SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Today, thousands of people across the country celebrate National Coming Out Day by deciding to live open and honest lives, or by voicing their support of LGBT people.
Tomorrow (Tuesday, Oct. 12), gay-rights activists will meet in Salt Lake City to ask Elder Boyd K. Packer, president of the Mormon Church’s Quorum of Twelve Apostles, that he correct his inaccurate and dangerous statements calling same-sex attraction “impure and unnatural,” claiming that it can be corrected and characterizing same-sex marriage as immoral.
Standing in unity with fair-minded Americans, the Human Rights Campaign in partnership with Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons, Equality Utah, and the Utah Pride Center, will hold a press conference Tuesday morning to address the issue.
Afterward, press conference participants will present the Mormon Church with more than 150,000 petition signatures calling on it to correct the record.
Elder Packer’s misstatement that sexual orientation can be changed has been debunked by both the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association. Both organizations have concluded that same-sex attraction is normal and that “reparative” therapy – like the kind being advocated by the Mormon Church – is unhealthy and harmful.
Elder Packer or Church representatives have not corrected their statements in spite of the fact that they are dangerous and can result in self-loathing and potentially suicide by those struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity. Over the past month, seven teenagers across the country have taken their own lives after being the victims of anti-gay bullying.