541: LDS Church is Now Excommunicating Legally Same-Sex Married Members – Taylor Knuth-Bishop

11009986_10153597336484867_1717364656219371821_n-1Taylor Knuth-Bishop was an active LDS Church member and seminary graduate who considered himself “heterosexual with same-sex attraction” until he met the love of his life, Sean Knuth-Bishop. Taylor and Sean fell in love and were eventually legally married during the now-famous 2014 Grammy performance wherein Macklemore, Madonna, and Queen Latifa married 33 same-sex couples during the performance of “Same Love.”

Taylor and Sean have been living a happy life in New York City in the theatre industry, but recently (after moving home for the summer) Taylor was contacted by his LDS bishop and informed that he will be tried in a disciplinary council for the simple act of being legally same-sex married to Sean.  This is Taylor’s story.
(Note: I have been informed this week of two other gay couples who are facing LDS Church discipline for the same reason.)

  • Here is a link to the engagement video mentioned in the interview:

  • Here is a link to the 2014 Grammy wedding ceremony.

  • Here is the letter Taylor received from his bishop, Morgan J. Roberts.

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  • Information about Taylor’s Art program for LGBT youth and young adults:

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Comments

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135 comments for “541: LDS Church is Now Excommunicating Legally Same-Sex Married Members – Taylor Knuth-Bishop

  1. David Macfarlane
    May 6, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story, Taylor. Have a long, happy, loving relationship with Sean in which each of you is enhanced by the other. Take your time to process all the church has meant to you, done for you, done TO you, and then move on. You don’t need it. Best of luck!

    • Jeremy Carr
      May 9, 2015 at 12:21 am

      It’s just another way to keep the hate.
      Shame on the church.
      This is going to split up families once again.

      • Lee Tuitamo
        May 17, 2015 at 7:52 pm

        No, Jeremy … don’t “keep the hate”. It’s a sad thing. Sad for both – these same-sex married couples AND for the church. I hope everyone on both sides can see that all this hurts everyone. Church leaders just haven’t yet figured out that this is just the wrong thing to do. The church hasn’t yet figured out that a lot of the things it does (and teaches) is the wrong thing.

        And it’s sad that families put church and religious beliefs before love and forgiveness and acceptance and just simple human decency. People who do that tear families apart. Not churches.

  2. Tracee
    May 6, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    Awesome letter. I wish you an awesome future together!

  3. Anthony
    May 6, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    I understand the desire and the need to have the church to accept, to have our Prophet guide the fold to accept those who are LGBT. It is important because so many youth in Utah deal with this.

  4. james h.
    May 6, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    As long as the Church considers homosexuality a sin, disciplinary action should be expected.

    • Brad
      May 7, 2015 at 12:42 am

      The church considers homosexual acts sins, not homosexuality. Being a homosexual is not a choice and the official church stance doesn’t suggest that it is. Disciplinary action should be expected in the case of church members acting on their homosexuality. Obviously there’s room for discussion on case-by-case situations, and hence the summons to plead their case, but the church is very unlikely to change their stance on this as they have in the past with other matters, as the Family Proclamation to the World declaration clearly lays out. In this couple’s reply, they have made it clear that they have not been following the teachings of the church. Being same-sex married isn’t the issue here, it’s the same-sex sex.

      • sara
        May 7, 2015 at 10:26 am

        Brad, it seems to me you are playing devils advocate in favor of the church,but it’s not really working for me. I think being “same sex married” is the issue….most couples who are married have sex and all different kinds of sex. Why would this couple follow the teachings of the church when the church clearly doesn’t support them as loving human beings. Look deeper within sir and then pray about it. I think the church will change their stance on the issue of same sex marriage as a new era of LDS members become the governing body of the church. Polygamy has changed and racism somewhat has changed all on the account of a Prophet claiming to have been given a revelation from God that those things should no longer be practiced. IT WILL ALL CHANGE FOR THE BETTER!

        • Graron
          May 7, 2015 at 5:11 pm

          Sara, I love your comment. I also choose to love. Being married for 19 years to an amazing woman, and for that sacred marriage to end because of my finally being strong enough to be authentic to who I really am has been devastating. I don’t believe that the church will change its stance on same sex marriage, although I wish it could. I hope for a separation between state and church. I hope that the state will enforce a civil marriage prior to a temple marriage. I have 4 children who will likely (and I of course will support them) choose to be married in the temple. I wont be permitted to attend their ceremonies if church and state work together to keep me out of the temples. This breaks my heart.

          I don’t pray for the church to change their minds. Their stance is too firm and they wont be able to change and still save face. I do pray for the church to be less aggressive in it’s judgments. I pray for the separation that will allow me to attend my kids’ weddings. The church is entitled to it’s beliefs, and is entitled to enforce them. I am wanting respect for my choices and beliefs, and in turn should be willing to respect theirs.

          It’s such a difficult topic. Moreso when you are so involved in it, because of who you were born to be.

          • Liesl
            May 8, 2015 at 7:35 am

            Graron, I’m with you in this one. I have 5 children whom Ilove with all my heart. Had my marriage end because I was dealt a deck of cards that only I could play.
            I’m fortunate to live in a country where State weddings happen before the Temple sealing. So I will get to see each child walk down the isle with whomever they choose. Knowing I can’t witness their sealings is a tough one to deal with none-the-less.
            I am however grateful to be in a position where through my experience, I can soften my children’s hearts, thinking and opinions of others who are not in the church or the same colour. I get to teach them the TRUE meaning of Christlike, unconditional love, and the difference between knowing about it and actually practising it. I get to teach them to refrain from judgement when they don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. And I get to do this because I have walked on and experience both sides of the fence.
            I have the most amazing children for it.
            Knowing the church won’t change, perhaps pray you can have a great influence in your children’s lives to know the difference between knowing and doing….

          • Mimke
            June 29, 2015 at 6:10 pm

            Wait, so you were in a good relationship with an “amazing woman” and you choose to break it off (complete with all the family disruption and everything) just because you chose to be someone else than you were? I don’t mean to be harsh, but how can you not say that you brought this on yourself?

            I thought that part of a marriage, and life, was striving to be better than we were. Regardless of where you came from, or what your natural tendencies were, you had (from the sounds of it) a great relationship and a wonderful family.

            Bring gay (if that was the cause) does not determine who you can marry. You have the option to choose either path. You had a wonderful family and them broke it off because of your partner’s gender?

            I don’t know your personal story, and I’m really not trying to be rude (though you may take it that way), but it just seems heartbreaking to me that someone would feel the need to end a great relationship with an amazing person because he might be attracted to someone else or another gender or he wasn’t sexually attracted to his wife. None of those things should matter in a marriage relationship. We give up a part of ourselves to build the family together and we don’t have to be sexually attracted to someone to love them or want to build a family with them.

            I worry that you might have been misled into thinking that you were “being true to yourself” when you didn’t have to be. Sometimes, being true to your commitments, or even your family, should take higher priority than your own personal preference.

            I understand this is very hard for you and I may not be making it any easier. As you said, it is a heartbreaking situation. I think that it is beautiful that you would still support your children in temple marriage, even if you cannot attend. I wish you and your family all the best, and I hope you can find your path to happiness, wherever that may be. Take care, and God bless.

            P.S. Civil marriage then temple sealing seems to be a regular thing in other countries (where the state doesn’t recognize church marriages, at all). Maybe that’ll be adopted stateside; or I’ve heard they can do a ring-exchanging ceremony separate from the temple marriage, so that other family members can still participate.

        • Megan
          May 8, 2015 at 11:50 am

          Sara, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. It is obviously shown in the scriptures that same sex marriage is not of God. It never said in the scriptures to exclude African Americans, nor did it ever say you have to take more than one wife. God is never changing. Having same sex tendencies isn’t a sin. Temptation is not transgression. However when you act on those tendencies, that’s when it becomes a sin. Everyone has to fight the “natural man” in many different ways. Like having addictive tendencies, or anger issues, it’s the same as homosexual tendencies. We all have to fight to stay afloat.

          • Geoff - Aus
            May 9, 2015 at 4:53 pm

            Megan,
            You assert that God does not approve of gay marrage. I am not aware of him ever saying anything on that subject.

            Can you supply some references please?

          • Graron
            May 11, 2015 at 10:34 am

            I’m so grateful that God is my only judge, and Christ as my advocate – They love me, regardless.

          • R. Spencer Robinson
            June 25, 2015 at 10:18 am

            Megan, you said the scriptures say that same sex marriage is not of God. Geoff asked if God ever said anything on the subject. Permit me to provide my reply. I begin with Genesis Chapter 1:27. (All Bible references are KJV)

            “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

            Genesis 5:1 and 2 reiterate this, saying that God created man in his likeness, male and female.

            The image and likeness of God is not male and female. It is not female and female. It is not male and male.

            Leviticus 18:22 – Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination.

            Leviticus 20:13 – If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood [shall be] upon them.

