CNN's Susan Hendricks discusses MormonsAndGays.org website and the apparent shift in the Mormon church with a current and a former Mormon.
Openly gay singer Justin Utley, who has performed at the past two San Diego Pride festivals, is a former Mormon who underwent the widely discredited “ex-gay” therapy. Utley faced off against Ty Mansfield, who met each other during reparative therapy. Mansfield, whose story is featured on the new website, told Hendricks that he is now married to a woman and has a baby son.
Utley expressed skepticism that the website marked much of a change for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, aka Mormons, and he pointed out how the church got a black eye after pouring $32 million into the fight to pass California’s Proposition 8. He said church leaders are now trying to repair the collateral damage, especially now that the U.S. Supreme Court is going to review the Prop 8 case in late March 2013.
Mansfield appeared nervous and uncomfortable during the interview, licking his lips frequently, rolling his eyes upward and avoiding direct contact with the webcam. He also denied he was “ex-gay” or a homosexual, crediting his “spiritual journey” for his path to straight marriage and fatherhood.
Utley said the church is no longer going to “demonize” LGBT Mormons, will “acknowledge that we exist,” but it will take many more years before the church will recognize equality.
Watch the CNN program here: