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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Mormon Mom and Anti-Gay Activist Finds Out Her Own Son Is Gay...

Posted by Dan Savage on Wed, Oct 9, 2013 at 1:59 PM

...and has herself a little rethink:

"It made me question everything," said [Wendy] Montgomery, 37, of Bakersfield, Calif. "I'm looking at this 13-year-old boy who is totally innocent and pure and an amazing kid and I think, 'Either everything I know about homosexuality is wrong, or my son is not really gay. And, he's obviously gay.' I kind of had to unlearn everything I had learned."

This is good, of course, and lots of people come around on LGBT issues only after finding out that someone they know, love, or gave birth to—or all three—is gay, lesbian, bi, or trans. But wouldn't it be nice if social and religious conservatives were capable of making this leap for other peoples' children? Wendy had to reassess "everything [she] knew" about homosexuality when it turned out her own "innocent and pure and amazing" kid was gay. Somehow she was blind to the innocence, purity, and amazingness of other peoples' gay kids.

And what blinded her? Religion, of course. Check out the reaction of other people in at Wendy's church—people who do not have gay kids of their own—when she and her husband stopped believing that gay kids were guilty, impure, and the opposite of amazing:

They remain faithful Mormons, but have switched congregations after enduring ridicule from friends and fellow church members. One woman told Montgomery her children should be taken away from her and given to somebody who follows the teachings of the prophet. Montgomery and her husband had to step down from their church positions—he was the assistant bishop and she was a Sunday school teacher to teens—after parents flooded the bishop's office with complaints that they were teaching homosexual propaganda that would turn other kids gay.

Because Wendy Montgomery wouldn't reject her 13-year-old gay son—because she wouldn't double her son's already quadrupled risk for suicide—she was condemned and driven out of her church. Because too many Mormons would rather see gay kids die than admit that their prophet got the gay thing wrong just like he got the black thing wrong and the polygamy thing wrong.

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