[Below is a "10th anniversary" revised and greatly exanded version of what was published in 1994 by Signature Books. ]
"The Abominable and Detestable Crime Against Nature":
A Revised History of Homosexuality & Mormonism, 1840-1980
by Connell O'Donovan
© 1994, 2004
I dedicate this labor of love in honor of Stuart Matis, Clay Whitmer, D.J. Thompson, Carlyle Marsden, Gordon Ray Church, and all the other bright souls who did not survive Mormonism's homophobia.
And to those of us who have survived, that we might bear witness....
Brigham Morris Young (son of Brigham Young)
In drag as Italian opera diva "Madam Pattirini"
(circa 1901 photographic placard advertising "her" appearance
in the Sugar House Ward, Salt Lake City, Utah;
photo by C. R. Savage)
In this essay, I attempt to analyze how Mormon leaders have confronted and tried to eradicate first sodomy and later, homosexuality - and conversely, how Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Mormons have responded to their religion. In doing so, it became apparent to me that Mormon women found that the intensity of female homosociality available in Mormon structures created a vital space in which they could explore passionate, romantic relationships with each other. At the same time I have uncovered some of the problematics of male homosociality - its power to arbitrarily defend or exile men accused of entering into erotic relationships with other men. During the early 1840's Mormon founder Joseph Smith deified heterosexuality when he introduced the doctrine of a Father and Mother in Heaven - a divine, actively heterosexual couple paradigmatic of earthly sexual relationships. As Mormon bishop T. Eugene Shoemaker recently posited: "the celestial abode of God is heterosexually formed". Smith also eternalized heterosexuality by extended opposite-sex marriages (heterogamy) into "time and all eternity" and multiplied heterosexuality through polygamy. Historian Richard S. Van Wagoner explains that Smith's "emphasis on procreation became the basis for the Mormon concept of humanity's progress to divinity. All of Smith's...doctrinal innovations fell into place around this new teaching. Smith explained that God was an exalted [heterosexual] man and that mortal existence was a testing ground for men to begin to progress toward exalted godhood. Salvation became a family affair revolving around a husband whose plural wives and children were sealed to him for eternity under the 'new and everlasting covenant'." 
Polygamy thus bound together all of Mormon theology and cosmology, while simultaneously defining early Mormon sexuality and setting Mormons off as a "peculiar people" - a separate and elite community of believers and practicants. This separatism, which the sexual deviance of polygamy created, was a highly effective means for the Mormons to gain social and political power amongst their own members. However, while practicing their own sexual perversion (i.e. polygamy), Mormons disavowed other sexual perversities (such as sodomy) - especially if by doing so persecution could be deflected from themselves onto others.
"THE SISTERHOOD OF THE LOVING": MORMON POLYGAMY, SORORITY & LESBIAN DESIRE
In feminist Adrienne Rich's ground-breaking 1980 essay "Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence" she describes her theory of a "lesbian continuum" on which she believes all women exist, whether they identify themselves as Lesbian or not. This continuum is "a range - through each woman's life and throughout history - of woman-identified experience, not simply the fact that a woman has had or consciously desired genital sexual experience with another woman". For Rich, this Lesbianism easily encompasses many more forms of emotional "intensity between and among women, including the sharing of a rich inner life, the bonding against male tyranny, the giving and receiving of practical and political support." This intense female bonding (or homosociality) was present in the parameters of Mormon polygamy. While some critics see polygamy as a form of male tyranny over women, I find that many Mormon women subversively reconstructed polygamy as a means of escaping male domination on many other levels, in what I call heroic acts of Lesbian resistance.
The potential for female homosocial relationships is found among the polygamous "sister- wives" of Milford Shipp. His first wife, Ellis Reynolds Shipp, earned a medical degree at the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1878. This was possible only because her sister-wives cared for her three children in Utah while she was studying back east, pooling their resources to pay her tuition. Her sister-wives also wrote her encouraging letters, while she described those of her husband as "harsh", "bitter and sharp". When Dr. Shipp returned to Salt Lake City, she set up a thriving medical practice and made enough money to send her other sister-wives through medical college or midwifery training. Indeed, her biographer claims that her sister-wives' "role in ensuring Ellis's professional advancement stands as a moving testimony to the close relationships possible among Mormon plural wives."
Milford Shipp was almost entirely uninvolved in the lives of his wives. He gave them important marital status and fathered their children. Otherwise, "in polygamy the wives and children learned to fend for themselves". Dr. Shipp recorded in her private journal, "How beautiful to contemplate the picture of a family where each one works for the interest, advancement, and well-being of all. Unity is strength." Given that her husband only nominally participated in the lives of these women, I believe this quote must be interpreted in the context of Rich's Lesbian continuum. Even more to the point is Ellis' statement, also from her journal, about "how pure and heavenly is the relationship of sisters in the holy order of polygamy." That these women not only shared a husband, but also surnames, lives, hopes, education, political views, economic status, child-rearing, etc., indicates a depth of homosocial and homophilic intercourse typifying the "Lesbian" relationships (in Adrienne Rich's definition) of Victorian Mormonism.
Despite the fact that Joseph Smith deified, eternalized, and pluralized heterosexuality through polygamy and temple ritual, early Mormon women found that their bodies, sensuality, and desires were neither tamed nor contained by obedience to the institution of polygamy. I believe that many women found creative, unique, and intensely meaningful ways to confess and express their desire for other women.
Feminist historian, Dr. Carol Lasser, has documented that Victorian women in America, in order to formalize "Romantic Friendships" with other women, sometimes married brothers, becoming sisters-in-law and sharing a surname. She theorizes that marrying brothers "deepened their intimacy, extending it in new directions, further complicating the intricate balance of emotional and material ties, and perhaps offering a symbolic consummation of their passion" for each other. Interestingly, Mormon women had the unique ability to take this even one step further - by marrying the same man, and thus becoming sister-wives. The unique arrangements of Mormon polygamous households provided a potential medium for Lesbian expression among women who could easily (albeit covertly) eroticize each other's bodies through the gaze of their shared husband.
The "David and Jonathan" of the Primary: Louie B. Felt and May Anderson
Indeed at least one Mormon woman went so far as to request that her husband marry polygamously after she fell in love with another woman, so that the two women could openly live together. Sarah Louisa Bouton married Joseph Felt in 1866 as his first wife but according to a 1919 biography, around 1874, Louie (the masculinized nickname she used) met and "fell in love with" a young woman in her local LDS congregation named Alma Elizabeth (Lizzie) Mineer. After discovering her intense passion for Lizzie Mineer, a childless Louie encouraged Joseph to marry the young woman as a plural wife, explaining "that some day they would be privileged to share their happiness with some little ones." Joseph married Lizzie Mineer in 1876. But Lizzie's new responsibilities of bearing and raising children evidently proved too great a strain for her and Louie's relationship. Five years later Louie Felt fell in love with "another beautiful Latter-day Saint girl" named Lizzie Liddell, and again Joseph obligingly married her for Louie's sake. Thus Louie "opened her home and shared her love" with this second Lizzie.
In 1883, 33 year old Louie Felt met 19 year-old May Anderson, and they also fell in love. This time, however, May did not marry Joseph Felt. In 1889 May moved in with Louie, and Joseph permanently moved out of the house Louie had built and bought on her own. Thus began one of the most intense, stable, and productive love relationships in turn-of-the-century Mormonism. These two women lived together for almost 40 years, and together presided over three of Mormonism's most significant institutions: the General Primary Association (for Mormon children), the Children's Friend (a magazine for young Mormons), and founding the Primary Children's Hospital. Louie and May were fairly open about the romantic and passionate aspects of their relationship, as reported in their biographies published in several early issues of the LDS Children's Friend. According to their recent biographer, Felt and Anderson's relationship was a "symbiotic partnership with each compensating for the weaknesses and complementing the strengths of the other". The 1919 Children's Friend biography more bluntly declared that "the friendship which had started when Sister Felt and [May Anderson] met...ripened into love. Those who watched their devotion to each other declare that there never were more ardent lovers than these two". The same biography also calls the beginning of their relationship a "time of love feasting", and makes it clear that the two women shared the same bed. Twice in the Children's Friend, Anderson and Felt were referred to as "the David and Jonathan" of the Primary, which, the magazine explained, was a common appellation for the women. For centuries, the biblical characters David and Jonathan have been classic signifiers of male-male desire and homoeroticism, because in the Hebrew scriptures, it was written in 2 Samuel 1:26 that upon Jonathan's death in battle, David lamented, "very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women." That these two women were described as "David and Jonathan" simultaneoulsy masculinizes them and firmly encodes their love for each other in a homoerotic context. (See David-Edward Desmond's gravestone for another Mormon reference to this homoerotic scripture.)
May Anderson and Louie Felt
"David and Jonathan of the Primary"
While polygamy was instigated by Mormon men (but subsequently appropriated by their wives as a powerful source for homosociality), the women themselves created structures and discourses of sorority which allowed Lesbian expression. The all-female Relief Society and Young Ladies' Mutual Improvement Association, as well as other early expressions of Mormon feminism, are all examples of female homosocial enclaves within the larger, male- dominated structures of power. In the papers of Mormon Lesbian poet Kate Thomas is the clipping of a poem which appears to have been printed in the Young Women's Journal at the turn of the century. The poem, written by Sarah E. Pearson and entitled "Sister to Sister", beautifully describes the intensity of homosocial sorority that Pearson encountered "in the sunlight of the Gospel of Christ". For Pearson, Mormonism did not divide women against each other, but made of them sisters, and
"congenial, life-long friends with like, true aims to bind us;
With a glimpse of a tender heart shown in compassionate feeling
The bleeding scars from the smart of death's pangs half revealing;
The comradeship of the true, the sisterhood of the loving;
The voice of my heart to you and the cry my soul is giving.
Lillie T. Freeze, a fifty-year veteran of both the Young Ladies' Mutual Improvement Association and Primary general boards, recalled in 1928 that "through these [all-female] agencies the women were seeking 'the life more abundant', desiring to bless and comfort each other and to cultivate the longing for higher things than the social pleasures of the day could afford", again recalling Adrienne Rich's definition of the Lesbian continuum.
The "Gay Mask" of Kate Thomas
While Louie B. Felt and May Anderson of the Primary apparently had no troubles reconciling their passionate relationship and their religion, other early Mormon women found it more difficult. For example, Kate Thomas (1871-1950), a prolific, turn-of-the-century Mormon playwright and poet, withdrew somewhat from Mormonism while exploring her attraction to other women. Thomas, who never married, left Utah for New York City and Europe in 1901 but still maintained contact with Mormonism by writing lessons and poetry for the Relief Society and Young Ladies' manuals and magazines while on her extended absences. However, some of her poetry of that same period reflects a growing disaffection with Mormonism. Her father, Richard Kendall Thomas was avidly theatrical, acting as choreographer for the Salt Lake Theater in its early days and then turning the family barn into a professional theater called the Barnacle.
At the age of nineteen Thomas began keeping a private journal of what she called her "love poetry" while attending courses in Salt Lake City at the LDS Business College. This journal consists almost entirely of love poems written to other women. [Click for more excerpts from her love poetry] When Kate moved to Greenwich Village in New York City in 1901 (already a homosexual mecca), she explored not only Lesbian desire, but also religious and spiritual traditions as diverse as Catholicism and Buddhism. Thomas also became an outspoken peace activist, anarchist, supporter of the very controversial League of Nations, and practitioner of Yoga. Notably, Kate's younger sister, Blanche Kendall Thomas, became a famous New York actress, and her younger brother, Elbert Duncan Thomas, was Utah's US Senator from 1933-1951, replacing Reed Smoot.
While having difficulties with her religion, it is clear in her writings that Thomas was able to reconcile her sexuality with her spirituality:
"This morning how I wished that I might be
Just long enough to write one heart-felt rhyme
To one so nearthat she seems a part of me.
But were I all the bards that ever sung
Turned into one transcendent immortelle
It seems to me I still would lack the tongue
To say how long I'd love her or how well!
Fall on her daily doubled o'er and o'er
When world on world and worlds again shall roll
God grant that we two shall still stand soul to soul!
In other poems written around the same time, I believe she used the word "gay" as a double entendre to mean both happiness and same-sex desire. The following short poem is an example:
A scarlet West;
An East merged into eventide. A brown plain
And by my side
The one - the one in all the world
I love the best!
Last night's gay mask -
The outward wildness and the inward ache
I cast off forever; from her lips I take joy never-ceasing.
Brown plain and her kiss
Are all I ask.
The word "gay" was used to describe same-sex male desire in the United States as early as 1868. Five years after Thomas wrote this poem, American writer Gertrude Stein wrote "Miss Furr and Miss Skeen" in which she repeatedly used the word "gay" to signify same-sex female desire. I suspect that Kate Thomas discovered this underground meaning while she was living in Greenwich Village and used it throughout her poetry. That it meant homosexual desire to her is supported by the fact that the only time she used the word "gay" outside of poems written to other women, was in a poem about "Gay Narcissus", who has traditionally signified same-sex (especially male) desire. Another lengthy poem entitled "A Gay Musician" is about Kate's love for a woman named Illa. The following is a brief passage:
That dear white hand within my own I took
"Illa", I whispered, "May I keep it so?"
My eager blood my anxious cheek forsook
Fearing my love that loved me might say no....
She raised her eyes. There looking I beheld
The Sound of Music through the eyes of love.
One historian commented that in this poem "the poet is speaking in the voice of one female to another...and as in many others in the journal, makes clear the sensuality of fantasy and desire."
Cornelia (Cora) Kasius (1897-1984) was another Mormon Lesbian who left Utah for New York City, where she could gain economic security and career advancement, as well as explore her sexuality like thousands of other women who flocked to the anonymity of a large metropolis. A prominent social worker from Ogden, Utah, Kasius was assistant general secretary to the LDS Relief Society as early as 1923. In 1928 she moved to New York and initially lived in a highly-respected all-women's residence in midtown on the West Side. In 1930 Kasius was on the faculty of Barnard College, and by 1945, she also served on the faculties of New York University, Columbia University, and New York School of Social Work.  At that time, Kasius was appointed "Welfare Liaison Officer" to aid in the rehabilitation of Holland after its destruction during World War II, and later returned to her apartment on East 72nd Street. She also worked for 17 years as the publications editor for the Family Service Association of America, authored a number of books on social work, and in 1964 was honored by the National Conference on Social Welfare for her leadership role in social work. In the late 1950s Kasius moved to Grammercy Park where she remained until her death in June 1984. Her family still lovingly remembers Cora for her intellect, humor, warmth, and generosity. 
These women found avenues for exploring passion between women within official Mormon structures such as the Relief Society. Thus it comes as no surprise that the most radical discourse of Mormon sorority, that of early Mormon feminism, also created vital space in which women could desire other women romantically and sexually. Historian of Mormon feminism, Maxine Hanks, has recovered one of the most important documents relating to Lesbianism in Victorian America: what appears to be the earliest published statement on Lesbianism written by a feminist. In the 1860's Mormon women began publishing an ecclesiastically sanctioned feminist periodical called the Woman's Exponent. The 15 April 1873 issue reprinted from a New York paper an article by the pseudonymous "Fanny Fern", tellingly entitled "Women Lovers". The essay comments on the then current fashion of "smashing" without actually using the term. Smashing involved passionate, sometimes sexual, friendships between women before the turn of the century. To clarify the possibly confusing wording of the document, I should explain that two kinds of "women lovers" are being described: the innocent, victimized pursuer (called Araminta) and the manipulative, passive-aggressive pursued woman (called "the other party" as well as the "conquering 'she'"). The complete text of this brief but remarkable article follows:
Perhaps you do not know it, but there are women who fall in love with each other. Woe be to the unfortunate she, who does the courting! All the cursedness of ingenuity peculiar to the sex is employed by "the other party" in tormenting her. She will flirt with women by the score who are brighter and handsomer than her victim. She will call on them oftener. She will praise their best bonnets and go into ecstasies over their dresses. She will write them more pink notes [love letters], and wear their 'tin- types,'[photos] and when despair has culminated, and sore-hearted Araminta takes to her bed in consequence, then only will this conquering 'she' step off her pedestal to pick up her dead and wounded. But then, women must keep their hand in. Practice makes perfect. 
This significant article colors the women of the Exponent, and indeed of the entire early Mormon feminist movement, a distinct shade of lavender. As Gay Mormon historian D. Michael Quinn explains, Louise L. Greene's decision, as editor of the Woman's Exponent, to reprint this brief essay "indicates her assumption that 'Women Lovers' was of interest to Mormon women."  The language is very casual but calculated. The author merely warns women to be careful when loving other women - not to be victimized by exploitive and destructive women. The closing statement "practice makes perfect" indicates that Lesbian desire is complete and perfect in and of itself, and is not a precursor to heterosexuality. ["Araminta" is the famous character in William Congreve's popular Restoration comedy from 1693, The Old Bachelor. It was also Harriet Tubman's name when she still lived in slavery.]
Lesbian Imagery in Anti-Polygamy Cartoons
Newspapers critical of Mormon polygamy also published cartoons of polygamous relationships as salacious and lascivious. Some cartoonists could not resist titillating the public with quasi-Lesbian images of multiple women sharing one bed with their lone husband. One such image, circa 1880, is captioned, "Last into Bed Put Out the Light". As the 15 or so wives clamor to get into one large bed, their husband claps his hands in glee and says, "O let us be joyful" (not legible in the image below). The observer is left to ponder what the obviously sexually-anxious women will do who can't get close to the solitary man in the bed.
"Last into Bed Put Out the Light," Courtesy Yale University
On the other end of the spectrum of visual images of Mormon women is the so-called "Domineering" polygamous woman, heavily masculinized from the "first wave" of Feminism. While Mormon leaders were generally viewed as firmly in control of the Church, some humorists took the opposite view. In another cartoon from 1904 New York World showed a tiny, feeble Joseph F. Smith flanked by five "formidable" wives, who look like robust men in drag.
Joseph F. Smith says, "There Are Influences Greater Than the Government in Utah";
reprinted in the Salt Lake Tribune
Another, similar cartoon from 1914 shows a well-dressed Mormon dandy being chased by four angry, masculinized polygamous wives who sport "Feminism" sashes. The humorist observes that thus "Mormonism Is on the Wane in Utah".
Four muscular women attack a symbolic Mormon man, from Life, June 25, 1914
I am endebted to the work of Davis Bitton and Gary L. Bunker for their Spring 1978 Utah Historical Quarterly article, "Double Jeopardy: Visual Images of Mormon Women to 1914", which contains the information on and reprints of these cartoons.
Edith Chapman and the "Casa Lesbiana" in Salt Lake
In 1923, after the death of both her parents, prominent Salt Lake Lesbian, Edith Mary Chapman opened her home just across the street from (and to the north of) Liberty Park as a boarding house for other Lesbians, most of whom were LDS or had a Mormon background. Chapman herself had been raised Episcopalian, although her mother had been a member of the ill-fated Martin Handcart Company of Mormon immigrants. [Sarah Ann Briggs Chapman lost her father and many of her siblings during the handcart trek, and her mother had died soon after their arrival in Utah from a scorpion bite. The young, orphaned Sarah Ann was married off polygamously at the age of 14 to the 42 year old George Handley. Sarah Ann was pregnant within a week of her marriage and at the age of 23 found herself the widowed mother of four small children. Embittered by her experiences in Mormonism (especially church-sanctioned pedogamy - adults marrying children), she left the church and joined the Anglican Communion, belying the common Mormon belief that all Martin Company survivors remained faithful to the Mormon religion. Consequently, Sarah Ann's children were taken from her by Handley relatives to be raised Mormon under orders from LDS leaders. Sarah Briggs Handley then married the pioneer dentist Arvis Chapman, and their first child was Edith Mary Chapman. Arvis Chapman's sister, Ann E. Chapman was also a Lesbian, and Utah's first public librarian. The Chapman Branch of the Salt Lake Public Library system is named for the pioneering Lesbian librarian.]
Edith Chapman studied at the Oquirrh School and then the University of Utah, where she became a Critic Teacher and an instructor in Elementary Education. [Click here to see a map Edith drew in 4th grade at Oquirrh- now in my possession.] When Edith opened her home to other professional, Lesbian boarders in 1923, Grace Nickerson, an instructor at the LDS School of Music (in the McCune Mansion) was the first boarder in what I have nicknamed the Casa Lesbiana. A year later, Chapman met Mildred "Barry" Berryman, another Episcopalian Lesbian from Salt Lake (who had converted to Mormonism briefly in her youth, at least long enough to receive a Patriarchal Blessing, as documented by Michael Quinn). Mildred's first female lover had been Mae Anderson, a prominent violin teacher in Salt Lake (who would join the LDS School of Music faculty in 1924, where other prominent Mormon homo- and bisexuals taught). The relationship of Berryman and Anderson lasted until about 1922.
Edith had been in one previous relationship of several years duration with another female school teacher "who was masculine, dominating and aggressive", but the relationship was finally broken by the other woman, who "tired of [Edith's] persistent attention and ceaseless demands upon her time." For several years after this break-up, Edith had "made no further amatory attachments and devoted her time and attention to study and teaching", but when Edith met Mildred Berryman in 1924, she "fell desperately in love" and Barry Berryman moved into Edith's home. While their romantic relationship only lasted a short time, Barry continued living in the Lesbian boarding house until 1929. Berryman went on to complete her study of the homosexual community of Salt Lake (thoroughly addressed in Michael Quinn's history of homosexuality and Mormonism). After Grace Nickerson moved out of the house, Dorothy Graham replaced her. Dorothy was the Lesbian manager of the Coon Chicken Inn in Salt Lake (a well-known restaurant owned by her family, which featured male drag performers, such as Julian Eltinge, during the 1920s and 30s). Around this time, Carline Monson joined the women, as a live-in cook at the boarding house. This aunt of Apostle Thomas S. Monson never married, although she reffered to herself as "Mrs. Monson" on occasion. In the mid-1930s, Edith Chapman closed the boarding house, leaving the home to Carline Monson, and moved to Berekely, California. [See Berryman's biography for references.]
Julian Eltinge, female impersonator and movie star, circa 1915 -
Slated to appear at the Mormon Tabernacle but was banned,
so "she" performed at the Coon Chicken Inn in Salt Lake instead
[click on image to enlarge]
A RATHER QUEER EVENT AT THE TABERNACLE
Sometime around late May or early June 1928, the famous homosexual clairvoyant, George Benjamin Wehner, conducted a seance at the Mormon Tabernacle. Wehner had just spent one year traveling through Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East with his lover, and upon return to the United States had reconnected wtih his longtime patrons, Teresa "Tessy" Phebe Kimball Werner, her sister Winifred Kimball Hudnut, and Mrs. Hudnut's bisexual daughter, Winifred Kimball Shaughnessy (aka Natacha Rambova), the actress, danceuse, and extraordinary movie set designer who was married to silent film star, Rudolph Valentino, allegedly also bisexual. Teresa and Winifred were the granddaughters of the Mormon Apostle Heber Chase Kimball and his first wife, Vilate Murray. The extremely wealthy Winifred Kimball Hudnut, famous throughout the United States and France as a spiritualist and theosophist, had been introduced to Wehner through her daughter, Natacha Rambova.
Glass plate photograph of Winifred Kimball Shaughnessy (Natacha Rambova) and Rudolph Valentino
The homosexual psychic Wehner (1891-1970) had been a vaudeville actor and singer, and had also composed the very popular Broadway hit, "I Want My Mammy", which had been sung in "black face" by the famous comedic actor Eddie Cantor in 1921's Broadway musical, The Midnight Rounders.
Sheet music from Wehner's Broadway "BIG HIT"
Rambova employed Wehner for quite some time to assist her in contacting her dead ex-husband, Valentino, to receive messages from him in "the astral plane". These messages and her memoirs of their life together were published in 1926 (a year after their divorce and just months after his death) as Rudy: An Intimate Portrait of Rudolph Valentino by his Wife. This was then reprinted in abbreviated form a year later as Rudolph Valentino, Recollections.
In 1929, George Wehner published his own memoirs of his life as a clairvoyant and stage performer. The very last page of his autobiography tells of his visit with the Kimball family (consistently misspelled by Wehner) in Salt Lake City a year earlier. While in the Tabernacle, Wehner had extraordinary visions of and received "intimate" messages from Heber C. Kimball, Joseph, Emma and Lucy Smith, Brigham Young, various other Kimball relatives, and finally, none other than the Angel Moroni.
Here, on one never-to-be-forgotten day, the Tabernacle was closed to visitors for a while, and Edward P. Kimbal [sic], the grandson of Heber C., gave us a private recital on the world-famed organ. As the noble tones of this great instrument swelled and reverberated about us in the lofty Tabernacle, I became clairvoyant and was aware of the presence of numerous spirits.
And no wonder! For there I sat with Aunt Tessy, Mrs. Hudnut, and others of their relatives, all of them direct descendants of those brave and daring pioneers who suffered almost insurmountable difficulties for the sake of the religion which they felt to be right. It was a soul-stirring moment, and I had never dreamed of "seancing" in the Mormon Tabernacle of Salt Lake City. But after all, what place more suitable for the communion of souls?
A force far stronger than I began to control me, although I was not unconscious, and I began to whisper rapidly the messages of those returned spirits. The messages were of a personal and intimate nature, and came from Heber C. Kimbal himself, and from his friend Brigham Young, and from Joseph Smith, and Lucy Smith (Joseph's wife who later became the wife of H. C. Kimbal), and from Emma Smith; and from Aunt Margaret Judd Clauson, from William Kimbal (eldest son of Heber C.) and from Phoebe Judd Kimbal, the mother of Aunt Tessy and Mrs. Hudnut.
At last these spirits faded away and I saw the whole interior of the Tabernacle shimmering in a glorious blaze of golden light, in the midst of which appeared in the air above the organ, the figure of a young man in blue robes holding a long trumpet of gold. From my clairvoyant description of this radiant being my friends recognized the spirit as that of the Angel Maroni [sic], the son of Mormon who, it is said, led his fainting people across the plains and deserts to ultimate safety by showing his presence to them from time to time, as a beacon of faith and love.
And what more infallible guide can any of us have than love? Angels of Light ever surround us, leading our faltering footsteps along the path of the Christ, ever upward on the spiraling way of progress and evolution to the very doors of God.
Wehner then concluded his memoirs with a two-page epilogue about the death of his grandmother - as a fulfillment of prophecy made five years earlier by Wehner's spirit guide, the Native American spirit White Cloud - on March 10, 1929. 
BUGGERY, FAGGOTRY, & HETEROSEXUAL PANIC IN EARLY MORMONISM
John C. Bennett and his "Buggery" in the Nauvoo Legion
One of the most dramatic events in the history of Mormonism and homosexuality occurred in the 1840s. John C. Bennett, a recent convert to Mormonism, arrived in Nauvoo, Illinois (then LDS headquarters), and immediately began his rise to ecclesiastical prominence. Within months of his arrival, this infamous scoundrel, cheat, liar, embezzler, and walking diploma mill became a chief advisor to Joseph Smith. After Sidney Rigdon's refusal to allow his daughter to marry Smith polygamously, Bennett was given the title of Assistant President to the Church, placing him above either Smith's first counselor Rigdon or church patriarch, Hyrum Smith. Bennett also became chancellor of the University of Nauvoo, mayor of Nauvoo, and a general in the Nauvoo Legion. But Bennett had a mysterious past, for he had risen to prominent positions in other cities, other social circles, only to be cast out and forced to move on. Rumors of Bennett's past began to circulate in Nauvoo. Men were sent by Joseph Smith to other towns where Bennett had lived, and they returned with sober news: Bennett had a long history as a "homo-libertine", according to Mormon historian Sam Taylor. When the news broke in the leading councils of the church, Bennett drank some poison in what appears to have been a carefully planned attempt at suicide. Being a physician, he would have known exactly how much to take to get sick but not to kill himself. This sham suicide attempt brought forgiveness and sympathy from both Joseph Smith and the church at large.
John C. Bennett as General of Nauvoo Legion - and in drag as Napoleon;
Bennett designed his own and Joseph Smith's ostentatious uniforms
Soon, however, more rumors circulated of Bennett's current practices in Nauvoo: that he was courting several women simultaneously, that he had performed abortions on various Mormon women, that he frequented "the brothel on the hill" near the Temple, and that he was giving out high-ranking positions in the Nauvoo Legion for sexual favors with men under his command. Rumors of sodomy even reached non-Mormons. The anti-Mormon Reverend W. M. King accused Nauvoo of being "as perfect a sink of debauchery and every species of abomination as ever was in Sodom and Nineveh". Sam Taylor felt that Bennett's "sexual antics" with men of the Nauvoo Legion cast aspersions of sodomy on "hell knows how many revered pioneers". However, another Mormon historian, T. Edgar Lyon, thought that Bennett could not have been homosexual since he was also accused of seducing women. "From my limited knowledge of homosexuals," Lyon wrote, "it seems to be out of character of the man [Bennett] to be so deeply involved with girls and women in town and at the same time practicing homosexuality".
As Sam Taylor speculated, Joseph Smith could overlook just about anything but disloyalty. And Bennett turned disloyal, publicly espousing plural marriage, arguably Mormonism's best kept secret during these years. Taylor also felt that Smith dared not use accusations of sodomy against Bennett for fear of destroying the reputations of the young men whom Bennett had seduced, as well as not wanting the public to know that their "prophet, seer, and revelator" had put a sodomite in such a high position. Instead, Smith claimed that Bennett had tried to enlist the Nauvoo Legion to assassinate Smith during one of their musters. After this alleged plot "failed", Bennett was publicly humiliated and privately threatened, then given the chance to recant. Fearing for his life, he signed a statement saying that Smith had never taught or practiced polygamy, and left Nauvoo in May 1842. He was immediately released as Assistant President, excommunicated from the church, and lost his university chancellery and mayorship. But Bennett went on to write one of Mormonism's most scathing exposés, The History of the Saints; or, an Expose of Joe Smith and Mormonism.
John C. Bennett's signature as Mayor of Nauvoo, December 4, 1841
Bennett also claimed that Danites (secret Mormon vigilantes) dressed in drag attempted to murder him under the order of Joseph Smith. Bennett wrote that on the night of June 29, 1842, "twelve of the Danites, dressed in female apparel, approached my boarding house, (Gen. Robinson's) in Nauvoo, with the carriage wheels wrapped with blankets, and their horses feet covered with cloths, to prevent noise, about 10 o'clock, for the purpose of conveying me off and assassinating me, thus prevent disclosures - but I was so admirably prepared with arms, as were also my friends, that after prowling around the house for some time, they retired."
Then in July 1842, Joseph's brother, William Smith, editor of a Mormon newspaper in Nauvoo, The Wasp, tried to silence Bennett's accusations by sarcastically writing that Bennett only saw Joseph Smith as "a great philanthropist as long as Bennett could practice adultery, fornication, and - we were going to say, (Buggery,) without being exposed". Two years later a slander suit brought against Joseph Smith by Francis Higbee implied that he and his brother, Chauncey Higbee, had been sexually involved with Bennett through the Nauvoo Legion, where Higbee had been a colonel. During Higbee's slander suit, Brigham Young testified that he had "told Dr. Bennett that one charge against him was leading young men into difficulty - he admitted it. If he had let young men and women alone it would have been better for him." Hyrum Smith also testified that Higbee had been "seduced" by Bennett. Other testimony indicated that Bennett "led the youth that he had influence over to tread in his unhallowed steps." Although deleted in the printed version, the original ecclesiastical notes indicate that in addition to charges of sex with women, other testimony about Bennett was deleted from the official minutes as being "too indelicate for the public eye and ear", an allusion to the "unspeakable crime" of sodomy.
Bennett's non-Mormon biographer, Andrew F. Smith, in The Saintly Scoundrel: The Life and Times of Dr. John Cook Bennett, found it "surprising that no one has ventured a biography" of Bennett, given his role in and influence on Nauvoo Mormonism (p. xi). Smith found that most biographical information on Bennett "remains highly inaccurate" and he is "needlessly shrouded in mystery." However, I believe that because Andrew Smith was not raised LDS, he failed to understand why the LDS Church needs Bennett to remain obscure and shrouded in mystery. Because of Bennett's "meteoric rise" and "cataclysmic fall" in Nauvoo, Illinois in just 14 months, the church's official line must be that Bennett arrived in Nauvoo an educated, capable, honorable and good-hearted leader and administrator, who was simply led astray by evil temptations and then very publicly apostatized. Otherwise Bennett's almost immediate presence and participation in the very highest councils of the church deeply challenges Mormonism. Bennett was set apart as Assistant President of the church, second only to Joseph Smith, on April 8, 1841, just six months after his conversion. [pp. 56 and 62] This fact brings into serious question Joseph Smith's prophetic and revelatory gifts and calling. (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1997)
In mid-July 1850, LDS Apostle John Taylor participated in a series of debates with anti-Mormon Christians in Boulougne-sur-Mer, France. During the "First Night's Discussion", Taylor responded to Bennett's allegations as published in The History of Saints. Taylor affirmed that "I was well acquainted with [Bennett]. At one time he was a good man, but fell into adultery, and was cut off from the church for his iniquity....He then went lecturing through the country, and commenced writing pamphlets for the sake of making money, charging so much for admittance to his lectures, and selling his slanders." After Bennett published his expose, Joseph Smith is alleged to have spoken a prophecy that Bennett would live the sad and lonely life of a "vagabond upon the earth", dying a destitute man. Indeed when word was received in Salt Lake City that Bennett had in fact died in August 1867, the Juvenile Instructor, an official church magazine for youth, published notice that Bennett "was despised by every one who knew him....He dragged out a miserable existence, without a person scarcely to take the least interest in his fate, and died a few months ago without a person to mourn his departure". Joseph Rick also wrote to fellow-Mormon Edward Hunter that Bennett had fulfilled Joseph Smith prophecy and had recently died "a vagabond on the Earth". In fact, as Andrew Smith has thoroughly documented, this is completely erroneous. Bennett died just north of Des Moines, Iowa, surrounded by his 2nd wife, friends and neighbors who respected and appreciated Bennett. He also left an appreciable estate behind and has one of the largest tombstones in the Polk City Cemetery. (Juvenile Instructor, 3 (July 15, 1868): 111-12; Rich to Hunter, December 25, 1869, both as quoted in Smith, p.186.)
Also belying the official church line, Bennett arrived in Nauvoo, not "a good man" as Apostle Taylor declared in France, but rather as a confirmed fraud, signature forger, charlatan, adulterer, spouse-abuser, liar, cheat, swindler, diploma counterfeiter and peddler, expelled Freemason, and confidence man, among many other dubious occupations, clearly intent on milking Mormonism and its members for all he could. Bennett forcefully craved power and fame, and found in Mormonism extremely fertile ground for his pretensions; a huge mass of gullible people who swallowed his nonsense without question. Anotehr acquaintance of Bennett, Governor Thomas Ford of Illinois, wrote scathingly in 1854 that, "This Bennett was probably the greatest scamp in the western country. I have made particular enquiries concerning him, and have traced him in several places in which he lived before he joined the Mormons, in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, and he was everywhere accounted the same debauched, unprincipled, profligate character. He was a man of some little talent, and in 1840-1841 had the confidence of the Mormons, and particularly that of their leaders." (Thomas Ford, A History of Illinois (Chicago, 1854) p. 263)
[John Taylor, Three Nights' Public Discussion Between the Revds. C.W. Cleve, James Robertson, and Philip Cater - and Elder John Taylor (Self-published, Liverpool, 1850), p. 6; available online at http://olivercowdery.com/texts/1850Tayl.htm]
Other than exhibiting certain stereotypical characteristics of homosexuality (such as his love of music, flashy clothing - he loved to dress up as Napoleon and he designed the extremely ostentatious generals' uniforms for himself and Joseph Smith - and a penchant for theatrical and military drama, as well as personal dramatics that bordered on the masochistic), there is further evidence of Bennett having intimate relations with at least one other man after Nauvoo. Andrew Smith, Bennett's biographer, points out that after leaving Nauvoo and during his brief foray into the Strangite schism of Mormonism (headquartered in Voree, Wisconsin), Bennett "was clearly attracted to" and had a "passionate relationship with" a young physician named Pierce Bye Fagen of Ohio. Apparently the two men had met around 1838 in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1846, after Bennett ingratiated himself sufficiently with James J. Strang, he submitted Dr. Fagen's name to Strang as professor of anatomy and surgery at the "Voree University of Wisconsin" (what would prove to be yet another of Bennett's faux-institutions). In fact, Bennett wrote six extremely heated and bizarrely animated letters to Strang about Fagen, claiming Fagen was on his way to Voree and demanding "for my sake and for God's sake, and for the sake of the church, and for your sake, do not let him leave" Voree until Bennett got there himself (emphasis in original).
However, fortunately for Fagen, he had made other plans and was nowhere near Wisconsin. Apparently while living in Rockville, Iowa, Fagen had met another young man (only 11 days younger than himself), a lawyer named Phineas McCray Casady and they decided to move together to Fort Des Moines, Iowa, arriving there on June 11, 1846. The two 28 year old bachelors in fact became "founding fathers" of the new-born city of Des Moines; Fagen is known to have executed the very first land deed in the town and also acted as the first town surveyor, laying out all the plots. According to a 1908 compilation of Polk County, Iowa pioneer biographies, the two bachelor men "roomed, ate and slept together, 'boarding 'round,' first at the tavern of Martin Tucker...then the Martin House and so on. They were firm chums...." (emphasis mine). The two men soon bought a cabin on "Coon Row" (named for the nearby Raccoon River), located on 2nd Street and Vine, and moved their offices jointly into it.
Dr. Pierce B. Fagen moved in with Phineas McCray (P.M.) Casady for two years as bachelor "chums",
rather than moving to Voree to join John C. Bennett in the Strangite schism of Mormonism
A year and a half after moving to Des Moines, undoubtedly feeling social pressure from fellow settlers, 29 year old Phineas decided to marry a 22 year old German native named Augusta Grimmel. The Polk County biographies relate that in 1848 at Dr. Francis Grimmel's newly built house, his "daughter, Augusta, and P. M. Casady (now known as the 'Judge') were married therein. It was a notable, jolly affair. The groom was popular, a lawyer, and [Democratic] candidate for State Senator. The groomsman [i.e. "best man"] was Doctor Fagen, who, for two years, had been a roommate and chum of the groom, and who was the Whig candidate against the groom" (emphasis mine). While Fagen lost to his "chum" in the senatorial election, he hadn't yet lost the relationship, despite Casady's marriage. A year after Casady married Grimmel, the 31 year old Fagen announced his own marriage to the woman who had been Mrs. Casady's maid of honor, 16 year old Melissa P. Hoxie! In what I see as a male version of Lasser's "sororal model" of same-sex relationships of the 19th century, this dual marriage provided the two men with plenty of opportunities to spend time together without raising suspicions, allowing their wives the same privilege. [See footnote 9]
I note here that the word "chum" was used twice in 1908 to describe the relationship between Fagen and Casady. Interestingly Evan Stephens (director of the Tabernacle Choir) also used the word "chum" and "boy-chum" in 1919 to describe his many intimate same-sex relationships with other Mormon youths, from John J. Ward onward (see below). The Oxford English Dictionary notes that from the 1600s to the mid-1800s, the word "chum" (etymologically from "chamber-mate") referred specifically to both prisoners and students who share sleeping chambers. Only after the mid-1800s did the word begin to refer generally to a "friend". Since prisoners and British students are notoriously transgressive in their sexual behavior, "chum" certainly could have had an "underground" sexualized meaning. Dr. John Egan of the University of New South Wales recently wrote to me that "the word chum in Canadian French is used to connotate both a [homosexual] boyfriend or a good mate/pal" among "Queer men in Montréal and Québec City". Furthermore, the former quote emphasizes that Fagen and Casady both "roomed...and slept together", indicating that the bachelor-chums shared a bed, not just a "chamber".
Phineas Casady, besides being a lawyer, later became postmaster of Des Moines, member of the First Baptist Church, an Odd Fellow, district judge, land speculator, printer, and banker among other things. He and his wife, Augusta Grimmel Casady, had three children.
In 1850, losing another election to a Democrat, this time for Polk County Supervisor, Dr. Pierce Fagen, the discouraged Whig, suddenly caught gold fever and left for California with a brother. In July 1850, Fagen went into medical practice for two years with L. H. Cutler of New York, in Nevada City, California. Oddly, Cutler had attended medical school at Western Reserve College in Hudson, Ohio, a school that John C. Bennett had some affiliation with. Fagen soon sent for Melissa Hoxie Fagen but she died at Yankee Jims, Placer County, California on January 30, 1856, probably as a result of giving birth to her second child in 1855. Fagen however made a lot of money, ran for the California state assembly unsuccessfully (also in 1856). Around 1869, Fagen moved to Santa Cruz, California, and after almost 20 years of renewed bachelerhood, the widower then married 33 year old widow Mary E. Perry Jordan in 1873 (who had three children from her previous marriage). The 1870 Census of Santa Cruz indicates that Mary Jordan was the second richest person in Santa Cruz and Fagen was the fifth wealthiest. (She also owned the property that is now the University of California Santa Cruz campus, where I work.) Following the established pattern of his life, Fagen set up a joint medical practice with Dr. Hurlburt H. Clark and the two men built their houses within a block of each other on Mission Street, living near each other for the rest of their lives. Although his new wife was still young and had already borne other children, the couple had no children; Fagen's two sons by his first marriage were raised in his mansion (the largest in Santa Cruz in 1890) by a governess from New York.
Accusations of buggery or sodomy, (and later of homosexuality), have been used throughout European and American history in religious and/or political attacks to malign one's opponent. John C. Bennett was vilified publicly as a bugger because he publicly admitted that Mormon leaders were practicing polygamy. This is an important factor in our understanding Mormon sexuality and Mormon heterosexual panic, as I call it. As stated earlier, Joseph Smith had just begun to deify heterosexuality with his doctrine of the Father and Mother in Heaven. Mormons found themselves in the ironic position of having to protect this deification, eternalization, and multiplication of heterosexuality by exposing Bennett's acts of buggery with men. This is not the only time accusations of homosexuality, whether true or not, were used by Mormons in their political battles.
Bishop Thomas Taylor v. George Q. Cannon and John Taylor
In 1886, Mormon leaders used homosexual accusations to politically destroy the character of one of their own elite. Thomas Taylor, the wealthy polygamous bishop of the Salt Lake 14th Ward, was excommunicated for masturbating with several young men in Southern Utah. In Brent Corcoran's brilliant biography of Thomas Taylor (which focuses on his conflict over business dealings with church leaders and his apparently accurate claim that he was repeatedly "swindled" by church president John Taylor [no relation] and First Counselor, George Q. Cannon), he reports that ironically, prior to Taylor's fall from grace, he and his first wife Elizabeth in fact received their so-called "second anointings" in June 1867.(p.110) This brief but most exclusive of Mormon rituals is generally performed only for qualified LDS couples in sacred space, preferably the Holy of Holies room of a Mormon temple, although other places have been used as needed. The couple later perform a foot-washing ritual on each other in the privacy of their own home to complete the anointing, which, to the faithful, guarantees the eternal exaltation and eventual godhood of the couple.
As Corcoran has documented, Thomas Taylor was made bishop of the Salt Lake Fourteenth Ward in 1872 and a year later an assistant trustee-in-trust for the whole church. Taylor tried his hand at various capital ventures, such as being a hotelier, and then an iron and railroad magnate. But his alleged debt to the church incurred while assisting Mormons migrate to Utah and the ensuing conflicts and swindles kept him regularly in debt or worse throughout most of his life. The main conflict between Thomas Taylor and the John Taylor-George Q. Cannon duo arose over iron properties that Thomas Taylor owned and wanted to develop in Iron County (at a profit to both himself and his church). However church leaders refused both to assist him develop it and to allow gentile (non-Mormon) control of the properties. At the beginning of 1883, Taylor grew "so frustrated with the church president that he offered him $10,000 simply to cease interfering" with Thomas's plans, but John Taylor "did not want the properties to go outside the community" of the faithful. (p. 119) 
Bishop Taylor then tried to sell his own share to President Taylor but on April 28, 1883, John Taylor recorded that he received a revelation from God mandating that "it is forbidden my Presidency to go into debt unless I, the Lord, command it." God apparently also told the church president that "My servant, Thomas [Taylor], does not understand fully this matter. Confer with him on this subject, and if he can see these things and follow council he shall assist you in the developments contemplated." John Taylor however was also cautioned that "if he, Thomas, cannot enter freely into this matter without restraint then you shall withdraw from the consummation of the contemplated arrangement". (p. 119)
However Thomas Taylor was sure that this revelation meant "that God wanted him to turn over all properties to the church without consideration of payment." Naturally he resisted it, revelation or not, which "dumbfounded" George Q. Cannon, who then plead with Thomas "to get up some kind of company so as to let Mr. [John] Taylor in." Trustingly (and very naively as it would turn out) Thomas agreed to the formation of an iron company with the Mormon president. John Taylor, George Q. Cannon, and Thomas Taylor signed articles of agreement on June 30, 1883, proposing the formation of the Iron Manufacturing Company of Utah (IMCU).
However, in direct violation of their signed agreement, both John Taylor and his First Counselor immediately sold shares of stock to their sons, George Taylor and Abraham Cannon, "and secured for them directorship in the new company" effectively giving the Taylor-Cannon camp complete control of the company. Still Thomas stayed the course. And yet again found his signed agreement with Taylor-Cannon violated in December 1883 when John Taylor "offered to purchase shares at a 50 percent discount on behalf of the church" in order to finance a railroad for transporting coal to the iron works. (p. 120) Intramural squabbling eventually lead to the dissolution of the IMCU in April 1885. At the final company meeting, Thomas Taylor "abruptly left the room" shortly after it began because he "felt that his presence was not necessary"; it was apparent to the bishop that the First Presidency would do whatever it wished, no matter what Taylor felt about it. Apparently John Taylor had asked Thomas in the meeting to sell his stock in the company. Thomas refused and threatened a law suit against the directors. The church president one-upped him by threatening him with excommunication, our first hint that Taylor's membership in the "kingdom of God" would not survive his business relationship with President John Taylor. (p. 124)
Just over a year after IMCU was dissolved (and Thomas Taylor was threatened with excommunication), "Angus Cannon, president of the Salt Lake State and Bishop Thomas Taylor's ecclesiastical superior, received via church president John Taylor the report of a special investigation by President Thomas Jones of the Parowan Stake where Thomas's iron properties were located" in July 1887, concerning his "lascivious conduct with certain young men" two years earlier. Taylor, who had been arrested the year previous for cohabitation with his polygamous wives, was now facing charges from four young men that he "had taught them the crime of Masturbation". (p. 125)
These accusations of sexual impropriety came from Richard Williams of Parowan, brothers Simeon W. Simkins and William W. Simkins of Cedar City, and a fourth, unnamed teenager (out of the area during the trial) who alleged that Thomas Taylor had on several occasions slept with them and during the night had used their hands to masturbate him. Angus M. Cannon, George Q. Cannon's brother, and Thomas's superior in the church hierarchy, recorded in his diary that the high council of the Salt Lake Stake suspended Taylor as bishop of the Fourteenth Ward without even conducting a hearing and allowed Thomas Jones of Parowan to conduct the formal trial in southern Utah, far from church headquarters. As Corcoran points out, Taylor should have been tried by his own local leaders, rather than those of the area where the alleged homosexual incidents took place and I fully agree with Corcoran that the church leaders surely wanted Taylor punished but with as little public exposure and scandal as possible. Since President John Taylor also had a son (Arthur Bruce Taylor) who was apparently homosexually-inclined and whom had moved to Oregon just two years previously after "coming out" to Taylor's counselor, Joseph F. Smith, I believe President Taylor may have had further reason to keep the topic of sodomitical practices away from public debate in Salt Lake City, thus necessitating the change of trial venue to Parowan. However the anti-Mormon elements of the Salt Lake Tribune were obsessed with uncovering anything scandalous about the church, and soon news of the ecclesiastical proceedings reached the columns of the Tribune. In August 1886, the Tribune went so far as to accuse Taylor of being "guilty of a horrible and beastly sin" and interestingly reiterated that he was "a polygamist" and then i n another editorial asked if Taylor should be "prosecuted in the courts? Or is there no law against sodomy, either, in this most lawless of Territories." Here the Tribune identifies Taylor's "beastly sin" as sodomy (which same-sex masturbation technically was not) and then obliquely compares sodomy to the "lawlessness" of Mormon polygamy. Taylor wrote a letter of apology on June 14, 1886 to James Charles Simkins, the father of Simeon and William, but then at his trial denied the statements made by Simeon and William. However he did admit that he had masturbated with 18 year old Richard Williams, also confessing that was "not the first one I practiced in my life, but was the first since I joined the Church" as a teenager. To confuse things even more, Taylor later called the incidents "trumped up slander". However, in a letter to church president John Taylor and Stake President Angus M. Cannon on September 22, 1886, Thomas confessed his "sins" (altough he does not enumerate them) and asked to be reinstated into full fellowship with the church:
"I am sending consent to day for my [first] wife to obtain a divorce, she never has appreciated the addition of [other] wives to my family, and now I have sinned, her patience is exhausted, and I fear for my children. I am ashamed to think that I have been so weak and I feel to cry God be merciful to me, and I want my brethren to be merciful to me[.] I want to be humble and live so that I can purify my thoughts and words and actions...Oh, help me to come back to [God's] favor. I expect to have offended you greatly[.] I humbly ask your forgiveness. I am suffering terribly. My nerves are unstrung[.] I have such throbbings of the heart, and headache[s]. I cannot sit still, nor sleep, when I doze off to sleep, I wake and see before me ["]excommunicated["], and my wife suffers almost if not quite as much as bad, and I feel for her because it is my doing and I ought to be alone the sufferer, and I will try to endure. I do not want to apostatize[.] I want to return to my allegance to God and his work and I pray you to grant me this favor as soon as you can in righteousness, and I will try to live so as to be worthy of so great a favor." 
Despite this plea for forgiveness, none was forthcoming, for Thomas Taylor had committed two unspeakable crimes: he had challenged a church president, and he had dared to desire other men. The church-owned Deseret News announced on August 28, 1886 that Taylor had been excommunicated, although in fact he had only been disfellowshipped and released as bishop by the Salt Lake Stake high council:
It becomes our duty to chronicle the fall of a man who has long been associated with the Church. It is sad that such a useful life should thus have been blighted. The fact is published with deep sorrow. We refer to Thomas Taylor, lately and for several years Bishop of the Fourteenth Ward of this city. It is authenticated beyond room for doubt that he has been excommunicated from the Church....The cause of action was unchristianlike and immoral conduct, and contempt of the High Council. The law of God, which demands that the Saints shall preserve themselves in purity, must be enforced no matter who the guilty parties may be.
The Salt Lake Tribune reported on September 15 that John Taylor and George Q. Cannon had "swindled" Taylor in their business dealings and that, in fact, "President Taylor was himself responsible for spreading the 'dirty stories,' planning to replace Thomas Taylor with his son as bishop of the Fourteenth Ward", according to Corcoran. (p. 127) Four weeks later, true to the Tribune's prediction, just two days after Thomas Taylor was formally excommunicated in southern Utah, the president's son, Joseph E. Taylor, was ordained as the new bishop for the 14th Ward on October 11, 1886. (128)
In the meantime, another of George Q. Cannon's sons, Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, John Q. Cannon, became central to yet another sex scandal in the church hierarchy. John Nicholson was preaching in the Tabernacle in September 1886 and obliquely referred to the current Thomas Taylor scandal when he spoke of men who misdirect "the use of the powers of life that have been implanted in the nature of man" and who would subsequently suffer "a withering blight" for their sinfulness. John Q. Cannon, apparently pricked in his conscience, then arose and confessed to the congregation that he was guilty of adultery and "resigned his priesthood". His brother, Salt Lake Stake President, Angus M. Cannon then moved that he be excommunicated.
The Tribune on Christmas Eve 1886 reported that Taylor was under investigation by a grand jury in southern Utah "for an unmentionable crime", which had "elicited some disgusting things of Taylor" (apparently his homoerotic experiences as a youth prior to his conversion) yet were unable to find "evidence of the crimes he was accused of" and thus had dropped the case against him.
In 1889, Thomas Taylor fumed that "John Taylor and George Q. Cannon were so angry that I had got the property into my hands again that they encouraged the authorities to excommunicate me from the church upon a trumped-up slander, no charge was preferred, no [secular] trial had....The publication was made by Taylor and Cannon on purpose to damage and ostracise me and has damaged me how much it is impossible to find out." (as quoted p. 133) And a year later he again reiterated in a letter to a southern Utah newspaper that "others in their envy and greed for this property have prevented me from bringing capitalists to develop it, they have slandered me, and brought one of the purest and most virtuous families to shame and disgrace; and God being my helper, I submit no longer." (p. 135) Despite these strong words of accusation and resistance, Thomas Taylor was "restored" to church memberiship sometime prior to 1892, as recorded in Angus M. Cannon's diary. (p. 301, note 67)
The Hunsakers of Honeyville and Homosexuality
Even lay Mormons accused members of their own families of sodomitical practices, ostensibly for political gain. In 1893, Lorenzo Hunsaker went through two ecclesiastical trials in Honeyville, Utah for allegedly having sexual relations with two younger half- brothers. Rudger Clawson, the local LDS Stake President, fortunately left a verbatim account of these trials in his journal. Clawson recorded in 1894 that "One of the most extraordinary cases that ever arose in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was that of Peter and Weldon Hunsaker versus Lorenzo Hunsaker in the Honeyville Ward". He then quotes for the next 150 pages from private conversations, letters, petitions, church court records, and personal testimonials.
Evidently just after October 1893 general conference, Lorenzo Hunsaker told Clawson that recently "Peter and Weldon, his [half-]brothers had circulated a story in that Ward to the effect that [Lorenzo] had been guilty of sucking their penis [sic]...[for] a period of some two or three years....The question, therefore, was what, under the circumstances had best be done." Clawson counseled Lorenzo Hunsaker "that if I were in his place, I should treat the whole affair with silent contempt, and gave as a reason that the charge was so monstrous and ridiculous that he would be degrading himself in the eyes of sensible people to follow it up....My confidence in the purity of Lorenzo's life and faithfulness as a Latter-day Saint," Clawson confided, "was such that I felt it would be an insult to ask him if he were guilty." Had Clawson asked Hunsaker that very question, events might have turned out differently.
Defender of Lorenzo Hunsaker and "the Priesthood"
Lorenzo Hunsaker did as suggested, ignoring the accusations, and found himself quickly excommunicated by the bishop of the Honeyville Ward. Lorenzo appealed the action to the stake presidency and high council. Eventually, other half-brothers as well as male neighbors added their own accusations of attempted or accomplished oral and anal sex and masturbation with Lorenzo. But as Clawson indicated in his journal, Lorenzo was a Mormon in good standing: a polygamist, a full tithe payer, a temple attender, a high priest, and close friend of local church leaders, while his accusers were known to swear occasionally, miss church services, or drink now and then. Thus the question came down to Lorenzo's piety versus the impiety of some ten accusers. But behind all this lay the issue of the family inheritance.
Lorenzo Hunsaker grave (1859-1941) in Globe, Arizona
[Photo by Paul R. Machula]
Abraham Hunsaker, the polygamous patriarch of a family of almost fifty children, had recently died and made it clear that his son Lorenzo was to be the fiscal and spiritual head of the family, even though he was not even close to being the oldest of the sons. After Abraham's death, there had been some petty bickering and power struggles, and the accusations of homosexuality against Lorenzo must be viewed in the context of that power struggle among Abraham Hunsaker's heirs. While Peter, Weldon, and others clearly used their accusations against Lorenzo to erode his familial power and social influence, it seems clear after carefully reading all the testimonies, that Lorenzo Hunsaker was indeed engaging in sexual relations with his half-brothers and perhaps a neighbor or two. However, because of his good standing in the church, Lorenzo won readmission into the church and managed to have Peter and Weldon Hunsaker excommunicated for lying, through the persistent efforts of Rudger Clawson. The other accusers, when faced with similar church action against them, recanted. During this period the local ward structure fell apart as people picked sides in a bitter ward and stake battle. A petition was circulated by the women of the ward, protesting the church's action against Peter and Weldon, but when they presented the petition to Clawson, he curtly replied that the women "could do as they pleased, but if they wished to do right, they would invariably vote to sustain the propositions of the Priesthood". Clearly "the thinking had been done" by the all-male priesthood and the women's voices were ignored. Clawson eventually released all local ward leaders (including Bishop Benjamin H. Tolman) for disobedience and for "humiliating the Priesthood". He then replaced them with men who would follow his counsel, and withheld the sacrament from the ward for several months, as punishment. [Click here for a complete transcription of Rudger Clawson's journal regarding this "extraordinary case"]
Bishop Benjamin H. Tolman
Released because of disobedience in Lorenzo Hunsaker case
One of the most fascinating aspects to the Hunsaker case is the comprehensive first-hand account left by Clawson of frontier homosexuality, and the terminology used to describe acts of seduction and sex. I am always a bit disconcerted at not only how off-handedly Clawson recorded the rather crass terminology, but also at the fact that this terminology was used so frequently and easily in such a conservative environment as church courts. The word "penis" is used 21 times in Clawson's record, and ejaculation is referred to as "discharging" five times. While "masturbation" occurs once, the act was often described by Clawson: twice as holding a penis in the hand, once as catching hold of a penis, and once as playing with a penis. Fellatio is much more frequently mentioned; however eight times it is described as sucking a penis, three times a penis was "found" in Lorenzo's mouth, twice he had his mouth over or on a penis, twice he "got" a penis in his mouth, and once he held a penis with his mouth. Lorenzo Hunsaker was also twice called a "cock sucker" during the ecclesiastical proceedings. Lorenzo's brothers and neighbors also four times described non-specific sex acts (apparently either masturbation or fellatio but not anal sex) as being "monkeyed" with. Once anal sex is referred to when Cyrus Hunsaker testified that Peter Hunsaker had told him that Lorenzo had tried to "ride" Peter when the two had traveled to Mendon, Utah together. Cyrus also testified that Peter had called Lorenzo "the horniest cuss he had ever slept with". We also get one small hint as to how Lorenzo justified his actions in seducing these young men. Once Weldon asked Lorenzo "what good it did him, and he answered that it might keep [Weldon] from bothering the girls. [Weldon] replied that it would make [him] worse rather than better". Here Lorenzo used the excuse of having homosexuality maintain heterosexual chastity! In turn, Weldon Hunsaker felt that homosexual acts with his half-brother would only increase his heterosexual desires. Both views are certainly at odds with current Mormon beliefs.
For Thomas Taylor, secular judicial proceedings and media attention were minimal, while for Lorenzo Hunsaker, no such exposure occurred at all, indicating that the church maintained carefully controlled responses in both situations. In the case Taylor, judicial proceedings were brought against him in the form of a grand jury investigation - but that took place several months after his excommunication. The grand jury convened in southern Utah, where it predictably received a minimum of press coverage. Although Taylor's ecclesiastical investigation found enough "evidence" to excommunicate him, the grand jury concluded that "there was no evidence of the crimes he was accused of" and dropped the case. It seems apparent that Mormon leaders wanted to humiliate Thomas Taylor, while avoiding a full-blown scandal that could damage the church's image if all the details, notably Taylor's business dealings with the church, became too well publicized - especially when the eyes of the nation were turned upon Mormonism during these tumultuous years of anti-polygamy sentiment.
The fear of yet another scandal to feed anti-Mormon appetites perhaps helped keep Lorenzo Hunsaker out of both the secular courtroom and the media, as Hunsaker was a good Mormon polygamist like Thomas Taylor. If a male polygamist could be sexually active with other men as well as with women, then perhaps the hierarchy of gender would be blurred when the rigidity of Mormon gender structures was brought into question. Even acknowledgment of homosexual desire among church members was unthinkable. Little profit then would have come from publicizing these cases in open court with the media filing sensationalized reports on an already battered church.
Sodomy First Mentioned in the Deseret News
As Mormon missionaries left Western civilization to preach to the "exotic other" in non-European countries, they were confronted with cultures, ethnoi, and mores that differed markedly from their own. They often turned to myths and legends to explain these differences. In one such case, Elder Nathaniel Vary Jones (1822-1863) was called on a mission to Calcutta, India in 1852, remaining there until 1855, when he returned to Utah. In a lengthy 1854 letter to Jedediah M. Grant of the First Presidency, Elder Jones explained that there in India, "the women are very singular in their costume," and went on to describe the sari, which was a scandalous and overly sensual mode of dress to the Victorian missionary. Jones noted however that, according to the tradition he heard, the sari was introduced to save India from nearly universal male homosexuality! He wrote to Grant on November 5, 1854:
Tradition says concerning the dress of the women, that about 150 years ago [i.e. circa 1700], the nation was so sunken in vice and wickedness, that they were about to become extinct, in consequence of a national evil, which prevailed to an alarming degree, which was the crime of Sodomy. The then reigning king and queen, enforced upon the females of the nation by decree, the kind of dress which I have already described, the queen herself setting the pattern first, then enjoined all others, with the hope of reclaiming the men, by the exposure of their persons, which it appears has had a salutary effect. (Deseret News, April 18, 1855, p. 6.)
Such sociological nonsense can only be laughed at today but this shows just how gullible Mormons can be to rumor, myth, and outright lies when it comes to sexuality in general and homosexuality specifically.
Joseph F. Smith Confronts Homosexuality
Early LDS leaders generally handled same-sex scandals among their own people with discretion. According to Quinn's research, Second Counselor to President John Taylor, Joseph F. Smith had been a young missionary in Hawai'i and sometimes used Hawaiian words in his diary when writing on sensitive subjects. In November 1879 Smith had a "long discussion" with 26 year old Arthur Bruce Taylor, son of President John Taylor, and wrote in his journal that Bruce was "acane!" (sic), referring to the ancient Hawiian tradition of the aikane - young male sexual consorts of Hawaiian chiefs. While Smith reacted with surprise, there seems to have been no formal action taken against Bruce Taylor, either ecclesiastically or legally. It is also possible that George Q. Cannon's scathing remarks about heterosexual monogamy causing the "crime against nature" in his April 1879 General Conference address had prompted young Taylor to reconsider his relationship to the LDS Church. A lawyer, Bruce Taylor moved to Oregon following his "private conversation" with Smith about his sexuality and after his father's death in 1887, Bruce seems to have lost all connection with his prominent LDS family and the religion of his childhood, remaining in Oregon until his death. Prominent Mormon Democrat and lawyer, James Henry Moyle, lamented in his 1940s autobiography that A. Bruce Taylor had "left the territory and cast his lot in the Northwest among strangers and had nothing further to do with the Church".
2nd Counselor Joseph F. Smith (later President of LDS Church)
Just three years later, First Presidency Counselor Joseph F. Smith was confronted with another case of homosexuality, this time a "ring" of young Mormon men in south-central Utah. Smith instructed the Richfield Stake Presidency to "Get the names of all of them & cut them off the church" for "obscene, filthy & horrible practices" (emphasis in original). Smith here referred to a group of Saints who had engaged in "this monstrous iniquity, for which Sodom & Gomorrah were burned with fire sent down from heaven". 32 year old Soren Madsen (who was married and endowed), another single man who was 30, and four youths (19, 18 and two 15 year olds) were excommunicated for practicing sodomy. Only Soren Madsen is identified with certainty in the available records, although Michael Quinn has tentatively identified the other five men. Note that the men were not reported to the press or to legal authorities; the case was simply handled internally. [49A]
The Murder of Pvt. Frederick Jones
While they kept intramural homosexual scandals from the public sector, Mormon leaders could be merciless when uncovering sodomy in non-Mormons, as occurred when Private Frederick Jones was brought to trial in 1864 for raping a nine year old boy. According to accounts published in the Salt Lake Daily Telegraph and the Daily Union Vedette, in October 1864 Jones, stationed at what is now Fort Douglas, raped a boy named Monk (allegedly at knife- point) in a ravine between downtown Salt Lake City and Fort Douglas. The boy then told his father, who pressed charges against Jones. A week later Jones was in the Salt Lake City jail awaiting trial for sodomy. Although the Jones suit actually deals with violent pedophilia (an adult raping a pre- pubescent child), I have included it in this essay because the judicial response shows that many Utahns could only see that the perpetrator and victim both happened to be male and thus they focused solely on the issue of sodomy. As Gay theorist Daniel Shellabarger recently posited, "the homophobia of the Utah territorial judicial system is exposed in this case. How odd that the molestation or rape of a child was not even the primary question. The issue of sodomy between two males blocked their vision of the real crime."
Ft. Douglas in 1868
[click to enlarge]
Jones was initially examined by Justice of the Peace Jeter Clinton, who was also an alderman on the Salt Lake City council, a member of a ward bishopric, and had ties with the secret Mormon Council of the Fifty. Jones pled not guilty. During the hearing a week later, Clinton determined that the "evidence was clear and conclusive against Jones", and the court went into recess to "examine the law on the subject," but then discovered that Utah had no anti-sodomy law. When Jones appeared before Clinton the following afternoon, Clinton was forced to released him. Jones set off for Ft. Douglas but only reached the corner of First South and State Street, where he was assassinated. Although witnesses heard gun shots, saw the flash of pistol fire, and heard the sound of retreating footsteps, no one reported to have actually witnessed the murderer.
Many Mormons felt little sorrow at the murder of Frederick Jones. Albert Carrington, a member of the secret vigilante Council of the Fifty under Brigham Young, editor of the Deseret News, and future LDS Apostle (who would ironically be excommunicated 20 years later for an adulterous affair with his female secretary), editorialized that Jones's murder "should prove a warning to all workers of abominations, for there is always the chance that some one will be impatient of the law's delay in cases so outrageous and abominable." Thomas B. H. Stenhouse, Mormon editor and propiretor of the Daily Telegraph, wrote that, "we have no crocodile tears to shed over [Jones], he is dead, and we have not the slightest disposition to call him back again to change the manner of retribution. To give the details of his crime would be to besmear our sheet with facts so loathsome enough to crimson the face of the most barbarous of the human race. We confine ourselves to narrative, our readers who want more information then we are disposed to publish can seek it elsewhere.” 
Albert Carrington - Deseret News editor & later adulterous Apostle,
warned "workers of abominations" after Jones' death
As Michael Quinn has pointed out, even Brigham Young responded to the outcome of the Jones trial, writing in November 1864 that Utah lacked an anti-sodomy law at that time because "our legislators, never having contemplated the possibility of such a crime being committed in our borders[,] had made no provision for its punishment." Jones became Mormon society's scapegoat - not only was he a sodomite but was also a "gentile". In essence, he represented everything Mormons feared - federal intervention and challenges to their own sexual perversities. Carrington was unequivocal: Mormons could do nothing but murder Jones, first to cleanse their community of God's judgment on sodomy, and second, to atone for their own feelings of guilt for deviating from Victorian socio-sexual mores.
Sodomy, or "the Crime Against Nature", became illegal in Utah territory on February 18, 1876. It was then obliquely defined as heterosexual and homosexual anal intercourse. As a felony it was punishable by imprisonment for not more than five years. In 1907, the punishment was changed to three to twenty years imprisonment. In 1923, heterosexual and homosexual oral sex was added to the sodomy statute, thus criminalizing most sex acts regardless of the sexual orientation or gender of the persons involved. Sodomy was reduced from a felony to a class B misdemeanor in 1953, while forcible sodomy (oral or anal rape) has remained a felony.
Lovers in the Martin Handcart Company?
While Mormons reacted with various degrees of intolerance when confronting sodomitical practices of both Mormon and non-Mormons men, there was still room in which many Mormon men could safely (and quite publicly) negotiate passionate and romantic relationships with other men without critical or punitive reactions from Mormon officials. In the 1850's, Mormon converts Luke Carter and William Edwards constructed an intimate relationship with each other without any apparent opprobrium from church leaders. Luke Carter, a 46 year old British Mormon, arrived in Liverpool, England in 1856 to emigrate to Utah with his daughter. Carter had been separated (probably divorced) from his wife for some three years. While in Liverpool, he started a friendship with another recent Mormon convert, William Edwards, an unmarried man of thirty, who was emigrating to Utah with his younger sister in the Martin Company. Once this group had crossed the ocean and ridden the trains to Iowa City, they found themselves at least two months behind schedule. 576 Mormons left Iowa City in poorly constructed handcarts on July 26, 1856, having been promised by a Mormon Apostle that God would keep winter at bay so that they could arrive in Zion safely. Within days, the earliest winter on record set in. Fatigue, cold, malnutrition, snow, and poorly built handcarts took their toll. One of the first adults to die in this tragic journey was William Edwards.
Josiah Rogerson, a fellow immigrant, later published an account of this disastrous event in which one third of the immigrants died. Rogerson describes the intimate friendship between Edwards and Carter when recounting Edwards' tragic death:
William Edwards Dies.
About 10:30 this morning we passed Fort Kearney, and as one of the most singular deaths occurred on our journey at this time, I will give a brief and truthful narration of the incident. Two bachelors named Luke Carter, from the Clitheroe branch [of the church], Yorkshire, England, and William Edwards from Manchester, England, each about 50 to 55 years of age, had pulled a covered cart together from Iowa City, Ia., to this point. They slept in the same tent, cooked and bunked together; but for several days previous unpleasant and cross words had passed between them. Edwards was a tall, loosely built and tender man physically, and Carter more stocky and sturdy. He had favored Edwards by letting the latter pull only what he could in the shafts for some time. This morning he grumbled and complained, still traveling, about being tired, and that he couldn't go any further. Carter retorted: "Come on. Come on. You'll be all right again when we get a bit of dinner at noon." But Edwards kept begging for him to stop the cart and let him lie down and "dee" (die), Carter replying, "Well, get out and die, then."
Died in Harness.
The cart was instantly stopped. Carter raised the shafts of the cart. Edwards walked from under and to the south of the road a couple of rods, laid his body down on the level prairie, and in ten minutes he was a corpse. We waited (a few carts of us) a few minutes longer till the captain came up and closed Edwards's eyes. A light-loaded open cart was unloaded. The body was put thereon, covered with a quilt, and the writer [Rogerson] pulled him to the noon camp, some five or six miles, where we dug his grave and buried him a short distance west of Fort Kearney, Neb.
Several details in this story seem to signify what I have called "faggotry". Both Edwards and Carter were unmarried, which is significant in the context of polygamous Mormonism. Although sexual relations between men in England of that era generally or ideally were inter-class affairs, this one was not, for both converts were from the lower class. However, their relationship was somewhat intergenerational - one was thirty and the other forty-six (not fifty to fifty- five, as the 14 year old Rogerson thought) - and that does have "class" overtones. And they not only shared a handcart and a tent, but they also cooked and "bunk[ed] together". Coincidentally Carter died a short time after Edwards, even though he was the "sturdy" one, perhaps in grief at the loss of his physically "tender" companion. Rogerson, despite these "clues", does not seem surprised at all by their intimate relationship. What is of note to him is that Edwards could will himself to die. Whether Edwards' and Carter's emotional and financial partnership extended to sexual intercourse is ultimately unknown, but the image of two men pulling a handcart together, one nurturing the other, is fascinating, especially in juxtaposition to the traditional heterosexual scenes of Mormon pioneer iconography.
Painting of burial in the Martin Handcart Company
[click to enlarge]
"The Last Flower" - Evan Stephens & the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Edwards and Carter however weren't the only Gay pioneers to migrate to Utah before the arrival of the train in 1869. Evan Stephens (1854-1930), Utah's most prominent musical composer as well as the conductor of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir from 1890 to 1916, came "across the plains" while a child and is consistently rumored to have been "Gay". Beyond oral tradition amongs the Mormon Gay community, there is a large amount of contemporary, circumstantial evidence to support this claim. Stephens, born in Pencader, Wales and migrating with his family to Utah in 1867, never married, which in polygamous Utah was a difficult status to maintain, especially for someone as prominent as Stephens. Instead of marrying, he filled his life with his two great passions: "love of friendship and music". Stephens's friendships always centered on passionate love and desire for other, usually much younger, men.
Stephens went so far as to publish his autobiography (which amounts to little more than an explicit account of the development of his desire to bond passionately with other men) in a periodical for Mormon children - without any apparent reprisal from the church. In this lengthy autobiography written in the third person and published in the 1919 Children's Friend, Stephens told Mormon children about his youth while in Willard, Utah, where he discovered music through a local all male ward choir - another instance of homosociality fostering same-sex desire. Stephens recounts that he became
"the pet of the choir. The men among whom he sat seemed to take a delight in loving him. Timidly and blushingly he would be squeezed in between them, and kindly arms generally enfolded him much as if he had been a fair sweetheart of the big brawny young men. Oh, how he loved these men[;] too timid to be demonstrative in return he nevertheless enshrined in his inmost heart the forms and names of Tovey, Jardine, Williams, Jones and Ward." (emphasis mine) 
A very queer place for Evan Stephens's "coming out"
John J. Ward, the son of the last mentioned man, was the same age as Stephens, and the two young men became friends. However, their friendship soon developed into something much more profound, as Stephens' autobiography attests. For example, when the entire Mormon community in Willard (except for the Ward family) moved to Malad, Idaho, twenty year old Evan refused to go with his family and instead chose to remain with his "chum", John. They eventually built a small cabin and moved into it together. In this same autobiography, Stephens calls Ward the first of his "life companions" with whom he shared his "home life". [Click here for a personal story of how I received more evidence of Evan Stephens' homosexuality.] The phrase "The Last Flower" comes from a poem which Evan wrote in honor of his mother, in which he calls himself the last flower in her garden, being the youngest of her 11 children.
Gay Mormon historian, Michael Quinn, has thoroughly covered the relationships Stephens had with many of the young men in the Tabernacle Choir. Recently however, I discovered yet another possible "boy-chum" of Stephens, Appollos B. Taylor (1854-1936). An online history of the Larsen family recounts that after Benjamin Taylor (father of Appollos) homesteaded in Willard, Utah, "Evan Stephens, who afterward was famous as a musician and choir leader in the Tabernacle for years, was one of the young men who lived with him [Benjamin]. He [Evan] and Appollos herded sheep on the hills for several years. He was so impressed with the grandeur of the high mountains and rugged peaks just east of the farm. One of his beautiful anthems, 'Let The Mountains Shout For Joy' had the Taylor farm for its setting."
Stephens also avidly transgressed Mormon gender boundaries wtih frequent vocal performances in drag as a woman (usually an "old maid"), singing convincingly in a high falsetto. At least two of his drag performances took place in the Tabernacle on Temple Square. 
Evan Stephens (seated), his housekeeper, and Noel Pratt, one of his later "boy chums"
Although I have not found any direct evidence that Brigham Morris Young was a homosexual, he certainly crossed Mormon gender barriers without any negative repercussions, whenever he appeared in public as the Italian opera diva "Madame Pattirini" (see photo at the top of this article). Born in 1858, the 35th child of Brigham Young and the first and only child of Margaret Pierce, he married Celestia Armeda Snow, the daughter of Lorenzo Snow, in the Endowment House in 1875. They had ten children, eight surviving to adulthood. During the early 1870s "Morris" Young drove a horse-drawn streetcar for a living. One popular stereotype of the time was that streetcar drivers were effeminate homosexuals (and in fact, Walt Whitman found many of his male lovers amongst the streetcar drivers of New York City, including his long-time companion, Peter Doyle, who drove a streetcar in Washington DC for many years). Interestingly, Morris drove the streetcar between the Utah Central Railroad Depot and the Wasatch Municipal Baths, which I have documented was an active "cruising" area for homosexual men (who went there looking for anonymous sexual encounters), at least as early as the 1880s. From the 1880s to the early 1900s, Morris appeared frequently in his drag persona. His son, Gaylen Snow Young wrote that, "He would sing in a a high falsetto voice. He fooled many people." Dean C. Jessee notes that Morris was "often called to perform at stake and ward social functions, where he frequently posed as 'Madam Pattirini,' a great female opera singer. An extant invitation lists B.M. Young as manager of 'a Grand Character and Dress Ball' held in the large room of the Brigham City Woolen Factory in 1889." Morris Young also served on the General Board of the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association (YMMIA). 
Another, even earlier cross-dressing Mormon, was pioneer Almerin Grow, who lived in both Salt Lake and Weber Counties during the late 1850s. In this case however, Grow's cross-dressing was not for entertainment purposes, like that of Stephens and Brigham M. Young before him; and it was definitely viewed as transgressive. Sometime after 1857, Grow became a follower of Joseph Morris, a schismatic Mormon leader who designated himself as the seventh angel of the apocalypse and taught that the Second Coming was imminent. Grow had already been excommunicated and rebaptized so many times that Brigham Young had publicly (yet humorusly) sugggested that the next time Grow be rebaptized in the Jordan River, he be drowned immediately thereafter to ensure he be saved "while in the faith". Around 1858, Grow "gave" his 12 year old daughter, Amy Grow, to Amos Milton Musser. Young then commanded Musser to move south with her and "never return", because he was becoming increasingly mentally unstable, as evidenced by "his acts of extracting all his teeth, wearing his wife's clothing, etc." Some measure of mental stability must have eventually returned, as Grow remained faithful to the Morrisites, even serving on a mission to Turkey in the 1870s, long after Joseph Morris himself was killed.[63A]
Anti-Polygamy and Anti-Gay Rhetoric
While criticism of polygamy became something of a national past-time during the Victorian era, what I find fascinating about this anti-polygamy rhetoric is how similar it is to anti-Gay and anti-Lesbian rhetoric employed later by the Mormon Church and society at large. For example, a non-Mormon living in Nauvoo in the 1840's claimed that polygamy is "a system which, if exposed in its naked deformity, would make the virtuous mind revolt with horror; a system in the exercise of which lays prostrate all the dearest ties in our social relations - the glorious fabric upon which human happiness is based - ministers to the worst passions of our nature and throws us back into the benighted regions of the dark ages." Again in an 1860 debate on the issue of polygamy, one Illinois congressman charged polygamy "to be a crying evil; sapping not only the physical constitution of the people practicing it, dwarfing their physical proportions and emasculating their energies, but at the same time perverting the social virtues, and vitiating the morals of its victims."  We need only substitute the word "sodomy" or "homosexuality" to see how Mormons and others took this rhetoric and, in moments of heterosexual panic, deflected in onto Lesbians and Gay men.
Mormon pleas for tolerance of its sexual diversity drew only international ire and further governmental and social contempt. During the 1860's and 1870's, federal laws were passed outlawing polygamy. Believing this was an unconstitutional violation of the guarantee of the separation of church and state, Mormon bigamist George Reynolds was selected by the church's First Presidency to be a test case. Reynolds was found guilty of polygamy, and the Mormons appealed the decision all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. In January 1879, in the landmark case Reynolds v. the United Statesthe Supreme Court ruled that the anti-polygamy laws were not unconstitutional, for "Laws are made for the government of actions and while they cannot interfere with mere religious beliefs and opinions, they may with practices." This federal judicial decision severely eroded not only the Mormon power base, but that of many other religions afterwards, as well. Ironically, this decision currently keeps pro-Gay religions (such as the Unitarian-Universalists, the Religious Society of Friends [Quakers], and the Metropolitan Community Church) from legally performing same-sex (homogamous) marriages today. Of course many are performed any way, either illegally - which is the case in Utah - or extralegally each year across the United States.
In the aftermath of Reynolds v. United States Mormon polygamists were disenfranchised, children by polygamous wives were disinherited, female suffrage in Utah was abolished, the Corporation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was dissolved, and all church properties (including the famed Salt Lake Temple) were confiscated. Bowing to such intense coercion, in 1890 church president Wilford Woodruff issued his "Manifesto", ostensibly ending the practice of polygamy in the Mormon Church (although members of the hierarchy secretly sanctioned its continued practice for many years afterward). The Latter-day Saint Church never recovered from this governmnental persecution. The Mormonism of today is so radically different from Mormonism during its polygamous era that they are nearly incomparable. The sexual diveristy Mormons once espoused as a religious obligation is now lost and as the LDS church becomes increasingly more compatible with mainstream Protestantism, it ironically deflects Christian criticism of its sexual past by over-emphasizing its rhetoric opposing other sexualities.
A Wilde Time in Utah
In the middle of this political strife over polygamy, England's most famous sodomite, Oscar Wilde, arrived in Salt Lake City to deliver a lecture at the Salt Lake Opera House on "Art Decoration: Being the Practical Application of the Aesthetic Theory to Every-Day Home Life and Art Ornamentation", sponsored by Salt Lake City's own Home Dramatic Club. On April 10, 1882 Wilde arrived by train from Sacramento and was greeted by a large crowd of the curious. After greeting his well-wishers, he went to the Walker House on Second South and Main Street, where he and his servant scandalously disappeared through the Ladies' entrance. In honor of Wilde being known as the "Sunflower Apostle", his bellboy wore a sunflower in his buttonhole. That afternoon Wilde visited LDS president John Taylor at his official church residence, the Gardo House (also known as Amelia's Palace) the finest mansion in all of Utah, which had just been completed four months earlier.
Oscar Wilde languishing -
Notorious aesthete and "Sunflower Apostle"
Oscar's visit to Utah announced in the Salt Lake Tribune
[click to enlarge]
That night, with the Opera House filled to standing room only, Wilde was visibly disconcerted when he walked out on stage to speak and found an array of young men in the front row, all adorned with enormous sunflowers and lilies, in homage to the controversial British dandy and aesthete.  Obviously he was not expecting such open adoration from provincial Utahns. The Deseret News subsequently criticized his speech for being absurd and unoriginal, among other things. However, one historian believes that the Mormons disapproved of his speech because of the "indecent morals" displayed in his other writings. 
In 1895, five years after the Woodruff Manifesto "ended" polygamy, Wilde again entered the public eye in Utah, but this time because of his trial in England for sodomy with his longtime companion, Lord Alfred Bosworth. Wilde's story made front page head-lines in twenty issues of the Deseret Evening News as if to emphasize the dangers of such deviant practices.
One of many front page headlines from the Deseret Evening News
reporting the the lurid details of Wilde's trial for sodomy
[click to enlarge]
Contemporary Gay historian Richard Dellamora has observed that in the late nineteenth century "masculine privilege was sustained by male friendships within institutions like the public schools, the older universities, the clubs, and the professions. Because, however, continuing dominance of bourgeois males also required that they marry and produce offspring, the intensity and sufficiency of male bonding needed to be strictly controlled by homophobic mechanisms" such as public, anti- homosexual scandals - Wilde's trial being a prime example. Dellamora also states that these anti-homosexual scandals in England in the 1890's "provide a point at which gender roles are publicly, even spectacularly, encoded and enforced." This applies as well to the willingness of the church-owned newspaper to publicize the details of Wilde's trials. The Deseret News could well afford to do so, because Wilde, being a non-Mormon in England, could easily be scandalized as a warning to other sodomites, without "tainting" Mormonism's own image. Because the United States placed so much negative attention on the sexual deviance of Mormon polygamy, Mormons returned the favor to Lesbian and Gay people with the assurance that their perversity was at least heterosexually (and procreatively) centered. And two years later, the lesson in homophobia was "spectacularly" reinforced when George Q. Cannon, First Counselor in the First Presidency, spoke in October General Conference 1897 about Oscar Wilde (who remains nameless throughout the speech) and his "nameless crime":
"In England a short time ago a man [Oscar Wilde] who had posed in society as a man of culture and of taste, and who lectured upon esthetics, was found to be guilty of a most abominable crime - a crime for which under the old law the penalty was death; a crime which was practiced by the nations of old, and caused God to command their destruction and extirpation. This crime was proved against this man, and some of his associates were what are called noblemen. He was sent to prison. His term of imprisonment having expired, he comes from prison, and is now engaged, it is so published, in writing a book, and, we suppose is received into society, though guilty of this nameless crime. And is this common; If we may believe that which is told to us, without going into researches ourselves, it and other kindred wickedness, is far too common. The same sin that caused the utter destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah! This and other abominable crimes are being practiced. How will these be stopped? Only by the destruction of those who practice them. Why, if a little nest of them were left that were guilty of these things, they would soon corrupt others, as some are being corrupted among us. In coming to these mountains we hoped to find a place where we could live secluded from the abominations of Babylon. But here in this secluded place wickedness intrudes itself, and is practiced in this land which we have dedicated to the Lord as a land of Zion! How can this be stopped? Not while those who have knowledge of these filthy crimes exist. The only way, according to all that I can understand as the word of God, is for the Lord to wipe them out, that there will be none left to perpetuate the knowledge of these dreadful practices among the children of men. And God will do it, as sure as He has spoken by the mouths of His prophets. He will destroy the wicked, and those who will be left will be like the Nephites after the wicked were all killed off; they were righteous men and women who lived for over two hundred years according to the law of heaven." [emphasis mine]
This statement leads me to query if Cannon would have been so egregiously hateful, vicious, and murderous in his condemnation of "sodomites" if he had realized his own adopted son, the famed musician and Tabernacle organist Tracy Young Cannon, would later become a leader of the homosexual Bohemian Club in Salt Lake (for which see Michael Quinn's treatment), and would be at the center of a network of homosexual and bisexual musicians at the LDS School of Music (headquartered in the McCune Mansion)?
George Q. Cannon, 1st Counselor in the First Presidency
Demanded the destruction of sodomites in Utah
Tracy Young Cannon, bisexual son of George Q. Cannon;
leader of the Bohemian Club and faculty member of LDS School of Music with many homosexuals
When public figures make such statements filled with fearful anger, criticism, and condemnation, they are often projecting their own personal turmoil onto others, scapegoating their own problems and short-comings. Indeed, the larger context for Cannon's homophobic speech reveals two possible motivations for his vitriolic attack on sodomites. First of all, during the period between Wilde's visit to Utah and his imprisonment for sodomy, Cannon himself was embroiled in bitter dissension among the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the First Presidency. It was discovered after President John Taylor's death in 1887 that Cannon had been secretly acting as the de facto head of the church for the last five months of Taylor's life, due to the president's deteriorating health, something which Cannon had kept hidden from the Twelve Apostles and other church leaders. Cannon's ineptitude and mismanagement of the Church, and deception about his role in its governance, left some members of the Quorum of the Twelve angry. In particular, Cannon's mismanagment of the church's involvement with the Bullion Beck silver mine in Eureka, Utah (where Michael Quinn has discovered the existence of an all-male brothel frequented by miners) could have financially ruined Mormon investors, including fellow Apostle Moses Thatcher (an outspoken Democrat and a morphine addict who suffered intensely from a stomach ulcer). Cannon's inept management of and continued involvement in the Bullion Beck remained the sharp dividing line between Cannon and Thatcher for many years to come.
