LGBT

Courtesy Hachette Books

Thursday, Doug’s guest is long-time LGBT activist Cleve Jones. In the early 1970s he and thousands of young gay people were drawn to San Francisco where they were able to find refuge and community. As a protégé of Harvey Milk, Jones became part of the movement he says saved his life twice: once as a teenager who felt like “the only queer in the world,” and again when his body was devastated by AIDS. Jones is coming to Utah, and joins Doug to talk about his life in the LGBT movement.

When the Mormon Church’s LGBT policy made headlines last November, it shocked a lot of people. Most mainstream Mormons have worked through it with official clarifications, but faithful LGBT members are still in pain and struggling to understand their place in the LDS Church. Critics say it’s also led to increased youth suicides, broken families, and mass resignations. Thursday, we’re talking about the effect of the policy at its one-year anniversary.

Last November, the LDS Church made policy changes that deeply affected LGBT members and their families. It labeled people in same-sex marriages as apostates subject to discipline and said children living with an LGBT parent would be barred from sacred rituals like baptism. Wednesday, in the first of two conversations on the policy’s anniversary, we’re asking how these changes came to be, why they took so many people by surprise, and what it says about LDS leadership and faith today.

Saving Alex

Mar 31, 2016

Alex Cooper was 15 when she told her Mormon parents she was gay. She knew that it would be difficult, but she couldn’t have expected what happened next. They sent her stay with a couple in St. George who promised to “save” Alex from homosexuality. What the “treatment program” relied on though was verbal, psychological and physical abuse. Thursday, our guest is scholar Joanna Brooks. She co-authored Alex’s memoir, and joins us to talk about how this happened and what it really took to save Alex.

  Utah Senator Steve Urquhart says the LDS Church “effectively snuffed out” his bill to strengthen the state’s hate crime laws. Last week, the Church criticized any legislation that would upset the “careful balance” Utah achieved between LGBT rights and religious liberty with last year’s anti-discrimination law. Wednesday, Urquhart and others will join us to talk about the timing of his bill, what balance should look like it, and why proponents argue the state’s current hate crime law falls short.

Last week, an advocacy group made headlines when they said there’s been a startling increase in suicides among LGBT Mormon youth. They blamed LDS Church policy which labels members in same-sex marriages as apostates. It’s hard to get a line on those statistics though, and while the anecdotal numbers are problematic, they still raise serious concerns. Tuesday, we’re asking what we know about depression and suicide in gay Mormons and whether the Church’s vocal stance contributes to that risk.

The LDS Church recently made headlines with new guidance for lay leaders in dealing with same-sex couples and their children. Critics call it a step backwards in the Church’s efforts to show compassion to the LGBT community. Defenders say it’s simply a reflection of Church doctrine. The LDS Church has declined to join us. So Thursday, historian and Mormon scholar Russell Stevenson takes us through the doctrine that under-girds the Church’s religious policies towards its LGBT members.

CC license

In a new documentary short, investigative journalist Michael Isikoff explores a dark and little-known chapter in America’s recent political history. For decades, the federal government ran what was known as its “sex deviates program.” The program targeted gays and lesbians and collected intelligence in order to purge them from the federal ranks. This went on for decades, and its painful legacy lives on to this day. Isikoff joins us Wednesday to discuss the U.S. government’s war on gays.

Abby Bischoff via CC?Flick, http://bit.ly/1LwB2C8

One argument for extending legal rights to LGBT people is that they’re born with their sexualities and gender preferences, just as a person is born with their skin color. But legal scholar Clifford Rosky and psychologist Lisa Diamond say that logic is unscientific, legally unnecessary, and it unjustly excludes other sexual minorities. Rosky, Diamond, and philosopher Jim Tabery join us Tuesday to discuss how the nature versus nurture debate continues to shape how we think about ourselves and each other.

Jonathan Alcorn, http://jalcornphoto.photoshelter.com

The Supreme Court’s ruling Friday that same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states was met with a mix of jubilation and resentment. Proponents of LGBT rights celebrated a pivotal victory; while others expressed concern that the court’s decision erodes their religious liberty. And yet, both sides agree there’s still significant work to be done. Monday, we examine where the LGBT movement goes from here and ask how the country will seek to balance gay marriage with the challenge of religious freedom.

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