            Romans 1:27 – And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

            I am familiar with two languages other than English. I understand the difficulty found in attempts to accurately translate. I am aware others have offered different interpretations of the verses I cited, holding they do not address the issue of homosexuality.

            For those who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I offer “The Family – A Proclamation to the World,” as additional evidence God has spoken on this issue.

            This document was signed by fifteen men who are prophets, seers, and revelators. They signed as members of their respective quorums, the Quorum of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. By so doing, they stated to the world they were speaking in their official capacities as prophets, seers, and revelators. Thus, they were speaking for God.

            They stated, “We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.”

            Based on the above, I do not see how those who accept the Bible as the word of God, and more particularly, those who say they sustain the fifteen signatories to the Proclamation as prophets, seers, and revelators, can say God has not spoken on this issue.

        • Robin
          May 9, 2015 at 6:31 pm

          Nope, it will not Change.

        • Sarah
          May 14, 2015 at 12:48 pm

          Thank you!

      • Joe prestwich
        May 8, 2015 at 8:29 am

        Spoken like a true homosexual who is afraid to come out. Get over it. They are happy and what gives you the right to define sin? Mormons have a heritage of sin, including many prophets and church leaders who were arsonists, polygamists, mystics, conjurers, convicted felons, habitual liars, con artists, anarchists, American defectorss, murderers, etc. You’ll stand by them no matter what, but you won’t speak out in support of a happy gay couple? What hypocrisy!

        • steve
          May 11, 2015 at 6:32 pm

          “arsonists, mystics, conjurers, convicted felons, habitual liars, con artists, anarchists, American defectorss, murderers”
          give it to me…. Name off those church leaders

      • Ashley
        May 12, 2015 at 9:27 am

        Brad, I think this was incredibly well said. I agree with you 100%.

    • Brad C
      May 7, 2015 at 5:30 pm

      You are correct. Unrepentant Sin is grounds for excommunication.

      • David Macfarlane
        May 7, 2015 at 6:28 pm

        As is having public conversations about questions of church origin and history, even though the historical record makes such questions quite rational and predictable. So, does that making thinking a sin in the modern church, or only if you think out loud?

    • Mykel
      May 7, 2015 at 6:45 pm

      It isn’t THE CHURCH that considers homosexuality a sin. GOD said it is a sin. The Church cannot condone what God has said is sin. What do other churches say? Many of them believe the same thing. You don’t get to change God’s laws just because society has accepted them.

      • Michael
        May 8, 2015 at 4:12 pm

        True, it is written in scripture(which could be erroneous given the hand of man in its production) that homosexuality doesn’t sit right with God. True, many churches have this same teaching. I do not see, however, that other churches take disciplinary action against their members who are homosexual. I guess other churches just don’t “Love” their members as much. Meh.

        The LDS church would be much better off to spend more energy in loving all in the world instead of trying to define for all in the world how to love.

        I support Taylor and wish him and his husband much happiness in life. Well written response to an ignorant Bishop.

      • JEP
        May 8, 2015 at 6:00 pm

        Mykel, I think you need to clarify that YOUR God said it is a sin. Many people believe in a different – or no – God, and their beliefs drive their lives, thoughts and behaviors. You are free to believe in, worship and follow the word of YOUR God, just as I am and others are.

        The problem is, THE CHURCH takes ITS God’s word and tries to (no, does) impose ITS beliefs on those of us who are not its members. And now, seeing it can’t impose ITS will on its members’ civil rights, their next step is to kick them out of the fold.

        However, while I think its actions are mean, vile, and vindictive, I fully support their right to do so. That’s the separation of church and state (too bad it doesn’t work both ways).

      • Doubting Thomas
        May 11, 2015 at 10:45 pm

        Mykel…

        The church does condone what God has said is sin:

        1. Murder. With the doctrine of Blood Atonement and the Mountain Meadow Massacre the church (its general and local leaders) condoned murder.

        2. Adultery. Plural marriage is simply adultery and was condoned by the church.

        3. Lying. The church condones lying on its behalf. General authorities have lied to governments and to the membership base for almost 200 years.

        4. Idols. The church condones the idolization of general authorities, specifically the top 15 male leaders of the church.

        There are four ways Mormonism condones practices forbidden by God.

        • Mimke
          June 29, 2015 at 5:43 pm

          Capital punishment is not murder and the Bengal authorities had no part in Mountain Meadows (except maybe to administer discipline to the culprits).

          Adultery doesn’t exist in a marriage relationship, only outside of it.

          We’re not supposed to idolize the leaders, but it’s good to listen to what they say when they speak with wisdom or through the Spirit.

          Don’t know how you can claim they’ve been lying the whole time (other than to say that you don’t believe in the church, ergo they must be lying).

          • Mimke
            June 30, 2015 at 5:27 pm

            Um, autocorrect on my tablet. That should have said “general”, not “Bengal”. Obviously, the Bengal authorities also had no part in it, but that wasn’t my point.

  5. Sofia Hoiland
    May 6, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    I just read your letter to the bishop Taylor and can say with all my heart congratulations on your marriage to your husband and that I too choose love. Thank you for being respectful in your words but illustrating your basic right to love and be happy, and standing up when our faith is in the wrong. Hugs to you both and wishing the best!

  6. Kevin
    May 7, 2015 at 12:48 am

    Beautiful response to the bishopric! Congrats on finding true love. This life is too short to not spend it with the person you love. Thank God the world is finally coming around to that idea. Too bad the Mormon church is still stuck in the dark ages.

    • josh
      May 7, 2015 at 10:29 am

      You seem to think the church is ran by men and not god, who changes not for the will of man. The dark ages? Sin does not stop being sin because more people are OK with it.

      • David Macfarlane
        May 7, 2015 at 10:50 am

        Actually, it does. The Mormon church once pretty much treated dark skin as the penalty of sin. Apparently that changed. Infidelity was once considered sin, until it was re-marketed as celestial marriage. On the flip side, alcohol, tobacco and coffee were not sins until Emma got tired of the mess, which didn’t keep Brigham from profiting off booze in the Utah territory after the move west. (Previous example employed simply to demonstrate how perceptions change just because someone who has assumed the mantle of authority and chosen-ness has a thought.)

        And if God’s word is unchanging over the centuries, who to explain the Bible? In Leviticus alone, the sins include burning yeast or honey in offerings to God, eating fat, touching an unclean animal, having unruly hair and tearing clothes.

        How are mere mortals supposed to sort out all the contradictions?

        • josh
          May 7, 2015 at 11:25 am

          Never said god changes his law, just said men don’t influence it

          • Ang
            May 7, 2015 at 3:45 pm

            But Emma does!

          • HaroldTheCat
            May 7, 2015 at 7:27 pm

            If “men don’t influence it” then why pray and ask for things? How about official declaration 2 when God changed the law after much prayer?? — “He has heard our prayers, and by revelation has confirmed that the long-promised day has come when every faithful, worthy man in the Church may receive the holy priesthood…”

          • Goddess Divine
            May 7, 2015 at 11:49 pm

            Of course men influence laws, that’s the reason the world is the way it is. Men not only influence laws but create laws, change laws, twist laws to their convenience, etc. They do this to civil laws and religious laws. This happens in every country and every church, including the LDS church. Example: LDS church lobbying to fight same sex marriage in every state= influencing the laws of the land/taking rights from others.

      • EV Cannon
        May 7, 2015 at 12:13 pm

        It’s a business like any other….Ran by men, for the benefit of men. Funny how their view of “sin” has changed over the years…..all through the course of “revelations” by the “prophet” when God apparently changes his very fickle mind.

      • Mo
        May 7, 2015 at 3:23 pm

        The church changes its stance on issues. Look at the history. Blacks have the priesthood now- primary example. There is room for change.

        • Katie
          May 8, 2015 at 8:36 am

          If you have ever really looked into the history of the church it had always been believed that blacks would eventually be able to hold the priesthood… Even when it was first made widely known that they couldn’t for a time, the leaders said someday they would eventually. I admit I do not fully understand why they originally said blacks couldn’t hold the priesthood, I have heard that maybe the world was not ready for it.
          However it had never been said our church would eventually accept same sex marriage, in fact quite the opposite.
          If you understand the gospel you see the reason for this life is to become like God, God has children, us. We believe marriage was meant to last for eternity, and that we will always be progressing. Progressing meaning have more children and eventually creating our own world’s where our children can learn. Same sex marriage will never result in children. Yes there are some hetero sexual marrages that are unable to have children in this life, but we believe our bodies will be made perfect and therefore they will be able to procreate and progress in the eternities. Same sex marriages will never be able to produce their own children. Same sex marriages may have a place in this life but it doesn’t in eternity, therefore God cannot condone it. That doesn’t mean God doesn’t love all his children, or that he doesn’t want them to be happy. He does, and those who mistreat the lgbt community will be punished for not trying to be as God, who loves all his children. But through that perfect love he has he cannot condone marriages that cannot exist eternally, that would be setting his children up to fail, and for a great deal of eternal unhappiness and heartache. Which no loving parent would knowingly do too their children.
          This young man does not understand the gospel, and that’s fine… To each their own beliefs, but that bishop only had good intentions for him in mind. That young man should not have to be held accountable for being a member of God’s church and disobeying God’s law.
          You may not understand but that is my understanding.
          I don’t fully understand all the trails of this world, I don’t know why life is so unfair, but I do believe that if we follow God’s commandments and live or lives as he would have us do, he will compensate for all that we lose out on and suffer.

