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Same-sex couple claims LDS Church congregation harassed them over disciplinary council

MOUNT PLEASANT, Utah -- A Mt. Pleasant same-sex couple claims leaders of a congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints harassed them after a series of strange encounters they said were unwanted.

The final straw for them was a letter the ward delivered to them, which the women found disturbing. Now, they're trying to understand what sparked the LDS Church to send it.

Leisha and Amanda LaCrone are married and raising five children. They each attended an LDS Church as kids, but haven't been a part of the church in more than a decade.

"The Church had sent her a letter saying that she was already excommunicated," Amanda explained, about a letter Leisha got from the LDS Church 15 years ago.

That's why Leisha was surprised when a hardware store employee reportedly approached her two separate times.

"He continued to tell us that there were some things that the Mormon Church needed to talk to us about," she recounted. She said she told the man, "We don't want to be bothered, we have no interest."

Then, they said, came a number of phone calls asking to meet with the bishop.

The two said they declined, and that's when members of the Church reportedly came to their home, with letters.

"I was pretty angry when I opened it, not understanding why they want us to go to this church court when we don't attend church," Leisha said.

The letter addressed to her stated a disciplinary council was being held for her.

"Because you are reported to have participated in conduct unbecoming a member of the Church," said Leisha, reading off the letter.

The conduct, they guess, is that they're a same-sex couple and are married. But the women don't understand: Why the letters, why a formal council, and, why now?

The LDS Church said in an email that disciplinary actions are a private matter they don't comment on.

According to a Mormon resource site, a disciplinary council can be requested if a person is still on church records. The purpose is to discuss sins with the person, pray, and figure out how to move forward.

The results can range from no action, to excommunication.

The couple said they aren't against the Church or the Mormon religion, but they don't agree with the letter or how the ward handled the situation.

"I want them out, I don't want anything to do with them," Leisha said. "I would just like for them to let us live in this society and raise our children, and leave us alone."

After receiving the letter, Leisha posted a photo on Facebook and it took off with comments and shares.

Many shared comments of support for the two, and distaste for the LDS Church's actions.

So much so, they said many people began calling the ward.

"We certainly did not want people to be harassed," Amanda said. "That was not our intentions, and we feel really bad."

While they said some have criticized them for their stance on the letter, they've also gotten messages of support from around the world.

A representative from the local PFLAG chapter said he plans to talk with the bishop about why the letter was sent, and if other same-sex couples will be issued similar letters.

Leisha and Amanda did not attend the disciplinary council, and have not heard from the LDS ward since.

186 comments

  • chinoblanco

    Spelling alert: It’s PFLAG. And how do I buy their rep lunch? And can we expect a follow-up report about the meeting with the bishop?

      • Dee

        Fortunately i don’t need to read a book of absolute fiction nor worry what Paul claimed or any other person in that book of myths.

        The reason i can say this with confidence is quite simple. The genealogies to Adam evidence a 6000 year time line to the first man, yet we have buildings older than this, the stadal lion figure is 30,000 years old. And, if you take the time to do the math, you’ll quickly realise that the Ark could never hold a tenth of the animal species on earth let alone all of them.

        This is a collection of old myths. There is no reason to give it any more credit then i would Lord of the Rings.

      • Larry

        I agree mostly with what Dee, but I’ll go a step further. If I were to give the Bible accreditation, It would have to prove to be inherent. However, beginning with the first chapter of Matthew, it reads there are fourteen generations between the carrying away into Babylon unto Jesus. Maybe we should look a little closer and recount those generations. I think you’ll see there are only thirteen. I don’t have room to write about all the other errors. The Bible has more holes in it than Swiss Cheese. The Bible is a Spiritual book. It’s full of Eastern mysticism. When it says in Romans 1:26, “God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature,” it isn’t speaking about human affections. It’s speaking of Spiritual affections. Plus, it’s not even talking about what you think it’s talking about, because the Spirit does not know what sexual relations means. As holy as most people think they are, they are still equal to the worse sinner on earth, and if you take a quick look in the mirror, you’ll see who I am talking about.

