There is currently a petition to the First Presidency to apologize on behalf of the Church for “official statements, rhetoric, policy and practice” that “have been injurious to gays and lesbians and their families and friends.”

First, I should say that in many ways I respect this petition. There clearly is a self-conscious attempt to address reconciliation without demanding the Church change its moral position on homosexuality or its political position on gay marriage. There has been a genuine effort, I think, to actually try to make inroads with the Church. I especially like the line, “We believe that people of good will may have differing views about homosexuality, while maintaining amicable relationships.” Yes–let’s hope this is true.

There is a problem, however. Although the petition begins with some very nice stuff about the need for reconciliation from “parties on both sides,” its subject is only about the need for reconciliation on ONE side: the Church. This doesn’t exactly strike me as “seek[ing] to create a climate for reconciliation.” Seems to me to be more like a climate of accusation. At least it could easily be seen that way.

So I have some honest questions for the petitioners. Do you really think there is a need for apology from your own side? If yes, what? And why haven’t you discussed that in the petition? Why not take a first step and offer whatever these apologies might be?

If “no,” then the petition seems to be a bit manipulative. Like one’s spouse saying “we need to…” when what he/she really means is “you need to…”

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