          • Cherie
            May 13, 2015 at 5:43 pm

            Katie – in response to your first sentence, I would urge you to check out church history a little farther back. There was a black man who held the Priesthood in Kirtland during Joseph Smith’s time there. His name was Black Pete. The Restoration began in 1830, not when Brigham Young got to Utah Territory.

          • katherine scott
            May 24, 2015 at 10:24 am

            Thank you for your great comment. How I feel indeed. You explained it very well!

  7. Marc
    May 7, 2015 at 1:41 am

    Well done! Beautifully written letter to this Bishop! You are an old Soul…and you see the clarity of authentic Love. Love always wins.

    The only response is TOTAL Acceptance…that some of the irrational human egos of this world will continue to throw the illusion of judgement towards those that they cannot control. Their Souls are still young and still learning what Christ-Like unconditional Love is. Some people just don’t see the Light…until the day they die. This is their lesson to learn for now.

    Continue to embrace your path.

  8. What I read in the Bible
    May 7, 2015 at 1:48 am

    Hi so curious when God says in the bible men who lie with men will not inherit the kingdom he was being serious I am assuming and didn’t he destroy sodom and gomorrah for homosexuality acts? I know God isn’t like the Governments of this world who change with how the world goes since Gods word doesn’t change at all and never has so If people are to read the word of God and obey then did he not mean what he said in the bible? Take a look at how many things are now allowed that never have been and just cuz we are in a new century does that mean God changes what he has set forth in the Bible? Just boggled my mind a bit after reading that and thinking gosh I know God loves us all but he has set some rules as what I can read on what not to do or we will pay for it. Just thought I would bring that up since it is what I read and was curious if everyone’s bible said the same.1 Corinthians 6:9. 9 Or do you not know that unrighteous people will not inherit God’s Kingdom?+ Do not be misled.* Those who are sexually immoral,*+ idolaters,+ adulterers,+ men who submit to homosexual acts,+ men who practice homosexuality,*+
    1 Timothy 1:1-20 Verse 10 but read all of it. Leviticus 18:22.
    While the Bible disapproves of homosexual acts, it does not condone hatred of homosexuals or homophobia. Instead, Christians are directed to “respect everyone.”—1 Peter 2:17,

    • Erin
      May 7, 2015 at 11:44 am

      so basically what i’m getting is that god condemns homosexuality between men. no mention of women in there…

      erego, God is a lesbian.

    • Graron
      May 7, 2015 at 5:16 pm

      Lets also remember that the old testament was fulfilled through the atonement of Jesus Christ. Please quote from the New Testament, if the laws are to have standing. The Old testament is to improve our knowledge and understanding of God, and is also a great example of the evolution of how God works.

    • David Macfarlane
      May 7, 2015 at 6:32 pm

      Christians regularly mistake pity for respect. It’s condescending. You can keep your respect.

    • Dale
      May 8, 2015 at 10:44 am

      Oh my, Mr. “What I read in the Bible.” Do you have a daughter? What about the dowry? The Bible is clear on this one. Have your future son-in-law follow the Bible ─ 1 Samuel 18:25 KJV ─ and get the dowry you disserve. Oh my is right. Let’s just follow the Bible to the word on everything! Oh, and don’t forget the Lobster ─ Leviticus 11:12 ─ no! no! can’t have that ‘abomination’! And then we have the real ‘gem’, Genesis 19:32 KJV! Yeah, this is the Bible’s council on ultimate incest . . . Oh My! . . . So, Mr. “What I read in the Bible,” do you follow 1 Samuel 18:25, Leviticus 11:12, and Genesis 19:32?

  9. Kaye
    May 7, 2015 at 1:50 am

    I find odd and disheartening, that two people who love each are facing disciplinary action, when a convicted child abuser is allowed to keep there temple recommend, and calling. I would rather have two loving energetic people in my congregation, than a child abuser.
    I wish you the best.

    • Kyle
      May 8, 2015 at 8:53 am

      Kaye,
      The basis of the disciplinary council on their case is the fact that there is no desire to change their actions that are viewed as sinful. Regardless of the sin that brings someone to a disciplinary counsel, their case is addressed individually and decisions are made on based on their beliefs/testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and doctrines of His Church. I am in no way standing up for a child abuser, however, to truly believe in Christ is to believe in his love for EVERY single person and His desire for EVERY single person to accept HIS will and plan of happiness. He loves the abuser and the homosexual. Neither persons actions are acceptable to him, but those who are sincerely willing to work with him are always offered grace. It’s always about those willing to work hard to follow him. Sean and Taylor have made a decision to pursue their lifestyle. It is not congruent with God’s teachings, therefore they are accountable, but no less loved by the members of the disciplinary council and most definitely no less loved by God.

  10. LaMinda Limb
    May 7, 2015 at 3:18 am

    Good for you Taylor Nathan Knuth-Bishop. Keep standing up for yourself and your husband. Religion should never control your happiness. My prayers for you and your husband and both of your happiness to continue to stay strong

  11. EV Cannon
    May 7, 2015 at 4:28 am

    Although we have never met, Sean’s mom is my step-sister. I discovered their story on Facebook, “friended” Sean and have followed his story since the wedding. I cannot imagine a more upstanding, loving couple than Sean and Taylor.

    The difference that one generation can make is astounding. My own mother, devout 5th generation LDS literally set me on the curb at 16 because I was gay. Sean’s grandfather, who he never knew, was my lifeline at the time. My stepfather stood by me when I was abandoned by my blood relatives and ensured that I was physically okay.

    At the same time, I was called into the bishop’s office and threatened with excommunication. I explained my situation to him, laughing that that was the least of my worries. I was literally just trying to survive, and here was this fool threatening me with further alienation. I never looked back, but never forgot the abandonment of the church.

    It does my heart good to see Sean and Taylor’s acceptance but breaks my heart to see the bigotry and hatred from the church. As much as many things change for the better….some things never do.

    • EV Cannon
      May 7, 2015 at 12:10 pm

      “………..but the church is very unlikely to change their stance on this as they have in the past with other matters, as the Family Proclamation to the World declaration clearly lays out.”

      That is until the “prophet” has another one of those well timed “revelations” that strangely seem to coincide with the government threatening the loss of their tax exempt status or standing from a regulations standpoint.

      Personally I laughed in the Bishop’s when threatened with excommunication. Now I have trouble getting my name expunged from the membership roll. I want absolutely nothing to do with a loveless, bigoted institution that really has no place making value judgements about civil “marriage” in the first place.

  12. Charles
    May 7, 2015 at 7:32 am

    John, I’ve been following your podcast for years, and appreciate that you’ve allowed me, an outsider, to interact. Normally I try to keep it to only the particular interview at hand. But on this subject I’d rather speak more generally. From past interviews I understand that you no longer have what I’ll call a “high” view of scripture; You want to hold to certain “core” ideas, for example love — love your neighbor, etc. But for those of us who hold to a high view of scripture and believe that all scripture is God-breathed (2 Tim 3:16), the biblical teaching on the subject is clear. I want to be loving and careful myself how I say this, but Jesus said

    4 … Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
    5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
    6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. (Matthew 19:4-6)

    Some observations from these verses: God made us man and woman (v. 4), and it’s been that way from the beginning (v. 4). Part of the design is that we have a father and mother (v. 5), and we were that way so that we should find a mate of the opposite sex (v. 5 “for this cause…”). This relationship is God-ordained (v. 6).

    There is nothing in the Bible about same-sex marriage. The Bible has nothing good to say about same-sex sexual relations, and is a thoroughly heterosexual book throughout. I know this is not the popular view, but I have to speak the truth in love. The whole “love” argument breaks down as soon as you fill-in-the blank with any other abomination — bestiality, incest, “intergenerational love”. But they’re all on the horizon, and the arguments are exactly the same: God made me that way, how can you deny me love?, etc.

    I’ll line up for the tomatoes now, but for anyone interested in the biblical view, Michael Brown has written a really good book — Can you be Gay and Christian?

    • jared
      May 8, 2015 at 7:17 pm

      The moment we confess to know anything, we know nothing.

  13. May 7, 2015 at 7:39 am

    “As long as the Church considers homosexuality a sin, disciplinary action should be expected.” But doesn’t EVERY member sin?

    • Charles
      May 7, 2015 at 6:26 pm

      Every member sins, but they probably don’t embrace their sin as a lifestyle, and ask others to celebrate it.

  14. Mahonri
    May 7, 2015 at 8:03 am

    Just like the Temple says – they are legally and lawfully married. Action against the couple is shameful, bigoted and inspired by anything but God.

