‘Religious liberty’ has never meant the right of a majority religion (or religions) to impose religious practices or religious rules on non-adherents. In America, we can be sure that Catholics can’t make birth control illegal, even though they are the largest religion. We can be sure that if Muslims become a dominant religion in any community, they still can’t require all women to cover their heads or impose Sharia law. We can be sure that if Amish are a majority in some community, they can’t impose their lifestyle on non-Amish living there.
Affirmation México will be hosting its 4th Annual Conference this August 7-9 in Querétero, México. The theme is “Our Divine Purpose” and will include a variety of activities, including workshops, talks, a city tour, meals, socializing and a testimony meeting. Querétero is one of the fastest growing commercial and cultural centers in México. Ven a México!
To many individuals, phrases like “strengthening and preserving the family” or “defending the family,” sound like a commonsense invocation of concern about the well-being of one of the fundamental building blocks of society. Of course we should strengthen, preserve and defend the family. However, to most gay, lesbian, bi and transgender people, and to their families and loved ones, such phrases often sound menacing and demoralizing. We are accustomed to hearing people describe the very existence of LGBT people as a threat to the family.
There are a variety of ways that folks are responding to these situations. Some are skipping lessons that have a potential to open up hurtful class discussions. Some are attending Church and finding positive ways to participate in such discussions.
One mom of a gay son has responded by writing a letter to her Sunday School teacher, urging him to take into account the effect that negative comments about homosexuality would have on her son and her family.
A year after getting divorced and not attending church, I auditioned for and got a role in the production of the San Francisco Broadway Tour of The Phantom of the Opera, and was invited by my LDS ward to return and present a musical fireside on a Sunday evening. As I prepared the songs I realized there was one particular piece that stood out in my mind as being far more personal than I’d previously realized. The song is called “Unusual Way” from the musical “Nine” in which I had the opportunity of playing the lead in a local production. Every word and every line, every phrase seems to echo my exact emotion and feeling about my sojourn through Mormonism.
By the Affirmation Executive Committee
Despite the struggles and rejection many of us have experienced in our home wards and stakes, many of us have testimonies of the Gospel and want to participate in the work of building the Kingdom of God both in and beyond the Church.
Many of us come to General Conference wondering if there’s a place for us in the church, and yearning for church leaders to speak to the doubt, pain, confusion and fear so many of us feel. Here are our take-aways from the 2014 October General Conference.
Join us for our semi-annual virtual discussion following the LDS Church General Conference. Berta Marquez will be facilitating the call with a panel of guests. Wednesday, October 8, 2014 from 5-6 p.m PT / 6-7 p.m. MT / 7-8 p.m. CT / 8- 9 p.m. ET. Access information available now.
On Friday, September 26, 2014, Affirmation received an Ally Award at Equality Utah”s Annual Gala in downtown Salt Lake City. Randall Thacker, Affirmation President, and 15 other Affirmation Leadership Team members were there to receive the award. A beautiful video about Affirmation was shown to the audience of almost 2000 and is available here.
The 2014 Affirmation Annual Conference was covered by both print and television media in Utah, but also as far away as Sweden. Coverage emphasized continuing growth of Affirmation; increasing participation in the conference by youth, straight family members and Church leaders; and a yearning on the part of LGBTQ/SSA Mormons to find ways to simultaneously affirm their faith and their sexual and gender identities.