The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has created a new website, mormonsandgays.org, that explains the Church’s stance on same-sex attraction and encourages civil conversation on the sensitive topic. It’s a topic that has been a source of intense discussion between people in and outside of the faith, according to a news release issued by the LDS Church Thursday morning.
The Church reaffirmed its stance on same-sex attraction.
“The experience of same-sex attraction is a complex reality for many people,” it said. “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.”
The website features conversations with Church leaders as well as Church members who are attracted to people of the same sex. The website acknowledges that conversations about this topic are not always easy to have but reaffirms the position of the LDS Church on same-sex attraction.
“From a public relations perspective, it would be easier for the Church to simply accept homosexual behavior,” it says on the home page of the website. “That we cannot do, for God’s law is not ours to change. There is no change in the Church’s position of what is morally right. But what is changing — and what needs to change — is to help Church members respond sensitively and thoughtfully when they encounter same-sex attraction in their own families, among other Church members or elsewhere.”
Elder Quentin L. Cook, apostle for the LDS Church, explained that this website is designed to encourage love, understanding and hope.
“Let us be at the forefront in terms of expressing love, compassion and outreach,” Elder Cook said. “Let’s not have families exclude or be disrespectful of those who choose a different lifestyle as a result of their feelings about their own gender.”
Church spokesman Michael Purdy commented in the press release, “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,” he said. “This website was produced over two years and puts the entire issue in context.”