A series of testimonial videos and messages from church leaders appeared Tuesday on the site "Mormon and Gay," hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In a video welcoming users to the site, Elder L. Whitney Clayton delivers an inclusive message to gay, lesbian, and bisexual Mormons. "We want you," he says. "We want you to know we love you. You are welcome. We want you to be a part of our congregation."
The website, hosted on the main page of the Mormon church, entreats families and congregations to treat gay worshippers with respect and welcome them into their faith communities.
While the tone of the message is conciliatory, the website makes very clear that core Mormon beliefs on marriage and sexuality have not changed. While same-sex attraction is not a sin, having sex with someone of the same gender is. Same-sex attraction throughout the site is referred to as a struggle, and the link to the webpage is included with links to abuse, addiction, and suicide care and prevention.
Says the site: "We should yield no ground in living and defending the commandments of God, but to mirror fully the love of God, we must also love one another so openly and completely that no one can feel abandoned or alone or hopeless."
In a September report by Out, gay students at Brigham Young, a Mormon-affiliated college in Utah, expressed frustration at the climate of fear created by the school's strict honor code regarding same-sex attraction.
Be sure to follow Out on your favorite social platform
DON'T MISS THE OUT100 SPECIAL 3 DAY MARATHON STARTING NOVEMBER 24TH!
Journey through the year’s influential Out100 – the most iconic and long-standing celebration of LGBTQ+ icons and allies – in a 1-hour television special spotlighting the LGBTQ+ people shaping the world today.