Apostles Moses Thatcher, Francis Lyman, and Heber J. Grant were questioning Cannon over "conduct unbecoming a witness of Jesus Christ", especially with regards to his handling of the Bullion-Beck mine, his "meddling in the case of his son John Q.'s adultery", and also mishandling the Thomas Taylor venture. Even Wilford Woodruff publicly expressed doubts about the First Counselor's "mining schemes". Exacerbating the situation, it was then discovered that the church auditing books that Cannon was in charge of were missing; Cannon defended himself by declaring he had conveniently lost them on purpose in order to keep them out of the hands of anti-polygamous Federal authorities (as well as from fellow church leaders who had no clue about the current financial state of the church). Woodruff also stated his distaste for the way George's son, Angus M. Cannon was presiding over the Salt Lake Stake. In March 1888, Woodruff recorded in his journal that George Q. Cannon stood accused by other church leaders of "using church money for his son John Q., for embezzling church money. Then of paying large sums of church money on the iron mine" of Thomas Taylor's. However Cannon was able to provide sufficient defense to these accusations, assuaging Woodruffs concerns and the new First Presidency was formally organized a year later with Woodruff as the new president and Cannon and Joseph F. Smith as his counselors. [72A]
Still contention between Cannon and Thatcher increased dramatically over the next several years, with Cannon hiding coyly behind the skirts of the newly-reorganized First Presidency, while drug-addicted Thatcher became more and more alienated from the Quorum of the Twelve, until eventually Thatcher was released as an Apostle in November of 1896. With Cannon's main scapegoat securely out of the way, it is possible that in 1897 he was casting about for further "criminal" scapegoats, onto whom Cannon could project his own failings as a "spiritual leader". Secondly, Cannon was closely tied to Thomas Taylor, and in fact, as noted above, had assisted Mormon president John Taylor in "swindling" Thomas on several occasions over a period of several years. Perhaps, feeling guilty over what he had done to Thomas, Cannon was exceptionally virulent in deflecting attention away from his own actions. Given Cannon's prominent role in the excommunication of Bishop Thomas Taylor for masturbating several young men, and since Cannon was almost certainly aware of both President John Taylor's son being a homosexual aikane and Lorenzo Hunsaker being accused of masturbating and fellating his half-brothers, Cannon could turn his fire towards those Mormons who had been practicing "this nameless crime" which "is practiced in this land which we have dedicated to the Lord." 
I point out here that this is actually the second time that Cannon spoke about "the crime against nature" in General Conference. In 1879, long before the appearance of Oscar Wilde in Utah, Cannon was vigorously defending his own polygamous orientation against the perils of mongamy, one being homosexuality. Cannon solemnly testified in April General Conference that monogamy shortens a nation's existence. He claimed that, "[i]t is a fact worthy of note that the shortest lived nations of which we have record have been monogamic. Rome...was a monogamic nation and the numerous evils attending that system early laid the foundation for that ruin which eventually overtook her." Cannon also said that, "crimes against nature were justified by some of the best and most noted of Greek philosophers, and were practiced by Sophocles, Socrates, and others; and yet this is the philosophy that has come down to us."
He continued that the "false tradition" of heterosexual monogamy is "one of the greatest evils at the present time", passed on by Greeks and Romans, and ultimately leads to "crimes against nature", as well as prostitution, courtesanship, and early deaths of said courtesans. Thus, for Cannon, socio-political, religious, and cultural pressures to be monogamous are the cause of homosexuality, prostitution, and venereal disease! This is the first attempt by an LDS leader to come up with some sort of authoritative causality for homosexuality, no matter how bizarre or ignorant the theory. Four years later, Elder James Henry Hart wrote a lengthy rebuttal to Rev. T. DeWitt Talmage's anti-Mormon and anti-polygamy tirades for the pages of the New York Times. Although the Times refused to print Hart's rebuttal, the Deseret News did so in November 1883. Ignoring the fact that when Hart wrote his letter there were a number of Mormon men (some of them polygamists) who were in jail for the crime of sodomy, Hart described the current monogamous, Christian "civilization" as nearly choking itself "straining at the polygamic gnat, while it follows the Cyprian and Sodomite camel almost without an effort." Hart believed that many men were of the opinion that "the condition of [monogamous] Christendom is fast approaching the civilization of Sodom," focusing particularly on New York City, which "would soon be as bad as Sodom and Gomorrah, in fact it was nearly so bad now." Regardless of whether polygamy or monogamy were the lifestyle choices of the dominant culture, male homosexual acts were just as prevalent in "Zion" at the time as they were in "Babylon".
SPEAKING THE UNSPEAKABLE
THE LATER DEVELOPMENT OF MORMON HOMOPHOBIC DISCOURSE
Reynolds v. United States dealt a serious blow to the Mormon hierarchy. An 1885 article in the anti-Mormon Salt Lake Tribune explored "a more basic opposition" to polygamy. "The essential principle of Mormonism is not polygamy at all, but the ambition of an ecclesiastical hierarchy to wield sovereignty; to rule the souls and lives of its subjects with absolute authority, unrestrained by any civil power." In other words, what had seperated Mormons as a distinct people - the sexual politics of polygamy - had collapsed, severely weakening male religious prerogative. In order to reconstruct its power, the Mormon hierarchy created a power- consolidating institution called "Priesthood Correlation" in 1908. Following the end of polygamy, the dynamic "gifts of the spirit" (speaking and singing in tongues, etc.) were frowned upon and eventually terminated. Women's organizations became auxiliary to the "priesthood". Women were commanded to stop performing healing and blessing rituals, which thereafter were only to be performed by male priesthood holders. To set them off again as being a "peculiar people", Mormons emphasized strict enforcement of the Mormon "health code" (the Word of Wisdom), the development and maintenance of their Welfare Program, and renewed emphasis on the monogamous, heterosexual family as the basic unit of society.
The "Illness" of Homosexuality: Patriarch Joseph Fielding Smith
During the early part of the twentieth century, as Mormonism slowly but steadily grew, problematic issues surrounding isolationism versus universalism arose. Confrontation with homosexuality (which was itself becoming more and more publicized) and what to do with "out" homosexuals was inevitable. For example, in 1945, as reported by D. Michael Quinn, church leaders realized that there were quite a number of Mormon homosexuals who were meeting for sex at the Deseret Gym in downtown Salt Lake. ("Cruising for sex" had been going on there since at least 1930, as personally reported to me in the late 1980s by Spencer Kimball's Gay first cousin twice removed, Jack Pembroke [1913-2000], who began cruising there that year. Homosexual activities were constantly occuring in the showers and steam room at the Deseret Gymnasium in Salt Lake throughout the 1970s and 1980s, when I had a membership there. Several members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, one Tabernacle organist, and at least two General Authorities were participants in the sexual activies there, as personally witnessed by me or by a Gay employee I knew who worked there.) Quinn claims that First Presidency member, J. Reuben Clark, asked former Bishop Gordon Burt Affleck "to organize a surveillance for possible homosexuals in the steam room of the church-owned Deseret Gymnasium." [75A]
The church's first major challenge on this issue came from a man whose position had historically rivaled that of the church president himself. When Joseph Fielding Smith was ordained Patriarch to the Church on October 8, 1942, many Mormons were stunned because it was well known that the Drama professor at the University of Utah was a practicing homosexual, and it was even rumored in his own family that he had an arrest record for sexual vice. One of his favorite Drama pupils, Cynthia Blood, told me in a 1989 interview that "everybody on campus knew" that Prof. Smith was "queer" and that he often "flitted amongst the boys". Evidence indicates that he had sexual relations with Norval Service and with another young man named Wallace (which could be a first or last name). However, should any of the Mormon faithful question whether a married, homosexual Drama teacher with a police record for having sex with his students was "called of God" to be Patriarch to the Church, Pres. David O. McKay affirmed earlier that week during October General Conference that, "Elder Smith's right to his office...is not only by [patriarchal] lineage but by direct inspiration to the President who holds the keys of the Priesthood". With this full assurance from a member of the First Presidency, the Mormon faithful are only left with two options: either God in fact did not care that Joseph Fielding Smith was an adulterous homosexual, or the presiding prophet at that time, George Albert Smith, was in fact not receiving "direct inspiration" from God in the governance of the Church, despite what McKay said.
Patriarch Joseph Fielding Smith
Released (but not excommunicated) for homosexual affairs
In April 1946, President George Albert Smith (a distant cousin of the Patriarch) was informed that Joseph had had an intimate relationship (whether it was overtly sexual is not known) with yet another young man named Byram Browning, some time prior to March 1943 (which is when Browning entered the Navy during World War II). On April 13, Byram's maternal uncle, LeGrand Chandler, met with the church president to discuss this relationship. Various journals and office diaries from that time mention that the Patriarch was "ill", and in fact, Smith's own diary entry for June 29, 1946 referred to the "problems" he was having at that time as only "a recurrence of his old trouble in his back." While it is true that he did have recurring physical problems with his back, no doubt these were extremely exacerbated by and psychosomatically related to the public revelation of his homosexual activities to his ecclesiastical peers and superiors.
The church president, after private conferences with those involved, their families, and the Twelve Apostles, decided to quietly release Smith from his duties.  That October, Smith's name was simply omitted from the roll of General Authorities sustained in General Conference. When questioned about the omission, the LDS First Presidency responded by having David O. McKay read a letter allegedly written by Patriarch Smith himself, indicating that he was suffering from the so-called "extended illness".  Interestingly the former patriarch was neither excommunicated nor disfellowshipped, although he was not allowed to perform any church duties.  Instead, he was exiled from Utah by church order to anywhere else in the world of his choosing. Since Joseph had been a missionary in Hawai'i, that is where he chose as his place of exile; the church paid for his family to move there. Eleven years later, Smith was reinstated into full participation in the church after he had "confessed to his wife and wrote a full confession to the First Presidency."  Despite his "repentance", it is known that Smith continued to acknowledge his homosexuality to other Gay Mormons who lived in Hawai'i in the late 1950s, including Dr. John Reeves, who was interviewed in 1988 for this essay. [Click here for a comprehensive chronology on Patriarch Smith's homosexuality and the Church's response.]
It seems to have been church policy at this time that church members who were involved in homosexuality were not to be excommunicated, but merely released from church callings. For example, in September 1950, John M. Anderson, chairman of the Music Department at church-owned Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho, was fired from his position for having sexual relations with several male students. It seems highly likely that Anderson's firing was part of a Madison County (Rexburg), Idaho investigation into "allegedly widespread homosexual practices" there in the fall of 1950, as reported in the September 14, 1950 issue of the (Pocatello) Idaho State Journal. The "case has rocked the community", said Mormon Leonard O. Kingsford, the Madison County prosecutor. Kingsford confirmed that "two of the leaders have lost their positions after admitting sodomy practices involving men" and promised that E.A. Hansen, the county sheriff, had been conducting "an extensive investigation in an effort to prosecute". When a Rexburg stake presidency counselor asked President J. Reuben Clark whether John M. Anderson should be disciplined through a church court, on September 11, 1950 Clark said no, because "thus far we had done no more than drop them [homosexuals] from positions they held", indicating that homosexual activity was not an excommunicable offense. This is also supported by the events of a case of homosexual pedophilia that unfolded in the California Mission one year later. According to Stephen L. Richards' office diary, Bryan L. Bunker, president of the California Mission, called Richards because one of his missionaries, Elder Morgan K. P******, was in jail for having sexually molested three 12 and 13 year old boys during his mission. Richards asked Bunker, “was there any proof of his actual penetration?” Bunker replied that P****** had "not admitted that nor was he charged with that. He was charged only with fondling the boys through their clothes." Richards replied that “in many respects that’s a superficial charge and we must assume that it was not a completed act”. They both agreed that he was only “guilty of a great indiscretion” and was not to be excommunicated. I suspect that the policy of non-excommunication had more to do with denial and maintaining an "untarnished" public image in the face of certain scandal, rather than a show of compassion or a lack of homophobia. Even into the late 1970s, church leaders were very slow to excommunicate even radical homosexuals who had long left Mormonism behind. For example, in a 1978 interveiw, Rev. Ken Storer, a returned missionary who was then serving as pastor for the Metropolitan Community Church in Boise, Idaho with a special outreach to homosexuals, told the Idaho Statesman that he hadn't been excommunicated yet, even though he had joined another church. "They just keep asking me to sign papers requesting it [excommunication]. It doesn't matter to me - I excommunicated them a long time ago." Rev. Storer also recounted that when he was still a young man "in conflict over being gay" and Mormon, he had a very supportive meeting with LDS president David O. McKay at church headquarters in the late 1960s. Storer reported that, "After our conversation, as I was walking out the door, he put his arm around me and said 'Your road's not an easy one. Stay close to the Savior'. I told him I was still in the Mormon church. He said, "I didn't say the church, I said the Savior.'"
Two years later, J. Reuben Clark became the first Mormon general authority to use the words "homosexual" and "homosexuality" in public. In a 1952 address entitled "Home, and the Building of Home Life", which he delivered at the all-female General Relief Society Conference, Clark pointed out that with regards to "the person who teaches or condones the crimes for which Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed - we have coined a softer name for them than came from old; we now speak of homosexuality, which it is tragic to say, is found among both sexes....Not without foundation is the contention of some that the homosexuals are today exercising great influence in shaping our art, literature, music, and drama." Then in 1954, Clark issued a warning to the all-male priesthood to avoid "that filthy crime of homosexuality."  This was during the "McCarthy era", in which anti- Gay rhetoric almost reached a national hysteria. As will be seen, Mormon attitudes concerning Gays and Lesbians came not by "revelation from God", but by revelation from the popular press.
Commie Pinko Queers: The "Boys of Boise" and Salt Lake Scandals
Some five years after the Rexburg, Idaho homosexual scandal "rocked the community", beginning on Halloween night 1955, Gay men in Boise, Idaho were caught in what has rightly been called the "nation's most infamous homosexual witch hunt", partially instigated and aided by local Mormon Church members. Local LDS congregations heavily pressured authorities to investigate, acting under the auspices of a very right-wing political organization, which was then called the Idaho Allied Civic Forces but is currently known as the Idaho Allied Christian Forces; LDS congregations in Idaho are still heavily involved in this organization, as listed prominently on the masthead of the group's newsletters. Ten years after the scandal first broke, author John Gerassi wrote a book about it called The Boys of Boise: Furor, Vice and Folly in an American City, exposing the unsavory machinations of Mormonism and anti-Communism in the interrogations of nearly 1,500 Boise men and youths. The Mormon probation officer who scandalously initiated the investigation and handled all the cases was Emery Clarence Bess (1919-1984). Boise's mayor at the time, Russell Elmer Edlefsen (1906-1986), who was actively involved in the ongoing investigation, was also LDS. The secretary of the Board of Corrections, who was involved in the investigation, was a Mormon named Herman Fails. Some of the men caught were also Mormons, such as Ralph Harley Cooper (1921-1980) and Charles Herbert Gordon (1917-1980). Ironically, one of the lawyers who defended the homosexuals, Sylvan A. Jeppesen (1922-1991), was also a Mormon. Morris Dee Foote (1925-1998), a Gay Mormon working as an elevator operator at the Capitol Building, upon hearing of the massive criminal investigation, fled Boise immediately out of fear for his life; some 100 other men followed suit. Foote later returned to Boise and became very involved in the Gay Christian movement of the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) in the later years of his life. Another Gay Mormon, 15 year old Ken Storer, was profoundly affected by the unfolding scandal. Storer recently informed me that at Boise High School that Autumn, the older boys were saying that "the only way to be safe in Boise is to wear a girdle". When Ken asked his father about the scandal and the upperclass men joke, his father "responded with pure rage" and Ken knew that "in some way I didn't understand, they were talking about me. That was my first step into the closet." Ken would later become an instructor at BYU, and then leave the school and church in 1977, becoming a member of the Metropolitan Community Church in Salt Lake, and then a Reverend for MCC back in Boise in 1978. The memories of the scandal still haunt him as one of his earliest memories. 
Click on image to purchase a copy from amazon.com
As part of the larger McCarthy crusade against Gays, these men were seen as part of an alleged "communist plot" in the United States. Making national headlines, including a lenghty notice in the Deccember 12, 1955 issue of Time magazine, the story became known as "The Boys of Boise" scandal, a play off of the popular 1940s Broadway musical, The Boys from Boise. Evidence was manufactured by police and private investigators, witnesses were either intimidated or coached and paid, their testimony was contradictory, and defendents were often interrogated with counsel being present, but mass hysteria was in the air, so heads had to roll. Those convicted of "the crime against nature" or "lewd and lascivious conduct" were sentenced anywhere from a few months to life sentences in the Idaho state penitentiary; a handful of others were put on probation. Mormon Ralph H. Cooper, a career criminal and repeat pedophile, was promised by his fellow Mormon probation officer, Emery Bess, that if he pled guilty, he would only receive a light sentence of psychiatric treatment. Testimonies against Cooper were fabricated by Bess and the police and then conveniently "lost", witnesses (who were known sociopaths) had been coached, and Cooper was not given legal counsel during the whole trial; he simply pled guilty. Then Judge Merlin S. Young sentenced Cooper to life in prison without any psychiatric treatment as promised. Judge Young is thought to to be LDS also, but he is still alive and will not grant interviews regarding this case. Frank Anton Jones, one of the homosexual youths caught in the investigation, was expelled from West Point and later commited suicide. Jones, born in the Mormon community of Rexburg but not believed to be LDS, was the son of prominent Boise City Council member Harold "Buck" Jones, who had been one of the most vociferous in beginning the investigation. The personal toll on dozens of men is inestimable, with ruined families, ruined careers, and ruined lives.
Gerassi documented the fact that this homosexual scandal actually had three layers to it. The first layer, the most covert yet most political, was a group of very wealthy, powerful men in Boise who had realized that "one of their own" was a practicing homosexual, so they hatched a plot to bring "the Big Queen" down, using the Idaho Allied Civic Forces as a front for their operation. (The identity of the "Queen" has never been publicly revealed.) To oust their target from power, this group of men orchestrated a massive witch hunt for homosexual pedophiles, whipping the Boisean public into a hysterical frenzy of "save our children" in order to cover up their true motive, a political assassination. However, since there were almost no pedophiles to prosecute, the third layer came into play: run-of-the-mill homosexual men, who only had sex with other consenting adults, got caught up in these horrific political machinations which ruined many lives. Making front page headlines, Mormon probation officer Emery Bess made his first public announcement to the press on November 2; he reported that while only three men had been arrested so far, there was partial evidence against several other adults and "about 100 boys" and he insisted that his investigation had merely "scratched the surface". He went on to say that the arrests had been made as the result of investigations by a private detective "at the request of a client". Over the course of the following months, 1,472 men were interviewed, almost all without being given legal representation. Eventually sixteen men were arrested and nine went to prison in what one city councilwoman called "a bloodletting". Boiseans were so terrified of the pedophile "monster" among them (a newspaper editorial called homosexuality "a cancerous growth"), that the police ordered a strict 11:00 pm curfew for all youths under 16. Rumors spread that there was such a "widespread homosexual underworld" looking for young boys in Boise that United Airlines had scheduled "special flights" to handle all the pedophiles during the summer. Despite all the hysterics, in the end only three "young boys" involved were actually minors (not the 100 as estimated), and those three 16 and 17 year olds were known liars, sociopaths and "sexual psychopaths" and had long been sex workers before the scandal broke out in Boise. One of the youths, William Harvey Baker, murdered his own father six weeks after his first interview. These were not the innocent victims of pedophiles that the media and public rumor portrayed, yet their extremely dubious testimony was allowed to stand. And through it all, the targeted "Queen" was never even vaguely implicated.
The fiasco of the witch-hunts later influenced Idaho law makers to be far more compassionate towards homosexuals. In an article appearing in the June 22, 1971 issue of The Advocate, it was reported that Idaho governor Cecil D. Andrus had signed into law Idaho's new penal code, which eliminated "all penalties for private homosexual acts between freely consenting persons 16 years old and older and reduces solicitation for homosexual acts where no money is involved to a petty misdemeanor carrying a 30-day penalty." The principal architect of this new penal code was William Roden, a Republican senator who had been a deputy prosecutor in Boise during the witch-hunt in 1955. Horrified by what his fellow prosecutor, Blaine Evans, did in destroying so many lives, Roden drafted the new code because he felt that the laws in Idaho had been "rather archaic, and I frankly don’t care to see the so-called crimes against nature made criminal." Thus in 1971, Idaho became the third state in the nation to legalize homosexual acts between consenting adults.
The Idaho Allied Civic Forces' "success" in exposing this alleged "homosexual ring" apparently inspired John Birch Society member and rabid anti-Communist, W. Cleon Skousen, to begin cracking down on Gays in Salt Lake City, where Skousen was Chief of Police from 1956 to 1960. In February 1958, the Salt Lake Tribune announced that a vagrant man had been arrested by police, who was the head of a ring of "about 100 boys" (perfectly mirroring the initial press report from Boise). Then followed the arrests of Gay men (not pedophiles) for cruising bars and parks. For example from February to April of 1958, Salt Lake police arrested 25 homosexuals. Then in the month of May alone, they arrested another 23. Sgt. T.W. Southworth of the Salt Lake "anti-vice bureau" informed the Salt Lake Tribune that, "We have a detail of three men assigned to patrol and police the known sexual deviate hangouts". Skousen's attempt to whip Utahns into a frenzy over the "homosexual menace" failed however. While Sgt. Southworth recommended that the state's judicial system be especially hard on homosexuals by giving them a six month jail sentence (with a reduction in sentence for those willing to submit to "psychiatric treatments") in order to "slow [homosexual] activity", the newspaper noted that only one Gay man arrested so far had been to court and he had received a sentence of either a $75 fine or 15 days in jail. Also, while the Idaho Daily Statesman article screamed from the headlines of page one, the news in Salt Lake City barely whimpered. Long desensitized to the variant sexual practices (polygamy and pedogamy) of the state's Mormon majority, the miniscule notice of an alleged homosexual ring in Salt Lake City was relegated to page ten.
Also in 1958, Cleon Skousen first formulated his list of "Current Communist Goals" and number 26 on the list of alleged goals was to "Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as 'normal, natural, healthy'". On January 10, 1963, US Representative A. S. Herlong (R-Florida) had Skousen's "Current Communist Goals" officially added to the Congressional Record. Cleon Skousen was fired as police chief in March of 1960 by the new Salt Lake mayor, J. Bracken Lee, who allegedly called Skousen "an incipient Hitler". 
In 1963, homosexual scandal returned to the Ricks campus in Idaho when Howard Earl Salisbury (1911-1977), professor of Journalism and English and chair of the Humanities Division at Ricks College, was fired from his job when it was discovered that he was the "center" of a group of about eight Gay male students and faculty at the Mormon-owned junior college. He then moved to San Francisco. Salisbury is probably one of the "belligerent" homosexuals who went to a large city "to hide", referred to by Spencer Kimball below. Salisbury later co-owned a large river-side resort for Gay men called the Willows in Guerneville, California. Upon his death, he left his half of the resort to his lover, Cloy Jenkins, author of Prologue, which Salisbury had proofread and edited before its publication. 
John Rousselot, Public Relations Director of the John Birch Society
For Mormon audience, criticized ministers who sympathized with homosexuals
Mormon political activists in Boise also formed the Treasure Valley Freedom Forum. This conservative group, in February 1965, was addressed by John Rousselot, Public Relations Director of the ultraconservative John Birch Society, concerning Communism. In his speech, "United Nations - Instrument of the International Communist Conspiracy", Rousselot told his Mormon audience that he was scandalized to discover that some Christian ministers had begun to sympathize with homosexuals, which he found to be a clear indication that Communism was infiltrating even conservative Christianity.
Dr. Joel Dorius: The Mormon "Porn Professor" and Accidental Activist
In May 1960, Massachusetts governor Foster Furcolo had established the “Pornography Squad”, with Sgt. John J. Regan as head of this notorious unit charged with “ferreting out, investigating, and prosecuting” pornography cases in the state – especially those involving the US Postal System. With an election coming up in November and polls showing failing support, Gov. Furcolo needed a good pornography scandal in the papers as a way to indicate an effective public administration, to help him get re-elected.
With information obtained from a US postal inspector, on September 2, 1960, three state troopers, a town police officer, and the postal inspector entered and searched the Northampton apartment of Dr. Newton Arvin, a Gay professor at Smith College. Arvin, who had been Truman Capote’s first lover after they had met at at a retreat called Bread Loaf many years earlier, had several beefcake “physique” magazines and photos in his possession that he had received through the mail (some from Capote when he vacationed in Greece), as well as 20 volumes of journals detailing his homosexual life back to 1940. These were seized by the state troopers as evidence to be used against him (and others) in court.
Plagued by guilt and thoroughly confused by the sudden tempest surrounding his personal life, Arvin tragically “ratted”, breaking the unwritten “code of silence” then dominant in Gay circles, and named the names of his Gay colleagues and friends. He informed police that at a private party, he had shown a group of men some of the physique and mildly nude male photos he had in his possession. Two of the men Dr. Arvin identified, Edward “Ned” Spofford and Mormon Joel Dorius (1919-2006), were untenured faculty at Smith College. While the two were eventually acquitted of the “possession of pornography” charges on appeal, the Smith College Board of Trustees immediately fired Spofford and Dorius, and retired Arvin on half-pay simply because they were homosexuals. (The "pornography" which Dorius allegedly had in his possesion were photos of 600 B.C. Etruscan murals, some with nudes. Still the Massachusetts police confiscated every single family photo he had and all his meticulous journals - none of which were ever returned to him, permanently destroying his sense of place and personal history.) Dr. Arvin was charged with “lewd and lascivious conduct” and received a one-year suspended sentence. Tragically he suffered a mental breakdown during the course of the trial and committed himself intermittently to a mental institution, where he died two years later.
Joel Dorius [click here for the longer biography I wrote on him] was born in 1919 on Capitol Hill in Salt Lake to Raymond Dorius and Clara "Claire" Parrish Dorius. He attended West High School and sang in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir from 1936 until around 1939 (although the official Choir roster website incorrectly says from 1937-1946). He had one sexual relationship with his 52 year old LDS piano teacher, Sterling Carlsberg, who died around 1938. While an undergraduate at the University of Utah Dorius was in a social circle of mostly homosexual students there, when he became "agnostic". From a very early age he also regularly "cruised" the all-male naked swimming hours at the Deseret Gymnasium, an extremely popular place for Mormon men to meet for brief sexual assignations from at least the 1910s until its closure in the 1990s. However other than Carlsberg, Dorius had no sexual contacts with males until he began his graduate work at Harvard in 1941. While at there, he was the research assistant to Wallace Stegner for his 1942 work, Mormon Country. At Harvard Dorius socialized with a circle of homosexual graduate students (some of whom were Mormons like himself) and finally found a lover among his peers, Phillip Holster.
Dorius home on Capitol Hill, Salt Lake, 1930s Joel Dorius, Gay graduate student, Harvard, early 1940s Dorius ca. 2002
In 1960 after being caught in the chaotic center of the "commie-queer" baiting scandal at Smith College and dubbed by the press as one of “the porn professors”, Joel Dorius could only find work teaching in Europe, far removed from the media scandal in the U.S. He taught at Hamburg University in West Germany during his trial and subsequent appeal. While teaching there, mishap followed misfortune when he was again arrested under Paragraph 175 (instituted by the Nazi Party to persecute homosexuals), simply for having coffee with an elderly homosexual German man. Dorius was forced to hire a lawyer, who was only able to get the case dismissed through bribery. In 1963, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the search warrants were unconstitutional since they did not properly define “obscene materials” and the convictions of all three men (including that of the then-deceased Newton Arvin) were overturned.
In 1964, Dr. Dorius joined the San Francisco State faculty, where he remained until his retirement. Although the “porn professors” scandal was nearly forgotten as a mere historical footnote, in 2001 Barry Werth published a biography, The Scarlet Professor – Newton Arvin: A Literary Life Shattered by Scandal (Doubleday) detailing the rise and tragic fall of this brilliant pioneer in American literary studies; Dorius and Spofford are also featured inthis biography. A television documentary on the scandal, The Great Pink Scare, was also broadcast on PBS, followed by articles in The New Yorker and Out magazine. In 2004, Dr. Dorius released his own memoir, My Four Lives, which was available on joeldorius.com (but this website is currently down).
With increased publicity on this tragic event, in 2002, Smith College held a conference honoring the three "porn professors" entitled "Homeland Insecurity" and created a lecture series and a small scholarship – the Dorius-Spofford Fund for the Study of Civil Liberties and Freedom of Expression, as well as an annual stipend for the Newton Arvin Prize in American Studies. However, the Smith Board of Trustees refused to issue a formal apology to the surviving men, and also never formally admitted the men were fired for being Gay, despite outraged protests from faculty and the student body alike. Neither Dorius nor Spofford returned to Smith when the lecture series and scholarships were announced (Dorius did send a video taped message); a close friend of the two men, Jesuit priest Paul G. Crowley of Santa Clara University, told the press that they two professors were “relieved and vindicated” by the minimal gesture. Crowley confirmed that “Joel was deeply touched. It really did bring this whole ordeal to a close, and freed him to enter his final years.” While Crowley called Dorius “an accidental figure in history for Gay people” he also acknowledged him as “a brilliant teacher….That was much more important to Joel in many ways. He touched hundreds if not thousands of students’ lives as a teacher”.[84A]
2002 Smith College conference program,
honoring Drs. Arvin, Spofford, and Dorius
"The Lord's Program": Kimball and Petersen Attack
Acknowledgment of the presence of Gay and Bisexual Mormons became so significant that in 1959 church president David O. McKay assigned Apostles Spencer Kimball and Mark E. Petersen, to "help" Gays overcome their "homosexual problems". This assignment for the two Apostles came about because "quite a number of [Mormon] men were being arrested" at that time for being "'peeping toms', exhibitionists, homosexuals, and perverts in other areas" (no doubt referring to the recent arrests of Gays in Rexburg, Boise, and Salt Lake). It should be acknowledged that this assignment was only a reinforcement of what Kimball had already been doing for many years. Four years after Kimball was made an Apostle in 1943, Elder Charles A. Callis died and J. Reuben Clark "asked Elder Kimball to fill the gap. There began a disturbing flow of interviews with Church members involved in fornication or adultery or homosexuality, cases which formerly had been directed to Elder Callis." Callis, born in Ireland in 1865, was a "hell fire and damnation" speaker, as his daughter Kathleen recalled, and became an Apostle in 1933; apparently he then dealt with sexual deviancy among the Latter-day Saints for several years until his death in Florida in 1947. 
Apostle Charles A. Callis
Handled cases of sexually deviant Mormons until 1947
Besides being formally assigned to deal with homosexuality in 1959, Kimball decided that year that the church was in great need of "an extensive treatise on repentance" and thus began "jotting down scriptures for people to study...[and] developed some lists for recurring problems", including homosexuality. These general notes became the basis for The Miracle of Forgiveness, while his notes on homosexuality eventually resulted in four major works (as well as numerous minor works or statements): "A Counselling Problem in the Church" (1964); "The Crime Against Nature" chapter of The Miracle of Forgiveness (1969); "Hope for Transgressors" (1970), which was written for church leaders; and a year later Kimball wrote a pamphlet directly addressing the Gay Mormon as "New Horizons for Homosexuals" (1971) which was then reprinted as "A Letter to a Friend" in 1978. 
Apostles Spencer W. Kimball (left) and Mark E. Petersen
Assigned in 1959 to eradicate homosexuality from the Mormon Church
The earliest of these four major homophobic texts was originally a speech Kimball gave to a group of LDS psychiatrists, but I can find no transcript of it. However, a few months later, on July 10, 1964, Kimball gave an almost identical speech to a conference of the LDS church's Seminary (high school-level) and Institute (university-level) religion teachers assembled at Brigham Young University (BYU). Although dealing with various problems in Mormon society, the largest portion of "A Counselling Problem in the Church" [CLICK HERE TO SEE SCANS OF EXCERPTS] deals with homosexuality and became the basis for all subsequent homophobic discourse in the Mormon Church. Just five months earlier, on February 12, 1964, the First Presidency of the LDS Church (probably upon recommendation from Petersen and Kimball) issued a letter to all congregations indicating prospective missionaries "found guilty of fornication, or sex perversion, of heavy petting, or of other comparable transgressions should not be recommended until the case has been discussed with the Bishop and Stake President and a visiting Authority" (usually Kimball or Petersen). 
Spencer Kimball culled most of the information for his grossly-misinformed, homophobic speeches from popular tabloids and magazines, such as Life magazine and Medical World News (and even from a "circular" published by the Bank of Montreal!) Anti-Gay articles had appeared in both of these magazines during the month before Kimball's speech at BYU. As the historian John D'Emilio documents, "the notion of homosexuality as mental illness was receiving greater dissemination during the early 1960s" and for Gay radicals and activists in larger cities like New York, this negative "medical model of homosexuality hung like a millstone around the [homosexual] movement's neck". Both Irving Bieber's 1962 psychoanalytic study Homosexuality and the New York Academy of Medicine's 1964 report, which argued that "homosexuality was an acquired illness susceptible to cure", received extensive media attention and gave Kimball fodder for his negative attitude toward and teachings on homosexuality. (Kimball, for example, echoes the medical model when he writes that "this disease is curable", and even briefly quotes from the statement made by the New York Academy of Medicine.) While these reports promulgated homophobic views built on "loose reasoning...poor research...[and] examination of non-representative samplings", it broke the media's (and church's) silence on homosexual issues. Kimball's homophobic ideas went on to influence fellow church leaders and hundreds of thousands of followers. Thus Kimball, like Mormon leaders before and since, was affected by mainstream homophobic views, which he then intensified through his ecclesiastical authority. It is also in this speech that Kimball first used the phrase which I take as a title for this essay: "We are told that as far back as Henry the VIII, this vice was referred to as 'THE ABOMINABLE AND DETESTABLE CRIME AGAINST NATURE,' and some of our own statues [sic] have followed that wording." (Emphasis is Kimball's.) 
On January 5, 1965, Kimball again spoke at BYU, this time to the studentbody, harshly condemning homosexuality in "Love versus Lust", later published in BYU Speeches of the Year. This talk drew heavily from his "Counselling Problem" speech of the previous year. The following is a brief quote from the address:
"Good men, wise men, God-fearing men everywhere... denounce the practice as being unworthy of sons of God; and Christ's Church denounces it and condemns it so long as men have bodies which can be defiled. This heinous homosexual sin is of the ages. Many cities and civilizations have gone out of existence because of it. It was tolerated by the Greeks, and found in the baths of corrupt Rome. In Exodus, the law required death for the culprit who committed incest, or the depraved one who had homosexual or other vicious practices.
This is a most unpleasant subject to dwell upon, but I am pressed to speak it boldly so that no student in this University, nor youth in the Church, will ever have any question in his mind as to the illicit and diabolical nature of this perverse program. Again, Lucifer deceives and prompts logic and rationalization which will destroy men and make them servants of Satan forever....Let it never be said that the Church avoided condemning this obnoxious practice nor that it has winked at this abominable sin. And I feel certain that this University will never knowingly enroll an unrepentant person who follows these practices nor tolerate on its campus anyone with these tendencies who fails to repent and put his or her life in order." (Emphasis is mine.) 
"Hope for Transgressors"
"Hope for Transgressors" [CLICK HERE FOR SCANS OF THE PAMPHLET] begins by addressing church "Brethren" (apparently bishops and stake presidents) who will have the "privilege and responsibility to assist [homosexual Mormons] to effect a cure and bring their lives back into total normalcy". Kimball (and possibly Petersen) informed lay church leaders that "[e]xpressions of homosexuality...range from petting and love making to sodomy with its degradation". Kimball then calls homosexuality in both men and women a "despicable practice which is "difficult to dislodge" (p. 1). "[R]eformation...can come only by kind persuasion", Kimball says, since the lay leaders are not trained social workers, psychiatrists, or psychologists. However, lay leaders were told that if they were "dedicated and in total attunement with [their] Heavenly Father, [they] will be able to find solutions", despite their utter lack of training in dealing with "extremely lonely and sensitive" homosexuals. Leaders are told to gain the confidence of the Gay members, to use a "scriptural approach", "reason" (emphasizing the reproductivity of heterosexuality and the "barrenness and desolation" of homosexuality), and convincing them that "only futility and disappointment and loneliness lie ahead" (pp. 2-3). The homosexual "should abandon all places, things, situations and people with whom this evil practice has been associated." The homosexual "should purge out the evil then fill his life with constructive positive activities and interests". Gays should cease "reading articles about homosexuality and will substitute therefor the scriptures and worthy books and articles" and should chart the use of their time. Prayer is encouraged, along with frequent interviews with priesthood leaders. When the lay leader feels that the homosexual is ready, "he should be encouraged to date and gradually move his life toward the normal" so that "[m]arriage and normal life can follow" (pp.4-6). This ecclesiastical encouragement to marriage completely ignored the needs, well-being, and, with the advent of AIDS, the physical safety of the heterosexual spouses of those homosexuals who married. Kimball then reminded lay priesthood leaders that "the sin of homosexuality in its degraded aspects is as serious as adultery and fornication", so if the homosexual being counseled does not recover, does not cooperate, ever if he becomes belligerent, "appropriate action must be taken". Kimball then reiiterates that: (1) homosexuality "CAN be cured"; (2) it "CAN be forgiven"; (3) it is not "the fault totally of family conditions"; (4) God "did not make people 'that way'; (5) bishops have "power and resources far beyond the university training"; (6) Satan will thwart all efforts "to change a life which has already turned to him"; (7) prayer is encouraged; (8) scripture reading is encouraged; and lastly, (9) abandonment of everything associated with homosexuality is "important". Kimball then deceivingly concludes the pamphlet with a list of 73 scriptures which "historically" condemn homosexuality! However, even a cursory examination of this enormous list indicates that only four of the 73 could be possibly construed to condemn homosexuality (and the two from the New Testament are challenged by modern biblical scholarship as not refering to it at all).
I must point out that the LDS priesthood leader is not once instructed to feel or demonstrate love or compassion for the homosexual. In fact the only time the word love occurs in this entire pamphlet is when the leader is promised that homosexuals "will love your for all eternity for your help to them"!
"New Horizons for Homosexuals" (later aka "A Letter to a Friend")
A year after "Hope for Transgressors" was distributed to bishops and stake presidents, Kimball published "New horizons for Homosexuals" through Deseret News Press, for distribution throughout the church to all members who were dealing with homosexuality. Written initially for a close relative of Kimball's, either on December 12, 1965 or sometime during 1966, it was revised in 1971 for a more general audience, but retained its "letter" format and saccharine, ingratiating paternalism.  [CLICK HERE FOR SCANS OF "NEW HORIZONS FOR HOMOSEXUALS"]
Kimball first informs the homosexual reader, "I am your friend, your real friend, for I am trying hard to help you save yourself frompitfalls, which I am sure, you do not fully realize are gaping wide to swallow you, the victim". He then indicates that while each homosexual has free agency and "may do as you please", "the Lord did not waive penalities and it is an unalterable decree that every man shall suffer or enjoy the due rewards of his deeds." Heterosexuals may "begin the ruinous practice of perversion through curiosity and then become entangled in its tentacles (p. 3). Yet for even those "deeply entrenched, there is hope". Kimball warns that "[s]ex perversion is a hidden menace at first but eventually undermines and destroys its victims" (p. 4). Because sexual impurity is "[n]ext to the crime of murder", no "rationalization can really neutralize the pollution". Kimball then almost wistfully reminds the reader that the "death penalty was exacted in the days of Israel for such wrong-doing" (which both he and Petersen repeat several times throughout the coming years, perhaps to manipulate Gays into believing that the torturous programs the church will promote in the coming decades are nothing in comparison to capital punishment, for which "compassionate leniency" we should be grateful). However, "[t]hese sins are forgivable and can be overcome if there is adequate restraint and repentance" (p. 5). Finally in this pamphlet Kimball does state that "[t]he Lord, His Church, and we, His leaders, love you." However this single affirmation of ecclesiatical "love" rings completely hollow when compared with the rest of the 34 pages of condemnatory language in which Gays and their desires are described as utterly despicable and completely controlled by Satan.
With such increased attention directed at homosexuality, it soon became evident that there were a surprising number of homosexuals in the Church. Kimball's biography mentions several episodes of his counseling homosexual Mormons during the mid-1960s, including four Mormons in the northwestern United States, two of whom were college teachers. After two hours of meetings with them Kimball recorded in his journal that "they claim they see no sin in the matter, but that it is merely a new way of life....I was weary. I had worked so hard and put so much of myself into it trying to persuade them in the very few moments they gave me." Kimball also vistied an excommunicated homosexual engineer in Los Angeles and told him "that we loved him, the Lord loved him; we knew that basically he was a good man; and his eyes dimmed with tears and he said, 'This is the first time anyone from the Church has ever been kind to me in connection with this.'" Kimball also recounted another interview with a young Mormon who was "very curt and almost insulting" to Kimball. The young Gay man told Kimball that he "was not qualified to handle his case or to understand it or to help him, and that it was his problem and that he did not wish to be pressed or hurried or pressured." Ignoring his wishes, Kimball insisted that "as long as he as a returned missionary and held the priesthood and was a member of the Church that we did have jurisdiction and that we did not intend to let him continue on with his sin; unless he was willing to cooperate, he would need to be immediately excommunicated from the Church." Bowing to such incredible brow-beating and ecclesiastical pressure from an Apostle, Kimball smugly reported that the young man "finally began to yield and was willing to cooperate to some degree." When Kimball "personally reported" to President David O. McKay in 1968 on his and Petersen's work in counseling male and female homosexual Mormons, McKay "agreed to an enlarged committee". Kimball then lamented, "We have lost some who did not cooperate and were belligerent and went to the large cities to hide, but I feel there are many happy people today because of the work that Brother Petersen and I have done through the years".
However, it must be pointed out that many (if not all) of the "testimonials" that Kimball oft quoted and used as proof of a homosexual cure were in fact lies, signed by people who were tired of the ecclesiastical harassment, and found escape only by deception. For example, in the early 1970s, Cloy Jenkins met a Mormon man who was engaged to a female friend of Cloy. This man confidentially disclosed to Jenkins that "he was homosexual, that he had received counseling from the church, but that it had had no effect. He had, however, told his counselor that he had changed. After moving away from Utah, he had received what appeared to be a form letter sent by President [sic] Kimball, stating that he had, through his counseling, been cured of homosexuality. He was asked simply to sign his name at the bottom and return it to the church offices, which he did. He felt it was the only practical thing he could do, although he knew full well it was not true. He was and is [homo]sexually active. Yet, through the years, his letter has been held as proof of the 'miracles of forgiveness.'" Several other Gays I have interviewed also told me that they had been sent or personally given similar letters to sign as "proof" that they were "cured" of homosexuality. All signed them in order to decrease ecclesiastical surveillance and punishment. 
After ten years of preparation, Kimball finally published in 1969 his classic treatise on sin and repentance, The Miracle of Forgiveness. In chapter six, "The Crime Against Nature", he detailed his absurd theory that masturbation leads to homosexuality, which in turn, can lead to bestiality. He also claimed that "the sin of homosexuality is equal to or greater than that of fornication or adultery," effectively placing homosexuality next to murder in the Mormon hierarchy of sins. As Kimball's biography states, while preparing the text of The Miracle of Forgiveness for publication, he believed that homosexuality "would yield to consistent prayerful exercise of self-restraint. He pointed out that homosexuals rarely were excommunicated for their past acts but usually only for their unwillingness to make the effort to change" their sexual orientation.
Kimball and Petersen were formally released in 1972 from their assignment to "assist" homosexuals in changing their sexual orientation and repenting of their "sinfulness". The assignment was turned over to the "Personal Welfare Service of LDS Social Services". By 1978, the "church director" in charge of working with homosexuals in LDS Social Services was a man named Kent Petersen. However, Kimball continuted to make homosexuality a priority and went out of his way to counsel LGBT Mormons. In 1977, Victor L. Brown Jr. (of the Values Institute) told Duane Jeffrey, BYU Zoology professor, that as of 1976, Kimball had extensive files on some 1500 homo-, bi-, and transexual Mormons. 
