Another Mormon (Bishop) Making Things Better

Kevin Kloosterman recently spoke at the Circling the Wagons conference in Salt Lake City. He is one of a growing number of faithful Mormons changing the way we look at and treat our LGBT brothers and sisters. He also happens to be serving as a bishop in Illinois.

This interview with Joanna Brooks needs to be read.

Or you could just watch the talk here:

18 Responses to “Another Mormon (Bishop) Making Things Better”
  1. fiona64 says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Laura. It actually gives me hope for my GLBT LDS friends, that others in leadership positions might listen to the voice of Spirit and have their minds changed.

  2. sheryl Beckett says:

    Thanks for posting this, Laura. I need to find the time to listen to all of the talks. Members like him give me hope for the future or our LGBT members.

  3. Brad Carmack says:

    I was there for his address- moving and emotional. As a recent straight ally myself, I could relate to his story. Thanks for the post, Laura.

  4. olivia says:

    This is not really the best post to leave this comment on, but I’m hoping someone might be able to explain something to me, and I don’t know where to ask.

    the following link contains a verbatim transcript of an apostle’s and member of the 70′s very straightforward and defnite remarks about homosexuality and gay marriage. They very clearly state why gay marriage is wrong – specifically, why the CHURCH says it is wrong. I am hoping to understand how we can read things like that and then say as mormons we support gay marriage. I am not looking for mean or argumentative discussion, I honestly want to know how anyone could reconcile these things.

    Thank you

  5. sheryl Beckett says:

    Olivia, I can only answer for myself. In my opinion civil affairs (such as marriage, divorce, abortion, etc.) should not be ruled by religious beliefs. My supporting gay marriage does not mean that religions should support gay marriage (although I think that would be nice). It does mean that I believe members of the LGBT community SHOULD have the same CIVIL rights as the rest of society.

  6. fiona64 says:

    Olivia wrote: They very clearly state why gay marriage is wrong – specifically, why the CHURCH says it is wrong. I am hoping to understand how we can read things like that and then say as mormons we support gay marriage. I am not looking for mean or argumentative discussion, I honestly want to know how anyone could reconcile these things.

    Hi, Olivia. Have you read the 1st Amendment to the United State Constitution? How about the 14th Amendment? I want to know how anyone can honestly reconcile those things with denying CIVIL equality because of one church’s teachings. We do not live in a theocracy, dear lady. (emphasis added): Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (emphasis added): Section. 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    That said, Olivia … I’m a straight, married woman. What I understand about Prop 8 and similar discriminatory laws (let’s call them what they are, shall we?) is that putting someone’s rights on the ballot is a dangerous precedent. What happens when it’s your rights that are on the line because some subset of the populace decides that you are “icky” (I’m trying to remain polite). This is what Madison called “The tyranny of the majority” when he wrote Federalist Paper No. 10 (you can read it in its entirety at this link: and is the exact opposite of what the Founding Fathers had in mind. Majorities are temporary, madame … so be careful of what precedent you want put into law because one day *you* may be impacted by it.

    My marriage is not impacted by any other marriage, gay or straight. In fact, I believe that the institution of marriage is strengthened when loving couples, many of whom have been together longer than you and I have even been alive, are permitted to legalize their union. The objections to marriage equality are *identical* to the anti-miscegenation laws and just as ugly now as they were then.

  7. Sheri says:

    I just thought I’d check in (since I haven’t in quite awhile) and was elated to read that more church leaders are beginning to understand. One by one.


  8. Keller says:

    The USA is not a Christian country. There is no official religion here, therefore religion has no place in the law. I do believe that in my personal life, I should do unto others as I would have done to me. I never want to be discriminated against, so I don’t do it to others.

  9. m&m80 says:

    I found Bishop Kloosterman’s talk very inspirational and hopeful. I have been trying to better understand the conflict between religious and LGBT communities for several years. I’m so excited to have found this site and to read your thoughts and opinions. I don’t believe that any church, including mine/ours, fully knows what a Loving Heavenly Father has planned for each of his children. I do believe in the equality of civil rights. As a follower of Christ I believe in loving and accepting others regardless of how they differ from me, just as I hope to be loved and accepted regardless of my differences.

  10. Myle Le Bel says:

    This video is great. Thank you. I am not a Mormon… not yet that is ;)
    My best friend and partner is a Mormon and the only thing between us is the the fact that marriage equality isn’t equal in the Mormon Church… not yet that is. We love each other dearly and she wants to be married in the Temple. She is even going on her 18month mission but can’t be open about our relationship. This saddens both of us greatly.
    People like him give me a piece of mind that if I joined the church, I would have the same civil rights as fellow members. I believe it IS possible to love and serve God, the ultimate judge, within a same sex marriage. Thank you for your courage, Bishop Kloosterman.

  11. Aaron says:

    Well, I dunno about all this stuff. In my thinking, my oppinion is irrelevant; when a prophet of the Lord says something is wrong, it’s wrong. When a prophet of the Lord says that marriage should be reserved for a man and a woman, I support it. That being said, my sister is gay, as well as my dads brother and sister. I love them with all of my heart and haven’t ever spoken Ill against them; I will defend them untill the day I die. But I will not go in active opposition to Heavenly Father. Does my oppinion on gay marriage have a direct effect on my eternal salvation? I dunno. But I do know that my willingness to obey the Prophet does.

