LDS venom toward gays
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A few weeks ago a friend in Salt Lake reported a rumor that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was soon going to make some announcement about homosexuality. I thought: They'd hardly call a press conference to say they were against gays. Maybe they'll say that gay members who are legally married will no longer be excommunicated.

When the state of Washington voted for gay marriage on Nov. 6, my partner, Gary, proposed to me. I announced this on the Facebook page "Mormons for Marriage Equality" and received lots of congratulations from other Mormons.

Maybe my perception that most Mormons hate me is no longer valid, I thought. So I announced my engagement on my Italian mission's Facebook page. After all, Gary and I had served in the same mission.

The response was venomous. People said they wouldn't congratulate me because what I was doing was vile and unholy. Some compared me to a pedophile. Some said my books on being a gay ex-Mormon "exploited" the church for my "sinister agenda."

I realize now that there will be no announcement anytime soon. I really want Mormons to be better than they are, but that's simply not realistic.

Johnny Townsend

Seattle