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Religious Tolerance logo

The LDS Church (The Mormons) & homosexuality

2015-NOV-05: Part 4 of 4 parts:

More negative -- & some neutral -- remarks
concerning the LDS Church's new policies
about LGBT couples and their children.

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This topic is a continuation from the previous essay.

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symbol of disapproval 2015-NOV-06: More negative remarks:

  • Many readers of Equality Utah's Facebook page posted critical opinions about the new Mormon policy. Examples are:

    • Nancy McLeod: "This is institutionalized BIGOTRY and it is especially nefarious because it is directed at children. If we, as Mormons, don't stand up for the fair and equal treatment of our own children then what kind of a people are we?"

    • Susan Baker: "I truly, after growing up in the church, am saddened by this new ruling today. First Article of Faith reads that 'man will punished for his own sins and not for Adam's transgression.' The children of these families are being denied the 'blessings' that the church promises all who live the faith, yet are being 'punished' for their gay parents who are 'made' in God's image. Something amiss here. My prayers are that these children will find a peaceful path to follow. Very sad."

    • Denise Dowdrick: "This whole situation is sad, I feel sickened thinking that children would be put in such a vulnerable position; to make a choice between your Church or your family? Can't you see the suicide rates climbing from this policy??? So heartbreaking..."

    • Deb Brown: "Last time I checked, children don't get to choose their parents. Therefore they should not be held accountable for their parents' choices."

    • Celia Broadhead: Mathew 18:6: "If anyone causes one of these little ones -- those who believe in me -- to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea."

      by God, why would God make doctrine that goes directly against what is said in the Bible? This doctrine is not God inspired, it is man inspired. The God I know is not "wishie-washie". Truth is truth. When doctrine changes mid-stream, it didn't come from God, it came from mankind."

    • Rosalie Marie Bertrand: "This breaks my heart. How cruel. Not only that, but here comes a whole new crop of 'you can't play with him.' and don't tell me that won't happen, because it sure as hell will. Non LDS members, protect your children from what they're about to receive."

    • Kimber Nicholson Barrus: "It leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth, it should also leave a bad taste in all members of the church...wake up, think for yourselves. All can have God in their lives, no one needs hate, and this is hate...no matter how it is spun!!"

  • ABC News noted that the revisions to the LDS Handbook:

    "... triggered a wave of anger, confusion and sadness for a growing faction of LGBT-supportive Mormons who were buoyed in recent years by church leaders' calls for more compassion and understanding for LGBT members."

    ABC News interviewed Wendy Montgomery who, with her husband, are long-term members of the Mormon Church and are considering leaving. She said:

    "It feels like they are extending an olive branch and hitting you with it. It's like this emotional whiplash."

    Commenting on the decision by the church to target children, she said:

    "We just put a scarlet letter on these kids. This isn't my church. I don't see God in it. I don't see divinity it. It just feels evil."

    Nathan Kitchen of Gilbert, AZ, who is gay and has five children, said:

    "I am stunned right now at how I'm being labeled and how my children are being marked. It's almost like they now have to choose between a gay father and a church that they love. ... I am no better now than an illegal polygamist." 1

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thumbs up image2015-NOV-08: Some neutral or positive remarks about the new Mormon policy:

These are difficult to find because they are rare:

  • Ardis E. Parshall, another historian on the Mormon faith, commented on the new policy:

    "I don’t see it as revolutionary, but very consistent with other church policies on marriages that are outside the Mormon pale, like polygamy. That does not lessen the pain for friends and families involved, though, so it’s tremendously significant." 2

  • Steve Evans, a contributor Common Consent, a Mormon blog, said:

    "People who support the church up and down have trouble with this. It looks like you’re punishing children for the acts of their parents. I don’t think they are punishing children, but I’m really torn about it." 3

  • Scott Gordon is president of FairMormon, a non-profit group that is generally supportive of the LDS Church. He was married to a woman, is divorced, has five children 11 to 23, and hopes to marry another man in the future. He said that the changes to the Handbook:

    "... certainly makes a statement about how they feel about it."

