“It’s not me that has a problem, it’s the church that has a problem with who I am.”

Affirmation Candlelight Vigil Changes Mesa Temple Phoenix GLBT Coalition

A candle-lighting ceremony took place Friday night across from the Mesa Arizona Mormon Temple.

I’ll add more as the follow-up reports come in, but for now, it’s gratifying to see this pre-event coverage from the local FOX affiliate in Arizona:

I was born in Mesa and spent my first nine years in Gilbert. Fond memories of eating kumquats off the trees at the Mesa temple. From what I remember of the area, it would take real guts to bring this message to the streets. Good on this crew for bringin’ it.

Mesa Temple Vigil

This update courtesy PostMormon.org:

My wife and I were there too. I took some pictures. I’ll try to upload some if nobody else does. It was simple and thoughtful.

And here’s the first post-event local TV news report:

Box Turtle Bulletin explains how the LDS earned the attention of Arizona activists:

Mormons in Arizona contributed at a minimum 40% some say as much as 80% of the $8 million raised to pass Prop 102 in Arizona. Prominent Mormons were also at the head of the official Yes campaign in support of Prop 102 … they out-spent anti-102 forces by nearly 12-1.

12 thoughts on ““It’s not me that has a problem, it’s the church that has a problem with who I am.”

  1. The increase in suicides among gays cannot possibly be due to intolerance — intolerance towards homosexuality has always existed. It is due to increasing false expectations that their behavior will be accepted and embraced by others.

    The more gays expect their behavior to be accepted, the more disappointed they are when confronted by the fact that the larger society simply will not accept it.
    Revulsion against homosexuality is as deeply ingrained genetically as gays claim their behavior is.

  2. fred — Wha..? First of all, it’s not clear that there’s been an increase in suicides. It’s more likely an increase in noticing them (and actually being concerned about it). But seriously “The more gays expect their behavior to be accepted, the more disappointed they are when confronted by the fact that the larger society simply will not accept it”? Sorry, no. The people who expect that society should accept them aren’t the ones killing themselves.

  3. I love the sentiment behind the title to this post. It’s a for real thing. I used to agree with the idea that we aren’t to change the church for the followers but to change ourselves for christ.

    and to a certain degree, i still see the merit in that. but as a whole? god, how boring and how unrealistic. how horrifying, really. how dehumanizing. life is too short, and if its my life vs the church’s crap, i choose my life. if my best isn’t good enough for christ or the church, then i don’t want anything to do with either one. i kill myself enough without all of that. forming myself to their ridiculous mold did more harm than good to my health.

    all the best to these people. i’d be right there with them if i could be.

  4. Fred, the people who are killing themselves tend to be very young. They just want to be loved.

    I think that comes natural when you are young. You seem to be complicating the dynamics a little bit too much. I don’t think that most gay kids need to be told that they should be accepted. They just want to be accepted.

    That’s human nature and not a product of our times or culture, which means that it does not vary over time.

    Wanting to be loved certainly overlaps with wanting to be accepted but it is not the same thing. I may be wrong but my impression is that many gay Mormon kids hurt themselves because they are desperate to please their family and society but cannot.

    In those cases, the motive for the suicide is not the lack of acceptance but the inability to conform. Of course, the latter couldn’t exist without the former but they are not the same thing.

  5. Fred:

    “Revulsion against homosexuality is as deeply ingrained genetically as gays claim their behavior is.”

    it’s genetically ingrained? what?

    i can agree that revulsion of homosexuality is ingrained, but it’s societally ingrained. and that’s something we as a people must fight, and that can only come with getting to know these people, becoming (true) friends with them, understanding them.

    And unless you have some real scientific backup (ie: more than one or two respectable, unbiased scientific studies) to claim otherwise, you’ve no support to say whether its genetic or not.

    and if it is or isn’t, who cares? it’s a non-issue. people should be able to love who they love without people judging them because *they* find it revolting. nobody’s asking or forcing you to engage in homosexual intercourse and nobody made you and yours the moral authority.

    check out the history behind racism and you’ll find it’s not “genetically” driven, just as sexism isn’t. the same is true of homophobia.

    and, btw, check your stats. society at large IS becoming more accepting of this and will continue to do so. it’ll take a long time for us to become completely rid of homophobia, if ever, just like we’re still dealing with real racism, but we’re getting there.

    so be a doll and stfu and allow people to live their own goddamn lives without your unnecessary and uneducated input.

  6. The motive for the suicide is not the lack of acceptance but the inability to conform. Of course, the latter couldnt exist without the former but they are not the same thing.

    Yes, an important distinction. When people commit suicide over this issue, it’s usually not because no loved them or accepted them, but because despite this “love” and “acceptance,” there was still no place for them. They kill themselves out of selflessness, not selfishness.

  7. Fred, #3: “Revulsion against homosexuality is as deeply ingrained genetically as gays claim their behavior is.”

    That’s an interesting point, Fred. However, it is contradicted by how the Ancient Greeks, the Ancient Romans, the Ancient Chinese, the Ancient Japanese, and most Native American viewed homosexuality. In all those cases, of course, a “deeply ingrained genetically” based revulsion seems wholly absent. So, just how do you account for the surprising ability of your anti-homosexual genes to come and go, Fred?

  8. Its not me that has a problem, its the church that has a problem with who I am.

    Nice. People need to stop thinking their chosen religious beliefs dictate everything to everyone, and that the rest of the world needs to change to suit their delicate sensibilities.

    Fred,

    Nobody is born hating others. Hate is carefully taught–in church, in the home, in the community. Furthermore, gay people don’t give a hoot if you “accept” them. They just want to have the rights you have and take for granted, and to no longer be oppressed by sanctimonious bigots who think their chosen religious lifestyles give them the right to treat others like dirt.

  9. I completely agree, every individual should have the same rights regardless of what gender, sexual orientation or race. They most certainly should all be treated with the same respect, people have to get out of these archaic mind sets and open their eyes to the modern world. There’s no place for attitudes like homophobia any more, if your religions telling you to hate someone then you need to think really long and hard about who you want to be and what your religions telling you.

    I’m a psychology student and I know for a fact that hate is a learned behaviour, it is not genetic, that is not how genetics work. You can’t make up excuses for such horrid attitudes, unfortunately the minority acting in one way is all that the ‘general public’ see and this affects how they see religions and certain groups of people.

    I pity you for seeing the world in such a way, you are closing yourself off to so many people and things.

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