The GLBTA Resource Library sits in a quiet but visible corner of the TSC’s third floor. It is a lounge, meeting place, materials center, and safe haven for students, faculty and staff. The walls are lined with books, movies, political message stickers and bright flags. Outside the TSC and just across the sidewalk sits another safe haven, where students can engage in religious discussion, theological education, and worship of their god. On Oct. 3, and in the days that followed, the two groups seemed more distant than ever. Speaking at the General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Boyd K. Packer, the second-ranking leader in the LDS church, delivered an address in which he described same-sex attraction as “impure and unnatural,” and suggested a loving god would never place his children in such a condition. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest civil rights organization, responded almost immediately, issuing nation-wide action alerts and gathering over 100,000 signatures for a petition urging Packer to apologize for and correct his statements. Local groups organized protests at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, portions of Packer’s speech were eliminated from online publications and on Oct. 12 the HRC presented the petition to church officials. “People across the country still need to hear from Elder Packer that he was wrong and that his statements were dangerous,” HRC President Joe Solmonese said in a press release.
<a href=”http://www.usustatesman.com/students-divide-after-church-leader-s-remarks-1.2375501?pagereq=1″>To read the rest of this article on the Utah Statesman website, click here.</a>