Groups Where "Gay Mormons" Congregate
When a Latter-day Saint experiences same-sex attractions, he can react in one of two major directions: 1) he can seek to maintain Gospel standards in his life and to resove his real needs, or 2) he can accept a worldly philosophy that says that these feelings define who he is and are unchangeable. The following is a list of gay-affirming organizations that support people who believe their homosexuality must necessarily define the kind of life they will live.
This list should give the reader a good idea of what kinds of organizations promote homosexuality among current and former Latter-day Saints. By their fruits, you can know them. Many of these groups profess lofty goals and ideals and started out well, but degenerated into something less than their self-descriptions. The longer a person lives a lifestyle that drives away the Spirit, the more he begins to believe the worldly philosophies based on human logic rather than the spiritual insights he once had. It is really understandable. When a person is facing a situation with unsure solutions and a deep kind of loneliness, it can be quite easy to fall for a philosophy that allows you to seek intimacy in the quick and easy way or at least in the way that seems natural at first glance. But I think any person with a testimony and a love of the Gospel will be able to see that the organizations in the following list lack understanding regarding the profound truths of the Gospel that bring true and lasting happiness and the real psychoemotional needs that deserve attention in the life of same-sex attracted people.
If you have sought happiness in the philosophies of these groups and would like a better way, I invite you to really learn what the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ can offer (and not just learn about Evergreen from Affirmation). I really care, and more importantly, you are indeed loved by a Saviour who can show you the way and go with you each step of the way. You can begin your quest for the return path to our heavenly home here:
On this page, quotations from these "gay Mormon" groups appear in this color.
My own comments appear in this color.
Affirmation: Gay & Lesbian Mormons
This is the largest organization of current and former Latter-day Saints who have accepted the gay philosophies of the world. I can testify from much personal experience to the sad and spiritually negative results of their mindset.
We are an organization of people who believe in the worth of every soul regardless of their sexual or gender orientation. We rejoice in life. We reject the tyranny that would have us believe that WHO we are -- gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender -- is evil.
Note their inflammatory language and the misrepresentation of the position of the Lord's Church, that does not teach that people experiencing these feelings are evil, but rather that the Lord does have a better way and that it is possible for those who depend on Him.
Although many of us are no longer members of the LDS Church we celebrate being part of the great Mormon tradition. We are a family that consists of active members of the LDS faith, former members, and non-members.
It is really quite curious that so many "gay Mormons" seem to want to hold onto their "Mormon" identity even when they reject the Church's teachings. Not being able to leave the Church and then leave it alone seems to be a common trait of many apostates. But I think it is also true that some sincere people still hear the echo of their testimony of the Gospel deep inside them.
Affirmation seeks to meet the needs of persons experiencing frustration or alienation from family, friends, and the Church because of their sexual orientation.
My experiences in observing Affirmation and its members has taught me that members of these groups often encourage the substitution of one's family and Church with the support group. In some sad cases, LDS families have rejected their homosexually inclined children, but often GLDS people only perceive they have been rejected because their faithful families will not support the gay philosophies the children have adopted.
When the journey of self-discovery, particularly the process of reconciling our gay selves within the context of our Mormon spiritual and cultural heritage, seems almost more than we can handle, Affirmation offers the opportunity of understanding and support by friends who travel the same path.
These groups promote only a certain kind of self-discovery, one that claims that the Saviour cannot help a person to resolve the issues that underlie homosexual attractions.
Its purpose is to provide a supportive environment for relieving the needless fear, guilt, self-oppression and isolation that LDS gays and lesbians can experience in an era where willful ignorance about human sexuality is too often a reality.
The anti-Gospel pro-gay philosophies tend to believe that leaders and members of the Church are fearful of homosexually oriented people ("homophobic," a very strange term, when you think about it) and that, because of this, they don't want to know the truth about homosexuality. But in reality, the pro-gay groups just don't accept the differing truth faithful members of the Church have found. Certainly, education of Church members can help those of us who face these challenges, but education based on revealed truth is what is really needed, not worldly philosophies of men.
We believe that a same-gender orientation and same-gender relationships can be consistent with and supported by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Official doctrine of the Church taught by the Lord's prophets has always stated clearly that such relationships miss the mark when it comes to the Lord's plan for our happiness. Christianity teaches and promotes genuine love and friendships between people of the same and opposite genders, but just not the kind of eroticized and sexualized family-substituting relationships promoted by gay communities.