During the October 1977 General Conference Kimball gave a speech called, "The Foundations of Righteousness" in which once again he severely attacked homosexuality. Kimball told the faithful that "Homosexuality is an ugly sin, but because of its prevalence, the need to warn the uninitiated, and the desire to help those who may already be involved with it, it must be brought into the open. It is the sin of the ages....There is today a strong clamor to make such practices legal by passing legislation....We do not hesitate to tell the world that the cure for these evils is not in surrender....As we think back upon the experiences of Nineveh, Babylon, Sodom and Gomorrah, we wonder - will history repeat itself?"
Desmond's "Homosexual Church of Jesus Christ"
While Kimball and Petersen were vociferously attacking homosexuality, Gay Mormons began to dissent and resist. Michael Quinn has documented that in 1966, 26 year old David-Edward Desmond founded a break-off from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) in Denver, Colorado. "The United Order Family of Christ" was founded specifically for young Gay men only, ages 18 to 30. Because they practiced a uniquely Mormon form of communalism in which they held "everything in common", Desmond affirmed that the Family was "not for the great majority of the Gay LDS". This Mormon schismatic church thus became the second Gay Christian church founded in the United States, the first being a Catholic schism founded by Father George Hyde in 1946 in Atlanta, Georgia and called the Eucharistic Catholic Church, which later moved to New York City. Desmond's "homosexual Church of Jesus Christ" lasted at least until 1973, when Desmond was still corresponding with David C. Martin (then editor of the Restoration Reporter). David-Edward Desmond was born in 1940, in Spokane, Washington to 19-year old Joyce Betty Grasty and her husband named Desmond (first name unknown). David-Edward Desmond died on 11 May, 1983, in Pullman, Washington. Grace Lutheran Church's Rev. Vernon Johnson held the funeral and he was buried in Fairmount Memorial Park, Spokane.
David-Edward Desmond's gravestone, Fairmont Memorial Park, Spokane WA
Photo courtesy of Nat Wall, Queer History Project, Spokane
[click image to enlarge]
Sibling names blacked out
The Hebrew scripture engraved on the stone, 2 Samuel 1:26, reads (per KJV):
"I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me:
thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women." (see David & Jonathan above)
In 1985, a group of six Gay men in the Los Angeles Chapter of Affirmation formed another Mormon schismatic church for Gays, called the Church of Jesus Christ of All Latter-day Saints (later the Restoration Church of Jesus Christ; not to be confused with the Restoration Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints). Antonio A. Feliz (a former Mormon bishop) was named the first president but he was ousted eight months later because of changes he was making to the church without consent of its members. Controversy and dissent have marked its history since and its membership currently is almost non-existent. The Restoration Church's book of modern scripture is called Hidden Treasures and Promises.
Logo of the Restoration Church
Ironically, Kimball's "definitive" statement against homosexuality in The Miracle of Forgiveness came out just as the "Gay liberation movement" gained national attention with the watershed "Stonewall Riots" in New York City, beginning on June 27, 1969. That night, tens of thousands of Gay men had packed New York City to attend the funeral of the greatly loved Gay icon, Judy Garland. The New York Police Department, used to ignoring homosexuals' constitutional right of freedom to assemble, raided the Stonewall Inn to harass and arrest customers. The normally docile Gays there were in no mood to be shoved around during this time of communal grief, and for the first time in the United States, decided to fight back against this injustice. Led by drag queens and bull-dykes, Gay Liberation activists participated in three nights of rioting in the streets of New York, ushering in a new era for homosexuals to grow beyond their culturally- and religiously-induced shame into a profound sense of human dignity and self-worth. June 27th is now regarded and celebrated internationally as "Gay Pride Day".
The LDS Church responded vociferously to the new homosexual militancy. In March 1970, the First Presidency sent a letter to the church at large, stating that "homosexuals can be assured that in spite of all they may have heard from other sources, they can overcome and return to normal, happy living." A month later, Victor L. Brown Sr., then second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, gave a speech during General Conference on morality in the family, and addressed homosexuality in the context of pornography. "The chief psychiatrist at one of Washington's largest hospitals says, 'A normal 12- or 13-year-old boy or girl exposed to pornographic literature could develop into a homosexual". Brown added, "Some are even saying, 'What is wrong with becoming a homosexual?' In one church, a leader recently performed a marriage between two male homosexuals. As a matter of fact, some of the world news media made quite a story of it. And yet who is responsible for this moral decay?" Church President Harold B. Lee then delivered a speech on eschatological signs during the Priesthood Meeting of October 1972 General Conference in which he stated,
"I want to warn this great body of priesthood against that great sin of Sodom and Gomorrah, which has been labeled as a sin second only in seriousness to the sin of murder. I speak of the sin of adultery, which, as you know, was the name used by the Master as he referred to unlicensed sexual sins of fornication as well as adultery; and besides this, the equally grievous sin of homosexuality, which seems to be gaining momentum with social acceptance in the Babylon of the world, of which Church members must not be a part."
Mormon President Harold B. Lee
The "grievous sin of homosexuality" is a sign of the "last days"
The circular letter of 1970 and Lee's comment of 1972 were but precursors to the more official (and ecclesiastically binding) First Presidency statement of 1973 which declared that "homosexuality in men and women runs counter to...divine objectives and, therefore, is to be avoided and forsaken." Gays and Lesbians who refused to find their sexuality evil were promised "prompt Church court action." Excommunication to faithful Mormons means eternal exclusion from the "Celestial Kingdom" - a hell in and of itself.
In 1973, Victor L. Brown, Jr. of LDS Social Services wrote the twenty page Homosexuality: Welfare Services Packet I for use in counseling Lesbians and Gay men throughout the church. The packet indicated that "an essential part of repentance" was to disclose to Church authorities the names of other homosexuals, in order "to help save others". The packet also stated that the Lesbian "needs to learn feminine behavior" while the Gay man "needs to learn...what a manly priesthood leader and father does." It also explained that "excommunication cleanses the Church....There is no place in God's Church for those who persist in vile behavior." Ironically, church leaders concluded that the Packet was so "weakly" written that the church could only use it on a very limited basis, only for the simplest of orientations to the controversial topic. In 1980, Gay Mormon bishop Antonio Feliz recorded in his journal that he had found evidence that the Packet had been written in response to the founding of an "apostate group", which he incorrectly identified as "Affirmation" (the support group for Gay ande Lesbian Mormons, founded in 1977 - see below). However Affirmation wasn't an "apostate group" (i.e. a schismatic religion) but merely a support group, and it wasn't even organized until 1977, so it is possible the Packet instead was a response to the 1972 and early 1973 articles that appeared in David C. Martin's Restoration Reporter on the formation of David-Edward Desmond's "homosexual Church of Jesus Christ". 
Leonard Matlovich Makes Time
On September 8, 1975, Latter-day Saint Air Force Sgt. Leonard Phillip Matlovich Jr. appeared on the cover of Time magazine, declaring "I am a Homosexual" to the nation and hurling him into the national spotlight as "poster boy" for Gay rights. In a watershed moment for the Gay rights movement, the Gay Mormon was the first openly Gay person ever to appear on the cover of Time or any other major US news magazine. Matlovich was featured in the magazine because he was suing the US Armed Force for discharging him for being Gay, despite the fact that he had an impeccable record, having served three tours of duty in Vietnam, where he received the Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, and an Air Force Meritorious Service Medal. Matlovich, initially raised Catholic, had apparently converted to the LDS Church during his tour of duty in Vietnam. He was ordained a Mormon Priest in 1970 and then an Elder on January 19, 1971 while in Vietnam, by W. Brent Hardy.
Sgt. Leonard "Mat" Matlovich - Gay Mormon and
the first out Gay person ever to appear on the cover of Time
Although the Time article did not mention that Matlovich was LDS, when the publicity on his case against the Air Force broke, the Mormon Church conducted a series of trials against him. On August 1, 1975, the Norfolk Virginia Stake High Council met with Matlovich to investigate "alleged wrongdoing on [his] part involving infraction of the standards and rules of the Church". During this meeting, Matlovich "made a strong and convincing plea for time to think and consider the course of action [he was] pursuing, and to decide whether or not to abandon it and to seek professional help", which the Stake Presidency had "offered to help arrange". Matlovich was disfellowshipped at that time, meaning he could attend church meetings but was not "entitled to speak, offer public prayer, partake of the sacrament, or otherwise participate in these meetings". Of course his first charge was to "continue to pay [his] tithes and offerings" to the Church. Matlovich stopped attending church services and declined further "invitations" to meet with the Stake Presidency. Then after his appearance on the cover of Time a month later, the Norfolk Stake leaders decided a more severe punishment was warranted. Stake President W. Boyd Lee (who in 2004 is the president of the Memphis Tennessee LDS Temple) and his two counselors, Kirk T. Waldron and Mark J. Rowe wrote him on September 12, 1975, requesting another appearance before the Stake High Council on September 27, because of his "expressed decision to make no effort to change or correct" his homosexual activism. Matlovich was unable to make that meeting because of "the demands on [his] time by the United States Air Force". However, the High Council ignored his plea to reschedule. They met without him on October 7, 1975 and "took action to excommunicate [him] from the Church". They cited his "intention to continue activism in a practice which is abhorrent to and in direct violation of the laws of our Heavenly Father. We cannot accept that you cannot change or be helped. It is our prayer that you may come to realize that you can indeed be changed and that you will seek such help as is necessary to accomplish it." They informed him that excommunication meant "complete severance from the Church and denial of all Church priveliges [sic] and rights". He was welcome to attend public meetings as a guest but he was "not to pay tithes or other contributions, but [was] encouraged to keep them on deposit until such time as [he] might be readmitted to the Church." Getting money from even ex-members is definitely a priority for the Church. They concluded in their letter to him that they urged him "study the scriptures and pray, that [he might] come to know the truth, and to ignore the rising popular clamor for liberal practices in conflict with God's laws and eternal purposes".
Scanned images (200 dpi) of correspondence regarding Matlovich's various church courts, copied from the Leonard Matlovich Collection at the San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library
W. Boyd Lee (of Norfolk VA Stake) to Leonard Phillip Matlovich, July 13, 1975 W. Boyd Lee and Counselors to Leonard Phillip Matlovich, August 27, 1975 W. Boyd Lee and Counselors to Leoanrd Phillip Matlovich, September 12, 1975 Leonard P. Matlovich to Mr. W. Boyd Lee, October 6, 1975 W. Boyd Lee and Counselors to Leonard P. Matlovich, October 7, 1975 Jonas J. Heaton (of San Francisco CA Stake) to Brother Leonard Phillip Matlovich, October 12, 1978 Jonas J. Heaton to Brother Leonard Phillip Matlovich, November 20, 1978 Jonas J. Heaton Western Union Mailgram to Leonard Phillip Matlovich, January 16, 1979
After his court victory against the Air Force (which ultimately ended in Matlovich resigning with a large settlement in hand) he moved to San Francisco, and then appeared on the Phil Donahue television show in 1978. On October 12, 1978, "Mat" Matlovich received yet another summons from the Church, this time from the San Francisco Stake President, Jonas J. Heaton of Daly City, to investigate "conduct in violation of the law and order of the Church"; his second excommunication trial was scheduled for November 15. Matlovich was unable to make that trial date and Heaton wrote an identical letter on November 20, 1978, requesting a trial on January 17, 1979. In January 1979, both the California Sentinel and the Bay Area Reporter published stories of how the LDS church was shortly going to excommunicate Matlovich yet again. Metropolitan Community Church Elder James Sandmire, an excommunicated Mormon “high official” said in the media interviews that he had “had seen or heard of hundreds of these cases where gays have either been ‘disfellowshipped’ or ‘excommunicated’” once, but not twice.
President Jonas Heaton also told the reporters that there “is a move to drop the upfront Gay activist because of ‘conduct in violation of the law and order of the church’- namely his homosexuality.” Leonard in turn vowed, “that the attempt to remove him from Mormon rolls will be a media event.” Leonard admitted he "[was] confused on how he [could] be removed twice from the same church. When Heaton was asked about the double excommunication, the official said, ‘This is a private matter within the church - I know a great deal about Mr. Matlovich that I am not going to discuss.’” Matolovich was then excommunicated a second time from the Mormon Church. As of 1978, due to the unethical treatment he received by the Mormon Church, his faith was crushed and he considered himself somewhere “between an agnostic and an atheist.”
The publicity surrounding him was enormous, and he received thousands of letters from all over the nation and even Europe, praising his courage and bravery for coming out. Of the many letters I read in his archived collection, only two were negative; the rest were heart-wrenching expressions of gratitude. For example, Joseph Allen, a native of Vienna, Austria, wrote him to say, "I saw your picture on the front cover of Time and cried. It is, indeed, a new awakening for us....I feel it happening because of people such as you who are unafraid." Matlovich also befriended and corresponded with several other Gay Mormons. For example, C.R. "Joe" Smith, corresponded regularly with "Mat" in 1978 and 1979, encouraging him in his activism, and frequently mentioning their bond as ex-Mormon Gays. Smith had been raised in Utah but then excommunicated. He had moved to Yucca Valley, California where he and his partner lived for many years together, running an animal shelter in the high desert. Eventually the media circus around Matlovich exhausted him and he grew weary of being at the brunt of the Gay rights movement. However, he did continue to speak out against homophobic crusader Anita Bryant, and in June 1977 was a featured speaker at a large Gay rights convention held in Salt Lake City, during which Affirmation: Gay Mormons United was founded. In 1980, a federal judge ordered the Air Force to reinstate Matlovich with back pay. The Air Force, disgruntled that their policy was found to be discriminatory and illegal, pressed Matlovich to drop his case and settle out of court, or they would appeal the case to the US Supreme Court. Finally Matlovich gave in and accepted $160,000 tax free, and explained to angered Gay rights advocates that "he believed it to be less likely to win a government appeal in front of an increasingly conservative U.S. Supreme Court." Leonard Matlovich announced that he had HIV on "Good Morning America" television show in July of 1987 and died from AIDS in West Hollywood at the home of a friend on June 22, 1988. His famous epitaph at the Congressional Cemetary in Washington DC reads, "When I was in the military they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one". 
Boyd K. Packer Floors Gay Missionaries
During the priesthood session of October LDS general conference in 1976 Apostle Boyd K. Packer gave a speech entitled "To Young Men Only", that discussed situations in which young men are "tempted to handle one another, to have contact with one another in unusual ways." He commented that "such practices are perversion....Physical mischief with another man is forbidden." Packer also essentially advocated anti-Gay violence in his speech when he recounted the story of a male missionary who had "hit" and "floored" his mission companion, apparently for simply revealing his sexual orientation. Because Packer does not specify the reason for the violent response, he leaves the interpretation up to the reader. Packer told the missionary, "Well, thanks. Somebody had to do it and it wouldn't be well for a General Authority to solve the problem that way." Packer told his audience, "I am not recommending that course [of violence] to you but I am not omitting it. You must protect yourself". I myself was present at this speech in the Tabernacle as a 15 year old Teacher in the Aaronic Priesthood. His missionary story left me with the harrowing sense that any future violence directed at me for my sexuality was justified by "God and His servants". This antiquated, homophobic speech was later made into a pamphlet by the same name and was distributed worldwide by the LDS Church for use in counseling young men until quite recently. As of 2011, Packer's speech has been deleted from both the "Conference Addresses" and "Ensign articles" of the LDS church's official website, lds.org. While it is good that Packer's toxic and uneducated statements are no longer accessible to the vulnerable, still he has not apologized or been held accountable for his statements in any way. It is as if he simply never gave the speech.
Apostle Boyd K. Packer
Advocate of Anti-Gay Violence
Cover and excerpts from Packer's homophobic pamphlet, "To Young Men Only"
[click on images to enlarge]
The Rise of the "Mormon Mafia" at The Advocate
Radicalized Gay and Lesbian Mormons in the late 1970s turned to the publishing world to help bring a voice of liberation to the stifling oppression of homophobia. A year after millionaire David Goodstein purchased the small "Los Angeles Advocate" Gay newsletter, he moved it to San Francisco, called it simply The Advocate, and hired Gay returned missionary (and son of a Mormon bishop) Robert Isaac McQueen as editor-in-chief. McQueen had worked at the University of Utah and as a journalist for the Salt Lake Tribune previously. Robert had known both Brent Tommy Harris and Ray Larson (Gay Mormons) from his days in Salt Lake City and hired them as associate editor and art director respectively. Pat Califia, a lesbian from a "blue collar Mormon family" in Salt Lake also joined the Advocate staff soon thereafter, mainly as the sex advice columnist. These four formed the nucleus of what would jokingly be referred to as "the Mormon Mafia" of the Advocate.
Below are scanned images of the 16 articles by or about Robert I. McQueen and Mormonism
which appeared in The Advocate from 1974 until his death in 1989 (scanned at 200 dpi for clarity)
"Mormon President Raps Homosexuals", November 6, 1974, p. 15 "Mormons Show Fear", June 18, 1975, p. 15 "Outside the Temple Gates - The Gay Mormon", August 13, 1975, p. 14 "BYU Inquisition", August 13, 1975, pp. 14-15 "Dogma According to Kimball", August 13, 1975, pp. 14 and 16 "Gay Mormons Talking Back" (5 letters from Gay Mormons in response to August issue), October 22, 1975, p. 23 "Robert McQueen Appointed as New Advocate Editor", December 3, 1975, p. 9 "Gay Mormons Organize", November 2, 1977, pp. 30-1 "The Heterosexual Solution: A Dilemma for Gay Mormons", Robert I. McQueen, ed. of Cloy Jenkins' "Payne Papers" (aka Prologue), February 22, 1978, pp. 10-15 "Opinions: A Matter of Choice" (musings on editing the "Payne Papers"), February 22, 1978, p. 22 "Mormons Excommunicate Editor of Advocate", August 9, 1979, pp. 10-11 "Mormon Campus Cops Get Statewide Bust Power", December, 27 1979 "Isn't There a Mormon Tabernacle Queer?", May 15, 1980, p. 12 "Short Takes" (on David Chipman case), June 26, 1980, p. 11 "What Hath Gay Wrought? The Progress and the Promise", June 26, 1980, p. 19 "Robert McQueen Dies", November 7, 1989, p. 13
This core group catapulted the Advocate into international success and it is still considered the pre-eminent Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgendered newsmagazine in the world. They also made sure that Mormon treatment of homosexuals received extensive coverage over the years that they were on staff (for which see below). In June 1981, 42 year-old Brent Harris became the first Advocate staff member (and likely the first Mormon) to die from what would later become known as AIDS. Robert McQueen also died of AIDS in October 1989 at the age of 47. 
Robert I. McQueen (left) and Pat Califia (right; now "a bisexual transgendered person")
Members of the "Mormon Mafia" at The Advocate in the 1970s
1977: The Summer of Our Discontent
The late spring and early summer of 1977 (especially the month of June) was a momentous and explosive time for Gays and Lesbians both in Utah, as well as nationally. Mormon politicians refused Gays the constitutional right to assemble on state property, Anita Bryant’s homophobic and heterosexist “Save Our Children, Inc.” crusade based in Florida was gaining national attention and momentum resulting in increased violence directed against Gays (including one brutal murder), the ERA was under attack by right-wing extremists using homophobic tactics, a support group for Gay Mormons was formally organized as a reaction against increasing Mormon homophobia, the Mormon-dominated Utah state legislature made homogamy illegal in the state, and it was Gay Pride month nationwide, celebrating the 8th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City, drawing hundreds of thousands of Gays into the streets of the nation in previously unseen numbers.
In April 1977, a formal dance for the Salt Lake "gay Christian community" had been scheduled for the Utah State Capitol Rotunda. However, Lt. Governor David Smith Monson (a Mormon) canceled the dance, disingenuosly citing the safety and security of the dance attendees as his concern (thus blaming the "victim"). Monson said "he was afraid that since the [Metropolican Community] church [sponsoring the dance] admits homosexuals there could be trouble from onlookers." The Metropolitan Community Church filed a suit to force the governor to allow the dance but despite the constitutional guarantee to freedom of assembly, the Third District Judge Dean Conder "wrote a minute entry saying permission was discretionary with Monson and he wouldn't force him to allow the dance." 
Also that spring, Gay community members Kenneth A. Kline, Rev. Robert Waldrop, Paul Larson, and Dorothy Makin (all former Mormons) helped organize a convention for the "Salt Lake Coalition for Human Rights" to discuss the plight of Gay rights in America. Kline scheduled the convention to be held at the Mormon-owned Hotel Utah across the street from the Salt Lake Mormon Temple. Ken Kline allegedly informed hotel staff that same-sex dancing would occur at the "Grand Ball" scheduled as part of the convention's activities. (Bob Waldrop, no longer a reverend in MCC, in a recent email to me, admits that he "only had Ken's word for it. My gut feeling was that he had NOT told them, but...I was not about to break ranks on something like that given the way everything was coming down" and Waldrop told the press conference that the Hotel Utah staff had been informed about the convention.) At the beginning of June, the board of directors for the hotel grew alarmed at the advertising published around the city for the convention, making it clear that the "human rights" in question were in fact Gay rights.
In the meantime, voters in Dade County, Florida overwhelmingly repealed its Gay rights ordinance after heavy-handed crusading by orange juice spokeswoman Anita Bryant on June 7, which was greatly lauded on the front page of the Deseret News. According to Gay ex-Mormon historian, Ben Williams, just two weeks earlier, on May 24, 1977 conservative LDS Utah Senator Orrin Hatch addressed the listeners of Salt Lake radio station KSXX stating, “Well I can tell you this, I think if you take what she [Anita Bryant] says as truth, that she is not prejudiced against the homosexual, but she realizes what they have done, that she does not want them teaching her children. I tell you this — I don’t want them teaching my children, and I don’t want them teaching your children either, and I think they are becoming too blatant in our society, and I don’t want to take other rights away from them, but I sure as heck don’t want them teaching, and I don’t want them in sensitive areas around children.”
The board met on the following day, Wednesday, June 8, and canceled the reservations for the convention's facilities, just three days before the large convention was to begin. Victor L. Brown, Presiding Bishop of the LDS Church and president of the Hotel Utah Company claimed that "Hotel officials...were unaware of the nature of the convention when it was first booked". Brown wrote a letter to organizer Ken Kline saying the booking had been dropped by the board of directors. "When you made arrangements for booking space at the hotel, no mention was made as to the nature of your organization nor the cause it seeks to advance," Brown wrote. "According to the organization's advertising of the convention, those attending will be encouraged to follow homosexual practices contrary to the laws of the state of Utah and prevailing standards of public morals and decency," Brown continued. On Thursday, June 9, 1977, Shirley Pedler, director of the Utah chapter of the ACLU issued a statement to the press "condeming the hotel's action". Pedler cautiously avoided the issue of whether or not the hotel management knew that "human rights" really meant "Gay rights", and instead focused on the fact that the "convention is being held for purposes of discussion and association only and the refusal of the Hotel Utah to make good its commitment to provide facilities violates the spirit of the U.S. Constitution, if not the letter of the law." The convention planners quickly switched venues to the nearby International Dunes Inn (the only hotel in Salt Lake that would take the controversial group) and the convention proceded as planned. Recently excommunicated Leonard Matlovich (see his biography above) and Gay professional football player David Kopay were the keynote speakers. (Although Matlovich had been LDS, he never mentioned this at the press conference in Salt Lake, nor did he tell any of the conference organizers, according to Bob Waldrop. Despite his notoriety, Matlovich was a very private person.) Symposia held at the Dunes on June 11 included "parents of gays discussing their attitudes towards their children, Salt Lake City Police Dept. Vice Squad officers discussing the legal treatment of gays and a former LDS church Stake President, Rev. [James Earl] Sandmire, discussing the religious implications of homosexuality." [109A]
From Top Left: David Kopay and Leonard Matlovich
From Bottom Left: Rev. Bob Waldrop, Rev. James Sandmire, and Ken Kline
Some of the speakers and organizers of the 1977 Salt Lake Human Rights convention
During the June 1977 convention members of the "gay Christian community" in Salt Lake City asked Gov. Scott M. Matheson (a "liberal" Mormon Democrat) to appoint a commission to "study the problem of gay rights in Utah". However Michael Youngren, the governor's press secretary said it was "doubtful Matheson would form such a commission" and added that the governor had declined even to meet the group of petitioners.
Most importantly of everything that happened at the convention, Gay and Lesbian Mormons formally organized a support group called "Affirmation: Gay Mormons United, on Saturday, June 11. As Rev. Waldrop recently recalled to me, the Mormons at the convention "had a separate meeting, like a caucus meeting, at the hotel" to found Affirmation. (See Affirmation section for details.) Note that it was also in June 1977 that Gay BYU student, Cloy Jenkins (assisted by Gay Mormons Jeff and Lee Williams, Howard Salisbury, and Donald Attridge) wrote his infamous rebuttal, Prologue, as a response to the homophobic lectures at BYU by Dr. I. Reed Payne. (See Prologue section for details.) His well-reasoned essay remained undisputed by BYU faculty (despite several attempts) and eventually brought an end to the anti-Gay "Values Institue" on campus.
In ever-increasing press coverage of homosexuality that summer, a homophobic article entitled "Hollow Homes" appeared in the Mormon-oriented magazine Sunstone by Bruce Steed, referring to "sodomy and self-abuse" as a "disease" caused by the machismo of "the mythical male role" and a lack of "genuine intimacy" in the home. While Steed didn't agree with Spencer Kimball that masturbation leads to homosexuality (which Kimball had taught in The Miracle of Forgiveness), he did feel that "all who are homosexuals masturbated seriously".
Mother Jones reporter, Bill Sievert, in a comprehensive and thoughtful contemporary investigation into anti-Gay violence, documented that within days of the Dade County, Florida vote repealing anti-Gay discrimination there, "several gay men suffered beatings as they strolled the streets of San Francisco....A number of gay businesses along Castro Street [the predominantly Gay district of the city] became targets of anti-Gay violence. The windows of a gift shop and the headquarters of a local gay politician [Harvey Milk] were blown out by oversized cherry bombs taped to the window panes. One man was slightly injured when someone tossed a cherry bomb through the doorway of...a popular Castro Street bar." A history of homosexuality in San Francisco also reports that at the end of the month of June 1977, "firebombs exploded in five gay-owned businesses" and the annual Gay Halloween street celebration that year was tear-gassed by assailants.
The violence culminated on the night of June 22, just three days before the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade, a San Francisco city-employed gardener and religious brother in an Orthodox order, 33 year old Robert Hillsborough, and his on-again-off-again boyfriend, Jerry Taylor, were assaulted by four knife-wielding young men just outside Hillsborough's home in the Mission district. Taylor escaped with severe injuries, but John Cordova and Mike Chavez cornered Hillsborough and while their two friends, Tom Spooner and an unnamed 16 year old, watched, Cordova brutally stabbed Robert 15 times. A neighbor testified that Robert's last words before dying were, "Oh my god, oh my god! What are you doing to me?" All the while, the four men shouted anti-Gay epithets like “faggot”, “queer”, and (allegedly) “this one's for Anita!” Neighbors awakened by the ruckus immediately rushed to the aid of the well-liked man and his partner, but were too late to save Hillsborough. (Cordova was later convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 10 years.) 
33 year old Gay gardener, Robert Hillsborough;
murdered in the wake of Bryant's victory in Florida
This heinous hate-murder galvanized Gays and Lesbians in the city and they turned out for the march in unexpectedly massive numbers (estimates run between 100,000 and 300,000 strong), turning it into a protest and “massive Civil Rights March” against Hillsborough’s murder and Bryant’s incendiary homophobia and bigotry. The steps of City Hall at the end of the parade route became an impromptu memorial site where marchers laid photos and flowers in Hillsborough’s honor.
Impromptu memorial for murdered Gay man, Robert Hillsborough, San Francisco City Hall
and view of the Gay demonstrators from the steps
(click for larger images)
Photos from Uncle Donald's Castro Street website, used with permission
For the San Francisco Gay Pride march, Larry Agriesti created a series of large posters representing historical bigots, including Joseph Stalin, Idi Amin, Adolt Hitler, and the Ku Klux Klan – and at the very center, a large poster of an angelic Anita Bryant singing "Battle Hymn of the Republic".
Anita Bryant at the center of "Bigots on Parade", June 1977
(click for larger images)
Photo from Uncle Donald's Castro Street website, used with permission
Agriesti writes, “The response from the crowds and media was overwhelming; something I hadn’t expected…” and his entry won a “Cable Car” award from the Parade Committee for best parade entry called “Bigots on Parade”.
The Deseret News alarmingly reported that the Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco that year was even larger than any of the anti-war demonstrations of the 1960s. Just one year earlier, the parade had drawn between 12,000 and 90,000 people. It was becoming apparent that Anita's campaign and the subsequent rash of anti-Gay violence in San Francisco and elsewhere- especially Robert Hillsborough's murder - brought Gays out of the closet in record numbers. (I myself came out to my high school Mormon religion teacher, Robert Woods, in June 1977, spurred by these national events, even though I was only 15 at the time. Woods then had me immediately contact my bishop, Sheldon Childs - a 2nd cousin of my mother and now a General Authority - and I was put in the church's "program" of fasting, prayer, weekly interviews, and "therapy" to make me heterosexual.)
Robert’s mother, Helen Hillsborough, told the press that her “son’s blood is on [Bryant’s] hands”. The mayor of San Francisco, George Moscone, accused "demagogues" like Bryant and other prominent homophobes of the day of creating a "climate of hate and bigotry" against Gays, then offered a substantial reward for information leading to the arrest of the perpitrators (who were soon caught), and ordered the city's flags lowered to half-mast on the day of Hillsborough's funeral. (Note that one year later, Mayor Moscone himself and Gay city supervisor Harvey MIlk would be assassinated by fellow supervisor Dan White, in a brutal anti-Gay hate crime at City Hall.) Anita Bryant was later named as a defendant in a $5 million civil law suit which contended that her “Save Our Children” campaign against homosexual equal rights had inspired the fatal assault on Robert Hillsborough. By the end of November 1977, however, Bryant had been dropped as a defendant. 
In October 1977, 27 year old Thom L. Higgins, a Gay rights activist posing as a journalist, hit Bryant in the face with a banana cream pie during one of her anti-Gay rallies in Des Moines, Iowa.
Bryant learns "in your face" politics from Thom Higgins in Iowa
[click for larger image]
copyright 2004 by Des Moines Register
Humiliated and forever tarnished by the image of the pie dripping from her face, a stunned Anita finally bowed her head and prayed in front of a national news audience that Higgins “be delivered from his deviant lifestyle”. After sobbing briefly she then quipped, “At least it was a fruit pie”.
Gay rights activists successfully retaliated with an important moral victory when a Gay-lead nationwide boycott of Florida orange juice resulted in Bryant losing her job as spokesperson for the Florida Citrus Growers' Association. And Bryant's "Save Our Children" campaign ultimately failed, as one activist wrote, in that she "provided a focus for the [Gay] community and a platform for presenting our case. 'Gay' became a household word. We became front page news." An August 1977 report by Mother Jones on the effects of Bryant's campaign agreed, noting that she "has done more to politically energize American homosexuals than anything since the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York's Greenwich Village launched the modern-day gay liberation movement." The magazine also interviewed Robert McQueen, former LDS editor of the Gay newsmagazine The Advocate, who stated "It's really more significant than Stonewall....Bryant has crystallized the issue. She's declared war, and she's got a lot more people coming out of their closets to fight back. Gay people are being politicized like never before." The article concluded by understating that "there is a growing sense of outrage among American homosexuals - an anger that is expected to be felt increasingly in the political arena in the months to come."
Just two weeks before the devastating International Women's Years conference in Utah (see section on the Equal Rights Amendment), Barbara B. Smith, general president of the LDS Relief Society, sent a telegram to Bryant, saying,
"On behalf of the one million members of the Relief Society...we commend you for your courageous and effective efforts in combatting homosexuality and laws which would legitimize this insidious life style. We congraulate you on the overwhelming victory of your forces in Florida's Dade County elections. We stand with you in your worthy efforts to strenghten the family and the home, the cornerstone of America's strength. Thinking men and women across our nation, concerned about the moral fiber of our country, will join also in the fight against the disruptive influences to our homes such as pornography, homosexuality and growing permissiveness."
Adding fuel to the fire, Utah State Fair director Hugh C. Bringhurst announced on June 28 that Anita Bryant, "songstress and antigay rights publicist" would be singing and holding a rally at the Fair on September 18, 1977. Outraged by this choice, the Salt Lake Coalition for Human Rights began in June to organize a counter protest at the Fair. Barbecues, t-shirts, bumper stickers, and posters were used to raise money for the protest. The Coalition received official support from the Salt Lake Metropolitan Community Church, the Gay Services Coaliton of Utah, the Gay Student Union (at the University of Utah), Women Aware (a Lesbian-feminist organization in Salt Lake) and the Socialist Workers' Party of Utah. As a result, over 100 Gay activists turned out to form a picket line at the Fair. Some of the picketers were spat upon by attendees and some people were escorted out of the stadium, but no violence broke out. The protesters later circumnavigated Temple Square chanting slogans against oppression of Gays. Some 500 Gay rights supporters attended a vigil that night at Memory Grove in downtown Salt Lake, partially as a memorial for the murdered Robert Hillsborough. Waldrop also reports that at the vigil, "somebody hiding up above the group on a hill tossed a canister of tear gas down on the crowd. It fell into an open space and everybody drew back even more when they smelled what it was." (Waldrop also remembers that during that same month, he was outside a Salt Lake Gay bar handing out invitations to attend the Metropolitan Community Church when four youths wielding bats drove up to him to assault him, but then hastily departed upon seeing he was dressed in his ministerial shirt.)
In response to Gay organzing against the former "beauty queen turned fruit-juice peddler", on July 9, Mormon Apostle Mark E. Petersen claimed in an editorial in the Church News that "every right-thinking person will sustain Miss Bryant, a prayerful, upright citizen, for her stand", which Petersen hoped would "keep this evil from spreading, by legal acceptance, through our society." In November of that same year, Spencer Kimball, now church president, told reporters that Bryant was "doing a great service" because church leaders feel that "the homosexual program is not a natural and normal way of life." Yet when asked if Kimball fully "endorsed" Bryant's campaign, Kimball felt that he would not go that far. 
On June 29, 1977, House Bill 3 (HB3), by LDS Rep. Georgia Peterson, R-Salt Lake, fresh from her controversial victory at the IWY Conference, passed the Utah State House of Representatives by a landslide vote of 71 to 3, making "homosexual marriages in the state of Utah...illegal". The Deseret News noted that "the issue of homosexual marriages was not even discussed on the floor of the House", there being no question of voting in favor of the homophobic bill.
Toward the end of the month, two non-Mormon anti-Gay editorials appeared in the pages of the Mormon-owned Deseret News, one by a nationally syndicated reporter and conservative Catholic professor of religion at Syracuse University, Dr. Michael Novak, and the other by Jewish professor of child development at the University of Utah, Dr. Elliott Landau.
Lauding the triumph over Gay rights in Dade County, Florida, Novak admits that "the state should not intrude on the private life of citizens". But distinguishing between "the state" and "society", he claims that society "has not only the right but also the duty to make moral distinctions". He appeals to Freudian views by listing the narcissism of homosexuality as the first of "two basic deficiencies in the homosexual way of life". Heterosexuality, unlike the easily shattered "shell" of homosexuality, is to be privileged by society because it "is rooted in the cycle of the generations, that long prosaic realism of familial responsibilities which is the inner rhythm of the human race."
The second deficiency "follows from the first": homosexuality is "structurally" transient and restless, while the affections that homosexual feel is merely "seasonal". Heterosexual unions on the other hand are "difficult" and to "help them succeed is of indispensable priority" to society. Finally, "only a repressive society would try to punish homosexuals. Only a decadent society would grant them equal status." 
Dr. Landau also penned a lengthy piece attacking homosexuality, this editorial exclusively for the Mormon paper, despite the advise of many of his colleagues to the contrary. Landau began by carefully, almost thoughtfully explaining both points of view, pro-Gay and anti- (as stated in the article's title). But then he quickly admited that he "could never go along" with the belief that homosexuality is a "viable, acceptable and psychologically healthy sexual preference" and considered "homosexuality undesirable behavior". Despite the promised varying opinions, Landau merely regurgitated a very Freudian and Oedipal view that "most importantly, the family seems to play a vital role" in sexual orientation, especially "negative childhood interaction with...fathers". He then, in a bold anti-feminist tactic (designed to keep women in their place), blamed matriarchal homes, where the father is "less dominant than the mother", as being the ideal breeding ground for homosexuality. "While having the proper kind of father [described earlier as warm, nurturant, yet dominant] is no guarantee of a male growing up heterosexual, the odds for normal development are better." Ultimately, Landau believed that only through heterosexuality can a person have a "happy, healthy, normal kind of life in adulthood". Obviously the leadership at Deseret News felt it important to have non-Mormon (and even non-Christian) religious and educated voices that perfectly harmonized with their own, shoring up important alliances in defense of their misinformed bigotry. 
"Affirmation: Gay Mormons United" Founded
The sharp increase in homophobic discourse, policy, and politics in the mid-70s rankled Gay Mormons. Informal social networks were effective on an individual basis, but as a few strong and courageous people gave up their "Gay shame", they realized that something more formally organized and lasting was needed in order to respond to the misconceptions and disinformation being spread by LDS and BYU leaders. In early 1977, a group of Gays started meeting quietly on the BYU campus. However, "after hearing about all the suicides taking place" among Gay Mormons (especially the suicides of Gay BYU professor Carlyle Marsden, and of two men who had gone through electric shock "therapy" at BYU the year prior with Ford McBride and Dr. Eugene Thorne), the group decided to take more formal action. One of this group, 22-year old Gay convert from Davis, California, Stephen James Matthew Price (going by first by Matthew Price and then a later alias of Stephan J. Zakharias), "became very enthused at the idea of a national organization of gay LDS people and began to promote it with gusto." As Zakharias told The Advocate in the November 1977 issue, "We have said 'We've had enough.' Gay people are not second-class citizens. We are children of God. We are important people and we have just as much worth as our heterosexual brothers and sisters in the church."
Stephen J. Matthew Price (alias Stephan J. "Zak" Zakharias), Founder of
Affirmation: Gay Mormons United, 1977
photo by Jay Bell, 2003
A new national organization was then formed at the Human Rights Conference held in Salt Lake City on June 11, 1977. Zakharias was made National Director of what was then called Affirmation: Gay Mormons United. (The name would later change to Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons.) Zakharias decided to move Affirmation's national headquarters to Denver that fall "to avoid church oppression." As he explained to The Advocate, "There is a lot of paranoia in our group right now....Each one of us is still in love with the church and we still adhere very strongly to its teachings. But at the same time we cannot deny what we are....[I]t's time we started meeting our own needs, because the church hasn't provided a positive atmosphere in which to do this." Members were so paranoid about being discovered that the mailing list was kept in a safe deposit box in Denver, and members wer encouraged by Price/Zakharias to go by their middle names plus their mother's or grandmother's maiden names, and in fact his own grandmother's maiden name was Zachares. [115A]
After the November 1977 issue of The Advocate came out, membership in Affirmation tripled within a month, and members from 8 foreign countries joined, making it an international organization. Two women named Mary and Kathy joined the "international official board" and headed the "sisterhood wing" of Affirmation, "the first gay organization with a wing specifically designed to meet the needs of the lesbian community within any church". Besides Steve, Mary, and Kathy, other international officers included Rick (assistant director), Gary (secretary), and David W. (treasurer). Affirmation was founded because "Mormon gays have been the most oppressed and guilt-laden group, as well as the most misunderstood, within the Church". However, Lesbian and Gay Mormons were "oft-times...the most contributory, stalwart, creative, service-oriented, and industrious members in our wards and stakes". Therefored Affirmation's mission was to (1), "provide a positive and supportive atmosphere where LDS gays and lesbians can meet each other", (2) "lessen the paranoia and guilt, fear and self-oppression that LDS homosexuals experiencee", and (3) "educate and strengthen each other through conversation, dialogue, and correspondence among ourselves". Steve Zakharias also noted in the December 1977 Affirmation newsletter that "due to the increase of our membership and the need for a central locale", the now international offices of Affirmation had moved to Dallas, Texas. Chapters were then forming in New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and Dallas, and one was possibly starting in Seattle. Despite the location of the international headquarters in Dallas, it was the Los Angeles chapter, under the brilliant leadership of Paul Mortensen, that sustained Affirmation during its early years.
Mortensen, after reading the November 1977 article, contacted Zakharias about Affirmation/GMU. On January 28, 1978, six Gay Mormons met in Paul's West Hollywood apartment and formally organized the Los Angeles Chapter of GMU, and membership there "skyrockted". Paul's financial, counselling, and leadership contributions to Affirmation and all LGBT Mormons cannot be underestimated, literally saving an untold number of lives through his dedication to improving the status of Mormon homosexuals. [115B]
Affirmation's first Gay Pride March
June 1979 in Los Angeles
Paul Mortensen (white t-shirt) with Rev. Troy Perry,
Founder of Metropolitan Community Church
[click on image to enlarge]
Affirmation at the Labor Department
October 14, 1979, Washington DC
[click on image to enlarge]
Affirmation GMU - Los Angeles business card, circa 1978
From the Leonard Matlovich Collection, San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library
[click on image to enlarge]
Affirmation GMU - Los Angeles Pamphlet, circa 1978
Also from the Leonard Matlovich Collection
[click on image to enlarge]
Lee Williams organized the first Salt Lake Chapter of Affirmation: Gay Mormons United in 1978, after placing flyers in the Gay bars and cruising areas of Salt Lake, as well as on the BYU campus. A year later, the Salt Lake Chapter disbanded but then was reorganized soon thereafter by Alma Smith, John Cooper, and Mel Barber. It later withdrew from official affiliation with the national organization because its leaders were more radical and less accommodating to Mormonism's anti-Gay stance than the national leadership.
In both 1979 and 1980, Affirmation's national leaders requested audiences with the First Presidency but their requests were denied.
Politics in Utah...and Beyond
From July 1977 to July 1979, Apostle Mark E. Petersen wrote six extremely harsh editorials for the Mormon Church News attacking the national Gay rights movement. For Petersen, homosexuality was "a menace to the population at large". According to him, Lesbian and Gay pleas for tolerance and legal recourse for discrimination "should disgust every thinking person". The following are quotes from five of Petersen's editorials, highlighting his homophobic viewpoint:
- “Newsweek Magazine says that there are 20 million homosexuals in the United States. A 37 year-old woman, Anita Bryant of Miami, Fla., is waging a determined fight to keep this evil from spreading, by legal acceptance, through society….Every right thinking person will sustain Miss Bryant, a prayerful, upright citizen for her stand. Righteous people everywhere also should look to their own neighborhoods to determine to what extent the ‘gay’ people have infiltrated their areas….Immorality between the sexes has become a national disgrace. It raises a stench in the nostrils of every right-thinking person. But immorality WITHIN the sexes is at least as repulsive and disgusting and is severely condemned by Almighty God. When the Lord places sex sin next to murder in its seriousness, he most certainly included homosexual offenses. They are against every right principle.” (“Unnatural, without excuse,” July 9, 1977, p. 16)
- “The homosexuals claim that God made them that way and hence are powerless to change, which is a complete fabrication and a deep delusion, for it was the Lord who provided the death penalty for these people in ancient times.” (“The strong delusions”, January 14, 1978, p. 16)
- “Every right thinking person should wholeheartedly battle the tendency to make unclean things and habits appear to be clean and respectable. The furore [sic] now arising over the homosexual issue is but one example. Legislators, like everyone else, must recognize that the unclean is unclean regardless of the attire in which it appears…Then on what basis do the adherents to this practice demand special privilege? Who are they that they should parade their debauchery and call it clean? They even form their own churches and profess to worship the very God who denounces their behavior – and they do not repent. They form their own political groups and seek to compel the public to respect them. Do other violators of the law of God receive special consideration?...Any reader of Leviticus (Chapters 18 and 20) knows the answer [referring to executing Gays].” (“Calling the kettle clean, ” March 18, 1978, p. 16)
- “The persistent drive to make homosexuality an ‘accepted’ and legal way of life should disgust every thinking person….Homosexuality is a menace to the population at large. It is especially so to young people, even to children. In the interest of protecting the rights of ALL the people it should be classed not only as a threat to the rest of the population but as a crime which can and does involve many others, bringing distress, sorrow and corruption in its wake.” (“Is it a menace?” and July 29, 1979, p. 16)
- “Since homosexuals have become a nationwide entity, and have come out of hiding to demand their place in the sun, many of them claim that they are what they are because they were born that way and cannot help it. How ridiculous is such a claim. It was not God who mad them that way, any more than He made bank robbers the way they are.” (“Sin is no excuse,” December 16, 1978, p. 16) 
Petersen, like Kimball, actually drew the "expert evidence" for his editorials from popular media sources, such as Newsweek, Time, and the Sacramento Bee newspaper.
