WBEZ | Mormons http://www.wbez.org/tags/mormons Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en New dating website, Origins, seeks to connect LGBTQ mormons http://www.wbez.org/blogs/nico-lang/2013-01/new-dating-website-origins-seeks-connect-lgbtq-mormons-104757 <p><div class="image-preview"><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/r-GAY-MORMON-MOMENT-large570.jpg" title="(AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Scott Sommerdorf)" /></div></div><p>Are you a gay Mormon who is single and looking for love?</p><p>Then a forthcoming website is here to answer your prayers. Created by Andrew Markle, &ldquo;Origins&rdquo; seeks to give gay Mormons an online social network to meet others like them for &ldquo;marriage or long-term commitment.&rdquo; According to Markle, the website will act both as a tool for dating and as a resource for LGBTQ Mormons looking for acceptance within a church that&rsquo;s still evolving on its stance on homosexuality.</p><p>Markle stated that Origins will also &ldquo;connect gay Mormons with allies and help them reconcile their [religious] beliefs with their lifestyle.&rdquo; Markle believes that Origins is about building a gay Mormon community and estimates that there are around 22,000 practicing gay Mormons.</p><p>Expected to launch in the second quarter of 2013, Origins is supported by Affirmation, an advocacy group for LGBTQ Mormons made up of both actively practicing members of the Mormon faith and non-members.</p><p>Affirmation seeks to provide a safe space in the Mormon church &ldquo;where LGBT individuals, as well as those questioning their orientation, can associate with like individuals, ask questions, and know that they are not alone.&rdquo; Affirmation believes that same-gender relationships are &ldquo;compatible&rdquo; with the teachings of the Mormon church and hopes to make the church more inclusive for LGBTQ practicioners.</p><p>Markle believes that the Origins website will be a crucial component of this effort.</p><p>Although neither Origins nor Affirmations is officially sanctioned by the Mormon Church&mdash;as the Elders do not openly recognize LGBT organizations as official church entities&mdash;Origins comes on the heels of the church&rsquo;s announcement that they will minister to LGBTQ individuals.</p><p>In December, the Mormon Church launched &ldquo;Mormons and Gays,&rdquo; a website devoted to &ldquo;discussion on same-sex attraction.&rdquo; According to the website, the church&rsquo;s changing stance on gay members does not mean that the church accepts &ldquo;homosexual behavior&rdquo; as acceptable but recognizes that homosexuality is not a choice.</p><p>Like Origins, Mormons and Gays acts as a conduit for conversation and acceptance of LGBTQ individuals, so that church members can &ldquo;respond sensitively and thoughtfully when they encounter same-sex attraction in their own families, among other Church members, or elsewhere.&rdquo;</p><p>Markle realizes that the mission of Origins, which helps LGBTQ singles connect for the purposes of a relationship, diverges with the church&rsquo;s new stance on homosexuality&mdash;which is of the &ldquo;love the sinner, hate the sin&rdquo; variety.</p><p>For Markle, Origins will act as a further step in the right direction for gay Mormons&mdash;moving from preliminary dialogue to a place of action. Frustrated with the church&rsquo;s decision to call same-gender relationships &ldquo;attractions,&rdquo; Markle stated that the church &ldquo;still has a long way to go in regard to full inclusion&rdquo; and repairing the damage done by decades of forcing LGBTQ members into the closet.</p><p>In order to act as a force for good in the lives of its Mormon members, the church will need to continue evolving and making amends to the gay faithful.</p><p>As a practicing Mormon and weekly churchgoer, Markle understands his position may be controversial for many in the church and that he may face excommunication or disfellowship for his involvement in Origins&mdash;as advocating homosexual relationships may be grounds for expulsion from the church.</p><p>Markle was recently disfellowed from the church for getting involved in a relationship, which he could be excommunicated for. &nbsp;</p><p>Despite disapproval from the leadership, Markle&rsquo;s other churchgoers were like a family to him. They were welcoming of his orientation&mdash;and treated his new relationship just like any other. Markle hopes that the church will one day be able to say the same.</p><p><em>(With additional reporting by Mark Nott)</em></p><p><em>Nico Lang blogs about LGBTQ life in Chicago for WBEZ.org. Follow Nico on Twitter <a href="http://www.twitter.com/Nico_Lang" target="_hplink">@Nico_Lang</a> or on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/NicoRLang" target="_hplink">Facebook</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 08 Jan 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/nico-lang/2013-01/new-dating-website-origins-seeks-connect-lgbtq-mormons-104757 Julia Weiss imagines Anne Frank as if she was posthumously baptized by Mormons http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-03-01/julia-weiss-imagines-anne-frank-if-she-was-posthumously-baptized-mo <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-March/2012-03-01/338547623_09b899d9c7.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-01/338547623_09b899d9c7.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 266px; height: 400px;" title="(Flickr/John Keogh)"></p><p>The media omnipresence of Mormon GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney has catapulted the&nbsp;Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints back into the news.</p><p>The Mormon Church, however, hasn’t needed Romney’s help in getting attention—or criticism—of late, specifically over their much-commented upon practice of posthumously baptizing the dead. The practice has been <a href="http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/SavageLove?oid=12736456">mocked by the likes of sex-advice columnist Dan Savage</a>, and recently, Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/21/mormons-posthumous-baptism-anne-frank_n_1292102.html">asked Romney</a> to speak out against the practice.</p><p>Allegations that beloved diarist and Holocaust victim Anne Frank was among those baptized posthumously did not help. The Mormon Church released a statement denying the charges, claiming that they were committed to no longer "accept[ing]&nbsp;the names of Holocaust victims for proxy baptism."</p><p>Some might shy away from attempting to handle such events with humor, but comedian Julia Weiss -- featured most recently on <em>The Paper Machete</em> telling <a href="../../2012-02-01/comedian-julia-weiss-heidi-klum-and-seal-broke-because-seal-actuall">this sad tale of celebrity divorce&nbsp;with a twist</a> -- isn't most people.</p><p>In this satirical performance, Weiss reads a diary entry supposedly pulled from a notebook Anne Frank wrote in during the afterlife-- after she has been&nbsp;posthumously baptized by Mormons. Read an excerpt or listen below:</p><p><em>"Dear Diary, </em></p><p><em>Sorry I haven't written in so long. You see, I've spent the last few decades wallowing belly-deep in a sulfur lake in the murky, fiery pits of hell alongside my family, friends and bunches of other Jews. Oh, and guess who eternally suffered in the brimstone hut right next door to ours? Adolf Hitler! </em></p><p><em>And I thought sharing a room with a creepy dentist was bad."</em></p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332743652-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/julia weiss 2.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><p><a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/" target="_blank">The Paper Machete</a>&nbsp;<em>is a weekly live magazine at the Horseshoe in North Center. It's always at 3 p.m., it's always on Saturday, and it's always free. Get all your</em>&nbsp;The Paper Machete Radio Magazine<em>&nbsp;needs filled&nbsp;<a href="http://wbez.org/thepapermachete" target="_blank">here</a>, or download the podcast from iTunes&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-paper-machete-radio-magazine/id450280345" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 01 Mar 2012 17:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-03-01/julia-weiss-imagines-anne-frank-if-she-was-posthumously-baptized-mo