Gay Mormon, gay Catholic, gay activist: ‘Book of Mormon’ star Rory O’Malley on faith, rights, and religious freedom

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Rory O'Malley

Photo courtesy Roryomalley via Wikicommons

'Book of Mormon' star Rory O'Malley

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“The Book of Mormon” star discusses how members of the LDS Church reacted to his on-stage portrayal of a gay Mormon character and shares his thoughts on bridging the divide between gay rights and religious freedom in a post-DOMA world.

  • Frank

    Just sad.

  • Leo

    When do you think that Islam will starting embracing homosexuals?

  • CarrotCakeMan

    Yes, it’s sad that anti-gays can’t show minimal respect.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    “Imam Daayiee Abdullah arrives by bus, sweaty and lugging a green bag stuffed with a Koran, two books of poetry by Persian mystic Rumi and three Islamic prayer rugs. Tonight, he’s speaking to a room full of young, gay activists and progressives after a screening of the documentary “I Am Gay and Muslim” at the Human Rights Campaign’s bright white Equality Center in downtown Washington.

    But when the openly gay imam takes the stage, he stuns even this audience.

    “I think we’re at the start of a movement: a more inclusive Islam in America,” says Abdullah, who runs Washington’s Light of Reform mosque and is thought to be the only publicly gay Muslim leader in the Western Hemisphere.
    “So if you have any same-sex marriages,” he says with a soft smile and a shrug, “I’m available.”

    Abdullah, an African American convert to Islam who is part of a national network of progressive Muslims, is the keeper of their secrets. He quietly helps gay Muslim couples get married, counseling them beforehand and keeping the ceremonies low-profile.

    “He’s like the Harvey Milk of gay Muslim leaders in America,” says Abdelilah Bouasria, an American University adjunct professor of Arab sociology, who recently developed a syllabus for a proposed class called “Forbidden Middle East.” “It’s important Americans know that there are many progressive Muslims.”

  • Ben McCrea

    Just to clarify, O’Malley has never been a Mormon. He plays a Latter Day Saint missionary in the South Park broadway satire ‘Book of Mormon’. O’Malley is a Catholic.

  • Brian Pellot

    Thanks for chiming in, Ben. His Twitter profile that I reference makes this clear. The headline of this piece is in reference to his character in Book of Mormon.

  • coltakashi

    NBC’s Rock Center (now cancelled) did a story about Mormons last Fall, which included an interview with another member of “The Book of Mormon” cast who WAS a Mormon, and is gay, and had in fact served as a missionary in Latin America. He was very grateful for the experience he had of serving as a missionary among some very poor people, and said that the experience taught him what being unselfish really means.

    Based on the extensive coverage of the musical, it is clear that there is very little that is factually accurate about the protrayals. There are many REAL Mormon missionaries serving in Uganda, including African men from that country and others. While it is apparently conforting to the producers of the musical to think that Mormon missionaries are plagued by doubt and talk themselves into belief, the reality is that if you sit down and talk sincerely with a real missionary, you are going to find that he or she is articulate in explaining why they know that what they teach is true and reflects the objective reality of this life and the next. Real Mormon missionaries do not make up doctrines in oprder to appeal to various ethnic groups. They teach the same gospel of Christ to everyone in every nation. They teach them that each person born on earth is a literal spirit child of God the Father, who lived with Him before birth, and has come into mortal life to have our character tested so we can prepare ourselves to spend eternity with our Father. For this reason, every person, no matter how they have lived, is of tremendous value in the eyes of God, and will be enabled to choose God through the redeeming sacrificie of God the Son, Jesus Christ.

    Like the ads say in the programs at the show, “The Book is Better”.

  • etseq

    Typical LDS BS – did you get your script from Salt Lake City? Its a comedic play for Zeus’ sake! You aren’t being persecuted and you aren’t the victim! Your church has decided that gay people are its biggest threat and has waged a political campaign going back to the late 70s (equating passing the ERA with gay marriage was “a neat little Mormon trick” to steal a line from the musical) all the way to the present campaign against same sex marriage against any legal attempts at gay equality. So, nice try with the PR white wash but it ain’t working…

  • etseq

    Also, the NBC show you mentioned did not interview a gay cast member of Book or Mormon – they interviewed Mitch Mayne who is a gay mormon who remains active in the LDS church and wants them to change their anti-gay doctrine. Nice try again with the LDS agitprop but its all a lie…

  • Franky

    Catholics know that the bestselling “Left Behind” books and movies have grossly perverted Catholicism’s biblical “rapture” doctrine – the only “rapture” view before 1830.
    The 2000-year-old Catholic “rapture” occurs AFTER the final “tribulation” (post-tribulation) while the 185-year-old evangelical Protestant “rapture” supposedly occurs BEFORE it (pre-tribulation) and is said to be “imminent.”
    All Catholics should read journalist Dave MacPherson’s “The Rapture Plot” (available by calling 800.643.4645) – the most accurate documentation on the history of the pretrib rapture which began in British cultic circles in 1830. By twisting Scripture, this new doctrine gave folks the (false) hope of being evacuated from earth before the chaos found in the book of Revelation.
    “The Rapture Plot” reveals, for the first time, how a Plymouth Brethren historian, after John Darby’s death, secretly and dishonestly changed the earliest “rapture” writings of the…