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Gay rights activists see Mormons softening attitudes toward their community
Gay rights activists hold hands in protest in front of the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah, in July 2009.
April 17th, 2012
12:25 PM ET

Gay rights activists see Mormons softening attitudes toward their community

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) Kevin Kloosterman, a former Mormon bishop, said he “came out” last year just not in the way that many people associate with coming out.

“I came out and basically made a personal apology to (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) folks for really not understanding their issues, not really taking the time to understand their lives and really not doing my homework,” Kloosterman said in an interview with CNN.

Though not speaking on behalf of the church, the then-bishop stood in front of a crowd of gay and straight Mormons at a November conference on gay and lesbian issues in Salt Lake City, Utah, where the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is headquartered.

Donning a suit and tie, Kloosterman was visibly shaken, struggling to find the right words as tears welled up in his eyes.

“I’m sorry deeply, deeply sorry,” Kloosterman told the group in a speech that was captured on video. “The only thing I can say to those of you who have been so patient, and have gone through so much, is for you to watch and look for any small changes with your loved ones, with your wards (Mormon congregations), with your leaders. And encourage them in this repentance process.”

Kloosterman’s apology was just one example of what many Mormons and church watchers see as a recent shift in the Mormon community’s posture toward gays and lesbians, including by the official church itself.

Though the church’s doctrine condemning homosexuality has not changed, and the church remains opposed to same-sex marriage, many say the church is subtly but unmistakably growing friendlier toward the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, including voicing support for some gay rights.

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Students at the church-owned Brigham Young University recently posted an “It Gets Better” video about the gay and lesbian community there, while a gay Mormon in San Francisco was selected last year for a church leadership position.

A new conference series on gay and lesbian Mormons the same one Kloosterman addressed last year is seeing an uptick in popularity.

Church spokesman Michael Purdy would not comment on whether church members are changing their stance toward gay and lesbian issues but said in an e-mail message: “In the Church, we strive to follow Jesus Christ who showed immense love and compassion towards all of God’s children.”

Purdy wrote, “If members are becoming more loving and Christ-like toward others then this can only be a positive development.”

‘It is definitely getting better’

The Brigham Young students who taped the pro-gay video this month were contributing to a popular video series meant to inspire hope in young people who are struggling to come to terms with their sexuality identity.

The video featured students telling stories of being gay at Brigham Young, sharing tales of heartache, loss and even suicide.

“It kind of is a very different world to be gay and Mormon because it feels like neither community accepts you completely,” said Bridey Jensen, a fifth-year senior and acting president of Understanding Same Gender Attraction, the group that posted the video.

Explain it to me: What’s Mormonism?

“We put out the message for youth that are going through this, and we want them to know that we were them a few years ago, and it gets better and there is a place for you,” she said.

Though chastity is a requirement at Brigham Young, gay and lesbian students say they are under more scrutiny. The school’s honor code says that “homosexual behavior is inappropriate and violates” the code.

But Jensen said reaction to the video, which has been viewed almost 400,000 times on YouTube, has been “overwhelmingly positive.”

Carri Jenkins, an assistant to Brigham Young's president, told CNN that the production of the video is not a violation of the honor code and that the students will not be punished.

The honor code, Jenkins said, is “based on conduct, not on feeling and if same-gender attraction is only stated, that is not an honor code issue.”

Jensen said that while gay and lesbian Mormons face a tough road, she sees a shift toward greater acceptance. It is definitely getting better within the church, she said. “They are not so quick to judge. They understand that they don’t understand everything. I am glad I can be a little part of it.”

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Some scholars of Mormonism, such as Columbia University’s Richard Bushman, said they see the very existence of such a gay rights group at Brigham Young as a step toward greater acceptance of gays and lesbians.

“The last 10 years have been a huge sea change in terms of willingness to accept homosexuals,” Bushman said. “Gay kids are still going to have a tough time in the church, but this level of acceptance and acknowledgment that is really that last decade I would say.”

Most gay Mormons point to 2008’s push for Proposition 8 in California, which banned same-sex marriage in the state but has faced legal challenge in the courts, as a low point in the relationship between the church and gay and lesbian community.

