Choir Tries To Bring LGBT Mormons Back Into The Fold

Facing some serious bad press, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has started to change its tune regarding homosexuals: Where the message used to be “Change or go to hell,” now it’s “stay with us.”

At least that’s what Elder D. Todd Christofferson said when he launched a new website aimed at improving relations with LGBT Mormons.

There are other examples of this apaprent thawing: This year, students at Brigham Young recorded an It Gets Better video, and gay and straight Mormons took part in New York Pride in June.

And over the weekend, NPR reported on the One Voice Choir, a Mormon chorus open to the LGBT community. The group is not officially affiliated with the LDS church in Utah.

Bryan Horn, musical director for the 15-member group, resigned from the church when he came out. But like many of the singers, he maintains his faith:

“The primary purpose is to create a space where everybody is loved and everybody is welcome — to simply come together, and as Mormon Christians and non-Mormon Christians, to worship Jesus Christ and proclaim our testimonies of Jesus Christ,” Horn says.

One Voice is preparing to perform at Outreach Fireside, a gathering aimed at LGBT Mormons and allies. (It’s unclear but it appears the Fireside in an official LDS-sponsored event.)

Straight ally Catherine Jeppsen, a gender-studies professor at BYU, says she’s glad there’s a place for gays to sing their praises: “I want to do everything I can to show them that there are people in the Mormon church who do love and accept them, and want them to feel welcome.”

But are there, really?

The official LDS view is that having same-sex attractions isn’t a sin, but acting on them is.

The experience of same-sex attraction is a complex reality for many people. The attraction itself is not a sin, but acting on it is. Even though individuals do not choose to have such attractions, they do choose how to respond to them.

Apologists say the same prohibition is placed on heterosexual Mormons before marriage, but since gays and lesbians can’t get married in the faith, the church is asking for a lifetime of celibacy.

Should these choir singers relish the opportunity to share in their faith, or make a clean break from a religion that denies their basic humanity? Because, dress it up however you like, denying someone the ability to love and be loved is doing just that.




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  • Samuel

    This merger of Side A and Side B positions is one of the most ridiculous theater I have come across.For those uninitiated in the jargon of modern Ex Gay tactics, side A refers to people who believe same sex attraction and ACTION is normal! and side B refers to people who believe that same sex attraction is okay and a sad, lived reality of some human beings but not to be acted upoon.

    Unless such groups clearly indicate which side they belong to… and the two are incompatiable, as demanding that people live in lifelong celibacy is not by any stretch of the imagination to allowing people to have the beautiful gift of same-sex intimacy, relationships and marraige even; the legitimacy and integrity of such associations are clearly suspect.

    How can you honestly sit with a bunch of people who believe that you dont have a right to be intimate with partner of the same sex and still claim that you share a similar testimony of faith?

  • MK Ultra

    So now the mormons are dressing their hate up in song and dance?
    I.ve said it before and I’ll say it again- actions speak louder than words. The actions of the mormon church continue ro push for ongoing harassment and mistreatment of gays.
    Sorry, a really bad stage production doesn’t change that.
    Neither does the pride in Utah, the websites – they are all propaganda, aimed at softening the image of this bizarre cult. As long as their messahe remains “change or be celibate”, a disgusting, degrading attempt to strip gays of our very humanity, I.d don’t care if they show up to every Pride, flailing their arms like freaks amd in that cult tone all the weirdos use, shouting about faux understanding amd love.

  • hyhybt

    @Samuel: They can claim to “share a similar testimony of faith,” most likely, because they do. Similar, not exactly the same.

    Side B, as I understand it, does not always mean no relationships. Some people on that side have them, lasting as long as anyone else… they just don’t have sex. (Some avoid physical expression entirely, others don’t.)

    The whole idea seems all wrong to me: Jesus equated hatred with murder and inappropriately aimed lust with adultery, so clearly the desire to sin is itself sinful. So either it’s wrong (whether correctible or not) to have such feelings towards someone of the same sex (the ex-gay position), or else there are situations where it’s OK to act on them (Side A). Either way, Side B falls apart.

    Of course, that’s within the framework of the more usual forms of Christianity. Mormons are a bit different, and of course from the outside all that would be nonsense anyway.

  • Cam

    Queerty refused to report on the anti-gay activities of the Mormon church for ages, including is ties to NOM.

    Now suddenly there have been more than one article about this phone P.R. attempt.

    There has been zero changes. The church still says that being gay is a sin, they still say that all homosexual activity is not allowed.

    Why did Queerty refused to report on the large number of anti-gay activities but is now over eager to report on this phony and extremely transparent stunt?

  • hyhybt

    @Cam: You need a new song.

  • Cam


    1. Typical defense of the Mormons. You can’t point out where anything I said was incorrect so you just attack with some vague little statement that says nothing.

    2. I’ll get a new song when the Mormons do. When they stop attacking gays and funding laws that would strip rights from gays I’ll stop pointing it out.

  • Freddie27

    @Cam: You have a pathological obsession. Seek help.

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