      • bob

        And I’ll go a step further than either of you: Real atheists just sleep in on Sunday and don’t concern themselves with what other people believe or don’t believe. You two belong to a cult.

        Free your minds.

  • Finny Wiggen

    Eye roll…
    The Church is doing nothing more than canceling your membership, while making sure that they abide by your wishes. Did you not say in your own words that you “want nothing to do with the Church…”

    Your desires are what they are attempting to ascertain. There is not way that they can know your wishes, unless they ask you… Stop your drama queen routine, and just let them know that you are okay with them proceeding with taking your name off their membership rolls.

    It is no different than Vasa Fitness sending you a letter stating “hey, we noticed you haven’t been to our gym in ten years, and still have a membership. We have scheduled a meeting for such and such date and time to discuss your membership. ”

    Your victim mentality does you no favors.

    • skittle

      Couldn’t agree more. My bro-in-law is gay. All he ever wanted was the attention of being persecuted. He ended up moving out of state because we just loved and accepted him unconditionally. Some people just want to whine and cry victim. I think all white, straight, Christian males should start crying more…they are the most picked on. Gotta love equality and affirmative action.

      • Tapir Drawn Chariot

        So basically what you’re saying here is your brother-in-law moved away because you didn’t persecute him enough?

      • ANOTHERBOB

        Christians do cry all the time for attention. They are so persecuted. Wahhhhhh! Still have to prove there is a god in the first place morons!

      • PhD

        @anothebob …prove that abiogenesis happened. Reconcile the theory of evolution with chaos theory. Then look at the probability of everything evolving to where it’s at, by pure chance…life on earth evolving to this state had about as much probability as willing PowerBall 1 million times in a row.

      • J

        Your response is so full of thinking errors and logical fallacies that I do not know when to start. Unless your brother told you that he wanted the attention of being persecuted and moved away because he was not being persecuted enough, you are not basing your OPINION off of anything more than speculation. There is nothing in your comment that would even begin to suggest that you love your brother unconditionally or accepted his sexual orientation.

    • Kayla

      Yeah, no.

      If the church “just” wanted to “ascertain [the couple’s] wishes”, the church could have:

      1. Simply asked the couple. The church did not ask.

      2. Taken the obvious hint (not attending church for years).

      Your claim that “this is no different than Vasa Fitness sending a letter about an old membership” would be true, if and only if Vasa Fitness:

      1. Sent a letter announcing member is excommunicated.

      2. FIFTEEN YEARS later, send another letter announcing Vasa Fitness has set up a court hearing regarding membership

      3. Had a random Walmart employee, also a Vasa Fitness member, demand multiple times to know about membership

      4. Had random Vasa members, people who don’t know the couple, call and demand about membership

      5. Have random Vasa members, also strangers to the couple, show up at their door with letters demanding information regarding membership

      Obviously this would be harassment on Vasa’s part, and no idiots like YOU would be telling the couple “oh stop your victim mentality”.

      This couple was harassed by persons who violate boundaries. This couple is harshly judged, name called, dismissed, and infantalized by you.

      • bob

        The Church DID ask. In writing. Can’t you read the story?

        The correct response, if they actually don’t care, is to place the letter in the round file and move on. But that would waste a perfect opportunity to put on a matinee performance for the TV cameras.

      • ANOTHER-ANOTHERBOB

        Actually the church did ask Kayla. Kind of strange that these lesbians chose to go to the press instead of simply writing a letter to church headquarters asking to have their name(s) removed from the records of the church.
        Less drama …… but that wasn’t their goal.

    • smitters21

      I think it’d be a little more like this…when you are born you’re put on the rolls of the gym that your parents go to. When you’re 8, you officially become a member of the gym. As you get older, you start to feel that maybe the gym isn’t for you. You recognize that it does some good for a lot of people, but the lifestyle you feel most comfortable with is at odds with the standards of the gym so you decide to part ways. You stop paying your membership dues and don’t attend gym functions for 15 years. Then, you start getting calls from the gym saying you need to come in and talk to the manager. You’re confused, because over the last decade or so you’ve made it clear that you’ve moved on and aren’t interested. Then, the manager sends a letter saying you are facing a gym court of 15 men because you’re not living the standards set forth by the gym. The letter states that you may be stripped of your membership at said gym court. You scratch your head, wondering WTF is going on.