Mormons make up 2% of California’s population, but they contributed half of the $40 million war chest used to defend Proposition 8, according to a Time magazine report.

The church’s Proposition 8 activism angered many gay rights groups around the country, with some labeling the church “bigoted,” “homophobic” and “anti-gay.”

But church officials pushed back against the perception that the Proposition 8 backlash has provoked a Mormon softening on gay and lesbian issues.

“Many positive relationships have come from the Church’s experience in supporting traditional marriage in California,” Purdy, the church spokesman, said in an e-mail exchange with CNN.

Purdy draws a distinction between being against same-sex marriage and against equality for gays and lesbians.

He reiterated that the church was “strongly on the record as supporting traditional marriage,” but he said its stance should never be used as justification for violence or unkindness.

“The Church’s doctrine has not changed but we certainly believe you can be Christ-like, loving and civil, while advocating a strongly held moral position such as supporting traditional marriage,” Purdy wrote in an e-mail message.

“We do not believe that strong support of traditional marriage is anti-gay,” he wrote. “We love and cherish our brothers and sisters who experience same gender attraction. They are children of God.”

Church doctrine says that sex outside marriage is a sin and can lead to excommunication. Since gay people cannot be married in the church, any sex for them would be premarital and, therefore, sinful.

“The distinction between feelings or inclinations on the one hand, and behavior on the other hand, is very clear,” the church’s website says. “It’s no sin to have inclinations that if yielded to would produce behavior that would be a transgression. The sin is in yielding to temptation. Temptation is not unique. Even the Savior was tempted.”

Openly gay and a church leader

Mitch Mayne seems to relish his role as a lightning rod.

Mayne, an openly gay Mormon who blogs about homosexuality and the church, received the calling a term Mormons use for being invited into a church position in August.

Mayne is now executive secretary in a San Francisco ward of the church.

“I view myself as gay and being completely whole as being gay,” Mayne said.

Many observers of Mormonism say Mayne’s calling marked a unique moment in church history. Purdy said that Mayne’s appointment is “not unique,” but it’s hard to find precedent for an outspokenly gay executive secretary.

Mayne said he sees his job as building bridges with the gay community in San Francisco and showing them “there are pockets in the Mormon Church where you can be yourself.”

The biggest obstacle toward building those bridges is the threat of excommunication, said Mayne, who told CNN that in some wards just being gay can lead to expulsion from the church.

According to church doctrine, a formal disciplinary council can be called at the request of church leader.

While the leaders of the church mandate councils called for murder, incest or apostasy, it has a long list of reasons to call a disciplinary council.

According to the church’s website, the list of reasons includes “abortion, transsexual operation, attempted murder, rape, forcible sexual abuse, intentionally inflicting serious physical injuries on others, adultery, fornication, homosexual relations. …”

Some wards are observing that guidance while others aren’t, Mayne said.

“Here in the Bay Area ... we are no longer seeking out LGBT members of the church and excommunicating them,” Mayne said. “Our role is to bring people closer to the Savior, so if we are routinely excommunicating people, then we are really not doing our job.”

Mayne said he believes the challenge is to convince church leaders that they don’t ever have to excommunicate gay members.

And he said the Proposition 8 campaign was the “least Christ-like thing we have ever done as a church.”

“Not only did we alienate gays and lesbians, but we alienated their parents, their friends, those who support them the ripple effect went way beyond the gay community, and I don’t think we were prepared for such a negative fallout,” Mayne said. “I think the church deserved the black eye they received.”

He added, “As a result of that really horrible time, I think we are entering a really good time to be a gay Mormon. It is getting better.”

‘Mormonism doesn’t simply wash off’

When the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints speaks, the City Council of Salt Lake City listens. At least the council seemed to in 2009 when it voted on an ordinance to make it illegal to discriminate against gay and transgendered residents in housing and employment.

"The church supports these ordinances because they are fair and reasonable and do not do violence to the institution of marriage,” church spokesman Michael Otterson told the council.

