• Source: Jeremy Franklin/Flickr
  • Thousands To Quit Mormon Church Over New Anti-Gay Decree – Public Mass Resignation Event Saturday

    Thousands of Mormons are leaving their faith after the LDS Church last week attacked same-sex families, including their children. 

    The Mormon Church's decree last week that people in same-sex relationships are now apostates and their children cannot be baptized without literally denouncing and distancing themselves from their parents has had devastating effects on LGBTQ Mormons and their families.

    First, there has been a spike in calls to suicide prevention groups, and the mother of a transgender teen says she's "aware of a couple of suicides that have happened."

    Kate Kendell, the well-respected executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, which is one of the nation's most-effective LGBT civil rights organizations, published an op-ed in the Washington Post on Tuesday, announcing she is leaving the Mormon Church.

    Kendell blames the LDS Church's "gratuitously cruel and stigmatizing treatment of children" in its latest anti-LGBT move for pushing her "to disavow the church" of her childhood.

    "It is impossible for me to be a part of a religion that would attack its own members and punish them by denying their children involvement in the church. The move is as clever as it is draconian. Members seeking to live lives of integrity as openly LGBT people must not only leave the church, but take their children with them. It requires a particular streak of evil genius to manufacture such a 'Sophie’s choice.'"

    Kendell is not the only one denouncing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and leaving it over its latest attack on the LGBT community.

    Nearly 1000 Mormons in Salt Lake City have signed up on Facebook to announce that on Saturday they will march around the Church's Temple Square and mail letters of resignation to the LDS Church – formally leaving the church – in protest of its attack on LGBT families. Since leaving the Church can be a tricky enterprise, far different from leaving other faiths, attorney Mark Naugle will be on hand to assist.

    Naugle tells KIVI-TV he is also processing the resignations of 1400 other Mormons in addition to those planning on attending Saturday's mass resignation.

     

    Image by Jeremy Franklin via Flickr and a CC license
    Hat tip: Friendly Atheist

     

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    • commented 2015-11-14 22:28:24 -0500
      So, can we all stop pretending that we believe the Mormon Church’s public lie about not hating Gays & Lesbians? C’mon, you remember: from back when people were annoyed about the money they pumped into other states to defeat gay equality (failed 100% in Washington state). I knew they were lying then. So should everyone else.

    • commented 2015-11-14 20:56:11 -0500
      Gary thank you so much for your kind words… they help more than you know.

      I certainly hope that what I write helps anyone who is in pain realize that they are not alone and that love is so much more important than anything else in this world.

      There is so much more good in the world than the damage that the Mormon Church has done to so many.

      There is life and a world of good beyond the Mormon Church.

      I know this because I live it.

    • commented 2015-11-14 14:17:19 -0500
      Heidi, you may be doing more good than you know in helping others escape this repressive nightmare just by telling your story.

    • commented 2015-11-13 23:30:15 -0500
      I’ll tell you one thing…over the two years that I have written about the Mormon church and my experience my blog has hit over 23,000. So people are watching the Mormon church.

    • commented 2015-11-13 22:06:54 -0500
      If that’s true, then there sure were a bunch of mysterious busybodies…ALL of who popped up, names and all…A member told on me because of my feminist posts (the bishop told me that someone had when he started interrogating me… the bishop and others stalked me on google circles because of my blog- I SAW his name in Google circles only after he started interrogating me along with others on my site… I kicked him off Google circles, blocked all the ward members and many others on Facebook adn on the ward page so it wasn’t as easy to spy on me…a site I am on many have said they were harassed online by Bishops and people from the “ward” its like the freaking gestapo. You may live in that Mormon bubble where everything it butterflies and rainbows ;p but I SAW the names.

    • commented 2015-11-13 21:58:05 -0500
      Amen Gary!!!! (And thank heavens I don’t live in Utah…)

      Al, I would not ever tell someone my story who has talked to people on the site the way you have face to face.

      Discounting how others feel and the arrogance of your coming to your own smug conclusions is not the kind of person I would ever talk to about my experience. But my experience is here for anyone to see: http://songsofaletheia.blogspot.com/2014/06/why-i-am-leaving-mormon-church-despite.html

      I don’t need anyone to tell me what I should feel. Being a ward clerk does not mean you are the ultimate authority on all this. After reading that forst comment, I digress, you are someone who it seems, is the go to man because you know everything. NOT. I know Mormon men who are smug, self righteous and arrogant. The Bishop I dealt with being one of them. And then there are men who stop accusing, listen instead of loving the sound of their own voices… and are loving. My husband, of whom I have been married to for 25 years is one of those GOOD men. I have friends who are Mormon too. Good people. People who are comforting those who have been hurt because of the horrible things that have been done in the name of God. I have a friend who no matter what unfairness happened to me just for beign a part of Ordain Women, she would take the time to listen, to be a shoulder to cry on. It is not God that is doing this to people. It is just men in sheeps clothing (again, note I have been married for 25 years, I obviously don’t hate men, just saying) Everyone has their own truth and should NOT be punished for it. To treat people like this is to act as if they are God. They are NOT..

