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Gay Mormon Group Affirmation Tackles Homelessness, Discredits Discriminatory Churches

Homelessness

Socially conservative Christians try to claim they have a handle on religion. That's their holy domain and they alone know how to use it, which explains why so many religious institutions -- the Catholic Church, the Mormons, and the Evangelical system -- attempt to say what's right, yet often turn out to be so wrong.

As so many gay activists and their allies have pointed out in the past, these right wing groups take the name of Christianity and pervert it to meet their own discriminatory ends. I would like to build on that argument by directing everyone's attention to Affirmation, the gay Mormon group, because they know what it means to be a good Christian, fighting for the underdog.

The Salt Lake Tribune elaborates:

Leaders of Affirmation, a support group for gay and lesbian Mormons, plan to draw attention to the plight of gay homeless youths by spending a night on the streets of San Francisco.

David Melson, George Cole and Micah Bisson, in a news release, say they will spend 20 hours, from Oct. 6-7, living as if they were homeless before Affirmation’s annual conference Oct. 8-10.

A disproportionate number of homeless youths, 20 to 40 percent nationally, are LGBT. One survey at a Salt Lake City homeless youth center found that 42 percent of those served identified as something other than straight. About 8 percent of Salt Lake City’s population is LGBT.

Affirmation is, and forgive the awkward metaphor here, killing two birds with one stone: they're not only proving themselves to be bigger Christians than anti-gay opponents, but they're also drawing attention to a serious and persistent social problem.

The LGBT angle of homelessness aside, who else here considers it insane we Americans, and humans in general, simply accept that there's an entire population without a place to live? Seriously, think about it: there are millions of people who don't have a home, one of the most essential components to health and happiness, and even more millions of people simply ignore them. It's nuts -- and not the good kind.

Good work, Affirmation. You're besting the rest of us.

Image via Andrew Ciscel's Flickr.

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Comments

  1. God Bless...

    Posted by: Dave | Sep 29, 2010 11:23:44 AM


  2. I love what they're doing... but have to admit, "Gay Mormon" is a bigger contradiction than "Gay Republican" or "Gay Catholic". They could literally walk on water and the Mormon church would still reject them.

    Posted by: jexer | Sep 29, 2010 12:42:08 PM


  3. @Jexer, I suspect that groups that are "Gay mormons" probably aren't groups of men/women who are still religiously devout and follow all the teachings of the church. Rather, it's a place to be Gay and foster a sense of community with others who grew up in the same conditions and background that you did.

    Posted by: Joe | Sep 29, 2010 12:54:04 PM


  4. No matter what kind of pretzel you bend yourself into trying to defend it or redefine it, Mormonism/Christianity ia a patriarchal, misogynistic, homophobic religion. Better to free yourself from its insidious clutches altogether. It's mostly made-up stuff.

    Posted by: candide | Sep 29, 2010 1:17:19 PM


  5. Jesus...those Mormons got a lot of hotties

    C'mon...who hasn't had dirty thoughts about those Mormon missionary dudes? If they're anything like Catholic boys, you know those Mormon dudes know how to get their freak on.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Sep 29, 2010 1:23:23 PM


  6. God how I loathe the editorializing Towleroad has abruptly lurched into since Andy's departure. I didn't realize until it was gone how much I appreciate his just-the-facts presentation of the news. I realize the gay news aggregate sites all have their own slant, but if I want a pre-packaged POV shoved at me I'll hop on over to JMG. Which I really don't like to do.

    My two cents.

    Posted by: Christopher | Sep 29, 2010 3:35:47 PM


  7. I truly feel for homeless LGBT youth--and from what Ive read, the Mormon ones have a particular cross to bear (no pun intended). There's also the young men from Mormon offshoots that are forced out of their homes when they threaten the dominance of their polygamous fathers/elders.

    On another note--yes, homelessness is sad, but its really simplistic to say "why cant we give everyone a home?" Many homeless people suffer from mental-health and substance-abuse issues. You can't just hand them a key to a split-level and say, "have fun." There are many programs that work to help find adequate housing for people--young, old, LGBT and straight. I know people who have worked with these groups and turned their lives around. I have also met people who don't "trust" the system or for whatever reason refuse a helping hand.

    Some homeless people are not in a state to determine their own best interests, but authorities have no power to force them to accept housing or other programs.

    Posted by: dizzy spins | Sep 29, 2010 4:45:07 PM


  8. I agree with everything you said Dizzy Spins; but, I think there's no excuse why an advanced, wealthy society like the U.S. , or Canada, Europe, UK, can't offer clean, SAFE, shelter and the basics for those homeless who are sincere, in the right state of mind, and sober. I know folks who've been homeless and they tell me it's a terrifying experience especially if you're otherwise sane and sober. The mentally ill, druggies, drunks, and those simply down on their luck are all thrown together. It's crazy.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Sep 29, 2010 9:55:30 PM


  9. Thanks, Candide for keeping it in perspective. Jexer, I am with you, and Joe, I am with you on your second sentence. To use Candide's metaphor, a million too many LGBT try to bend and contort themselves into a religious stricture that ultimately will NEVER truley accept them.
    Better to unshackle yourself from that religion as your primary identifier.
    But good on them boys and girls!
    And yes, they are hot. They look that way as a result of a closed gene pool, but that is another thread another day.
    Love to all and come move to Fort Lauderdale.

    Posted by: tweedle | Sep 30, 2010 8:24:04 AM


  10. I applaud what these young men are doing, but to call Mormons "Christians" is ludicrous. Mormons have absolutely NO basis in
    Christianity, whatsoever! Just because they put Jesus' name in the formal name of the Church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) doesn't make them Christians anymore than me standing in my garage makes me a car!

    Posted by: SCVMalcolm | Sep 30, 2010 3:51:07 PM


  11. @SCVMALCOLM
    Mormon or Christian is irrelevant, it is religion itself...ALL religion. And none of them are superior to the other, by the way.

    Posted by: tweedle | Oct 1, 2010 7:20:39 AM


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