GC2012 Conversations, Tim Tanton
Delegates leaving the closing worship at General Conference April 26 had to walk between rows of demonstrators who quietly lined the hall and steps outside the assembly area in the Tampa Convention Center.
The approximately 300 demonstrators were responding to the treatment of a number of people during a session of holy conversations on human sexuality April 25. The conversations were planned to help delegates have dialogue about the church’s position on homosexuality. The sharp disagreement over that topic sparks debate and demonstrations at every meeting of the quadrennial gathering.
“After the holy conversations yesterday, there were a number of people who felt abused in what we believed was intended to be a truly holy conversation space,” said Marla Marcum of Lexington, Mass., a volunteer coordinator for the Love Your Neighbor–Common Witness Coalition that organized the demonstration. “But for whatever reason, in many, many of the rooms, that was not borne out, and delegates and observers were bullied and … (some were) met with derision and scorn.”
That wasn’t the case in every room, she added.