When he was 18 he had a choice: Attend a Mormon school—Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho—or “If not, then I will start pursuing relationships with men.”The 35-year-old father of four daughters carries himself like a jovial stand-up comedian—Drew Carey, say—cracking jokes as frequently in person as he does on his blog, The Weed.His most notable physical trait is his left eye, which is legally blind and makes him look, as he once described it, “like I’m recovering from a concussion and a hangover and a bee-sting to the pupil all at once.”He’s a colorful frontman for the Mormon mixed-orientation movement, and the closest it has to a pioneer.But Troy Williams, a Salt Lake City LGBT activist, knows many of the amici and their wives.He couldn’t disagree with them more, but he understands them.“Family is part of the cosmology of Mormonism,” Williams said, referring to the tenet of eternal progression. In a way you actually become like a god, have your own planets, and then populate them with your own children.” Perpetuating that family through all eternity depends upon a man being sealed in marriage to a woman in an LDS temple.
was internally conflicted,” Josh Weed told me when I visited the office park outside Seattle where he has a therapy practice.e were in the basement, a shirtless Jim Morrison looming on the wall behind me, when Erin Caldwell’s naked foot snaked under her husband Danny’s leg. That I’m just sleeping around on the side, and that I’m not really in love with her…they’ve called her ‘a fag hag.’”Erin flinched at those words. Six weeks earlier, in April of this year, the Caldwells declared their unusual marriage in the form of an amicus brief to the Supreme Court of the United States, which they cosigned with 19 other people, nearly all members of the Mormon church.Her toes, one adorned with a ring, coiled around his thigh and hooked in to nest behind his knee. Yet lately, “Horrible, horrible things have been said. Submitted in advance of the court’s oral arguments, the brief contests the constitutional legalization of gay marriage.When Desmond, still in his Sunday best—tie, white button-down, green vest—dashed into the room, I hesitated and smiled. That Danny feels “under attack” is hardly surprising. The church’s early history is marked by the persecution of marriage practices others found peculiar: Americans didn’t take kindly to Mormon polygamy in the 1800s.Danny and Erin smiled back at me from the couch where they sat entwined, squeezing hands. Threatened, tarred-and-feathered, and driven from state to state—their founder and prophet, Joseph Smith, shot dead—Mormons slogged across the continent until they landed in present-day Utah, where they found sanctuary, a place to marry whomever they wanted. Because of that history, Mormons’ loud and public opposition to gay marriage has always carried with it an undeniable irony.