Mormon views on gay rights not what they appear

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is accepting of gays and their culture – but only on their terms

Francisco Dominguez, Reporter

On Jan. 27, 2015, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced its support for equal protection in certain areas where the gay community is affected.

According to, “Protections in housing, employment and some other areas where LGBT people do not have protections, while ensuring that religious freedom was not compromised.”

Though some were hopeful this news would mean the church changed its stance on the issue, that is not what happened.

The church believes the gay community should have equal rights when it comes to housing, employment and other areas – but it has not changed its church doctrine.

“This appeal for a balanced approach between religious and gay rights does not represent a change in doctrine for the Church,” LDS Metro Phoenix Public Affairs member Cindy Packard said.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has more than 15 million members throughout the world. Naturally, some of those members are gay. Being gay anywhere in the world is not easy. Not only do gay Mormons have to seek the acceptance of their society, but also their religion.

One of those gay Mormons is Trevor. For Trevor, it has not been easy to be gay and Mormon.

“Being Mormon and being gay is living in a continual state of cognitive dissonance,” Trevor said. “For a long time, I had to try to reconcile my deepest inner feelings, my attraction to men, while it battled my love and belief in the gospel. If I am honest, there is still a bit of a battle, but I have come to a comfortable spot in my belief that God loves me as I am and wants me to be happy, even if that includes marrying a man.”

Trevor has been put into a situation of having to decide between his happiness and religion. Some might consider that unfair.

Not only are gay Mormon members in favor of more acceptance, but heterosexual members are also in favor of a more open church.

Kayla is a heterosexual Mormon who is fully in favor of gays.

“I am fully accepting of the gay lifestyle,” Kayla said. “You should do what makes you happy.”

There is a small but existent agreement on both sides of the aisles in the Mormon Church. Some believe that with the new generation of Mormons coming in there will be more openness when it comes to the gay community.

“I do believe there is a generational difference in the acceptance of gays,” Trevor said. “I believe that comes from the exposure our generation has to the gay perspective. More people are comfortable coming out and that leads to knowing more people who are gay. It is less of an ‘other’ these days.”

At the end of the day, both the church and the gay community are entitled to their own opinion.

“Accommodating the rights of all people requires wisdom and judgment, compassion and fairness,” Packard said. “We must all learn to live with others who do not share the same beliefs or values.”

The LDS community and the gay community both have the right to exercise their opinion. Gays are entitled to love who they want to, and LDS members are entitled to practice their religion the way they feel it to be correct.