Treating the LDS Church’s policy regarding LGBTQ+ parents of member children as a “small step forward” for the church’s stance on LGBTQ+ rights grossly overlooks the pervasive and still ever-present culture of hate and intolerance towards those who are “different” within the LDS church.

Let’s be clear, simply manipulating the nomenclature such that gay members aren’t technically “apostates” does nothing to change the message that children raised in the church have grown up with for years; being different is wrong, its sinful, and you need to change.

This consistent othering of behaviors extends far beyond matters of sexual orientation. It creates a model of how all members of the church should talk, dress, act and think. While these ridged confines weigh heavily on all those who wish to express themselves freely, the impact is disproportionately fatal for those who are LGBTQ+ identifying.

Whether or not the church explicitly defines an “other” as abhorrent is not the issue, rather it’s the persistent implicitness of that message that is so dangerous.

With teen suicide rates set to quadruple, why can’t we just say it like it is. The LDS church still stands for intolerance and hate.

Sage Geher, Salt Lake City