    • darrell birt
      May 7, 2015 at 9:45 am

      Legal by man’s law, not God’s.

    • Jonathan
      May 7, 2015 at 2:16 pm

      You’re quoting out of context: it’s mentioned directly after “Between the Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve.” Law of chastity is pretty strict on that one.

  15. Gamyr
    May 7, 2015 at 8:54 am

    Taylor hasn’t been actively engaged with the church in some time. Hasn’t held a calling, hasn’t done any ordinances, hasn’t been serving in any priesthood capacity, nor has he tried to incorporate his new family into a church congregation. He also hasn’t asked for its approval of any aspect of his life since he stopped attending, nor has he been acting as representative of the church in any way. So I find it inappropriate for the church in his hometown to suddenly want to hold a disciplinary court for a person they’ve had no dealings with for years, who lives across the country in a completely different jurisdiction, and who has not petitioned their recognition in any way. It’s not only inappropriate, but it’s presumptuous, rude, and as he pointed out, un-Christlike.

    • JustMe
      May 7, 2015 at 12:52 pm

      And by your argument why is he so offended to be released or excommunicated from his obligations as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? He hasn’t been actively involved in his home congregation, or a congregation in NY from the sounds of it so again, why is he so upset by the proceedings? If a member is engaging in acts that are in violation of the covenant (much more serious than just a promise as it is a promise entered into with God) entered into at baptism and the member is not interested in following the teachings of the Church, then is it not a more loving thing to release them from that obligation/covenant, which is what excommunication does? That is an act of love, a process which releases the member from the higher expectations and responsibilities associated with membership requirements. Excommunication is not necessarily a negative or bad thing.

      • Jay
        May 7, 2015 at 6:08 pm

        “That is an act of love, a process which releases the member from the higher expectations and responsibilities associated with membership requirements.”

        As a non-mormon, I’ve heard this type of thing from mormons over the years. I always thought that abdicating personal responsibility and simply following the dictates of the LDS prophet was taking the low road, the easy road, the low expectation and non-responsibility road.

        People who take responsibility for their own choices, who consider perspectives and make their own decisions, who are willing to deeply examine themselves – that’s a high standard and a major responsibility. Following the prophet, to me, is just throwing up your hands and saying “life is too hard, tell me what to think and do.”

      • gamyr
        May 7, 2015 at 8:19 pm

        he’s offended because if you listened to the podcast he’s worried about what this will do for other LGBTQ+ youth who are actively attending church (most likely in the closet), and see that the church has no room in its collective heart for them as sons and daughters of God. This aggressive invasion of Taylor and Sean’s privacy by waging a war on them by threatening excommunication when they weren’t even attending or trying to attend church, is a very hostile and offensive action. How can you call it an act of love? Taylor and Sean were not seeking any input from the church nor recognition for their marriage by it. they were minding their own business, living their lives happily, and the church saw fit to insert themselves in the middle of that out of nowhere. this level of aggression is something that Taylor fears will further ostracize and alienate those struggling LGBTQ+ youth who may already be struggling to feel loved and accepted to the point of potentially ending their lives. How do you think this so called “act of love” is going to inspire those kids or young adults to feel like they have a safe haven in the one place everyone deserves to feel safe and loved? Their CHURCH! I’ll echo what another commenter asked, and challenge you to show me where Jesus ever excommunicated anyone of his followers for their sins. Or even mentioned excommunication at all. Jesus was the epitome of love and acceptance regardless of your background or struggles.

        • Jennifer
          May 8, 2015 at 8:13 am

          Beautifully said, gamyr. Beautifully said.

        • R. Spencer Robinson
          June 25, 2015 at 1:12 pm

          gamyr,

          The LDS Church has stated it has room for persons with same sex attraction. It has also said acting on those feelings is a sin. Excommunication is a potential consequence.

          Aggressive invasion of privacy does not seem to square with a very public wedding. If their wedding and their religious affiliation were publicly linked, the Church is within its rights to eliminate the link. It is also within its rights to decide who will be a member and on what conditions.

          If you love someone, and you believe there is something in that person’s life that is harmful to them, you seek the most effective way of communicating the concern and bringing about a change. If you believe someone is engaging in a very serious sin, you tell them. If you are a church, there comes a point when the best thing to do is excommunicate them.

          The New Testament does not discuss Christ’s church as a structure or formal organization. We know little of it as such. The word “excommunication” does not appear in the New Testament.

          We know that Christ was often at odds with the Scribes and Pharisees. We know that he cleansed his Father’s House, the Temple. He drove out those who defiled it. This, if you will, is analogous to excommunication.

          I agree that Christ is the epitome of love. It does not follow that all he did was comfort the afflicted. He also afflicted the comfortable. In addition to cleansing the Temple and upsetting the Scribes and Pharisees, he did not have a kind word for King Herod. Christ called Herod a fox.

          Christ also spoke of an event analogous to an excommunication. He said,

          “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

          And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

          Matthew 7:22-23

          In short, Christ’s love is not accepting of everyone, everything, and every behavior.

  16. ceda
    May 7, 2015 at 9:22 am

    I applaud Taylor and Sean for their courage, their determination and the pure and true love they share. I think the LDS church is missing out by not having these two wonderful men as part of the organization. They could definitely teach many of the members valuable lessons about acceptance and family and devotion and just Christlike love.

    and to those who have quoted all these scriptures regarding same sex behavior and consequences from the Bible= let me add one “John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”

  17. Anna
    May 7, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Putting the issue of the Church’s view of homosexuality aside for a moment (though I do think they are wrong on this issue), why does the Church keep disciplining individuals who aren’t even active? It’s like anyone who disagrees is dust on the Church’s shoes and must ceremoniously be shaken off. Seriously, unless someone has done something truly cruel, abusive or illegal what’s the point? It seems like these “courts of love” are more about proving authority by giving people the priesthoods version of the middle finger.

    • Josh
      May 7, 2015 at 12:42 pm

      Excommunication is NOT a punishment. It is blessing. If Taylor remained a member of the Church, held the priesthood and made Covenants with God at baptism AND then turned away without any leadership intervention, then Taylor would be in bigger trouble than had he never learned the name of Christ. Greater condemnation goes to those who receive knowledge and then reject it, while knowing the difference. This isn’t man’s church led by an elected official; this is the Lord Jesus Christ’s church restored to the earth with living Apostles and Prophets like all others read about in the Bible. The church is led by Jesus Christ and He is and always will be the same yesterday, today and forever.

      • Cathy
        May 7, 2015 at 3:30 pm

        Wow. I love your statement that exing is not a punishment. I truly did LOL. Taylor is in “bigger trouble”?? Do you even see how silly it is to say that?

        God, Jesus Christ have changed a lot even during my own lifetime, let alone the centuries before. The only time Christ led the church was when he was actually alive and led it.

        The mormon churhc is led by man. Yes, they quote God occasionally, but men make the rules and come up with the revelations to suit society at the time.

        Come on, you know better. Excommunication is just that, a punishment and a way to wield power. No love involved.

      • Ang
        May 7, 2015 at 3:48 pm

        Have your lifestyle judged and condemned, get excommunicated for doing nothing wrong, and see how “blessed” you feel.
        Your ignorance is showing. Might want to tuck that in, it’s not modest.

      • Gamyr
        May 8, 2015 at 8:09 am

        This is a complete load and so representative of the level of brainwashing you’ve undergone. It follows no logic. The fact is, he already did “turn away”. That choice was made 4 years ago. So his bishop’s sudden intervention is purely altruistic? You’re saying that 4 years after Taylor stopped being active to follow his truth, the bishop has been inspired to spare him he wrath that God has in store for him by dissolving his membership so that God won’t hold him to the level of accountability that he would have had his name remained on the church reocrds? You’re saying that matters of the Spirit and eternity can be drastically affected by paperwork? Good to know. Good thing that bishop was so on his game.

  18. Edward
    May 7, 2015 at 9:42 am

    legally and lawfully idols not necessarily mean the law of the land but the law of The Lord

  19. HaroldTheCat
    May 7, 2015 at 9:43 am

    I’ve never heard of any cases when the Mormon Church has disciplined parents who have abandoned their gay teenager by kicking them out of the house.

  20. Steve Park
    May 7, 2015 at 9:54 am

    Apologies for posting without listening to the episode first, but I want to throw this out there before it gets buried by a bunch of other comments.

    According to Taylor’s blog, this letter from the bishop is the first communication on the matter. It appears the bishop isn’t following standard church procedure of reaching out first to get to know Taylor and warn him before threatening him with a church court. I wonder if the bishop sees Taylor’s marriage as several steps too far in order to justify the threat.

    Also, Taylor is completely inactive and not trying to influence any other members of his ward as far as I know. I don’t mean to sound alarmist, but I wonder if this is a sign the church is expanding the purge to ordinary inactive members. It doesn’t really affect me if they are, but I worry about others who might be in a more precarious position with their spouse or family members.

