Stories of People Disciplined by LDS Church “Just” for Supporting Same-Sex Marriage

John Dehlin Disciplinary Councils

Many people are skeptical that someone could be disciplined in the 21st century LDS Church for “just” supporting same-sex marriage.  If you have experienced church discipline for supporting same-sex marriage, please post your story below.

Stories I’ve gathered so far:

My stake president (in Draper) told me a few months ago that church members cannot support same-sex marriage and remain in good standing in the church, regardless of whether they publicize their views on this matter or not. He went on to say that this is not just his opinion or personal interpretation of church policy, but rather, it comes as clear and specific direction from both Elder L. Whitney Clayton and the Office of the First Presidency. This understanding of policy is straightforward and has nothing to do with the podcasts or other complications found in John Dehlin‘s case. And Elder Clayton is also the file leader over John’s SP. My point in saying all this is not to say that there are not a variety of factors in John’s discipline. Clearly there are, as John himself points out. But it’s time people stopped pretending that the church accommodates personal conscience in ways that it doesn’t. (For example, stop believing that church spokesperson Ally Isom actually knew what she was talking about in her statements on Radio West.) Church PR has been feeding us all a very different story than the one stake presidents have apparently been receiving loud and clear in private. Anyone who thinks that supporting gay marriage and female priesthood isn’t enough to get you in trouble with your stake president (without any additional/complicating factors) is ignorant of how church policy is being interpreted and carried out by stake presidents in Utah today.

“I had my TR revoked in April for posting some criticism on my wall of Elder Oak’s priesthood session talk, which didn’t mention OW by name but obviously had to do with it and also some of the others. He said that if I disagreed with General Conference talks, I was not “sustaining” the Apostles and should not have a TR.”

“My husband and I were threatened w release of callings and taking TR for posting videos on MFM in the prop 8 period. We were very active members at the time and our videos were very respectful of the church (the worst thing the bishop could find in mine was I said I had to follow my conscience.”)  We tried using a press statement from Whitney Clayton where he told the media church members would not be disciplined for their opinions, but he told our bishop that what they meant by that was no one would be disciplined for their vote. We caved, and I believe for me this was the beginning of the end because of the resentment and regret I felt the next couple of years.”

“Denied a temple recommend because I publicly support marriage equality.”

“I met with a Logan SP to talk about MBB and Caitlin Ryan’s pamphlet. No evidence, but I believe that gave me a ‘black mark’ on my records and I have had little to no callings since then. True in Centerville ward also, but I have not been very active either in this ward.”

“This small list is heartbreaking. I just realized that since my testimony in July about walking with Mormons Building Bridges at Utah Pride and being at the Free Hugs Booth, my callings have been reduced to assistant in Cub Scouts, not even to a particular den. Fine with me!”

“After my ex (who is still in good church standing) left me for another woman 3 years ago my bishop told me he wanted me to go to LDS Family Services for counseling. Even though I was no longer a believer I agreed to go because I REALLY needed to talk with a professional about my abusive marriage and devastating divorce and I had no way to otherwise pay for therapy. After a few great sessions (they were proving to be extremely beneficial as I was processing a lot of shit and dealing with the ugly effects of PTSD) my therapist announced to me that my bishop was “requiring” her to address in our sessions my public support of the LGBT community, as well as the fact that I hadn’t been attending church. (Funny thing was it was also my LDS therapist who advised I do not set foot in church again as she could see it was extremely emotionally harmful to me.) She then said “Okay, I’ve addressed them. Now let’s quit wasting time and move on to the real problems.” I continued seeing her. I was having an extremely rough year and was grateful to have her support. Then one day I got a HUGE bill in the mail from LDS Family Services. I immediately called to see what was going on. Turned out my bishop was refusing to have the church pay for my therapy because his objectives for me were not being met as I was still publicly supporting marriage equality. My therapist said not to worry about the bill, she would just eat it herself if she had to, but that she would no longer be seeing me again.”

In 1987 my temple recommend was revoked because I would not recant my belief that homosexuality is as normal as heterosexuality. When they excommunicated our gay son 2 years later, I immediately resigned.”

“Among the variety of issues I presented to my bishop after he accused me of having skeletons in my closet (aka sins) was my belief that SSM/SSA was not a sin. After I spoke in detail for about 45 minutes, he said he didn’t know anything about the issues I was talking about but that he knew the church was true. He promptly took away my temple recommend citing my lack of belief in modern day revelation.”

TR withheld either for supporting marriage equality (not sustaining the prophet) or for attending an Affirmation conference (affiliating with a group whose teachings or practices…)―the reason seemed to change each time we met with the SP.  Later, heard through the grapevine (SP told my dad who told my wife who told me) that I was to be called to a church court (presumably for apostasy), so I proactively resigned from the church.”

“I have not participated in any advocacy for same-sex marriage, but the counselor in the stake presidency made a lot of comparisons to my situation and people in the stake who support same-sex marriage. In the Livermore, California stake, you can privately support same-sex marriage, but you can not hold a temple recommend and publicly advocate or campaign for same-sex marriage.”

“John, I appreciate all the work you have done. My husband and I resigned our membership because we were facing a discipline court. Our one and only issue they had with us was just that we believed and still do, in marriage equality. Therefore we were apostates because we were not sustaining the Brethren and Pres. Monson. We were not going to lie and say we believed otherwise. Our Bishop and his Councilor released us of all of our callings and said that we were under the influence of Satan. Sad we felt pushed out. But I can face myself in the mirror. God Bless You John! You have a lot of people saying prayers of gratitude on your behalf. I pray for you to have a peaceful calm heart.”

 (Please no comments on this post, other than to post your story.  Thanks.)