  12. Sheryl says:

    I always find it interesting when people say how much they love their LGBT family members but still want to deny them the same CIVIL rights that they have.

    It is all good and well for the prophet to say that marriage is between a man and a woman and LDS, and other churches, are allowed to have that opinion and not consider a CIVIL marriage between members of the same sex as valid for religious purposes. That is the separation of church and state.

    Now, there are many things which are considered a sin in the LDS religion that are still legal — smoking, drinking, sex before marriage, abortion. So, why should same sex marriage be any different. Why should our LGBT members not have the same CIVIL rights that our straight brothers and sisters have, especially the right to be legally married to the person that they love?

  13. fiona64 says:

    Careful, Sheryl. You might be accused of encouraging critical thinking or something! ;->

  14. Sheri says:

    Sheryl, I second what fiona said:-) Seems like such a valid argument to me, and one I’ve tried to make so many times before. Strange how some people just can’t make the connection.

  15. Grey_Wolf_Leader says:

    Because, Sheryl,there is no such thing as a “right” to marry. I do not have the right to force someone into a marriage with me. You do not have the “right” to marry someone, no one does.

    Marriage is not a right, but a legally-binding contract, a privilege, a consensual union between man and woman performed and recognized by a higher authority, which can either be the state, or God. Because marriage has an element of consent within it, it cannot be a right. Rights do not have elements of consent by other party’s within them. But, just as the privilege to drive a car or fly a plane is conferred by the state after one has proven oneself worthy of the privilege, it is the same with marriage. Once I find the right girl and we both say, “I do”, we have earned the privilege of the state of matrimony.
    Those who are same-sex couples have not earned the privilege of marriage because they are not of the opposite gender.

    There is no such thing as specific “group” rights. There is no such thing as “Gay Rights” or “Black Rights” or “Women’s Rights” or “Straight’s Rights” or “White’s Rights” or “Men’s Rights”. There are only Human Rights. One standard that applies to all Children of God. Anything else would introduce an unjust and unfair double standard towards any of the groups.

    The reason things such as smoking, drinking, sex before marriage, and abortion are legal is because it would be too difficult for the government to try and stop such pervasive, bad things. Remember Prohibition? The reason it was stopped was because of the horrible crime rate that resulted from criminals providing alcoholic products when it wasn’t legal to sell it anymore. But marriage isn’t a commodity like drugs or cigarette or alcohol, nor is it a mere act like sex before marriage, it is an institution fundamental to human life.

    @ – The United States “was” Christian throughout most of its history thanks to its common “Non-Sectarian Civil Religion”, which was Jude-Christian throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.

    @fiona64 – We do not live in a country where you can force the beliefs compelled by the moral consciences of religious people out the door of public law and allow only the beliefs compelled by the moral consciences of non-religious people to dominate everybody, including the religious.
    Furthermore, laws against same-sex marriage are only discriminatory in the same way that we do not let unqualified people drive cars, fly planes, or operate heavy machinery. You fail to meet the basic requirements necessary for attaining that privilege, you don’t get it. No one complains when boys do not do what is necessary to earn their Eagle Scout award.

    In addition, homosexual behavior is not an “inherent” trait like skin color. (I said behavior, not orientation, because we can all control how we behave, not what tools we were born with), thus, the 13th and 14th Amendment do not apply.

    It is not your already existing marriage that is impacted by changing the definition of marriage, but the institution itself, as well as all of the marriages of future generations yet to come that will be impacted by the changing definition.

    @Sheri – I thank you politely for calling me and all those who dare to believe that marriage should have only one society-wide definition unthinking, unfeeling robots. Apparently we’re too brain-dead and pre-programmed to think for ourselves, that someone like me cannot possibly have a reasonable, rational argument for going against the entire modern culture’s persuasions. That someone like you who happens to agree with modern ideas is so superior and able to do all the thinking for us that your vote should be counted and our opposition’s should not. After all, we’re the bigots, of course.

    BTW everybody. Simply preventing someone from desecrating what you believe to be a sacred institution does not mean that they do not have all of the civil rights they DO have. They have the right to Free Speech, Freely Practice whatever religion they want, Free Assembly, Bear Arms, and all of the other Human Rights laid out and left out of the Constitution.

    There just is no right to redefine the God-given institution of Marriage here on Earth.

  16. fiona64 says:

    GreyWolfLeader wrote: Because, Sheryl,there is no such thing as a “right” to marry.

    Hmm. I guess someone had better tell the SCOTUS that Loving v. Virginia was wrong. That decision cites marriage as a basic civil right.

    Thanks, GreyWolfLeader, for clearing that up. @@

  17. fiona64 says:

    GreyWolfLeader also wrote: I thank you politely for calling me and all those who dare to believe that marriage should have only one society-wide definition unthinking, unfeeling robots.

    Sheri was bang-on. Marriage is now and always has been an elastic institution. Its definition changed early in my lifetime, for example, with Loving v. Virginia. There is no way to have one society-wide definition of an institution that varies across time and cultures as marriage does. Wake up and smell the coffee, dude. You don’t get to own a word.

  18. Sheryl says:

    GreyWolfLeader, just curious how marriage “is an institution fundamental to human life?”

    As to whether marriage is a right or not, I’ll go with the court’s definition of it as such.