David Eccles Hardy lived as an orthodox Mormon for years, serving as an LDS Bishop and raising his family “in the covenant.” While serving as a Mormon bishop, David learned of his son’s homosexuality and the difficulty/pain his son experienced being raised in the LDS church as a gay youth. This experience led David to re-evaluate his faith, and ultimately to resign as bishop. Soon thereafter, David launched a campaign to convince the Mormon church to eliminate several pamphlets for youth and adults that he felt sent damaging messages regarding sexuality.
In a 1999 letter to Boyd K. Packer, David outlined the heartache and damage these publications caused his son and countless others.
In our interview, David outlines his careers in music and law, his interactions with prominent LDS leaders, as well as his involvement in helping to secure Salt Lake City’s bid to host the 2002 Winter Olympics. He also treats us to how he would have born his testimony in French as an LDS missionary in France.
– Packer’s “To Young Men Only” video
– LDS Church Retires “To Young Men Only” pamphlet
– David Hardy’s response to Newsweek’s “Gay Today” coverage
– Deseret News coverage of the Hardy family’s “spiritual journey”
– The Nation coverage the Hardy family’s journey
– Evergreen International
– Dean Byrd
– September 1999 Ensign article on homosexuality
– Matthew Shepard
– Gay Panic Defense used in trial by the lawyers of the men who murdered Matthew Shepard
– Deseret News coverage of Stuart Matis’ suicide
– LDS 1981 Supplement on Homosexuality which for decades guided LDS Bishops’ approach to ministering to LGBTQ+ members
– Salt Lake Tribune coverage of Governor Herbert declaring July 28 “Love Loud Day”
Find donation and volunteer opportunities with Encircle, where David Eccles Hardy contributes much time and energy.
Part 1 – David’s experience in the LDS Church:
Part 2 – How Salt Lake City won its Olympic bid:
Part 3 – Tipping point in Mormon LGBT activism: