gay marriage in Utah?

I had to go to the UK to find it, but apparently Rocky Anderson signed an executive order allowing homosexual civil unions and marriages in Salt Lake City. I had no idea! I can only imagine what this is doing to the leadership of the LDS religion… (begin dream sequence)

Boyd K. Packer is sitting in his office in the Church Office Building when an assistant pokes her head in and hands him a copy of Rocky Anderson’s executive order. Veins in Packer’s neck and temples bulge; blood pools in his head. Since it’s my dream, I see cartoonish flames burst out of the top of his head. “This is an abomination and must be stopped! Of all the places to have those same-sex attracted deviants getting married, Salt Lake City is not going to be one of them as long as I’m alive!”

In a mad dash he runs out of his office and heads to Thomas Monson’s office, bursting through the doors. Monson is playing soothing music and is talking with several representatives of Affirmation. Packer pauses, looks around, recognizes the leaders of Affirmation, looks at Monson, then looks back at the leaders of Affirmation. Stunned into silence, he stares, frozen, at the Prophet. Seconds pass; time is frozen… Then it hits him: Monson is gay! Oh… my… god!

For the first time in his life, Boyd K. Packer is experiencing the same level of cognitive dissonance that is regularly experienced by the many followers of the religion he helps lead. The thought. The taste. The smell. The touch. The dissonance is overwhelming. He shakes, he sways, and… Boom! He explodes in a final act of defiance and contradiction.

Monson, calmly wiping the grime from his face, turns back to the leaders of Affirmation and says, without missing a beat, “Well, that’s the final barrier. You’re in!”

(I’m being mean, of course, and have no basis for claiming Boyd K. Packer is an impediment preventing full acceptance of homosexuals in the Mormon fold. But it’s a cool dream!)


I'm a college professor and, well, a professional X-Mormon. Thus, ProfXM. I love my Mormon family, but have issues with LDS Inc. And I'm not afraid to tell LDS Inc. what I really think... anonymously, of course!

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32 Responses

  1. Inactive Mormon Woman says:

    I will never for the life of be able to understand how a religion that fought to be able to marry who they wanted, when they wanted thinks they need to fight someone else’s right to marry! Gay marriage is soooo much better than polygamy. It is not a spiritual leaders telling one gender than in addition to their general submissiveness, they now need to allow their spouse to marry as many others as he wants.

    I personally don’t see what the big deal is. Geez at this point, their is no rationalization.

  2. Guy Noir Private Eye says:

    ABSOLUTELY THE BEST humor/satire i’ve seen since I can remember.
    nominations for Satire “Hall of Fame” are now CLOSED!

  3. chandelle says:

    i found out about the order just a few days ago. a couple that i know casually are getting married in the summer and they asked me to take photographs at the wedding. they’ve been together for years and they have a son (who is one of my husband’s students), and these wonderful women are finally getting to celebrate their union as they deserve. i think it’s amazing and i’m celebrating it. say what you will about rocky anderson but he did right for rights in SLC.

  4. profxm says:

    Agreed! I think it’s great that homosexuals can marry in SLC. Absolutely wonderful! I just wonder how many people really know about it. I wonder what the general feeling is among the populace there…

  5. Hellmut says:

    The state legislature struck that order down by passing a legal prohibition.

  6. chandelle says:

    hellmut, do you have more information about that?

  7. Kullervo says:

    Unfortunately, state legislature trumps municipal executive order, since municipalities only have power as delegated by the state.

  8. Sterkworks says:

    To me, the name Boyd K. Packer has always been synonymous with evil. Pure evil. Always will be. And I usually don’t go beyond “strongly disliking” people.

  9. Seth R. says:

    I think Boyd K. Packer gets a bad rap for a couple controversial talks he gave. But I’m not sure he’s particularly “tougher” than any of the other 12. I’ve known him to give rather sensitive addresses on occasion.

    My memory of him was me and my dad watching him from the bleachers, after a fireside in the Marriott Center as a line of BYU students immediately formed to shake his hand. My dad, a family doctor, noted that Elder Packer, after about 15 minutes of this, seemed to be in some discomfort and remarked “at his age he’s probably got arthritis.” But he went on like that for almost an hour and shook everyone’s hand.

    Just thought I’d throw that in. You may now return to discussing the “hateful man.”

  10. Kullervo says:

    I mean, nobody’s a carboard cutout. People are complex. But I still think Packer is on the evil side of complex.

  11. Guy Noir Private Eye says:

    without a viable feedback loop the GAs are all potential loose cannons.
    While their individual backgrounds vary, after a while of being hooked up with church authority, it’s plain they’re not connected with the rank-and-file, they don’t even like to get correspondence from them.
    the Management Mentality has surpassed personal connections. Their talks speak of lofty ideals/perfection that people would like their neighbors to think they’re leading, Wonderful! Marvelous!

