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Comments about ‘In our opinion: End the abuse of LGBT teens in Utah’

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Published: Tuesday, June 12 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

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ECR
Burke, VA

Thank you for this thoughtful essay. After all is said and one, regardless of our religious persuasion and no matter where we stand on the issues of the day, respect for each other is the most important consideration that is needed. If you believe we are all God's children that concept should already be engraved on your thoughts. If you don't believe in a higher power then, it seems, fostering a respectful and loving society in this life would be equally as important.

Thanks again for elevating this important issue.

  • 4:58 a.m. June 12, 2012
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Linguist
Silver Spring, MD

Wow. Bravo to the Deseret News.

Though now well into my middle age, I remember well the absolute terror I went through as a youth, increasingly realizing I was gay, increasingly isolated and scared. I knew no other gay people, and had never even talked to anyone else about what I was going through, so intense was the fear and the certain knowledge of ostracism that I kept quiet. I doubt that a day went by when I didn't pray for the "change" that so many non-gay people insist is possible--but which, at least in my case, proved elusive.

I can't know for sure how my life would have evolved had I read an editorial like this one back then. Such editorials simply didn't exist anywhere.

I have to think it would have helped. A lot.

And maybe, just maybe, it will help some kid today to understand that we all deserve love and support.

Thank you, Deseret News, from the bottom of my heart.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Anyone who looks objectively at this issue, has to be open to the possibility that people can be born gay.

Unfortunately, the religious can not accept that because it causes too many conflicts with their religious beliefs.

So, just like the flat-earthers, the 6000 year old earth, and the evolution deniers, they cling to their Sunday teachings which fly in the face of common sense and scientific study.

I am not gay. But, I cannot fathom anything happening in my life (or anyones life) which would affect my gender attraction.

Can anyone give me a scenario that may have caused them to become gay?

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Well said. Thank you.

Vin
Harrisville, UT

Excellent! Thank you so much! It is so important for us to make changes as a society in this regard.

ECR
Burke, VA

Joe Blow said, "Unfortunately, the religious can not accept that ..."

I think you are painting a broad brush here that simply isn't true. Didn't you see the active Mormons marching in the Gay Pride parade in SLC. Don't you understand that "religious" people all around the world are standing arm in arm with LGBT folks in support of giving them civil and human rights?

Yes, there are many who think they are religious who are actively working in the opposite direction. Somehow they have rationalized that treating others with less respect than they would expect for themselves falls in line with their theology and religious traditions. But it just a rationalization. Treating anyone as less than human does not match any religious tradition that I am aware of.

counsellorneil
UK, 00

I too welcome this article. I feel that some members (plus some other Christians) sometimes use the scriptures to justify their own prejudices. Unfortunately this is not limited to SLC. The same occurs in the UK. We cannot justify any hatred, bullying or abuse of anyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, or anything else that may be seen as an alternative lifestyle, that appears off centre to LDS teachings. If we really listened to each other, without judgement, what a blessing it would be to and for us all. Not listening to see how the other ought to change but listening to really understand. "It is as though he listened and such listening as his enfolds us in silence in which at last we begin to hear what we are meant to be." Lao-Tse. It is interesting, to me, that the Saviour never condemned same-sex relationships in the Gospels or the Book of Mormon or the Doctrine and Covenants. Or am I mistaken in that? It seems it was later teachings that did so. Could a change come in the future similar to how at one time the Priesthood was not available to all?

Ben H
Clearfield, UT

As someone who was bullied extensively in school, I have trouble sympathizing with any certain group. It is always the strong taking advantage of the weak no matter their race, religion, national origin or sexual orientation. The reason is happened to me in when I was growing up is because teachers and administration were afraid that they would look bad for punishing the popular kids, the athletic kids and the kids that were well-connected politically. It still happens in school today, if what my kids tell me is true. We should simply stand up to all bullying and not set aside special classes. When it comes to bullying and abuse, there is only the strong and the weak the bullies and the victims. If there were no gay kids in high school, there would still be victims of bullying.

isrred
Logan, UT

" We should simply stand up to all bullying and not set aside special classes. When it comes to bullying and abuse, there is only the strong and the weak the bullies and the victims."

Nobody disagrees with what you are saying--all bullying should be addressed. The point is that LGBT youth are far more likely to experience bullying--and far more likely to attempt suicide--than their straight peers. All bullying is wrong, but to put your head in the sand and not recognize that some groups ARE more vulnerable than others doesn't help tackle the issue at all.

BCA
Murrieta, CA

Goly, gee. I can't think of any reason why gays are mistreated so badly in Utah. Well, maybe one.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Chad Griffin, head of the Human Rights Campaign, said, "I don't believe that there is any church, any school, or any set of parents that want to intentionally inflict harm on our young people…" True, and yet one must assume that…the incidents of taunting or bullying in Utah are, to at least some degree, a reflection of attitudes found within some of the homes where the bullies live.