      So yeah, maybe the gym should just let it go. Or, instead of sending a summons to gym court, send a letter saying “Hey, we know you haven’t attended in a while. We love you and want you to know that our doors are always open, but if you’d rather not hear from us anymore just let us know and we’d be happy to help get you off our membership roles.”

      There, that wasn’t to hard. I think I’ll start a gym.

      • bob

        That’s pretty much how it works. But the gym can’t win no matter what it does. Keep you on the roles and you make a big show of “resigning.” (If you can find some TV cameras.) Give you chance to defend yourself and they’re “harassing” you. Kick you out without informing you and they’re “discriminating.”

        It’s not about the gym. It’s about PEOPLE who want to be the center of attention and can’t stand it if everyone isn’t looking at them all the time.

      • ANOTHER-ANOTHERBOB

        That is exactly why the LDS Church doesn’t let children of homosexuals to be baptized. You made the best argument yourself.

      • Anastaza Coleman

        Haha that’s so accurate. It’s a great analogy. The gym members judge outsiders for not living up to their lifestyle and judge each other for not being perfect athletes, too. They think anyone who isn’t a member of the gym is choosing to be unhappy. The only TRUE way to reach fitness is to be a gym member. And just going to any other gym doesn’t count. You must belong to and regularly participate at that SPECIFIC gym, or else you are actually fat, even if you don’t know it and you look fit on the outside. The gym also doesn’t allow yoga. If you start practicing yoga, you have to leave. If your parents practice or have ever practiced yoga, you can’t join. (Yoga prevents true fitness.) It’s okay if you think yogi-like thoughts (you were probably born with those) but you must never participate. If you speak out too loudly against some of the gym’s policies, you have to leave. You can think those thoughts on your own, just don’t tell anyone, even if you think those policies hurt people. If your parents belong to certain other gyms, you can’t join. And if you’re fat already, you can’t join if you got fat by eating ice cream, but if you got fat by eating hamburgers, that’s fine.

    • Jim Strang

      The church is doing nothing more than “cancelling their membership”? Why isn’t the church cancelling the membership of straight couples living together outside of marriage? Hardcore drug users? Philanderers? The white collar criminals we see on the news? Obviously none of these people care about the gospel. Why is the church only going after the gay couples?

      • rainbowlindaf

        Those people are not news-worthy.

        The LDS church does not broadcast when someone is excommunicated. If the public finds out, it’s because those who are ex’d tell everyone.

      • ANOTHER-ANOTHERBOB

        @JIM STRANG
        The LDS Church does excommunicate “straight” people Jim. The “straight” people just don’t go to the newsmedia about it.

      • Stephanie

        Good question. I have a child out of wedlock and my name is still on their records. I wish they’d stop singling out the gay community, though.
        I wanna go to a council. So I can tell them to shove it

    • Jason Pead

      In the article you will read, [ “The Church had sent her a letter saying that she was already excommunicated,” Amanda explained, about a letter Leisha got from the LDS Church 15 years ago.] Sounds like the clerks can’t get the paperwork right. If she was excommunicated and received a letter stating so 15 years ago should her name have not been stricken from the record then? They are bringing up old news that they should have filed away or shredded long ago. I’m sure it was just an oversight though. Doubtful. Maybe the letter was issued just before leadership roulette occurred and the striking of her name was not completed when it should have been? Possible. Or maybe the church just can’t let go. I’m sure a member who knows the family had nothing to do with it. Hmmmmm.

    • Nan

      Ya like a health club is going to stalk you, accost you while you’re shopping, call you repeatedly and show up at your door, then send a letter threatening to discipline you for not following a healthy lifestyle.

  • bob

    I don’t believe this for a splintered second.

    It is not possible to have ANY contact at all with a church disciplinary council unless you choose to do so.

    Why can’t you just live your lives and let others do so as well? Why the hate? Why the intolerance?

    • Kolob

      Exactly! And it is not possible to be arrested unless you’re doing something wrong! Americans should learn this already.

