Communication ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-18-2018


Over the past decade, sexual orientation and identity has increasingly been added to state and federal anti-discrimination laws, prompting a rhetorical situation by the Christian Right in attempts to exempt themselves from upholding anti-discrimination laws pertaining to sexual identity and orientation. This study analyzes the Mormon and Gay website—a website dedicated to advancing the position of the Mormon Church on issues of non-heterosexuality. Utilizing rhetorical textual analysis, I develop two theoretical frameworks: (lie)alectics and dequeerification to demonstrate how the discourse under examination attempts to appear non-homophobic while maintaining homophobic church doctrine. I argue that this model stands to influence the First Amendment in extending the Free Exercise clause to allow religiously-identified individuals to police and punish non-heterosexual behaviors. Additionally, this research calls for the reinforcement of the Establishment clause of the First Amendment, which restricts the federal government from establishing a national religion or to privilege one religion over another. Ultimately, this research functions as a form of activism, which highlights the discourse published on the Mormon and Gay website as discriminatory and not a step towards acceptance as it represents itself.


Religious Freedoms, Critical Rhetoric, (Lie)alectics, Discursive Dequeerification, First Amendment

Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Communication and Journalism

First Committee Member (Chair)

Myra Washington

Second Committee Member

Mary Jane Collier

Third Committee Member

Shinsuke Eguchi

Fourth Committee Member

Charles E. Morris III