Mormon Church’s new PR exercise on gays no real change


Elder L. Whitney Clayton

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) has launched a glossy new online campaign that appears to show a move to accept gay Mormons.

The church had previously hosted a standalone site called Mormons and Gays, but has now created a section under its main official website,, called Mormon and Gay.

Not only is this inclusion of gay issues within meant to be significant but so is the change in name, which suggests that gays can indeed be Mormons.

The new site contains a plethora of material on the subject of homosexuality, including personal accounts from lesbian, gay and bisexual Mormons as well as advice for parents and families, all intended to present a warm and welcoming facade.

“We have given much thought and care to better understanding the experience of same sex attraction and making sure individuals who feel such attraction and their families feel welcome and part of the great worldwide family that is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” says church leader Elder L. Whitney Clayton in video on the site.

He goes on to state: “We want you to know we love you. You are welcome. We want you to be part of our congregations. You have great talents and abilities to offer God’s kingdom on Earth and we recognise the many valuable contributions you make.”

While the initial tone is positive, in reality the church’s homophobic position is unchanged. As the site makes clear, the church is prepared to welcome celibate gay members with open arms, but it does still not accept gay sex, which it maintains is sinful.

In another video, Elder D. Todd Christofferson explains: “Homosexual behaviour is contrary to [the church’s] doctrines, always will be, and can never be anything but transgression. It’s something that deprives people of those highest expectations and possibilities that God has for us.”

The site ultimately paints homosexuality as an immoral temptation and a challenge that God can help people to overcome. In a number of accounts, LGB Mormons talk about how they have accepted a life without same-sex relationships.



One man, Josh, reveals: “I know I’m foregoing certain benefits by choosing not to enter into a gay relationship. However, there are aspects of joy and peace that come because I am trying to live God’s will that I didn’t feel while in those gay relationships.”

The LDS church has been an opponent of same-sex marriage in the US and actively lobbied against its legalisation.

In November last year, more than 2,000 Mormons formally left the church in protest against its homophobic stance towards gays and lesbians.

This followed a spate of suicides by young LGB Mormons as well as new policies to disciple and excommunicate gays and lesbians who marry, and to bar children of gay parents from being baptised until they are 18 and have renounced homosexuality.

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