SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – November 11, 2015 (Gephardt Daily) — The controversy surrounding newly announced policies by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints restricting membership for members of same-sex households and their children continues to grow.
Two new petitions, posted on Change.org, are striking at the heart of two cherished traditions—the annual Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s Christmas Concert and BYU football.
The first petition, posted by Scott Fausett, calls on performers in this year’s Christmas concert to cancel their “collaboration” with the legendary Mormon choir “due to the LDS Church’s new rules prohibiting children that have a gay parent from becoming members of their church; regardless if the parent is in a same-sex marriage or just living together. In addition, the new policy lists same-sex couples as apostates requiring mandatory church discipline,” the petition says.
The petition, which had garnered 1,100 signatures as of Wednesday night, was directed toward the Tabernacle Choir’s top guest performers, including Broadway singer Laura Osnes, soprano Erin Morely, mezzo-soprano Tamara Mumford, tenor Ben Bliss, bass Tyler Simpson, and famed British screen and voice actor Martin Jarvis.
The original petition drive is also urging PBS to cancel its broadcast of the annual Christmas concert.
A second petition, which had 4,000 signatures as of Wednesday night, asked teams in the National Collegiate Athletic Association to refuse to play Brigham Young University over what it called “discriminatory and homophobic policies.” The petition cited decisions by Stanford University and San Jose State back in the 1970s, when they refused to play BYU over the Church’s refusal to accept blacks into the priesthood. That policy was reversed in 1978.
The LDS Church did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday night.
It’s unclear if any of the performers or members of the NCAA were responding to the online petition.
The Church released a video shortly after the policy changes were made public, clarifying its stance on changes in an interview with Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.