This week I talked with authors Ross and Ryan Poore, a father-son duo, about their new novel, The Blood Doctrine, which addresses homophobia in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This courtroom thriller explores the life of a Mormon missionary whose chosen path is to spread the word of his religion, and the motivations that drive him to brutally murder a gay man in the name of his faith. Utilizing the tool of fiction, Ross and Ryan, who are fierce gay allies, explore historical text, documented sermons and the teachings of Brigham Young, Sidney Rigdon, John D. Lee and others within the church to unravel the extremist anti-gay position of church members and teachings that continues today. In addition, The Blood Doctrine explores how the LDS church strategically raised millions of dollars to pass California's Proposition 8 in 2008.
When asked about his personal commitment to LGBT equality as a straight man, Ross stated:
I come from a family where I have a brother who is gay, I have a nephew who is gay, I have a cousin who is gay, and I have a cousin who is transgender. My sister is president of PFLAG in Salt Lake City, so my commitment is to make sure they have the same rights as everyone else. In Utah the state legislature struck down an effort to just have the rights of gays to have fair housing and have equal rights in employment this session, and I'm trying to figure out why that is a threat to society. And what it boiled down to is the [LDS] church didn't want to be in compliance with those issues. They didn't want to have to follow that guideline and that law. I think that if anyone's rights are taken away, my individual rights are also diminished.
Ross Poore is the son of a coal miner and has earned four degrees from the University of Utah, including a doctor's degree in educational leadership. He has served as a high school principal, counselor and teacher. His last professional years were spent as an academic director at a psychiatric treatment center for adolescents. He has been married to Chris for 45 years and has two sons and one grandson. Ryan Poore has worked in the media and entertainment industry for well over 15 years. Because of his media experience, he visualizes his stories as virtual film sets before he begins to write.
For more information on their novel The Blood Doctrine, visit missionarymurder.com.
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