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Mormon Church Wants More Compassion for Gays

by Brady Mccombs and Rachel Zoll
Thursday Dec 6, 2012
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SALT LAKE CITY - Mormon leaders unveiled a new website Thursday encouraging church members to be compassionate in discussions about homosexuality.

Church officials insist they haven’t changed the Mormon teaching that marriage is only between a man and a woman and that same-sex relationships are sinful.

However, the website includes an appeal to gay and lesbian Mormons to stay in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"Reconciling same-sex attraction with a religious life can present an especially trying dilemma," church leaders wrote on the website. "Anyone who lives in both worlds can attest to its difficulty. But with faith, love and perspective it can be done."

Mormons faced intense criticism after church leaders helped fund and lead the fight for California’s Proposition 8, a constitutional ban on gay marriage that voters adopted in 2008 after the state Supreme Court ruled that gay Californians could marry.

Mormon officials said they were stunned by the backlash from gay activists and from many Mormons who felt the church was wrong to take such a prominent role in favor of the ballot measure. Since then, church leaders in Salt Lake City and elsewhere have been trying to reach out to gays and lesbians to heal tensions.

"We must not judge anyone for the feelings they experience," church authorities wrote, saying homosexuality "should not be viewed as a disease or illness."

The website does not use the words "gay" or "lesbian," the terms preferred by the gay community. Instead, the site refers to people "with same-sex attraction" and features testimony from gay Mormon men and women who are not in same-sex relationships.

Valerie Larabee, executive director of the Utah Pride Center in Salt Lake City, called the campaign a step forward.

She said it could reduce the isolation Mormon gays and lesbians feel if church members don’t "automatically reject somebody who wants to talk about this." Many gay Mormons say they have been rejected by their families and have left the church.

Still, Larabee said the effort falls far short since the church hasn’t changed its opposition to gay and lesbian relationships.

Copyright Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Comments

  • BOB KELLERMAN, 2012-12-06 15:26:10

    .."Mormon officials said they were stunned by the backlash from gay activists and from many Mormons who felt the church was wrong to take such a prominent role in favor of the ballot measure. Since then, church leaders in Salt Lake City and elsewhere have been trying to reach out to gays and lesbians to heal tensions." OH, PLEASE --- ALL THEY CARE ABOUT IS THE PUBLIC RELATIONS DISASTER, which costs them at lot. ----WHEN THE CHURCH APOLOGIZES FOR INVADING CALIFORNIA WITH LIES, THAT WILL BE THE FIRST STEP. Meanwhile, it’s all about keeping their OWN Gay kids in the fold, which means they must live a lie or risk losing their entire family and community


  • Anonymous, 2012-12-06 16:02:03

    Is this what’s known as talkin’ out of both sides of your face?


  • Parker , 2012-12-06 16:58:10

    My persona view is that the Mormon Religion is crazy. All this new approach is affirming is that they should hates gays but instead tolerate, pity, and encourage us to stay in the closet. It’s almost feels like: We love u please be straight and btw don’t get equal rights to us because ur gay but we’re not being mean Hug!


  • Blondie , 2012-12-07 07:55:33

    Bob has it right. It’s nothing more than covering their own butts. ALL religions just need to back off & live their own misguided lives. So hypocritical too. So many "religius" zealots, who make the most noise against Gay ppl, are nothing more the self-loathing ppl trying to divert attention from their own same-sex attractions!


  • Anonymous, 2012-12-07 08:18:51

    Fuck em


  • Anonymous, 2012-12-07 09:02:05

    The Mormon church wants more money from gays.


  • Anonymous, 2012-12-07 09:03:02

    The overriding principle in any organized religion is $$$.


  • Anonymous, 2012-12-07 09:36:03

    All talk, they must be losing money, power, and influence. I live in a Mormon settled town in Southern California, and I have yet to see them reach out to the GBLT community.


  • Anonymous, 2012-12-07 16:47:04

    Churches or tax-exempt orgs that want to change or influence US law should PAY TAXES! That would shut them up.


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