My world was full of people who weren't shy about telling me how to live my life -- and on any given day, I couldn't be Mormon enough for my Latter-day Saint family and friends, and I couldn't be gay enough for my LGBT community. I felt like a man with a foot in two worlds, but I didn't fully belong in either. No matter which one I chose, I still lost part of myself.
Our church had a wonderful lesson about charity this week. Many told inspiring stories of times when they had seen someone in need and filled that need. Others talked about organizations to sign up with to help give to refugees or to the homeless. And there were also stories about helping those in our own church.
Since November of last year, when the church announced a policy that mandates church discipline (the process that leads to excommunication) for LGBT individuals in same-sex marriages and bars their children from baptism, church leadership has engaged in a consistent drumbeat of bigoted messages aimed at the LGBT community.
I have a pretty enthusiastic American Literature professor here at the University of Southern California. Actually, enthusiastic might not be the right word for it; I think the words "intellectual agitator" best describe his personality. He's one of those guys that want you to question everything that you know and believe, but in a good way.
In the Mormon view, children are not cursed by any "original sin" and children are not responsible for the sins of their parents -- until now. Despite of the Church's inept attempts to justify this policy, many Mormons and non-Mormons, are seeing it as punishing the children for the "sins" of their LGBT parents.
Just seven years after Prop 8, it's "déjà vu all over again." This time it feels self-mutilating. Instead of campaigning to impose unconstitutional public policies on the rest of the world -- a battle that we lost when the U.S. Supreme court upheld appellate court rulings supporting same sex marriage -- we seem to be cutting off our proverbial nose to spite our face.