Not fasting and praying for a Romney win: A Mormon LGBT ally speaks

GETTY IMAGES Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign rally at Dubuque Jet Center on Nov. 3, 2012 … Continued


Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign rally at Dubuque Jet Center on Nov. 3, 2012 in Dubuque, Iowa.

This Sunday is Mormon “Fast Sunday” – the first Sunday of each month when faithful members of the Mormon church abstain from food and drink, pray for special blessings for themselves or others, and donate what they would have spent on food to be used for Mormons in need. I imagine that most will be praying for the victims of superstorm Sandy. And as they did prior to the debates, many Mormons will be fasting for Romney. I’ll be joining a smaller group who are praying that hearts will soften toward our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.

I’m participating in this fast, and in this weekend’s “Circling the Wagons” conference (an opportunity for those in the Mormon community to discuss LGBTQ issues in a spirit of “condemnation for none and compassion for all”), because I know that God loves each one of us – because of our differences, not in spite of them. And I know what it feels like to love the person I love. My love for my spouse fills my soul and makes me want to do anything for him, if only to help him feel loved. These feelings give me a sliver of insight into what God’s love for me must be like. I can’t imagine what it would be like if someone told me that those feelings were wrong, sinful, or not from God simply because they were directed toward the “wrong” person.

I also know that hearts and minds can change, even in the Mormon church. The church I attend now would have felt far less comfortable years ago when historians were excommunicated for publicizing church history, blacks were banned from fully participating in the church, and feminists were considered dangerous. I’m heartened to see the drastic difference in the Mormon church’s influence over the same-sex marriage measures on the ballot this month in Maryland and other states compared to their involvement four years ago in California. I hope for similar progress in the future.

Because of these hopes, one of my prayers on Sunday will be that Romney doesn’t win the election. Although I respect his beliefs and recognize that they likely reflect those of most Mormons, his statements on LGBTQ rights do not reflect my values, my faith, or the principles I hold dear as a Mormon woman. I hope that the rest of the country recognizes that there are Mormons who hope for everyone to be able to worship God, partner with whom they love, and be accepted in their faith community regardless of sexual orientation.

View Photo Gallery: The Republican presidential candidate made a final push in the two states.

Catherine Jeppsen, a college sociology instructor, lives in Provo, Utah, with her family.

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  • EW88

    To be fair and balanced, Washington Post should consider including a post of someone who is fasting and praying for Romney. And I wish that media coverage of Mormonism would include the fundamental belief and practice in our faith, which is to follow Jesus Christ. That means LGTB tolerance whether or not we’re conservative or liberal, not that every individual is as tolerant as they could be. Also not that every member feels the need to embrace gay marriage, since it goes against LDS teachings that marriage is defined by God as between man and woman. Following Christ does includesloving and caring for every person on this earth. As biased as the media coverage is, at least it’s highly evident that Mormons are not politically influenced by the LDS Church.

  • bytebear

    Fair and balanced? From the WaPo? LOL They are posting every anti-Romney, anti-Mormon article they can. They recently pulled a radio interview from 2007 for crying out loud.

  • rubenlruiz

    Romney has done more damage to the LDS church than any possible news paper. So the church condones such politics revolving around blatant duplicity? I guess so!

    Romney has set the Mormon church back 50 years…

  • dabble1

    The assertion that “the church condones. . .blatant duplicity” is being set forward by homosexual activists as if it were truth, when in fact it is utterly false. Please don’t fall for it!

  • stepitup

    I wish people would study the 28 principles of liberty and analyze the candidates based on them – since it is what our country was founded on and the reason we have been able to have a democracy thus far – instead of issuues such as these that really shouldn’t be in the governments hands much less the presidents. I can love homosexuals and let them be but I don’t appreciate them forcing their beliefs on me and trying to mandate it through the government.

  • fakedude2

    I’m glad us progressive Mormons have finally been able to speak out this election cycle without fear of Church reprisal. I too hope we will have greater freedom in the future to do so.

  • jay2drummer

    “but I don’t appreciate them forcing their beliefs on me and trying to mandate it through the government.” You got that backwards. Gays aren’t forcing anything. They aren’t a belief. They are people. Being denied equal rights. Rights guaranteed by the US Constitution. It’s the religious people who are trying to discriminate against gays by denying them equal protections, such as those connected to marriage, that would be considered forcing beliefs. Being gay is not a belief, it’s being a person. What’s a belief is that you have some right to treat them as lesser people or that they are doing anything wrong by fighting for equal rights, the same rights you, my parents, and I take for granted.

  • edrossdontcare

    “In the name of LIBERTY, I wish everyone would vote based on my wacky criteria from some article I read instead of making their own choice off of their own values and judgement.”

  • edrossdontcare

    I’m an enthusiastic Obama supporter who thinks Romney could be the worst president since Warren Harding… but I’m grateful for his candidacy. The spotlight it brought on his faith has made me a lot more aware of Mormon beliefs, and given voice to a wide variety of perspectives from its adherents. While I have no interest in converting to Mormonism, it no longer strikes me as being particularly wierd or scary and I see the value it provides to the lives of its members.