Guest post by Isaac Kurth
Many of my friends who have ever had a connection with Mormonism have had something to say concerning the recent LDS policy change concerning children with one or more parents in a same-sex relationship. So I thought I’d say something about it.
In Isaiah 52:8, Isaiah says,
“Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion.”
There’s a large group of people in the LDS church who believe that God has a plan for mankind which is centered around marriage between a man and a woman, and that God doesn’t have any room in his eternal purposes for relationships that deviate from the idea of a committed marital relationship between two partners of the opposite sex.
There’s also a large group of people, some in the LDS church, and some who feel alienated from the LDS church, who believe that no god who is good would be opposed to people pursuing loving relationships, whether or not they fit into the ideals taught by LDS church leaders.
How can people in these two groups see eye to eye? How can they sing together? They seem to have fundamentally different and contradictory ideas about what people should seek after in their relationships with others. Anyone who has some connection with Mormonism probably has friends and family who fall into both of these two groups. Can we figure out how to treat each other with respect and kindness even if we don’t resolve our disagreements? I hope that you don’t view people who accept orthodox LDS teachings about families as terrible people, and I hope you don’t view people who reject those teachings as terrible people, either.
But as for myself, I envision a Zion where queer watchmen can lift up a queer voice and sing a queer song together. Originally, the word queer meant strange, odd, deviating from what is normal, spoiled, or flawed. It began to be used as a pejorative against people who departed from gender norms in their sexual orientation or gender identity, with the implication that their deviation from what is “normal” is bad and shameful. But those people have reclaimed the term ‘queer,’ and it’s often used as a positive, affirming term, or just as a descriptive term for the people it used to be used to mock, but with no negative implications.
In the original sense of the word queer, however, we are all queer. We all have flaws, and we are all odd in our own ways. I don’t believe that having a different sexual orientation or different modes of gender expression than society’s norms is what makes people flawed, though. Our society can function perfectly fine even if not everyone pursues a heterosexual romantic relationship.
In the Zion where queer watchmen sing a queer song together, people love their neighbors and try to get along peacefully with them. The people in this Zion have their flaws, and some of them may deviate from what society now considers normal in terms of sexual orientation and gender identity, but they are all full of love for each other. I believe that this is what we should be striving for.
Isaac is attending BYU and majoring in computer science with a minor in women’s studies. In his spare time he likes to do nerdy things like play Magic and video games and read about feminist issues on the internet.