Shortly after the church’s expression, the City Council approved the measure unanimously.

Many gay rights activists said they saw the move as an olive branch after the Proposition 8 debate.

“The tone and the culture is evolving, and the way the LGBT people are being treated is changing. I don’t think the church’s policy has caught up to that change in culture,” said Ross Murray, director of religion, faith and values at the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. “The Mormon church hasn’t gotten nearly as politically involved as they had since 2009.”

Though Murray sees the church lobbying for anti-discrimination laws as a positive step, he said the church’s shift is more about style than substance.

“It is going to take a lot of intentional effort to actually prove they are different,” Murray said. “That burden, because of the really public nature of their support of Prop 8, falls harder on the Mormon church than others.”

Joanna Brooks, a popular Mormon blogger and president of Mormon Stories, a nonprofit group that facilitates conversations on Mormon issues, echoes Murray’s sentiments.

She said she sees the church’s stance as challenging gay Mormons to choose between the religion they most likely grew up with and their desire for romantic companionship.

“Mormonism doesn’t simply wash off,” she said, adding that the church can’t make it that “either you are gay or you are Mormon, or either you support gay rights or you support the church.”

- Dan Merica

Filed under: California • Gay marriage • Gay rights • Homosexuality • Mormonism • Utah

soundoff (1,904 Responses)
  1. fastball

    Is there no actual NEWS happening in the world, let alone the USA?
    Why is CNN CONSTANTLY featuring faith-based articles on its "front page"? Is there NOTHING else happening in the world that could possibly bump the "Mormon-gay" angle from CNN. I'm tired of yesterday's "jewish mom" story...and the all the other faith-based stories that get featured prominently on what is SUPPOSED TO BE A NEWS WEBSITE!!

    April 17, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Qubee

      It's all about the eyeballs, dummy, not the news. The more eyeballs they get, the more the advertisers pay. They know that with 80% of U.S. population being doltishly religious, they will get a lot of eyeballs! :-)

      April 17, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • lynne

      I fail to see how this ISN'T news. Gay rights has been a huge issue in this country, let alone the Western World at large, for years now. It c ontinues to be fairly hot-button in all major elections. Since religion is a major factor in the debate, this speech would be classified as NEWS. Any way you look at it, it's relevant.

      April 17, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  2. Tim

    Ok, folks. I'm not buying this B@@@S@@T for one minute. This group did not allow african-americans into their church until 1972, and let us not forget the $40 million for Prop 8. It's an election year and they will do anything to see their favorite son elected! It's all about control and power!

    April 17, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • elwood

      1976+

      April 17, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Jim

      Your are exactly right. This "religion" has never been about beliefs. It is about control and power and money. Remember, Mormons were not even allowed to drink soft drinks until the church bought up a zillion shares in Coke....and you will never see a member drink a Pepsi because of it.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • melikeydrinky

      The NCAA (behind closed doors) basically told the church that if they wanted to be racist, fine. No Bowl games for the BYU football team. They got God on the phone in a big hurry and got the go-ahead for African Americans. hahahaha. joke.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Michael

      The date isn't important (it was 1978), but in the end, the Mormon church *did* begin granting the priesthood to black members, and has embraced black members and condemned any form of racism ever since. If anything, your example shows that this church is capable of recognizing problems in itself and changing. The things described in this article are steps in the right direction.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Michael

      Jim: You crack me up. I'm an active Mormon, and I *love* Pepsi. The fact is that Mormons don't drink coffee or tea, don't smoke or drink, and avoid other possibly addictive substances. It's about health and self-control, not church control.

      If it were about the church controlling its members, they're going about it all wrong. The trick is usually to get the people you want to control addicted to something, not to teach them to do the opposite. :)

      April 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • melikeydrinky

      @Michael – the only thing the church recognized was the mountain of cash they'd be giving up with a post-season bowl ban

      April 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Todd Morgan

      first of all, not true, mormons did allow blacks in the church since the early 1800s. joseph smith was an abolitionist and believed in freedom for slaves. mormons did not allow blacks to hold the priesthood until 1978, but also women don't hold the priesthood in the mormon church.

