USA: Forty Years On


Image: Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America.

This week in 1973: 32 people died after an arson attack on a New Orleans building housing the UpStairs Lounge – a gathering place for gay people. Despite the death toll,  the incident received little news coverage and a local pastor who held a memorial service for the victims was chastised by his bishop and received hate mail.

This week in 2013: The US Supreme Court rules the Defence of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional, ensuring that  married same-sex couples receive the same rights to federal benefits as heterosexual married couples. The right to marry was also restored to gay couples in California.

You’ve come a long way, baby.

Mormons & Gays: A Step In The Right Direction?

Mormons Building Bridges

Mormons Building Bridges at Utah Pride parade in June this year. Image via gayldsactor.

With an eternal perspective, a person’s attraction to the same sex can be addressed and borne as a mortal test. It should not be viewed as a permanent condition. Though some people, including those resisting same-sex attraction, may not have the opportunity to marry a person of the opposite sex in this life, a just God will provide them with ample opportunity to do so in the next.

This, gentlepeople, is the Mormon church’s attempt to cope with the reality of gay marriage. Historically, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has bitterly opposed same sex unions, heavily contributing to campaigns against it. But having realised that this stance is affecting individuals already committed to the church, they appear to be softening their approach. Their  new website,, advises that if one simply can’t resist their gay urges, they can make up for it by marrying a member of the opposite sex in the afterlife.

Alright, it’s early days. But at least they’re making an effort, no?