After the publication of Petersen's second egregiously homophobic editorial, Rev. Robert Waldrop of Salt Lake Metropolitan Community Church published a very well-written response in April 1978. Waldrop first clarified that Gays were not seeking "special rights" - just the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. He then questioned why Mormon leaders (Kimball and Petersen especially) continually point out (and bemoan?) the fact that homosexuality is no longer a capital crime. He rightly questions, "Is the hidden desire of the LDS leadership one of seeing this put back into law?" Waldrop also questioned how Petersen could lump homosexuals together with "thieves and robbers". He notes that "many people seek to deprive of us livelihood, property, credit, employment, etc." because of their homophobia and asks, "now you tell me, who are the real thieves and robbers today?" Waldrop finished his "open response" with a public challenge for Petersen to meet with him for a public debate on these issues. Waldrop concluded that, "Secure in our faith, beliefs and life-style, we are willing to talk and discuss and dialogue. It remains to be seen, however, if the other side is similarly secure." Tellingly Petersen did not respond to Waldrop's challenge. 
Utah congressman Gunn McKay (D-Utah) announced to the press in September 1977 that, "I do not believe that the Gay's right to be free from discrimination is greater than the right to live and work in a community whose moral standards reject homosexual activity. People should not be compelled against their will to hire, rent to, or have their children taught by homosexuals." Utah Supreme Court Justice, Albert Ellett, ruled in favor of Salt Lake City's obscenity ordinances in November 1977. In upholding the ordinances, the Mormon judge born in Alabama controversially denounced "depraved, mentally deficient, mind-warped queers" in his judicial opinion. The website for the University of Missouri School of Law nominates Ellett's decision for "the most intemperate judicial opinion of all time". 
When the Washington State Supreme Court in 1977 upheld the 1972 firing of Gay high school teacher James Gaylord, offical LDS Church spokesman Jerry Cahill announced to the Utah media that he was "sure the church would consider it the appropriate decision" because church members felt that homosexuality "is deviant and sinful behavior", destructive to families and family life. In Gaylord v. Tacoma School District, Gaylord was summarily deprived of his livelihood, teaching, "without any evidence of any overt or improper conduct whatsoever; merely this admission of being gay was all that was required to be fired". In a remarkable reversal of fortune, Gaylord's dimissal was recently cited by Thurston County, Washington Superior Court Judge Richard Hicks as an example of previous jurisprudential injustices committed against homosexuals by the state, in his decision which ruled that the state of Washington cannot give the privilege of marriage to one group of people and not to others without good reason for the discrimination. Because he could find absolutely no "rational" reason for said discrimination, Judge Hicks ruled in September 2004 that the state ban against homogamy (same-sex marriage) is unconstituional.
James Gaylord on the porch of his Tacoma home in 2004,
the exact spot where he was fired in 1972 when his Vice Principal
simply asked him if he were Gay and he responded, "Yes".
Paul Lynde, the campy comedian of Bye Bye Birdie, Bewitched, and Hollywood Squares fame, was arrested outside the Sun Tavern (a Salt Lake City Gay bar) on January 11, 1978, for interfering with a police officer. The drunk and mean-spirited Lynde had been in the gay bar drinking and had returned to his limousine with a man he had met in the bar, only to find that his car had been broken into and his brief case was missing. Police officer Scott Candland was already in the area investigating another complaint about vehicle vandalism at the Gay bar, when he was accosted by the drunken Lynde, who tried to coerce the cop into looking for his briefcase. Candland arrested Lynde (a charge for public intoxication was dropped) and he spent three hours in Salt Lake City jail before posting his $50 bond. His arrest was publicized in the Salt Lake Tribune on the January 12th, and in the New York Times on the 13th. A favorite guest on the Donny and Marie Show, Lynde contacted the Osmond matriarch, Olive Osmond, to secure bail for him in Salt Lake. Unfortunately, the well publicized scandal of his being arrested at a Gay bar caused the Osmonds to fire Lynde from the show. 
Paul Lynde, arrested outside Salt Lake Gay bar,
then fired from the Donny and Marie Show
As reported in the June 1978 issue of Sunstone, a Mormon living in San Jose, California named Richard Harrington became chairman of the "Citizens Committee Against Gay Pride Week". In March 1978 he had informed the San Jose City Council, "We do not want San Jose recognized as a city which honors homosexuals, and we do not want San Jose to become a symbol of sexual deviation." Harrington told the city council his group represented sixty churches with 60,000 members and presented a petition signed by 30,000 people protesting the city's approval for "Gay Pride Week" in June. The city council obliged by rescinding the Gay Pride resolution, but then in a stunning reversal designated the week "Gay Human Rights Week" instead. Vice-Mayor of San Jose Susanne Wilson reported that she was "grieved" at the "animosity expressed in letters" she received from Mormons and other Christians "who opposed the special-week proclamation". That same summer, a Mormon police officer in Seattle, Washington named David Estes began a voter initiative to repeal Seattle city ordinances protecting employment and housing for Gays and Lesbians. Estes told voters that "as a priesthood holder in my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day [sic] Saints, or the Mormon Church, I have the obligation to say what's right whether or not people listen." In a chilling statement to the press, Estes stated that he believed that those convicted of sodomy should be "given mental health care at state expense, voluntarily if they agree, involuntarily if they do not". Besides repealing protective ordinances, the proposed initiative would also "forbid any government agency or any agency that receives government support of any kind, from advocating rights for sexual minorities." The initiative was strongly supported by "avowed Christian fundamentalists" and leaders from the ultra right-wing John Birch Society (which had strong ties to Mormon Apostle Ezra Taft Benson). On November 7, 1978, the anti-Gay initiative was soundly defeated with 64% of Seattle voters opposed to it. David Estes would attempt to pass a very similar initiative again in 1980, and again would be defeated. 
Walt Crawley's poster opposing Mormon sponsored anti-Gay "Initiative 13" in Seattle
The same month that the Salt Lake Human Rights Convention was held (during which Affirmation was founded), Mormon feminists were also taking the LDS church to task for not supporting the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the US Constitution. The LDS church used the homophobia it had spawned among its members over the previous decade to help defeat the ERA nationally; and in turn, these homophobic tactics galvanized and radicalized many Mormon Lesbians. While the initial October 1976 statement from the First Presidency on the ERA made no mention of homosexuality (only that passage of it might "bring ambiguity"), within a year fears of endorsing homosexuality and a "unisex society" were cited frequently by Mormon leaders as reasons to oppose it. 22 October 1976-The LDS First Presidency issued a statement against ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution saying "We fear it will even stifle many God-given feminine instincts." The first Presidency stated its first objection to passage of the ERA fearing "an increase in the practice of homosexual and Lesbian activities, and other concepts which could
alter the natural, God-given relationship of men and women." 
Dr. Jan Tyler, a BYU professor, became chair of the state conference held for International Women's Year, in Salt Lake on June 24, 1977. While some 3,000 women were expected at the state-wide event, some 10,000 actually showed up because the LDS church had sent word through its women's auxiliary organization, the Relief Society, for every Mormon woman in the state "to attend the meeting and vote against every proposal offered". Debra Burrington, a still-closeted Lesbian graduate student at BYU and intern for LDS Welfare Services, had been asked by her boss to attend. It was during the conference that Burrington saw her "first actual lesbian", who was there attempting to pass out copies of Salt Lake's first Lesbian newspaper. However, her "over-the-top butchiness [Lesbian masculinity], the lavendar arm band and the word 'lesbian' in the title of the newspaper caused most of the people to whom she offered it to recoil in fear".
Dr. Debra Burrington, LDS Lesbian and IWY attendee
Burrington noted that besides the hordes of right-wing LDS women at the conference, the John Birch Society had also shown up both with walkie-talkies and "a prepared list of the 'approved' candidates who should be voted as Utah's delegation...in Houston". Of course all proposals regarding women's right to choose and homosexual rights were easily voted down. However, when a proposal to promote world peace came up, Burrington voted for it, and was struck in the back of the head with the purse of a woman from Utah County who was sitting behind her. Burrington writes that "I can still smell the fear emanating from her, the fear that her world would come to an end if a single one of these proposals made it out of the meeting". The IWY conference in Utah "has always held the distinction of being the only state-level IWY meeting that voted overwhelmingly against every proposal that had been made by the guiding task forces". Burrington and a number of other Utah and Mormon Lesbians I have known through the years were galvanized by the unethical tactics used by Mormons at the conference. Burrington wrote to me that "International Women's Year was a radicalizing and damaging experience for a lot of women...but I didn't come out as a lesbian unil another year and a half alter. I was still afraid that I couldn't be both a Momron and a feminist at that point, and IWY solidified, for me at least, that the two identities are fundamentally incompatible." It was also "a given that if feminism and Mormonism are incompatible, that lesbianism and Mormonism exist even farther apart". Another "actual" Lesbian at the event was another BYU graduate student who was chair of two of the largest task forces for the IWY conference. She and Burrington only met many months later, but what brought them together first as friends, and later as lovers, "was the anger and pain both of us felt in the wake of IWY". Thus like the mythological Phoenix, out of the ashes of "damaging" events like these, great things are born. As Burrington queries, "Do conservatives understand that their foaming at the mouth often has an effect opposite to what they intend? Some of us may spend years in fear of disapproval and of being foisted from our communities, but even more of us recover and go on to fight another day, to fight even better than before, to forge new paths, new ways of being family to one another, and discover even more creative ways to make fabulous lives together." (Debra Burrington went on to teach Women's Studies at the University of Utah in the late 1980s and early 1990s, where I had the immense pleasure of taking classes from her, as a double-major in History and Women's Studies myself. Her "Introduction to Women's Studies" course forever changed and improved my life and the lives of every student in that class. She and I have maintained a solid friendship over the years and both live in California currenlty.) According to church spokesman, Jerry Cahill, "homosexuality has become an issue recently...with International Women's Year", "discussions have pointed to that problem." Subsequently the church reissued its earlier edicts against homosexuality to all priesthood leaders, reminding them of the church's "firm stand". Cahill also promised that "there's no end to the things that the Church will do to assist" church leaders in counseling LGBT Mormons.
At the national IWY conference held in Houston, Texas in November 1977, members of the press received a packet of official press releases as they received their credentials, originating from the U.S. Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year, indicating that the LDS Church was part of a "radical right-wing group" that had tried to "take over and distrupt the state IWY conferences". Others in this alleged radical, anti-feminist group were the Ku Klux Klan, the John Birch Socity, Ciitizen's Forum, Conservative Caucus, coalitions of fundamentalist churches, and Right to Life. 
Also in 1978, the First Presidency issued a lengthy statement opposing the proposed Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).
1978 Pamphlet cover and excerpt
(Click on images to enlarge)
1979 Relief Society Pamphlet
(Click on images to enlarge )
Preying upon the homophobia of church members, the church's official statement claimed that passage of the ERA would bring about an "encouragement of those who seek a unisex society, an increase in the practice of homosexual and lesbian activities, and other concepts which could alter the natural, God-given relationship of men and women." These and other anti-Gay phobias were reiterated in subsequent anti-ERA propaganda published by the church in 1979 and 1980. In June 1979, AP reporter David Briscoe interviewed Mormon President Spencer Kimball on the ERA and noted in a subsequent article for Utah Holiday that his "personal impression after the interview was that the 'homosexual issue' is a major factor in President Kimball's opposition" to the amendment.
This fear of a "unisex society" lies at the core of Mormon homophobia, for the hierarchy has a vested interest in keeping gender lines firmly drawn. Any blurring of those lines, any weakening of gendered activities, places Mormon men in a locus where they can only lose power, authority, and prestige. As the First Presidency wrote in 1991 in an anti-Gay letter to the entire church, "A correct understanding of the divinely appointed roles of men and women will fortify all against sinful practices" such as "homosexual and lesbian behavior" (emphasis mine). 
Mormon men fear the "homosexual within". If church leaders believe that homosexuality is contagious and the entire world can "convert" to homosexuality as easily as to Mormonism, then they must include themselves in that conversion. Spencer Kimball, in New Horizons for Homosexuals asked readers to "imagine, if you can, the total race skidding down in this practice...just one generation of gratification of lusts and the end." Furthermore, "where would the world go if such a practice became general? The answer: To the same place other unbridled civilizations have gone." Earlier, Kimball proclaimed that "if the abominable practice became universal it would depopulate the earth in a single generation". Mormon bishop T. Eugene Shoemaker ironically denied the idea that homosexuality is a "crime against nature", going so far as to argue that "homosexuality is wrong, not because it is unnatural, but rather because it is too natural, and unless the human species changes utterly, men and women will continue to choose freely to do evil". I get a sense from these statements that Mormon leaders believe that they have such fragile and weak sexual identities that the slightest nudge might send them careening "over the edge".
At the same time, Mormon leaders are aware that homosociality (which they vigorously participate in) is very closely aligned to homosexuality on the "homo-continuum". Just four days before Christmas 1977, LDS therapist and Values Institute member Victor L. Brown, Jr. told Duane Jeffrey of a "recent case of a man (a bishop?) who with his wife came to Utah to get help in overcoming his homosexuality: there were times when he felt so good, so fond of other men that he wanted to hug them to express it. He was repulsed by any suggestion of sexual involvement, however!" Brown explained to this man that the General Authorities of the church "so hugged each other at [general] conference, sometimes for rather long periods of time, that this was not homosexuality at all!! The man left, and his wife [was] very relieved and enlightened. Six months later [Brown] got a letter from them saying what a tremendous difference it had made to him to realize that these feelings of genuine love and rapport were normal and not homosexual! The man's guilt burden had been totally lifted."
Brown, also addressing the church's awareness of female homosociality, said that "it is fairly common to find women who are turned off by the male society, and who find friendship and companionship from another female, but between the pair there is absolutely no sexual situation at all, just companionship. [The] Church is aware and sensitive to this; the [definition] of homosexuality [in church manuals?] has been 'carefully re-worded' to try to steer around this, the word 'relations' was changed to 'relationships' for this reason". Brown indicated that the "gospel ideal" of the male gender role actually "has many feminine qualities" because a Mormon man "should be tender, loving, gentle, etc., [which] implies femininity". Brown believed that a "male does not give up his masculinity when he behaves this way", and society "must get rid of idea that to be male a male must be aggressive, brutal, pugnacious, possessive."
During the "Gay Pride Week" activities held in Salt Lake City on June 24 and 25, 1978, a seminar was held called "Religion and the Gay Person". Discussion centered aroud "guilt feelings many homosexuals experience because of fears of losing their salvation". Rev. Robert Waldrop said that "many of the gays in the audience were members" of the Mormon Church "and had been on missions or through the temple." He added that "those who had that kind of commitment experience the guilt far stronger than Mormons who had not". He encouraged Gays to "liberate ourselves", feeling that we Gays can be "our own worst oppressors". 
A 21 year old Gay Mormon who was on his mission wrote a touching letter to the editor of the Open Door in September 1978, describing his "surrender" to his sexuality despite Kimball's "damnation" of it:
I have adhered to and lived by the Church's counsel and guidelines most of my life, while at the same time being tormented by something inside me that countered some of the Church's most steadfast rules. Something that defied change and quietly but stubbornly rebelled against everything that it was claimed to be by President Kimball in his seemingly endless and merciless damnation of it. Something that has caused me endless nights of lost sleep and endless days of struggle, denial, guilt and tears. Something defined as homosexuality.
I suppose I am, and have been for a number of years (if not always), a homosexual.
The events which led up to my going on a mission for the Mormon Church are another chapter entirely. Perhaps, as much as anything, it was hope and faith which harboured the rationale of 2 years devoted service to the Lord in exchange for the withdrawal of that something which President Kimball never failed to blacklist.
If I have accepted my sexuality, it has not been out of defiance, pride (or shame), adventure, or understanding. Merely surrender. After years of hope, prayer, faith, work, and unending anguish, I cannot go on playing Don Quixote fighting a windmill for which there is no conquering. However, my surrender is by no means resignation to the bleak and sordid lifestyle which the Church paints as a future for the homosexual. I believe in myself and all the blessings and opportunities of life which have been given me and I intend to make the most of my life and talents regardless of the sex of the person I share that life with. I am a man and I respect the male race for what it is and what it should be and I am proud to be a part of it. I expect the same from any other male.
Finally, for just exactly what I am writing, I cannot say. Perhaps for hope. An understanding, through experience, of the very real dilemma which we face. Perhaps for an alternative solution to the one which the Church offers. Perhaps I write simply for the comfort of knowing that there is, out there somewhere, someone else with the goals, aspirations and the optimism for life that I feel. [131A]
One month after this heart-wrenching letter was published, members of Salt Lake's Gay community, weary from constant police harassment, began a concerted campaign to end it through legal pressure. Sgt. Harkness of the Salt Lake Police Department had recently been quoted in a Salt Lake Tribune article as stating that "there are 10,000 practicing open homosexuals in the Salt Lake Valley and if any local officers need practice in busting homosexuals, this is an ideal training ground." A Deseret News article of July 29, 1978 suggested that "if Homosexuals were removed" by the police from active participation in society, the current epidemic of venereal diseases circulating in the country "would virtually clear up".
The Gay community also protested the selective and "excessive" police enforcement of public nuisance and public intoxication statutes. Gay bars were constantly and regularly targeted by police while straight bars with much worse public intoxication problems remained untargeted. Mel Stuck, head of the liquor control tactical squad, allegedly entered the Radio City Lounge (the oldest continuously operating Gay bar west of the Mississippi, open on State Street since the 1940s) and told the bartender on duty, Larry Pacheco, "you must not like working very much or else you would find a job anywhere else, because I'm going to nail the damn doors closed if it's the last thing I do." Similar threats were also received by staff at the Sun Tavern. The Gay community formally appealed to the the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union to assist them in fighting these policies. [131B]
As the Salt Lake community geared up to end police harassment, Gay men in San Francisco decided the time had come to share a message of acceptance and advocacy of homosexuals through music. In October 1978, 115 Gay men met for the first rehearsal of the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, the first such musical group in the world. One of the men at the first rehearsal was Gerald Pearson, a Gay Mormon originally from Utah. Carol Lynn Pearson records in Goodbye, I Love You that "Gerald learned that a group was forming called the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus. He immediately joined." Carol Lynn went to their premiere on December 20, 1978, for a beautiful and profoundly moving Christmas concert. After the performance Gerald introduced his ex-wife to a man named Tom who had been a Mormon bishop until 1977 and now was a member of the Gay men's choir. Gerald humorously informed Carol Lynn that "there's a whole group of us [Mormons] in the chorus. We're sort of the Tabernacle Choir section." Leonard Matlovich, the famous Gay ex-Mormon Air Force Sergeant, was also a member of the Gay Men's Chorus in its infancy.
The San Francisco Gay's Men Chorus, 2003
Carol Lynn reports that "the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus became his home" and in 1980 Gerald Pearson became co-chairman of the choir, mainly responsible for fundraising and scheduling concert halls. The chorus soon began preparations for its first national tour in June 1981. The chorus became Gerald's "mission, his hope, his gift to the world....It would build bridges, Gerald was certain. It would help destroy prejudice." Despite bomb threats and strikes by the teamsters who refused to deliver the programs for the performances, "reviews were glowing, opinions were changing, families were being reunited." Fourteen choruses were immediately formed across the country as a result. In 1982, thirteen Gay men in Utah formed the Salt Lake Men's Choir, which is now comprised of fifty singers and has gained a wonderful reputation and become a staple in the musical landscape of the intermountain west. Tragically, 42 year old Gerald Pearson died from AIDS in his ex-wife's arms in 1984. Carol Lynn Pearson's 1986 publication about her husband's life and death in Goobye I Love You is perhaps the single most important event in the history of homosexuality and Mormonism. Her account finally softened the hearts and opened the minds of so many Mormons that its significance cannot be underrated. [131C]
The LDS Church's stance opposing transgenderism, transsexuality, and transvestism is clear: Spencer W. Kimball twice made uninformed remarks disparaging transsexuality in 1974. At BYU on September 17, 1974, Kimball gave an address called "Be Ye Therefore Perfect" (which he also delivered to the University of Utah Institute of Religion on January 10, 1975) in which he stated that "we're appalled to find an ever-increasing number of women who want to be sexually men and many young men who wish to be sexually women. What a travesty!** I tell you that, as surely as they live, such people will regret having made overtures toward the changing of their sex." At October General Conference that same year, Kimball gave a speech entitled "God Will Not Be Mocked" in which he claimed that the "high purposes of life are damaged and destroyed by the growing unisex theory. God made man in his own image, male and female made he them. With relatively few accidents of nature, we are born male or female. The Lord knew best. Certainly, men and women who would change their sex status will answer to their Maker." Here Kimball makes some room for intersexed people (those born having reproductive organs and/or the chromosones of both sexes - his "accidents of nature") but those who know that their external sex does not match their internal sex are at cross-purposes with God, in his view.
[**N.B. Humorously the word "travesty" comes from "transvestite", although I doubt Kimball knew this.]
Victor L. Brown Jr., DSW (son of the Presiding Bishop who kicked the Salt Lake Human Rights Convention out of the Hotel Utah in 1977) reported the following story at the first convention of the Association of Mormon Counselors and Psychotherapists (AMCAP) in 1975:
I had a unique experience in this regard with a person who wished to have an operation to change his sex. He was a returned missionary, a father, and an extremely capable, talented individual. He went to President Kimball and spent many sessions with him....and over a period of several months to other church leaders throughout the western United States. It was quite a saga as he went from community to community seeking answers. He indicated that he had been obsessed with these attitudes, although he had never acted out, over the majority of his lifetime. When I met him he told me his story of 25 or 30 years of struggling with this issue. I was sort of overwhelmed with what a great fellow he was. I thought it showed tremendous strength to have never given in. He finally reached the crisis point where he just couldn't continue any further. His wife had divorced him. He had lost his children and he was broke. He was a high living person which hurt him a lot. He was, at that point, where he had to do something.
So President Kimball, in his special Christianity, arranged for a blessing from President Lee [Harold B. Lee, President of the LDS Church from mid-1972 until his death in December 1973], and I was privileged to be part of the circle. But before President Lee gave the blessing he spent twenty minutes rebuking the man in a kind but firm way. I confess, I sat there and thought, "President Lee, you don't understand. This is a strong fellow. He made a magnificent effort." I was bright enough, though, not to say anything. Then President Lee gave the blessing and rebuked him a little further. It was a beautiful blessing. He made specific promises. Then we went up to President Kimball's office and President Kimball gave him specific instructions. President Kimball didn't interfere with his free agency. He said, "I'll be able to help you if you will do these several things," and he listed them.
While I was there, President Kimball called a stake president in another city and arranged for an appointment for that man. As we were leaving President Kimball's office, I was still a little concerned about President Lee's approach. However, I watched this man over the next 3 years and I watched his former wife's life and the children. I came to know her very well. They were from another state, but circumstances brought us together. I found, of course, that President Lee was inspired; he was absolutely correct. This man had put up what might be called a commendable struggle, but he was so turned inward and had become so self-focused that he could not think of anyone else but himself. And then a lot of other things began to make sense. I helped him move once, and I had helped him pack his clothing. He wore clothes that I could never afford. His indulgence in himself in every way was total to the exclusion of his very attractive and loving wife and his lovely children - to the exclusion of any consideration, frankly, except his need to assume the woman's role, so that he could be taken care of. He had no real homosexual tendencies. He was just self-centered. There was no psychological or emotional justification for the change of sex, and President Lee had seen that as an inspired Priesthood leader. [131D]
As with Brown's reaction noted here ("he had no real homosexual tendencies"), Mormon authorities consistently have conflated homosexuality and transsexuality, often speaking about "gender confusion" when addressing homosexuality, or, like Brown, they inaccurately speak of a transsexual's "homosexuality".
Three years later, on March 5, 1978, Boyd Packer gave his "To the One" speech at a BYU fireside. Although the speech was mainly on homosexuality, he did briefly diverge into the topic of transsexuality, unleashing strange and unfounded theories about its etiology and development (and, as usual in Mormon rhetoric, conflating it with homosexuality), especially invoking narcissism:
It is normal for a male to want to become more masculine, or for a female to want to become more feminine. But one cannot increase masculinity or femininity by deviate physical contact with one of his own gender. There are many variations of this disorder, some of them very difficult to identify and all of them difficult to understand. When one projects himself in some confused role-playing way with those of the same gender in an effort to become more masculine or more feminine, something flips over and precisely the opposite results. In a strange way, this amounts to trying to love yourself.
A male, in his feelings and emotions, can become less masculine and more feminine and confused. A female can become, in her emotions, less feminine and more masculine and confused. Because the body cannot change, the emotional part may struggle to transform itself into the opposite gender. Then an individual is on a hopeless, futile quest for identity where it can never be achieved.There is even an extreme condition in which some individuals, in a futile search, will undergo so-called “change” operations in an effort to restructure their identity and become whole. Do not even consider that. That is no answer at all! That has eternal, permanent consequences. If an individual becomes trapped somewhere between masculinity and femininity, he can be captive to the adversary and under the threat of losing his potential godhood. (pp. 7-8)
In 1979, a wealthy Mormon Elder (having been a missionary in Argentina) in his mid-30s and living in Orange County, California decided to undergo gender reassignment surgery to become a woman, calling herself Kristi Independence Kelly. She was subsequently excommunicated from the LDS Church, although she fought this at every level. One biogrpahy of Kelly, written by a friend named Kay Brown - herself a transsexual - claims that Kristi Kelly owned a financial company called the Sunshine Group, employing some 500 people, many of whom were Mormons. After getting a separation from her wife, Kristi fell in love with another transsexual named Liz Thomas and Liz was hired to be the Director of Advertising for the Sunshine Group. Taking advantage of the church crisis brought on by the feminist movement of the late 1970s, Kristi threatened to start a "feminist branch" of the Mormon Church "and take her many supporters with her", althought this alleged threat never materialized. At the same time, Kristi's ex-wife refused to allow Kristi to see their three daughters so Kristi took the matter to the courts. Unfortunately in June 1980 Ms. Kelly lost the case and she was not allowed to see her daughters again, because, as a friend of hers noted, the court felt that Kristi, "as a transsexual person, is now unsuitable as a parent because she deviates from the 'accepted' norms of parenthood in the father role." However this didn't stop the court from assessing her $25,000 a year in child support. Kristi then became "a prominent cultural figure in the Hollywood scene". One month after her excommunication, Kristi, an accomplished pilot who owned her own corporate plane, died when the plane she was piloting crashed in northern California. Another transsexual onboard (apparently not her partner Liz) also died in the crash. Members of the Los Angeles transsexual community immediately began circulating rumors that Danites (an early Mormon secret paramilitary vigilante group, which almost certainly no longer exists) had assassinated her, since some of her plane mechanics were allegedly faithful Mormons upset by her growing dissidence and apostacy. While I strongly doubt the current existence of Danites, in recent years Mormons Lance Wood and Russell Henderson have tortured to death Gay men (Gordon Ray Church, and Matthew Shepard respectively) in horrific hate-based crimes. In addition, Tracy Val Kendrick and Shayne E. Rhodes, two large teenage LDS football players from Logan, Utah, also nearly beat to death bisexual Utah State University student Harold Dean Hawker (who weighed less than 120 lbs) with their fists and boots in 1989, leaving him naked in a gravel pit parking lot in the middle of winter. Hawker's hypothermia saved his life although he suffered severe skull fractures, some brain damage, a crushed eye socket, and punctured lungs from the beating, resulting in over $125,000 in uninsured medical bills. (Incidentally, the LDS church excommunicated Hawker for his bisexuality, but not his assailants for their brutal crimes against him.) The two youths only served three-year sentences for their heinous crimes. Therefore while the Danites might no longer exist, the accusations that Kristi Kelly died as a result of "rogue" Mormon intervention may have some truth to them. 
Meanwhile, problems had been brewing at Mormon-owned Brigham Young University because private policies developed during the late 1950's through the 1970's began to receive public criticism both by students and the national press, influenced in part by the rise of the Lesbian and Gay liberation movement. BYU's response to homosexuality is important for several reasons: its large (and surprisingly open) Gay and Lesbian population; its semi-open bureaucracy which has allowed selected important documents concerning homosexuality to surface for the public; and the tension created by religion and academia which provides interesting (and recently, traumatic) dilemmas for the people who work, teach, and study there. Close examination of policies, practices, and attitudes regarding homosexuality at BYU reveals the homophobic mechanisms which were created, reproduced, modified, and sustained (even when unethical and/or illegal) by church and university leaders, sometimes even at the expense of great criticism from external sources. BYU and church administrations have operated behind doors, carefully and deliberately attempting to eradicate "the Queer experience" without even once challenging the supposition that homosexuality (desire and/or practice) might not be an illness, abnormality, sin, or crime at all. Because Mormon apostles comprise BYU's board of trustees (with only one or two exceptions), the attitudes of the church hierarchy directly affected BYU's policies. However, because BYU is also an academic institution where free enquiry is encouraged, at least in principle, the school's policies on homosexuality have changed over the course of time. Thus BYU has in turn influenced the church's position on homosexuality like no other "outside" institution.
Drag Burlesque by BYU Social Unit, ca. 1930
Prior to the 1950s, Gay life at BYU was surprsingly open and unrepressed. Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual students and faculty enjoyed good rapport with each other and relatively healthy amount of freedom in their lives. Earl B. Kofoed, a Gay student at the"Y" from 1946-1948, has reported extensively on the social network that thrived on campus for LGB people. Both women and men formed a tightly-knit group, the women from athletics and social work, and the men mainly from the campus French Club. Kofoed reported to me in a 1989 interview that Dr. Leona Holbrook, the first Chair of the women's Physical Education Department at BYU (serving from 1937-1975, died in 1980), was a Lesbian active in this social group. Holbrook was an extraordinary individual who was extremely well-respected at BYU, and received numerous international honors and awards for her contributions to athletics in higher education (especially for women). Among her many honors, Holbrook was the first woman ever appointed to the Board of the US Olympic Committee, and was voted Woman of the Year at BYU for three years. She still ranks as one of the top ten best professors ever to teach at the Y. Her enduring legacy is witnessed by the annual "Leona Holbrook Spirit of Sport Award" given to one senior female athlete on campus who exemplifies "the true spirit of sport in athletics and life". [Click here for a brief biography in PDF of this extraordinary Mormon Lesbian.]
Earl Kofoed also informed me that the group received a semi-official nod from LDS church president George Albert Smith, when two of their number, Kent Goodridge Taylor (1925-2002) and his lover Richard Snow, met with Smith in the Spring of 1948. President Smith merely told the two men to live their lives together honorably and God would accept them. They eagerly reported this strong affirmation of support to the group, bringing them all even closer together. Unfortunately this time of a Gay "Camelot" at BYU was all too brief and the advent of the 1950s would bring a severe change to the campus. (I also report here that Jay Bell, who worked with "Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons" on amassing archival and bibliographic materials on homosexuality and Momronism, reportedly found that in 1951, "the editor of BYU’s student newspaper wrote of members of 'a small group of homosexuals,' including a president of the LDS married branch, and a star basketball player", as quoted at http://www.utahstonewallhistoricalsociety.com/welcome_files/Page1685.html)
BYU President Ernest L. Wilkinson
The single person most responsible for the harsh, discriminatory campus environment that began at BYU in the 1950s was Ernest L. Wilkinson, a rabid anti-Communist and arch-conservative lawyer, who became BYU president in October 1951. He could be a vicious and tyrannical man (he himself admitted that he was "too blunt, not tactful with people, and impatient"), disliked by many of his faculty (who pejoratively called him "Ernie the Attorney" behind his back), and who especially delighted in humiliating women, harping ad infinitum on the length of their skirts. He was notorious for giving bone-crushing handshakes to young female students, bringing them to their knees in pain, as over-compensation for his extremely small stature. A child of his vice president Earl Crockett recounted to me in 2002 that sometime around 1970 Wilkinson and then church president Harold B. Lee were at a formal dinner in Hawai'i. Wilkinson held out a chair for his wife, Alice, to sit on, and then as she started to sit, as a "joke" he pulled the chair out from under her so that she hit the floor and was thoroughly humiliated in front of all those important people in attendance. President Lee was "horrified and held it against him forever afterward" and Wilkinson in essence hit a "glass ceiling" with the church. When Wilkinson left BYU in 1971, the well-known lawyer expected to help set up the new J. Reuben Clark Law School on campus, but instead he was asked only to write a centennial history of the school. Wilkinson therefore privately retained three out of five of his BYU secretaries to help him write his memoirs and to keep "track of all the dirt on the general authorities that could be unearthed", ostensibly to help advance his own "career". Wilkinson obviously learned the power of keeping exhaustive files on his "opponents" during his years at BYU baiting homosexuals. While subsequent BYU presidents have later become General Authorities, Wilkinson tellingly never joined their ranks.
Another large role in the persecutorial campus atmosphere was certainly played by the BYU Security Office. That office's first two chiefs, Leonard E. Christensen (from 1952 to 1961) and Swen C. Nielsen (from 1961 to 1974) had come to BYU from the Los Angeles Police Department. (Nielsen's successor in 1974, Robert W. Kelshaw, was a local man and graduate of BYU but had started his career as a Military Policeman at the age of 17.) The LAPD during their time in service (the 1940s to early 1960s) was nationally notorious for their illegal, immoral, and unethical persecution of Gays in the Los Angeles area. Members of the LAPD routinely harassed and entrapped Gays, made thousands of unwarranted arrests, refused to acknowledge the constitutional right for Gays to assemble, and on at least one occasion beat an unarmed, unresistant Gay man to death in front of several witnesses (but were not held accountable for it). These actions prompted Gays in southern California to become more radicalized than elsewhere in the nation, forming the country's first Gay liberation ("homophile") organization in 1948 (the Mattachine Society), the first Gay news magazines, and organizing protests and encouraging rioting, specifically in response to LAPD harassment. LA police entrapment also prompted California Gays to take their cases to trial, leading to the first ever Gay legal victories in US courts. News of this pioneering resistance spread across the country and abroad, and laid the foundation for the modern international Gay rights movement. In like manner, the unethical means used to persecute campus homosexuals at BYU by the administration in general (and LAPD-trained Security in particular) led to increasing acts of personal, political, and ecclesiastical resistance. Campus Gays then began to organize collectively and so experienced a deepening sense of "community" with other LDS homosexuals in the same situation that is still felt in Utah and throughout the LDS Church today.
In 1957, a Gay Mormon named David Chancellor Martin entered BYU as an undergraduate student. He soon discovered that his homosexuality "wasn’t isolated, but a universal practice, found everywhere, even in Provo at BYU". In an autobiographical letter he wrote in 1982, Martin explained that in 1957 "the basement of the old Grant Library [on the BYU campus] was an active meeting place for gays, frequented by students, faculty and townsmen alike." By 1958, Martin had made about a dozen close Gay friends at BYU who were all students (and knew several more gay faculty members). Eventually most of them were "outed" (including Martin) by another Gay student. Martin reports that "we all had to go see Brother [Kenneth A.] Lauritzen [head of University Standards], we all 'repented' and were much more cautious after that." Soon thereafter Martin writes that the Gay student "who had 'snitched' on us...was mysteriously beaten one night on campus, and dropped out of school." By the summer of 1959 these dozen Gay men had all left BYU for missions to Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Denmark, and other countries, but they all kept in touch by mail, exchanging both typical "inspirational missionary stories" and "information on gay life we managed to find there" in the countries where they proselyted. 
On May 21, 1959 BYU president Ernest L. Wilkinson met with the executive committee of trustees. He asked the committee "whether the Dean of Students should send questionnaires to bishops asking whether students had a propensity for stealing or immorality or anything of that kind", effectively breaking the confidentiality of the confessional; and he also wondered about "the growing problem in our society of homosexuality". Wilkinson recorded that "these two problems interested the Brethren very, very much" and that church president David O. McKay had recently voiced "his view [that] homosexuality was worse than immorality; that it is a filthy and unnatural habit." Wilkinson was instructed that unless homosexual students were "really repentant and immediately working out their problems", the school "should suspend them". Administrators then wondered if they should record on transcripts that the student had been expelled for homosexuality. The executive committee recommended avoiding the possibility of law suits and so no such notation would appear. Wilkinson was also told to come up with a "better plan to find out from bishops the information requested by the Dean of Students." Although progress on Wilkinson's questionnaire was temporarily halted, he would eventually receive permission to implement it.
President Wilkinson and Vice President Earl C. Crockett on May 17, 1961 interviewed Carl Fuerstner (a non-Mormon, 1912-1994), who had been professor of music (piano) at BYU and had been terminated some weeks earlier by Crockett merely for suspicion of being Gay (although Fuerstner was not informed of the reason for the termination). Wilkinson had heard that Fuerstner was being openly critical of the administration for firing him, so Wilkinson wanted to interview him to get a confession out of him to justify the firing. After more than an hour of being drilled by both Wilkinson and Crockett, Fuerstner finally admitted he was Gay but had not acted on his sexuality while teaching at the Y. Wilkinson smugly concluded in his journal that night, “we will have no further trouble with him over his dismissal because he does not want any publicity over the matter any more than we.” Earlier that same year, Dr. Fuerstner published his "'Valse' from Little Dance Suite, Opus 39" in BYU Studies (3:2:50). Fuerstner went on to become conductor and opera coach at the Indiana University School of Music and the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra from 1981 to 1987. He also composed the opera Berceuse and trained the opera divas Jessye Norman and Ghada.
Carl Fuerstner, non-Mormon Gay music professor at BYU
Terminated and harassed by Wilkinson
On September 12, 1962 Wilkinson, himself a lawyer, met with the school's general counsel, Clyde Sandgren, the new Dean of Students, J. Elliott Cameron, and apostles Spencer Kimball and Mark Petersen "on the question of homosexuals who might possibly be a part of our studentbody". They decided that the number of homosexuals on campus was "a very small percentage of the whole" and therefore administrators "ought not to dignify it by meeting with the men or women of the university in a [public setting] but handle each case on its own." They then worked out a cooperative plan whereby Mormon general authorities and other church administrators would give BYU any information they obtained about homosexuality on campus, and BYU would give church administrators information about homosexual church members. They decided "as a general policy that no one will be admitted as a student at the B.Y.U. whom we have convincing evidence is a homosexual."
However BYU started finding more homosexuals on campus than initially anticipated. First, Apostle Spencer Kimball felt compelled to condemn homosexuality in his "Love versus Lust" address to the assembled studentbody on January 5, 1965. Then in the fall of that year, Ernest L. Wilkinson reversed the decision of 1962 and finally went public with anti-Gay policies during an address to the student body. As part of his speech hypocritically titled "Make Honor Your Standard", Wilkinson indicated that BYU does not intend "to admit to our campus any homosexuals. If any of you have this tendency and have not completely abandoned it, may I suggest that you leave the university immediately after this assembly; and if you will be honest enough to let us know the reason, we will voluntarily refund your tuition. We do not want others on this campus to be contaminated by your presence." By resorting to the metaphor of viral contagion, Wilkinson voiced his own - and presumably others - fear of the "homosexual within" himself which merely needed the presence of another homosexual to activate it. His unfortuante rhetoric also ironically underscores a profound sense of Mormon weakness and susceptibility to this alleged contamination. Our mere physical presence terrifies Wilkinson.
David C. Martin returned to BYU in 1962 to finish his undergraduate work, graduating in 1964. However Martin soon discovered that although he had "confessed" and been absolved by the church and school, the school administration had not forgotten. In fact, his name was on a list of "known perverts", and upon his return to BYU, he had been spied on. At the time of graduation, BYU sent a campus police officer to Martin's home to speak with his wife, telling her that her husband "IMMEDIATELY" needed to speak to the Dean of Students (J. Elliott Cameron), or he would not be allowed to graduate. After their meeting, Cameron then sent Martin to Salt Lake City where he had to be interviewed by Apostle Spencer Kimball "and literally beg to be allowed to graduate". He lied to Kimball, telling him that he was "cured" and promised Kimball that he and his wife would move out of state to avoid sullying the church's image. 
A 1975 article that appeared in the national Gay newsmagazine, The Advocate, recounted that Gay Mormon Robert McQueen had met five young Gay BYU students a decade earlier. All in their 20s, three had recently completed missions for the LDS Church. Four of these men "had been trapped in the on-going homosexual witch hunts at BYU and subjected to the church's disciplinary program", McQueen wrote. The fifth young man had confessed voluntarily to church leaders that he was Gay. Each one was interviewed in 1965 "by the counselor to homosexual problems", Apostle Spencer Kimball. McQueen felt that "they wanted to be better people, but believed in their church more than they believed in themselves". Unfortunately, "when their church rejected them because they were gay, it destroyed them." McQueen knew, after his own soul-searching, that because they had been unable to "reconcile...the opposing forces of a rigidly homophobic religion and homosexuality", the five students killed themselves. Two of the students committed suicide by over-dosing on drugs, one hung himself, another blew his own head apart with a gun, and the last jumped seven storeys to his death. These horrific deaths profoundly influenced McQueen and started him on his own crusade to hold the Mormon Church and its leaders accountable for its actions. 
Finally in 1967 Wilkinson received approval to ask Mormon bishops at BYU to provide the BYU Standard Office with lists of students who were "inactive in the church" or who had confessed to "not living the standards of the church". Unwittingly, this would lead to a massive "witch hunt" for Gay Mormons both at BYU and within the church at large. With Wilson now obtaining lists of inactive and "unworthy" students, the numbers of students visiting the Standards Office subsequently rose dramatically. The first year of the new policy, Standards counselled seventy- two students who were "suspected of homosexual activity". The report of this high number "flabbergasted" BYU and church leaders, spurring them to action.  The administration began to keep security files on suspected Gay students, facutly and staff, school officials collaborated with local police to entrap campus Gays, student spying was encouraged and expanded , and expulsions from the school increased significantly. Even prospective teachers at the Language Training Mission on BYU campus had to be interviewed by a General Authority, because a "homosexual ring" had seemingly infiltrated the campus. Church leaders wanted to be assured that no Lesbians or Gay men were teaching the missionaries at the language school for missionaries. On campus entrapment by local and campus police reached a peak in the late 70s (see the Chipman case below) and continued well into the 1990s: in 1992, a Gay PhD candidate named Don R******** was almost entrapped at the Harold B. Lee Library bathrooms by undercover Orem City police officers.  Gay (but deeply closeted at the time) missionary Buckley Jeppson was interviewed on September 10, 1968 by Elder Loren C. Dunn. Dunn was visiting the missions in Columbia to hold conferences and meet with missionaries privately. Jeppson's journal for that date reports that a fellow missionary was stationed outside Dunn's door to time each missionary interview, knocking at 2.5 minutes as a warning that time was almost up. Jeppson initially thought Dunn was asking the missionaries about missionary work, his family, or how his mission was going. To his utter shock, instead Dunn was simply asking each missionary, "Are you homosexual and do you have a problem with masturbation?"
