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
[twitter-follow screen_name='DanMericaCNN']

(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. Sane Person

    They are trying to save face for being a racist religion.

    December 7, 2012 at 9:17 am |
  2. Lou

    "DEaling with same se x attraction" still sounds like they're talking about how to cope with a disease.

    December 7, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • Saraswati

      That's pretty much how they look at it, and they don't realize how patronizing that is.

      December 7, 2012 at 9:04 am |
  3. Angel Moroni

    What the h'll LBGT are complaining about ? They are allowed to have multiple partners as did the Mormon founding fathers !

    December 7, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • Name*kam

      Your an idiot

      December 7, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • Primewonk

      They are complaining about religious idiots trying to prevent them from having the same civil rights that you and I have.

      December 7, 2012 at 10:07 am |
  4. Mark

    Several good artcicles about the Mormon faith, inside experiences, and comparisons to Christianity here: (And no its not Christian)

    Google "ExposeRomney"

    December 7, 2012 at 8:11 am |
    • Huebert

      Mormon's believe that Jesus was the son of God sent to save mankind. How is that not christian?

      December 7, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • Saraswati

      Posts like this are pretty meaningless unless you include your definition of Christianity. Which I also didn't see on that site, btw.

      December 7, 2012 at 9:50 am |
  5. Ante

    If parents are sealed for eternity with their children that would mean that every single church member would be sealed together. Does that sound silly to anyone else?

    December 7, 2012 at 7:54 am |
    • Huebert

      It's no sillier than talking serpents and a man living in the belly of a great fish for three days.

      December 7, 2012 at 10:09 am |
  6. DOG1

    Just like in 1978 when they said God told their "prophet" he had changed his mind and now black people were OK and could become mormons. Can you just hear God saying "Oh, ya know I think I've changed my mind on that whole black thing"
    Strangely, right after Mitt lost the election, and failed the white horse prophesy, they're willing to rope in some more potential voters!

    December 7, 2012 at 7:25 am |
    • Lou

      There's "prophet" and there's "profit", and I'm guessing that they're thinking about how much profit gays can being in. There was just a survey that said that gays earned over 10K more than everyone else, after all.

      December 7, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • Please

      Dog1, you are very misinformed (at best). I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you aren't purposely skewing information. Or, maybe you are a conspiracy theorist by nature and think everyone is out to get you. At least you would be consistent.

      December 7, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • Primewonk

      Kind of like when the Soutthern Baptist Convention formed in 1845 because they were just sure that their god wanted them to own black folks. And then in 1995 they formally changed their minds and apologized?

      December 7, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • Saraswati

      I knew a white guy who was upset that his family was turned down trying to adopt a little black girl. He noted, rightly, that this is not usually a barrier and just couldn't understand why they were denied with their stable family and already 3 children. "You are a Southern Baptist, though, right?" I asked him. He stared at me blankly utterly anable to see why this would have influenced the adoption committee!!! Seriously, people are clueless.

      December 7, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • Ashley

      God is unchangeable. IT is not in his nature. But humans being imperfect are not ready for all of God's ways. There are many instances in the Bible of this occuring. The Law of Moses vs Christ's law. The allowing for non jews to join Christ's church after Christ died.

      When the Mormon church changed it's policy on blacks holding the priesthood is no different. Blacks were always allowed to be members, but before then the nation was not ready to accept that blacks could hold leadership roles in a church.

      If you do not believe the Bible then you won't believe me. If you believe the Bible it will lead you to pray. When you pray answers are given. Don't go to a website that is built to tear down a specific religion. If you want answers read the Bible, then find a copy of the Book of Mormon and read that, then pray. Then decide for yourself. Taste the fruit.

      December 7, 2012 at 11:44 am |
  7. The clean tuth

    I have a very fundamentalist friend from a psychology class who was able to see a whole different side of orientation as she learned about brain and neuron function. I hope it helps.

