Saturday, November 15, 2008

Son Yes on 8 Leader Quits Mormon Church Over Prop 8

Matthew Lawrence, 28, of Santa Ana, California is just one of approximately 500 people who have contacted Signing for Something ( )in the last few days to announce his resignation from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because of the Mormon Church's handling of and involvement in the gay marriage issue.  Matthew is gay and is the son of Gary Lawrence, 67, who is the "State LDS Grassroots Director for the Yes on 8 Campaign" for the state of California.  (See ).

Matthew Lawrence, in an e-mail interview with this diarist, said that although he is "extremely upset and frustrated" with his family and that he has "cut off communication with them," that "at the end of the day, I do love them."  The elder Lawrence was also the Mormon Church's point man for the Prop 22 campaign in 2000.  Matt says, "I love my family so much, but it's hard to not take this personally.  We had a brief falling-out over Prop. 22, but that got mended.  But two anti-gay initiatives in eight years, it's impossible not to feel attacked."

Matthew was particularly hurt when "my father said that opponents of Prop. 8 are akin to Lucifer's followers in the pre-existence."  .."We can all agree to disagree and respect each other's informed opinions and decisions, but don't put me and Satan in the same sentence please."

"This issue isn't about gay marriage," writes Matthew. " This is about certain religious factions that believe homosexuality is disgusting, immoral and wrong and needs to be stamped out. . . .  It's a problem to be 'fixed.'" Matthew writes that his family sent him to multiple counselors during his youth, and even sent him to live with relatives in Utah which he writes was an attempt to "straighten me out" .."  He said while in Utah it wasn't unusual for his cousin to call him a "faggot" at school and that his "aunt and uncle did nothing to discourage his behavior."

Matthew is at least a third or fourth generation Mormon, and said that even after he stopped attending church (about the time of his return from exile to Utah) that "I even found myself defending the church for years and trying to dispel the notions that polygamy was still practiced or any of the other misconceptions. And deep inside, I still believe certain truisms that can be found in nearly any religion, such as treating our earthly brothers and sisters with love and respect."

Gary Lawrence served as a Mormon bishop while Matthew was a child, and is the President of Lawrence Research, .  Matthew said that from his father he learned "the value of hard work and not making excuses. My father has worked hard his entire life and has done whatever it takes to provide for his family. He truly was a loving husband to my mother, which is why it saddens me he would work to deny others the same happiness that his family provided for him."

Matthew says that about 95 percent of his family supported Proposition 8, but that "a few cousins that are strongly opposed to this Proposition and have let me know that they support and love me" and have insisted "that they get a wedding invitation if I ever marry in the future."

But, as for his father, Matthew says, "My dad keeps telling me it's not too late to 'change.'"

1 comment:

Chino Blanco said...

Guys like Gary Lawrence are the real problem the LDS church has on its hands, but now he's out with a new book suggesting that he's got all the solutions!

I can't believe how much money Gary gets paid to screw things up so badly.

Gary Lawrence: Familiarity breeds contempt (for Mormons)

Sorry, but this post, combined with Gary's latest TV interview, is just a little much.