As part of the student spy program initiated by BYU administration in 1967, Gay student E. Donald Attridge was recruited to be an informant after he was outed by another student he had been intimate with named Brent. Don Attridge had befriended a "flamboyant costumer" in the Drama Department named George. After kissing each other, George told Don that he had "passed the test" and began introducing Don around to the social network of Gay students. This group would usually meet at the step-down lounge in the Wilkinson Center and then go out to socialize, sometimes even driving the sixty miles north to visit the Radio City Lounge gay bar in Salt Lake. Around January of 1968, Don met Gay anthropology student Brent while studying in the library. Brent was apparently a 17 year-old freshman, although Attridge did not realize his age. Eventually they shared "affection and a form of sexual intimacy" with each other, but then Brent disappeared. Around early March, Don was called in to see Kenneth A. Lauritzen, head of the Standards Office. Brent's girlfriend had found out he had been intimate with Attridge, and in turn she told her bishop who then informed Kenneth Lauritzen. Don Attridge denied all charges and left Lauritzen's office, hoping for the best. Unfortunately his nightmare was only beginning. Lauritzen interrogated Attridge a second time, now threatening to press charges for statutory rape of a minor...that is, unless Attridge would provide a list of names of other homosexual students. Then Attridge was immediately expelled from the University, lost all his college loans, and was fired from his campus job as a janitor at the Harris Fine Arts Center, leaving him "broke financially and emotionally".
After being suspended from BYU, Attridge was manipulated into spying after a heavy-handed meeting with (and several follow-up phone calls) from Apostle Spencer Kimball, who promised Attridge that the reason he wanted a list of Gay students from Attridge was "to help them". Don later recalled, "I imagined a discussion group with all the gay group attending with Apostle Kimball helping us all". He trusted the church leaders and felt that they would help him to understand that, "If I were so repulsive to God maybe now the leaders could show me how to change? Maybe there would arise a plan to help all of us work out the situation of being homosexual and being members of the Church." Indeed there was a plan involved, but through it the lives of many people were destroyed, not assisted. Attridge almost single-handedly instigated the devastating "Witch Hunts of 1968", as they came to be called. Sometime towards early spring of 1968, Attridge attended a large party of Gay students at a private home in the Provo area. Although he knew almost no one there, he tried to introduce himself to everyone there, carefully noting their names. Attridge also snooped into a Gay friends "little black book" and noted many of the names therein, adding them to his list for Kimball. Although he was to turn this list into Kimball at his Provo apartment, Kimball called and told him instead to meet him at the basement lobby of the Wilkinson Center. Knowing that Attridge was financially destitute now because of the church and school's reaction, Kimbally gave Attridge a loan of $30 and Attridge gave Kimball the list of names, believing that the end would be the loving assistance promised by Kimball. Instead a storm of scandal and controversy broke out with far-reaching consequences for all involved.
Kimball contacted those people on the list, told them that they had been caught, informed them that Don Attridge had turned them in (which could have seriously endangered Attridge's life and physical well-being, but graciously all those on "the list" remained very sympathetic toward Don despite what happened as a result of his spying for Kimball), and demanded to know more names of campus homosexuals, or face school expulsion, church excommunication, etc. The relative of a General Authority of the LDS church, who was caught in this witch hunt, recalled ten years later, "It was always the same. The initial approach was the expression of a desire to help. Conditions for remaining at B.Y.U. were their supplying of additional names and the approval of [Elder] Kimball." If the student cooperated and supplied more names, there was little castigation. If the student did not cooperate, however, "interrogation procedures were put into effect, threats of immediate expulsion or worse, being confined in a room alone (solitary) to think about it, a barrage of insistent questions,....Some reported that even after being detained for hours they had still refused to supply additional names, only to later seem to disappear from campus, apparently forced to leave so suddenly that friends did not know when they had left or where they had gone." Some gave fictitious names or only the names of others who had already been reported. Many of those on Attridge's list were expelled from school. One man had his transcripts "permanently altered" resulting in a "serious curtailment" of his career choices. Another man, up for an ROTC officer promotion lost his commission and his entire scholarship, and another Gay man had his teaching credetials denied. A man on the list named Jason, who was the relative of another General Authority, escaped from being expelled by denying all the accusations. Yet another man caught via Attridge's list , Brad G. Lauritzen (apparently no relation to Kenneth Lauritzen) was hospitalized by his family in a mental institution but later escaped and ran away to San Francisco, where he tragically committed suicide just before Christmas, on December 18, 1971. 
These claims of spying, "security" lists, expulsions, and a ubitquitous surveillance network during the "witch hunts" are verified in a BYU inter-office memo sent by Kenneth Lauritzen to Ernest Wilkinson on June 18, 1969. This memo indicates that one year earlier, on June 1, 1968, a man on "the list" named Frank ***** was expelled from BYU because of this "security report indicating he was a homosexual". Five days after his suspension, Frank was sent a letter from Lauritzen detailing that he was restricted from "BYU campus at all times unless he received permission from the Dean of Students" or Lauritzen himself. During the intervening year, Frank had been to see Spencer Kimball but had "not received clearance from him to return to BYU" and had denied to Kimball that he was "homosexually inclined". Frank had also informed Kimball that "he could supply the names of a hundred students and faculty at BYU who were involved in homosexual activities", however Kimball had informed Laurtizen that ultimately Frank had provided no such list. On April 30, 1969, Frank "was observed on campus without permission" so a complaint for trespassing had been filed against him by BYU, and he was to appear in Provo City court on June 20, exactly one week before the infamous "Stonewall Riots" in New York City would initiate the Gay Liberation movement nationally. Frank also had called Lauritzen to tell him that he would be taking this matter to LDS president David O. McKay, since Frank was a hair stylist and had cut the hair of McKay's daughter-in-law many times. Frank had arranged through one of his female clients to get an appointment with McKay for June 18, 1969. This revealing memo always leaves me amazed at the ability of BYU Security and the campus administrative machinery to recognize and respond so quickly to the presence of a banned student a full year after his expulsion. 
Kenneth A. Lauritzen
Head of University Standards during the anti-Gay "Witch Hunts"
Ten years later, Attridge would write a lengthy, anonymous letter (using the initials LML for "Let Me Live") detailing some of these events from the Witch Hunts of '68. The University of Utah's campus paper, the Utah Daily Chronicle ran it as a front page feature at the end of January, 1978. This unleashed virulent public debate in subsequent editorials, with several Mormons questioning the accuracy of Attridge's tale. A week later however, one of the men actually from Attridge's list who had been caught and punished by BYU wrote to the Chronicle and confirmed all the details of those tragic days at the "Y". This former student (another relative of a General Authority) had chosen to leave school at the end of the term rather than see Kimball. However when he tried to transfer his credits elsewhere, he discovered that "B.Y.U....coded my records so that I could not obtain an official transcript...because of a problem with Standards which had not been cleared." Some months later, this same student learned that BYU had released his hold though and he was eventually able to attend another university. 
According to BYU Board minutes of 1973, in January of 1969, the BYU Board of Trustees (usually comprised of several General Authorities and the University President) ruled that Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual students "would not be admitted or retained at BYU without approval from the General Authorities". Three years later, 1972 Board minutes reveal that Apostle Marvin J. Ashton was asked by trustees to help further define a clearer policy on homosexuals at BYU because the new president of the university, Dallin Oaks, was concerned about what to do with those students or school personnel who had homosexual desires but were not "overtly" homosexual.  Six months later, the Trustees ruled that those who were not "overt and active homosexuals" could remain on campus at the university's discretion and upon recommendation by the "ecclesiastical leader having jurisdiction over the case". However, those who were "overt and active" would still be automatically expelled unless a General Authority recommended otherwise. 
Lawyer and BYU President, Dallin Oaks
In 1973, David C. Martin tried to return to BYU for his graduate work. Prior to admission though, he had to be interviewed again by both the Dean of Students and Apostle Kimball. He and his wife now had six children, so he was able to convince them that he was indeed "cured" of his homosexuality and apparently signed a statement testifying to that. After getting his graduate degree, he moved his family to Nauvoo, Illinois, where he started the Mormon Miscellaneous newsletter and became well-known in the "Mormon Underground" of scholars, collectors, and dissidents. Unfortunately, David contracted HIV during the 1980s and died of AIDS in San Diego in 1992. 
Two other Gay BYU students were caught in 1973 and threatened with expulsion from the school. However, they were then informed that they could remain if they would "work for security as spies", to entrap other Gays attending the school. The were told that if they refused the assignment, they would be expelled. According to a 1982 interview with Dave, who knew these two men, "Security was obnoxious and knew how to push people into things they didn't want to do". Apparently a few other people who had been coerced into spying "became fed up" with their treatment by BYU and went to TV stations in Salt Lake City with their tales. With such negative publicity focused on the Y in 1973 and 1974, the Security Office became less aggressive in their tactics. Dave admitted that "After that blew over things were quiet for a while". Joseph Morrow, a BYU security guard in 1973, testified that BYU security investigations of off-campus Gay spaces were commonplace in the early 1970s. He stated in an interview that once he ws asked by his supervisor, Paul Tanner, "to go to Salt Lake City to check for BYU parking permits on cars gathered around specific bars. The bars...were known homosexual haunts". When Marrow expressed dismay over the assignment, he was told "it was a regular weekend practice". 
In the aftermath of the Stonewall Riots in 1969, Gay and Lesbian rights rhetoric finally reached BYU by the early 1970's, inducing many students to come out of the closet, despite fears of academic and ecclesiastical repercussions. In January 1975 BYU administrators sent its security officers to quash an alleged "homosexual ring" on campus. Security officers descended en masse on the Harris Fine Arts Center and took all male drama and ballet students out of their classes to interrogate them in hallways and in front of other students, humiliating them publicly. BYU security also apparently sent undercover officers and volunteers to Gay bars in Salt Lake City to record the license plate numbers of cars with BYU parking stickers on them. Rev. Robert Waldrop reported that he had seen men recording license plate numbers outside gay bars on several occasions and upon approaching one of these men, the stranger refused to explain his activities, jumped into a car with a BYU parking sticker and left. Joe Redburn, the owner of the Sun, Salt Lake's most popular Gay bar, also had witnessed BYU security officers actually come into his bar quite regularly, trying to catch Gay students in compromising situations.
Ben Williams reported to me that in November 1975, Security began intense surveillance of the men's bathrooms in the Wilkinson Center, where students met each other for sexual encounters. Williams was caught in the Wilkinson bathrooms by a Security officer named Shephard (probably BYU detective Malin Shephard, later involved in the arrest of David Chipman, below), simply for witnessing Shephard entrap a Gay American Indian student (whom Williams recognized as being from the BYU performance group for Indians called the Lamanite Generation, who had just returned from their first international tour to Central and South America). Shephard hauled Williams to the Standards Office, where Shephard told Williams that "there is a problem at BYU and you are part of the problem". He also informed Williams that he had arrested another Gay student earlier in the day, but that student had been very rebellious and had told Shephard that BYU was the problem, not the Gay student. (Williams was subsequently disfellowshipped on April 10, 1976 by his branch president at BYU, Paul H. Thompson, who became president of Weber State University in 1991; Williams was then expelled from BYU).
In a humorous moment of open dissent, some of the students who were caught in the witch hunt or "Purge of '75" got some assistance in the design of a t-shirt from a Gay art student named David N-------; they then had the shirts printed up at the BYU bookstore. The T-shirts read sarcastically, "I'm on the list - are you?" Their audactiy was even reported in the New York Times. 
Not all Gays on campus could respond to this situation with such audacitous humor however. As the purge continued into 1976, in a joint effort between Utah County Sherriff's officers and BYU security during March 1976, fourteen men were arraigned in Pleasant Grove (near BYU) on charges of "lewdness and sodomy" at two nearby freeway rest stops. During surveillance of these rest stops, police and campus officers documented more than 100 men, many of whom were from BYU, who were "believed to engage in homosexual activity" there.  One married student named Larry C--------- was arrested on March 28th at the rest stop. He attempted suicide by swallowing a bottle of aspirin and then showed up at the door of his boyfriend, Ben Williams. When Ben noticed Larry getting drowsy, he drove him to Utah Valley Hospital. Medical personnel there pumped Larry's stomach and then illegally reported Larry's suicide attempt to BYU Security without his permission. Security already had a file on him due to his recent arrest at the rest stop, so they in turn informed his BYU branch president and his wife of the situation, again without his consent. This devastated the already emotionally fragile man. His wife showed up at the hospital but refused to stay with him, so Ben was asked by one of the nurses to remain with Larry to help him through his first hours of recovery. Larry was soon threatened by his branch president with excommunication unless he provided the names of other Gay students. Larry gave the bishop a list of names, omitting only Ben's because he had been so helpful and in fact, they were in love. Larry was then "watched like a hawk" by Security so Ben never contacted him openly again.
Another of these men arrested at the rest stop was 54 year old BYU professor of music, father of five, and World War II Army veteran (of the Pacific Theater), Carlyle D. Marsden of Kaysville, Utah. Humiliated and distraught over his arrest, Marsden left his home in the morning, drove down the street just a short distance from his home, and shot himself in the heart with a pistol on Monday, March 8, 1976, two days after his arrest. Marsden had served a mission to the New England States and then attended the College of Southern Utah for two years but received his bacherlor's degree from BYU, a master's degree from the University of Utah, and had done more graduate work at Claremont College, Occidental, and California State LA (now UCLA). In 1944 he married Adelaide Lund in the Salt Lake Temple. He was the member of the bishopric and Stake High Council in Pomona, California and was a Sunday School superintendent in Salt Lake. As a gifted musician, he later served as a Music Regional Representive for the church, stake and ward organist and choir director. By career, he was a music teacher at both Brigham Young University and Eisenhower Junior High School in the Granite School District in Salt Lake. His death was a tragic loss for his family and the many social, religious, educational, and musical communities in which he circulated. Oddly, only the Ogden Standard Examiner carried notice of his suicide. The Daily Universe at BYU and the Provo Daily Herald did not even mention that he had died, let alone killed himself. 
Carlyle D. Marsden
Gay BYU professor who shot himself to death
Notice of Marsden's suicide, Ogden Standard
Examiner, March 10, 1976, p. 11A
The public outcry against these tactics and their results led to President Oaks giving an interview to the Salt Lake Tribune in March 1976. Oaks was asked 'if BYU security agents checked known homosexual haunts looking for BYU students". Oaks cautiously replied that he personally didn't know but "he wouldn't be surprised if security officers made such investigations over a period of time". BYU Security Chief Robert W. Kelshaw admitted in 1982 that "in the past we have gone off campus to seek [Gays]" and also confirmed that "we do communicate with other law enforcement agencies and check court records periodically." Efforts were also being made on campus to find and spy on suspected homosexuals using ecclesiastical channels. For example, Larry M****, a closeted homosexual and member of BYU's 71st Ward, was given the assignment by his bishop and his Elder's Quorum president to spy on a certain other man in the ward whom the bishop suspected was a homosexual. Larry and the Elder's Quorum president were to relate to the bishop anything suspicious and not tell anyone about this "special assignment". 
In the midst of its second major purge of homosexuals in less than eight years, BYU and church officials grew so alarmed about the on-campus infiltration of this alleged homosexual "ring", that in 1976 they established the Institute for Studies in Values and Human Behavior on campus (hereafter Values Institute).  The Values Institute was proposed by Dallin Oaks at a "Combined Boards" meeting (meaning the Boards of Trustees for both BYU and the Unified Church Educational System) on September 1, 1976. [Click here to see the minutes of the "Combined Boards".] The minutes do not indicate at all what the true nature of the institute was. Instead, the purpose of the institute was given in the minutes as innocuously sponsoring and conducting "research that would assist in preventing and changing problem behaviors which lead people away from eternal life". Oaks promised that "there would be close cooperation with LDS Social Services, which would provide some resources to assist in the work", and that the "knowledge gained would be shared through appropriate channels" in and out of the Mormon Church. BYU Psychology professor Allen E. Bergin was also recommended to the Boards as the director of the institute. Note that the word homosexual was not used or implied in any way in the minutes.
Dr. Allen E. Bergin,
Director of the anti-Gay "Values Institute"
Four weeks later, the campus paper publicly announced the formation of the Values Institute. The 450 word article in the Daily Universe again never once informed the public what its true goals were, again never even implied that homosexuality would be the focus of the Values Institute. In fact, the day the article came out, Oaks had a lunch meeting with Bill Evenson and Kent Harrison (members of BYU's College of Biological Sciences) and told them that "he had personally reviewed this announcement very carefully before it was published to insure that it said precisely what he wanted to be said", ensuring that the Mormon public would have no concrete idea what the Values Institute was really up to. In the most oblique of terms, the newspaper article stated that the Values Institute would "attempt to harmonize professional concepts with a religious approach to human problems" and "also study the effects of lack of belief on human behavior, the role of the father in child rearing...and find a new way in the study of man which takes into account that he is an offstrping of God". The article also announced that Bergin would head the institute and gave his credentials, which included serving as president of the Society for Psychotherapy Research from 1974 to 1975, diplomate in clinical psychology of the American Board of Professional Psychology, Fellow of the American Psychological Association, and member of the American Psychopathological Association. Despite the innoffensive-sounding nature of the Values Institute and the credentials of its director, the true purpose of this organization was far more sinister.
The Values Institute was in fact charged primarily with producing a manuscript "which would set forth significant empirical evidence in support of the Church's position on homosexuality". This book, funded by the church tithing monies, would be written for a "New York Times type of audience" by Bergin and Victor L. Brown Jr. (of LDS Social Services), approved of by at least one General Authority, published by a popular eastern press, and made to appear as though it had no ties at all to the church. The resulting book would then be available as "secular evidence" to back up the church's anti-Gay stance. 
Other Values Institute goals included: (1) reviewing "the means by which the [homosexual] 'opposition' attempts to indoctrinate our people", (2) preparing anti-Gay papers and rebuttals, (3) supporting academic and scientific research that would vindicate the church's homophobic position, and (4) recommending to the First Presidency "specific steps the Church might take in combating homosexuality and other sexual misconduct".  Anti-Gay papers and research conducted, sponsored, or supported by the Values Institute included Elizabeth C. James' 1976 Ph.D. dissertation at BYU, "Treatment of Homosexuality: A Reanalysis and Synthesis of Outcome Studies" (with Allen Bergin as chairman of her dissertation committee), Bergin's 1979 paper, "Bringing the Restoration to the Academic World: Clinical Psychology as a Test Case", and Ed D. Lauritsen's 1979 paper, "The Role of the Father in Male Homosexuality".
Elizabeth James's Dissertation for
the Values Institute
[Click on image to enlarge]
[Click on image to enlarge]
Victor L. Brown Jr. reported to Academic Vice President Robert K. Thomas in a November 1978 memo that he and Bergin had made a two-hour presentation to the Presiding Bishopric earler that month on the anti-homosexual activities of the Values Institute. This presentation was made in order to secure church funding for the Institute through the Presiding Bishopric Office, which handles all the tithing funds that church members contribute for "humanitarian projects". In their presentation, they recommended "specific steps the Church might take in combating homosexuality and other sexual misconduct" and affirmed that their "basic theme is that truth lies with the scriptures and the prophets, not with secular data or debate". Brown summarized that their presentation to the Presiding Bishopric had been given in two parts. "Part One is a review of the means by which the 'opposition' attempts to indoctrinate our people", specifically: "the fallacious claims in the Payne papers"; "LDS people unwittingly legitimizing worldliness" (with an example of the Daily Universe advertising the rock group Seals and Croft on the same day it reported Spencer Kimball's campus address on standards); and oddly the "'macho' behavior of priesthood leaders as reported by their long-suffering wives". The second part of their presentation consisted of "examples of truth being on our side", including: (1) "consistent and clear statements of inspired men"; (2) data from the work supported by the Values Institute; (3) "explication of the developmental pattern of sexual deviance"; (4) the creation of a "clinically oriented document" of both religious and secular data for parents and other church members; (5) creation of "an LDS book on human behaviors"; and (6) the creation of a "politcal action kit for use of member-citizens in local legislative efforts" to oppose Gay rights. This two-hour presentation was then made before the First Presidency on November 17, 1978, and after that, it was made before all the General Authorities and last of all, to BYU president Dallin Oaks.
At a symposium for pyschotherapists held in San Francisco around January 1979, Allen Bergin gave a presentation called "Psychotherapy and Religious Values", espousing to his colleagues an "orthodox theistic value structure" over a humanistic one. Bergin then recounted what happened at the symposium during an address he gave at the 16th Annual Distinguished Faculty Lecture held on February 21, 1979, at BYU. Bergin informed his BYU audience that there "were several homosexuals who were mental health professionals in the audience." A man from New York stood up during the question and answer portion and asked what Bergin's "personal value is with respect to homosexuality". Bergin reported that
There was a stunned silence in the audience. I was stunned myself. For three seconds I contemplated how I was going to react. But then I felt that there was no way to react except with total transparency. It was a very honest question so I would give a very honest answer. The first thing I said was that as far as I am concerned homosexuality is sinful. The silence deepened. Then, I stated that this does not mean I hate homosexuals; I can have respectful associations with them and I can treat them therapeutically. But then I described a recent study of homosexuality and also said that my beliefs led to the hypothesis that homosexuality had ngative consequences. I said that while that may be a hypothesis from my value structure, I believed there was support for it. I referred to a study just published which indicated that 50% of white male homosexuals in San Francisco had had at least 500 sexual partners, 28% had 1000 partners, and 25% of them had had relationships with boys under the age of sixteen. By the time I had finished with the data on homosexuality, no one said anything more, although afterward some came up and talked with me.
The study that Bergin referred to is Bell and Weinberg's 1978 book, Homosexualities: a Study of Diversity Among Men and Women. It is unfortunate that despite 500 pages of statistics which clearly indicate that homosexuality is "simply a natural variation of sexual expression", Bergin culled only the three most scandalous statistics that can be found in the entire study, ignoring all the positive data. Bell and Weinberg had tried to pre-empt just such a homophobic tactic by pointing out that, "the fact that homosexual liaisons... are not encouraged or legally sanctioned by society probably accounts for their relative instability." It should be pointed out as well that Bell and Weinberg had gotten their study subjects by approcahing Gay men in bars and other sexually-charged environments in San Francisco, rather than simply sampling people from the far more sexually settled Gay neighborhoods.
For Bergin, "this symposium experience was a transition point" in his career; he noted that most significantly was overcoming his fear of being physically assaulted, beaten up for his beliefs. However, Bergin's paper was not without its consequences. Bergin received an overwhelming response to "Psychotherapy and Religious Values", both pro and con. Two renowned mental health professionals, Albert Ellis, of the Institute for Rational-Emotive Therapy in New York, and Gary B. Walls, of Miami University, were invited to speak on a panel with Bergin and rebut his paper; their responses were subsequently published. Though Ellis and Walls disagreed with some of Bergin's categories and his theism, they did not attempt to deny the major points Bergin outlined, and they agreed there is a need to be more honest and objective in psychotherapy as to one's religious value system. Ellis and Walls did question the data that Bergin had collected from LDS students at BYU. At one point Ellis told the audience that BYU students will "just tell you what you want to hear", rather than give honest answers. Even other Mormons psychotherapists distanced themselves from Bergin and his work. One LDS professor complained to Bergin that what he was doing was "maverick-type stuff, and it's not going to have credibility. You are well enough known nationally that everyone will think all of the other Mormon professionals are like you. And I don't want to be labelled as [being] like you." [160A]
While Bergin was stirring things up at secular symposia, Ed D. Lauritsen presented a paper he wrote for the Values Institute at a seminar on homosexuality sponsored by LDS Social Services in Salt Lake City on February 6, 1979. In "The Role of the Father in Male Homosexuality", Lauritsen theorized that "nurturant fathering...almost serves as a form of psychological immunization against homosexuality in most cases". He also told his audience that "it is incumbent upon...all LDS clinicians to labor for the prevention of homosexuality" (emphasis in original). He indicated that every time "we assist a man toward improving his relationships with his children...we are, in effect, helping him reduce the possibility of homosexuality among his children, and in turn, among his children's children". Lauritsen even went so far as to claim that this would fulfill the biblical "prophecy" in Malachi of "turning the 'hearts of the fathers to the children and the...children to their fathers lest the earth be smitten with a curse", "a part of which curse homosexuality may very well be". 
In March 1979 Marion G. Romney, then Second Counselor to Spencer Kimball, asked Thomas Monson to get a more concrete budget on the Brown-Bergin "Special Project on Values". Oaks in turn wrote a March 1979 memo to Presiding Bishopric member, J. Richard Clarke, in which he felt that "the conclusion of a professional book by December 31, 1979 is totally unrealistic. It would require at least six months and perhaps as much as twelve months after that time to complete the necessary work on manuscript and galleys for publication". Copies of this request for church funding from the Presiding Bishopric also went to Apostle Monson, and Church Commissioner of Education, Jeffrey R. Holland.
Marion G. Romney, Apostle Thomas S. Monson, Apostle J. Richard Clarke, Counselor, Presiding Bishopric
Jeffrey R. Holland, Commissioner of Education Five high ranking LDS leaders involved in securing church tithing funds for the anti-Gay "Values Institute" at BYU
Victor L. Brown Jr. again reported to Academic Vice President Robert K. Thomas in a September 1979 memo that things had not been going well with the Values Institute, although Brown felt optimistic about the future. First, Brown noted that "a certain personal emotionalism about our 'crusade'" had given way to the "careful, empirical development" of their work. He then reported that Bergin's work had been thoroughly discussed, pro and con, at the recent American Psychological Association meeting in Oxford. Brown noted that "while the cons are vigorous, the pros are moreso" and therefore Bergin had been invited to East Germany to give a presentation in the spring of 1980. Brown felt that this was an indication that "the tide is at flood and we should take advantage through serious empirical work".
Brown also stated that the Values Institute leaders had met with Thomas S. Monson and others (possibly Marion G. Romney) on August 9, 1979 to ask for approval to "write the [anti-Gay] book for a New York Times type of audience" and to create "more technical articles" to enhance the book. Monson and his committee then recommended this to the First Presidency on August 10, 1979, and immediately received approval to move ahead with the book project. This memo also included a recommended budget for church funds to support their research until they could secure funding from either the National Science Foundation or the National Institute of Mental Health.
However, by late 1979, the Institute for Studies in Values and Human Behavior had not succeeded in achieving most of its goals. Bergin and Brown had not successfully rebutted Jenkins's paper (aka "the Payne Papers"); Bergin's "scholarly objectivity" was consistently challenged during professional conferences and his professional standing was being questioned because of the backing provided by the LDS Church; and President Dallin Oaks was annoyed at what he perceived to be an undermining of his own authority by members of the Values Institute who had sidestepped the campus and church lines of authority and gone directly to the First Presidency for approval of their projects. The anti-Gay manuscript project was also not working out. On September 13, 1979 a rather rankled Oaks wrote to Apostle Thomas Monson [CLICK HERE TO SEE THE LETTER] to explain the overwhelming problems of the "Bergin-Brown Book on Values"; school administrators had become persuaded "that we cannot achieve the original objectives to the extent hoped" by having the book appear through the "independent popular publisher". By 1980, the Values Institute had spent almost $150,000 in church funds unsuccessfully trying to produce the manuscript. According to Oaks, LDS General Authorities were getting "squeamish" over the project. Pressure on the Institute became too great for Allen Bergin, who resigned as chair. The manuscript project was scrapped and the Values Institute was disbanded.
One of Allen Bergin's Gay twin sons, Michael R. Bergin (a delightful, intelligent young man who tragically died of pneumonia in 2003), criticized his father's role in the hypocritically-named Values Institue, when he wrote to me that he knew that his father was a "Church spokesperson regarding homosexuality in the mid-1980s [sic], but not until I semi-moved into my dad's office [and read his files] did I become aware of just how deceitful, unethical, and literally contrary to official Church doctrine the 'bretheren's' actions were. Things have changed since then, but that doesn't negate the facts of what happened back then."  Victor Brown did eventually go on to publish a rather insipid book based on some of the research of the Values Institute, in Deseret Book's 1993 Human Intimacy: Illusion or Reality. Evergreen International (the anti-homosexual "cure ministry" of Mormonism) currently uses Brown's book as part of their curriculum for heterosexually married homosexuals.
On September 5, 1935, New York University professor Dr. Louis W. Max informed a meeting of the American Psychological Association (APA) that he has successfully treated a "partially fetishistic" homosexual neurosis with electric shock therapy delivered at "intensities considerably higher than those usually employed on human subjects," the first documented instance of aversion therapy used to "cure" homosexuality. (Note that the APA's 2007 Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation has concluded that "efforts to change sexual orienation are unlikely to be successful and involve some risk of harm.") As far as I can tell, the earliest experiments with aversive therapies at BYU to "cure" homosexuality date to the mid-1960s and were spearheaded by D. Eugene Thorne, head of BYU's Psychology Dept. By 1968, he had gained enough information to report his findings from BYU in a paper given in San Francisco that year for the annual convention of the American Psychological Association. Then in 1969, school administration became more careful in its use of controversial therapies for treating "sexual deviancy" as they put it. The administration publicly claimed that use of such therapies had been curtailed but unofficially they continued unabated. BYU's Academic Vice President, Robert Thomas, advised college deans to alert those who were using aversive therapies to be "particularly cautious in utilizing them" not because they might prove harmful per se, but out of fear for law suits.
In 1975, the BYU Psychology Department administrators organized a Board of Review for Psychotherapeutic Techniques to recommend "policies governing the use of sensitive treatment techniques" on campus. Within a year, the review board had assembled a list of eight therapies being used at BYU which "could conflict" with church teachings. However, most of the therapies were not stopped (including electric shock, vommiting aversion, and the use of pornographic materials).
Gary Bergera interviewed Gerald Dye, chair of the University Standards office, in February 1978, and Dye reported what the "set process" was for "homosexual students referred to Standards" for counseling:
- They are asked to a personal interview with Standards...to determine the depth or extent of involvement; previous involvement, if any, of offender; does the student understand the seriousness of the matter; if the branch president or bishop [is] aware.
- The individual's branch president or home bishop is contacted.
- Standards is to determine if the offense is serious or not
- a. serious: repetition; anal/oral intercourse.
- b. less serious: experimential [sic]; mutual masturbation.
- Action taken.
- If determined to be serious, the student is expelled.
- If less serious, the student may remain at BYU on a probationary basis.
- Standards also acts as an intermediary between the student who remains and counseling service; Students who remain are required to undergo therapy. 
Although "therapy" was required for homosexual students, Dye promised Bergera that "no student working through Standards will ever undergo aversion therapy". Electric shock and vomiting aversion therapies were nonetheless used in special cases. 
Max Ford McBride's PhD dissertation, completed in August 1976 under the direction of BYU psychology professor D. Eugene Thorne (note that Dr. I. Reed Payne, of the "Payne Papers" infamy, was also on his dissertation committee), is an excellent example of clinical dehumanization practiced by Mormon "therapists". In the Mormon worldview, the end certainly justifies the means: heterosexuality must be attained and maintained AT ANY COST - even if it means using pornography (which the Mormon Church is usually vehemently opposed to) and physical torture.
Under the oversight of his committee chairman, Dr. Thorne, McBride experimented on fourteen Gay male subjects to determine if using photographs of nude men and women from Playgirl- and Playboy-type magazines was helpful in electric shock therapy. The 14 Gay BYU students in McBride's study were compared after being "treated" on an out-patient basis during 22 sessions of shock therapy. Each of the 22 sessions lasted 50 minutes. 10 of those minutes were spent in "assertive training" and the remaining 40 minutes in "aversive conditioning." The average duration of treatment for the men was three months. The release form these men were required to sign informed them that "damage to tissue or organs may occur," that they would be looking at "sensitive materials" possibly contrary to their values [ie. pornography], and that BYU would be released from any responsibility for any damage done to them. [Click here to see the dissertation listed in BYU's Lee Library online catalog.]
Cover Page of
McBride's Use of
Pornography on Campus
to sexually fantasize
Release Form warning of
Click on images above to enlarge
OR VIEW THE COMPLETE DISSERTATION BELOW, VIA GOOGLE DOCS
The longterm effects of the electric shock "therapy" these men were subjected to has been crippling. Two of the men committed suicide soon after completing this torturous study. Every survivor I have interviewed has suffered life-long emotional, spiritual, and sometimes physical damage. In 1999, John Cameron, one of the 14 men who went through this horrific experience in 1976 when he was a 23 year old BYU student and member of the Young Ambassadors, wrote to me, "For 22 years now I have lived with the scars of the experience - unable to articulate a personal suffering and longing that have almost crippled me....I didn't completely come out of the closet until I was 34, and only after much angry, pissed-off therapy. I spent a lot of money just so I could yell at my psychologist and break things in his office for an hour every week for two years. But it was a hell of a lot more fun than Ford McBride and the electrodes." 
A Gay psychology intern at BYU named Ray actually assisted in giving elcectric shock therapy to fellow Gay men in the late 1970s. In an interview he did for Sean Weakland's documentary on aversive therapies at BYU called Legacies, Ray gave the following report on his activities and their results (which I quote here extensively because Ray has so much "insider" knowledge):
"A lot of times BYU security would catch people in compromising positions on campus. Those people would have the choice to either be kicked out of school and have their families notified about what they had done or they could go through this therapy. We had quite a few people who were going through it. There were others in the therapy who felt so much guilt for being the way they were or they had been promised that if they underwent the therapy they would be able to marry and have children and they would be turned. Of course they had to have the desire to change, and if the therapy failed (which it always did), it was their fault for the failure since they didn't have enough desire.
"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.
"After that was over, we would switch the pornography over so that it was a man and a woman having sex, and we would play very soothing music in the background to try and get the mind to relate to that. For the people that had been doing the therapy longer we turned the voltage way up so that you could see burn marks on the skin and quite often they would also throw up during the therapy. This is speculation, but most of the students at BYU probably hadn't even seen pornography before.
"After undergoing that kind of pain over a number of months, everyone said that they had completely changed. They kept records for as long as the people were at BYU. After they had graduated, there was no records kept to see what kind of success rate they had. The BYU statistics were wrong because the people were lying. They were desperate to get their degree and get out of the situation. They had been blackmailed into the situation in the first place.
"We did have some people who became completely asexual after undergoing the therapy. But no, we never changed anyone from gay to straight....We had several people who committed suicide during the therapy. We had three different people who hung themselves in the Harris Fine Arts Center on BYU campus." 
In the late 1970s, Carol Lynn Pearson, a famous Mormon poet whose husband Gerald Pearson was Gay, met one of Gerald's Gay friends at BYU named Sam. Sam told Carol Lynn that "they strapped me in a chair and attached wires to me. Then they showed me porno movies of men in sexual activity. When I got turned on, they gave me a shock." At first they just shocked his hands. "After that they added my forearms, and then my calves and thighs. That was when they started cranking up the voltage. I had to go in two or three times a week....Only it didn't work. All I wanted was not to touch anybody, not to be with anybody. I felt like I was being turned into a zombie. I would walk down the street and be freaked by everyone. The idea of touching anyone, even my family, made me sick." After enduring several "treatments", Sam started to question his participation in his own torture. "I made myself walk up those steps and go into that building and sit down in that chair. And take the shocks. Until I gave up....There were burns on my arms but inside there was nothing different. Nothing! Just more pain." Sam left and never went back.
Later, Sam told Gerald and Carol Lynn Pearson about another Gay BYU student named John who had committed suicide after going through electric shock treatments at BYU. After leaving BYU both Sam and John had decided to move to Los Angeles together, although just as friends, not lovers. "We were going to drop everything and go make a new life. [John] told that to the General Authority that was on his case, and the man told him he'd be better off at the bottom of the Great Salt Lake with a millstone tied around his neck than to stay a homosexual. John believed him. He believed everything they said to him. He drove back to Provo, told his roommates he was going to the laundromat, drove up Rock Canyon, laid out a blanket, and blew his brains out." Sam fared almost as badly as John. In 1981, after leaving a Gay bar in San Francisco, without any warning he was attacked in a vicious anti-Gay hate crime by two young men wielding a crow bar. He nearly died when they smashed his head in. Sam went through five major surgeries and $70,000 in plastic surgery to repiece his face together again. He was also blinded in one eye, which was replaced by a glass eye.[167A]
I also personally recall an Affirmation meeting in 1988 when a man showed up calling himself only David. He sat alone in a corner during our meeting and became extremely jittery when anyone approached him. I spoke with him but he requested that I remain at least six feet in distance away from him. He then rolled up his shirt sleeves and showed me his arms. The deeply-scarred skin on the inside of his arms looked like raw hamburger and I almost vomitted from the sight. He informed me that he had participated in electric shock therapy at BYU in 1977 and had been allowed to turn up the voltage as high as he wanted to. The results were badly burned arms and a complete inability to come physically close to any male without him emotionally breaking down from the trauma. His homosexual desires were as strong as ever but he was unable to touch another man even for a simple hug, he had no heterosexual desires whatsoever, and he was constantly on the verge of suicide. David never returned to Affirmation and I suspect from his fragile emotional state that he did not survive his ordeal for much longer. I also met two Lesbians in 1990 at the Gay Pride festivities in Salt Lake who claimed that they had also gone through electric shock therapy at BYU in the 1970s but I was not able to conduct a formal interview and we lost contact. That is the only knowledge I have of women being subjected to this torturous treatment at the hands of so-called therapists.
Another Gay BYU student named Randy Smith went through aversion therapy at BYU in the late 1970s, but when it failed to make him heterosexual, he was excommunicated and expelled from the school. Disillusioned by his treatment by the church and school, in 1981 he organized a protest against the LDS Church during it's semiannual conference in October. After he got legal permits to do so, he and 16 other protesters marched around Temple Square with signs and banners protesting the unethical treatment of Gays by the Mormon Church and then held a press conference, calling for the end of aversion therapies. Almost all Mormons present simply ignored the vocal protest in their midst. 
Robert McQueen, a Gay returned missionary and editor in chief of The Advocate, published an article on Gays at BYU called "The Heterosexual Solution: A Dilemma for Gay Mormons", accompanied by a very intense depiction of the shock therapy, as well as a scandalous cartoon depicting Spencer Kimball, Brigham Young, and Joseph Smith showing a picture of a naked woman to two Gay men in bed together (which is essentially what McBride was doing with his "therapy" at the Y).
Andrew Welch, a former Daily Utah Chronicle staff member, produced a 16 minute documentary on electric shock therapy at BYU in 1977 and early 1978. San Francisco public television station KQED helped produce the documentary, which they broadcast in July of 1978. For the documentary, Welch interviewed 40 Gay men and two BYU psychologists, and showed the electric shock therapy device being used at BYU. Utah's PBS station, KUED, refused to air the program on these torturous practices however, citing religious differences, and the belief that the program had nothing to do with civil rights - only "morality". (In 1982, BYU student Keith Mitchell also produced a three part documentary on homosexuality at BYU. However only the first two parts were aired. Part 3, scheduled to air on August 6, 1982, was cancelled for not meeting "the standard of accuracy set by the station". Part 3 simply contained interviews with Gay BYU students and was thought to be "too sensational".) 
BYU Professor and lawyer D. Eugene Thorne
Overseer of Electric Shock "therapies" at the Y
Dr. Eugene Thorne's career after BYU has continued to be controversial. Thorne became co-owner and Executive Director of the Provo Canyon School (for severely "troubled teens") in March of 1979. In Milonas v. Williams, two students named Timothy Milonas Jr. and Kenneth Rice sued Provo Canyon School administrators, including D. Eugene Thorne, for causing Milonas, Rice, and other students at the school to "suffer and to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment, anti-therapeutic and inhumane treatment, and denial of due process of law." The school (and Dr. Thorne) were found guilty of violating the students' First and Fourteenth Amendment rights by monitoring and censoring student mail, using isolation rooms unnecessarily, and using physical force to coerce behavior modification. The guilty verdict was appealed but the rehearing was denied by the Court of Appeals on November 9, 1982. Despite being successfully sued for inhumane treatment of students, Thorne left the Provo Canyon School and became director of the Discovery Academy, a school similar to Provo Canyon School, but located in the city of Provo itself. Dr. Ford McBride is also currently in practice in Provo, Utah.
In April 1997 I made a call for BYU to admit what had been done to these people, apologize, and make financial reparations to them. However despite the massive evidence to the contrary, Merrill Joseph Bateman, then President of BYU and a high ranking LDS General Authority, issued a statement to me via email on April 9, 1997 in response to my call, indicating that, "we have not been able to verify your assertion that electric shock therapy...was ever used on gay and lesbian students at BYU." At least a dozen other people over the course of several years thereafter received similar denials from Bateman or his office, when they have contacted him about this issue. To my knowledge, Bateman has never retracted his denial. Bateman is currently a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. 
Ultimately the Values Institute's greatest challenge came from an unexpected quarter: Gay BYU student Cloy Jenkins. At the same time that the nucleus of Gay students on campus was forming what would become Affirmation, about June 1977, after attending an anti-Gay lecture by BYU psychology professor I. Reed Payne (a member of the Values Institute), Jenkins quickly prepared a thoughtful, comprehensive response to Payne's lecture (initially referred to as "the Payne Papers"), calling for a "well reasoned dialogue on these issues". Jenkins received editorial help from three friends (Gay brothers Lee and Jeff Williams, and a Gay former professor and chair of the Humanities Division at Ricks College in the 1950s, Howard Salisbury, with cover art work by Donald Attridge) in editing his response. (It is now published by Affirmation as a pamphlet entitled Prologue). Jenkins then somehow arranged to have copies of the "Payne Papers" mailed out through the Church Office Building mailroom in Salt Lake City, to all LDS General Authorities, as though it had originated from the Department of Psychology at BYU. Jenkins's paper was soon circulating among faculty and administration at both BYU and Ricks College, as well as television and radio stations, and newspapers throughout Utah and Idaho, drawing both rebuke and praise from its readers.
The church's reaction was immediate. According to a social services counselor at BYU, Jenkins' paper caused "a real stir at BYU and in the Church - officials in both places are very touchy over it".  Allen Bergin however wasn't impressed by Jenkins' paper, calling it "a fabrication. Those guys aren't interested in facts", and as director of the Values Institute at BYU, was ordered by LDS Social Services and the BYU Comprehensive Clinic to prepare a rebuttal. This proved to be difficult, however, because Jenkins had actually made several "really good and undisputable points", his figures on the numbers of Gays at BYU were accurate, and, according to BYU's Executive Committee, he had used a "rather sophisticated pro-homosexuality platform". Bergin finished his rebuttal on August 22, 1977 and titled it "A Reply to Unfounded Assertions Regarding Homosexuality". BYU's executive ecommittee immediately hailed it as "an excellent paper refuting [the] major claims" of Jenkins.  Despite this initial optimism, one BYU professor said that Bergin's rebuttal on behalf of the church was so poorly written that "it was an embarrassment to all involved".
Bergin's reply states that:
"a small, but increasingly vocal, number of homosexuals still alleging adherence to Latter-day Saint beliefs has claimed that -- 1. They are not responsible for their homosexual behavior because it arises from conditions beyond their own control; 2. The course of homosexuality, once entered, is irreversible and irremediable; and 3. Homosexuality is a harmless and benign alternative lifestyle, the legal and religious proscription of which is a fundamental denial of human rights."
These are actually three rather pertinent points that Bergin summarizes here, which indicates to me that Bergin had read or heard, and at least partially understood, the demands that the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered community were making at that time. And unflinchingly reactionary, Bergin asserted that "an examination of the relevant scientific information shows that there is no evidence that any of these claims are true."
