Equality Utah issued a joint statement with Wyoming Equality and Equality Arizona over the weekend strongly criticizing recent episodes of “Mormon Stories” for the podcast’s treatment of two gay individuals, calling the episodes “an egregious example of the culture of surveillance, harassment, and bullying that is far too common in our society.”
Mormon Stories describes itself as a podcast supporting those “transitioning away” from their faith.
The joint statement by the LGBTQ advocacy groups, posted first on social media, claims the podcast “reported the worship activities” of two individuals and posted personal church membership information online.
“As LGBTQ leaders who value and work with people of faith to advance the rights of all people, we reject in the strongest terms, the recent actions of John Dehlin and the organization he leads, Mormon Stories,” read the statement signed by Troy Williams, executive director of Equality Utah, Sara Burlingame, executive director of Wyoming Equality and Michael Soto, president of Equality Arizona.
“Everyone, absolutely everyone, regardless of how public or private their life is, has the right to practice their faith and belief system, or lack thereof, within the community they choose.”
The statement concluded: “There is no room in our movement for the harassment of individuals in their place of worship or because of their LGBTQ identities.”
In a lengthy post on Reddit responding to and denying the allegations, Dehlin said, “If any apologies are going to happen, I think that the first apology should be Troy, Sara, and Michael apologizing for making such an irresponsible set of accusations without taking the time to gather any evidence, or speak to the parties involved.”
Equality Utah was earlier involved in 2015 negotiations often referred to as the “Utah compromise,” resulting in a legislative agreement seeking to protect both religious liberty and LGBTQ rights in the state.