  21. Joan
    May 7, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Although I am heterosexual, I had a similar experience when I moved back home after living with my boyfriend out of state. The bishop in my parents’ ward approached me and asked me to promise that I would never do that again. I felt as though he was bargaining for my soul. I declined, and during my excommunication hearing, I informed them that, while the excommunication didn’t affect me or my beliefs, it deeply affected my family. I believed (and still believe) that excommunication is not to be wielded as a sword, which it frequently is. I remain hopeful that the church will continue on the path that they have started, but their continued intolerance and poor treatment of the LGBTQ community is the primary reason that I had no qualms about being excommunicated, and I have no intention of ever returning.

  22. Amanda
    May 7, 2015 at 11:22 am

    I cannot help but notice the hypocrisy inherent in the church’s actions or in peoples interpretation of the bible in this matter. Adultery is listed as a sin in the bible,right? So called plural marriage is a complete abomination to anything Godly in my opinion, yet it was practiced ad nauseam (more than 30 wives, underage girls, etc…) by the founders of this church. But this church changed the definition of marriage to condone these ghastly sins. Same sex marriage is a commitment between two people. How could this possibly compare to the abusive, adulterous, exploitative practice of polygamy that was and still is condoned by the church? Total absolute hypocrisy. Best luck to the two of you, always!

  23. Rude Dog
    May 7, 2015 at 11:44 am

    This is really interesting. I am going to be watching this closely. A legally and lawfully wedded couple exercising their full legal and moral rights and responsibilities within the protections of a state recognized institute of marriage, subject to excommunication by the LDS church.

    Is this what the church has in mind as it blows the religious freedom horn? To reach inside of marriages and excommunicate legal and lawful spouses? Spouses that are in the business of securing life, liberty and happiness, raising children under the legal umbrella that is marriage? What if they claim celibacy inside the marriage? What if they are strictly true to one another sexually? The LDS church accepts same sex attraction. Is it really the sex act that we get hung up and high centered on? Remember Spencer Kimball’s foray into the sex act arena? Sending out a statement condemning (not sure if it was read from the pulpit) oral sex as an “impure and unholy practice”? Another memo read, and I think it read “abhorrent connubial practices” (oral sex). Other talks by the bretheren condemning even “unholy speech and practices” during sex between couples. Is this a church even considering free will, and worthy to claim the name of Jesus Christ? A church so controlling, as to start dictating what happens in the bedroom? Which is exactly what the church is doing towards this wonderful couple. Condemned for same sex attraction? No. Condemned for following and adhering to the law of the land by being married. Probably. Condemned for the banality of the sex act? Definitely. And I say banal, because that’s what the sex act is with its myriad ways and inventive approaches. There is nothing different between the sexes when it come to the act, and nothing goes on in the homo bedroom that doesn’t go on in the hetero one, yet that seems to be the kryptonite of religion, and be all the difference in the world. It won’t fly with the young, and if the church ever had concern keeping its numbers, this is not how to do it. Please somebody help me……..what am I missing?

  24. Tru
    May 7, 2015 at 11:51 am

    All of the people who are using the bible to condemn this loving, monogamous married couple need to do a little more scholarly research surrounding the 7 “clobber verses” and the Sodom and Gomorrah tale. (It was about breaking hospitality laws and people were regularly raped as punishment in those days. The Leviticus verse is referring to purity laws–eating shellfish and wearing mixed fabrics are also “abominations” but you don’t see people getting disciplined for eating at Red Lobster! Jesus himself was silent on the issue, but he had a lot to say about divorce. Do you realize how many more verses are in the bible condemning divorce than anything “homosexual”? That word can’t even be found in any bible printed before 1952. Read David Chapman’s book for a thorough study of each of those 7 verses. Oh–and why didn’t god set up punishments for the thousands of other species that engage in some level of homosexual activity? It isn’t natural? They beg to differ. Pretty sure they didn’t choose their lifestyle…There is evolutionary benefit to a portion of the population being homosexual or this population would not have remained constant throughout history. Just thinking maybe science is something we ought to integrate even if we want to believe in a set of writings written in different eras by random people chosen to have theirs included in this book by the early church. Who knows? Maybe another perspective was excluded by these men and you never got to read it. A book written by Simon LeVay details all the studies around sexual orientation, and it is fascinating. It also points unequivocally to the fact that it is biology, not choice. I grew up in the LDS church and no, I am not heterosexual. Luckily my family accepted me and I didn’t lose them like so many others lose theirs.

  25. Lee
    May 7, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    As the last line of your letter states “If you don’t believe in sex-same marriage, don’t have one.” The same goes for you and all same-sex marriages….if you want to have a same-sex marriage, don’t expect the Church to accept it. You knew when you got involved in a same-sex relationship and then eventually same-sex marriage that it is conduct that is not accepted by the Church. Therefore your membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was and is in jeopardy of being dissolved. Yes the Church teaches love and acceptance of all of God’s children. But there are choices and with those choices are consequences. There are many, many things an individual can do to put their church membership in jeopardy. This is just one of the many. The Church does not single out the same-sex individuals. You do that on your own by choosing to be involved in conduct that is not accepted by the Church. Just like if you wanted to join a club or anything other group, there are rules and accepted conduct. And on a side-note….only temple marriages are for eternity. Legal earthly marriages are for time only. Thank you. I wish you the best.

    • Lilli
      May 8, 2015 at 11:21 am

      The point is, the Church & it’s leaders don’t follow it’s own written laws and teachings, so how can they judge anyone else? It’s all about the beam and the mote.

      Since the Church’s beginning, it has not followed the scriptures on so many things far far worse then homosexuality, so they can hardly pretend to be righteous enough to judge when others don’t either.

      And Christ had some pretty harsh words for ‘hypocrites’.

  26. Kris Carlin
    May 7, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    For a religion that prides itself on not being judgmental they are quick to judge against human beings! If you take away the labels and the gender what you have left are two human beings that love each other and that are productive members of society.

  27. ED
    May 7, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    ok time to chime in here i am eagerly awaiting the “revelation” from the church Leadership once the supreme court has made its ruling on the legality of same sex marriage (just like they did after the civil rights movement AKA
    blacks receiving the priesthood)the Revelation “gay is good” will make the church leadership look like the hypocrites they are

    • Lilli
      May 8, 2015 at 11:12 am

      Yes, I also think it won’t will be very long now before the Church receives a new ‘revelation’ to allow SSM, just like it did with so many other things it once called ‘abominations’, but then completely embraced and called such things ‘wonderful’ once the majority wanted it.

  28. B-Ry
    May 7, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    Aren’t these married men obeying the letter of the Law of Chastity as found in the temple ceremony itself?

    “We are instructed to give unto you the law of chastity, which is that each of you shall have no sexual relations except with your husband or wife to whom you are legally and lawfully wedded.”

    They are in compliance! Read it yourself!

  29. Davina
    May 7, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    Why does this surprise anyone? Why condemn the Mormon church for excommunicating members who went against the church’s beliefs? The catholics would excommunicate you if you got a divorce (a LEGAL divorce!) You can expect to get chastised in this situation. By the way, I support same-sex marriage and divorces.

  30. Coriantumr
    May 7, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    From a distance it would appear that there is a pandemic of LDS youth coming out of the closet up there in Utah. Asking the Church to take a different stand on same sex marriage is simply not possible. One of the differences that the LDS Church has is it’s foundation on Eternal Family. Another is the way it mirrors a Patriarchal Jewish organization while holding a deep belief, at least on the surface, on the Jesus/Pauline Church doctrine as any conventional Protestant denomination. It is hard for me to understand how can a member, specially one born inside the Gospel, can not instinctively know that he/she is threading deep water and the outcome can only be a painful one for everybody. But I do agree that help is needed for youth dealing with their sexuality. Because of the close bonds of family and community in many cases the fall out for the Church would be less if some counselling [not the brimstone and fire type] was provided for all parties involved. Free Will, Self Agency. In the end all of us would be have to answer for our actions. But individual self responsibility should not be avoided. The Church mirrors more perhaps the Jerusalem Church of old than the Pauline Church. If a a member one does not understand this all that time in Seminary was lost.

  31. Julie M.
    May 7, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    I hope the press picks this up. It’s wrong for them to go searching out couples who are inactive and disciplining them.

    Are they going after members who are living together and not married who are inactive?

