The University of Utah Press is pleased to announce the publication of “Gay Rights and the Mormon Church: Intended Actions, Unintended Consequences” by Gregory Prince.
Prince will speak about his work on Monday, March 25, at 7 p.m. The event, co-sponsored by the University of Utah Press and Equality Utah, will be held at the Gould Auditorium at the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah.
“Gay Rights and the Mormon Church” will be available nationwide in early April. Prince draws from more than 50,000 pages of public records, private documents and interview transcripts to explore the attitudes of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints toward homosexuality. The review looks at the church’s involvement in the traditional marriage debate in Hawaii in the 1993 Baehr v. Lewin case through its response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 2015 ruling in Obergefell v. Hedges, which made marriage equality the law of the land. Following that ruling the church turned its attention inward with “the Policy,” declaring same-sex couples “apostates” and denying the children of gay couples access to key rites of passage.
Beyond his important explorations of legal battles and attitudes, Prince conducted numerous interviews with homosexual, transgender and intersex members and former members of the church. Those interviews are at the heart of his narrative, revealing the struggles and sorrows of the church’s LGTBQ members, but also their occasional sense of belonging, with its myriad complications.
Troy Williams, executive director of Equality Utah, had this to say: “Dr. Prince explores the many ways the LGBTQ and LDS communities have been bound together through families and politics—often in tense, difficult and challenging ways. Amid the ongoing political battles, we may discover that god’s message is simply to lay down the weapons of the culture war and truly begin to love one another.”
Press Director Glenda Cotter echoed those sentiments.
“Perhaps Prince’s greatest contribution in this book is the way he delves into the real and tragic connection between homosexuality and suicide, illuminating through the heartbroken experiences of homosexual youth the need for compassionate and caring responses and for messages that say to these young people that god does not hate them and neither does their religion,” Cotter said.
Overflow seating will be available for Prince’s March 25 lecture, as all tickets for seating in the auditorium are gone. Other book events are planned over the next several months, including at local bookstores. Please check the U of U Press website for details.