      Men who are arrogant are THE ultimate reason that the world needs Ordain women, and ANYONE who has a voice to warn women how the Mormons treat people who have a voice..

    • commented 2015-11-13 10:08:54 -0500
      I’m not LDS, but the times I’ve been in Utah have been amazing. It’s really easy to tell who is mormon and who is not. The mormons look and act like abused POWs. I don’t care what LDS church leaders say, they literally control the lives and pocketbooks of their membership. If you’re LDS the church owns you. Bravo to any mormon who braves leaving the church. I also recommend you find a way out of Utah where you will not suffer being shunned.

    • commented 2015-11-13 00:32:00 -0500
      I would be most interest to hear your personal story in a face to face basis where I could actually hear and clarify your experience. This may not be feasible, or advisable in view of logistics , privacy, and your traumatic experiences. Just know that it is not chuch’s policy to intimidate or harass. You can send your letter directly to Salt Lake HQ, Takes a little longer. Address on wbsite. Do you know if your name is still on church records?

    • commented 2015-11-13 00:15:40 -0500
      Heidi, as Ward Clerk, I was the local source point for information to the leaders of my ward. The church membership information is nearly entirely automated and controlled only for confidentiality purposes. Your assertion that there is an secret organized effort to browbeat quitters is totally bonkers. Nobody in our ward was ever tasked to harass anyone. Nobody gets sent from the stake or from Salt Lake to "arm-twist " people into not quitting. I have heard complaints like this before in personal conversations, but the complaints were most often resolved by addressing misconception and misunderstandig. Pretty sure none of that will get addressed by you or your thousands. Try the process. do think we are done with this thread.

    • commented 2015-11-12 23:57:34 -0500
      And also al… I was interrogated for a month…

      Do you really think that I want to meet with any bishop or ask for their phone number???? I don’t want to talk to them… I was harassed enough and it is a waste of my time… that lawyer doing all of it for me along with a form letter telling them that they will be prosecuted if they bother me which is what they did before when I was interrogated is not what I want to happen again… that whole month I would get headaches and had an ulcer… they would not leave me alone.

      They will never have the right and never did to harass me ever again. I read a little more of what you said and it sounds like you are trying to be helpful but honestly all of this has only triggered post-traumatic stress disorder crap I had to deal with from my abusive father who tried to kill me at 16. ( he strangled me for eating after 10 which was against the rules… seems Mormons have a serious problem with rigid ridiculous rules) He was Mormon too.

    • commented 2015-11-12 23:53:27 -0500
      Michael, I took your challenges seriously and went to the site you referred. On box 1, most Christian churches qualify.box 2. Is prayer mind-altering? If so, guilty. Box 6. Perhaps John son’s Army, Haun’s Mill, the Extermination Order of Governor Boggs rescinded only in 1987 or so, the murder of Joseph Smith by pro-slavery forces in Illinois, and other history n have created somewhat of an “us v. Them.” Box 11. An extensive missionary effort (wit several thousand devoted to water development, literacy, family history, community development, et c. On all other boxes the LD S church is NOT a cult. In fact, on about half those boxes, the LDS church practice and doctrine are opposite the cult description on the list. So I presume you will change your tune?

    • commented 2015-11-12 23:37:46 -0500
      To the guy who’s the ward clerk… I am sorry but I am a part of a group online that has many many members close to a thousand or so …and I have heard horror stories you as a ward clerk and somebody who only sees what the Mormon Church shows you is not seeing the whole picture…there are plenty of people who I know have gone through the entire process and would know better than you what happens as you have not actually been the person who has resigned… just because you think you know it all doesn’t mean you do. I am done talking about this especially with people who don’t know what it’s like.

    • commented 2015-11-12 23:25:35 -0500
      Members of the LDS Church aka Mormons are members of a cult. Wild-eyed/haired leaders aren’t a requirement for a cult. Tell me this checklist is inaccurate:
      http://www.csj.org/infoserv_cult101/checklis.htm

      The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is a cult by definition, in letter and spirit.