      Anyways, it might surprise you to know that close to ONE MILLION members of the mormons church are black, and if you truly want to know their stories search on the internet or go http://www.mormon.org.

      In fact, the next "lebron james" of basketball is mormon and within 2 years from now everyone in the world will know who he is, his name is Jabari Parker. Also Gladys Knight is black and she is Mormon.

      Obviously there must be some reason why almost a million people are members of the mormon church and are BLACK. Claiming the the mormon church is a racist religion is not true.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  3. Robert Brown

    While some disagree, God inst- ituted marriage as the union of one man and one woman as husband and wife and any other such union is an abomination. Gen 2:18-25; Lev. 18:22; 20:13; Rom. 1:24-32; Eph. 5:22-33; I Pet. 3:1-7. If God called it sin, then that is what it must be. However, I have one suggestion, any judgment that may be required let us leave it to the only righteous Judge.

    In Luke 6:36-37, Jesus said “Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:”

    For example, John 8:1-11, Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

    April 17, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • sam stone

      "While some disagree, God inst- ituted marriage as the union of one man and one woman as husband and wife and any other such union is an abomination"

      What gall purporting to speak for god, robert.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Guest

      We will pray for you so that your heart and soul can be clensed of hate and fear. You can cast your stones, but we will pray for you too.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Bob

      Let's not forget that this "righteous judge" god that Robert Brown keeps trying to shove at us is really quite the unfair ass-hole when you actually look into what he purportedly precribes as punishment. Seriously, this is a god that purportedly will threaten and punish you with torture forever if you so much as doubt his existence or think a different god exists, or even if you put a foot slightly wrong in your short mortal life. That's just sickening.

      Any modern human court would consider such punishment barbaric, to say the least. And the threats of torture purportedly by such a being would consti-tute criminal assault. Robert Brown's god would be tried and easily convicted by the UN for human rights violations. Seriously. Think about it.

      And then we have Christian god's explicit instructions to torture and rape. This kind of stuff is common in the bible:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      And then there are the explicit demands god makes in the OT for brutal animal sacrifice. note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes your sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      That's one very nasty god you've made for yourself there. Look into the eyes of a suffering victim of any of the multiple disfiguring, debilitating, painful diseases that your "loving" god has purportedly created. Then you might understand that Christian god as described in the bible is not loving, doesn't give a hoot about human suffering, and in fact does not exist.

      It's obvious that Christian god does not exist. Grow some courage, get over your silly sky fairy stories, and get with the modern world.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      April 17, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      What then about scripture that tells us to firstly seek God's Kingdom and not being told to seek the Son first? Which is it you do? Seek Christ firts of the Kingdom domains of God first?

      April 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Sam those are not my words. I gave the references. Check them for yourself.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • just sayin

      Robert, they are words of dead men who are relevent to delusional people.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Gen 2:18-25" – Doesn't apply OT.

      Lev. 18:22 20:13; – Doesn't apply part of the Mosaic Code.

      Rom. 1:24-32; – Doesn't apply it's about pagan worship now be good and scroll up in those scriptures to get the TRUE meaning.

      I could go on but you get the point.

      Cherry picking like this proves what is so wrong with Fundamentalist Christians that use the bible to justify their personal prejudices and bigotry! Being gay as we know and understand it TODAY is not a sin in your bible. People like you are a menace to our society.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Pipe-Dreamer,

      I enjoy your posts. At least the one’s I can understand. You have a much larger vocabulary than I do. I am not sure if you were questioning me about the Kingdom or the prior poster. Either way here you go.

      Jesus Christ, during the time of His earthly ministry, set up a spiritual kingdom on earth, in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy; He being the King and all born again believers the subjects of the Kingdom, and they are now reigning with Him as Kings and priests on the earth. Dan. 2:44; Isa. 9:6, 7; Matt. 3:2; Luke 17:20, 21; John 18:36; Rev. 1:5-7.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Jesus Christ, during the time of His earthly ministry, set up a spiritual kingdom on earth, in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy; He being the King and all born again believers the subjects of the Kingdom, and they are now reigning with Him as Kings and priests on the earth. Dan. 2:44; Isa. 9:6, 7; Matt. 3:2; Luke 17:20, 21; John 18:36; Rev. 1:5-7."

