Last Thursday’s edition of the Daily Universe contained a letter to the editor which stated that encouraging “tolerance” for homosexuals (namely Wendy Weaver) and homosexual lifestyles was an incorrect principle. I whole-heartedly agree with the belief that Mormons should not tolerate the homosexuals who live in our schools, churches and families. Indeed, we should save our “tolerance” for heinous things like itchy rashes, comprehensive final exams or church ball players who refuse to call their own fouls.
When interacting with homosexuals, it would be preferable for us to tolerate them less and instead to “appreciate” them or perhaps “embrace” them. And one day, once we are ready, we could even “celebrate” them.
Wendy Weaver’s case is a clear example of the ham-handed and homophobic reaction that people have to members of the transgendered community. In her case, a student who was on her high school volleyball team asked her if she was lesbian. Because Weaver chose to answer this question honestly, she was removed from her coaching position, her salary was slashed, she was given a gag order that prevented her from mentioning her orientation to anyone in the community and she was informed that this gag order even included her own children.
None of this reaction would have occurred were she living as a domestic partner with a man. Men and women enjoying non-wedded bliss still make many of us uncomfortable, but our society has created laws and courtesies to protect those of different heterosexual beliefs and lifestyles. The same is not yet true for homosexuals.
Although a woman having non-married sex with another woman is the same basic activity as a woman having non-married sex with a man, many react in an entirely different way. This differential treatment is discriminatory, ignorant, and hateful.