    • commented 2015-11-12 23:25:18 -0500
      Organization with which they have fundamental disagreement. I know that many LGBT have not considered themselves to be LDS for years. Others have hanging in there for years hoping the church would am and on this part of the longstanding proclamation on marriage and family. I have friends in both these groups. I also have lgbt friends and relatives who maintain church membership to influence policy, or don’t really care about this church or maybe any church. This is the chuch’s policy for over 100 yeas with regard to polygamy. Those who disagree have every right to do something else. Do it calmly and properly, and God bless you to find joy on whatever path you choose. We all know, including members of the LDS church, that God loves you.

    • commented 2015-11-12 22:59:17 -0500
      Debbie, it’s because if your name is on church records, you will be contacorganization withvery new bishop and have to restate your wish to no not be contacted. There is no "legal aspect of this. Nor any role for an attorney. Heidi, as a former ward clerk I assisted in a couple of these processes. It works like this: there is no form. You simply identify your bishop and his preferred mailing address for church business ( lds.org meeting house locator will give a phone number for your bishop at home if you put in you address. Call him for his preferred address.) Write your letter to the bishop including your name as appears on your record, your birthdate, and your request to “have my name removed from any and all records of the church”. Mail it to your bishop. He will request a face to face meeting wwith you to confirm your identity and your intention. He may also explain what records your name will be removed from, you just stay calm andconfirm “all records.” Your aapplication will percolate up through the bureaucracy until fulfilled. Marching around Temple Square Saturday won’t accomplish this. It sounds like to me that you haven’t gone through the process. Try it. It’s not a great venting opportunity, but it’s how it works.

      Craig’ in this age of “no labels” I’m disappointed to see you have labeled all Mormons as cult members.

      Overall, I can totally unrest and that people do not want to be part of an

    • commented 2015-11-12 22:44:50 -0500
      @al Clarke I hardly know where to begin. Your statement " only saying that we are not going to interfere in your family life or change our teachings to accommodate it." first using “only” minimizes itself, trying to run from itself and the damage the policy causes. The statement that you’re not going to “interfere” in the families with gay kids or parents is either the biggest denial since the Warren Commission or a knowing lie. It hardly matters which. It’s coming from a church that believes that family is a thing of eternity, but it claims it will not interfere in that only during a short part of time the family is here on earth but that that’s some big kindness that doesn’t interfere in the family and isn’t a big deal for them the rest of the time they’re alive or in their eternal future.. It implies that that’s an “only” that shouldn’t cause anybody real pain. Huh?
      It’s cold in its minimizing that seems ignorant Mormonism is more than a religion, it’s a culture that people define their lives in and around and that, in some communities, it is the core of that community’s life as well. That is a huge loss to these families that your church is cruelly distancing itself from with the rhetorical equivalent of a shrug.
      By the way, being gay has nothing to do with gender, much less its confusion. It’s a sexual orientation, defined by what sex (not the gender expression which is a different thing) one is predominantly but not necessarily only attracted to on a combination of the emotional, sexual, and affectional levels. It has nothing to do with behavior, by the way. It is defined purely by attraction/desire, which is not under anyone’s control and is immutable.
      What that means is that you’re saying that it’s okay to separate families based on attractions the gay person has no control over and that, if that’s done at the age of the gay person’s majority, it has minimal enough effect that the church ought not be thought badly of. That’s irresponsible nonsense, to put it mildly, especially as it’s based on bad theology to begin with.
      You’re right about one thing, though. It’s not a legal civil rights issue as long as the church doesn’t try to extend it into public accommodation or other such things outside the realm of the church. It’s a matter of church doctrine and policy, and the church has an absolute right to control them. But the church does not have the right to be free from criticism or nonlegal pressure about its new policy. It has defined itself outside of the bounds of common decency and will “just” have to live with the consequences of its actions.

    • commented 2015-11-12 21:28:12 -0500
      I’m surprised we had any national LGBT leaders who belonged to this cult.

    • commented 2015-11-12 19:13:51 -0500
      Why do people even care if they are "legally separated from the LDS church? They don’t have you sign a legally enforceable contract as a member, do they? Can they do anything in your name that they don’t do already, like the baptisms of dead people?

    • commented 2015-11-12 14:57:49 -0500
      All those who say that leaving the Mormon church is easy have no idea what it is like, of they live in an area where people are easier on them if they do.

      It is Russian Roulette no matter where you are. You never know what they are going to do once you decide to leave.

      I left a year and a half ago over Ordain women,

      I was ostricized, interrogated for a month by the bishop, and had my recommend taken.

      Then when I stopped going to church, I was hounded by phone, (we stopped answering the phone, it was that bad) by doorbell, email, by every means possible for them to “correct” me and bring me back. They would not leave me the hell alone. People who say just leave, its easy have NO idea…and remember, this group is a cult. When you are in a cult for as long as I was (44 years) deprogramming is not easy. I am in a group right now that I will keep nameless here . I heard so many stories there about harassment when they sent in their letter to get out of the church. It is NOT that easy. The members believe you are going to hell unless you come back, so they will do everything in their power to drag you back.

