Romney avoids thicket of LDS statements on gay marriage

Potential presidential candidate Mitt Romney sidestepped the question of whether people were born gay, on the heels of strong statements by a leader of his LDS faith that same-sex attraction is “impure and unnatural.” “I still consider myself in the public arena, and as such I just don’t delve into matters of faith and my religion and doctrines of my church, whether it’s to try to explain it to other people or ascribe my own personal beliefs,” Romney said Tuesday during a visit to Salt Lake City in which he expressed his support for Gov. Gary Herbert. On Sunday, Boyd K. Packer, an apostle in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, issued a firm condemnation of gay marriage and expressed the view that same-sex attraction is something that can be changed. Packer’s comments have been criticized in the gay community as insensitive and hurtful to gay and lesbian Mormons. Romney, as governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007, presided over one of the few states in the nation that recognizes same-sex marriages. After the state’s Supreme Court ruled a ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional, it was Romney who directed town clerks to begin issuing licenses to same-sex couples.
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