Our goal of understanding and acceptance of gays and lesbians as full and equal members of society and church is furthered by:
Their website has included pro-gay information about...
This group is led by some caring parents of people who have chosen to accept their homosexuality as unchangeable. The leaders of this group have lost their faith in God to a large degree. Most everything they believe is filtered through what is politically correct according to the pro-gay philosophies. They don't generally seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit. From my observation, much of what they do is talk about political action and provide information about gay social activities. Their acceptance of pro-gay philosophies has definitely hurt their testimonies of the divinity of the restored Gospel, and it's not just the affected person but also his family members who are often damaged spiritually by those philosophies of the world. It sad when you meet senior citizens who have become rude and bitter in their treatment of people.
Family Fellowship is a volunteer service organization, a diverse collection of Mormon families engaged in the cause of strengthening families with homosexual members. We share our witness that gay and lesbian Mormons can be great blessings in the lives of their families, and that families can be great blessings in the lives of their gay and lesbian members. We strive to become more understanding and appreciative of each other while staying out of society's debate over homosexuality. We seek to put behind us all attitudes which are anti-family, which threaten loving relationships, and which drive family members apart.
This group does NOT stay out of society's debate over homosexuality, and a lot of what they do drives family members apart. They offer their organization as a substitute "family" for people who don't have good relations with their real families, and they commiserate together about how so many people "hate" them. These so-called "gay Mormons" end up following the gay party line in most everything, from politics to religion to entertainment to their ideas about what is right and what is wrong in the world. And their philosophy contradicts the Gospel in almost every way.
Many Americans believe that conventional morality is eroding. Homosexuality has become the symbol and scapegoat of this supposed erosion. I say supposed because I honestly believe that we are a more just, more moral society today than we were in the fifties. Civil rights have been expanded and ignorant prejudices diminished. Nevertheless, opposition to the sanctioning of same-sex relationships has become the rallying cry for the Christian right. It seems not to have occurred to many that the lack of validation of these relationships is contributing to the very erosion of conventional morality that they are committed to saving.
This bit of twisted logic was written by one of the main leaders of the Family Fellowship movement, the father of a gay son who, instead of encouraging his son to seek the Lord's way, has come to believe that our society is becoming more moral, in direct contradiction of what the prophets teach and what most of us can clearly see. Moral relativism is a major tenet of these pro-gay philosophies, and many of these once faithful Latter-day Saints now believe that whatever a person sincerely chooses for his life is fine. According to them, nothing is immoral except for the way the Lord's prophets refuse to change Church doctrine to accomodate their ideas about homosexuality.
I don't really know much about this group, except that it is referenced on many "gay Mormon" websites. If the reader can provide more current information, please write to me.
This group should not be confused with Family Reconciliation, an online discussion group that is designed to improve communication, understanding, and appreciation between faithful Latter-day Saints and those people of LDS backgrounds who have accepted homosexuality as normal and good.
Our purpose is to support each other as gays and lesbians in developing a positive relationship with our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. All who are willing to be in harmony with the spirit of the group are welcome.
Gamofites (Gay Mormon Fathers)
This group actually seems to be a group of men who really want to try to be good fathers while supporting gay relationships (another impossible contradiction, in my view). Too many men who have left wives and children instead of maintaining their eternal covenants by seeking the Lord's answer. Also includes men who desire to raise children in a gay household.
Men united in the joys and challenges of being fathers, gay, and Mormon. We are dedicated to fostering and supporting the needs and individual growth of members in an environment of confidentiality, trust, and unconditional love.
Some Gamofites are married and are just coming to terms with being gay, while others have been living openly as gay men for many years. Some Gamofites have young children and some have grandchildren.
Gamofites is not a religious organization, although most members are still "in touch" with their spirituality in some way. Many look at Gamofites as the kind of supportive Priesthood quorum they wished they had.
Many GLDS people who have rejected Church teachings, if they desire to maintain some form of spiritual association, either turn to more liberal, gay-affirming churches or they develop their own personal philosophies about how they think they can stay close to God. Here are two commonly used examples:
GALA (Gay & Lesbian Acceptance)
GALA brings spiritual wholeness and seeks social justice for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and allies. We claim the sacredness of each life story as a community united in hope.
GALA is an association of GLBT persons, their friends and families who have a connection to the Community of Christ (formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) faith community.
