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SecularMusic

Ed Smart is gay and leaving the Mormon church

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JermajestyDuggar
1 hour ago, WhatWouldJohnCrichtonDo? said:

I couldn't remember if the LDS church still had the policy that kids over 18 have to repudiate an openly gay parent, if they want to remain in good standing with the church. I found a good website:

https://www.hrc.org/resources/stances-of-faiths-on-lgbt-issues-church-of-jesus-christ-of-latter-day-saint

However,

So, I'm glad to hear that the "kids" don't have to choose between their dad and the church. (Assuming that Elizabeth and her siblings are still LDS, that is.)

My guess is that they realized they would lose a lot of members if they kept that rule. What a horrible thing to do to families. 

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mstee
Posted (edited)

I’m not Mormon, and don’t have anyone close to me who is, so I’ll ask this question here. Would the church community rally around Lois or would there be blame placed on her for not “fixing Ed”? (Disclaimer: I disagree with this view and I’m only going off how I’ve heard churches shame gay people and/or their spouses). I know it varies church to church, so I was just wondering how Lois will be treated. 

Edited by mstee

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Antipatriarch

If you haven't read Josh & Lolly Weed's story, it's a good one. They're Mormon, Josh is gay, they married (Lolly knew) and had 4 kids, and thought it was working. But eventually they both realized the lack of romantic attachment was affecting them both, and they decided to divorce. But they still live life together as committed friends as co-parents, even as they're starting to pursue relationships with other men. Their commitment is, "In the Weed family, no one gets kicked out." I think it's beautiful.

They still go to church, but they've never talked about the degree to which they're accepted or their church pushes back. I know fundie and evangelical churches would never be OK with this path.

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Cleopatra7
7 hours ago, hasunah said:

Well he is . Maybe I'm just not into the mood of celebrating somebody who essentially ruined a woman's life and cheated her out of a real relationship . 

As others have mentioned, all of the Smart children are grown, and presumably doing their own thing. At this point, if the adult Smart children want to have a relationship with Ed as an uncloseted gay man, that’s their choice to make. As far as we the public know, Ed has no plans to cut his children out of his life so he can be the most popular gay on the beach, a la ex gay Greg. Stories like that of Ed Smart illustrate why the conservative tactic of “curing” LGBT people by having them hew to heteronormative and cisnormative gender stereotypes is so harmful. 

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FleeJanaFree

Wow. Bringing Elizabeth Home is a story I've read over and over. I respect those parents for not exploiting their daughter to make an easy buck. Their books was about their experience those 9 months, ES's trauma was not detailed. They specifically stated that was her story to tell. I hope everyone is doing ok. I imagine it's a scary time for them, don't they believe they won't see their family in heaven again if they leave the faith? Something about levels of heaven?

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dramallama
15 hours ago, Cleopatra7 said:

Doesn’t the Mormon church encourage “mixed orientation” marriages? I remember seeing something about this on Nightline or Dateline or some such show about a decade ago that highlighted gay Mormon men married to straight women who knew about their spouse’s sexuality. I wonder if Mr. Smart was pressured into such a union.

They absolutely do.  The LDS church used to do a lot of terrible conversion therapy with gay members but now just encourages them to either remain celibate for life or marry a member of the opposite sex and hope Heavenly Father will show mercy and cure them because of their faithfulness, or at least in the afterlife.  A girl I knew in high school was Mormon and ended up going to BYU and marrying a returned missionary - who was gay, knew he was gay, told his bishop he was gay, and was encouraged to find a woman to marry as a solution.  I don't know if she knew before she married him or not but they're now divorced and he's remarried to a man because of course he is, a mixed-orientation marriage was never going to work over the long term.  

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Howl
10 hours ago, mstee said:

I’m not Mormon, and don’t have anyone close to me who is, so I’ll ask this question here. Would the church community rally around Lois or would there be blame placed on her for not “fixing Ed”?

Not Mormon, but guessing that the church will rally around Lois, because she is staying in the faith and Ed is leaving. 

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Satisfied
scoutsadie
12 hours ago, raspberrymint said:

Are there rules pertaining to grandchildren of gay people?

No official policy regarding grandparents.

And I hope Ed and the whole family are recipients of as much compassion and support as folks in this thread have shown. 💙

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Dizzy
nelliebelle1197
Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, mstee said:

From what I read, he said he’d known since he was 12 but repressed it after that. He gave a couple of interviews to radar online. I feel so badly for his former wife. That must’ve been such a blow. I believe he’s 65 so that’s a huge life change. I think he’s very brave to be so honest, I just feel badly for the family. He mentioned in the interview that his children have been accepting, which is wonderful.  I wonder if this will change any of the kids’ belief in the Mormon church. I think the kids are all adults, now, though so it may be different than had they been children when he came out. 

Marriages break up all the time. I am proud of Ed for finding courage. We don’t know the dynamics and if the wife wanted out because she wants real fulfillment in her dotage and to stop pretending. Ed may just be taking the blame. This could be a good thing for the whole family.

19 hours ago, hasunah said:

Well he is . Maybe I'm just not into the mood of celebrating somebody who essentially ruined a woman's life and cheated her out of a real relationship . 

Damn, that attitude drips with patriarchical homophobic pig grease. A woman’s life is not runined by divorce.  In this case, she may be happy as hell. She may be INSTIGATING the divorce. They may have both gone into this with eyes open and had a wonderful journey they both want to end. She may be a closeted lesbian. She may have a lover on the side who just freed himself for marriage. You have no idea the dynamics of this family. 

