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Mormon website embraces LGBT community
Gay rights activists hold hands in protest in front of the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah, in July 2009.
December 6th, 2012
03:07 PM ET

Mormon website embraces LGBT community

By Dan Merica, CNN

(CNN)–The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which has fought against same-sex marriage throughout the United States, launched a website on Thursday that preaches understanding and compassion for the gay and lesbian community.

The website “Love One Another: A Discussion on Same-Sex Attraction” www.mormonsandgays.org, outlines the church's position on “same-sex attraction” and provides readers with a host of videos from “church members who are attracted to people of the same sex, and conversations with the loved ones of gay spouses, children, or grandchildren who are dealing with the effects of same-sex attraction in their own lives.”

The website comes at a time that some same-sex marriage activists believe the LDS Church is toning down its opposition to same sex marriage.

Though the church’s doctrine, that sex should be reserved only for a married man and woman, has not changed the church says, many outside the church say the church is subtly but unmistakably growing friendlier toward the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, including voicing support for some gay rights.

Some pointed to the less public role in same-sex marriage ballot initiatives in 2012, a marked departure from earlier ballot initiatives fights – like Proposition 8 in California – where the church vocally supported the move to get same-sex marriage banned.

Gay rights activists see Mormons softening attitudes toward their community

“What we do know is that the doctrine of the Church—that sexual activity should only occur between a man and a woman who are married—has not changed and is not changing," Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said in a news release from the church about the new site.

"But what is changing and what needs to change is to help our own members and families understand how to deal with same-gender attraction,” he said.

The new website echos Oaks that this is not a doctrinal change but does recognize that people who are gay can be practicing members of the church.

“Reconciling same-sex attraction with a religious life can present an especially trying dilemma,” reads the website. “Anyone who lives in both worlds can attest to its difficulty. But with faith, love and perspective it can be done. Every human being, Latter-day Saints affirm, has worth and dignity as a child of God.”

Violation of the church's teaching on sexual relationships can lead to excommunication. Since gay people cannot be married in the church, any sex for them would be premarital and, therefore, sinful. Under these beliefs, a member of the LGBT community could be a practicing Mormon, as long as they are celibate.

LDS Church policy also notes if gay members, "are worthy and qualified in every other way, they may also hold temple recommends and receive temple ordinances," allowing them to participate in temple ceremonies.

“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.”

The site goes on to say, "From a public relations perspective it would be easier for the Church to simply accept homosexual behavior. That we cannot do, for God’s law is not ours to change."

In one video on the site a man identified as Kelly, begins to tear up when he talks about his family and why it was important for him not to leave the church.

“Family is very important to me. That was one of the things that helped get me to come back to the Church,” Kelley, whose last name was never given, said. “I couldn’t imagine living an eternity without my mom and dad. And so I knew I needed to change and do something different. Because even though I felt happy and felt content at the time, there was a huge hole that I was afraid of losing my family.”

Mormons believe that family relationships survive after death, as long as individuals live in accordance with the teachings of Jesus Christ. The practice – called sealing – “refers to the joining together of a man and a woman and their children for eternity,” according to the church.

– CNN’s Jessica Ravitz contributed to this report.


soundoff (445 Responses)
  1. The Mormon Church

    We will embrace LGBT members if they totally abandon their ways, don't act gay at all, and think and do only what we tell them.

    Awfully open-minded of us, isn't it?

    December 6, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  2. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    So are they planning and funding a campaign to repeal California Proposition 8 (2008) as well so they can strike down the provision that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California".

    Support for Prop 8 was largely funded by the LDS church.

    December 6, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  3. lol??

    It's a Mitt payback, "Think of what I COULD have done for you! HA HA HA " ...............Like the matter is ANY business of a prez. Just sit there, look pretty as a pol, and when we say so, "LAUNCH!".

    December 6, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Akira

      Lol.

      December 6, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  4. lionlylamb

    Mohammad A Dar wrote on December 6, 2012 at 4:14 pm stating, "no the Earth is kind of punishment for people misbehaving in Heaven or HIS kingdom, we are all thrown out of his Heaven"

    Is it not so written in scripture that the "kingdom of God is inside you"? Does this mean when taken in context of what you said that, We are formed from the elements of God's kingdom domains and upon our insides does God and his kinds do so live ever keeping record of our 'this life' ongoing ways"?

    1Corinthians 3:9 "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building!" is a verse of scripture worthy of literally contemplating on occasion when one finds it their mood to envision and/or meditate upon.

