BYU’s Homophobic Drama and Advice to LDS Tolerance Advocates

I’ve been reluctantly following the conversation about a student op-ed published in BYU’s Daily Universe that condemned homosexual lifestyles, particularly the moral appropriateness of gay couples adopting children. The op-ed was uninteresting and stupid, not necessarily because of its position on the issue but because of the illogical idiocy the author that used to support it. The Daily Universe took down the letter shortly after it was published online, not because of its position but because so many people were offended by the inflammatory language the author used, most notably when he compared homosexuals to “prostitutes” and “serial killers.”

But since I can’t seem to get away from e-mails, Tweets, and Facebook posts still talking about it (long after the op-ed’s been taken down, and presumably so that they can take advantage of the poor op-ed author’s idiocy and get some attention of their own), I thought I’d write up my brief opinions on the issue of homophobia and tolerance in Utah and in Mormon culture. For those who are upset about what the author wrote, I do not believe your time is best spent attacking and belittling him, even if it is easy and satisfying and even if he is still publicly supporting both his bigotry and his poor taste in television shows. Remember that he is just an ignorant student who is only regurgitating the homophobic lines he’s likely been indoctrinated with since childhood.

If you are disturbed by views like those expressed in the op-ed, you must understand that people like the author are not the problem. They are simply a manifestation of an unfortunately larger problem and attacking them directly might give you a brief feeling of triumphant satisfaction but it will not permanently solve anything, and guys like this are not deserving of this much attention.

The large majority of educated young Mormons have never taken to the false myth that homosexuality is a “choice.” Most of them recognize how hard it would be to be a homosexual in a Mormon culture that so actively promotes marriage and relationships but believes homosexuals should remain either celibate or somehow adapt to an (for them) unnatural lifestyle, and whether they admit or not, they likely recognize how unfair that seems. I have no idea what the solution is, but LDS homosexuals and their friends should find comfort in their growing acceptance by the Church’s younger generation and should remember that the solution is not likely to come by opposing the Church or its teachings, or by clinging onto a sense of persecution, or by attacking every bigoted person who ignorantly demonizes them.

To LDS homosexuals and those promoting tolerance in Utah and in Mormon culture: figure out what the solution actually is and do not sacrifice your heritage or religion to accomplish it.