      Still spewing your nonsense huh HeavenSent. LOL!

      April 17, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      YeahRight,

      I do believe what I posted so, on that, we will have to disagree. My post was more intended to point out those who are judging and condemning. I failed to address those who don’t agree that it is sin. If I misunderstand the Word, as far as this subject is concerned, I apologize and hope you will forgive me. Ultimately, faith is what matters. If you have the Son you have Life.

      April 17, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  4. Faithful

    The Bible stil says it is a sin. I will stand on that. I will love the person as Christ has commanded me, but I will not love their sin. But I will continually point them to the Savior, Jesus Christ. Because He is what they need.

    April 17, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Theism is not healthy for your sanity and other reasonable things

      Love the Christian, hate their antiquated, bigoted religion.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • sam stone

      Wow, faithful....good for you. Don't let science and logic fool you when you can tie your wagon to edited, translated iron age hearsay

      April 17, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • sam stone

      Also, faithful, do you believe orientation to be a choice? If so, at what age did you make yours?

      April 17, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • just sayin

      Mormons are not Christians. God bless

      April 17, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • just sayin

      People who claim to be Christians are not Christians. God Bless

      April 17, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Faithful

      "So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." – Genesis 1:27
      "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." – Genesis 2:24
      God created males and females. God also created marriage. It is something sacred to Him. He meant it to be between one man and one woman only. But something happened. In Genesis 3, man fell into sin. Because man has fallen into sin, he now has sinful desires and a skewed view of "orientation" because of the sin nature. Anything outside of what God has set forth as Law is sinful. So since all mankind is born into sin, we tend to choose the desires of our sin nature over what God has created as good. Yes, we do choose our "orientation." But anything that is outside of marriage between one man and one woman is sinful and is part of our sin nature.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • just sayin

      Many are called but few are chosen. The real and the fake Christians will continue until Jesus returns. Then everyone will know and see Jesus for who He really is. For many it will be too late. Mormons are not Christians and qu-eers definitely are not Christian. God bless

      April 17, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Faithful

      A true Christian believes in the inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible, God's Word. Jesus as the Messiah and Savior of the world. Jesus Christ as God and Man. Christ atonement on the cross and the bodily resurrection from the dead to grant salvation to all mankind. That it is only by grace we are saved. Not of works.
      This is what it means to be a Christian. To fully be dedicated to Christ and being saved by grace from the wrath of God for our sins.

      April 17, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Yes, we do choose our "orientation." But anything that is outside of marriage between one man and one woman is sinful and is part of our sin nature."

      The experts around the world have proven you WRONG, begin gay is NOT a choice. Marriage existed long before your bible did so therefore Christians do not have a monopoly on it, especially since only 33% of the people on the planet are Christians. Based on the law, the experts have proven that being gay is not a choice, it's not a mental illness, it can't be voluntarily changed. Gays deserve to have the same civil rights that straights, their partners and children deserve protection and the rights that straight couples have.

      April 19, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Faithful

      Well I will still stand by my standard. It is the Truth. Truth is found in God's Word, the Bible, whether we choose to recgonize it or not.

      April 19, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
  5. ~A~

    I personally think its a political move. They are trying to make it look like they are sorry for past discrimination. As someone who is gay I have been met with a great deal of adversity by Mormons and other extreme Christian sects. A friend of mine lives in Utah and he has been and still is being harassed by them on a regular basis. I could say much more but sadly not allowed to…. Lets just say the truth will be coming out in the foreseeable future.

