The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently launched a new website, Mormon and Gay, which provides resources for Church members who identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual and their ward and family members.
Broken down into three sections, the website captures the stories of Latter-day Saints who identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual and their families; outlines the Church's official beliefs regarding same-sex attraction; and offers resources to help members better understand sexual orientation and find answers to frequently asked questions.
From returned missionaries to victims of sexual abuse to parents of gay and lesbian children, the stories Mormon and Gay tells are brutally honest yet beautiful in their openness and insights. Whether struggling to reconcile their beliefs with their own sexual orientation or struggling to reconcile their faith with a family member's choices, these stories share heartbreaking challenges those in the Church are experiencing as well as how they have found peace and the strength to remain in the Church.
In the "Beliefs" section of the website, the Church outlines six core beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, emphasizing the need for love and compassion:
- God loves all His children.
- We are commanded to love God and one another.
- The Savior has a perfect understanding of all our difficulties.
- Feelings of same-sex attraction are not a sin and we can choose how to respond.
- People who live God's laws can fully participate in the Church.
- The law of chastity applies to all of God's children.
In the "Understanding" section of the website, the Church clarifies and distinguishes terms like sexual orientation, sexual attraction, emotional attraction, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and identity. In addition, the Church provides a list of frequently asked questions, advice for parents, and resources on preventing depression and suicide.
Because the website focuses on homosexuality and same-sex attraction, it does not discuss gender dysphoria or transgender issues. As Mormon and Gay states, "same-sex attraction and gender dysphoria are very different. For example, those who experience gender dysphoria may or may not also experience same-sex attraction, and the majority of those who experience same-sex attraction do not desire to change their gender. From a psychological and ministerial perspective, the two are different."
Accompanied with videos from our apostles, Mormon and Gay leaves the overall message that "God loves all of us. He loves those of different faiths and those without any faith. He loves those who suffer. He loves . . . those who experience same-sex attraction or identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. And God expects us to follow His example. . . . Clearly people who experience same-sex attraction or identify as gay can make and keep promises to God. They can walk in His light. They can fully participate in the Church."