    December 6, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  5. Reality

    Again to the nitty-gritty:

    From below, on top, backwards, forwards, from this side of the Moon and from the other side too, ga-y s-exual activity is still mutual mas-turbation caused by one or more complex s-exual differences. Some differences are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O'Donnell.

    Heterose-xual se-x is basically intercourse.( intercourse: co-pulation between male and female).

    Bottom line: gay unions and heteros-exual marriages. Now everything is correct biologically and physically and should be noted this way in laws and government regulations to include census forms and requirements.

    Regarding gayness: once again:

    o "Abrahamics" believe that their god created all of us and of course that includes the g-ay members of the human race. Also, those who have studied ho-mo-se-xuality have determined that there is no choice involved therefore ga-ys are ga-y because god made them that way.

    To wit:

    1. The Royal College of Psy-chiatrists stated in 2007:

    “ Despite almost a century of psy-choanalytic and psy-chological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heteros-exual or hom-ose-xual orientation. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of ge-netic factors and the early ut-erine environment. Se-xual orientation is therefore not a choice.[60] "

    2. "Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab state in the abstract of their 2010 study, "The fe-tal brain develops during the intraut-erine period in the male direction through a direct action of tes-tosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hor-mone surge. In this way, our gender identi-ty (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and s-exual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender ident–ity or s-exual orientation."[8

    3. See also the Philadelphia Inquirer review “Gay Gene, Deconstructed”, 12/12/2011. Said review addresses the following “How do genes associated with ho-mose-xuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?”

    Of course, those gays who belong to Abrahamic religions supposedly abide by the rules of no adu-ltery or for-nication allowed.

    December 6, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • Pete

      Or we could call it gay marriage.

      December 6, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • Akira

      "Some differences are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O’Donnell."

      I think they would disagree with your assessment of them; they are female.

      "Bottom line: gay unions and heteros-exual marriages. Now everything is correct biologically and physically and should be noted this way in laws and government regulations to include census forms and requirements."

      Nope. Marriage is marriage, no matter the gender of those wishing to wed.
      Gays are fighting for civil rights equality, and you are still marginalizing them.
      All marriages are unions.
      Census forms have been changed every single time to reflect societal changes.

      December 6, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • Reality

      Heterose-xual se-x/marriage is basically intercourse.( intercourse: co-pulation between male and female). Gay s-ex/union is basically mutual masturbation. There are social and medical issues in each grouping and society needs to track this.

      For the most recent census form, see http://www.census.gov/dmd/www/pdf/d61a.pdf. There is a check box for "unmarried partner" under Person #2. There of course is also a check box for "husband/wife". One assumes a gay couple could check this latter box but how does one choose which is which for a gay union? And yes indeed one sees examples of gay couples deciding what roles each play. One recent example during a TV quiz show, the contestant, a gay man referred to his partner who was in the audience as his wife.

      December 7, 2012 at 12:36 am |
  6. Man Previously Known as Barry

    All the religious cults seem to be embracing LGBT...

    December 6, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  7. New Alias

    I see it now!
    Thier Elders have taken the first step toward the closet exit!

    December 6, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  8. Matt Johnson

    Am I the only person on this board that thinks this is a good thing? Seriously people, reaching out is a good thing.

    December 6, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • New Alias

      Depends on thier intentions.

      December 6, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Pete

      They aren't reaching out. They are still saying there is something wrong with being gay.

      December 6, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Psy

      Its not forgotten or over. Let us know when the Mormon Church starts performing gay weddings.

      December 6, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
  9. rob

    The Mormon cult is a repulsive, immoral, disgusting, bigoted organization that spreads hate against others. And Mormon beliefs are laughable. Golden tablets? Space aliens? Magic underwear? And if they can spend tens of millions of dollars on hate campaigns, why can't they pay taxes? Why are taxpayers subsidizing government services to this pathetic, faux "religion?" The sooner this cult is brought down, the better off the country will be.

    December 6, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • sam

      Tell us how you really feel.

      December 6, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Interesting

      Exactly WHAT government services are being provided? Do tell.

      December 6, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
  10. hindu Gay ism = filthy hind loving ism, WAY OF hINDU FILTHY ANIMALS.

    humans, that's me in the picture, dressed in black, and with me is my neighbor Achmed Jr, we're in love

    December 6, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  11. Honey Badger Dont Care

    This article should be ti tled, "How the Mormons changed in order to make more money of the gullible".

    They wouldn't happen to be working on more votes for the next election this early would they?

    December 6, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Exactly what I was thinking.

