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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ official policy is to accept gay people as members of the church so long as they take what is, in essence, a vow of chastity. But one Salt Lake City man, a church employee for more than a decade, is surprised and angered that he lost his temple recommend—a prerequisite for employment in the church—after he refused to give up his gay friends and was fired.
Drew Call, 32, a returned missionary who is gay, was a supervisor in the church’s printing department until March 7. At a February private meeting with his Salt Lake City stake president — who declined to be interviewed — Call says he was asked to abandon his gay friends as a condition for renewal of his temple recommend. Surprised and fearing people may not believe him, Call surreptitiously made an audio recording of the follow-up meeting in March so there could be no doubt about what happened.
“I want people to know that [the LDS Church] is targeting people unfairly,” Call says. “I do believe they wronged me.”
Hoping to avoid the situation he now faces, Call had been looking for a new job for more than a year anyway. In this tough economy, however, it’s been difficult. The divorced father of two wanted to stay in the church’s good graces long enough that he could resign with dignity and financial security. The recording makes clear that Call’s association with gay people was the problem.
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