    April 17, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Michael

      It is sad, tragic and wrong that you or your friends have been vicitimized by anyone, especially anyone claiming to be a Christian. Mormon teachings have never allowed for treating individuals disrespectfully, but individuals make their own choices. This article reports some ways in which that is changing. It's a good thing, a step in the right direction, and will, I hope, eventually lead to changes that will eliminate the type of un-Christian treatment you describe.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Michael

      And, by the way, the vast majority of Mormons I know *are* sorry for past discrimination - both on their own parts, if applicable, as individuals, and also on behalf of Mormon culture. The changes you see are not just an act.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  6. 888 - Neighbor of the Beast

    Organized religion was created by men to control men. God is Love and Light not Hatred and Intolerance. I'm from Salt Lake City, Utah which is a very progressive city that ranks very high in education, mass transit, business ethics, and family values. Visit sometime.

    April 17, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  7. WillieLove

    Well, Mormon church is a cult church run by Satan. Devils run both camps in the spirit world. A kingdom can't not be divided among itself. w w w . saints alive . c o m

    April 17, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • 888 - Neighbor of the Beast

      LOL. Before people should be allowed to vote, they should at least have a GED. YOu are obviously lacking in the education department.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  8. PJ

    And we are supposed to believe this when they are putting all their money on their first President?

    April 17, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Michael

      The Mormon church is not putting any money toward any presidential candidate. Individual Mormon members are encouraged to be politically active, and donate to whom they wish. I'm a Mormon, but continue to lean toward voting for Obama as I did in 2008.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  9. Mia

    ********Abortion, Murder, Adultery, and all others are already excepted in this country... And what was this country based off of? anyone?.. yes, the bible... in general you can not say you have not done or said something wrong. We are idiots.

    April 17, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Theism is not healthy for your sanity and other reasonable things

      You certainly are an idiot if you think this country was founded on the Bible, Mia.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  10. JV9

    "Though not speaking on behalf of the church, the then-bishop " The LDS church has thousands of bishops, This man has no authority to speak on the opinions of the church. The rules of the LDS church towards gays has always been the same and has never changed. The churches policy on gays is(as it has always been) that they can join the church, as long as they remain abstinent.

    April 17, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      AaaHhhh, "Abstinencies",,, the stuff dreams become wrecked from or is it for? :-)

      April 17, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • melikeydrinky

      that makes so much sense. Of course! what were we all thinking. It's like....saying we accept crocodiles, as long as they don't eat any meat." Brilliant.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • elwood

      What if being gay is a caused by a slight difference in the process of turning DNA -> RNA->proteins dude. Does that mean the Almighty screwed up and these people should be punished? Balderdash!!

      April 17, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  11. goldenmoral

    romney and his temple of doom are trying to sell snake oil again

    April 17, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • PJ

      They sure are. They spent $25 million on Prop 8. They have not been converted overnight unless God has spoken to the Prophet in Utah in which case Romney should back up the claim. No chance of that !!!!!!!!!!!!

      April 17, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  12. just sayin

    Issues with gay people etc is signs that churches are outdated with our society and current times.

    April 17, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • just sayin

      The best and only course of action for those afflicted with the sin of ho mo se xuality is to repent and seek Gods mercy and grace, prayerfully before they hurt innocents or corrupt children. God bless

      April 17, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • CommonSensed

      The best and only course of action for people who think they are more right than you based on a book of fables is for you to keep your fables and beliefs to yourself.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "The best and only course of action for those afflicted with the sin of ho mo se xuality is to repent and seek Gods mercy and grace, prayerfully before they hurt innocents or corrupt children"

      The experts have proven you wrong, gays and lesbians raising children don't raise gay children. A parents sexualty can't be taught otherwise you could teach gay children to be straight. Being gay is not a choice! Obviously you were to lazy to do your homework on the subject.

      Gays don't hurt children like you are implying that is defined as a pedophile. Duh!

      April 17, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Frank

      I admire churches and individuals who stay faithful to their beliefs and traditions. This is not being "outdated". It's standing your ground. These so-called LGBT "people" have by their definition decided to live outside of every normal part of human existence and tradition, yet they want everyone else to change to meet their demands. To hell with that and to hell with them.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • sam stone

      "The best and only course of action for those afflicted with the sin of ho mo se xuality is to repent and seek Gods mercy and grace, prayerfully before they hurt innocents or corrupt children. God bless"

      Your religion harms children.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • sam stone

      So, Frankie, you feel that orientation is a choice?

      April 17, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  13. Really?

    I do agree that these Mormons are about as crazy as they come like the Jehovah's Witness. They don't go out and murder people for their god like the muslims do. I chose not to be associated with any organized religion. So long as they don't bother me, I don't care.

    April 17, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • CommonSensed

      Oh but they will bother you. All of them – because you aren't one of them. They feel it is their duty to convert you. And each of them – different religions all – believe they are right.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Terri

      Learn a bit more about Mormans, they have quite a bloody and violent history. Some of it quite recent.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Jay

      Your statement about JWs is entirely UNTRUE.

      May 2, 2012 at 12:15 am |
  14. Mark

    Mormons and other non-trinitarians are complete idiots. And the people that post comments on here are uneducated about the subject, just like most of the articles on religious issues. So I won't take your crap seriously. Open a book, get an education, then talk.

    April 17, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Anybody that can worship a trinity and still consider themselves monotheistic is capable of rationalizing anything.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • CommonSensed

      Our cult is better than your cult...just ask us!

      April 17, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • just sayin

      No amount of "reason" will ever make ho mo se xuality anything but the disgusting perversion it is. God bless

      April 17, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Terri

      Sorry but believing in fairy tales of "great and powerful beings" is pretty much lunacy, trinity or not.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • sam stone

      No amount of "reason" will ever make christianity anything but the disgusting perversion it is. God bless

      April 17, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  15. CommonSensed

    Well, why not? First it was caffeine after buying Coke then blacks to avoid the politics so why not gays now? The church needs it's money and with finally having presidential candidates (such as they are) they need to appear more centrist. The hypocrisy train keeps a rollin' along.

    April 17, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • melikeydrinky

      I think the band Anthrax summed Mormons up in their song "Make Me Laugh"......."Jesus saves, but only after I've been paid"

      April 17, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Michael

      How is this hypocrisy? In Christianity, there is a word for recognizing your mistakes/weakness and working to change them: Repentance. Like most individuals who repent when some external force acts upon them, church's sometimes respond to political or social pressure. It in no way takes away from the goodness of the act of repentance.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • CommonSensed

      It is hypocrisy based on the evidence. When did they make the changes? Only when it became inconvenient for them to not make them.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • sam stone

      "Preacher man talking on the teevee, putting down rock and roll. Wants me to send a donation, 'cause he's worried about my soul" – Charlie Daniels (a Christian)

      April 17, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Michael

      I disagree. If you're a non-religious person, then politico-social pressure is a perfectly good reason to make changes. If you're a Christian, then you recognize a long history of the church making changes to policy based on political expediency. Peter "conveniently" opened up preaching of Christianity beyond the Jews when non-Jewish political leaders started showing interest. Constantine "conveniently" converted to Christianity, then brought everyone together to come up with a workable definition for God when infighting was threatening to break the church apart.

      I simply don't understand this idea that a church making good choices in the face of political pressure is somehow hypocritical. Changing? Yes - Mormons have always embraced changed within their church. But hypocritical? I just don't see it.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  16. steve3

    All this nonsense about a Christian leader in the USA but it's OK if it's a muslim disguised as a Christian. They all should have given a care when Obummer ran in 08' and now in 12'. and was never vetted. Well see if they really care or if it's just another democrat favoured smoke screen.

    April 17, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Really?

      Get real. Obama is no more a muslim than I am and I despise the muslim religion for the lie that it is. You need to examine your deep seated hatred of Obama. You might get a clue...

      April 17, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  17. yourmom

    The creepy thing about this is, the section is called "Belief Blog".

    April 17, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  18. Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Carrier

    So if they loosen their stance on gays, will they reinstate all of the people they kicked out for being gay?

    April 17, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • CommonSensed

      Only after they die then they'll posthumously baptize.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  19. get a life

    Whether or not a church decides to accept gays doesn't change what the Bible says about it. The Biblical laws are quite clear that it is a sin. And a church that is too cowardly to take a stand for the book it teaches has no business teaching it.

