Mormon Church Changes Tone On Homosexuality
The Mormon church has launched a new campaign encouraging its members to be more compassionate toward the LGBT community.
On Thursday, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints launched the website mormonsandgays.org, in which it calls for Mormons of all stripes to "love one another."
As Buzzfeed notes, the new campaign reflects an "evolution from [the church's] past teachings" as it asserts that sexuality is not a personal choice.
An official statement posted on the new website reads:
The experience of same-sex attraction is a complex reality for many people. The attraction itself is not a sin, but acting on it is. Even though individuals do not choose to have such attractions, they do choose how to respond to them. With love and understanding, the Church reaches out to all God's children, including our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.
CNN reports that the website's launch appears to support the belief held by some gay-marriage activists that the LDS church is "toning down its opposition to same-sex marriage."
However, as the Associated Press notes, church leaders still insist that "they aren't changing the Mormon teaching that same-sex relationships are sinful."
Still, church leaders say they hope the new resource will foster a greater "understanding of homosexuality among Mormons and a more civil conversation about the issue."
Church spokesman Michael Purdy told the Deseret News that the site is also part of an effort by the Mormon church "to teach and clarify" the church's position on homosexuality.
"There are some aspects of our belief and practice that are simply not well understood," Purdy said. "Too often these types of big, important issues are dealt with in sound bites, and often by individuals who do not have the complete picture of what the church is doing." UCN