian people. We will no longer take the time to refute the unlearned and undocumentable claims of certain world religious leaders such as Boyd K. Packer who call homosexuality “deviant.” We will no longer listen to that pious sentimentality that these same and certain other Christian leaders continue to employ, which suggests some version of that strange and overtly dishonest phrase that “we love the sinner but hate the sin.” That statement is, we have concluded, nothing more than a self-serving lie designed to cover the fact that these people hate homosexual persons and fear homosexuality itself, but somehow know that hatred is incompatible with the Christ they claim to profess, so they adopt this face-saving and absolutely false statement. We will no longer temper our understanding of truth in order to pretend that we have even a tiny smidgen of respect for the appalling negativity that continues to emanate from religious circles where the church has for centuries conveniently perfumed its ongoing prejudices against blacks, Jews, women and homosexual persons with what it assumes is “high-sounding, pious rhetoric.” The day for that mentality has quite simply come to an end for us. We will personally neither tolerate it nor listen to it any longer. The world has moved on, leaving these elements of the Christian Church that cannot adjust to new knowledge or a new consciousness lost in a sea of their own irrelevance. They no longer talk to anyone but themselves. We will no longer seek to slow down the witness to inclusiveness by pretending that there is some middle ground between prejudice and oppression. There isn’t. Justice postponed is justice denied. That can be a resting place no longer for anyone. An old civil rights song proclaimed that the only choice awaiting those who cannot adjust to a new understanding was to “Roll on over or we’ll roll on over you!” Time waits for no one.  That includes the Mormon Church and Bishop Robert W.
We will particularly ignore those members of the Episcopal Church who seek to break away from this body to form a “new church,” claiming that this new and bigoted instrument alone now represents the Anglican Communion. Such a new ecclesiastical body is designed to allow these pathetic human beings, who are so deeply locked into a world that no longer exists, to form a community in which they can continue to hate gay people, distort gay people with their hopeless rhetoric and to be part of a religious fellowship in which they can continue to feel justified in their homophobic prejudices for the rest of their tortured lives. Church unity can never be a virtue that is preserved by allowing injustice, oppression and psychological tyranny to go unchallenged.  We certainly have had enough of tyranny of all kinds due to the fact that we have not been challenging injustice and oppression in the past.

In our personal life, we will not listen to televised debates conducted by “fair-minded” channels that seek to give “both sides” of this issue “equal time.” We are aware that these stations no longer give equal time to the advocates of treating women as if they are the property of men or to the advocates of reinstating either segregation or slavery, despite the fact that when these evil institutions were coming to an end the Bible was still being quoted frequently on each of these subjects. It is time for the media to announce that there are no longer two sides to the issue of full humanity for gay and lesbian people. There is no way that justice for homosexual people can be compromised any longer.

We will never act as if the Papal office is to be respected if the present occupant of that office is either not willing or not able to inform and educate himself on public issues on which he dares to speak with embarrassing ineptitude. We will not be respectful of the leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who seems to believe that rude behavior, intolerance and even killing prejudice is somehow acceptable, so long as it comes from third-world religious leaders, who more than anything else reveal in themselves the price that colonial oppression has required of the minds and hearts of so many of our world’s population. We see no way that ignorance and truth can be placed side by side, nor do we believe that evil is somehow less evil if the Bible is quoted to justify it. We will dismiss as unworthy of any of our attention the wild, false and uninformed opinions of such would-be religious leaders as Pat Robertson (of the 700 Club), James Dobson (of “Focus On The Family”), Jerry Falwell (of Liberty University {Southern Baptist}), Jimmy Swaggart (Evangelist of The Family Worship Center) – who I quote here as saying: “If I meet a homosexual, I’ll just kill him and tell God he died.”, Albert Mohler (President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary), and Robert Duncan. Our country and our churches have all already spent too much time, energy and money trying to accommodate these backward points of view when they are no longer even tolerable.  My boyfriend and I will certainly not tolerate these ignorant views any longer.

We make these statements because it is time to move on. The battle is over. The victory has been won. There is no reasonable doubt as to what the final outcome of this struggle will be. Homosexual people will be accepted as equal, full human beings, who have a legitimate claim on every right that both church and society have to offer any of us. Homosexual marriages will become legal soon, recognized by every state and pronounced holy by the church. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” will be dismantled as the policy of our armed forces (thank you President Barac Obama). We will and we must learn that equality of citizenship is not something that should ever be submitted to a referendum. Equality under and before the law is a solemn promise conveyed to all our citizens in the Constitution itself. Can any of us imagine having a public referendum (the submission of a proposed public measure or actual statute to a popular majority vote) on whether slavery should continue, whether segregation should be dismantled, whether voting privileges should be offered to women? The time has come for politicians to stop hiding behind unjust laws that they themselves helped to enact, and to abandon that convenient shield of demanding a vote on the rights of full citizenship because they do not understand the difference between a constitutional democracy, which this nation has, and a “mobocracy,” which this nation rejected when it adopted its constitution. We do not put the civil rights of a minority to the vote of a plebiscite (a vote of an entire country for or against a proposal).

