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Leahnora Isaak identifies as a transsexual woman.  She is also a Mormon.  She is attempting to gain recognition from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints so that she can live her life...inlcuding worship...as a woman.  She says she will be filing a formal request in the next couple of weeks.

Leahnora says she was born without external genitals, but she was given testosterone treatments as a child and was raised as a boy.  She later married and raised a family in Ohio.

Her local stake (an assembly of local churches) has been supportive.  Church leaders have met with fellow members to help them cope with Leahnora's transition.

I want happiness.  I want companionship.  And I want to live the gospel.  That's what I want.  And I want this equal for everybody.  I want people to celebrate who I am.  Because I'm not ashamed of who I am.

--Leahnora Isaak

Some weekly meetings of the church include both genders but some are segregated by gender.  She has been attending meetings for the priesthood (the men), but wishes to give up her membership in the priesthood to attend and participate in women's functions.

God didn't make garbage.  He made me transgender.  And it's transgender for a reason.  I just want to live the gospel.  I want to live the plan of happiness, which I believe applies to all people.

--Isaak

The scriptures clearly state that we are to be our authentic selves.  It’s the gender not the sex.  The gender is the eternal identity.

--Isaak

So far the leadership in Salt Lake City has issued no statements.

The Senate passed the Employment NonDiscrimination Act (ENDA) with the support of five of the Senate's seven Mormon members.

Orrin Hatch, who voted against the bill last time it came up, changed his position, he says, after former Oregon Senator Gordon H. Smith convinced him that there was nothing in ENDA that violated church doctrine.

The church does want to be helpful where we can be, without violating our own conscience.

--Gordon H. Smith, former bishop

The church publicly backed a anti-discrimination law in Salt Lake City in 2009, but did not take a public position during the Senate debate.  Basically the church's position is that "With love and understanding, the Church reaches out to all God’s children, including our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters"...as long as they do not act on their same-sex attraction.
Where American families are becoming more inclusive, I think the same is true of the L.D.S. faith.

We believe we should treat people with dignity, and you saw that on the immigration reform issue as well. It’s an issue of fairness.

--Senator Dean Heller (R-NV)

Harry Reid, also Mormon, says that Mormons should be especially sensitive, having experienced their own share of bias.
I would think that members of the church should understand that one of the things that should be paramount in their minds is how they’ve been treated.

--Sen Harry Reid (D-NV)

Originally posted to TransAction on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 04:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Street Prophets , Invisible People, Voices on the Square, and LGBT Kos Community.

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