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Changes made to a senior LDS apostle's speech do not go far enough, advocates for the gay and transgender community said Friday.
"It's still a hateful message that [Boyd K. Packer has] conveyed," said Paul Guequierre, spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a national advocacy group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights based in Washington, D.C. "We're calling on Elder Packer to make it right. We want him to speak to the kids across the country who are struggling with their own identities … [and] tell them they are loved just the way they are."
HRC has collected 100,000 signatures on an online petition calling on Packer to recant statements that same-sex attraction is an "impure and unnatural" condition that can be overcome. Packer has since edited his speech, delivered Sunday at the faith's 180th Semiannual General Conference, to describe "inborn temptations" instead of "inborn tendencies."
Backed by the Utah Pride Center, Equality Utah and the gay Mormon support group Affirmation, HRC leaders plan to deliver the petition Tuesday to LDS Church headquarters in Salt Lake City.
LDS Church spokesman Scott Trotter responded Friday to accusations that Packer's message was hateful with the following statement: "As we have said repeatedly, the church's position on marriage and family is clear and consistent. It is based on respect and love for all of God's children."