Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Gay LDS Member Drew Call Denied Temple Recommend, Fired From Job At LDS Church Headquarters For Associating With Queer Utah Aquatic Club

Update March 24th: A comment posted by an individual identifying as Drew Call's wife to the City Weekly article has now been cross-posted at the bottom of this post, in green.

Via the Recovery from Mormonism website, I learned that the Salt Lake City Weekly has published a story about a gay member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who was denied renewal of his temple recommend by his stake president because of social association with a gay group and who lost his job at LDS Church Headquarters in Salt Lake City as a result.

Drew Call was a supervisor in the LDS Church’s printing department until March 7th, 2011. For years, he was a closeted gay man who sought to overcome his homosexuality. He served a mission, then married a woman despite lack of physical attraction to her in the hope that marriage would help him become straight. While the number of kids he sired is not revealed, the allusion to child support later in the story implies the marriage produced children. Eventually, his marriage began to unravel in 2008 over financial issues and growing distrust. He began dating other men, although he says he did not have sex with them out of fear of contracting an STD. In April 2009, he got divorced; he subsequently started swimming with QUAC, the Queer Utah Aquatic Club.

Meanwhile, Call had accepted employment at Church Headquarters. Like all employees, he was informed at the outset that temple worthiness was a condition of employment, and that he would have to continue to maintain temple worthiness in the future to remain employed by the Church. By accepting employment with the Church, Call made it clear he understood and accepted this condition. But the subsequent problem arose over one of the questions asked during the periodic worthiness interview conducted by the stake president for the renewal of a temple recommend. That particular question reads “do you support, affiliate with or agree with any group or individuals whose teaching or practices are contrary to or opposed to those accepted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?” The normal interpretation of this question is that it applies to anti-Mormon groups, apostate groups, political groups which advocate breaking the law to accomplish their goals, or in some cases, groups that promote racial supremacism.

However, unbeknownst to Call, his stake president had expanded that definition to include gay groups and individuals because, in his mind, gay groups by their very existence act in opposition to the LDS Church's definition of authorized sexual relationships. But Call wasn't completely blindsided. At a private meeting with his Salt Lake City stake president in February 2011, one month before the renewal anniversary of Call's temple recommend, Call says he was asked to cease associating with his gay friends as a condition for renewal of his temple recommend. While Call agreed to think about it, at that point, Call also decided to surreptitiously make an audio recording of the follow-up meeting in March so there could be no doubt about what happened.

At the March meeting, the stake president asked Call again if he would agree to cease associating with his gay friends. The stake president also expressed concern about Call taking his daughters to “gay bingo,” a monthly charitable fundraiser hosted by the Utah Pride Center and the drag/comedy troupe Utah Cyber Sluts. Call said he would remain loyal to his gay friends, after which the stake president dropped the hammer, refused to renew his recommend, and told Call “You’re going to have to look for a job.”

When City Weekly contacted the LDS Church for an official response, LDS Church spokesman Scott Trotter simply said, “All church employees are required to have a current temple recommend. Worthiness to hold a temple recommend is determined between each individual member and his or her local ecclesiastical leaders.”

Analysis: After reading the City Weekly story, I'm not convinced the stake president denied Call's temple recommend merely for fellowshipping other gay men. I believe what pushed him over the edge was the fact that Call also took his daughters to gay bingo. We can handle members having a homosexual orientation and fellowshipping other gays so long as they do not practice homosexuality, but we can't accept dragging kids into an overtly gay environment. There was no logical reason for Drew Call to be dragging his kids to gay bingo; that smacks of proselytization, even if that wasn't his intent.

Drew Call's loss of employment was unfortunate, but not unjust. He knew at the outset that he would have to maintain temple worthiness to keep his job. He was given one month's advance notice that renewal of his temple recommend was in jeopardy. He was told exactly what he would have to do to remain templeworthy. He failed to do it. Consequently, he bears the primary responsibility for the loss of his job. As for Drew Call, he doesn't plan to fight it, but intends to move on and find another job.

