Sometimes you hear that the church isn't actually anti-homosexuality, they are just against sex outside of marriage and because gays cannot get married they are committing a sin of premarital sex. The LDS church has fought against gay marriage and given funding and support to passing strong laws against it. In October 2005, as Utahns were preparing to vote on an amendment that would make tougher laws against gay partnerships, the LDS church issued this statement:
We of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reach out with understanding and respect for individuals who are attracted to those of the same gender. We realize there may be great loneliness in their lives but there must also be recognition of what is right before the Lord.
As a doctrinal principle, based on sacred scripture, we affirm that marriage between a man and a woman is essential to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children. The powers of procreation are to be exercised only between a man and a woman lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
Any other sexual relations, including those between persons of the same gender, undermine the divinely created institution of the family. The Church accordingly favors measures that define marriage as the union of a man and a woman and that do not confer legal status on any other sexual relationship.
This isn't the first time the church has tried to influence it's members to vote against gay marriage. An article in a Las Vegas paper that appeared on May 08, 2000 about the LDS church's influence on gay marriage laws there. Similar things have been done in California and other places.
It is scary to hear about some of the treatment that has been done on gay mormons to try and "cure" them. This is from an article by Dean Huffaker about Homosexuality at BYU:
In the early 1970's students who confessed homosexual tendencies were referred to the BYU Counseling Center. Steve, then a BYU professor, went through this counseling program and received what he called "the shock treatment," similar to the therapy sometimes used by psychologists to help patients stop smoking.
Jon, a former BYU student who is gay, described this treatment as experiencing an electrical shock while viewing a pornographic picture of a male. The patient would then be shown a pornographic picture of a female without an electric shock.
When asked about this treatment, a former BYU counselor said that "aversive therapy--not shock treatment"--had been used in the past. Mild electric stimulus was used in conjunction with slides of males and females in various stages of dress.
A few other accounts of treatment. Apparently these come from a documentary.
...I was 15! I was only 15 years old. I mean I'd seen like a Playboy before, but I'd never seen sex before at all. They were going to show me this gay pornography and using the I.V. they would inject a drug into me during the gay pornography to make me start vomiting. Then they would switch the pornography over to heterosexual sex and inject a euphoric drug into me to get me to associate euphoria with heterosexuality. I look back on that and think that I would have taken the electric-shock therapy had I known about it since I'm extremely phobic around vomiting.
I was supposed to come back the next day for treatment, but I just didn't show up. I called in sick and put them off. They finally said that I had to come down and tell them what was going on. I told them I couldn't do it, and they gave me a "shame" letter which I had to hand carry back and give to my stake president telling him that I had refused to go through with the Lord's program for my cure.
another person's story from the documentary:
I first went through about a year and a half of seeing a counselor. This wasn't aversion therapy. It seemed pointless to me because we just sat there and talked and there was nothing happening. I said that I heard that there were other kinds of therapy like shock or aversion therapy. He referred me to another doctor who was also LDS that was doing something on the order of what they were doing at BYU although what they were doing at BYU seemed alot scarier. This Dr. Card was calling it bio-feedback which involved shocking, but the patient held the button themselves so they shocked themselves. The electricity had a level on it so you could set it yourself. He didn't really interfere with the level so I always kept the level pretty low or moderately low. He indicated that if you really wanted to change, you'd set the level higher.
another said, on the existence of shock-treatment use:
He was the one that told me about the shock-treatment therapy and how he and BYU were exposed by some Australian documentary. He told me he wasn't doing it anymore. I asked him if it was a successful treatment, and he said that he thought that it worked in some cases. I don't know of anyone that has ever said that they have turned around after being shocked.
And one more person's story:
Anyway, they would come in usually three times a week. I would be behind a glass one-way mirror, and they would be on the other side of it. They had their choice to look at pornographic magazines or watch porno videos. We would tape electrodes to their groin, thigh, chest and armpits. We had another machine that would monitor their breathing and heart rate. If there was a difference in their heart rate when looking at homosexual pornography, we would turn a dial which would send a current to shock them. If they were a new patient, we would use a very low current. From the reaction that I saw there were muscle spasms which looked very painful.
Another article, Don Harryman's story.
Article from the Las Vegas Bugle also found here.
Some useful links:
Anti-Gay Actions Carried Out by the LDS Church
Pretty much the whole affirmation website is full of interesting and useful info.
Mormon / LDS Chronology Of Involvement In Same-Sex Marriage Politics
Ok. I'm kind of lost about what I was really doing but I mostly wanted to get some information about this out here because it's interesting and scary. I want to learn more about it.