A Mormon mea culpa, of sorts, on gay bullying

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS, a.k.a. Mormons) has come under fire for recent provocative statements by a senior leader about gays (he sees it as nurture rather than nature) and God's intentions in their regard (God would not create homosexuals), all of which follow in the vein of discussions we have been having here and here.(Those posts were on gay bullying and Catholic responsibilities, and Carl Paladino's rhetoric on gays, respectively. PS: Paladino has amended his comments yet gain. Whatever.)In any case, on Tuesday the LDS came out with a statement on gays and discrimination (it had earlier amended the controversial statements by Apostle Boyd Packer for the official version) that was rather substantial. From my story at PoliticsDaily:

[O]n Tuesday, just an hour after the nation's largest gay civil rights organization delivered a protest petition with 150,000 signatures to the LDS headquarters in Salt Lake City, a Mormon spokesman issued a statement denouncing bullying against anyone, including for reasons of sexual orientation, and said Mormons have a special responsibility to be kind to minority groups since Mormons themselves have experienced persecution."Our parents, young adults, teens and children should therefore, of all people, be especially sensitive to the vulnerable in society and be willing to speak out against bullying or intimidation whenever it occurs, including unkindness toward those who are attracted to others of the same sex," said LDS spokesman Michael Otterson."This is particularly so in our own Latter-day Saint congregations," he said. "Each Latter-day Saint family and individual should carefully consider whether their attitudes and actions toward others properly reflect Jesus Christ's second great commandment -- to love one another."The statement also seemed to indicate that the church considers homosexual orientation, or "inclinations," as innate to some degree, and it made no mention of trying to turn gay people into heterosexuals.

Read the entire statement here. I have not seen anything comparable engagement from Catholic leaders. Anyone?Full LDS statement here.

David Gibson is the director of Fordham’s Center on Religion & Culture.

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