On Thursday, December 6, the LDS Church released a new website: www.mormonsandgays.org, which has been met with both praise and criticism from both Mormons and the media. Coincidentally, this site was unveiled soon after the third Dialogue podcast featuring Dr. Bob Rees and Dr. Caitlin Ryan, who discussed ideas now also portrayed on the mormonsandgays.org. So as a follow-up, join Morris Thurston, Dialogue Board president-elect, as he hosts a podcast roundtable with Bill Bradshaw, Bob Rees, and Mitch Mayne as they examine this groundbreaking new site.
Learn more about the panelists for this special roundtable:
Bill Bradshaw is a graduate of Harvard and received his PhD from University of Illinois. Currently retired, he was a longtime biology professor of at BYU. Bill served as a mission president in Hong Kong only 11 years after returning from his first mission there. He has also served in a Stake Presidency. He and his wife Marge are the parents of five children, one of whom is gay. Bill has studied and lectured widely on the biological origins of homosexuality.
Bob Rees, like Bill, is a lifelong active member of the Church who has served in a number of capacities. He was a professor at UCLA for many years and during part of that time served as bishop of the Los Angeles First Ward, where he ministered to a number of gay and lesbian members. More recently, he and his wife Ruth served as service missionaries in the St. Petersburg, Russia, and Baltic States Missions. He has published widely on many topics and served as one of the first editors of Dialogue. He is co-author of the booklet “Supportive Families, Healthy Children: Helping LDS Families With LGBT Children.”
Mitch Mayne is an openly gay, active member of the LDS Church, currently serving as executive secretary in the bishopric of his ward. He went through a period of inactivity but in his mid twenties he returned to the Church, knowing he was gay and that he would have to find a way to reconcile his sexual orientation with his faith. He has been in a committed same-sex relationship, but no longer is. He has become a well known spokesman on gay issues and has written or been quoted in numerous media pieces. Mitch attended college at Stanford, and is currently corporate communications for a Fortune 100 firm.
Morris Thurston, moderator, is also a lifelong, active member of the Church. He served a mission to Norway, received his JD degree from Harvard Law School, and is a retired partner of a global law firm. He has served in several bishoprics, on a high council, and as a consultant to the Joseph Smith Papers on legal issues. During the Prop 8 campaign he published a paper titled “A Commentary on Six Consequences if Prop 8 Fails,” a critique of misleading legal arguments that some proponents of Prop 8 were circulating. He and his wife, Dawn, are parents of four children and authors of a book on life story writing.