The Restoration Church of Jesus Christ
Apparently an off-shoot church for former Latter-day Saints that proclaims that homosexual relationships are equivalent to celestial families.
Our message to the world is that our Heavenly Parents (yes, both of them!) love ALL of Their children unconditionally, regardless of age, race, gender, or sexual orientation.
Of course, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also teaches this, although many GLDS people believe that the Church hates gay people and treats them differently than everybody else. They lose sight of the fact that there is a difference between experiencing SSA feelings and embracing the pro-gay philosophies.
We are witnesses that the Almighty creates unity out of diversity by revealing Himself to persons of all nations, kindreds, tongues, and peoples, according to their own understanding, culture, time, and society.
The Restoration Church of Jesus Christ teaches that sexual activity is appropriate only when it takes place between loving individuals, and only in circumstances where love and mutual respect exist.
The Church strongly encourages the formation of coupled relationships. Such relationships, regardless of the genders or orientations of the individuals involved, may be sealed for time and all eternity in the Lord's holy temple.
We practice all of the ordinances of the house of the Lord, and authoritatively seal them upon all loving couples, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation.
Of course, the only people authorized to perform sealings in the Lord's temples are His appointed servants, and because homosexual relationships block many eternal blessings, they are not sealed by the Lord's authority.
MCC (Metropolitan Community Church)
No LDS background here, but quite popular among spiritually oriented "gay Mormons." Founded not under the Lord's direction, but rather as an attempt to invent a gay-friendly form of Christianity. The people are really quite friendly usually, but their doctrine is pretty much whatever people want it to be. Whether it's MCC or another liberal-minded church, most "gay Mormons" who maintain a spiritual connection in their lives affiliate with churches that don't specify what God's truth is, but rather leave that determination up to each individual's thoughts and feelings. They seem to be quite unsure about what truth is.
This fellowship of churches plays a vital role in addressing the spiritual needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community around the world. For those of us who were raised in a religious atmosphere, homosexuality was usually associated with shame and guilt. As a result, many of us were cut off from the spiritual dimension of our lives. Metropolitan Community Churches provide an opportunity to explore a spiritual experience that affirms who we are.
As usual, they are trying here to lay the blame for their spiritual disintegration on the social pressures coming from people with testimonies of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In reality, many of them cut themselves off from the Church that teaches clearly what is right and what is wrong when they decided they wanted to choose what is wrong for their lives. Then they sought philosophies that claimed that what they were doing was right in order to justify their choices.
Today, as self-aware and self-affirming people, we reclaim the fullness of our humanity, including our spirituality. We find great truths in the religious tradition, and we find that our encounter with God is transformational and healing.
Many of these people now don't even comprehend what spirituality is supposed to be. Often, they believe they experience "spirituality" when they find some kind of feel-good, self-affirming idea. Many of these people, even those who taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ as missionaries, now don't realize that they need to submit their will to God's and seek guidance from Him.
PFLAG (Parents, Families, & Friends of Lesbians & Gays)
PFLAG is a non-religious support organization that has many local affiliates where the friends and family members of "gay Mormons" often participate. A common scenario is that loving parents of someone who has decided to accept his homosexuality are asked to attend PFLAG meetings to learn more about his perspective. Because they love their offspring, they sincerely try to understand his perspective and thereby learn about the philosophies of the world on the subject. At this point, some parents will lovingly explain to their "gay" children that they cannot support such philosophies, and the PFLAG activity of the younger generation encourages them to go forward with their gay choices, without healthy family connections. The gay community becomes their new "family." And some parents will begin to believe the seemingly logical arguments of the pro-gay philosophies and will use their love to actively support the goals of PFLAG. Almost all of these family members and friends end up damaging their testimonies and alienating themselves from the Church.
I get very concerned when I see good people who love their "gay" family members and friends in such a way that they actually support immoral and spiritually damaging lifestyles. For example, I was sad to read that a similar local organization headed by similar leaders actually organized a "fun" nighttime excursion to the gay scene in a nearby city, where a terrible, worldly atmosphere prevails and much immorality goes on.
We, the parents, families and friends of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered persons, celebrate diversity and envision a society that embraces everyone, including those of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities. Only with respect, dignity and equality for all will we reach our full potential as human beings, individually and collectively.
PFLAG promotes the health and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons, their families and friends through: support, to cope with an adverse society; education, to enlighten an ill-informed public; and advocacy, to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights.