      • bob

        They weren’t arrested. An organization they claim to have no interest in has decided to remove them from its roles, and has offered them a chance to speak for themselves if they wish.

        Which means they have a perfect opportunity to get in front of a camera and put on a show. They should put on bells and floppy hats and do a little dance for us.

      • Nan

        Why is the LDS church stalking people who haven’t been to church in more than a decade? I have never ever heard of any other church doing something like this. It is bizarre behavior for a church, so bizarre in fact that I can’t really consider actions like this any thing other than the actions of a cult, not a church. I’ve never called the LDS a cult and wouldn’t be now if it wasn’t behaving like one.

      • ERIK ANDERSON

        @Nan
        I always believe that what a lesbian tells me. Rick Jones, 22, reported he was attacked in April while he was working at the Grand Central Station restaurant, which is run by his family. Jones said a gay slur was carved into his arm after he was knocked unconscious and beaten. Trouble is he staged his attack. You can always believe what a sexual deviate tells you.

        https://www.ksl.com/?sid=35308903&nid=148

  • Jeremy Gibbons

    This seems a little like having an employer I quite working for ten years ago, search me out to tell me they do not approve of my spouses genitalia and they would like to fire me for it. First though, they would like to meet with me.

    • ANOTHER-ANOTHERBOB

      Apparently one of the lesbians is still a member. She can solve the problem instantly by sending them a letter asking them to remover her name from the church records. Problem solved Jeremy. It would save the church from having to “fire” her.

    • liberalssuck

      Is that what it seems like to you jeremy?
      Are you perhaps mentally disabled?
      Because thats what YOUR comment seem like to me.

    • Elohim from Kolob

      Good point Jeremy,The church just wants them to come over and acknowledge that in someway the church holds or held power over them. And now they want them removed from the church for not living how their scriptures see fit. They should just tell the church🖕🏼!! And be done.

      • RAZOR

        Leisha would not have received a letter from the LDS Church telling her she had been excommunicated unless there had been a church court. Something most people would remember don’t you think? Not a problem. They will fulfill her wish now.

  • liberalssuck

    I love how pro gay,pro illegal immigration,will try to toss back in your face “you are not very christ like”,to suit their agenda.What is christ like?
    Opposing his fathers words that the gay lifestyle is a sin?
    Get over it.The bible and the word of god very clearly define this-
    Man shall not lieth with man for it is an abomination.GET it? THAT is christ like.Got it?
    As on previous poster said,the LGBT community do not want equality,they want superiority,they preach tolerance but exercise NONE.QUIT trying to get religious organizations/christians to accept your lifestyle.NOT happening.

    • Steve

      Prove god exists then you can start rambling on about what you think his intentions are. Otherwise it’s just your opinion not fact. You know what is said about opinions, don’t you?

      • ANOTHER-ANOTHERBOB

        Before 1897 you could have said “prove that atoms exist”, and no one could have been able to do it. That doesn’t mean they didn’t exist but merely that you could prove it.
        The blind man cannot expect to see what the sighted man beholds.

      • ANOTHER-ANOTHERBOB

        In the 1950s the cigarette companies said you couldn’t prove that cigarettes caused cancer. Maybe they do …. and maybe they don’t. Can’t prove it by me.

      • reality

        Prove God doesn’t exists. Prove abiogenesis happened. Prove that species to species evolution happens at a rate to take us from the first amino acids to the complex multicellular beasts we are in only a few short billion years.
        If there is no God, we are a freak accident on the outskirts of the universe with no other end than eventual extinction. If there isn’t a God, then morals have no real meaning. If there isn’t a God then what Hitler did wasnt wrong in principle …he essentially wanted the best genetics for the species.

    • J

      Maybe you should try using proper spelling and punctuation if you want to be taken seriously. You only go to further the overwhelming research that shows a statistically significant correlation between the amount of education one has and their level of religiosity/political affiliation and the IQ of a person and their religiosity/political affiliation. Basically, the more educated a person is, the less religious they are. Same goes for IQ, the higher it is, the less of the chance they will be religious. Thanks for keeping the stereotype alive!