  32. Bob l Quinn
    May 7, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    Reading the letter to the Bishop and also many of the comments, I do have a few things to add.
    There are many comments that are good. I see what both sides are trying to say. Both sides are somewhat right.
    As for same sex marriage, Jesus has said to love our neighbors. To mourn with those, etc etc etc.
    I have friends who have chosen the LGBT path. I have a best friend, now married to his partner. Do I hate them? No! Do I support them? If they are not causing harm, they are happy, they are keeping the commandments. They love each other, care for each other. I wish them the best.
    I wish everyone the best in their relationships and that they are happy. If LGBT people want to have children, they have children.
    Does the church respect the LGBT community? We are to love. Respect. Etc etc etc.
    As for marriage In the church? God was very clear on the matter. Has the church changed in the past? Yes. On certain things. Things have come into light. Certain things in the bible are left out. The bible isn’t full of all writings. Translations are not all true.
    Can a married gay couple have children? Yes, thru adoption. Do man and woman adopt? Yes, they also for many reasons. Most, they can’t have children of their own.
    How, in the church, we believe in families forever. Eternal families. The highest of all, to live in the highest degree of glory. To become, what we are to achieve, to become, Gods. King and queens, priests and priestess.
    We are to have children in the next life. Not by adoption, but thru male and female.
    We become whole. All our parts work.
    As for a gay or lesbien couple, their is still no way the can have babies of their own. It is impossible any way you look at it.
    That is why same sex marriage can not be in the church or in heaven. It is not what God wants or intended for us.
    We will, when we die, we will know what we used to know. The veil will be open. There, we will know our mistakes.
    That is basically all I wanted to say.
    In this life, love one another. But same sex marriage is not of God. I am sorry, but that is it.

    • EV Cannon
      May 7, 2015 at 7:29 pm

      So Bob, tell me exactly when you chose the path of heterosexuality? Your marriage, your relationships, your family is absolutely no more “worthy” or “valid” than Sean and Taylors. Your tired procreation meme is really really old, tired, and false. They aren’t looking for a temple marriage and more than they are looking for ANY validation from your church. It’s just not all about you.

    • Dallas Jolley
      May 11, 2015 at 11:12 am

      Well put. At the very beginning, God created Adam and He created Eve from Adam, for Adam, and Adam for Eve, and He commanded them to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth. Why did he do this? I think an exploration of His purposes are in order. The family is the basic unit of society in mortality and in eternity. But for a male and female mixing their seed, no child is born. And is a child able to care for itself or support itself like most animals do shortly after they are born? No. So a mom and dad play an important role in making a child viable in this cold cruel world we live in. They provide food, shelter and hopefully a loving example of heaven on earth, not to mention preparing them to support themselves and to prepare to multiply and replenish the earth. There is no other way. Any other plan just does not work. Please provide an explanation of how marrying the one you love regardless of sex fulfills the basic requirements of the human race. While you are free to choose in this life, that does not make your choices correct. (Do not tell me that you didn’t make a choice to be gay, you did.) Alcoholics can choose to stop, but it takes support most times to get the strength to overcome this addiction. AA has helped millions gain the spiritual strength to stop their addiction. As Joshua stated, “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Every day was have to choose who we will be and whether we will obey the commandments. There are purposes for the commandments. With all thy getting, get understanding.

      • Graron
        May 14, 2015 at 8:57 am

        Dallas, to quote you:

        “Do not tell me that you didn’t make a choice to be gay, you did.”

        That’s a very naive thing to say. Did you CHOOSE to be Heterosexual? Or is that how you were created. Why would someone CHOOSE to be gay, and face the discrimination, the torment, the pain to be told that you are a degenerate? Its ludicrous to think someone would “choose” to feel that way. I love my gay friends (and all of my friends), and see the pains that they have suffered because of who they are, watch their pain, see them bullied etc, and trying to live in a society riddled with people who share your pathetic, ill-educated, cruel mindset. Seriously – who would choose that? Are you aware of the number of teen suicides because of this? Absurd comments like yours promote these feelings of inadequacy in some people who deal with same sex attraction.

        Let’s change the word “gay” to “stupid”, and your comment is accurate. If you are going to make statements like this, please back them up – the church has already (albeit changed it’s stance on the matter in the last few years, depending which Apostle you choose to listen – they constantly express different feelings and views) confirmed that it agrees that some people are born gay – their choice is whether or not to act on their feelings.

        Comments like yours cut deep to the people who feel. Because you don’t understand something doesn’t make you right and them wrong.

        Rant complete.

  33. April
    May 7, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    I’m not LDS. However, I think the LDS church isn’t in the wrong. Same sex marriage is against the LDS’ fundamental beliefs. It just seams to me that if a churches core values and fundamentals don’t align with your own, it’s time to find a religion you can 100% get on board with. You can’t pick and choose what you’re going to apply to your life and conform to, in a very strict religion. It’s black or white. Judging the LDS for their beliefs and practices, is just like judging a gay person. Hypocritical in my opinion.

  34. DG
    May 7, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    Oh brother. That response letter was so drippy and full of buzzwords I could hardly read through it. If they’re going to live exactly contrary to the teachings of the Church, why do they want to be a part of it in the first place? I am so tired of people thinking (INSISTING) they can have their cake and eat it too.

  35. James
    May 7, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Taylor’s bishop is just doing the best he can under his present mind set. When I was bishop I was told that if there were people living in sin under my jurisdiction that it was my responsibility to “keep the name of the church clean” by going to these people and calling them to repentance and or initiating disciplinary action against them. I worried over a couple in my ward that were living together out of wedlock. But they were inactive and I just didn’t feel good about intruding on their private affairs in that way. We tried to fellowship them but they were uninterested in becoming active. At the time I felt guilty for not fully doing my job as bishop. I have remained friends with them over the years and am so glad now that I didn’t try to call them to repentance. They eventually got married. I found out years later that the reason they had gone inactive was because the woman had been offended by her former bishop who had called her in and accused her falsely of infidelity after her recent divorce.
    I only excommunicated one person while I was bishop. At the time I felt that I had confirmation from the spirit that it was what the Lord wanted but I realized years later after seeing how negativly it effected her life that it was the wrong thing to do. I have deeply regretted doing it many times over. We tell ourselves that these are courts of love and that it is the best way to redeem their soul but in reality it only does them harm. My father who excommunicated nearly a dozen people during his term as bishop told me that after 30 years of hindsight and seeing how it had effected their lives that he no longer believed in excommunication and regretted having done it to anyone. The apostle LeGrand Richards claimed that he had never excommunicated anyone and didn’t believe in doing it.

    • David Macfarlane
      May 7, 2015 at 6:25 pm

      Thank you, James. Your experience as a bishop is invaluable. I’ve never understood excommunication at all, but your explanation of keeping the name of the church clean makes modern political sense in what has become a starkly and somewhat cynically legalistic organization. I assume that admonition was passed along to you without any sense of irony, given the baggage of church history?

      I’m not aware of Jesus excommunicating anyone–quite the opposite, actually. And that really is the crux of the issue, here. NO ONE will argue the church doesn’t have the right to be selective in membership. However, if you’re going to say Christ is really at the head of the church, is kicking people out for certain behaviors representative of his life and ministry?

    • Teresa
      May 8, 2015 at 8:08 am

      Thanks, I believe that in only a few cases, there is a need for excommunication. If the person wants to start from zero again and forget her or his past is a good principle. Excommunicated a person who is not attending to church is ridicules it doesn’t help to anyone except that the person probably will never back to church again.
      .

      • Gamyr
        May 8, 2015 at 8:20 am

        Exactly! If Taylor were working towards repentance or was actively trying to promote dissent within the ranks of the church, then excommunication would make more sense, for the church to dissociate itself from lines of thinking or behavior which go contrary to their dogma. But in this case it’s wholly unwarranted and super passive aggressive considering Taylor’s been inactive for 4 years. The agenda by pursuing this action is not based in love for Taylor, but to use him as an “example” to dissuade other “would-be homosexuals” from getting any ideas.

        • Teresa
          May 8, 2015 at 7:50 pm

          I agree with you… no one need to be the example for this… what about the members who committed adultery… are they going after them? I am very strict in some principles of the gospel but I don’t like this type of “cleaning” the Church

  36. Marta Molisani
    May 7, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    I’m a 57 years old mother of a wonderful gay son, and I was LDS long time ago. I can’t understand a God that decided push away who supposed love and accept how each one are. Congratulations for the coragem of the decision to be happy and love who you want.

  37. Danielle
    May 7, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    Here’s the thing. In our church (or any church for that matter) there are rules and guidelines. Just because the world changes doesn’t mean the churches stnandards change. We aren’t being judgemental we are just being true to our laws and values. So don’t judge us because we aren’t judging you

  38. Justin
    May 7, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    I can understand why the bishop of this ward would try to reach out with the high publicity of this story.

    Many replies on this article explain that nothing has been done to hurt or cause pain in any way to anyone. This is the main argument of the reply to the bishop and justification on the actions involved.

    The problem when it comes to the church is when we (as a member) try to educate others contrary to the doctrine of the church. In this case the church has every right to call someone for discipline.

    If the church in which they do not obviously agree with, is willing to discuss the situation and they reply in a manner in which has been shown… why not just request your records be deleted?

    The fact of the mater is anyone who breaks a commandment, no matter the kind (word of wisdom, chastity, and any other major commandment) and is not willing to humble themselves and insisted on trying to push the matter and educate others on doctrine contrary to the doctrine of the church repentance should be called to church discipline.

    • Liesl
      May 8, 2015 at 8:20 am

      That’s funny, while my husband and I were still married, he was known for his “flirting is part of the job” reputation. A member of the bishopric even caught him with his tongue down another woman’s throat….. The disciplinary action was a calling.
      Explain how some get away with it, while others get disciplined???