    He feels that the changes are designed to help children of same-sex couples to mature before they could, as adults, decide whether to commit to the Church -- even though the Mormon Church considers their married or otherwise committed parents to be living in serious sin. Gordon said:

    "The idea of family is not just a peripheral issue in the Mormon church. It's core doctrine. It's a central idea that we can be sealed together as a family and live together eternally. That only works with heterosexual couples [and their children]."

    Referring to his own children, he said:

    "This is very bad position to put children in. It will be devastating to them when they find this out." 1

  • David Campbell a professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame and a co-author of the book "Seeking the Promised Land: Mormons and American Politics." 4 He said:

    "The church is walking a fine line between on the one hand recognizing the reality of changing mores in American society externally, but internally holding the line on its own doctrinal rigor -- its own beliefs and teachings. 5

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Webmaster's note: (bias alert)

I posted the following comments on the Blaze article back on 2015-NOV-06, at 9:08 ET. Please note that when I post a comment it is an an individual and I tend to be more biased:

"Part of this article seems consistent with LDS policies in the past to fight against marriage equality and denigrate sexual minorities. But I cannot wrap my mind around the Mormon Church attacking children whose only 'crime' is that they were born into or adopted into a family led by two adults of the same gender who love each other, decided that they wanted to live together, committed to support each other until death parted them, and may have married. I can see where the Church considers same-gender sexual behavior to be sinful, but I cannot understand why the LDS wants to transfer that “sin” onto the children. <final sentence deleted>." 6

My personal feeling is that this change in policy by the LDS Church will have many negative impacts on that denomination, on Christianity, and on religion in general. Many people, even if they approve of the LDS Church's rejection of sexually active lesbians and gays and bisexuals in sexual relationships, will be deeply offended at the change in policy which transfers sin and punishment from parents to innocent children. The transition from teenage years to young adulthood is difficult for many people. The current generation making this transition are far more questioning of the religion in which they were raised. This decision by the LDS Church may well tip the scales for many youth in favor of becoming a NOTA (NOT Affiliated with any religion).

I expect that:

  • Millions of members of the LDS Church will have their faith weakened by this Church decision . Some will be resistant to the new policy and may even begin to question other components of their chruch's teaching.

  • Over time, many tens -- or even hundreds -- of thousands of LDS members will feel that this development is the last straw and will decide to leave the LDS church.

  • Hundreds of thousands of non-Mormons who are affiliated with other faith groups will become more disillusioned with religion in general and will be more inclined to leave their faith group.

Unfortunately, it would be very difficult to prove whether these predictions become reality.

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More information is now being prepared.

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Bracy McCombs, "Mormon Church Issues Rules Aimed at Gay Members, Their Kids," ABC News, 2015-NOV-06, at: http://abcnews.go.com/
  2. Michael Muskal, "New Mormon policy bans acceptance of children of same-sex couples," Los Angeles Times, 2015-NOV-06, at: http://www.latimes.com/
  3. Sarah Pulliam Bailey, "Mormon Church to exclude children of same-sex couples from getting blessed and baptized until they are 18," Washington Post, 2015-NOV-06, at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/

  4. book cover D.E. Campbell et al., "Seeking the Promised Land: Mormons and American Politics (Cambridge Studies in Social Theory, Religion and Politics)," Cambridge University Press (2014). Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
  5. Lauri Goodstein, "Mormons Sharpen Stand Against Same-Sex Marriage," New York Times, 2015-NOV-06, at: http://www.nytimes.com/
  6. Equality Utah's home page is: http://www.equalityutah.org/ Their Facebook page is at: https://www.facebook.com/EqualityUtah/

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 Home > Christianity > Christian faith groups > LDS Restorationist >Homosexuality > here

Home > Christianity > Denominational families > LDS Restorationist> Homosexuality > here

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Copyright © 2015 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
Original posting: 2015-NOV-09
Latest update: 2015-NOV-10
Author: B.A. Robinson
.

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