      That lawyer is sending in resignation letters for FREE. He is not duping ANYONE. I wrote a blog about my feelings when this horrible announcement came out. http://songsofaletheia.blogspot.com/ I am brave enough now to resign. This was the last straw. I sent mine in through this lawyer, and I am relieved. I thank God that he is there so no one will be harassed.

    • commented 2015-11-12 02:33:34 -0500
      Leaving the LDS Church is not nearly as tricky or complicated as you folks are making it out to be. You just write a letter to your bishop requesting that your name be removed from the church’s records. You do not even have to state a reason. You do need to include your full name and your birth date.. in the event that there are several forms of your name or more than one version of your birth date, you should put your address in the letter so that your Bishop can contact you to make sure that it is you and it that is what you really want to do. It will be done. the attorney is just grandstanding he is totally unnecessary and the church officials bishops included will probably not deal with him. The policy that was put in place most recently is over a century old and has been a standard for former polygamists wanting to be baptized in the LDS Church: you must disavow the practice that violates church teachings if you wish to be baptized.. refraining from baptizing the children of gay couples is only saying that we are not going to interfere in your family life or change our teachings to accommodate it. The analogy often made Is to the older practice if not or dating black men to the priesthood. That was a custom that grew up without any specific doctrinal pronouncement after the church moved west. We do not equate gender confusion to race. Nor is either a civil rights issue. Many people don’t join the LDS Church because they disagree with the teachings.

    • commented 2015-11-11 23:38:20 -0500
      David…you seriously need to get a knows-what-they’re-talking-about real LDS Church member to fact check your material before you before you go spewing it. The TV report had it wrong…no legal documents or action is required if a person want to formally leave the church. They connected with a devious self-aggrandizing attorney and they fell for it and so did you. This is how the multiplication of ignorance occurs.

    • commented 2015-11-11 20:23:10 -0500
      The only thing religion does is divide people. Think about it.

    • commented 2015-11-11 19:34:59 -0500
      Why is it that some people (Robert Rooney) feel the need to disparage people of faith? Those that advocate for tolerance and diversity are sometimes the least tolerant… I’m a gay Mormon, I totally disagree with the position the church has taken because it does not protect family integrity. Apparently, this will mean that I will be disavowed by my entire family, immediate and extended. I grew up with the belief that family is forever. I, for one, will continue to believe that.

    • commented 2015-11-11 19:20:55 -0500
      My decision to stay a member of the church as a gay man can be found at rk fleming on youtube.

    • commented 2015-11-11 19:17:27 -0500
      @pat Reynolds – Or, perhaps, you were referring to protecting the children from their LGBT parents?

    • commented 2015-11-11 19:10:54 -0500
      @pat Reynolds – If it was ‘so clearly’ in place to protect these children, why wasn’t apparent before leaders had to clarify the reasoning?

      Also, just because the leadership claims this is the aim doesn’t make it true. While it’s a great narrative to claim it’s to prevent conflict in the home while they’re children – they’re still requiring them to disavow their parents and abandon them once they turn 18. It’s still destroying families… it’s just pushing it out until the ‘child’ becomes an ‘adult’.

      Also, it doesn’t explain or justify why children of gays have this extra step that children of other non-believe parents don’t.

      If they really cared about preventing conflict in homes with non-believing parents – then they’d be intellectual about their stance and perpetuate a real message of real tolerance. There are steps the LDS church could take to open up their arms and hearts – while totally staying true to their beliefs. But they don’t – and instead put non-public (even to standard members) guidelines in place that hurt certain people – and then retroactively try to paint it as an attempt to maintain family cohesiveness… But only until they’re 18 – for some reason.

    • commented 2015-11-11 18:11:14 -0500
      Is this mass resignation in Utah? This Saturday? And if so where is it being held?

    • commented 2015-11-11 17:39:25 -0500
      “designed to protect the children” What a load.. they are doing it because if Mormon children grow up thinking Same sex marriage is OK… those children will eventually grow up and change the church’s hateful ways.. it’s about creating stagnation and a vacuum where women and gays are second class citizens.. disgusting is what it really is..

    • commented 2015-11-11 16:43:11 -0500
      I’m am truly sorry that members are leaving the Church over something that is clearly designed to protect the children of LGBT parents.

    • commented 2015-11-11 16:35:42 -0500
      What do you expect? Mormonism is just the wingnut Scientology of the 19th century. The sooner humans come to terms with the bogus brainwash that every religion has pulled on them the sooner we will ‘ascend’ to that higher of level of consciouness IN THIS LIFE.

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