The petition's website, LDSApology.org states:
By signing the Petition and spreading the word about it, you will be sending a message to the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints that it is time for reconciliation. More importantly, you will be showing support for those who have been harmed by Church policies and practices because of their sexual orientation.A part of the petition reads:
True reconciliation requires that parties on both sides of this issue be willing to honestly examine their attitudes, behaviors (including past behaviors), policies and practices—and be open to understanding, forgiveness (both asking for and accepting), and apology.Though I am always for reconciliation between disputing parties, true reconciliation requires action on both sides to change behavior. To be constructive and not just empty words, full faith must be given to create a new beginning.
For individuals who have suffered or been forced to watch a loved one suffer mistreatment, misunderstanding, or demonization as a consequence of the LDS church's official policies, actions, and teachings regarding sexual orientation, we understand that true reconciliation will require rejecting redress through hostility, will take time, and be a difficult process.
For Church leaders, reconciliation requires examining ways in which official statements, rhetoric, policy and practice have been injurious to gays and lesbians and their families and friends; have caused unnecessary pain and suffering, rejection, psychological and spiritual damage and even death. This means scrupulously acknowledging such practices as “reorientation”-- reparative, revulsion, and shock-therapies; such teachings as homosexuality being an evil perversion, a condition that is chosen and changeable and one that can be overcome through fasting, prayer, sacrifice and heterosexual marriage; and using scriptures that are taken out of context, mistranslated or that are highly selective to condemn homosexuality. It also means to repudiate publicly circulated articles, essays, books, speeches, and conference addresses that have stereotyped or demonized gays and lesbians.
In this case, I don't see the Mormon church staying out of the 2010 marriage equality referendums facing both Maine and possibly again in California. Currently, the National Organization for Marriage is being investigated as being a front for the Mormon church, and whether or not it's true, asking the LGBT population to trust the church to keep to its promise of reconciliation will be near impossible. Nor will they ever believe the church will stick to its proper place when it comes to politics and voter referendums.
I truly wish that we could all come to a place of understanding, and I support the amazing intentions of the petitioners. From the beginning of this blog, I've stated that I was against focusing our anger on the Mormons for what happened here in California, and as this petition shows, not all Mormons agree with the church leaders. But I disagree with the website's notion "that the time is right for healing over this issue to begin." The harm is still too fresh and painful and ongoing.
I think true healing will begin once the LDS Church renounces its theological stance against the LGBT population, similar to what it did in regards to African Americans and polygamy. Maybe then can the long path to true reconciliation begin. Until then, I don't see this petition as anything more than empty words falling on the deaf ears of the church leadership, despite the good intentions. And that makes me sad.
But hopefully, it will begin a dialogue with the church. And that, I can support.
If you wish to read and sign the petition, you can find it at LDSApology.org.
To find out more about other Mormon groups that support marriage equality, check out Mormons For Marriage and Affirmation.