Perhaps Catholics can learn something from gay Mormons and their supporters. In the wake of a cruel new policy that will bar children of gays from Mormon Church membership until they are 18 - and have disavowed their parents - many Mormons are planning a mass resignation from the Mormon Church on Saturday. Faced with the outcry, the gathering of bitter old men who head up the Mormon Church are rumored to be rethinking their action. If one is leading a cult/clique, the last thing you want is mass resignations and the corresponding loss of funds from resigning members. Another Washington Post story looks at the furor the mean old men in Salt Lake have brought down on themselves. Here are excerpts:
Advocates for LGBT Mormons say they’re seeing an unprecedented uproar in the past week about a new church policy banning the baptism of same-sex couples’ children and declaring married gay couples apostates. Some longtime advocates say they know dozens of Mormons quitting over the new policy. A public group resignation is planned for Saturday and reports are surfacing that church leadership may already be preparing to tweak the controversial edict.“I’ve seen lots of painful things, but nothing so widespread, in terms of the devastation and heartbreak. I personally talked to dozens of people who are walking away. And these aren’t people with LGBT ties. These are ardent, faithful, in-the-box believing Mormons who can’t abide this,” said Wendy Montgomery, an Arizona Mormon who has a 17-year-old gay son and who co-founded Mama Dragons, a group for church mothers with gay children.When the group was founded four years ago it had six members. It now has more than 500. She worked to create groups like Sit With Me Sunday, a program that helps LGBT people who want to come to church but are afraid to connect with someone to take them. The volunteer running it shut it down last week after news broke of the new policy, Montgomery said. “She said, ‘It’s no longer safe to invite them. It’s better if we tell them to run.'”Before the change, the church’s policy was that same-sex marriage might require discipline and it was usually left up to local leaders. Now that same-sex marriage is legal throughout the country, the church decided to identify those in a same-sex marriage as apostates, or people who renounce their faith.Rumors began this week that the church’s 15-man leadership — three in a body called The First Presidency and 12 in a lower-level unit called the Quorum of the Apostles — might change the document following the uproar.The Salt Lake Tribute on Wednesday cited excommunicated activist John Dehlin as saying a major church governing group “sent out a memo to regional leaders, saying that ‘there will be additional clarification on these changes from the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve [Apostles] in the coming days,'” the Tribune quoted Dehlin as saying.Former Mormons and others announced Wednesday that there will be a “mass resignation” from Mormonism Saturday at a Salt Lake City park. Critics of the church have in recent years occasionally held public “resignations,” emphasizing LDS bureaucracy that keeps people on the books until they formally quit and hoping to further their cause.A Utah lawyer told local station KIVI that he personally is helping more than 1,000 leave the church. You don’t need a lawyer to step away, but because the church is known for its record-keeping and keeping members on their books, some apparently enlist legal help.
Imagine if gay Catholics did the same type of mass resignations in front of cathedrals around America and across Europe. The media would eat it up and the PR for the Church would be devastating. I for one would happily work to organize such events! I hope the Mormon mass resignation effort is successful.