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Topic: Culture & Communities     Department: Letters

"Homosexuals are not some cabal"

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As a gay former Mormon who grew up in Idaho Falls, "Prophets and Politics" perfectly articulates why this issue is just as important outside of California (HCN, 10/27/08). It pains me to see my childhood friends who attend BYU-Idaho spending so much time and money on this issue with the endorsement of the LDS church. I always hoped that my friendship and trust with the people I grew up with and knew in Idaho would help them see the human element at stake with gay rights and gay marriage. I hoped that finally seeing and knowing a person who is affected by laws like California's Proposition 8 would help them understand that homosexuals are not some cabal seeking to overturn the dinner tables of heterosexually parented families. I hoped that putting my face on this issue for them would make them think twice. Sadly, my trust and friendship with countless numbers of friends and family has been shattered over the past few months because of this issue. ... So much for protecting families, eh?

To those who feel like this article portrays eastern Idaho or Mormonism in a negative light, so what? It is the honest view of an outsider. If you're going to pride yourselves on being "in the world but not of it," then you can only expect that there will be people who find Mormon strongholds like Rexburg peculiar and strange. Like any other outsider, they are going to view your life in Idaho through their own lens. And they might conclude that they don't like the way you do things in Idaho. Good for them. Move on.

It made me laugh to see this article discuss the gay brunch every Sunday at the Dixie Diner in Idaho Falls. Who knew our weekly tradition would reach such an audience? The only thing that I would add to this article in terms of the Idaho Falls gay community is that it is much more than just an inclusive, tight-knit group. In so many aspects, they really are more of a family than most biological families I know. And I know that without these people, I would most certainly be just another homeless gay youth statistic. Instead, because of those people mentioned in this article, I have my life together and I'm a contributing member of society.

T. Turner

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