===============

Bigotry, Intolerance, Bullying, ect.

They are learn it in the HOME.

And Utah has nearly twice the National average of this kind of intolerant behavior toward others.

WWJB?

Who Would Jesus Bully?

Seriously, We are trending 180 degrees - polar opposite from what we should be.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "The survey may not be statistically accurate."

Duh. Unlike real science, this "study" amounts to nothing more than a publicized gripe session. With no attempt, whatever, to separate acceptance of persons from acceptance of their life choices and lifestyle.

Giving undue credence to this sort of pseudoscientific tripe, and taking us to task for behaviors that, not only have not been shown to exist, but which are inimical to our culture, is just another abandonment of reason and proper journalistic standards.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

"I don't believe that there is any church, any school, or any set of parents that want to intentionally inflict harm on our young people…"

I disagree, for instance there's video of that one pastor in North Carolina who expressed support for putting gay people in concentration camps. We know where the Westboro Baptist Church stands on gay people.

Anyway, kudos to the Deseret News for this editorial.

John20000
Cedar Hills, UT

@BCA: Claiming this is a Utah-only problem is a weak argument and I am sure you didn't mean it this way but, insinuating that Mormons treat these people badly as part of their religion sounds a little ignorant of the Mormon culture.

counsellorneil
UK, 00

procuradorfiscal - do you really think that you can separate acceptance of persons and their life choices? If a person is gay (or different in any other way) how can you accept them as a person whilst at the same time be overtly critical of their life choices and lifestyle? You may not agree with a person's life choices and lifestyle but the moment you start being publicly critical of what they do you are starting to bully them as an individual. And that is where the abuse, etc. comes from, people saying gays are wrong, evil, etc. Listening for understanding and them accepting differences is one thing. Railing against differences is not right and not what Christ would do. Your words sound as if you feel under threat? If same-sex attraction is really so wrong why didn't the Saviour himself say so in the Gospels? See my comment above.

"taking us to task for behaviors that, not only have not been shown to exist, but which are inimical to our culture" - to understand you, please can you explain how have they been shown not to exist? How are they inimical (harmful or hostile) to your culture?

George
Bronx, NY

@procuradorfiscal
counsellmoell is right, let me give you an example closer to home (keeping n mind I really do not feel this way) what if i where to say, I accept and love my LDS brothers but i cannot accept their life style choice to use the book of mormon as if it where the same as the bible and I cannot accept their misuse of the bible to justify their behavior choice to be LDS and don't you dare call be a bigot because I love the LDS people just not their behaviors and lifestyle choice and I don't think they should be given special rights for it.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "You may not agree with a person's life choices and lifestyle but the moment you start being publicly critical of what they do you are starting to bully them as an individual."

First off, no one but the critic mentioned being "publicly" critical, but let's lay that aside for the moment. Positing that public non-acceptance of behaviors with which one disagrees constitutes bullying, is the same as suggesting it's somehow immoral or uncivilized to oppose ANY behavior, no matter how destructive.

Which is, of course, disingenuous. Unless the writer is willing to admit LGBT activists, who are more than willing to disagree with me, even publicly, are bullies.

Second, no one said that bullying behaviors have been shown not to exist. But the "study" cited assumes they do, merely because a tiny sample asserts as much, without even a valid operational definition as to what constitutes bullying. And the comments demonstrate how dangerous that is.

Finally, while sticking up for decency is part of our culture, so is living and letting live. Utah has among the Nation's lowest statistics regarding advocacy violence.

Ranch
Here, UT

@Proc:

"Finally, while sticking up for decency is part of our culture, so is living and letting live. Utah has among the Nation's lowest statistics regarding advocacy violence."

--

Yes, live and let live, that's why Utahn's supported and voted for Amendment 3 and why Mormons participated so heavily in California's Proposition 8. Live and let Live. Um, no.

This study indicates that Utah's violence rate is not among the lowest in the nation, at least not in this category.

ouisc
Farmington, UT

Most of our teens accept their peers for who they are, despite sexual orientation. But we still have some work to do, because a high percentage of our gay teens still feel some level of persecution. Keep teaching tolerance and acceptance of multiple sexual orientations in our homes and churches!

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

George & counsellorneil

I think you may be overstating the case. To disagree with another's lifestyle is not tantamount to bullying. I have lived most of my life in areas where folks do not necessarily accept or agree with my choices as a member of the church. But that is not bullying.

I do not agree with many choices people make from drinking and drugs to most divorce. But that is not bullying. It is disagreeing. Nothing more.

If being gay is innate, other things are as well (addiction is often genetically traced and, according to those who suffer from it, can be stronger than sexual drive). Still, as a society we often disagree on these things.

The issue is how we disagree. Not that we do.

If bullying is wrong and if disagreement is bullying, then we as a society must never disagree. Ever.

Democratic debate goes out the window and freedom follows.

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