Karger launches commercial critical of the LDS Church
“The LDS Church is a terrible place to be if you are growing up gay,” begins a commercial that is now running in Utah markets for Fred Karger’s presidential bid.
Karger, an openly gay Republican candidate for president, will appear on Utah ballots this Tuesday for the primary election. He has been critical of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ involvement in marriage amendments across the country, even filing a complaint with the California Fair Elections Commission when the church reported its support of Proposition 8 at roughly $2,000. The church later released an amended report showing over $190,000 in support.
The commercial shows imagery of suicides, guns, drugs and face shots of two gay Mormon men who committed suicide.
“Gay children are often thrown out of their home, excommunicated from their churches as their world collapses around them,” Karger says in the commercial.
Karger goes on to quote statistics from the recently-released booklet for LDS families with gay kids that says LGBT youth with unsupportive parents are more than eight times as likely to attempt suicide, more than three times as likely to use illegal drugs and more than six times as likely to deal with depression. Karger erroneously says in the commercial that the booklet is distributed by the Mormon Church.
He claims in the commercial that the Mormon Church has run all 33 voter referendums against gay marriage and shows a stack of “secret Mormon documents” as proof of their involvement.
Karger asked for a meeting with LDS Church president Thomas S. Monson to implore the church to “stop the hate,” but was denied.
Asked if he thought the hard-hitting commercial would turn people off to its message, Karger said that he is a huge admirer of the LDS Church and loves coming to Utah, but calls the church and its members “misguided.” He is hoping that, similar to the church’s about-face in 1978 allowing black members to hold the priesthood, the church might move away from its anti-gay messages. He said that “tough measures” were used in the 70s, such as a boycott of LDS Church-owned Brigham Young University’s sports programs, to cause the change in 1978.
The commercial will run from today through Monday night, June 25, in Provo, St. George, Park City and Salt Lake City on cable channels CNN, Food Network, HGTV and MSNBC. It is also available on his website and below.