‘Mormon Land’: Affirmation leaders discuss diversity, Dallin Oaks and the future for queer Latter-day Saints

Oldest support group for LGBTQ members has grown internationally during its 45-year history.

(Courtesy) Nathan Kitchen, president of Affirmation.

Launched in the 1970s, Affirmation is the oldest support group for LGBTQ members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The mission, according to Affirmation’s website is to create “worldwide communities of safety, love and hope” and to promote “understanding, acceptance and self-determination of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions” as members define “their individual spirituality and intersection with [the church.]”

Just as the Utah-based faith has evolved in its understanding of and approach to its LGBTQ members, Affirmation has expanded as well — across the country and around the world. It hosts annual meetings in several nations.

Affirmation recently gathered in Utah for its first in-person conference in three years. On this week’s show, President Nathan Kitchen, Vice President Laurie Lee Hall and board member Melissa-Malcolm King talk about the 45-year-old group, its expectations for the future, and how it has changed through the years.

Listen here:

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Laurie Lee Hall, shown in 2017, is the vice president of Affirmation.

[Get more content like this in The Salt Lake Tribune’s Mormon Land newsletter, a weekly highlight reel of developments in and about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To receive the free newsletter in your inbox, subscribe here. You also can support us with a donation at Patreon.com/mormonland, where you can access additional content and transcripts of our “Mormon Land” podcasts.]