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Gay Mormon finds support at home

Jamison Manwaring of Idaho Falls is talking about life after coming out as a gay Mormon. Manwaring first told his brother and Dad, before he made a YouTube video telling the world he was gay. The video was published last March and has more than 27,000 hits. National Public Radio saw the video and asked him to be on several shows talking about life as a gay Mormon. He said coming out wasn’t easy because of his religion.

“Eight and ninth grade came around and it started being apparent where those attractions were,” said Manwaring.

He is the youngest of eight kids and said growing up in Idaho Falls was difficult.

“If you are a little different people tend to judge you. And that is common in a lot of communities and I definitely think that can be true in Idaho Falls,” he said.

“It took my parents and family some time to process it.”

Manwaring also said most of his relatives are not in support of same-sex marriage, but that doesn’t matter to him.

“I don’t really care what my family believes those are their choices. I feel support and love from them. It is important for me to have confidence so I can live a happy life,” Manwaring said.

He doesn’t want to push his political agenda, he wants to send a message.

“A lot of people don’t support gay marriage because of personal or religious reasons and that is okay,” he said.

“We need to be more tolerant of people who are different and who are outside the norm because it can be tough to grow up in Idaho Falls,” Manwaring said.

Manwaring plans to stay with his religion.

“There are obviously conflicts within my faith and my feelings but I deal with those. I want the support of my church community because it makes me better and it makes me a better person,” he said.

He hopes he will have a family in the near future, but right now he is focusing on his career as an investment banker in Salt Lake City.

According to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, same-sex attraction is itself not a sin but yielding to it is.

The battle over same sex marriage is a constant one. In Utah, the fight is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court. In Idaho, four couples in Boise are currently challenging the state’s gay marriage ban.

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