The Smarts have money and well adjusted grown children they obviously parented well based on Elizabeth. She has a new chapter opening and to say her life is ruined is cruel as hell.

Edited by nelliebelle1197
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Waffle Time
Hane

The problem with the Mormon Church is that heterosexual marriage (and the children who follow—biologically or through adoption) is an absolute cornerstone of their faith. From what I’ve read, no Mormon can get into the Celestial Kingdom (their highest level of heaven) without having been married in the temple, a practice reserved for Mormons in perfect standing in the church. 

Almost all other mainstream religions I’m aware of make allowances for people who choose not to marry.

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Enraged
ADoyle90815

I also think that the Mormon church really screwed up that family in that Ed wasn't allowed to be his true self, and married a woman in an attempt to "fix" his orientation and to blend in. I feel bad for the entire family in this case.

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Waffle Time
Hane
Posted (edited)

I gotta admit that I originally saw this thread title as “Ed Gay is smart and leaving the Mormon Church.”

Edited by Hane
Conciseness

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Cleopatra7

I have to wonder how much support the Smarts have actually received from their ward community. Most communities, religious or secular, would have difficulty knowing how to help a family whose daughter was abducted from their own home. The LDS Church also makes a point of disavowing open polygamists, so I doubt there was any soul searching about how and why Elizabeth’s captors used Mormon teachings to justify their crimes. Elizabeth herself said that Mormon purity teachings made her feel like she wasn’t worthy of being rescued, and I imagine there were probably some who took offense to that. From my perspective, it seems like LDS communities take care of their own, provided the members stay in a very narrow model of acceptable behavior. Even if Lois remains 110 percent committed to the LDS church, I can’t imagine that there’s really a place for a divorced older woman in Mormon culture.

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SecularMusic

Regarding, Ed's wife, the divorce could be he most devastating thing that ever happens to her, or it could be the start of a happier more fulfilling life.

My aunt and uncle were leaders in a Pentecostal church for decades. They never had bio kids bit adopted 5 with special needs. About 10 years ago my aunt tile my uncle that she was gay and in love with her long-time best friend and asked for a divorce. They both left the church to regroup emotionally and figure out where they fit in spiritually.

My uncle began attending Catholic Church ( he had been raised Catholic). He became a deacon and decided to become a priest. Apparently, this was possible after he had his marriage annulled. 

He was ordained last year and says he's never been happier.He loves his parish and his work. His x-wife, who now attends a gay-friendly denomination, ended up marrying her best friend and, according to my uncle, she is happy, too.

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feministxtian

Someone who's blog I used to follow died of cancer after an emergency c-section. She'd been having pain all through the pregnancy and died shortly after the baby (preemie) was born. That baby girl will never know her mama. 

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Waffle Time
DarkAnts

I am happy that Ed is finally living as his true self. Yes, things are going to be hard for the family. They are going to go through a process where they realize that Ed was not ever romantically in live with his soon to be ex wife. He loves her but not in the way she deserves to be loved. I doubt he will stop supporting her financially. Like I said, he loves her. He never wanted to hurt her. 

I want what is best for both Ed and his ex wife. I want them to each find the love of their life. I want them to heal from the pain the church policy's has caused. 

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Marmion

Here is a video I  just found concerning Ed Smart , with a response from another gay ex-Mormon .  

 

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NoKidsAndCounting

Mr. Atheist has a very well thought out response.  I can understand that he believes that Ed Smart should also come out against the Mormon church since he is a well known person and has a platform to bring about possible change.  Mr. Smart may do that one day, but he might not be ready for all that right now.  He's just come to this point in his life, and he has a right to deal with his feelings privately until he's ready.  He may never speak against the church.  I agree it would be great if he did someday, but he has to do this in his own time.

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libgirl2
Posted (edited)
On 8/17/2019 at 7:51 AM, SecularMusic said:

Ed smart, father of kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart, has announced that he's gay. He is leaving the Mormon church because of its doctrine concerning homosexuality. He and his wife are getting divorced; she filed the paperwork last month. https://www.deseret.com/2019/8/15/20807894/ed-smart-father-of-elizabeth-smart-announces-he-is-gay?fbclid=IwAR32mcTOsKqyJxVY5aMWrGIq3bvtohgkKTyUS98hjUkqB7RYjEczpOLUX-Y

Elizabeth has issued a statement saying she will continue to love and support her parents. Ed states that he will continue to love his soon-to-be ex-wife and the Lord.

I can't imagine how hard it was for him to remain closeted for so long.

Oh wow. I hadn't heard of this! I have to admit, he always did ping my gaydar. I'm also kind of reminded of Grace and Frankie. I wish him the best. You can't force "straight" on people. 

Edited by libgirl2

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JermajestyDuggar
22 hours ago, NoKidsAndCounting said:

Mr. Atheist has a very well thought out response.  I can understand that he believes that Ed Smart should also come out against the Mormon church since he is a well known person and has a platform to bring about possible change.  Mr. Smart may do that one day, but he might not be ready for all that right now.  He's just come to this point in his life, and he has a right to deal with his feelings privately until he's ready.  He may never speak against the church.  I agree it would be great if he did someday, but he has to do this in his own time.

Jimmy himself has talked about his journey and it didn’t all happen at once. It was a process for him and I imagine it will be a process for Ed. 

I just want to add I don’t think Jimmy is gay. I think he’s pan. 

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Meh
smittykins

I remember Jimmy saying that he’s pansexual.

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Waffle Time
Hane

Yes, Jimmy is absolutely pansexual, and sold some pan swag.

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