Brus Leguás Contreras



Excommunication letter
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LDS Church Excommunicates Prominent Gay Leader

January 8, 2004

Story in the Salt Lake Metro

Brus Leguás Contreras, president of the Chilean unit of Affirmation: Gay & Lesbian Mormons, was excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on December 26 on charges of "apostasy" and "conduct unbecoming a member of the Church." During the three-hour proceedings held in the city of Quilpue, 75 miles northwest of Santiago, Contreras was asked repeatedly to resign as president of Affirmation Chile, which he refused to do.

"No earthly court can rob me of my potential as a child of God," Contreras told the all-male court that was about to excommunicate him. "The Spirit of God does not withdraw from those who do what is right; that is something that we all in Affirmation have experienced. My integrity, my morality, and my spirituality remain intact."

Even though LDS leaders insist that disciplinary actions are a local matter, the proceedings against Contreras were started by the Area Presidency in Santiago, Chile, which had prepared a dossier on Contreras.

In the past, LDS leaders have required homosexuals to undergo horrific forms of so-called "therapy," including electroshock aversion therapy, and have encouraged them to get married, leading eventually to divorce and broken families. Now LDS leaders require homosexual Mormons to live lives of celibacy and loneliness--a second-class citizen status, at best, in a theological system that sees heterosexual marriage as essential for living with God. Gays and lesbians who have partners are subject to excommunication, a disciplinary practice that most mainline churches long ago abandoned.

Founded in 1977, Affirmation: Gay and lesbian Mormons is a support organization for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Latter-day Saints (members and former members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). For more information about Affirmation, go to www.affirmation.org.




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