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Mormons supporting apostle Boyd K. Packer want to send him 100,000 letters of support to counter a signature drive from those upset with his remarks about gays.
A Facebook event was launched over the weekend titled "WE LOVE YOU - President Boyd K. Packer." The event's information makes reference to a petition critical of Packer.
"For the rest of us who love President Packer, let's send to him 100,000 letters by this Friday, October 15th, to simply tell him how much we love him and sustain him as a prophet, seer, and revelator," the event information reads. The event also supplies Packer's office address in Salt Lake City.
The event's information says it was created by the group LDS Young Men & Women.
In an address Oct. 3 during LDS General Conference, Packer said same-sex attraction can be overcome and marriages other than those between a man and a woman are morally wrong. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a national advocacy group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights based in Washington, D.C., has been a chief critic of the statements and has collected what it says are 100,000 signatures through an online petition. Those signatures are to be delivered to Packer and the church on Tuesday.
Marishia Hannemann, who lives on the Hawaiian island of Maui, said she's sending Packer a supportive letter by U.S. mail because she knows he's right. Hannemann, 49, said she's a lesbian but stopped having sexual relations with women when she rejoined the church 14 months ago.
"I pray about it and I pray that I will be blessed with a good man to marry and marry in the temple," Hannemann said in a telephone interview Sunday.
Hannemann said she's also a recovering alcoholic who has used her rediscovered faith to help stay sober.
Josh Skains, a San Diego native who recently moved to Sandy and plans to send Packer a letter, said too many people have misinterpreted Packer's statements as an endorsement of discriminating against gays. The church has said it opposes such discrimination.
"Personally, I'm sick and tired of the media creating this energy where anytime anybody stands up against one particular mindset, [he] is forced to be drowned out or silenced," Skains said.
"In my mind it's ironic because it's bigotry," Skains later added. "There's an anti-religious bigotry forming in this country."