gay blog: church of latter-day saints, mormon, discrimination, gay news, utah

Mormon Church Fires Man For Having Gay Friends

gay blog: church of latter-day saints, mormon, discrimination, gay news, utah
Drew Call could use a job. Anyone in Salt Lake City hiring?

Drew Call identifies as gay, but as a member of the Church of Latter-day Saints, he swore a solemn vow of chastity (Re: ladies only) in the face of relentless pressure from his Mormon overlords. Call, now 32, even married a high school classmate when he was 24 even though he had zero attraction to women. Marriage is taught by the Mormon Church as a means of curing one’s homosexuality. The couple even had children together. I imagine a fly on that bedroom wall would have been bored to death.

In 2009, the couple divorced, and Call began inching toward life as an out gay man. This meant repercussions in the Church.

City Weekly reports:

One Salt Lake City man, a church employee for more than a decade, is surprised and angered that he lost his temple recommend—a prerequisite for employment in the church—after he refused to give up his gay friends and was fired.

Drew Call, 32, a returned missionary who is gay, was a supervisor in the church’s printing department until March 7 March 4. At a February private meeting with his Salt Lake City stake president—who declined to be interviewed—Call says he was asked to abandon his gay friends as a condition for renewal of his temple recommend. Surprised and fearing people may not believe him, Call surreptitiously made an audio recording of the follow-up meeting in March so there could be no doubt about what happened.

On the recording, the stake president expresses concerns that Call recently had taken his daughters to “gay bingo,” a monthly charitable fundraiser hosted by the Utah Pride Center and the drag/comedy troupe Utah Cyber Sluts. “I think it’s inappropriate to take children, and I really think it’s inappropriate for you to go, myself, to this gay bingo,” the stake president says on the recording. Later, the stake president says of the gay community, “They are conducting themselves in a manner that is definitely in opposition to teaching and practices of the gospel. I’ve talked to you about this, about your association with [gay people]. Last time you left here, you were willing to give up your four, or so, individuals.” Call responded that he’d thought about it, but wasn’t willing to give up his gay friends after all.

To receive or maintain a temple recommend, Mormons must answer certain standardized questions. The stake president says on the recording that the question Call could not answer honestly asks, “do you support, affiliate with or agree with any group or individuals whose teaching or practices are contrary to or opposed to those accepted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?” The stake president goes on to say that that question applies to Call’s gay friends “because of the moral decay that is going in the world and that’s part of it. The church opposes the relationship between a man and a man and a woman and a woman, and you’re associating with those individuals. I don’t know how to get around that.”

“So what are you going to do?” Call asked.

“You’re going to have to look for a job,” the stake president replied

But here’s the thing; in Utah this may not be entirely as illegal as it seems. In 2008 the LDS Church supported a statewide nondiscrimination law that would have made this type of firing against the law – as long as it didn’t happen in a religious institution. Churches firing people for perceived homosexuality is A-OK in the eyes of the Mormon Church. But is a church-run printing shop technically even a part of a religious institution?

We may never know because Call isn’t suing his former employers. Instead, he’s spent the past year in search of a new job as he tries in vain to keep up with his child support payments. And really, that’s what this is all about. The Mormon Church would rather see children in their flock go without basic necessities, than employ a man who has gay friends. A man, who for all intents and purposes sacrificed the majority of his life living under false pretenses of heterosexuality and marriage.

It’s not enough that they’ve ruined this gay man’s life. No, now they are inflicting their hate upon his children as well. Jerks.

Via City Weekly

  • Kriss

    Ok, this is ONE MAN’s (meaning the stake president) view, NOT the view of the whole Mormon Church!! This man’s association with gay people does NOT go against that question and requirement for a temple recommend. I’m sure if he went to his Area Authority (above the stake president) he would get his temple recommend and job back. What people fail to realize is these are MEN with their own prejudices and biases and understandings of Church policies. Please don’t paint the whole Church with the same brush as you certainly would not want someone saying “Well, ALL gay men are drag queens.” or “ALL lesbians are bull dykes and like to work on cars”. See, generalizations are almost always lies because not ALL are like what you think. If this stake president was right then there is a whole congregation in San Francisco attending the temple unrighteously because the whole congregation (or majority thereof) is made up of gay people!! So, yes, this stake president was wrong to take the action he did and there is recourse for this man to get his temple recommend and job back.

  • “Jesus said ‘love EVERYONE, treat them kindly too, when your heart is filled with love, others will love you” – that my friends, is lyrics from a song every mormon child is taught in sunday school, I would know. I grew up in the church, and believe me it isnt easy being mormon and gay. The worst part? The hypocrisy of it all.

  • Anonymous

    I was born into this church (cult). As a strong-willed female, I always asked “why do girls have to do this, why can’t we do what the boys do?”. As a female in the church, you are literally taught (trained) to grow up and “serve” your man.

  • Anonymous

    Help me out–who did Jesus cast away from his presence? Who did he toss from his church and community? So on what grounds can organized religion justify doing so?

  • Anonymous

    I too live in Salt Lake City and grew up in a Mormon household. But being the stubborn tomboy that I was growing up that didn’t last long into Middle School. After their affiliation with Proposition 8, I don’t feel like they should hold exemption status, and they definitely shouldn’t be able to fire someone for having gay friends.

  • Good point!

  • I, too, grew up in the church and I am also a strong willed woman. As a kid I was always asking things like “why can’t I have the priesthood?” or “why do the young women have to sit through lessons on ‘how to have a happy home’ or cooking lessons while the young men go on camping trips?”. Mostly I got funny looks for asking questions while other times I was given answers like ‘God ordained women to have babies and care for their families/homes, they dont need the priesthood.”

  • I’ll be his friend. Does he like indian food and basketball?

  • Gus Anderson

    In keeping with the US Constitution….the gov’ment shall not force anything upon an institution of religion……but the gov’ment does it ALL the time. Branch Davidian ring any bells?
    As long as your religion doesn’t warehouse AK-47’s…gov’ment has to draw the line somewhere…..your religion can fire anyone they wish for any reason.