  12. Seth R. says:

    You know, I’ve been around a while, and I’ve still failed to figure out why Packer gets so much flak.

    Why does he get so much criticism anyway? I mean, I’ve read “The Unwritten Order of Things,” but surely that wasn’t sufficient cause for the amount of negativity he gets?

  13. profxm says:

    Seth, like I said in my post, I don’t actually think Packer is the bad buy with homosexuality. Maybe he is; maybe he isn’t. I was just using the standard ex-mo punching bag for the example. Certainly he has said and written things that are in poor taste (his masturbation essay is the one that comes up regularly), but I think it’s really more that ex-mos need a negative figure to blame for the negative things that come out of the MORG. You couldn’t easily use Hinckley; he was generally likeable. Monson, likewise, seems like a nice guy and rarely says anything mean. So, if you’re going to look around for a punching bag, Packer is attractive.

    Also, I know he was personally involved in getting some people fired from BYU and has played a role in some excommunications. He’s kind of like Cardinal Ratzinger was for the previous pope – the pitbull nobody likes and everybody loves to hate.

  14. Hellmut says:

    Seth, I am surprised.

    Asking scholars to lie about their research to obtain salvation, that seems to be sacrilegious to me. If one takes the plan of salvation at face value then neither liars nor excommuniques can go to heaven, Elder Packer’s actions have created a class of people who are beyond salvation. Hence Packer’s treatment of the September Six implies a denial of the atonement and the Savior.

    That sacrilege is much more serious than anything that any Mormon historian has ever said.

    Besides, reenacting Galileo Galilei in 1993 is an embarrassment to any reasonable Mormon.

    Then there is Packer’s obsession with sex that continues to damage our children. There are dozens of kids, straight and gay, who have attempted suicide because Packer’s irrational agenda has made impossible for them to perceive themselves as good people.

    We are responsible for our believes. Elder Packer’s disproven believes have devastated many Mormon families.

    Of course, he is hardly the only one but as the author of the most damaging pamphlets on sexuality, he bears more responsibility than the average apostle.

  15. Guy Noir Private Eye says:

    Seth: upon seeing yr post about “TUOOT”, I did some reading in it;
    I got as far as the part where he tells people where they “must” sit during meetings….
    sent shutters up & down my spine that leaders stoop to such minutiae…
    Horrible things happening all around us… and LDS leaders are stuck in where to sit, earrings, etc.
    simply incredible.

  16. Seth R. says:

    Guy, I think I know what you are referring to, although I’m having a very hard time since you aren’t being very clear at all what you are talking about. But if you’re talking about what I think you are, try reading it again. Packer didn’t say that.

    Hellmut wrote:

    “Asking scholars to lie about their research to obtain salvation, that seems to be sacrilegious to me.”

    He was addressing the CES. I guess you could technically call that group “scholars”…

  17. Seth R. says:

    Oh wait Guy. You were talking about the Unwritten Order post…

    Sorry. My bad. Disregard what I wrote just now.

  18. mormonzero says:

    Seth wrote:

    “Hellmut wrote:

    “Asking scholars to lie about their research to obtain salvation, that seems to be sacrilegious to me.”

    He was addressing the CES. I guess you could technically call that group “scholars”…”

    For me personally, it does not matter if he was talking to scholars, CES, SP’s, Bishop’s, or even his family. A lie is a lie. According to DHO children shouldn’t even tell ppl on the phone their parents are not home when they really are but it is okay to w/hold other more important truth b cuz it might damage one’s testimony. Something does not seem right.

  19. Seth R. says:

    And he didn’t ask them to lie either.

  20. Hellmut says:

    Seth, when Packer ordered stake presidents to try the September Six, he demanded that scholars retract their research or be excommunicated. That is asking people to lie.

  21. Guy Noir Private Eye says:

    i meant ‘SHUDDER’ in my post.
    Does that make me a liar?

  22. Seth R. says:

    Unless you are personally of the belief that the scholarship was dishonest to begin with.

    I am not, but it’s easy to see Packer being of that opinion.

    If you aren’t more careful about throwing the word “lie” around, I’m going to start suspecting it’s simply code for “stuff I disagree with.”

  23. Kullervo says:

    Saying something other than what you really think or believe… that’s not honest, is it?

  24. Seth R. says:

    Kullervo, I would imagine he was asking them to not only repudiate, but come to see the “error of their ways.”

    If that is the case, it’s not dishonest in the slightest. Unfair maybe, but not dishonest.