Bergin then replied individually to these three points, stating that there was indeed, "a large volitional element in the selection of sexual orientation", that "homosexuality is not obligative because it can be and has been cured", and thirdly, claims that homosexuality is benign "may be deeply rooted in the psychology of anxiety, guilt, and defense". Bergin concluded that an "overall review of the scientific literature" on homosexuality "is consistent with the Counsel of Church leaders who have define...unacceptable sexual behavior by means of revelation from the Lord." Mormon leaders could rest assured that their authority claimed by revelation was backed by the heavy weight of scientific "fact".
However because Bergin's rebuttal was such an "embarassment", word went out that "all copies be returned [to Bergin] as he hopes to rewrite his reply", although fortunately several copies survived his recall.  Apparently, Bergin did try to rewrite his response, without much success. Bergin's colleague, Victor L. Brown, Jr., also tried to rebut Prologue, but his response was also so poorly done that it was never released to the public either. BYU Executive Committee Meeting minutes for September 15, 1977 reveal that Church Commissioner of Education, Jeffrey R. Holland, and BYU President Dallin Oaks were "working very closely with Elder Boyd K. Packer concerning this matter". The Executive Committee at that time was composed of Victor L. Brown, Gordon B. Hinckley (chairman), Thomas S. Monson, Boyd K. Packer, and Kenneth H. Beesley (Secretary). 
When it became apparent that no authoritative response whatsoever was forthcoming from the Values Institute, the church hierarchy decided to intervene personally. President Spencer Kimball asked Apostle Boyd K. Packer to "specifically address the local problem of homosexuality and to offer solutions" to BYU students. Uncharacteristically, Packer at first balked at and declined the assignment from his priesthood superior, telling Kimball, "President, I just couldn't do it." However, when pressed again urgently by Kimball, he "repented for having refused an assignment from the prophet" and decided to speak to an assembly of BYU students in early March, 1978. At the same time, the Advocate, a national Gay news magazine edited by ex-Mormon Robert McQueen, was also preparing to publish excerpts from Jenkins' paper (see above). About three weeks prior to its 22 February publication, the Advocate sent out press packets to newspaper agencies across the United States. The religion editor of a newspaper in Oregon sent a copy of the Advocate's press packet to a Mormon friend, lawyer James H. Bean, who forwarded it with a letter to Dallin H. Oaks at BYU. Six days later, Oaks then drafted a letter to Packer, warning that "in view of this national publication, and the accusations it makes...your [upcoming] remarks are likely to get wide newspaper coverage and to be viewed by many against the background of this article and these charges." 
In early to mid 1978, Kenneth A. Kline (a BYU alumnus and organizer of the controversial "Human Rights" convention a year earlier - see section above) contacted Deseret Book Company "to see if they would sell the publication [Prologue] " and he then submitted a copy of the Library of Congress and had it "registered as a BYU publication". Oaks hotly retorted, "We have corrected that error, and obtained the name of this individual from the Library of Congress". Dallin H. Oaks reported to Jeffrey R. Holland in November 1978 that:
1. Our General Counsel's Office has exhausted all possibilities with the Postal Department. They are unwilling, under their interpretation of the law, to proceed against the misleading representations in this publication for a violation of the postal laws and regulations.
2. Hal Visick [Assistant to the President and General Counsel] and I continue with the opinion that any direct action by the University aginst the publishers would be counter-productive, arousing greater public attention and resentment [than] any benefit to be gained.
3. We are still unaware of the identity of the authors, though we do have the name of a key contact.
Oaks then informed Holland of the identity of the man they only knew as "K.A. Kline" who had tried to sell Prologue through Deseret Book, and had submitted it as a BYU publication to the Library of Congress. Oaks also gave Holland Kline's home address. After discussing the possibility that this K.A. Kline might have been the BYU alumnus Kenneth A. Kline, Oaks remarks that he doubts that Kline "would be the author of the publication, but he may have some relationship with the person who was. I believe it would be best for us now to let this matter drop" because "any direct action by the University against the publishers would be counterproductive, arousing greater public attention [than] any benefit to be gained." 
Despite his reservations as noted above, on March 5, 1978, Packer delivered his now infamous "To the One" speech during a twelve-stake fireside at BYU, since the Values Institute was failing in its mission. Although the entire speech dealt with homosexuality (and briefly with transsexuality), Packer used the word "homosexual" only once (and then only as "an adjective to describe a temporary condition", rejecting it "as a noun naming a permanent one") because he felt that Mormons "can very foolishly cause things we are trying to prevent by talking too much about them". This is not Packer's only theory about the causes of homosexuality - and causation was vital, because, for Packer, finding the cause was an "essential step in developing a cure". In a 4,000 word speech, Packer gives at least six different, often specious or contradictory causes (and touches upon several others without fleshing them out as fully as the main six), thoroughly confusing both the issues and his audience. Howeverly, ultimately Packer settled on speculation that the cause of homosexuality "will turn out to be a very typical form of selfishness". This egregious speech was made into an official pamphlet by the corporation of the church and is currently distributed worldwide for use in counseling Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Mormons. 
Packer's insistence on silence around this topic gave reprieve to some homosexuals in the audience who were listening. Gay student Larry M**** took a woman he had met in the marching band to this fireside. As he later reported, "When Packer got started on his topic I began sweating. I wondered if my date suspected that I was 'the one' Packer was talking about. What a relief when he requested near the end of his talk that we not discuss his remarks afterwards. This saved me from having to talk about it with anyone." Two weeks after Packer's speech, a BYU counselor commented that Packer's "spiritual" approach to homosexuality had actually originated with the director of LDS Social Services, Kent Peterson, who "was in charge of working with homosexuals in Church services". 
Right after Boyd Packer's speech, Shari Eyre, editorial writer for BYU's student newspaper, the Daily Universe, wrote a trite editorial called "'Gay' label misapplied on basis of a few traits", complaining that "some have frequently and unjustly applied the label of 'homo' or 'gay' to persons not deserving it". Examples of her defendants were high-voiced men, male beauticians, and same-sex friends who express their affection for each other through hugs or kisses. She reiterated that "Elder Packer said his speech was for the 'one'. But many people appear eager to apply it to those numbered among the 'ninety-and-nine."
Packer saw the article in the Universe, grew incensed that his message of "silence is best" had been ignored by the official campus paper, clipped out the editorial and mailed it to Pres. Dallin Oaks, accompanied with a typed quote from his own speech, and then added a simple handwritten note. The quote from his speech he chose to append was, "I want to tell you pointedly that I have thought this to be a very personal message. No good purpose will be served if you make this message the subject of chatter in the dormitories, or in classes, or church meetings. I repeat, I have thought this to be a very personal message, and I have already said that we can very foolishly cause things we are trying to prevent by talking too much about them." With an arrow drawn to his list of dormitories, classes, and meetings, he very sarcastically added in his own hand " - or in the Universe. I somehow missed mentioning the Universe". [CLICK HERE TO SEE PACKER'S LETTER TO OAKS]
On March 17, 1978, an obviously irritated Dallin Oaks passed Packer's memo on to M. Dallas Burnett (dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communications), with the following curt notation: "You will note from the attached that Elder Packer was not pleased to have his talk the subject of editorial comment in the Universe...Nothing can be done at this point except to apologize, which I will handle with him directly." The campus paper then apparently refrained from mentioning homosexuality for quite some time. [CLICK HERE TO SEE OAKS' NOTE TO BURNETT]
Response to Packer's remarks by members of the Utah Gay community was immediate. Robert Waldrop, the Gay pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church in Salt Lake City (and a former Mormon missionary), termed the speech "very offensive and highly inaccurate" and demanded that the PBS television station KBYU, which had broadcast Packer's sermon, give him equal air time. Bruce Christensen, KBYU general manager, denied Waldrop's request and told the media that KBYU has a "responsibility to cover all aspects of the gay rights issue and we believe we have done that with fairness". 
A BYU student in attendance at Packer's speech also quickly wrote a rebuttal, which was published anonymously in the local Gay paper, The Salt Lake Open Door. The student criticized Packer's approach as "some kind of pseudo-psycho-spiritual counsel which close analysis will prove to be a substantial assemblage of a profound lack of reason and education". However, he warned that Packer
"is clever. Packer's treatise on 'selfishness' zeros right in on the desperate attempt many have made in trying to attribute their sexuality to some personality characteristic or quality which is causing their homosexuality. If this quality can be changed (and it is usually some malleable trait - like selfishness), then the homosexuality will disappear. This approach also has the therapeutic return of displacing guilt. (A burden of guilt encouraged by the heterosexual moralist-theologian). The homosexual is thereby informed that he should be feeling guilty for being selfish - not for being homosexual. This helps ease his anguish and he experiences an instantaneous relief. He is well on his way to escaping into health, to optimistically denying his authentic nature, to psychological swindle. Even when he fails (which is inevitable), he comes back to focusing on his selfishness and not on his sexuality. It is much easier warring against an attribute like selfishness than challenging one's sexuality."
This student believed that Packer's assertion that "the cure" is something which "finally has to take place in the spiritual realm" was the most serious flaw in his theory, because then "we don't have to talk about the realities here of sexual impulses when we can focus on the transcendent sacred dimension out there. When the [Gay] subject fails, then [Packer] simply declares...that the subject is somewhere in transgression of spiritual matters." In conclusion, the anonymous student reiterated that "as appalling as it is, it is miles ahead of President Kimball....At least the subject of homosexuality seems to have finally come out of the closet - too bad Packer has dressed it in rags." 
In the meantime, an elaborate sting operation was being set up by BYU campus security officers to entrap Gay students. I cover this in length because of the extensive media coverage it received and because of all the controversial issues that were exposed as a consequence. Security recruited a student named John David Neumann who was willing to pose undercover as a Gay man and receive college credit for it by enrolling in a BYU course titled "Justice Administration 299R". Neumann took the authority of his role a little too seriously and apparently became somewhat of a rogue agent for Security. Neumann would later tell the press that the reason he had become a student decoy was because he had once been approached by a Gay man and it upset him that such a thing could happen on campus, so he decided to help end homosexuality at BYU.
According to later reports, Neumann wrote an "unauthorized" letter for the November 1978 issue of the Gay newspaper in Salt Lake, The Open Door, stating that he was Gay and wanted to start a "Gay Underground" group on campus. (Apparently Neumann didn't realize that the year-old support group for Gay Mormons, commonly referred to as "the GMU", was actually named "Gay Mormons United", not "Gay Mormon Underground".) Interested parties were asked to contact Neumann in the letter, quoted below. [CLICK HERE FOR SCANNED IMAGE OF LETTER]
John David Neumann,
who posed as a "homosexual" for course credit
GAY'S AT BYU
Several of my friends have heard it rumored, and have shared that rumor with me, that there may be a Gay Underground in the formation stage at BYU.
I am sure that you are aware of the problems and pressure we have here because of BYU's and the LDS church's views on homosexuality. We're not permitted to come out of our so-called "closets". It's just not fair, and I plan on doing something about it.
I hav eput much deep thought into an underground here, and if there is no truth to the present rumor, I would like to take some action.
I don't know howmany subscribers you have here at the "Y", but if there is any way you could voice my interest in this effort to those who do subscribe (or for anyone interested in the BYU area for that matter) in one of the next issues, I would be forever grateful.
If you know someone in this area who is a good organizer, I could use some help. Either drop them a line and have them get in touch with me, or give me his name and I'll contact him. First names only though, please. Security here seems to be working overtime in the places we've felt relatively safe in, until recently.
So, as you can see, we've got to move fast, or move out, and I certainly don't want to do that -- I love it here. This place has real potential.
In the December 1978 and January 1979 issues of The Open Door, Neumann also placed more unauthorized ads in the classified section, asking people to contact him to establish the Gay underground group at BYU. Those interested were told to contact the paper's editors and they forwarded all letters on to Neumann, never suspecting his role as a spy for BYU Security. (When Neumann's "superiors found out about the letter, the action was stopped", indicating that Neumann had been working on his own. Paul Richards from BYU Public Communications Office told the news media that "no action was taken to investigate those who responded" to Neumann's letter - with the exception of Chipman of course - and that all letters of response sent to Neumann by The Open Door staff had been destroyed.)
David Chipman, a Gay Mormon from Buffalo, New York, who had previously been expelled from the "Y" (cause unknown) , responded to the January ad, hoping to help John Neumann deal with his "homosexuality." Chipman also later testified in court that "he wanted to talk to Neumann only to tell him how to help LDS friends who were homosexuals." On February 12, 1979 John and David met on campus and went driving in Chipman's car. Chipman was unaware that Neumann was wired and was being followed by an unmarked car with BYU security officers Sgt. Clive Winn and Detective Malin Shephard inside. Neumann asked Chipman where to go to meet Gays at BYU, and Chipman told him about the "public sex environments" at the Wilkinson Center bathrooms, and the Richard's P.E. building saunas. 30 miles down the road, off-campus and in another county, Chipman stopped the car and started to chat with Neumann. At one point, Chipman apparently touched Neumann in a "friendly manner" on the leg or knee, although Neumann claimed that after touching him on the leg, Chipman then touched him in the genital area. Neumann screamed into his hidden microphone, "He touched me! He touched me! Come arrest him!" BYU security officers Winn and Shephard then approached the car and initially ticketed Chipman for reckless driving, and then demanded he return to their offices so he could be formally charged with the felony of "forcible sexual abuse". This was a travesty of justice sincee Chipman was not a student, the security officers were not only off-campus but out of Utah County, were not deputized police officers with the power to arrest anyone, Neumann was an illegal, untrained decoy, and was illegally wired. There were also no outside witnesses to corrobarate the testimony of either man, leaving it Chipman's word against Neumann's. Chipman was so upset at the time, that several times during the car trip back to Provo, he contemplated driving his car off the mountainous cliffs to kill himself. A Gay friend of Chipman's, Wendell Ballantyne, also reported that "Security tried to...blackmail [Chipman] into testifying" against Ballantyne, who was then a Senior at BYU, but Chipman refused and instead "tried to commit suicide afterwards."
At the May 2, 1979 Board of Directors meeting, BYU administrators discussed Chipman's background "in some detail inasmuch as he has visited the offices of a number of General Authorities and others at the Church Office Building". In August, at the President's Weekly Meeting, the University's counsel, Elliott Cameron, again adressed Chipman's case and Oaks was told to speak about "BYU's policy regarding homosexuals" at the fall student assembly and the annual fall faculty meeting, as a direct result of all the negative publicity BYU was receiving over its treatment of Chipman, and the seemingly limitless state and ecclesiastical authority of BYU Security personnel. Oaks defended Security's authority when he informed the press on two different occasions in September 1979 that BYU "did not initiate efforts to have the legislation changed", which granted campus security officers state police powers. However this was completely false and newspapers quickly pointed out that legislative records proved that BYU Security Chief Robert Kelshaw and his predecessor, Swen Nielsen (who had since become Provo police chief), had gone to the legislature the year previous to request that "peace officer status be extended to private colleges" in the state, which had subsequently been granted by the legislature, belying Oaks' statement. Oaks also misrepresented the Chipman case, when he defended the school's actions by claiming that, "People should be able to walk down the street without someone seizing them and soliciting sexual relations". Oaks conveniently failed to point out that it was Neumann who had initiated the contact and the conversation about sexuality, not Chipman, regardless of whether Chipman had inappropriately touched Neumann or not.
The judge who initially tried the case, David Sam, was also a Religion instructor at BYU and refused to dismiss himself from the case for conflict of interest. Sam in fact indicated that "my background and religious training enforces and strengthens my professional duty to be entirely unbiased and unprejudiced in any matter brought before me as a judge". Clearly, however, Judge Sam's subsequent actions confirmed that he was anything but unbiased. On April 8, 1980, at the end of the trial, Jude Sam, "[o]n his own motion" and "without legal precedence", ruled that "there was insufficient evidence Chipman committed the crime, but enough evidence he attempted to carry out the crime" (although what that evidence was is not clear). Chipman was then found guilty of a lesser offense. Attempted forcible sexual abuse was only a class A misdemeanor, not a third degree felony. However Chipman's lawyer, fellow Mormon Ronald R. Stanger, felt that "it wasn't the judge's place to find Chipman guilty on a lesser offense" and that the ruling should simply have been guilty or not guilty of the charge of forcible sexual assault. (Judge Sam also received further notoriety in 2003 for summarily acquitting two members of the Salt Lake Olympic Committee, Dave Johnson and Tom Welch, who had been caught bribing International Olympic Committee members with money taken from a humanitarian project for impoverished athletes. Ten IOC members lost their positions for receiving the bribes. Judge Sam's decision to acquit the bribers drew international criticism.)
In the midst of this lengthy legal battle, Paul Mortensen, Los Angeles Chapter Director of Affirmation/GMU, sent out an undated (circa 1979) letter "To All Members and Friends of Affirmation" soliciting donations to pay for Chipman's legal defense. As Mortensen affirmed, many Affirmation members were "familiar with BYU security tactics in dealing with gay people and are also aware that such incidents happend regularly in the BYU area. This time, however, the entrapped person has come forward and is willing to fight it....We have all heard the horror stories at BYU regarding the treatment of gay people. Here is a wonderful opportunity to bring an end to some of the their deplorable activities." Mortensen also indicated that Stanger ("a good Mormon") took on Chipman's case "because he feels that such activities by the BYU police is legally and morally wrong and the Church has no business being involved in such activities." Mortensen ended the letter by confirming his "strong testimony of the Church", and because he loved it, he wanted "so desperately for it to follow Christian principles in their dealing with our gay brothers and sisters" and passionately insisted that "when any brother is being treated badly by the Church we are all diminished."
Chipman appealed the decision to the Utah State Supreme Court, where BYU President Dallin Oaks had a seat as a Supreme Court Judge. He eventually dismissed himself from the case for conflict of interest. Still, the State Supreme Court upheld the lower court's decision. Chipman, financially ruined from court costs and mentally exhausted, gave up his fight against a corrupt, theocratic legal system and paid his $500 for the misdemeanor charge. A brief announcement regarding Chipman's court loss appeared in The Advocate in June, 1980. Impoverished and homeless, Chipman stayed briefly with Donald Attridge, the Gay former BYU student who had been so instrumental in the purge of 1965, and they even contemplated a relationship but nothing came of it. Attridge later learned that despite all that he had been through at the hands of church and school, Chipman had gone to LDS General Authority Vaughn J. Featherstone, who told him to change his last name to Kennedy and get married, which he did. 
John David Neumann also participated in other entrapment operations on campus. Gay BYU student Lee C******* remembers that when the Chipman scandal broke, a photo of Neumann appeared in the campus paper, The Daily Universe, and Lee recognized Neumann immediately. In 2004, Lee wrote me that, "I recognized the officer [Neumann] from the sauna in the [Richards] PE building. I would use the sauna quite regularly and he would come in and liked to stand right in front of me naked....He would put on quite a display." While it was obvious to Lee that Neumann was being consciously seductive, he never responded to Neumann's advances because Lee was still "quite closeted at the time." The saunas at the Richards PE building were such a common "public sex environment" used by campus Gays that, later, swimming suits became required in the sauna and a sign was posted mandating that anyone acting "strangely" should be reported to the staff.
Neumann and another undercover security agent were also instrumental in the excommunication and expulsion of two other Gay students. The two undercover agents compiled "quite a file" in late 1978 and early 1979 on two lovers, Wendell Ballantyne (a senior) and Steven Whiting (a sophomore). Neumann and his unnamed assistant turned copies of this file over to both of the students' bishops and they were immediately excommunicated because Ballantyne and Whiting "both admitted in their appearance before church officials that they were gay and both were unrepentant." Despite these unethical activities that earned him college credit, Neumann is now a lawyer in Virginia, having passed their state bar exams in July 2001. On the other hand, Ballantyne had attended UC Irvine, and then served a mission to France from 1973-76. He then transferred to BYU in 1976 and soon decided to come out. He and Whiting met in 1978 and became partners at that point. Both were expelled from the Y subsequent to their excommunication from the church. Holds for "standards violations" were placed on their records for quite some time, so they could not transfer elsewhere to finish their degrees. 
During the mid-1970s, then married BYU student and returned missionary Mark S------ was completely ignorant of the sexual underground on campus until he read an article in the Daily Universe about the arrests in the Wilkinson Center; despite the possible consequences, he began frequenting there, merely to observe what was going on. He was caught in 1977 for peeping through stall doors by an undercover Security officer in the Wilkinson Center restrooms. He was then coerced into psychological counseling at the Counseling Center on campus and put on probabtion by the Y. Mark began frequenting the restrooms in the Lee Library at that point, aware that he he was being followed by Security, although he was able to elude them for a while. In 1979, he was finally arrested after touching an undercover decoy on the leg in the library restrooms. Mark was then expelled from the Y and he never completed his undergraduate work. Despondent and suicidal, Mark finally told his wife of his homosexuality and recent arrest. She was so upset that she promptly left him in December 1979 and took their children with her to her native country, where they have lived ever since. Mark then filed for divorce and has not seen his own children since 1980, although he does correspond with one child. Mark continued to receive some Church counseling off-campus but finally decided to come out by going to the Sun Tavern in Salt Lake City for the first time. He then moved to Salt Lake in 1981, and completely disillusioned with Mormonism, requested to have his name removed from the rolls of the churc. He moved out of state in 1988 and currently does not "affiliate with any religion or church, organization, or even political party" because of his experiences with the LDS Church and BYU. 
After Maxine Mudock of BYU Counseling Center conservatively estimated that "4% of the student body was Gay", the BYU Counseling Center compiled and publicized statistics on the numbers of homosexuals who were using their services. On August 3, 1979, Richard Johnson of the Counseling Center indicated that of the 95 men counseled Winter Semester 1979 at BYU, 29 reported homosexual activity and another 16 reported homosexual "fears and fantasies only". Of the 158 women who were seen, 12 reported homosexual activity and 9 reported "fears and fantasies". 16 men were also seen for "gender identification" problems. No women were seen for this "diagnostic category". Another 33 men were seen for masturbation, while only one woman reported this as a "problem". Johnson wrote a memo to David Sorenson (Dean of Student Life) and Maren Mouritsen (Asst. Dean of Student Life) with the stats on August 3, 1979. Marked "Private and Confidential", the cover memo also notes that "depression, inferiority, and relationship problems appear still to head the list for both groups. However, eating problems belong primarily to females; sexual disorders primarily to males". These statistics were then compared to those of one year prior, Winter Semester 1978, during which only 12 men and 5 women were seen for homosexual activity or "fantasy".
Jeffrey R. Holland, the new president of BYU in 1980 (now an apostle), followed homophobic policies similar to those of his predecessors in his treatement of campus homosexuals. For example, in an October 7, 1980 memo marked "PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL" which Holland sent to William Rolfe Kerr (BYU Vice President - now Church Commissioner of Education), he noted that a BYU student named Joseph Brian Cole, in an effort "to put his life in order and prepare for a mission", had confessed to his bishop, John Bennett, of the Albuquerque, New Mexico 5th Ward, that he had participated in homosexual activites. As part of his confession, he had given Bennett the names of "four male BYU students, all returned missionaries, who were also involved in homosexual activity (partners?)". The bishop had given those names and details to Elder Theodore M. Burton (as Area Administrator) and Burton had passed the information on to Holland. Holland told Kerr that this case had "both 14 stake president and Student Life implications" and asked Kerr to proceed with an investigation along both lines, "and let me know the facts." Holland concluded, "Obviously this should go quietly and discreetly." (Sadly, 30 year old Joseph Brian Cole died two days before Christmas, 1991, cause unknown.) 
Jeffrey R. Holland,
Theodore M. Burton,
1st Quorum of the Seventy
William Rolfe Kerr, BYU Vice President Three players in McCarthyesque "confidential" activities to expel Gay BYU students
Of the four men listed, I know that at least two, Brent C****** and David O****, were expelled from the Y, having a devestating effect on their potential educations and careers. For example, David, who was 25 at the time and a Senior in electrical engineering and music, had an extremely difficult time transferring to the University of Utah as a senior (colleges generally refuse to allow senior classmen to transfer in). Additionally, he received "unoffical withdrawals" in his classes for his last semester at BYU, which automatically lapsed to Fs, bringing his GPA down from 3.26 to a 2.89 making it even harder to transfer to another college. Fortunately the University of Utah admissions office was sympathetic to his plight and he was allowed to transfer in as a senior. 
I have not dealt with the period after 1980 because AIDS, which first appeared in the United States around that year, has radically changed the face of Gay and Lesbian activism, bringing Gay and Lesbian issues to the national (and ecclesiastical) forefront like never before. The juxtaposition of sex, death, morality, and politics (embodied in AIDS) has been such a complex and painful issue for both the Gay community and the Mormon Church to negotiate that it would require its own indepth analysis, going far beyond the limited scope of this paper.
Suffice it to say that Mormon homophobic discourse has currently "softened", resorting to "love the sinner, hate the sin". But I find that is as difficult to believe as if I were to say that I love all Mormons, while hating Mormonism; that's just not how love works. Personally I find it nearly impossible to divorce who a person is from what a person believes or does. Despite attempts at a more "compassionate" response, anti-Gay rhetoric abounds today in Mormonism as never before, from the well-paid upper-echelon, to the lay leaders, and general membership. (See White and White's "Ecclesiastical Polity and the Challenge of Homosexuality: Two Cases of Divergence within the Mormon Tradition" for a good overview of contemporary views of the LDS Church and its largest schism, the Reorganized LDS Church - now called the Community of Christ.) The LDS Church "unofficially" supports the Evergreen Foundation and its claim of success in "reorientation therapy". Despite repeated claims of success, Evergreen has been plagued with controversiy, especially when their "poster boy" Russ Gorringe, for eight years on Evergreen's governing board, left Evergreen in 2003 and publicly now denounces its claims of "cure". However Dr. Albert Dean Byrd, formerly a clinical psychologist with LDS Family Services, continues to promote a religion-based reorientation therapy for Mormons, which in turn forms the basis for church leaders' public pronouncements, despite the fact tthat the American Psychological Association strongly condemns such "therapies". (Fortunately a growing body of independent Mormon therapists have decried Byrd et al. - see footnote for details.) In 1992, the church published the homophobic booklet Understanding and Helping Those Who Have Homosexual Problems, without realizing that societal and political homophobia and heterosexism are the only "homosexual problems" we have.  The following year, the vociferously homophobic Apostle Boyd K. Packer also received harsh condemnation and critical media attention for a speech he delivered on May 18, 1993 to an "All-Church Coordinating Council Meeting". In this speech, Packer identified "three areas where members of the Church, influenced by social and political unrest, are being caught up and led away." Those three areas, according to Packer are "the gay-lesbian movement, the feminist movement, and . . . the so-called scholars or intellectuals."  Purges of Lesbians, Gays, and Bisexuals at BYU and elsewhere in the church continue unabated (see below). To me, these certainly are not acts of love, but of fear.
For unmarried heterosexual Mormons and for Gays and Lesbians who choose celibacy to remain in Mormonism, heterogamy is still compulsory. In 1993 an unmarried Mormon over the age of thirty from Minnesota wrote to the church, questioning its current policy of not allowing older single people to "serve as ordinance workers" in Mormon temples. Apostle M. Russell Ballard counseled that rather than desiring to officiate in the temple, "perhaps it would be more wise that those who have not married and are over the age of thirty, should seek to establish for themselves the full blessings of the atonement of Jesus Christ" by getting married. Ballard continued that heterogamy "is so paramount in the life of each individual member of the Church that every effort should be made by individuals to appropriately and according to their own wisdom find a companion wherewith they may receive the joys and blessings of an eternal family unit." 
While emphasizing the importance of marriage and the family, Mormon leaders insist that they can only sanction heterogamy and a family unit with a heterosexual couple as parents (following the paradigm of the divine, heterosexual couple who Mormons view as the Father and Mother in Heaven). This places Gay and Lesbian Mormons in a no-win situation where they are commanded to marry for eternal salvation, but are unable to marry the person of their choice and desire. Furthermore, Mormon leaders move beyond the realm of theology and enter the political by clearly mandating that any alternative to this heterosexist family structure requires immediate societal and legislative condemnation, depsite earlier statements decrying civil rights abuses.
For example, Joseph Smith himself declared in a statement published in the June 1, 1842 Times and Seasons (vol. 3, no. 15, p. 808), that both he and Assistant President of the Church, the radical abolitionist John C. Bennett, were in fact "the friends of equal rights and privileges to all men (sic)."
LDS President, John Taylor, also declared:
When the people shall have torn to shreds the Constitution of the United States the Elders of Israel [i.e. Mormon men] will be found holding it up to the nations of the earth and proclaiming liberty and equal rights to all men (sic)". (Journal of Discourses, 21:8)
(Taylor's "prophecy" is completely ironic, given that the LDS Church has formally issued three statements in support of a Constitutional amendment banning legal homogamy, and the apostle Elder Russell M. Nelson signed an ecumenical petition "to call for a constitutional amendment to establish a uniform national definition of marriage as the exclusive union of one man and one woman." Just days after signing the petition, Russell M. Nelson married a second woman "for all eternity" in a Mormon temple, making him a "celestial polygamist". If passed, this Mormon-backed amendment would be the first time the U.S. Constitution would be used to take away the civil rights of tax-paying Americans.)
Furthermore, Hugh B. Brown, of the First Presidency, declared in the October 1963 general conference that,
"We believe that all men [sic] are the children of the same God, and that it is a moral evil for any person or group of persons to deny any human being the right to gainful employment, to full educational opportunity, and to every privilege of citizenship....
"We call upon all men, everywhere, both within and outside the Church, to commit themselves to the establishment of full civil equality for all of God's children." (emphasis mine)
As more adverse pressure was put upon the LDS church to amend its racist policy of denying men of black African descent the Mormon priesthood, on December 15, 1969, the First Presidency issued an official statement decrying civil rights abuses and emphatically calling for the African American to have "full constitutional privileges as a member of society, and we hope that members of the Church everywhere will do their part as citizens to see that these rights are held inviolate. Each citizen must have equal opportunities and protection under the law with reference to civil rights." (emphasis mine)
In direct opposition to these passionate and compassionate imperatives, the First Presidency statement issued to the church on February 13, 1994 explained that "the principles of the gospel and the sacred responsibilities given" to Mormons, require that the church "oppose any efforts to give legal authorization to marriage between persons of the same gender." (See Richley Crapo's 1997 chronology documenting the LDS Church's opposition to homogamy for details.) The First Presidency further encouraged "members to appeal to legislators, judges, and other government officials to preserve the purposes and sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, and to all efforts to give legal authorization or other official approval or support to marriages between persons of the same gender." In November 2004, Utahns strongly supported "Amendment Three" (especially after offical statements of support from church leaders), voting to amend the Utah state consititution so that "(1) marriage consists only of the legal union between a man and a woman; and (2) no other domestic union may be recognized as a marriage or given the same or substantially equal legal effect.  The consequences of official Mormon political intervention have been politically disastrous for the Gay community in both Hawai'i and California as well, where the LDS Church recently spent millions of dollars in church funds, successfully opposing homogamy in those states. Several Gay Mormons committed suicide as a result of these homphobic political maneuvers by the LDS Church (including the February and March 2000 triple suicides of Clay Whitmer, D.J. Thompson, and Stuart Matis, who shot himself in protest on the steps of his local chapel in Los Gatos, California). Consequently Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons has held several suicide vigils across the United States and now maintains a lovely memorial website for all Gay Mormon suicides and Mormons who have died from AIDS at their online Book of Remembrance.
Clay Whitmer, Stuart Matis, and D.J. Thompson [left to right]
Three Gay Mormons who committed suicide in early 2000 out of despair for the LDS Church unethically
raising millions in support of Proposition 22 in California, which made homogamy illegal in the state
Conditions for homosexuals at BYU have improved somewhat, although many McCarthyesque tactics from the Wilkinson era are still employed. In 1996 Gay BYU student, Sam Clayton, worked extensively with Dean of Students, Janet Scharman, and Vice President of Student Life, Alton Wade, until BYU made "public statements confirming that gay and lesbian students could attend the university if they abided by the honor code." A year later however, Clayton became embroiled in a scandal when BYU officials (namely Ryan Beuhring, a member of the Standard Four committee which is charged with determining faculty tenure suitablity, and Beuhring's boss, James Gordon) tried getting a Gay BYU professor fired by intimidating, harassing, and manipulating Gay students who knew the preofessor and then falsifying a written testimony against the professor. Fortunately Clayton caught them in their machinations and threatened to go public with what he knew. BYU was then under censure from the American Association of University Professors for academic freedom violations, so Gordon dropped the matter and the Gay professor remained at BYU for another three years but has since gone to another campus. 
When BYU's Comprehensive Clinic was up for reaccreditation by the American Psychological Assocation (APA) in 1992, an intern at the clinic contacted me to report that the head of the clinic had ordered that records of their homosexual clients be falsified so that the APA would not discover how the clinic was in fact treating them. I passed this information on to APA's accreditation committee, but without direct contact and a formal complaint from the intern (who understandably insisted on remaining anonymous) there was nothing the committee could do and the Comprehensive Clinic received its accreditation.
Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Mormons have responded to their religion's teachings on sexuality in three ways: (1) remain very "closeted" to conform to Mormon demands in appearance; (2) come out of the closet while remaining loyal to Mormonism in order to struggle for a voice from within the church; or (3) leave the church. For those who are closeted and trying to remain in Mormonism, their path is fraught with profound isolation and guilt for their hypocrisy - especially if they have started families which further causes them to assume roles for which they are not meant.
For those Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Mormons who continue to struggle for a voice within the church, there are several organizations available to support them. Affirmation now has an international network of nine official chapters (three in Latin America) and many informal groups meeting in 13 different countries. Affirmation is currently experiencing phenomenal growth in Latin America; in just three years, Afirmación México grew from just five to over 150 members in 2005.
Brus Leguás Contreras (left, holding banner), president of Afirmación Chile,
marching in Santiago Gay Pride, September 2004;
Contreras was subsequently excommunicated in January 2005 for apostasy,
"conduct unbecoming a member " and "teaching Doctrine contrary to the principles of the Church".
There are also organizations for Gay LDS youth, Gay BYU alumni and Gay returned missionaries, which meet monthly for their members to explore and find consolation in their common experiences. There is also a very strong, vibrant, politically active, and large LGBT community in Salt Lake City providing a myriad resources for LDS Gays dealing with their religion and sexuality. (Some 30,000 people attended Salt Lake City's Gay Pride in 2005.) Periodicals, pamphlets, books, and symposia are also media through which the viewpoint of my people has recently been expressed. Others, like myself, have found Mormonism too rigid, too oppressive to remain within its structures and have chosen, instead, to continue our spiritual journeys elsewhere. However, the common bond which all Lesbian and Gay Mormons share is the questioning of our lives within Mormonism - the values we learned from and the time and energy we devoted to it. We all struggle to make meaning out of the realization that, because the intensity and authenticity of our desire to love and be loved by someone of our own sex, to "multiply and replenish" heterosexually is not a realistic imperative for us. Our bruised and battered bodies, lying at the feet of the church, demand at the very least a thoughtful, inclusive, and loving response.
Over the years, as people have read this essay, the question has regularly arisen, "Just what would you have the LDS Church do?" My one and only response has been:
And here are the Five Steps of Repentance, as related to this particular subject:
- Mormon leaders must recognize and admit to themselves that they have sinned against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered people. (See essay above for numerous examples.)
- Mormon leaders must confess their sins to God and the Gay community, issuing a formal apology during General Conference. And have it printed in every major newspaper in every country where they have a significant number of members.
- Leaders of the LDS Church must have and show true sorrow for what they have done to us.
- LDS leaders must make restitution, in so far as is possible, to all the Queer people they have harmed (including but not limited to paying for therapy to repair the mental and psychological damage they have caused, funeral expenses for all those who have committed suicide, increased funding for AIDS/HIV-related services, etc.)
- LDS leaders must change their lives and attitudes in such a way that they do not repeat their sins against the Gay community. This means working actively to secure equal rights under the law for all Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered people in every country where the LDS Church has influence.
That's it! That's all I want....
This does not mean that the Mormons must change any of their doctrine. If they still believe that God does not approve of homosexuals or homosexuality, that is fine; just leave that judgment to God, rather than trying to impose on us a hell on earth. They simply ought to send us from their community of faith with their love and their blessing, not their condemnation, persecution, and fear. Both Justice and Mercy require this. Remember:
"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." (Matthew 25:40)
Connell O'Donovan, 2010
I am a freelance historian who has found my Home in Santa Cruz, California. Born in Syracuse, Utah to a fifth generation Mormon mother and a convert father, I earned a Duty to God award in Scouting, completed an LDS mission to Brasil Porto Alegre (1980-82), served in the Elder's Quorum presidency of a Student Ward in the Avenues of Salt Lake, worked in the baptistry of the Salt Lake Temple (where I was also later married), and was a security guard on Temple Square until I came out of the closet in on July 4, 1985. In 1988 I founded the Lesbian and Gay Historical Society of Utah (now defunct) and continues to collect documents and ephemera relating to homosexuality and Mormonism for his archival collection (now measuring some 8 linear feet). In the late 1980s, I sat on the Board of Directors for the Wasatch Chapter of Affirmation and served for several years on the Gay and Lesbian Community Council of Utah, chairing the Public Relations Committee. I also co-founded Queer Nation Utah (a radical, non-violent, direct-action political group) which held two large protests at Temple Square against the LDS Church's homophobia in the early 1990s. I stopped believing in the LDS faith in 1987, and was formally excommunicated on December 5, 1991, under direct order of Apostle Boyd K. Packer. I continue my studies in early Mormon history. Because of the LDS church's deep involvement in Proposition 8 in California (which took away my constitutional right to marry another man) I became the Santa Cruz County coordinator for Mormons for Marriage Equality and was very politically involved with the campaign. As a result of the passage of Prop 8, I attended a life-changing prayer vigil at the First Congregational Church-United Church of Christ in Santa Cruz (which features an Extravagant Welcome Program for LGBT folks) and immediately fell in love with that community and that religion. I was just baptized into the United Church of Christ on July 4, 2010 and am nowpondering going into the ministry. I work as staff at UC Santa Cruz. You may contact me at email@example.com
Sporting my Queer Nation Utah T-shirt
Affirmation National Conference in San Francisco, 2004
1. Throughout this essay, unless quoting others, I capitalize "Lesbian", "Gay", and "Bisexual", as one way of affirming my belief that we have constructed an ethnic identity: a social and cultural system which includes, but is not limited to, a history, a language, and a political sensibility, and which drastically differs in many ways from that of the "Straight" community. By homosocial, I am referring to the spectrum of beliefs, attitudes, loci, signs, desires, and practices of the many aspects of Queerness. Homosocial specifically means the dynamic of a group of people of the same sex who socialize together. "Male bonding" is a form of homosociality. Other aspects of this "homo-continuum" include the homopolitical, homospiritual, homointellectual, homophysical, homoemotional, homophilic, homoerotic, and ultimately, the homosexual. Homophobia is literally an irrational, unfounded fear of homosexuals and homosexuality, while I define heterosexism as the assumption that all people are heterosexuals or ought to be. Both engender such practices as anti- Gay legislation, "reorientation" therapies, or passive, but debilitating silence.
2. T. Eugene Shoemaker, "Human Sexuality in Mormonism: Reflections from the Bishop's Couch; an Essay on Understanding," submitted for publication to Sunstone Magazine, Sunstone papers, b. 26, f. 20, no date, Special Collections, University of Utah Marriott Library.
3. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Mormon Polygamy: A History (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1989), p. 56.
4. Adrienne Rich, "Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence", reprinted in The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader (New York: Routledge, 1993), pp. 239 and 242.
5. The term "sister-wife" interestingly combines two intensely sensual, emotional and personal concepts: conjugality and sorority.
6. Gail Farr Casterline, "Ellis R.Shipp," in Vicky Burgess-Olson, ed., Sister Saints (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 1978), p. 371.
7. Casterline, pp. 369-70.
8. Ibid., p. 371, italics in original.
9. Carol Lasser, "'Let Us Be Sisters Forever': The Sororal Model of Nineteenth Century Female Friendship", Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 1988, Vol. 1, no.1, p. 161.
10. "Louie B. Felt", Children's Friend, 18 (18 Dec. 1919): 410.
11. Ibid., 411.
12. "Mary and May", Children's Friend, 18 (18 Dec. 1919), p. 421.
13. While Aurelia Spencer Rogers actually founded the first Primary organization, Louie Felt organized the second branch of it a month later in September, 1879. On June 19, 1880, Felt became the first General President of the Primary, and in 1890, called her lover, May Anderson, to be the General Secretary. May Anderson first suggested in 1893 that the Primary have its own church-sponsored publication, and in 1901, the Primary General Board finally received permission to begin publishing the Children's Friend with Anderson as editor. Felt and Anderson together conceived of the idea for the Primary Children's Hospital after seeing a disabled boy on the streets of Salt Lake City. In 1925, when Louie B. Felt was released as the Primary General President, her parttner May Anderson succeeded her in that position. For further details on the relationship and accomplishments of these two remarkable women, see their biographies in the following issues of the Children's Friend "Louie B. Felt", vol. 18 (December 18, 1919), pp. 404-417, "Mary and May", vol. 18 (December 18, 1919), pp. 418-422, "The New Presidency", vol. 24 (November 1925), pp. 21-23, "Louie B. Felt: A Tribute", vol. 24 (November 1925), pp. 422- 425, and "A Friend of the Children", vol. 39 (April 1940), pp. 146- 152; as well as Susan Staker Oman, "Nurturing LDS Primaries: Louie Felt and May Anderson, 1880-1940", Utah Historical Quarterly, Vol 49, no. 3, pp. 262- 275.
14. "Mary and May", 420-1.
15. See I Samuel 18:1-4, and II Samuel 2:25-27. For discussions on David and Jonathan as historical signifiers of male- male desire and sexuality, see John Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980), 105, 238-39, 252, and 299; and Richard Dellamora, Masculine Desire: The Sexual Politics of Victorian Aestheticism University of North Carolina Press, 1990), p. 221.
16. "Veteran Worker in Primary Recalls History for Jubilee", Deseret News, 21 Apr. 1928.
17. For biographical information on Thomas, see "Biographical Note" accompanying the register for the Kate Thomas papers, donated to the Utah State Historical Society by her brother, U.S. Senator Elbert Thomas (D-Utah). Included in the Kate Thomas papers is another biography written by LeNae Peavey for a university class, entitled "Kate Thomas (1871- 1950). However, Ms. Peavey went to great lengths to avoid the Lesbian desire of Thomas's poetry.
18. "To _________", Record Journal of Love Poems, Kate Thomas Papers, Utah State Historical Society, Box 3, (Folder 5, p. 34.)
19. "A Scarlet West", p. 36, Thomas Papers.
20. See commentary on the 1868 song, "Gay Young Clerk in the Dry Goods Store" in Jonathan Katz, Gay/Lesbian Almanac (Cambridg, MA: Harper and Row, 1983) 315. Male dry goods clerks were stereotyped by Victorian America as effeminate and what we might today call "homosexual".
21. Katz, Almanac
22. "Narcissus", p. 80.
23. "A Gay Musician", p. 79.
24. "Biographical Notes", Kate Thomas Papers.
25. See Polk's Directory for Salt Lake City, 1923 and 1927, and for Ogden, Utah, 1919 and 1925.
26. Interview with L.H. on August 8, 1988, and interview with J.B.B. on January 7, 1990. Cora's niece, Juli Dulmage, also emailed me on May 29, 1999 to let me know that in the 1960s one evening she was having dinner with her aunt Cora when Cora started to explain why she had never married but stopped mid-sentence and never told her niece why. The possibility of lesbianism had not crossed Dulmage's mind until she read an earlier version of this essay and now admits that her aunt may have been a Lesbian although any Lesbian relationships she had must have been "excruciatingly discrete". See also emails to me from Peter Kasius dated May 6, 7, 25, and 26, 1999 for more biographical data and family anecdotal material.