    April 17, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Snow

      biblical views are quite clear about some other things in more books, places and words than what it says about gays.. for example, it says in more than 3 places (as opposed to one place it talks about gays) that a kid talking back to a parent should be put to death.. do you follow it? come back to teach about following bible word for word when you follow that rule..

      or does you bible also say that you get to selectively choose the verses that you have personal interest/disinterest in?

      April 17, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "he Biblical laws are quite clear that it is a sin"

      There are many sins that Christians get away with today but we don't go around denying them their civil rights for it!!!!

      April 17, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • JustMe

      The bible is just a book, written by people. It is no more the "will of god" than you standing up and claiming to know the will of god. Heck, just look at how many "bibles" there have been (Christian and otherwise). Clearly, people really have no clue what the will of god is. Doesn't stop them from claiming the will of god to justify their bigotry though, does it...

      April 17, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Guest

      We will pray for you so that your heart and soul can be clensed of hate and fear. You can cast your stones, but we will pray for you too.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Speak the Truth

      To get a life- you are absolutely correct and one of the FEW people to follow the Bible instead of selecting what you want to believe out of the Book to fit your lifestyle.

      To "snow" first learn how to write and then read the Bible and you will understand what the versus mean and the difference between the Old and New Testaments.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • get a life

      Actually, I believe it says that if a child were to attack his parents, as in physically. And that happens today, there are plenty news stories out there where people have attacked their own parents. Just because you're a parent doesn't mean you don't have the right to defend yourself. And the word child doesn't say an age. I can have a 40 year old son and still refer to him as my child.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Terri

      So should they kick out adulterers, liars, thieves, divorcees, drunks, people who work on Sunday, etc... too?

      April 17, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Snow

      ay ay ay.. it is sad that a believer needs to be educated by a non-believer about what they believe in..

      ok "speak the truth", one question.. what does your dear old jesus say in the new testament about things written in old testament.. about what the prophets of old testament say and laws being placed? hint.. mathew, luke, ..etc

      April 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • get a life

      Christ said he was here to fulfil the laws of the Old Testament, not change them. ;)

      April 17, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Snow

      @get a life.. really, please do.. read up the passage Mark 7:9-13 and tell me if it talks about physical attack..

      in fact, here is the advice from your book and your god that applys straight up to what you are attempting here.. "You skillfully sidestep God's law in order to hold on to your own tradition" .. same place as above

      April 17, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • get a life

      Snow, I certainly don't need someone to tell me what the Bible says. I've read it! From cover to cover, more than once. I don't interpret it to fit what I think it should mean. I believe that it means exactly what it says, word for word.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • sam stone

      Yep, nothing more relevant than the translated words of Iron Age sheep boinkers

      April 17, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "I believe that it means exactly what it says, word for word."

      Nope you are reading it with a prejudice mind and a dark heart not taking into account what the experts have proven about gays today.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Snow

      So, interpret this for me.. Do you kill a child who "curses" their parents.. not physically attack as you have twisted the word, but "curse"..

      and final lesson to a believer from a non believer.. "interpret" this for me dude, ...Peter 1:20-21 "Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things."

      April 17, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • get a life

      It says, "let him die the death" not put him to death. KJV
      And as for an Peter 1:20-21 What's there in interpret? The prophet doesn't interpret the scripture, he merely writes it down.

      April 17, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  20. Mormon Expert

    Well they must have looked around and realized Salt Lake is one of the gayest cities in the US if not the gayest. Yes its gayer than SF and way gayer than Miami, I lived there for a long time and even though I'm not gay its still very apparent that its full of gay people. Tell me that sending to 18 yo boys into the world together for two years isnt a little gay or at least perpetuating some gay stuff, and don't get me started on the Mormon Tabernacle Quire, there isnt a strait dude in that, married or not

    April 17, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Bill

      Philadelphia is the City of Brotherly love.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • alcoholiday

      Awesome! I'm showing your comment to my mormon coworkers right now!

      April 17, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.