Mormons and Homosexuality

The Mormon Church is firm on its position condemning homosexuality as sinful behavior.  One of the tenets of Mormon doctrine is the Law of Chastity.  It permits sexual relations only between a husband and wife who are legally married.  Marriage is a very important part of Mormon doctrine too.  In the Mormon temple a couple can be married for eternity.  This is part of living worthy to inherit the kingdom of God.  The Mormon Church issued the document The Family: A Proclamation to the World in 1995.  This official statement confirmed, "the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife."  Increasingly, the Church has had to deal with the issue of Gay Mormons more and more as people identifying themselves as gay or lesbian have also continued to identify themselves as Mormon.  Frequently, a gay or lesbian who has been raised a Mormon will disassociate themselves from the Church because of Mormon doctrines, but a gay Mormon community is growing.  There are also many gay Mormons who wish to overcome their same-sex attraction in order to have a successful eternal marriage and gain all the blessings promised by the Lord. It is a long and difficult struggle to change one's sexual orientation, but despite the denial of many pro-gay groups and psychologists, there are many formerly gay Mormons that have done it.  The Mormon Church will not bow to popular opinion that asserts because 'they were born that way', gays and lesbians should be permitted to live a homosexual lifestyle.  The Mormon Church does not accept biological determination for same-sex attraction.  The factors contributing to attraction are complex; it cannot be pinpointed to solely genetics or environment.  But whether it is 'natural' or not, it is written in the Book of Mormon that the natural man is an enemy to God (Mosiah 3:19).  It is a fundamental doctrine of the Mormon faith and the proper use of our moral agency to overcome the natural man and tame our appetites and passions.  The tendency toward homosexuality is sometimes unfairly stigmatized but in Mormon doctrine is not treated any different than adultery, fornication, or any other sinful act.  The natural tendency toward sin is no excuse.  There are genetic theories for tendencies toward most anything, but the disposition toward any wrongdoing does not justify it or make it less sinful.  Although temptation may be strong, self-mastery is a spiritual goal of the faithful, and any sinful act must be repented of.  It is difficult to balance tolerance, without accepting or condoning what is a sinful practice, and demand obedience to the gospel without offending or alienating gay Mormons.  The Mormon Church stands with other faiths in maintaining that homosexuality is a sin despite political and social pressures to "modernize."  The highly politicized pro-gay movement has resulted in an equally concerted effort of the Mormon Church to condemn homosexuality.  Sometimes this tension makes it difficult for families or church members to sympathize and give positive assistance and can cause an added stigma to gay Mormons.  The Mormon Church has greatly increased its resources and training in recent years to properly address the issue of gay Mormons. The Church helps families support individuals that are attracted to their same sex, with patience, tolerance, understanding, and love, to overcome these temptations and help them live the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It is written in the Book of Mormon that through the grace of Jesus weaknesses can become strengths (Ether 12:27) and the Mormon Church has documented cases of people overcoming same-sex attraction. Mormon General Authorities have dealt with the issue of gay Mormons frequently in the last few years.  There are many support groups online as well.  Evergreen International is one of the only known organizations for gay Mormons that completely support Mormon Church doctrine and policy.  The topic of gay Mormons is a difficult one right now because of the swing of popular opinion toward acceptance, but the Mormon Church cannot compromise the laws of God and counsels those who wish to follow Christ but suffer from same-sex attraction to work to overcome it.