Note how the pro-gay people always believe that those who do not agree with them are "ill-informed" and "in willful denial."
Ex-gay ministries use out-moded medical theories and radical religious beliefs to justify trying to alter gay and lesbian peoples' natural sexual orientation. Originally, these ministries were a small group of religious people who were virtually unknown. However, because of high profile ads, campaigns and conferences sponsored by the radical right, these ministries have become a political tool in the ongoing fight to deny gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights.
If the Holy Spirit testifies of something to me, I really don't care if the world considers it a "radical belief." If anyone is radical in their beliefs and goals, it is the pro-gay activists. And the ex-gay ministries have not grown so much because of advertising as because there are many good people out there who believe the teachings of the Scriptures and the prophets and who want to find the way to be true to the truths they have found and to find lasting happiness. People who celebrate their gayness want to believe that the world is out to get them and that their persecutors have no justification for not giving gay people all of the freedom that they want. This started with some real discrimination experienced by same-sex attracted people, but the politics of it has overshadowed the real, important issues.
It is critical that we answer the lies about "reparative therapy" and "ex-gays" in our local communities, whether in the media or in conversation. The damage that can be done by reparative therapy is real. It can destroy someone's self esteem and faith and may lead to self-destructive behavior.
It is important, I believe, to recognize that reparative therapies are about strengthening self-esteem and faith. It is the weakening of self-esteem and faith that causes self-destructive behavior, and this is seen often in the gay community. It is also important to realize that reparative therapies are not necessarily the answer for every person, although devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ is.
GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network)
I would actually call this the Gay & Lesbian Straight Education Network, because it is designed to educate our entire society to accept the gay philosophies. They actively try to spread their philosophies to children in schools and to limit the information that faithful people want to share about the choices that same-sex attracted people have.
GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
"Gay Mormon" youth groups
The website of one such group has several shirtless young men gracing its homepage, which demonstrates the emphasis the gay groups put on sex appeal and the lack of emphasis on modesty or principles other than sexual attractiveness and fun. By my count, 6 out of the 16 young men pictured on the website are not even wearing shirts, and there are almost no average-looking guys, only very attractive ones. One would hope that these "gay Mormon" groups would do more to encourage spirituality, especially in young people, who really need the direction of the Spirit at the vulnerable time in their lives when they are wondering if they should just accept those feelings and live gay.
We are a group of gay LDS guys age 18-30 that get together, socialize and have fun in a positive atomosphere. Some guys come just to have fun, while others are really looking for some friends, support and people to understand them. Others are even looking for guys to date. We just get together to have fun, relax and socialize. The atmosphere is different than the clubs and other places: no alcohol, no smoking, no drugs.
It is my understanding that these groups are flexible about the lower age limit, allowing minors to participate in their activities, and several groups have gone through what has been described as "craziness." They don't generally discourage recreational and promiscuous sex; at least, there have been such groups that discreetly pass out condoms to the young people who want them.
We don't have formal group discussions [on religion] or anything like that. We just have social activites and get-togethers.
We aren't an "organization," and we don't promote any particular group, organization, philosophy, or political agenda. We are also different because even though everyone is welcome, this is especially for guys that have had the LDS experience. These activities are open to guys who are on all levels of being LDS and gay. And of course, we aren't a group to cruise for sex.
An admission that cruising for sex is a major activity among many homosexually oriented people, some of whom believe there is nothing wrong with that kind of behavior. (There are even "gay Mormon" groups that are specifically designed for promoting sexual hook-ups between LDS married men.)
still very much in the closet and still active in church..."
or "I'm not active in church anymore...", how do I know
if this is right for me?
No matter where you are at in life's spectrum, you are welcome to join us! The best way to find out, is to come hang out with us. We are really just a bunch of cute, fun, normal guys that are just getting together to hang out.
No anti-gay comments will be tolerated.
For these people, a suggestion that people could consider not living a homosexual lifestyle as one option would be considered an "anti-gay" comment.
There are also Web-based groups for gay students studying fraudulently at Church universities by lying to their priesthood leaders about their homosexual activity and affiliations and groups for returned missionaries who now deny much of what they taught to their investigators. These groups are filled with faith- and spirituality-destroying material. (See the description of online "gay Mormon" groups below).