Update March 24th: An individual identifying herself as Drew Call's ex-wife has posted the following comment to the City Weekly story (on page 10 of the comments):

I would first like to state that Drew does believe he is gay, but that he does also believe that he should have a temple recommend?? I lived with this man for 7 years, had two children with him and knew from the first night of our honeymoon that something was wrong. You cannot even begin to imagine the heartache that a woman feels knowing that her husband, the one who is suppossed to build her up, does not care for her....nor ever did.

I have absolutely no problems with gays and Lesbians. In fact, I have several friends that are both and I believe that many of them make better parents than than the trash that breed and continue to live off of our welfare system. However, if this reporter had done his investigating properly he would have known that while married Drew was not concerned about passing STD's to me or his children. In fact we had a baby die at 7 months with Chlamydia. My youngest was born with it and still suffers with lung disorders today. I also have been diagnosed with Herpes which means for the rest of my life I will take a pill, and should I decided to trust a man enough to marry him again; he too will also have to take an antibiotic. Drew had several; in fact 7 affairs with men while he was with me and his latest partner was just diagnosed HIV positive. So, I have had to go get tested myself.

You have no idea what hell someone goes through until you take a moment to walk in their shoes. We are all so quick to judge before we really know the whole story. I would comment to anyone who thinks they know the whole story. No one knows what really goes on in a marriage behind closed doors. I am still the victim of blame becuase of the choices that Drew has made. I have been physically attacked, and verbally threatened. He has lied about work, his job, his whereabouts, and has taken my two young children to drag queen bingo.

I have been an unactive member of the LDS church for almost 3 years now and have no intention to drag the church further into this mess, however, I do believe that Drew has lived a lie long enough and will pay the price that life will deal him. Karma is a bitch!!


Anonymous said...

He's lucky to have been able to stay on since 2008--"dating other men" and not having sex just because he's scared of an STD, and he can still have a temple recommend??

Anonymous said...

of course he should be allowed to take his daughter to events that support gays and lesbians. You are wrong

Anonymous said...

Utah Cyber Sluts? Really? What is it about this name that says "child" friendly? By all means, this mother is correct for not wanting her children in attendance!

Anonymous said...

There are two sides to every story. Someone left out the part that Drew's ex-wife called his Stake Predident and tipped him off about his indiscretions. She cries victim way too loud, now her children will directly suffer. One could easily question her personal orientation given the nature of the friends she keeps. Who is to say Drew gave his ex-wife the STD's, it is possible it could be the other way around.

Also, the Cyber Slut bingo is NO place for children. Even if it was a "straight" event, the sexually provocative gathering is not a place for any young children. It is easy to understand that this must have been the primary reason as to why the stake president told to Drew to seek other employment.

Greggory Wood said...

What would be the difference between taking his children to drag-queen bingo and bingo on Halloween?

Liberty is No Vice said...

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Dang!

Anonymous said...

I personally know both he and his wife. Though not fully understood before (even giving Drew the benefit of the doubt) I know exactly, from both sides what is going on with this scenario. The fact that this man is receiving any publicity on account of his indiscretions sickens me. He gave his wife AIDS, it was NOT the other way around. This man has single handedly destroyed his family and Heaven help his poor little girls that will soon be without a mother. I have lost all respect for Drew and he better pray I never see him again.

Anonymous said...

I knew and lived by both Drew and his ex for 5 years. Drew is a piece of trash. He’s a liar and a manipulator. Not only did he infect his wife and kids but also other gay men. There is a special place reserved in hell for people like Drew. Not because of his sexual preference, but for what he has done to innocent people. Burn baby burn! I hope and pray that those he whom he has infected can find peace and comfort in their lives as they confront the challenges that Drew has brought upon them, especially his sweet children. Too bad the author of this article didn’t attempt to report the whole story and only chose to see it from one side without perform proper due diligence.

Tara Whiting said...
This comment has been removed by the author.