John Gustav-Wrathall: “Are we going to send people a message that you have to lie or hide?”
by Hugo Salinas
Affirmation Senior Vice President John Gustav-Wrathall was featured today on CNN’s OutFront show with Erin Burnett in a segment about the “Mormon influence on Boy Scouts as [the] organization reconsiders [its] gay ban.” The LDS Church, which sponsors over 30,000 Boys Scouts units nationwide, issued a statement today praising the Boy Scouts of America for delaying a decision that could have lifted the ban on gays being allowed in the program.
“I can’t see how being gay, having that sexual orientation, should be any kind of hindrance at all to participating fully in the Church in youth activities which include the Boy Scouts,” said John, who is an Eagle Scout and is active in his local ward, despite the fact that he was excommunicated in 1986.
“I just talked to an individual who is active in the Church today; he is gay, and he served as a Scoutmaster,” John added. “There are so many of us who have participated for a long time—our behavior within the organization has been exemplary. The question here is, ‘Are we going to send people a message that you have to lie or hide, [or] live in fear that other people are going to find out about this?’”
“I came to a point in my life journey when I almost committed suicide because of my anguish about this,” John concluded. “And to be open about it—this is a huge thing if you’re gay or lesbian.”
One week ago, Affirmation: Gay & Lesbian Mormons issued a statement urging the Boy Scouts of America to allow LGBT Mormon youth to participate fully in the youth programs of their wards.
To see the segment, visit the CNN website.