Online "Gay Mormon" groups
There are support and social groups online for "gay Mormons" with many different focuses: youth, students, returned missionaries, politics, sexual encounters, geographical location, family & friends, ex-Mormons, parenting, nudism, sports, etc.
Some of these groups have very contradictory and seemingly impossible aims. For example: "The goal is to help one another live in this society, uphold the standards set forth in these latter days, and realize our sexuality at the same time."
Another example: "Is it possible to take the good parts of Mormonism (whatever you might define those as) and leave the rest? Is it possible to be a liberal Mormon and be happy? (Or a homosexual Mormon, a single adult, a single parent, a childless couple, or any other non-standard type?) Is it possible to create your own definition of 'Mormon' or does 'Mormon' define you?"
These groups include complaints about Church doctrine and leaders, people looking for lovers and plain old sex encounters with one or multiple partners, information about local cruising locations and gay community events, truly hateful invectives against the Church, twisting of the true attitudes of true Latter-day Saints, mutual support in their decisions to ignore the teachings of the prophets, disrespect for their family members and Church leaders, sharing of anti-Mormon information, etc. They mock the beliefs of the Church they have left and even share sacred things like the text from temple ceremonies or the names they were given in the Lord's House. They also share pornographic pictures with each other and often encourage masturbation, fornication, and even anonymous and group sex. They have even shared pictures depicting things as offensive as LDS missionaries undressing each other, a BYU student masturbating in temple garments, and Christ being baptized naked by a naked man in an LDS-style font.
Members of such groups often show their true colors in their online profiles, sometimes using immoral or self-devaluing nicknames and including sexually explicit dirty language, offensive hate speech, worldly philosophies that deny the divinity of the calling of the Lord's prophets, descriptions of perverted and even illegal sexual interests, and pornographic or otherwise immodest photos of themselves. All too often, those who participate in these immoral and pornographic groups are underage LDS boys. Sometimes these connections are used for exhibitionistic behavior using webcams. Some of these groups are specifically designed so confused children and predator adults can meet each other.
Some people in these groups do have some good things to teach other people about how God sees people and how we should treat each other, and they can debunk some myths about homosexuality. But the faithful Latter-day Saints in the pro-Gospel groups can share the same things from their experience without contradicting the revealed truths of the Gospel.
Sometimes the only support some same-sex attracted people have is with other people who consider themselves gay, and young people are being drawn into this destructive philosophy at younger and younger ages. Now there are children who actually consider themselves gay before puberty even sets in, and there are groups offering a friendly and supportive hand to such young people, encouraging them to ignore what their parents and the Church teach them in a vain attempt to find happiness by "accepting themselves" as unavoidably gay.
TYPICAL FRUITS OF THESE ORGANIZATIONS
On an informational website put together from the perspective of "gay Mormons," the following fairly accurate descriptions of the common spiritual results of accepting homosexuality in one's life are shared:
[There is actually] a wide variety of lifestyles. There are many options for sexual activity, ranging from monogamous sex engaged in only after a wedding-like commitment ceremony to the promiscuous anonymous sex which many people imagine (erroneously) as "the gay lifestyle."
Note: I don't believe I have ever met a gay person who did not have sexual relations before committing to a relationship. And the longest relationship among my gay friends lasted about 4-5 years. Some people have remained with each other (although oftentimes not exclusively faithful to each other) for decades, but such long-term relationships are quite rare.
There are also several ways in which gay and lesbian Latter-day Saints might become "inactive." Some simply stop attending church; some ask to have their names formally removed from the records; some are excommunicated against their will. Some sever their ties with the Church altogether; some stop attending church but still attend special events such as baby blessings or missionary farewells; some retain ties to their LDS roots by participating in gay/lesbian Mormon organizations such as Affirmation and Reconciliation. Some abandon all forms of religious or spiritual life; some join gay-friendly churches (e.g., Metropolitan Community Church) or explore alternative spiritualities (e.g., New Age); some retain LDS beliefs and standards (e.g., Word of Wisdom observance).
It is sad that so many of them have chosen some path that has led them away from the truths that the Lord restored for us in our time.
Other commonly chosen options are also described, including hiding the attractions, marriage, reparative therapy, celibacy, activity or inactivity in the Church, and suicide.
If you desire to find the many positive resources that exist for Latter-day Saints who wish to handle the issues of same-sex attraction in a way that promotes spirituality and follows the divine guidance God has given us through His prophets, here is a good place to start: