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Saturday 10 October 2009

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27th November 2008

A cycle of persecution

Posted by: Kitten Power

protest-pic.jpg

A sick feeling rose up within me when I first heard that the Mormon church actively encouraged its members to battle against gay marriage in California.  You see, I grew up Mormon.  And to have something which formed such a large part of my early life now fighting against my rights makes me nauseous.

Proposition 8 narrowly passed in California at the election three weeks ago, banning same sex marriage in the state and leaving thousands of gay couples in limbo.

According to gay rights groups, Mormons gave more than US$20 million to support the anti-gay marriage cause and travelled from Utah to California to lobby for Proposition 8.

And it’s just emerged that California state officials are investigating whether the church failed to report its own contributions - and, with members contributing 10 percent of everything they earn to the church’s coffers, the religion is relatively wealthy.

One of the chief reasons I left the church was because as soon as I was about 17, the clear message being repeated to me was that I now needed to find some boring Mormon guy, get married and pop out babies.  I was not at all interested in marriage.  I wanted more from life than being a barefoot pregnant teenager in the kitchen, as many of my schoolmates were becoming. 

And now, the church that once shoved marriage down my throat is fighting to take the only form of marriage I would ever consider away.

My girlfriend is American and it is bizarre to think that we could have a civil union in New Zealand . . . which would be a meaningless piece of paper if we ever wanted to live in the US.  The way I figure it, the more states which recognise gay unions in the US, the more likely it is there will be change on a federal level.  So these battles are all crucial.

I have made my peace with my largely Mormon family since I came out a few years ago . . . they don’t think me being in a lesbian relationship is “right” - but they still love me and want me to be happy.

They have even kindly informed me that the church doctrine is this (in case I want to return to the fold): I can BE gay, but I can’t ACT on it.  They might as well cut my hands off right now.

But I am finding it hard to find any peace with the religion that formed such a huge part of my early life.

You see, the Mormon church was built on persecution.  Its founding prophet Joseph Smith was tarred and feathered, jailed, then murdered, which is no less than homosexuals have faced across the globe.  The church even grabbed its handcarts and moved its population to Utah in 1846 to get away from the hate that was thrown at its members.

And now all I feel coming back at me is hate and persecution.

So to the group of old white Mormon men who tell their members what to think: stay out of our lives.  Spend your money on shiny new bicycles for missionaries and popcorn for making the ridiculous arts and crafts you love so much.

Tags: General

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Miss // Nov 27, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    But i like popcorn and pussy. Don’t ruin popcorn for the rest of us you churchy Bastards.

  • 2 kris // Nov 28, 2008 at 9:16 am

    i have the disticntion og having the mormon church next door to me-well they rent the front flat for their **SISTERS** who come to nz on their mission- i find them rude inconsiderate and to get the assholes back my latest designer tshirt says GAY MORMON
    they complained to my landlord i said fuk off freedom of speech
    wait til sunday - im having a drag barbacue hahahahahah

  • 3 Kitten Power // Nov 28, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    You go girl!

    If you start selling “gay Mormon” T-shirts I’ll be first in line to buy a couple!

  • 4 Hi // Nov 29, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    Yeah. I lived in Salt Lake City for a while early this year, what I found was quite different to everything I’d heard about mormons in the past. (Btw, I also live next to a Mormon church). To be honest, most mormons I met were really nice people. Some of my best friends while I was there were mormon and I found out while I was there that their gay pride parade was one of the biggest and loudest in the US. The gay parade was also attended by a significant number of GAY MORMONS! The church just try and keep it under wraps. One of my mates was really really mormon. He believed it to the core. Yet he respected gay people. There was this guy, who was gay, who I hung out with occasionally and although they weren’t friends, the mormon guy and the gay guy were comfortable around each other.

    I’m not saying that what the church did by campaigning against gay marriage was right. In fact I think the opposite (of course!). I just think that we assume that LDS are fundamental, when there are liberal LDS right through to really conservative ones. It is the same bell-curve that is present throughout all of religion.

    Creepily, I was thinking about this earlier today, before I read the article. In NZ I think we get a more extreme LDS church, because we are a small outpost. Instead of getting a lively debate about the church’s role etc., we just get official policy etc. without the debate that comes with it.

    Of course, I only lived there for a few months and was not a member of the church so I was only hearing what was said by other people. (Btw, architecturally, the temple and tabernacle are really, really cool!)

  • 5 Neilo // Dec 1, 2008 at 2:15 am

    Hi Ms Kitten Power
    Just checking this comment form still works… with a new anti-spam system activated.
    Cheers, Neil

  • 6 Kitten Power // Dec 16, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    To “Hi” - yeah there are many great open-minded and kind Mormons, my family included. And yeah, they sure do know how to build great buildings don’t they! The Christmas light they have down in Hamilton are also something worth making a trip to see.

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