  • Chris

    I guess it is not so pleasant in Mt Pleasant? If she already was excommunicated. She should just mail the local ward / stake a copy of of that. I am guessing an error in the membership records exists maybe even though she was exed they didn’t remove her from records like they should have, Once you are exed you are no longer a member. I do think it was very inappropriate to a hardware store employee to discuss this with them at work.The standard method of a council is they mail a letter notifying you of a council and it is your choice to attend or not. Other wise only leadership can drop off the letter or discuss it in person. I do think LDS HQ needs to have a talk with local leadership about how this was handled. I guess if i was in her shoes i would tell them i was already exed, but if you want hold council i will not attend hopefully you remove me from your records this time around.

    • ANOTHER-ANOTHERBOB

      I don’t think we’re getting the whole story Chris. I never believe every claim somebody goes to the press with.

  • USMC Vet

    The letter is a formality, and like the Rule of Law, individuals have the right to know what they have been accused of. There are those that God has called to be in positions of judgment. That is no different than us having the Rule of Law in a temporal sense to prevent anarchy. God’s house is a house of order. Homosexuality is a serious sin according to God. Pretty simple. These young women will have the opportunity to plead their case before the local Judges in Israel if they so choose. In the end, the Lord and His appointed judges will make the final decision. These young women can always repent and change their lives. Otherwise, they live with their sins and in the end it will be the LORD who does make the final call. That’s true for all of us. One more thing…If you don’t like the LDS religion then have nothing to do with it. Being a member of the LDS Church is a choice of agency and even GOD didn’t take agency away from His children.

  • caitlyn

    I’m a faithful LDS Mormon woman, yet I do not deny people the right of same-sex marriage. whether we be Black, White, Hispanic, Gay, Lesbian, or any other orientation, we are all still people who share this earth. We are all equals.

    There is a saying, “Love one another.”. And I don’t think Christ stuttered when he said that. Also, “He who casts the first stone must be free of sin”. No one is free of sin, as such we have no right to hate, judge, or take action against people who are just living their lives normally however they want.

    • ANOTHER-ANOTHERBOB

      @Caitlyn
      As a “faithful LDS Mormon woman” you know very well that your church doesn’t deny anybody the right to same-sex marriage. You also know with out any spec of doubt that your church can and does excommunicate people for that immoral practice.

      The question in this case is why didn’t the woman questioning her membership simply write a letter to church headquarters asking that her name be romoved from the records. Was it drama and attention she is seeking, or is it fame and drama? The answer is obvious.

      • Razor

        Now Caitlyn is inspired and knows what is right and wrong. Bob however is a bigot. He tells everybody what they know and how the BS judges are going to smite the evil lesbians. Wow. He the one who seeks attention.

      • ANOTHER-ANOTHERBOB

        @RAZOR
        Some of the questions and comments from supposed members of the LDS Church contradict their claim. Yes, Razor, I am bigoted in my opionion of immoral behavior. You don’t have any bigoted beliefs about the mormons do you Razor?

  • ANOTHER-ANOTHERBOB

    @ABBY
    What part of the promise we make “to keep His commandments” don’t you understand Abby. You may be a member in name but I’m shocked that you don’t know the promises you made but have obviously forgotten.

      • ANOTHER-ANOTHERBOB

        Sounds like you were active in the LDS Church at one time before apostatizing. Was it over a same sex attraction? How sad.

    • ANOTHER-ANOTHERBOB

      Stories like this attract members of the LGBTQQIP2SAA community like flies to stink. I just don’t buy into the faux martyr mentality.

  • ThomasT

    Manufactured. Not a real story. If you have membership in the LDS Church that membership is conditional and always has been. If it appears you have violated a condition of your membership, then a council is held to determine what action will be taken, up to excommunication. To protect the member from losing membership unjustly, there is a formal process of notice that is required (much like due process in court). That process requires written notice of the pending membership action delivered by two priesthood members to verify it was actually delivered, and then a chance to respond. There are other safeguards to protect the member. The headline should read “LDS Church Protects Membership Due Process for Couple.” But the truth would not serve the political agenda of this story.

