The treatment of two gay people in recent episodes of “Mormon Stories” has drawn harsh criticism from Equality Utah, Wyoming Equality, and Equality Arizona. The statement denounced the treatment of the two gay people as “an egregious example of the culture of surveillance, harassment, and bullying that is far too common in our society.”
As a podcast that assists those who are “transitioning away” from their faith, Mormon Stories bills itself as such.
The LGBTQ advocacy groups released a joint statement that was initially shared on social media. It states that the podcast “reported the worship activities” of two people and disclosed their private church membership details online.
“We reject in the strongest terms the recent actions of John Dehlin and the organization he leads, Mormon Stories,” signed the statement Troy Williams, executive director of Equality Utah; Sara Burlingame, executive director of Wyoming Equality; and Michael Soto, president of Equality Arizona, read. “As LGBTQ leaders who value and work with people of faith to advance the rights of all people,” the statement read.
“Everyone, absolutely everyone has the right to practice their faith and belief system, or lack thereof, within the community of their choice, regardless of how public or private their life is.”
“There is no room in our movement for the harassment of individuals in their place of worship or because of their LGBTQ identities,” the statement said in its conclusion.
“If any apologies are going to happen, I think that the first apology should be Troy, Sara, and Michael apologizing for making such an irresponsible set of accusations without taking the time to gather any evidence, or speak to the parties involved,” Dehlin wrote in a lengthy Reddit post that addressed and refuted the allegations.
Prior to the 2015 negotiations that produced the legislative accord known as the “Utah Compromise,” which aimed to safeguard both LGBTQ rights and religious freedom in the state, Equality Utah was involved in those talks.