      "How Mormons repackaged their dislike of the LGBT community to look more acceptable in the next election"

      December 6, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Right on, yet there are fools out there that will believe them.

      December 6, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • mama k

      Yup.

      December 6, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  12. lionlylamb

    My Goddess allows all mannerisms of s e x u a l relationship genders! My Goddess allows a drunkard to stay a drunk! My Goddess allows all to love their animals devotionally! My Goddess loves all people who love others no matter their emotional ills or societal quirks! My Goddess is the best Goddess of all those other goddesses and gods. My Goddess is not yet married yet She is up for grabs though! I just love my Goddess! Really, I do! Amen!

    December 6, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Akira

      You worship the Goddess of Whine?

      December 6, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • New Alias

      I hope that's not my IPU Goddess you are misrepresenting!

      December 6, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      My Goddess's name is known as being "Libertas", the Roman Goddess and embodiment of liberty! Her statue is the U.S. homeland's Statue of Liberty!

      December 6, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Don't believe me? Go then to; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertas and also; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statue_of_Liberty

      December 6, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Akira,

      Are you hitting the whinery again? If I told you once I told you a million times, "Quit it with the whinery already!" :-) :-( :-)

      December 6, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  13. Matt Johnson

    Great article. It is good to see religion create common ground in such a divided nation.

    December 6, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  14. Saraswati

    The ti.tle of this story is misleading: "Mormon website embraces LGBT community". What they are doing is far from "embracing" the LGBT community, it's more like sitting together in a Mormon run room while being patronizingly tolerated by the Church.

    December 6, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Pete

      Yes, embracing them would be the church admitting that god made gay people gay, and there is nothing wrong with being gay, and allowing gay people to get married and do anything else that they allow non gay people to do.

      December 6, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • religion&politics

      The church DOES admit that God "made people gay," in the same way that he "made some men womanizers" or "made my brother a junkie," they just use different language to say the same thing. The feelings / tendencies are there from birth, it's how people choose to act on them that's important.

      If you don't believe that being gay is wrong, then more power to you, and I for one know that at least my Mormon community does not gay bash, nor do they conduct anything like those youth seminars to fix gay people. We try to love and accept all people, despite whatever differences we may have.

      However, for those Mormons who DO believe being gay is wrong, but still have those feelings (i.e. attractions), then this type of outreach makes sense.

      December 6, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @religion&politics, No, the right thing to do for someone who has a false belief that is harmful to their happiness is to offer them the help they need to truly be happy. Offering this kind of couseling to someone who is gayis like trying to teach a loanely person to like solitude rather than trying to help them to build social contacts.

      December 6, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • religion&politics

      That's the problem with "belief"... it doesn't work to just tell people their beliefs are false and expect them to listen. What if I told you that your belief that being gay makes one happy is a complete falsehood? You're not all that likely to believe me either.

      December 7, 2012 at 2:04 am |
  15. lionlylamb

    Tender are the rose thistles and they p r I c k anyone who does come too close and does so brush against its thorniness pride. Likewise are the gay crowds who tend to deafen the hordes massing of mobbed non-religiosities never to ever more skipping a beat! The gayness crowds do nowadays clamor upon all who they deem threatening to their ever unending civilities causes in their barrowed mindset. Equality of civil minded marriage is in the cards and their hand has here and nowadays been dealt.

    Bitter the once bitten debutants are holding steadfast their hands dealt against the gay players. The last bets are now being made. Who will win the pot's treasures? Who will lose their hand's once strong hardened cards? Will all the players against the gay one fold or is there yet a dealt hand to still yet be worthy of being played? It comes down to one's will doesn't it? Whose conjoined wills are now the stronger? Always ones will. Ever are the wills partnerships to be evermore to say, “Let it be done”! Amen!

    December 6, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Money is God

      What do you do? Write a statement in English, then put it through several other language translators and the back to English again?

      December 6, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I think he's using this site to test some sort of language generator. I saw a coherent post a few days ago about a first love that I think was real and actually a bit touching...the rest appear to be manufactured through some sort of language pa.rser.

      December 6, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      (Re-edited and proofread and re-posted for context)

      Tender are the rose thistles and they p r I c k anyone who does come too close and does so brush against its thorniness gaiety prides. Likewise are the gay crowds who tend to deafen the hordes massing of mobbed religiosities never to ever more making not in skipping a beat! The gayness crowds do nowadays clamor upon all who they deem threatening to their ever unending civilities gay causes in their barrowed mindset. Equality of civil minded gay marriage is in the cards and their hand has here and nowadays been dealt a good hand!