27. For biographical information on Cora Kasius, see "Utah Woman to Join Dutch Welfare Group", Deseret News 1945.
28. D. Michael Quinn identifies Fanny Fern as non-Mormon feminist Grata P. Willis Eldredge Parton and claims that this brief essay was originally published in the New York Ledger (see D. Michael Quinn, Same-Sex Dynamics Among Nineteenth-Century Americans: A Mormon Example (Univ. of Illinois Press, 1996) p. 108. Coincidentally, "fern" is an archcaic, somewhat derogotory word for a Gay man, similar to pansy or fairy.
29. See the December 31, 1877 letter from Alice Blackwell to her sister-in-law Kitty Blackwell for an almost identical description of the painfulness of manipulative "smashing" at an eastern women's college, in Katz, Almanac, p. 176. For another amazingly similar non-Mormon description of "smashing", see Yale University student newspaper of 1873, quoted in Nancy Salhi, "Smashing: Women's Relationships Before the Fall," Chrysalis (1979), 8:21.
30. "Women Lovers," Woman's Exponent, vol. 1, #22, April 15, 1873, p. 175.
31. Quinn, Same-Sex Dynamics, p. 108.
32. George Wehner, A Curious Life, Horace Liveright Press: New York, 1929, pp. 397-400 and Michael Morris, Madam Valentino: The Many Lives of Natacha Rambova, New York: Abbeville Press, 1991, pp. 191 and 195-197.
33. For information on John C. Bennett, I am indebted to the Sam Taylor Papers, ms. 50, (Special Collections, University of Utah Marriott Library. On all his villainy, see his brilliant biography by Andrew F. Smith, The Saintly Scoundrel: The Life and Times of Dr. John Cook Bennett, University of Illinois Press, 1997.
34. Samuel Taylor papers, handwritten notes on typed page of rough draft of Nightfall at Nauvoo unnumbered first page of Chapter VII, "Every Species of Abomination," ms. 50, Box 29, Bk. 3.
35. Taylor to Lyon, February , 1969.
36. T. Edgar Lyon to Sam Taylor, Taylor papers, February 4, 1969, p. 2.
37. For Danites in drag, see The Wasp, July 27, 1842, as quoted in Andrew F. Smith, The Saintly Scoundrel: the Life and Times of Dr. John Cook Bennett (University of Illinois Press, 1997) p. 94. "Bennettiana: or the Microscope with Double Diamond Lenses," The Wasp, July 27,1842, on microfilm at the University of Utah Marriott Library, emphasis is in original. Sam Taylor to Dr. T. Edgar Lyon, Sam Taylor papers, January 31, 1969.
38. As quoted by Smith, Saintly Scoundrel, p. 148.
39. L. F. Andrews, Pioneers of Polk County, Iowa, Vol. I (Baker-Trisler, Des Moines, 1903) pp. 27-31 and 87-91; online at http://books.google.com/books?id=c3kUAAAAYAAJ&pg. J.P. Munro-Fraser, History of Alameda County, California (Myron W. Wood, Oakland, 1883) p. 871; Smith, Saintly Scoundrel, pp. 12 and 27; 1870 Census of Santa Cruz CA, Santa Cruz Public Library. For "chum", Dr. John Egan email to Connell O'Donovan, January 24, 2005.
Note also that my own 3rd great grand father, Robart Cooper, who was about 10 years older than John C. Bennett and from Westmore County PA, was an early settler of Byrd, Ohio in the 1820s, where he met Alexander Hill and according to a love letter currently located in a library there, became lovers. Throughout their lives, where one moved, the other followed. They also promised to name all their male descendants after each other so Robert Cooper's eldest son was named Alexander Hill Cooper and Alexander Hill's eldest son was named Robert Cooper Hill; indeed, some 175 years later, my father's and my middle name is Hill in honor of their love for each other.
40. William H. Holyoak to John Taylor, October 9, 1886, quoted in correspondence of Raymond W. Taylor to Samuel W. Taylor, 7 June 1972, 2-3, Taylor Family Papers, box 20, file 3.
41. Salt Lake Tribune, 2 August 1886.
42. For Taylor's excommunication notice, see Deseret News, 28 Aug. 1886. For rumors published in the newspaper see "City and Neighborhood" column of the Salt Lake Tribune, 22, 24, 29 August, and 2 September, 1886.
43. Thomas Taylor to John Taylor and Angus M. Cannon, September 22, 1886, Taylor Family Papers, p. 5.
44. Rudger Clawson Journal, January 30, 1894, bk. 4, p. 83, Special Collections, Marriott Library.
45. Clawson Journal, bk. 4, p. 84.
46. Clawson Journal, bk. 4, p. 151.
47. Clawson Journal, bk. 5, pp. 30-31.
48. Salt Lake Tribune, 24 December 1886, p. 4.
49. Taylor had three wives, and Hunsaker had two. Both lost plural wives in divorce proceedings immediately following revelations of their sexual contact with other men. Christopher Cramer, Salt Lake's "Pioneer Florist", was another polygamist who was also a "queer", as one elderly informant called him in my interview with Cynthia Blood in 1989.
49A. For Arthur Bruce Taylor's "coming out", see Quinn, pp. 40-1. For the Richfield "ring", see Quinn, pp. 276. James Henry Moyle, "My History", as quoted in Gene A. Sessions (ed.), Mormon Democrat: The Religious and Political Memoirs of James Henry Moyle, as excerpted at http://www.signaturebooks.com/
50. Daniel Shellabarger, written comments on the Frederick Jones trial in my possession, April 23, 1994.
51. For accounts of the Jones trial and aftermath, see Salt Lake Daily Telegraph, "A Heavy Case", 27 October 1864; "That Case", 28 October 1864; "The Death of a Sodomite", 31 October 1864; Daily Union Vedette, 1 November 1864; and Deseret News, 31 October 1864 and 2 November 1864.
52. Deseret News 2 November 1864.
53. Brigham Young to Daniel H. Wells and Brigham Young Jr., 18 November 1864, in "Correspondence", Latter-day Saints Millennial Star 27 (7 January 1865): 14, as quoted in Quinn, Same-sex Dynamics, pp. 273 and 296.
54. "The Crime Against Nature," Compiled Laws of Utah, 1876, p. 598.
55. "The Crime Against Nature", Compiled Laws of the State of Utah, 1907, c. 28.
56. "The Crime Against Nature", Laws of the State of Utah, 1923, c. 13.
57. "Sodomy," Utah Code Annotated, 1953, 8B, title 76 (76-5- 403).
58. For biographical information on these converts to Mormonism, see passenger lists for the Mormon emigrant ship "Horizon" (microfilm no. 025,691), International Geneaglogical Index entries for Lancashire, England (for Carter) and Sussex, England (for Edwards), and Family Group Sheets for their families, all at the Family History Library, Salt Lake City.
59. Josiah Rogerson memoirs, Salt Lake Tribune, 4 January, 1914.
60. Prior to beginning any research on Stephens, I had heard from four unrelated sources the oral tradition passed down through other Gay Mormons, that this famous Mormon and Horace Ensign of the Tabernacle Choir, were Gay.
61. "Evan Bach: A True Story for Little Folk, by a pioneer", Children's Friend 18 (October1919) p. 387.
62. "Evan Bach", p. 389. See also the accompanying intimate photograph of the two young men, ca. 1875, when both were about 21years old, on p. 388. On Stephens' impersonation of the "old maid", see "Yesterday's Concerts," Deseret News, 30 September 1882; Evan Stephens, "To the Choir Members," Deseret Evening News, 31 August 1887, p. 5. Ray L. Bergman, The Children Sang: The Life and Music of Evan Stephens (Salt Lake City: Northwest Publishing Inc., 1992), pp. 6, 83-86.
63. Dean C. Jessee, Letters of Brigham Young to His Sons (Deseret Book Company, 1974); Quinn, Same Sex Dynamics, pp. 135, 230-231; Improvement Era, "In Memory of Three", (April 1931).
63A. Ronald W. Walker, "Raining Pitchforks: Brigham Young As Preacher", Sunstone, 39 (May-June 1983); for Grow's cross-dressing, see Karl Brooks, “The Life of Amos Milton Musser” (M.A. thesis, Brigham Young University, 1961), p. 71.
64. Both are quoted in Van Wagoner, Mormon Polygamy, pp. 67 and 106, respectively.
65. United States Reports, Supreme Court, 98, pp. 166-68, as quoted in Van Wagoner, Mormon Polygramy, p. 110.
66. Van Wagoner, Mormon Polygramy, pp. 133- 139.
67.See advertisement in the Deseret News, 5, 6 Apr. 1882.
68. "Art Decoration: Oscar Wilde Enlightens a Large Audience on the Subject," Salt Lake Tribune, April 11, 1882.
69. Alfred Lambourne, A Play-House (Salt Lake City: n.p., n.d.) p. 28.
70. Helen L. Warner, "Oscar Wilde's Visit to Salt Lake City," Utah Historical Quarterly 55 (Fall 1987): 333-334.
71. Deseret News 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 11, 19, 24, 26, 30 April; 1, 3, 4, 7, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27 May 1895.
72. Dellamora, Masculine Desire, pp. 301-302.
72.A. See Quinn, p. 131 and note 99.
73. Report of the 68th Semiannual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, (October 1897), pp. 65-66; for contention amongst the Twelve Apostles, see Edward L. Lyman, "The Alienation of an Apostle from His Quorum: The Moses Thatcher Case", reprinted in John Sillito and Susan Staker (eds.), Mormon Mavericks: Essays on Dissenters (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2002).
74. Journal of Discourses, vol. 20, p. 200. Interestingly, early Anglican theologian John Bale wrote in "Apology against a Rank Papist" (London, 1550, xxvii, xii [v]), that the celibacy of Catholic clergy had set marriage and virginity "at variance" and replaced them with "two unhappy gestes, called whoredom and buggery", making celibacy the cause of homosexuality. Bale later wrote in "The Pageant of Popes" (London, 1574, p. 36) that in his visitations to English Catholic monasteries, which had been ordered by Henry VIII, he found "such swarmes of whoremongers, ruffians, filthie parsouns, giltye of sinne against nature, Ganimedes [young, effeminate homosexual men]...and unmarried all, so that thou wouldest thincke that there were a newer Gomorrah among them"; at Battle Abbey he found some twenty monks "gilty of sinne against nature" - which sins included homosexuality, prostitution...and polygamy!
75. Tribune 15 Feb. 1885, quoted in Van Wagoner, Mormon Polygamy, p. 133.
75A. D. Michael Quinn, Elder Statesman: A Biography of J. Reuben Clark, (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2002) p. 191 and p. 488, note 55; and D. Michael Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power, (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1997) p. 307.
76. Eldred G. Smith, who replaced Joseph F. Smith as Patriarch to the Church, claimed that the young man was named Norville Service. George Albert Smith diary, 10 July and 16 Sept. 1946; Joseph F. Smith diary, 10 July 1946; J. Reuben Clark office diary, 30 July and 16 September 1946; typescripts in my possession.
77. See conference report in the Improvement Era, Nov. 1946, pp. 685 and 708.
78. George F. Richards diary, December 6, 1947, typescript in my possession.
79. David O. McKay office diary, April 10, May 9, and July 10, 1957; First Presidency files, 1959; typescripts in my possession
80. "Rexburg Investigates Moral Practices", (Pocatello) Idaho State Journal, September 14, 1950, p. 8. I have thoroughly reviewed all issues of the weekly Rexburg Standard newspaper from July to November 1950, and I could find no article announcing this anti-homosexual investigation. However, in the microfilm copy that I used (borrowed from "Ricks College", now BYU Idaho through interlibrary loan), two articles had been blacked out with duct tape before being microfilmed, so it is possible those referred to this investigation and had been censored by Ricks. I did note that every single issue had at least one (and sometimes two or more) article or opinion piece rabidly opposing Communism. Both the Ricks College and the Rexburg High School studentbodies were widely involved in the "Freedom Crusade" to raise money for a "shrine to freedom" in Berlin. Most of the anti-Communist articles had a paranoid, almost hysterical tone to them, as if huge numbers of Communists were poised just outside Rexburg, ready to invade and conquer this Mormon bastion of Capitalism and "liberty". J. Reuben Clark diary, September 11, 1950. Stephen L. Richards office diary, October 29, 1951. For Storer, see "Homosexuals find understanding at Boise church", Idaho Statesman, September 2, 1978, p. 5B.
81. Clark, "Home and the Building of Home Life," Relief Society Magazine 39 (December 1952): pp. 793-4; Conference Reports, October 1954, p. 79.
82. John Gerassi, The Boys of Boise: Furor, Vice, and Folly in an American City, (New York: Macmillan, 1966). Ken Storer email to Connell O'Donovan, September 16, 2004.
83. "Police Nab 23 in 27-Day Morals Drive", Salt Lake Tribune, May 29, 1958; see also "Suspect Held in Boys Morals Ring", Salt Lake Tribune, February 13, 1958, p. 10; http://historytogo.utah.gov/jblee.html; Congressional Record, Vol. 109, 88th Congress, 1st Session, Appendix pp. A1-A2842.
84. Connell O'Donovan interview with "Farris", August 15, 1991, notes in my possession.
84A. My main source has been the online autobiography of Dr. Dorius My Four Lives, formerly online at joeldorius.com; however since his death that web domain no longer exists due to unpaid fees. I have obatined some legal rights to its material and hope to upload it on the web in the future. Other sources for this biogrpahical material are: "Joel Dorius - gay professor in '60s porn scandal", San Francisco Chronicle, Feb. 19, 2006, p. B8, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/20/obituaries/20dorius.html and http://familysearch.org.
85. Edward L. Kimball and Andrew E. Kimball, Jr., Spencer W. Kimball: Twelfth President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1977), p. 381.
86.Spencer W. Kimball, "A Counselling Problem in the Church", July 10, 1964, LDS Church Archives. For Callis's early role in dealing with homosexuality among Mormons, see Kimball and Kimball, Spencer W. Kimball, p. 271. For arrests of Utah homosexuals published in newspapers at that time, see for example "Suspect Held in Boys Morals Ring", Salt Lake Tribune, 13 February 1958, and "Police Nab 23 in 27-Day Morals Drive", Salt Lake Tribune, 29 May 1958.
87. Kimball and Kimball, Spencer W. Kimball, pp. 383-384.
88. Spencer W. Kimball, "A Counselling Problem in the Church"; The Miracle of Forgiveness, (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1969), Chapter Six, "The Crime Against Nature,"; "New Hope fo Transgressors", 1970, "New Horizons for Homosexuals," 1971, and "A Letter to a Friend," 1978, all published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Minor works and speeches of Kimball against homosexuality include "Love versus Lust," January 5, 1965, LDS Church Archives; "Voices of the Past, of the Present, of the Future," Ensign, 1 (June 1971); "God Will Not Be Mocked," Ensign, 4 (Nov. 1974); "The Foundations of Righteousness," Ensign, 7 (Nov. 1977); and "President Kimball Speaks Out on Morality," Ensign, 10 (Nov. 1980).
89. Kimball, "Counselling," p. 12.
90. A similar policy was still in place in August 1980, when I was required to meet with General Authority Paul H. Dunn before I could proceed with receiving a mission call. Dunn met me in his office in the Church Administration Building for approximately one and a half minutes total, proclaimed me "clean and worthy", and commanded me to marry "one of the righteous daughters of Zion" upon my return from my mission. He bore solemn witness to me that the experience of "normal sex" with a woman would "cure" me. As a memento of our extremely brief meeting, I asked him to autograph my Triple Combination, which I still have.
91. Life, 26 June 1964, and Medical World News, 5 June 1964.
92. John D'Emilio, Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983), p. 162.
93. Kimball, "Counselling", p. 13.
94. D'Emilio, Sexual Politics p. 164.
95. Kimball, "Counselling", p. 13.
96. Spencer W. Kimball, "Love versus Lust", BYU Speeches of the Year, 1964-1965 (Provo, UT: BYU Press, 1965), pp. 1-30, esp. 24.
97. Edward L. Kimball indicated that "Horizons" was based on a 1966 letter, but a brief quote from the "12/20/65" letter on p. 274 is also found in "Horizons"; see p. 632, notation for item 71-19; The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, Twelfth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Edward L. Kimball, editor, (Bookcraft, Salt Lake City, 1982).
98. Kimball and Kimball, pp. 381-3.
99. Cloy Jenkins in The Advocate, February 22, 1978, p. 11.
100. David Buerger interview with Bill Marshall interview, March 22, 1978, copy in my possession. Duane E. Jeffrey interview with Victor L. Brown, Jr., December 21, 1977, copy of notes in my possession.
101. D. Michael Quinn, Same-Sex Dynamics among Nineteenth-Century Americans: A Mormon Example (Univ. of Illinois Press, 1996) p. 382 and footnote 81; and http://familysearch.org for vital statistics on Desmond. Obituary in the Spokesman-Review, May 12, 1983. For the Eucharistic Catholic Church, see their 1972 pamphlet online at http://www.lgbtran.org/View.asp?ID=BLD&Page=1; for the Restoration Church of Jesus Christ, see Rosemary Winters, "Gay Mormons find acceptance in Restoraion Church", Salt Lake Tribune, June 5, 2004, available online at http://22.214.171.124/2004/Jun/06052004/saturday/saturday.asp
102. First Presidency Circular Letter, March 19, 1970, LDS Church Archives, typescript in my possession.
103. Priesthood Bulletin, February 1973.
104. Homosexuality: Welfare Services Packet I (Salt Lake City: Corporation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1973), n.p. In versions of this prior to 2015, I incorrectly identified Dr. Allen Bergin as a collaborator in authoring this pamphlet, for which I apologize.
105. Interview with Bill Marshall, March 22, 1978. Copy of notes in my possession. Antonio A. Feliz, journal excerpts for June 1980, copy in my possession.
107. Boyd K. Packer, To Young Men Only (Corporation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1976) n.p.
108. Long Road to Freedom: the Advocate History of the Gay and Lesbian Movement, Mark Thompson ed. (New York, St. Martin's Press, 1994), pp. xxiii, 214-5. The day before Harris died "from a rare form of cancer", he told another staff member, "The quality of my life has been reduced to such a miserable level that I don't think it's worth going on", (p. 215).
109. "No dance at rotunda", Deseret News, April 23, 1977.
109A."Gays will sponsor rights convention", Utah Daily Chronicle, June 3, 1977; "Convention for gays canceled by Hotel Utah", Deseret News, June 9, 1977; "S.L. Hotel Cancels 'Rights' Convention Sponsored by Gays" by Roger Bennet, Ogden Standard Examiner, June 9, 1977; "Hotel Utah Cancels Homosexual Parley", Salt Lake Tribune, June 9, 1977; "Speaker Arrives for Gay Confab", Salt Lake Tribune, June 10, 1977; "Gays get place to meet", Deseret News, June 10, 1977, B-5; "Gays open S.L. convention, Deseret News, June 11, 1977, p. A-4; and "Homosexuals Open Symposium", Salt Lake Tribune, June 11, 1977. For the Dade County victory, see "Heavy vote on gay issue", Deseret News, June 7, 1977, p. A-7; and "Voters repal gay rights law: Vindicated, singer says", Deseret News, June 8, 1977, pp. A-1 and A-6. For Senator Hatch's confusing statement about Bryant, see Ben Williams, "The Anita Bryant Fairgrounds Affair", online at http://slmetro.com/2005/6/williams_ben.shtml <accessed July 18, 2007>.
Note the hypocrisy in the fact that just two weeks after canceling the Gay rights convention reservations, a large convention of "born-again Christian" businessmen, under the auspices of the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International, met undisturbed at the Hotel Utah, even though the vast majority of those in attendance bore immense animosity toward Mormonism, which they view as a non-Christian, indeed Satanic cult. See convention report as politely covered in "Get to know Jesus, ex-grid star says", Deseret News, June 24, 1977, p. B-6.
110. For the governor's refusal to study Gay rights issues, see "Local 'Gays' Ask for Utah Study, Salt Lake Tribune, June 9, 1977. Bruce Steed, "Hollow Homes", Sunstone, no. 6, pp. 7 and 48.
111. Bill Sievert, "The Killing of Mr. Greenjeans", Mother Jones, Sept/Oct 1977, pp. 39-56. Rev. Malcolm Boyd, "As An Advocating and Practicing Homosexual", Integrity Forum (for Gay Episcopalians), vol. 4 no. 4, April-May, 1978, available online at http://www.integrityusa.org/voice/1978/AprilMay1978.htm. Susan Stryker and Jim Van Buskirk, Gay by the Bay: A History of Queer Culture, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, 1996), pp. 76-78.
112. Larry Agriesti, as quoted in Donald Eckert, "Bigots on Parade: Gay Parade 1977", available online at http://thecastro.net/parade/parade/paradebigots.html; Sukie de la Croix, "A Very Personal Gay and Lesbian History", online at http://www.outlineschicago.com/archives/current/outlines/archives/112697/history.html; "Gays Parade: 100,00 in S.F.", Deseret News, June 27, 1977, p. A-7. Sievert, "The Killing of Mr. Greenjeans", p. 42.
113. Various websites have accounts, photos, and downloadable film footage of this humorous and historical moment, including: http://www.historychannel.com/speeches/archive/speech_327.html
For Bringhurst's announcement about the State Fair, see Ben Williams, "The Anita Bryant Fairgrounds Affair", online at http://slmetro.com/2005/6/williams_ben.shtml. On effects of Bryant on homosexuals, see editorial "Anita's Squeeze Play", Mother Jones, August 1977, p. 56. On the Memory Grove vigil and on almost being attacked, Bob Waldrop email to Connell O'Donovan, June 29, 2005.
On Mormon lauding of Bryant, see "Relief Society Leader Hails Anita Bryant's Homosexual Stand," Salt Lake Tribune, June 11, 1977; "LDS Leader Hails Anti-Gay Stand," Salt Lake Tribune, November 5, 1977; and "Relief Society commends Anita", Deseret News, June 11, 1977, B1. "Unnatural, without excuse," Church News supplement of the Deseret News July 9, 1977; see note 117 about Petersen as author.
114. "House opposes marriage of gays", Deseret News, June 29, 1977, p. A-5; Michael Novak, "A 'Gay' moral claim?", Deseret News, June 22,1977 p. A-5.
115.Elliott Landau, "Opinions vary on the explosive topic of homosexuality", Deseret News, June 29, 1977, p. C10.
115A. See http://www.affirmation.org/history/in_the_beginning.shtml
115B. Affirmation/G.M.U. Newsletter, December 11, 1977 [here as a PDF]
116."Unnatural, without excuse", July 9, 1977, "The strong delusions", January 14, 1978, "On the safe side," February 4,1978, "Calling the kettle clean," March 18, 1978, "Is it a menace?," and "Sin is no excuse", July 29, 1979, all in the "Church News" section of the Deseret News.
117. Rev. Robert Waldrop, "An Open Response to a Nameless General Authority Who Wants to Call Some Kettles Clean", Salt Lake Open Door, April 1978, p. 20; note that this was written six years before it was disclosed in the Church News on January 15, 1984 that Petersen "had written the editorials since the beginning of the weekly publication in 1931".
118. Gunn McKay, as quoted in The Open Door (Ray Hencke, editor), September 1977, vol. 1, no. 9. Ellett's opinion is found in Salt Lake City v. James D. Piepenburg, Supreme Court of Utah, 571 P.2d 1299 (1977). This opinion is found online at http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/obscenity.htm and http://www.outlineschicago.com/archives/current/outlines/archives/111997/history.html
119. Seattle Post-Intelligencer, September 7, 2004 and pp. 3-4 of Castle v. State [PDF]
120. Willy Marshal (former records clerk at the Salt Lake City Police Department) email to Connell O'Donovan, August 12, 2004; Salt Lake Tribune, January 12, 1978, p. 14A, and New York Times, January 13, 1978, Sec. 4, p.13.
121. "Anti-Gay Leader,” Sunstone Magazine, May-June 1978, p. 7, citing Christianity Today; Jay Bell email to Connell O'Donovan, Arpil 18, 2000 and http://www.historylink.org/output.cfm?file_ID=1403
122. Why Mormon Women Oppose the ERA (Salt Lake City: Relief Society, 1979) n. p. and The Church and the Proposed Equal Rights Amendment: A Moral Issue, (The Ensign Magazine 1980), 9 and 22. "Women's Rights", Sunstone, Issue 16, July 1979.
123. Debra Burrington email to Connell O'Donovan, August 21, 2004.
124."Mormon Media Image", Sunstone, issue 8, January 1978.
125. "Standards of Morality and Fidelity," First Presidency Letter to All Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, November 14, 1991. Emphasis is mine.
126. Spencer W. Kimball, "New Horizons for Homosexuals," (Salt Lake City: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1971).
127. Kimball, Mirace of Forgiveness, pp. 80- 81.
128. Shoemaker, "Sexuality in Mormonism", pp. 5-6.
129. Duane E. Jeffrey interview with Victor L. Brown, Jr., December 21, 1977, p. 2, copy of notes in my possession.
130. Ibid., p. 2.
131. "Gays Parley Discusses Homosexuality", Salt Lake Tribune, June 25, 1978, p. 6.
131A. Anonymous letter to the editor, The Open Door, September 1978, vol 2. no. 9, p. 5.
131B. Ray Henke (editor), "Gays Unite Against Harassment", The Open Door, vol 2. no. 10 (October 1978) p. 8.
131C. Mark Thompson, "Singing the Gay and Lesbian", The Advocate, December 27, 1979, pp. 24-27. Pearson, Goodbye, pp. 147 and 156. See also the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus memorial for those who have died from AIDS, including Gerald Pearson.
131D. Victor L. Brown Jr., DSW, "Truth, Sin, Guilt, Punishment, and Redemption", AMCAP Journal, Vol. 1, iss. 1, Oct 1975, p. 44.
132. "The Unquiet Life and Death of Kristi Independence Kelly" at http://www.transhistory.org/history/TH_Kristi_Kelly.html. Kay Brown emails to Connell O'Donovan, July 5 and 6, 2005. For Kimball's anti-transsexual speeches, see them quoted in Edward L. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, pp. 278 and 634-5. Besides the murder of Frederick Jones in October 1864, recorded above, Mormon Eagle Scout Lance Wood tortured Gay Mormon Gordon Ray Church to death on November 23, 1988 in southern Utah (receiving a life sentence) and Mormon Russell A. Henderson assisted in the torture and murder of Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming on October 6, 1998. Henderson was later excommunicated for Shepard's murder. I have been unable to find out if the LDS Church disciplined Lance Wood in any way for his part in the murder of Gordon Church. On the Hawker gay-bashing, see Miriam Rand, "Cache gay-bashing incident a decade ago similar to Laramie case", The Herald Journal (Logan, Utah), October 15, 1998, as quoted at http://listserv.unl.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind9810&L=lmw-l&T=0&P=43949
Mormon Russell A. Hendrson in court for the murder
of Gay student Matthew Shepard in Laramie [click to enlarge]
133. ***** Crockett email to Connell O'Donovan, April 2, 2002.
134. Ernest L. Wilkinson (ed.), Brigham Young University: The First One Hundred Years (BYU Press 1976) vo. 3, pp. 269-70; for LAPD treatment of Gays, see John D'Emilio, Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities: The Making of a Homosexual Minority in the United States, 1940-1970 (University of Chicago Press, 1983) and Long Road to Freedom: the Advocate History of the Gay and Lesbian Movement, Mark Thompson ed. (New York, St. Martin's Press, 1994). The following is drawn from Long Road to Freedom:
In Los Angeles, Gays were harasssed by police under city code "647A", lewd conduct. The LA Police Commision's "Rule 9" also forbade drag performances on stage, which was overturned in January 1969 under growing public pressure to treat Gays better. During the 1950s especially, the LA newspapers published the names of all gay bar patrons that the police had arrested. (p. 17) Lesbians were particularly susceptible to police harassment. One Lesbian woman in the 1950s was raped by a cop and then arrested by him. (p. 18)
In the early months of 1967, the LAPD led a crack down on the Black Cat bar. Ten more Gays were arrested for "lew conduct" (simply for being in a Gay bar) in Silver Lake in August. Gays organized large protests in the wake of these arrests. Things grew more sinister when in February 1968, a 60 year old man from Pasadena named Jack McQuoid killed himself after being entrapped for "lewd conduct" by members of the LAPD. (pp. 3,4, and 12)
The very first issue of the Advocate (September 1967) asked, "Will the day come when law officers will not be allowed to vent their hatred of homosexuals...? That day will come. We do not ask for our rights on bended knee. We demand them, standing tall, as dignified human beings. We will not go away." Follwoing issues included cautionary articles on how to deal with entrapment, bar raids, and being arrested. (pp. 1 and 3) The January 1969 issue reported that police had quotas to fill at gay bars and parks. (p. 18)
Troy Perry founded the Metropolitan Community Church in October 1968 in Los Angeles "after witnessing police repression". (p. 19) The situation turned lethal when Howard Efland, a small, timid male nurse was arrested on March 9, 1969 by LA vice officers Lemuel Chauncey and Richard Halligan. Chauncey claimed that Efland groped him so the two arrested him, drug him out into the street, and in front of several witnesses the two police officers beat the unarmed, unresistant Gay man to death. The LAPD at first informed his parents that their son had merely died of a heart attack. The nominal jury ruled Elfland's death an "excusable homicide" and the story was withheld from the straight press. However the Advocate responded by calling the LAPD "psychotics" and Rev. Troy Perry led 120 marchers in a rally at the site of Efland's murder to commemorate his fatal beating. In the 1970s, Gay relations with the LAPD drastically improved.
135. David C. Martin to 7th East Press, July 21, 1982, copy in my possession.
136. Wilkinson private journal, May 21, 1959, copy in my possession.
137. Ibid., September 12, 1962.
138. Deseret News, "Church News" supplement, November 13, 1965, p. 11. Emphasis is mine.
139. Martin to 7th East Press, 1982.
140. Robert I. McQueen, "Outside the Temple Gates - The Gay Mormon", The Advocate, 13 Aug. 1975; and Vanguard, student newspaper at Portland State University, October 28, 1975.
141. "Annual Report/Summary of Cases," BYU, 1 September 1967 to 31 August 1968, copy in my possession.
142. Brigham Young University Bulletin: Catalog of Courses 1968/70, pp. 39-40.
143. Erick Myers interviewed by Connell O'Donovan, August 14, 1991, transcript in my possession.
144. Donald R******** email to Connell O'Donovan, April 26, 2002.
145. Earl Donald Attridge, We'll Find A Place, 1997, online at http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Column/5252/, Chap. 8.
146. K.A. Lauritzen to E.L. Wilkinson, June 18, 1969, copy in my possession.
147. Donal Attridge (writing anonymously), "Mormon and Gay...One man's tale of bloody knuckles", Daily Utah Chronicle, Jan. 31, 1978, p. 1. Those who responded on February 2 were Charles F. Hunt, "Wisdom of the ages"; Pink Triangle (Anon.), "Chrony does service"; Larry Dean Hardison, "Old sinful nature"; Dominick Carson, "Timely article"; on February 3, Douglass R. Hunger, "Lack of validity"; James Allen, "Purely fictional"; on February 6, Rev. E. John Langlitz, "our walls of paranoia"; Frank Eddings, "Hard up for news"; Claude Warner, "Being a member"; on February 7, Wall Earl, "A Chrony chuckle"; Scott H. Naegle, "Conform with rules"; on February 8, name withheld, "I can sleep well"; Michael C. Cress, "$30 burial plot". For the response from the one who had been blacklisted at BYU, see "The misery and suffering of homosexuals at B.Y.U.", Daily Utah Chronicle, February 7, 1978.
148. Minutes, BYU Board of Trustees, May 2, 1973, copy in my possession.
149. Ibid., December 6, 1972.
150. Ibid., May 2, 1973.
151. David C. Martin to 7th East Press, July 21, 1982, copy in my possession.
152. Dean Huffaker, "Homosexuality at BYU" p. 2, 7th East Press, April 12, 1982, pp. 1 and 12; BYU's Monday Magazine, March 24, 1975.
153. Huffaker, "Homosexuality at BYU" p. 2, pp. 1 and 12; Jerold and Sandra Tanner to the New York Times, Feb. 1975; Ben Williams interview with Connell O'Donovan, August 15, 1991, notes in my possession; regarding Security surveillance of Gays, see "Gays Protest Power - BYU Security Personnel Can Operate Off Campus", Salt Lake Tribune, October 23, 1979, p. D2; regarding the T-shirts, see Lee C. email to Connell O'Donovan, July 13, 2004. I personally recall being on BYU campus in the summers of 1976 and 1977 for the World Conference on [Genealogical] Records and noticing that the men's restrooms in the Wilkinson Center were highly used for sexual activity. Large holes were cut through stall walls and extremely graphic graffiti covered them. I was a naive farm boy in my mid-teens and this was my first experience with such a blatant "public sex environment", all the more disturbing to me at the time because of it's location at the heart of "the Lord's university". I noticed many years later, after the rennovation of the Wilkinson Center, that all the flimsy stalls had been replaced with thick brick walls, floor to ceiling.
154. Interview with Sgt. Kal O. Farr, February 3, 1978, copy of notes in my possession; Provo Daily Herald, March 22,1976.
155. Ben Williams interview with Connell O'Donovan, August 15, 1991. Carlyle D. Marsden obituaries, Ogden Standard Examiner, March 10, 1976, pp. 11A and 10B.
156. Huffaker, "Homosexuality at BYU", pt. 2, p. 12; Larry M***** email to Connell O'Donovan, October 5, 1995, copy in my possession.
157. Minutes, Combined Boards' Meeting, September 1, 1976, copy in my possession.
158. Dallin H. Oaks to Thomas S. Monson, September 13, 1979.
159. Ibid.; Victor L. Brown Jr. to Robert K. Thomas, November 14, 1978, p. 1, Dallin H. Oaks to J. Richard Clarke, March 7, 1979, and Victor L. Brown Jr. to Robert K. Thomas, September 11, 1979, copies of all in my possession.
160. Victor L. Brown Jr. to Robert K. Thomas, November 14, 1978, copy in my possession.
160A. Allen E. Bergin, "Bringing the Resoration into the Academic World", BYU Studies 19 (1979), pp. 463-4. Bergin,"Psychotherapy and Religious Values", Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 48, no. 1 , pp. 95–105. Alan P. Bell and Martin S. Weinberg, Homosexualities: a Study of Diversity Among Men and Women ( New York: Simon & Schuster) 1978, p. 196. For LDS response to Bergin's paper, see Mary Lynn Bahr, "Against the Current", BYU Magazine, Summer 1999, vol. 53, no. 2, available online at http://magazine.byu.edu/g/?act=view&a=224 <accessed May 10, 2010>.
161. Copy of Lauritsen's "The Role of the Father in Male Homosexuality" in my possession.
162. Michael R. Bergin email to Hugo Salinas and Connell O'Donovan, January 13, 2003.
163. Gary James Bergera and Ronald Priddis, Brigham Young University: A House of Faith (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1985), pp. 83- 84.
164. Gary Bergera interview with Gerald Dye, February 1, 1978, pp. 1 and 2, copy of notes in my possession.
165. Bergera-Dye interview, p. 2.
166. Max Ford McBride, Effect of Visual Stimuli in Electric Aversion Therapy, PhD Dissertaion, BYU, August 1976; John Cameron email to Connell O'Donovan, June 30, 1999.
167. Transcript of Legacies at http://www.lds-mormon.com/legacies.shtml.
167A. Carol Lynn Pearson, Goodbye, I Love You (New York: Random House, 1986), pp. 98-99. For Sam's "gay-bashing" see p. 175.
168. "Gay Activists To Picket LDS Temple", Salt Lake Tribune, October 2, 1981, p. D6 and "LDS Stand Chided - Group Marches for Gay Rights", Salt Lake Tribune, October 5, 1981, p. B6.
169. The Open Door, August 1978, p. 17, Daily Utah Chronicle, July 20, 1978, p. 1, and Sunstone Review, Sept. 1982, p. 8. As of 2003, the KQED archives in San Francisco has the audio tape of the 1978 documentary, but the archivist is unable to locate the video images.
170. For the law suit against D. Eugene Thorne and the Provo Canyon School, see http://familyrightsassociation.com/bin/title42sec1983/milonas_v_williams.htm and http://www.beyondbusiness.net/provotruth.htm. Merrill J. Bateman to Connell O'Donovan (email sent via Brent Harker, BYU Director of Public Communications), April 9, 1997, copy in my possession. Bateman incorrectly assumed that I was a "professor" and addressed me as such in this email.
171. Connell O'Donovan interview with "Farris" (colleague of Howard Salisbury), regarding Salisbury's role in editing Prologue, August 15, 1991, notes in my possession; BYU Executive Committee Minutes, September 15, 1977, copy in my possession; Prologue: An Examination of Mormon Attitudes Towards Homosexuality, (n.c.: Prometheus Enterprises, 1978), reprinted by Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons.
172. The Open Door, September 1977, Marriott Library, University of Utah.
173. Buerger-Marshall interview (see note 100).
174. Ibid.; Dean Huffaker, "Homosexuality at BYU", pt. 2, Seventh East Press, April 1982, p. 12; and BYU Executive Committee Minutes, September 15, 1977.
175. Huffaker, "Homosexuality at BYU," pt. 2, p. 12.
176. Buerger-Marshall interview.
177. Anonymous, handwritten statement on frontispiece of one copy of Bergin's "Reply" in my possession.
178. BYU Executive Committee Minutes, September 15, 1977.
179. For Packer turning down Kimball, see Lucile C. Tate, Boyd K. Packer: A Watchman on the Tower, (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1995), p. 300. Dallin H. Oaks to Boyd K. Packer, February 14, 1978, copy in my possession; The Advocate, February 22, 1978.
180. Dallin H. Oaks to Jeffrey R. Holland, November 9, 1978, copy in my possession.
181. Boyd K. Packer, "To the One", (Salt Lake City: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1978), March 5, 1978. Ironically, the Greek philosopher Plato took an opposite point of view, theorizing that selfishness causes homophobia, not homosexuality: "Thus whenever it is accepted that it is shameful to value same-sex lovers, this is due to malice in the legislature, selfishness in the rulers, and cowardice in the governed." Plato, Symposium 182-D, my translation). Larry M***** email to Connell O'Donovan, October 5, 1995, copy in my possession.
182. Buerger-Marshall interview.
183. Salt Lake Open Door, Apr. 1978, p. 5.
184. Anonymous letter, Salt Lake Open Door, April 1978, p. 11.
185."Gays at BYU", The Open Door, November 1978 (vol. 2, no. 11); classified section, The Open Door, December 1978 and January 1979; "Provoan bound over in sex case", The Daily Universe, March 28, 1979, p. 3; BYU Board of Directors' minutes, p. 2-3, copy in my possession; Minutes of the President's Weekly Meeting, p. 3, copy in my possession; "Other Minorities", Sunstone, Issue 15, May 1979; "'Mormon Militia' of Morality - Attorney Challenging Arrest by Y. Campus Police", Salt Lake Tribune, September 8, 1979; "Stanger and Child Protest Utah Law - Lunnen, Oaks Refute Critics of 'Y' Security Powers", Daily Herald, September 3, 1979; "Y aide clarifies harassment story" and "Court day set for Oct. 25 in felony trial", Daily Universe, September 28, 1979, p. 1; "Trial in BYU Gay Arrest Postponed", Ogden Standard Examiner, October 18, 1979, p. 11A; "Gays Protest Power - BYU Security Personnel Can Operate Off Campus", Salt Lake Tribune, October 23, 1979, p. D2; "Groups Protest Power of BYU Police", Sunstone, Issue 17-18, December 1979;"Y sexual abuse case, decision forthcoming", Daily Universe, April 1, 1980, p. 1; "Chipman found guilty of attempted abuse", Deseret News, April 8, 1980, p. 1; "Salt Lake will appeal conviction in Provo case", Deseret News, April 12, 1980, p. A7; "Provoan Sentenced On Morals Charge", Daily Universe, April 13, 1980, p. 27; "Former Y student's conviction upheld", Daily Universe, January 12, 1982, p. 3. Ballantyne and Whiting interview in "BYU-Witch Hunt", The Open Door, May 1979, p. 1.
186. Lee C. emails to Connell O'Donovan, May 27 and July 13, 2004. Virginia Lawyers Weekly, July 14, 2001; see http://www.valawyersweekly.com/barpassjul01.htm; "BYU-Witch Hunt", The Open Door, May 1979, p. 1. Chipman's case has a similar repeat 10 years later when two Gay BYU students met at the Richards PE building, began to fall in love, and one evening went for a drive up Provo Canyon. They pulled into a state park and began kissing and some heavy petting. A Utah State Trooper intervened, asked if they were BYU students, to which they lied, and he merely took down their driver's license numbers and left. Five days later, Daniel H----- was called into Burton Kelley's office at the Standards Office. The police officer had filed a report with Kelley that he had seen Daniel and his partner having anal sex, which was patently false. Daniel's ecclesiastical endorsement was withdrawn and he was forced to withdraw from school. Daniel's partner was nearly finished with his bachelor's degree so he was allowed to stay in only after a psychiatrist had treated him until he claimed that his sexual orientation was "normal and heterosexual", although he was lying just to get out of the difficult situation. They consulted a lawyer, who told them they had a really good case against the police and BYU, but decided to forego any legal action to save their families from the scandal of publicity. Daniel H------ to Connell O'Donovan, email, May 27, 1991, copy in my possession.
187. Mark S------- interview with Connell O'Donovan August 11, 2004 and Mark S------- email to Connnell O'Donovan, August 22, 2004, copy in my possession.
188. Jeffrey Holland to William Rolfe Kerr, October 7, 1980, copy in my possession.
189. Phone interview with David O**** on April 17, 1991; his Brigham Young University transcripts, copy in my possession.
190. "Evergreen International's Principles and Programs", (n.c.: n.p., 1993). For Russ Gorringe's story see "Ex-Gay. Evergreen's Promise, One Man's Struggle". He is also the subject of a film documentary called Marriages, Hopes, and Realities.
191. For one example of Byrd 's viewpoint, see Byrd, Cox, and Robinson's "Homosexuality: The Innate-Immutability Argument Finds No Basis in Science". Packard, Packard, and Schow then responded to Byrd et al. with "There is No Evicence Homosexuals Can Change, Only Evidence of Deception". Mormon clinical social worker with LDS Family Services, G. Allen Gundry (a dear friend of mine) also more cautiously disagrees with Byrd's claims in his 2003 pro-marriage "Counseling with Homosexual Latter-day Saints". For official church view, see Understanding and Helping Those Who Have Homosexual Problems: Suggestions for Ecclesiastical Leaders, (Salt Lake City: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1992).
192. "Apostle Packer Says 'So-Called' Scholars, Gays, Feminists Are Leading LDS Astray," Salt Lake Tribune, July 24, 1993, p. B1.
193. M. Russell Ballard to Mike Triggs, August 10, 1993, copy in my possession.
194. Hugh B. Brown and First Presdiency statements of 1963 and 1969, as quoted in Leonard J. Arrington, Adventures of a Church Historian, (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illionis Press, 1998), pp.180-1. First Presidency statement, February 13, 1994, copy in my possession. See Richley H. Crapo's 1997 "Chronology Of Mormon / LDS Involvement In Same-Sex Marriage Politics" and 1999 "LDS Doctrinal Rhetoric and the Politics of Same-Sex Marriage".
195. See Sam Clayton, "Winning and Losing: One Kid's Best Shot at BYU" at http://www.affirmation.org/learning/winning_or_losing.shtml
© 1994, Connell O'Donovan, revised 2004
Please do not copy without my express, written permission.