    December 7, 2012 at 6:47 am |
    • Saraswati

      I very much believe all students should have taken at least one psych class and one anthro class by the time they're 19 or 20. It's scary how many of people's problems are caused by not understanding how humans work. Especially now when we live in a complex world and not villages where we know anyone, it's so important to know how humans work.

      December 7, 2012 at 8:43 am |
  8. The clean tuth

    I hope someone reads the free articles on line available of neurosience/brain function as it applies to orientation.

    December 7, 2012 at 6:45 am |
  9. Mark Yelka

    Mormons say: ducks shouldn't quack. Because being a duck is evil. I was a Mormon for over 13 years. There is nothing new here. Being gay is okay as long as you aren't gay.

    December 7, 2012 at 5:32 am |
    • lol??

      Gays have a god..........."Phl 3:19 Whose end [is] destruction, whose God [is their] belly, and [whose] glory [is] in their shame, who mind earthly things.)"

      December 7, 2012 at 5:43 am |
    • Mark Yelka

      Babble. You didn't make any point through that babble. After many years as a Mormon, I woke up and realized that gods and Santa are part of the same sort of dream. But, the Moemon church is still very active in trying to create secular laws that enforce on others their point of view.

      December 7, 2012 at 5:52 am |
    • lol??

      "Corporation of the President
      of the

      December 7, 2012 at 6:01 am |
    • lol??

      So yelka, you joined your body to the president's body? Sounds gay.

      December 7, 2012 at 6:05 am |
  10. lol??

    Church law is an oxymoron. If you belong to a gubmint licensed and incorporated church, RUN and find another......"Gal 3:2-4 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if [it be] yet in vain."

    December 7, 2012 at 5:28 am |
  11. david lulasa

    its natural for anyone to embrace a thief who has not stolen from him/her.


    December 7, 2012 at 4:59 am |
  12. Jeff

    Too little, too late. No one is buying this latest self-serving PR stunt by the LDS church.

    December 7, 2012 at 1:50 am |
    • Saraswati

      You've got to wonder if they even questioned how the timing would look pulling this right after the election.

      December 7, 2012 at 9:05 am |
  13. 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 12:38 am |
    • Primewonk

      Except, of course, that you are a batshit crazy liar.

      Marriage is marriage. It is 2 people who love each other and want to spend their lives together.

      December 7, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • Saraswati

      You've posted this at least a half dozen times and it's been addressed each time. Do you seriously think that's how either the census or any medical research is done? Are you not reading people’s explanations of how silly this is or are you just ignoring them hoping to con some folks who are even more ignorant than you about how the census works and evolves?

      December 7, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Reality

      Added details for the new members of this blog which continues to publish articles on h-omose-uality necessitating once again the nitty-gritty:

      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.

      And because of basic biology differences said monogamous ventures should always be called same-se-x unions not same-se-x marriages.

      To wit:

      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.

      Yes, heteros-exuals practice many of the same "moves" but there is never a doubt who is the female and who is the male.

      As noted, there are basic biological differences in gay unions vs. heterose-xual marriage. Government benefits are the same in both but making the distinction is important for census data and for social responses with respect to potential issues with disease, divorce and family interactions.

      December 7, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  14. Journey

    A lot of people bash Christianity...usually the same people reading the Bible and praying when nobody is looking. They probably hide it under their bed at night. Sort of like that guy everyone knows who HATES gay people...but secretly...

    The same thing applies to most of the people on this board. :/

    December 6, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • Observer

      Nope. Guess again.

      December 7, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • Akira

      What a strange assertion.

      December 7, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • Call Guiness!

      That post might set a record for "making a total fool of yourself in the fewest possible words."

      December 7, 2012 at 12:24 am |
    • Lou

      I have six hard copies of the Bible and a bunch of other electronic versions, and they're all sitting in the open. I also have copies of the Qur'an and eastern religious writings. Everyone who knows me knows that I'm interested in religion. I don't prey anymore, however.

