"Salt Lake Temple, Utah" by Entheta / CC BY 2.5

LGBTQ Mormons Are Still Waiting for Their Apology

Apr 29, 2019

By Nico Lang

There were two notable words the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints haven’t yet said: “We’re sorry.”

Earlier this month, leaders with the Salt Lake City-based denomination said the Mormon church would be reversing a three-and-a-half-year-old policy that branded individuals in same-sex marriages as “apostates” and banned their children from being baptized in the LDS faith. Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor to President Russell M. Nelson, said in a statement that “children of [LGBTQ parents] may be baptized without First Presidency approval,” claiming the new policy would be “effective immediately.”

But what frustrates and confounds LGBTQ Utahns is that the Mormon church’s concession did not include regret for the consequences of the announcement of its now-repealed policy in November 2015. Although it is difficult to verify specific numbers, in the three months after the release of the “apostasy” doctrine, the LDS parent support group Mama Dragons claims that more than 30 young people took their own lives.

Samy Galvez, a former Brigham Young University student who has since left Utah, was with other LGBTQ Mormons when the policy was first leaked. He recalls that a tide of disbelief washed over the room. “This can’t be true,” they said among themselves. “We’d been making so much progress.”

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