LDS Rhetoric on Homosexuality
At Christmas Devotional, LDS Leader Rails against Gays and Lesbians
Instead of Bethlehem, President Hinckley Fixated on Sodom and Gomorrah
By Hugo Salinas, Associate Director
Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons
In what will likely be remembered as one of the most offensive Christmas devotionals ever, LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley used part of his 2003 Christmas address to condemn homosexuals and to remind his audience that "the traditional family is under attack."
"Sodom and Gomorrah, and the sinful practices observed therein, became examples of that which was evil and abominable in the sight of God," said the nonagenarian leader. "It was Jehovah, speaking through his prophets, who decried evil and pleaded for righteousness. When there was no repentance, it was his withering hand that destroyed them."
President Hinckley's remarks are a response to a recent ruling that struck
down anti-sodomy laws and to initiatives toward legalizing same-sex marriage--a
development that Church leaders characterize as a doomsday scenario. In
the past, LDS leaders have mobilized
aggressively in opposing pro-gay legislation in Texas, New York, New
Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, Hawaii, Alaska, California, and other states.
The process has divided families, prompted hundreds of LDS members to
remove their names from the Church's records, and led a number of gay
Mormons to commit suicide.
Leaders of Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons have recently issued a statement responding to the escalation of anti-gay rhetoric and actions by LDS leaders. "It is difficult to understand how LDS leaders, who in the past have been so persecuted and excluded for practicing an alternative family model (polygamous families), could be now so invested in condemning and making illegal another alternative family model (same-sex couples)," reads the September 2003 statement.
"LDS leaders view the prospect of same-sex unions as nothing short of apocalyptic. But many of us are already living with same-sex partners, raising children, and providing for our families--and we have been doing it for many years. The sky has not yet fallen!"
A complete version of the statement by Affirmation leaders is available