Gay Mormon Stories Uploads November 2011 Circling the Wagons Conference
Friday, November 4, 2011
SESSION 2: Post-Potluck Interview with Jim Dabakis by John Dehlin (Audio & Video)
Saturday, November 5, 2011
SESSION 3: Main Conference
First General Session (Audio & Video)
- Presentation of the Statement of Purpose: Joseph Broom
- Speaker: Salt Lake City therapist Lee Beckstead
- Original Composition by David Zabriskie and the Conference Chorus based on Carol Lynn Pearson’s Poem “Pioneers”
- Keynote Address: Carol Lynn Pearson
- Musical Number: Be Still My Soul performed by David Zabriskie and the Conference Chorus
- Panel on the salient differences and similarities between Affirmation, Family Fellowship, North Star and Evergreen hosted by Empathy First Initiative. Includes Kendall Wilcox, Jon Hastings, Bianca Morrison Dillard, Brent Kirby (Audio)
- To Be or Not to Be: the Power of Authenticity as a Mormon Lesbian. Julia Hunter, Elise Mortensen West, Kelly Hill (Audio)
- A Father’s Journey Toward Understanding Homosexuality with Stephen Cohen (Audio)
- What Helps (and Hurts) in Resolving Sexual, Religious, and Social Conflicts with Lee Beckstead (Audio)
- A National Perspective on the Church and LBGTQ Issues with Jimmy Creech (Audio)
- It HAS Gotten Better: LGBTQ History in Utah over the Past 30 Years. Jim Dabakis and Ben Williams (Audio)
Second General Session (Audio & Video)
- Keynote Address: Author/LGBT Activist Jimmy Creech
- Musical Number: For Good performed by Mark Packer and Tyler Kofoed
- Panel Discussion: Where Then Shall We Go: What Does the Future Hold for LGBTQ Mormons? Moderated by John Dehlin, featuring Bill Bradshaw, Carol Lynn Pearson, and Julia Hunter.
Concluding Session (Audio & Video)
- Conducting: Bishop Kevin Kloosterman
- Musical Number: Blessing performed by Devin O’Donnell
- Open Mike Story Sharing (“Testimonies”)
Sunday, November 6, 2011
SESSION 4: Interfaith Services with The Reverend Jimmy Creech, The Reverend Mary June Nestler, and Bishop Kevin Kloosterman (Audio & Video)
Soulforce LGBT Activists Meet with LDS Representatives
Gay-rights freedom riders met for more than two hours Monday with a handful of LDS officials …
The group, Soulforce’s 2012 Equality Ride, had four specific requests for the LDS Church: to cut all ties with and denounce Evergreen International, which continues to use “reparative” therapy in its treatment of gays; to stop funding groups that are fighting civil marriage equality across the country; to encourage LDS Business College to bring its policies on homosexuality in line with current Mormon teachings; and to add sexual orientation and gender identity/expression to the faith’s policies for church employees.
Equality Ride had sought a meeting with Mormon higher-ups, including apostles or members of the church’s governing First Presidency. Instead, the advocates huddled with LDS legislative lobbyist Bill Evans, public-affairs representative John Taylor, former TV reporter Ruth Todd and LDS attorney Alexander Dushku, who helped write briefs defending the church’s position on California’s Proposition 8.
“Gay-Rights Advocates Meet with LDS Officials”
Peggy Fletcher Stack for The Salt Lake Tribune, 24 April 2012
FOX SLC on LDS Conversion Therapy Group Evergreen International
Evergreen thinks people can overcome their homosexual behavior. The international group is not affiliated with the LDS Church but espouses its teachings.
“How they work that out in their life varies dramatically from person to person,” says Evergreen spokesman David Pruden. “One person may simply manage those feelings, may choose to live a celibate life. Other people find the diminishment of those attractions dramatic and many times may actually have some heterosexual feelings start to arise and they may marry, they may have children.”
“These organizations are consumer fraud because they’re making promises they can’t deliver and causing disasters they never promised,” said [Wayne Besen, the founder of “Truth Wins Out”].
“We believe it is fraud — when you offer people a product that’s fake that doesn’t work, that’s faulty, that’s the very definition of fraud and the ex-gay ministries and the reparative therapies fits under that rubric,” said Besen.
“Group Offers ‘Therapy’ For LDS Members With Same-Sex Attraction”
Aaron Vaughn for Fox 13, KSTU
Mormon Ex-Gay Leader A. Dean Byrd Dies
Dr. A. Dean Byrd, former president of the ‘ex-gay’ National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality died April 4 of leukemia.
A convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Byrd was also on the Evergreen International board of trustees and wrote several articles for Ensign, the church’s magazine. He authored over 100 publications on human sexuality and the ability to change a person’s sexual orientation. He also spoke and testified against adoptions by gay couples.
“‘Ex-Gay’ Movement Leader A. Dean Byrd Dies”
Q Salt Lake, 8 April 2012
SPLC Discusses LDS Conversion Therapy in Provo, Salt Lake City
Next week Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center is coming to town on a mission. It wants to bring down conversion therapy.
[SPLC’s civil-rights staff attorney, Sam] Wolfe talks from personal experience, although in his case his brush with gay conversion therapy ultimately proved more of a wake-up call than destructive. He attended BYU and, struggling to follow what he calls “the established path” of finding a female partner for marriage, out of desperation called a number he’d found in advertisement that said, ”If you suffer from same sex attraction …” He felt like “I needed to cure myself,” but the group he reached out to, Evergreen, ultimately proved an “eye-opening experience.”
Wolfe had always assumed once you married a woman, life would turn out well. Instead, he met Mormon men who had been married, fathered children, only for their marriages to fallen apart in tragic ways, their former spouses and children hating them. The men “felt very attentive to me,” at Evergreen, giving him lingering hugs and nestling up to him during prayer.
“Has Someone Tried to ‘Cure’ You of Being Gay?”
Stephen Dark for Salt Lake City Weekly, 6 April 2012