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Prince Research Excerpts on Gay Rights & Mormonism – “18c – Wendy Montgomery”

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18c – Wendy Montgomery


“Wendy Montgomery is among them. Her world changed after she read her son’s journal in early 2012 and learned he was gay.

‘It made me question everything,’ said Montgomery, 37, of Bakersfield, Calif. ‘I’m looking at this 13-year-old boy who is totally innocent and pure and an amazing kid and I think, ‘Either everything I know about homosexuality is wrong, or my son is not really gay. And, he’s obviously gay.’ I kind of had to unlearn everything I had learned.’…” (Brady McCombs, “Gay Mormons: Wendy and Tom Montgomery Lead Push To Change LDS Church Stance on Homosexuality,” Huffington Post, October 8, 2013)


“One woman told [Wendy] Montgomery her children should be taken away from her and given to somebody who follows the teachings of the prophet. Montgomery and her husband had to step down from their church positions—he was the assistant bishop and she was a Sunday school teacher to teens—after parents flooded the bishop’s office with complaints that they were teaching homosexual propaganda that would turn other kids gay.” (Brady McCombs, “More Mormons push church stance on gays,” Los Angeles Times, October 13, 2013)


“For these Mormon moms, their ‘coming-out’ — as activists — often follows the same storyline.

They are fairly traditional Latter-day Saints. Their sons or daughters announce they are gay. They search high and low for LDS advice about how best to love their children. They find their church’s mormonsandgays.org website and plenty of counsel for rearing straight kids, but hear little from their religious leaders about how to help their gay loved ones navigate the path to adulthood. Their offspring mostly stop attending church. In desperation, the Mormon mothers turn again to the Internet.

They find Mama Dragons.

A little more than a year ago, eight LDS women got together in a Facebook message group, then created a private FB page. Now the group has 245 members and grows larger by the day.

And it’s not just online.

Mama Dragons run support groups for gay Mormons, their families and even allies in other groups, including Family Fellowship, Affirmation and Mormons Building Bridges. They set up a speakers bureau of moms willing to help educate fellow believers and the public. They helped open the Youth Futures Shelter in Ogden for homeless kids.

The Dragons open their homes to gay Mormons fleeing their families for fear of retribution or shunning. They invite lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender kids over for dinner on holidays or anytime the young people feel lonely or, sometimes, suicidal.

On two occasions, several Mamas traveled together to funerals to support mothers of young gay Mormons who took their lives.…

This past February, [Diane] Oviatt posed a question to apostle Dallin H. Oaks, who was speaking at a women’s meeting associated with her LDS stake conference (a regional gathering of Mormon congregations).

‘I stood up and told him that gay Mormon kids are killing themselves and stalwart families are leaving the church over this,’ Oviatt writes in an email. ‘I asked him if he could please stand up in General Conference and at least tell parents not to kick their kids out, to love them as is, because people won’t listen until it comes over the pulpit at conference.’

In the October 2012 conference, Oaks addressed that concern.

‘Young people struggling with any exceptional condition, including same-gender attraction, are particularly vulnerable and need loving understanding — not bullying or ostracism,’ he said. ‘With the help of the Lord, we can repent and change and be more loving and helpful to children — our own and those around us.’…

[Glenda Crump’s] LDS faith has taught her ‘how to treat others and know how to love,’ she says, and ‘brings us back to God.’

But the Dragons have given her a voice.

It’s been important for Jen Blair, too.

‘When my son came out to me and his dad, I was feeling alone and confused,’ the Idaho Falls mother explains. ‘The only LDS books I found on homosexuality were about pornography. Online, the only non-Mormon sites I found were about a party lifestyle. But my son was 16 and completely innocent.’

A friend said she was looking in a gay dating site and urged Blair to connect with Mama Dragons.

‘I cried for days,’ Blair says, ‘because I had found people who could understand what I was thinking and feeling.’

Mormonism ‘beautifully lays out how to have perfect children through dating and marriage,’ she says. ‘When you have a gay child, the church’s only instruction is ‘don’t do it.’ They miss all those milestones like having a crush on someone. It’s a big void.’

What do these ‘fierce allies’ believe LDS leaders could do differently?

Quit attacking gay families as ‘counterfeit’ and send a message of hope, Blair declares. Tell LGBT sons and daughters ‘eternal families are … for everyone.’” (Peggy Fletcher Stack, “Mama Dragons lead the fight for their gay Mormon kids,” Salt Lake Tribune, May 4, 2015)


“[Diane Ovaitt] I could not advise him [her son] to keep coming to church, to hope for peace in the next life. There are graveyards full of young Latter-day Saints who have tried. I would rather have him alive, living an authentic life, true to who he is, than to live a stalwart steadfast lie that backs him into a suicidal corner.…” (Diane Oviatt, “I’m A Mormon Mom Taking A Stand For All The Gay Kids In Our Church,” Huffington Post, May 15, 2015)


“My involvement in actively working to take away the rights of others in 2008 still leaves me filled with shame. I will forever regret my part in Prop 8, and I know I still have much to atone for. Because of our actions, my son (and many others) believed that his parents and his church hated gay people.…

And it wasn’t only my son that had to learn hard lessons — I, too, have had to face the truth. I have come to understand that for all intents and purposes, there is no place for my gay son in the Church I have believed in and loved all my life. Although the tone of some of the statements from our ecclesiastical leaders has softened, the policy is still the same. Any homosexual relationship can result in excommunication from the faith.…

My religion didn’t teach me how to love. My son did.

I am a Mama Dragon. For my son, and for every other gay, lesbian or transgender child out there who needs me. I will fight for you, love you and breathe fire for you. Because that is what the God I believe in has asked me to do.” (Wendy Montgomery, “Mormon Mother Fighting for LGBTQ Inclusion in Her Church,” Huffington Post, May 21, 2015)