We will also no longer act as if we need a majority vote of some ecclesiastical body in order to bless, ordain, recognize and celebrate the lives and gifts of gay and lesbian people in the life of the church. No one should ever again be forced to submit the privilege of citizenship in this nation or membership in the Christian Church to the will of a majority vote or more especially the will of a few or even one man (i.e. my Bishop Robert “Bobby” W. excommunicated me from the Church with two counselors, almost single handedly because they are hateful, prejudiced and homophobic).   I have never had any prejudice against anyone except for “common sense prejudice,” for example, not letting a 3 year old kid drive my car for obvious reasons that anyone can understand.

The battle in both our culture and our church to rid our souls of this dying prejudice is finished. A new consciousness has arisen. A decision has quite clearly been made. Inequality for gay and lesbian people is no longer a debatable issue in either church or state. Therefore, my fiancé and I will from this moment on refuse to dignify the continued public expression of ignorant prejudice by engaging it. We do not tolerate racism or sexism any longer. From this moment on, we will no longer tolerate our culture’s various forms of homophobia. We do not care who it is who articulates these attitudes or who tries to make them sound holy with religious jargon or even by using scripture.  It is time to stop “beating a dead horse” and move on.

We have seen this debate for years, but things do get settled and this issue is now settled for us. We do not debate any longer with members of the “Flat Earth Society” either. We do not debate with people who think we should treat epilepsy by casting demons out of the epileptic person; we do not waste time engaging those medical opinions that suggest that bleeding the patient might release the infection. We do not converse with people who think that Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans as punishment for the sin of being the birthplace of Ellen DeGeneres or that the terrorists hit the United Sates on 9/11 because we tolerated homosexual people, abortions, feminism or the American Civil Liberties Union (protects civil rights of individuals). We are tired of being embarrassed by so much of our church’s participation in causes that are quite unworthy of the Christ we serve or the God whose mystery and wonder we appreciate more each day. Indeed we feel the Christian Church should not only apologize, but do public penance for the way we have treated people of color, women, adherents of other religions and those we designated heretics, as well as gay and lesbian people.
Life moves on. As the poet James Russell Lowell once put it more than a century ago: “New occasions teach new duties, Time makes ancient good uncouth” (strange, obsolete). We are ready now to claim the victory. We will from now on assume it and live into it. We are unwilling to argue about it or to discuss it as if there are two equally valid, competing positions any longer. The day for that mentality has simply gone forever.

This is our manifesto and our creed. We proclaim it today. We invite others to join us in this public declaration. We believe that such a public outpouring will help cleanse both the church and this nation of its own distorting past. It will restore integrity and honor to both church and state. It will signal that a new day has dawned and we are ready not just to embrace it, but also to rejoice in it and to celebrate it.

By: Robin Lee Johnson adapted from the work of John Shelby Spong for Robin and George “Cody” Allen Circle.  Thank you John for your inspiring words and allowing me to adapt and personalize this Manifesto to myself and my husband to be; I consider you John, my friend.

Sunday in Outer Blogness: Kristmas Kremlinology Edition!

The big news this past week is the new LDS website Mormons and gays. From what I gather, the most amazing part is that in the official church stance they admitted that some people are gay or lesbian (they even made reference to reality on this!) whereas before this site, the stance of the CoJCoL-dS was that acts could be homosexual, but not people. Personally, I think it’s kind of sad that such a small change in language is such a big deal — especially considering that the church policy statement was anonymous (so if they choose to delete the site tomorrow, we’d get called “anti-Mormons” for bringing it up again…). Alan opened the discussion and provided some relevant links. On the Bloggernacle, there was a lot of back-andforth discussion. Some gay Mormons have posted about their experiences of not being welcomed (with one sweet tale about the family joy poured out for an gay engaged couple). But my favorites were the humorous takes!

The other big news is that awards season has opened!! This year, I think we have stronger candidates for the “William Law X-Mormon of the Year” than the other guys do for the faithful award — I can think of two obvious nominees who made a huge splash this year. Maybe you can guess mine and have ideas for others!! I’ll put up the nomination post sometime this week. As for the Brodies, I would like to start the nominations in January. This is partially because I’m moving this week, so December will be pretty crazy for me this year, but also to wait until all of the 2012 posts are posted before picking the best!!

Now for the updates on the “War on Christmas”!! In one skirmish, some Christian Warriors defeated a Hebrew. While I truly appreciate fMh’s serious treatment, I still think this video is the best take on the “war” ever!! (And for fun, some historical notes on the Jesus story.

There were a couple of interesting posts about Brigham Young University: A rumor that they’re not hiring non-Mormons anymore, and it’s not clear whether it’s OK for BYU to expel Mormons for deconverting:

For example, the policy at BYU is to kick out those who convert while at BYU. More narrowly, the burden falls on the religious freedom of the LDS majority: you can come Muslim and leave Catholic, or come Presbyterian and leave Mormon, but if you come Mormon and try to leave atheist or Rastafari, you lose the ability to (1) enroll, (2) graduate, and (3) receive an otherwise-earned diploma.

There was also a rumor that the CoJCoL-dS is trying out our suggestion of more service-based missions, as well as some political tidbits. And how much is that unpaid clergy making?

Then there were a lot of interesting isolate topics this week! Andrew S read a speculative fiction book that got a surprising number of predictions right. Maya has been posting an amazing series of photos from her visit to a WWII holocaust site. Jacob gave a fascinating discussion of how cliques operate in Mormon wards. (Did I really read this on a faithful blog?):

Recall the primary goal of shunning–that others know their place, that peace and tradition and the status quo are preserved, in order for you to achieve the long-lasting social ranking that is the entire point of living in a religious community.

In personal stories, Runtu became another statistic of the economy (don’t forget his book would make a good Christmas present!). Angela recounted a lovely object lesson. Ex-Mormons sometimes have a hard time finding each other even in their own families. Prairienymph is rediscovering the Bible Belt. Adele turned 3!! Unhappy memories of food storage. A divorced Mormon mom found her children are rewriting history to recast her as “never a very good Mormon mother”:

Contrary to what you have just read, I, just like E’s mother, have my own homemade stuffing recipe. It calls for sticks of butter, cloves of garlic, Jimmy Dean sausage, fresh mushrooms, onions, celery, chicken broth, and bags of herbed Pepperidge Farm bread crumbs. It is delicious and takes hours to make. I was so upset by the intimation that our family is used to the “boxed stuff” that I actually shed tears of frustration when I read this post. Why had I spent all of those early Thanksgiving morning hours while the rest of the family slept preparing that stuffing when they would end up remembering that it came from a box?

Now, because I’d like to try to encourage people to post more articles here at MSP, I’d like to do a theme post week starting next week (the 17th through the 21st). The theme will be how your holiday celebrations have changed over the years. Please post a comment here and like to claim a day! 😀

Happy Holidays, and take care of yourself!

mormonsandgays.org — a Sign of Movement toward Dialogue?

The Church recently launched a site titled Love One Another: A Discussion on Same-Sex Attraction (at the URL: www.mormonsandgays.org).

Here is a useful link that centralizes many responses to the new site.

John Gustav-Wrathall writes at D&S that “Now is the Time” for dialogue, because this new site demonstrates that

They do not want to censor the dialog.  They’ve made space for this by saying, in essence, ‘We don’t claim responsibility for nor do we necessarily agree with everything that is said here.’  They’re also telling the general membership and local leaders to, in essence, brace themselves to hear opinions that they are unaccustomed to, that they disagree with.  If Church leaders intended to fudge or suppress or censor dialog, they wouldn’t be saying things like that.

This appraisal strikes me as overly optimistic.  What the site actually says is, “Those who speak from the heart on this website do not necessarily represent in every word or detail the policies or positions of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but all of them speak with authenticity because they reflect what has happened in their own lives and the experiences of those they love.”  And from there, the site represents only the experiences of those with “faithful” positions — the exact opposite of unsuppressed/uncensored discourse.

This raises a question of audience.  The “dialogue” Gustav-Wrathall is referring to is dialogue between straight and gay “faithful” members of the Church so that future gay members might feel comfortable enough to stay in the Church instead of leave it (provided they are okay not being allowed to “act on their attractions”).  I see no evidence of intended dialogue between Mormons and gays outside the Church (either non-Mormons, or gay Mormons living “unfaithfully”), which makes the URL misleading.  In fact, for the Church to now incorporate the word “gay” into its lexicon, make a site whose URL title is “Mormons and Gays,” but then have the site be so one-sided… well, it seems less a movement toward dialogue between the two named parties, and more the Church experimenting with how to best bring together the forces of heterosexism and technology:  “‘Gay’ is here to stay, so how can we shape it to mean what we want it to mean in the Church, and reach the most Mormons?”

Basically, with this site, I see two things going on:

(1) The emergent discourse of the 2000s, spearheaded by North Star and others, arguing that one can be “gay” and still a good church member (by not acting on their gayness), is the official policy for the 2010s.  The URL name makes this clear.  While many of us are wondering when the Church is going to change its policy to allow same-sex relationships, really the Church just left behind “change [orientation] therapy.”  (It was only about 30% left behind at the turn of the century.)

(2) The timing of this website launch shows that the Church is trying to bring under its wing the grassroots movement this summer, when Mormons marched in Pride parades.  In essence, the Church is saying, “Okay, Mormons Building Bridges…good job.  But make sure you remember who’s in charge and what your message should be.  Oh, and Mormons for Marriage Equality, we won’t say this to you directly, but you don’t represent the Church.”  I’ve recently written about how the movement this summer of Mormons in Pride showed a possible/probable extension of the Church’s heterosexism.  I see this new website as evidence that supports my thesis — particularly given how many people are heralding this site as an extension of their work this summer.  (Edit:  The Church Newsroom says the site took two years to make…so, clearly, the Church and its members are working in tandem on this matter.  I guess I just can’t help but be disappointed at how much it’s the same ol’ heterosexism in increasingly fancier forms.)

(OTOH, I wonder what actual positive policy changes we might see.  Will temple recommends be denied to those who shun their gay kids?)