  25. Hellmut says:

    Seth, it is not reasonable to assume that double blind peer reviewed and award winning scholarship reflects an effort in bad faith.

    Surely, you will have learned in law school that error only excuses illegitimate behavior as long as the mistake is reasonable.

    The problem of orthodoxy requiring scholars to lie has been studied since the days of Galileo Galilei. Insofar as Packer acts out of ignorance, he could have known better.

    Not even the Catholic Church excommunicates scholars any more. I find it shocking that you would defend such authoritarian behavior.

  26. Seth R. says:

    Whatever Hellmut.

    I see no evidence that Elder Packer was consciously asking anyone to lie.

    I disagree with the excommunications. I think it was overreaching and unnecessary. I do not think the same thing would happen today (as evidenced by the fact nothing has happened to any LDS bloggers – who take more radical positions than the September 6).

    But I do not find it necessary to impune anyone’s integrity while disagreeing with the action. Maybe Packer’s heart was full of corruption and malice. I see no evidence of it. Only innuendo from people who are used to assuming the worst about the LDS Church.

  27. Hellmut says:

    No one said anything of corruption and malice, Seth. I wish you would stop putting words in my mouth. It’s great to have you here but it is getting tiring that you routinely attribute malicious meaning.

    Sure, Elder Packer probably had the best intentions. I am much more concerned with the consequences of his behavior.

    The prosecutors of Galileo Galilei had good intentions. In fact, the perpetrators of the crimes against humanity during the twentieth century had good intentions.

    Packer is not Pol Pot but he has been hurting a lot of people even after he had been informed of the consequences of his actions. Some of his victims have died.

    In the case of the September Six, the consequences of Packer’s behavior was that scholars were required to lie to preserve their membership in the LDS Church. Regardless of his intentions, in effect Packer’s actions amount to a denial of the atonement.

    True, Grant Palmer was disfellowshipped rather than excommunicated. Unfortunately, the same logic still applies. Palmer cannot recover his membership privileges without lying.

    If one believes in the plan of salvation then Palmer will be damned unless Packer’s methods are overruled.

    Since the LDS Church only disciplined Palmer in December 2004, I am afraid that your optimism is not borne out by the facts.

  28. Steve EM says:

    Here’s my two cents: While not of the DAMU per se, I long ago concluded BKP is a false prophet and a half. From ugly anti-misagenation, to masturphobia, to nonsense about the cause of homosexuality being selfishness, to anti-evolution nonsense, to preventing expansion of church higher education, to pushing much of a generation out of the church, to just being a mean SOB who is obviously a pain in the rear to his colleagues (both junior and senior), the guy just isn’t someone to emulate and be right with the Lord. Just because someone is called of the Lord doesn’t mean they can’t fail in the calling. There’s a reason Jesus warned us about false prophets. We’re not supposed to follow any of these guys blindly. BKP is a poster child for the need for a retirement tradition for apostles.

  29. Seth R. says:

    “If one believes in the plan of salvation then Palmer will be damned unless Packer’s methods are overruled.”

    What on earth are you talking about?

  30. Guy Noir Private Eye says:

    the stark chasm between LDS earlier claims re the value of Truth and the way they have let it slide… almost to a disreputable status …. Stand to cast a Very Dark shadow over the whole concept in the LDS presentation, and leaders are the only ones responsible.
    Reading Gords book ‘Standing For Something’ was nothing short of a Laugh Riot compared to conduct on the ground.
    LDS GAs don’t act like the concept of credibility applies to themselves.

  31. Hellmut says:

    I will post a little essay for you, Seth.

  32. Craig says:

    Boyd K. gets targeted because of the many, many (compared to other church leaders) statements he has made which have turned out to be ludicrously false and disgustingly damaging. Believe me, I know. I think that he (along with Kimball and Oaks) have said/written/done the most to damage those under their influence – especially when it comes to homosexuality. For many, many Mormons (of which I was one), you simply take what an Apostle says as the word of God, despite this not being strictly doctrinal, it is a culturally doctrinal practise.

    As a missionary (not so long ago) we were given print-outs of talks he and others have given (which are no longer available on the church’s website archives, interestingly enough – even conference talks) that simply put, teach lies about homosexuality and pretty much sexuality in general. These are lies which the church pretends never existed or were never taught as fact.

    That he has softened his stance (relatively) in recent years does not discount that what he said in the past is continuing to cause distress and pain to thousands.

    Packer is, in my estimation, one of the strictest, most orthodox and least open-minded of all the church authorities. He is totally unaccepting of anything he doesn’t personally believe. This perception may exist because of his relatively powerful position in the church – i.e. there may be some seventy or area authority who is meaner, but the church as a whole isn’t exposed to his vitriol as with Packer.

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