      Bitter the once bitten case hardened uncivil debutants holding steadfast their now dying almost dead hands dealt against the gay player’s unbeatable civil hand. The last bets are now being made. Who will win the lastly pot's treasures? Who will lose the treasured pot’s civilities? Will all the players against the gay one fold or is there yet a dealt hand to still yet be worthy of being played? It comes down to one's will doesn't it? Whose conjoined wills are now the stronger of civility’s conquests? Always ones will. Ever are the wills’ partnerships to be evermore in saying, “Let it be done”! Amen!

      December 6, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Akira

      It's the thesaurus app.

      December 6, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Saraswati

      OK, I did get through that this time. The metaphore is a good one and creates a good image of the competi'tion. I'd still stick a little closer to standard grammar, but the overall comparision is clear.

      December 6, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Thank you Saraswati for stumbling thru my poetic mundaneness still yet an unfinished work. I am trying sometimes too hard to be somewhat poetic in my parables of which you did see thru! Again, thank you for re-reading it!

      December 6, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  16. Akira

    Is all premarital s e x considered sinful, even those who later marry in the Mormon Church?
    Because if it isn't, Pete is right; they're forcing gay people to live a lie.
    Nothing different than any other religion.

    December 6, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Huebert

      All se.x before marriage is sinful in the eyes of the Mormon church. Even if a couple is latter married the se.x that occurred before marriage is still a sinful act. Though keep in mind the Mormon concept of sin is different from most other christian denominations. In the Mormon church sin stops you from reaching the higher level of heaven, it doesn't condemn you to hell. The Mormon hell is reserved for apostates, those that know the "Truth" and actively fight against it. At least this is how a Mormon friend of mine explained it.

      December 6, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      God created Earth to keep all sinful people in one place, way away from Heaven.

      December 6, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Huebert

      @Mo

      Why did God even bother to make people if he dislikes us so much?

      December 6, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      no the Earth is kind of punishment for people misbehaving in Heaven or HIS kingdom, we are all thrown out of his Heaven

      December 6, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Akira

      Huebert:
      Thanks for the explanation.

      December 6, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Huebert

      Mo

      As.suming god is omniscient, why would God create beings that he knows will defy his will?

      December 6, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Pete

      After 13 or so billion years even god gets bored.

      December 6, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • religion&politics

      You're pretty close Huebert, thank you!

      Just two small corrections: (1) As Mormons, we believe that anything that is not the highest level of heaven still offers happiness, but not as much as the highest level. We believe that almost everyone on earth will enjoy at least some happiness after death, and (2) We believe that the ONLY people to go to a place like the traditional Christian version of "hell" (what we call "outer darkness") are only a very few people (like less than 10 from all of history) with a sure knowledge of God who still deny him. The only one I know for sure is Cain from the bible, who actually heard God's voice and still denied him. Normal "apostates" from the Mormon church are not normally candidates for outer darkness.

      December 6, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      Good question Huebert, I guess God made one mistake, made us intelligents.

      December 6, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • JasonInKC

      @religion&politics
      Oh Cain, that’s the guy that god turned black as a mark of his sin, right? And black people are a reminder of that sin? And that belief would go along with these wonderful quotes from Brigham Young, who I believe was the 2nd prophet of the Mormon church. Were the below quotes divine revelations from god?
      "You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind....Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 290).

      "In our first settlement in Missouri, it was said by our enemies that we intended to tamper with the slaves, not that we had any idea of the kind, for such a thing never entered our minds. We knew that the children of Ham were to be the "servant of servants," and no power under heaven could hinder it, so long as the Lord would permit them to welter under the curse and those were known to be our religious views concerning them." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 172).

      "Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, p. 110).

      December 7, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • Huebert

      @R&P

      The way I understood the levels of heaven was that even the lowest level offered a level of joy unimaginable here on earth, and it just got better from there. Thanks for the clarification on the "outer darkness".

      December 7, 2012 at 11:36 am |
  17. New Alias

    This may not prove the existence of god, but it does seem to support the theory that politics can influence religion.

    Some Poor Mormon 2016!

    December 6, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  18. Mohammad A Dar

    her we go again! I thought the election was over and Mormons lost!

    December 6, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Interesting

      A man who happened to be a Mormon lost.

      December 6, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
  19. Pete

    This doesn't seem like embracing them to me, more like instructing them to live a lie.

    December 6, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  20. Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

    Didnt someone tel them Romney lost...they dont have to lie anymore?????????????????

    December 6, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
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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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.