    • Grant Hamilton

      Accurately and articulately stated. I have sat in many disciplinary councils. Not once was there anything but love conveyed to the member in question. Nonetheless a separation of church and member is required sometimes, for a variety of reasons.

  • Patricia

    Man: Hello, I’m from the local ward. In between the gay thing and the fact that you haven’t been to church in, oh let’s see, over a decade, we’re thinking of taking you off our roles.
    Woman 1: That’s harassment! It’s a racist, ableist, misogynist, cis gendered heterosexual privileged transphobic attack on our love!
    Man: Yeah, uh, so if you want to stay on the roles you can show up and explain.
    Woman 1: You know what you are? You’re a murderer of love!
    Man: The meeting will be Wednesday…
    Woman 1: Hey Leisha! What’s so much more disgusting than a murderer?
    Woman 2: A rapist!
    Woman 1: That’s what you are. A rapist of love!
    Man: (Rubbing forehead, mutters something about wishing he could have been called to the primary) (Deep breath) … will be held Wednesday at 7:30.
    Woman 1: I’m reporting this to the news. I know of one particular news organization that has both low standards and a slow news day!
    Man: Um, wouldn’t they be covering the election or something more important?
    Woman 1: Not Fox 13, you child murderer of love! Point: Match!

  • Grant Hamilton

    The letter they received is standard procedure. I have delivered such letters myself in the past. Just a courtesy to permit the people in question the opportunity to attend the proceedings, and if the wish, to defend themselves. Of course they do not have to go. Would this couple have preferred the church actions to take place behind their backs? I commend the bishop for following proper procedure.

  • Bruce

    I don’t know the details, but a few calls asking if they would come see the Bishop doesn’t sound like ‘harassment’. It sounds pesky and obtuse, but not malicious. I was a secretary in charge of making appointments for the Bishop in my ward once. And he was a tenacious dude. A business owner. I didn’t enjoy calling people that I could tell didn’t want to be bothered, but he had the attitude of “you gotta give it your all”… of course I usually dealt with evasive people who never came out and say stop calling or whatever. So it’s funny that they kept trying to set up this counsel if they asked specifically to not be contacted anymore. But sometimes word doesn’t travel back and someone else makes a call, or maybe this Bishop was way too persistent on the matter. I doubt it was a calculated thing where they said “let’s keep spamming them with calls and letters because they are lesbians.”
    It was just a matter of someone being kinda stupid and not taking a hint. Not some grave injustice.

  • Brandon

    I’ve never heard of a disciplinary council being called in this way. Shouldn’t their Bishop talk to them first? He could try knocking on their door. They seem like very nice women.

  • ERIK ANDERSON

    Rick Jones, a 22-year old homosexual in Delta Utah, reported he was attacked in April while he was working at the Grand Central Station restaurant, which is run by his family. Jones said a gay slur was carved into his arm after he was knocked unconscious and beaten.
    That story turned out to be a hoax ….. just like this one.

    • Razor

      This is all retaliation because the the General Authorities lost the fight on gay marriage. So now the Mormon CIA is following people around. Imagine what they’ll do if they lose the battle over medical marijuana. Just don’t take the opiates away from Mormons. Just waiting for the Church press statement. “Marijuana is evil, and Opiates are kinda–cool. Endorsed by Jeffery R Holland!!

    • ERIC ANDERSON

      As long as you aren’t a member of their church the Mormons don’t care what your sexually deviate hangups are.

  • questions

    I get harassed all the time by this one group who I donated stuff to, like 10 years ago. They started calling me to see if I wanted ty of donate again but I just don’t answer the phone. Now get sent a postcard a dresses to me to let me know that a truck will be on my street to pick up clothing and house hold items! It’s a conspiracy! I should call the news media and get human rights groups involved because I am being harassed! Seriously though, how is this even a news story? Everything is alleged, there is 0 evidence of their claims and the article title is misleading. This is nothing but bad reporting that only serves to incite hate on both sides of the debate. This my friends is the sad state of American journalism.

  • Mary

    Is it really that serious??? Omg…so what they removed you..stop whining sure you knew protocal if you were previous member of the congregation!

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