LGBT

Chart, Utah suicide deaths per 100,000, ages 10-17.  17 in 2011 to 44 in 2015, 32 in 2016, and 42 in 2017.
Elaine Clark / KUER

Utah has seen a staggering increase in youth suicide and some advocates blame LDS Church policies. Wednesday, we’re asking what the research shows and how religion can hurt or help kids in crisis.

Church & State

Jul 9, 2018
Activist Mark Lawrence at rally
Blue Fox Entertainment

Monday, we’re talking about a new documentary that chronicles the fight over same-sex marriage in Utah. Directors Holly Tuckett and Kendall Wilcox join us.

Tuesday, we continue our coverage of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival with Don Argott’s documentary film about Mormon rock ‘n roll star Dan Reynolds and his efforts to find some kind of middle ground between his church and the LGBT community.

Kelsie Moore / KUER

Years ago, Tom Christofferson asked to be excommunicated from the LDS Church. He says he couldn’t figure out how to be Mormon and gay, so, he aimed at being happy and gay. And he was. He had a man he loved, and his family - including Mormon apostle D. Todd Christofferson - made them both welcome. But he still wasn’t fulfilled. So Tom Christofferson left his partner and returned to his church. He’s written a memoir and joins us Tuesday to talk about reconciling his sexuality with his faith.

Monday, we’re talking about the complicated relationship between the Mormon Church and homosexuality. Our guest is historian Gregory Prince who is working on a history that includes the public and not-so-public campaigns against same-sex marriage and their attempt at punishing and curing same-sex attraction. He also examines whether the LDS theology of an afterlife will ever have room for gay people. Prince is coming to Utah, and joins us to talk about Mormons and Gays.

North Star International, Voices of Hope Project, http://bit.ly/2o08ydI

Monday, we’re talking about the delicate balance of being religiously conservative and attracted to the same sex. Ty Mansfield is a family therapist and he’s attracted to men. He’s also married to a woman, has kids, and is a faithful Mormon. Mansfield believes that human sexuality is fluid enough for some gay people - not all - but some to be perfectly happy married to someone of the opposite sex. Mansfield joins us to share his own story, and to talk about what he’s learning about sexuality and happiness.

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.

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