      December 7, 2012 at 1:03 am |
    • religion&politics

      Akira and Guinness ... agreed, what a rambling and almost completely incomprehensible post

      December 7, 2012 at 2:33 am |
    • The clean tuth

      I've tried to read the Bible and it doesnt make sense. I don't however bash Christianity, I can't really say anything because I don't know.

      December 7, 2012 at 6:36 am |
    • LinCA


      You said, "A lot of people bash Christianity...usually the same people reading the Bible and praying when nobody is looking. They probably hide it under their bed at night."
      I'd say that is only partially true. The people most often bashing christianity seem to be other christians. The bashers tend to be the more fundamental (strong emphasis on "mental") evangelicals. They don't hide their bibles, though. They also pray (and prey) in public.

      December 7, 2012 at 11:17 am |
  15. kneesus

    I argued with a couple of Mormon Missionaries once about the issue of gays and how its not my thing but I think God creates everybody exactly the way they need to be. Their rejoinder was, "God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve."

    December 6, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • Observer


      It could have been Adam and Steve. Man was unique (Eve was just a rib), so it could have been Steve who created the parallel civilization of Nod.

      December 6, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • Sneezus's Sermon on the Mounties

      If you are dealing with Mormons, a cliche is as close as you are going to get to thinking.

      December 6, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • talon

      That's actually pretty funny

      December 7, 2012 at 3:06 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      I never argue with the religious fools that come on my property trying to peddle their crap. I literally tell them, regardless of age or gender, to get the fuck off my property and to not ever return. Their reaction is priceless!

      December 7, 2012 at 5:28 am |
  16. macmb

    Good! I know some gay guys that are religious but are not promiscuous that now know they can join the mormon church. The only religion with a true real living prophet on earth.

    December 6, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • End Religion

      There is so much wrong with your post and you don't see any of it. *sigh*

      December 6, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • The Brady Bunch Chainsaw Masssacre

      Endy's right: that was a bizarre thing to say.

      December 6, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • lol??

      "Rev 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See [thou do it] not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."

      December 7, 2012 at 11:08 am |
  17. e

    They are still condemning gay relationships, it really is not that big a change.

    December 6, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
  18. lionlylamb

    The whether or not of governed weathering traditions are but foggy indices of blatant sociologically extensive and highly orientated percussive vulnerabilities of tribal unifications so texted beforehand and upon the nowadays handed repulsiveness of latency obtrusive regularities within the common wealthy denominators railed effects as affecting all folds of governed generalist quandaries welfare dynamics.

    Though the poor will become the poorer and the poorest ever in vitrified remnants, the servile scopes of pre-modernizations clemencies obliging within post servile momentums; will make the rich even richer while the richest ever do also so remain as ever they once were and now are and will also so be in the nearing foundations of time's continual passages.

    December 6, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • The Brady Bunch Chainsaw Masssacre

      Your writing is pure vanity. Pretty cool to have a writisng style that is a deadly sin as well!

      December 6, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
  19. Cornel Potter

    It's the same old package from the LDS cherch ,just with new wrapping paper and new ribbon. Don't be a sucker and fall for their horsehockey

    December 6, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • Gaydar O'Reilly

      The chance that they actually got even a single LGBT member is practically nil.

      December 6, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
  20. Observer

    CNN web pages are available in several translations, but they don't do lionlylamb.

    December 6, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Akira

      An app for that would be useful.

      December 6, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • The Brady Bunch Chainsaw Masssacre

      A translation would not help him one bit.

      December 6, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • Observer


      Why? He doesn't care about communicating with the rest of us. He just wants to show off for himself. He could offer worthwhile substance, but prefers fantasy.

      December 6, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • Akira

      I know.
      He really, really, REALLY needs to buy a diary.

      December 6, 2012 at 11:46 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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.