SAN FRANCISCO -- Late Sunday, news came across the Mormon grapevine: an openly gay Mormon man named Mitch Mayne had been asked (or “called,” in Mormon parlance) to serve as a leader in an LDS congregation in San Francisco.
Before receiving his call to serve in San Francisco, Mayne had been attending an LDS congregation in Oakland, where Mormons have been especially active in efforts to repair damage to interfaith and LDS-LGBT relations since the LDS Church’s heavy involvement in California’s 2008 Proposition 8 campaign.
Mayne was also in a committed, monogamous relationship with his male partner. About a year ago, Mayne decided to end his relationship, for reasons not related to religion. It was, he said, the hardest thing he ever did: harder, even, than burying his parents.
Mayne felt he needed time to heal, and he chose to take a break from relationships altogether. Several months later, Bishop Don Fletcher of the San Francisco Bay Ward asked him to serve as ward executive secretary, a leadership position that serves with the ward lay-pastoral leadership (or “bishopric,” in Mormon terms) to coordinate congregational administrative and pastoral functions and to participate in congregational executive-level decision-making as well.
“I was floored,” says Mayne. “I told him: ‘My entire life I’ve known I was gay. Why would I have lived my life to be worthy of serving a bishopric-level calling? A calling that as I gay man I’ve been told I was not entitled to? I am a three-dimensional person.’”
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