  39. Matt
    May 7, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    It’s going to be hilarious when, in 50 years, this church is pushing 1 million or so active members, still crowing about how it’s the only path to eternal salvation. The whole thing is becoming more and more absurd with each passing year.

    What mass print did to the Catholics, the internet is doing to the Mormons.

    All those “anti-Mormon lies” the Tanners told? True. Just ask fairlds.com or lds.org.

    Unchanging doctrine? Really?

    Translation? Nope, not by any definition of the word that’s been used throughout its know etymology.

    Ancient civilizations? Good luck finding any evidence any of it ever existed.

    But, doubt your doubts folks. Belief is a choice. If you didn’t know all this stuff already, it’s your fault.

    Seriously.

    • ABM
      May 13, 2015 at 7:30 pm

      Yeah! what is this Catholics you speak of…?!?

  40. Cole
    May 7, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    For those of you who say the church and prophet need to except this… I’m sorry but they cannot. They will always except and love the individuals but they can never except this action that they have done because it is a sin. Marriage is of God and can only be between a man and a women. Same gender attraction is a choice, people are not born that way. Therfore the actions that the church took were just. The two individuals broke a rule so the consequence followed.

  41. May 7, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    Thank you for sharing this, John and thank you Taylor for sharing your story. I send you all Love and appreciation. I stand with you and for you. Thank you for being willing to use your voices, no matter what!

  42. Adrian Hooson
    May 7, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    If a married man has anal sex with his wife is this classed as ‘conduct unbecoming a member of the church’? If a man married more than one wife after the ‘official declaration ‘ was published was this ‘conduct unbecoming a member’? Plural marriages were being performed up to at least 1904 and the top brass either sanctioned it or turned a blind eye. There is a history of double standards and now they want to portray an image of purity and high moral judgement. The church treatment of blacks, the denial that it was based on doctrine and the back-pedalling when social pressure became too much shows there true colours. All the best to you both, you will be better off without the Mormon hypocrisy.

  43. Brad C
    May 8, 2015 at 12:36 am

    Bishop Roberts is a good man.

  44. Steven Leong
    May 8, 2015 at 1:19 am

    You as well as your marriage were CREATED by God! Human judgment has no place here. They may excommunicate you from their institution, you will ALWAYS have a seat at God’s table. What one sows, so shall they reap.

  45. Teresa
    May 8, 2015 at 7:26 am

    I don’t understand the need to excommunicate to someone that is not attending and renewing their covenants every Sunday with the Lord. As I understand the basic purpose of the excommunication is to give the person the opportunity to start from zero and put everything in order. There is a lot of members of the Church who committed adultery and they don’t attend to our meetings and they are not been excommunicated. Why the Church need to excommunicate the gays? I am very faithful person but I don’t see there is a need for to go after the gays community.

  46. truth seeker
    May 8, 2015 at 11:31 am

    Congratulations on your union. I hope this learning experience will guide you to where you want to go.

    It is my experience that same sex attraction is not a sexual issue as much as it a relationship issue. If you were to follow LDS doctrine and study it for the truth it contains, you might find that the purpose of this life is to learn first hand the difference between right and wrong.

    There is no amount of explaining something or intellectualizing something will produce the experience of going out and doing that something. Sure I can be moved by watching a cartoon or the world around me. I can learn from the mistakes others make or I can ignore them to my own peril.

    That’s My Choice. I can only choose for me. Even the choices I make for my kids and employers and so on still reflect on me. HOWEVER, I cannot choose the consequences.

    For those who have read what I’ve written and agrees with me and would like to expound on something I’ve written, I look forward to your reply.

    As for those who will read this with the intent of disagreeing with me. I love you. I respect your differences as it is what makes you who you are. I will not reply to your posts as you are on a different journey than I am and anything I could say to you might not apply. And to avoid creating a win-lose scenario don’t respond to me either.

    The only winners in this life are the ones who make winners out of those around them. Love the sinner not the sin. The church was right in its decision and they’d be wrong to change the policy. And church policies have changed because of the laws of man. And they have been put into place because of the will of man. And I would add that the policies that have remained are to be those that most closely resemble those that align with truth.

    I am a tangent thinker and learner. And these thoughts reflect where I am. Thank you for reading my post.

    • The truth
      May 9, 2015 at 10:46 am

      “Truth seeker”

      Let me say that I agree with you that we are all on a “different journey”. And that ANYTHING you say “might not apply.” The funny thing is I don’t really believe you know what that means. Your post was riddled with veiled judgments and condemnations. The phrase “love the sinner not the sin” is the most hateful, disjointed, emotionally abusive phrase ever to be concocted.

      And you know what? You are correct. We are not free to choose the consequences of our actions. Your ignorance of what makes a person gay or not, causes people to suffer! Even kill themselves, because they have no hope.

      I thought the Mormon church spred the gospel of hope? How is telling a man, whose brain is wired to be attracted to other men, he is a sinner for acting on his true nature? Why would God give someone a brain that compels him to be attracted to another man, but then turn around and say ” If you act on your natural self I will condem you. ” You have created a God who is emotionally abusive — and cannot believe God is so cruel.

      Homosexuality is NOT a learned behavior. You are either willfully ignorant or are flat out lying if you believe it is a CHOICE. Our sexual preference is formed in the womb.

      I ask you to do the research — honestly. Pray about it. I did and I came to know the truth: being gay is NOT a choice. You are born that way. That’s why our gay youth are killing themselves when they are told they may not act on their true self.

      We are all on different paths in life to learn what we need to learn. I suggest you stay on yours and quit condemning those who are not.

  47. A changed heart
    May 8, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    I am a TBM and have been one for over 45 years. I have spoken the “church” position with conviction that acting on your Homosexuality is a sin for as long as I can remember. I was the one who quoted scripture and told people it was a choice. That it was different than the “blacks and the priesthood” issue, because we were talking about a behavior. Well. I was wrong. My eyes have been opened, and I can tell you that the church is wrong on this issue. Period.

    For all you “bible” quoters out there who spew hate in the name of love, I’m here to tell you that your names will go down in history like the racisist of old. Your legacy will be tarnished by your intolerance. So sad.

    I, for one, can see the pain, suffering, agony and suicide the church causes on those who “think” differently.

    For all of you who judge our homosexual brothers and sisters as sinners, I’m here to tell you, you will one day get to feel the pain you have caused them.

  48. D. Bunker
    May 8, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    Wait a minute… my God told me that it was not only not ‘sin’, but was nothing more nor less than an expression of human sexuality. Whose God am I to believe?

  49. Alleissa Leary
    May 8, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    Such an adorable couple. I admire your courage and strength to stand up to their misconduct and discrimination. I wish you both wonderful happy lives together, as well as beautiful children. Thank you for standing up when so many don’t have the courage to do so.
    Hopefully one day the church will love the same way god does…unconditionally. I wish you both the best of luck!

  50. Brian Ballard
    May 8, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    I am a firm believer that God gave us all the freedom to make our own way, whatever that way is. The LGBTQ community is much too expansive and vast to make any judgements, so I will not. I believe one’s upbringing and early environment forms their belief system. I have read all of these comments. An interesting read. I married my love 36 years ago. We have 6 children. That is all I know. I don’t know same-sex attraction. I am ignorant in this area. I don’t feel I have the right to judge others, because I have not walked your walk. Just work to be happy because it takes tremendous strength and determination to get there. This life will all get worked out in the after-life.

  51. K
    May 8, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    I wish people would be happy that some one else is. In the end it doesn’t hurt me that they are together, married, and happy. I never heard God saying its a sin. I only hear and see it from man. I know deep in my heart God is pissed that people are hurting others and just wants us all happy. Maybe some day everyone will start caring about other peoples happiness and not punish them for being happy.

  52. j
    May 9, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    Is it just me or do these letters and process seem a lot like a form of harassment? Just leave him alone and let him live his life.

  53. BigJ
    May 9, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    After seven years of marriage, three children, and a lot of guilt, I reluctantly divorced my wife and left the church that I’d so faithfully served. Five years later, the blinders feel off after I decided to really study the facts that made up this religion. It was as if I stepped out of one millennium into another. Suddenly everything I used to believe was no more plausible than the mythologies of the Greeks and Roman. as tightly as they held to the belief that Zeus was the cause of lighting, Christianity holds tight to a father, son and holy ghost. I’m not mocking but reflecting on what I experienced. The day I decided to ask the LDS church to remove my name from their records (and by now they knew I was gay), they sent a swarm of priesthood leaders of every age, shape and size begging me to reconsider and stay. I hadn’t been to church in the years at this point. It’s silly. The LDS religion is no more run by Jesus Christ than Walmart is. It’s run be egos, personalities and agendas like any other organization.

  54. Wendy
    May 9, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    I listened to the podcast. I watched the proposal, and watched the ceremony, and cried at the beauty of their relationship. The letter is hate, and it breaks my heart for them.

  55. G
    May 9, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    “Taylor was contacted by his LDS bishop and informed that he will be tried in a disciplinary council for the simple act of being legally same-sex married to Sean.”

    I suspect the gay sex thing has something to do with it as well.

  56. Karen
    May 9, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    The Church is not judging you. You have free agency, everyone does. Just understand that the foundation of the church cannot support your lifestyle, just as you cannot support the church and leaders. The proclamation to the family states between a man and women, man and man or woman and woman. You sound like a very loving and caring person, even though I do not agree with your lifestyle (which I….or anyone needs to) I wish the best to you

  57. confused
    May 10, 2015 at 1:13 am

    I have always maintained that the church can technically kick out who they want because it’s their club. I guess I still maintain that. However, it is freaking hypocritical to persecute people for their beliefs, and to pass that stupid bill in Salt Lake that takes rights away from some people and gives them to other people. They basically are saying we can persecute you (everyone else) and infringe on your rights, but don’t infringe on us (church) because Religious Freedom! Get off it already, church.

  58. Funny Bono
    May 10, 2015 at 2:40 am

    Washington had to legalize pot usage after they allowed gay marriage.

    In the Bible it states that if a man lays with another man then they should be stoned.

    I like shrimp.

    • Grajar
      May 11, 2015 at 10:32 am

      The only issue with your comment is the liking shrimp part. No one should like that. There’s probably something in the bible about it. Somewhere…

  59. Mikey
    May 11, 2015 at 9:15 am

    To the hypocrites who claim Taylor is only being ex’d because he hasn’t turned away from the act of homosexuality, rather embraced it and asks others to celebrate his sin…that the Church is harmless and simply following scripture and is unchanging…

    Please explain how my brother who married a divorced woman and has continued in this “sinful” relationship for twenty years is not hauled before a court of love. How is it that this ongoing adulterous relationship is celebrated and supported by the LDS while Taylor’s is worthy of discipline? How has my brother been granted a recommend in preparation for a temple sealing with his partner in sin? Christ himself condemned their relationship as adultry in no uncertain terms (Luke 16:18). Where are the Bible literalist and the sanctimonious, smug, blow-hards to condemn this embracing of sin?

    As it turns out, there won’t be a temple sealing after all. My clever sister-in-law figured out it’s all a fraud and won’t be going back.

    I fully support Taylor’s excommunication if the result is that he sees the church for what it truly is. Painful as it is for now, he’ll be so much better off without the oppressive, judgemental, hypocrical mindf@#k that is the LDS church. These people speak for God Taylor, ony in their own minds. They have no power over you. Happiness and peace to you and Sean!

    • Jen
      May 17, 2015 at 7:38 pm

      Mikey,

      Great point! How can the Church say anything about SSM while it’s supporting far worse things that are condemned in it’s scriptures? The Church is clearly not even following it’s own scriptures or teachings and just picking and choosing what sins to overlook and which ones to condemn.

      By supporting divorce and remarriage, polygamy (past, present or future), abuse & disrespect of women, and many other destructive things, it then has no room to talk or condemn others who doesn’t follow the scriptures either.

  60. Georgia
    May 11, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    See here’s the thing, the church is an organization with rules and if you don’t want to follow the rules you will be asked to leave. It’s not that hard of a concept. I have no issues with same sex marriage and I am an active member. I say let people find love where they may and let God sort it out in the end. Looking at this through the eyes of a organization, not engaging in same sex activity is a rule and it’s clearly stated that it will end in excommunication, it’s not a secret and it’s not discriminating against homossexual it’s just the rules. Any organization has that right to make their rules. There are plenty organizations I can’t be part of simply because I am a women. I can never be a mason because of how I was born and I’m not up in arms about. You want to be part of something with rules then follow them if not then great that’s your choice and best of luck. I personally know of a few people who were ex’d for adultery and pre marital sex both of which were straight. We aren’t just picking on homosexuals, we are picking on rule breakers period. The media doesn’t always give the full story. So this guy is being diciplined. So what. He married a man which the church doesn’t condone. What did you expect would happen? I wish them the happiest life, and that they can have a family if they want and all the good they deserve. I don’t have a problem with same sex marriage but I also don’t have a problem when same sex couples get excommunicated.

    • Mikey
      May 14, 2015 at 2:44 am

      Georgia, So here is the (actual) thing, if the church were just an organization with rules, there would be no problem. However, they claim to the world and its own membership to speak for God; to be God’s Kingdom on earth led by JC himself. They require signs and tokens through the veil, which requires a temple attendance, which requires a temple recommend, which requires a lifetime of a full tithe and obedience to these rules. Its gay members are threatened with banishment to outer darkness in the next life and eternal separation from loved ones in exchange for lopping off their innate sexuality – a life of celibacy, without the hope of loving or being love that is just part of being a healthy human being. You don’t see the hypocrisy in the fact that a loving same sex relationship is sin while the “sin” of divorce (Luke 16:18)? If all it is doing is picking on rule breakers – why is one group a rule breaker and the other is not? Hypocrisy, no?

      It isn’t some meek, benign organization when it is torturing gay kids and their families in its membership with unhealthy, unnatural lifelong expectations. Try asking the same of your straight members and see how fast the pews clear. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the church comes out into the world to impose its rules on the rest of us. It has always seemed ridiculous to me for religions to condemn gays for a promiscuous lifestyle in the shadows while they work to deny them dignity, self-respect, stability, security, inclusion that comes with marriage. “Doesn’t anyone notice this! I feel like I’m taking crazy pills” [Zoolander reference]

      Please – JUST be an organization with rules (like a Book Club or the YMCA) and drop the facade that you hold exclusive keys to exaltation that creates such intense pressure and pain on gay members and their families. Spare me the condescending and patronizing “here is the thing”, just an organization with rules BS. And to other commenters, spare me the sweet sounding, “we love the gays” when your support of an organization’s policies that has created and continues to create this environment driving gay kids to self-loathing and suicide makes you mean and cruel.

  61. Kayla
    May 12, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    Mormons as a whole don’t hate gays. Some, sure. Some of pretty much every different type of person does. The world is in a challenging place right now. The thing with Mormons is that we believe that God our father has specifically stated that marriage is to be between man and woman. With this also is that sex and other intamacies should happen all within marriage. That’s it. So when it’s broken, disipline is going to happen. I, along with many other Mormons, accept and acknowledge love isn’t a choice. We do believe however what God has revealed to us as marriage. It’s important that we distinguish that from hatred of gays because I can speak for a good many of us saying we don’t hate gays, and neither does God.

  62. Jean-Luc Hauser
    May 15, 2015 at 10:57 am

    How hypocrite is to say that the LDS don’t hate gays when these men and women are either condemned to be single the rest of their lives or being kicked out of their church if they dare want to seal their love? How much of a true love is this ? How fair is this ?

    How cruel is to force human being to ignore their true nature, something they have no control over, condemning them to live without the right to love and be loved ? And of course having absolutely no right to ever dream to love and care for children.

    I feel so sad for these very narrow minded people, still thinking as if they were living in the 12th century, hoping for a cure, seeing same sex love as a sexual perversion.

    How many so called Christians would leave their church if the gay people would be recognized as human beings and allowed to have the same love privileges as heterosexuals ?

    As a child I remember suffering from the LDS racist practice, treating black people as inferior human being not worthy to have the same privileges than white people. It was not racism, not at all, it was the will of God… How many back people are they in the top executives of the Mormon cult today ?

    Having sex with 54 wives is the word of God, but being in love with a same sex person is an abomination in the eye of an imaginary God, the same one pretending loving all his children…, at least the straight ones…

    The church has not changed a bit, racism is still well alive and even more against gay people than ever. Yes because these people dare to claim to be no different, no better or worse, they dare to say that they deserve to love and be loved, they dare to want to be treated as equal..

    Who knows for sure that Jesus wasn’t gay ? Would that make him a bad person, an awe-full sinner with no love for others, not worthy to be a son of God ?

    I am so happy to have resigned from this Mormon cult and to be a free thinker today.

  63. tropical animal
    May 22, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    For all we know, Jesus and his apostles could have been gay. Jesus chose his first four disciples from the naked fishermen of Galilee.
    Neither Jesus nor his disciples showed any interest in women.

    Well, we don’t know.

    When the church came out with the family Proclamation, a couple of elders checked their ward’s records. Half of the families in the ward were single parent families. So much for the Church’s proclamation.

    If God is against the gay lifestyle, why did he create gays? Oh well.

    Word for the day: The church should stop abusing gays.

  64. For The Love
    May 27, 2015 at 11:50 am

    It’s not Gay’s or Lesbians that I feel for. It’s people and religion with such hard beliefs.

  65. Sage
    May 29, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    What ended up happening?

  66. wen
    June 27, 2015 at 9:00 am

    The church has a clear stance on the issue, so did Taylor and Sean.

    The church gotta do what they gotta do. Let’s respect that the way we want Taylor and Sean be respected.

    Whether we disagree with the church or with the couple, let’s keep unkind thoughts and comments to ourselves.

    Respect them both people.

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