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Mormon church changing policies on homosexuality

Saturday, November 13, 2010
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SALT LAKE CITY — The Mormon (LDS) church has announced that they have changed many of their policies towards homosexuality. But is it enough?

At their leadership conference on Saturday, broadcast to church leaders worldwide, will be the new version of the leadership handbook. Included in this handbook are the policies with which local leaders such as Bishops use to “deal” with homosexuality.

Here are some of the changes being made. The items struck out have been deleted.

“Homosexual behavior violates the commandments of God, is contrary to the purposes of human sexuality, distorts loving relationships, and deprives people of the blessings that can be found in family life and in the saving ordinances of the gospel. Those who persist in such behavior or who influence others to do so are subject to Church discipline. Homosexual behavior can be forgiven through sincere repentance.

“If members have homosexual thoughts or feelings or engage in homosexual behavior, Church leaders should help them have a clear understanding of faith in Jesus Christ, the process of repentance, and the purpose of life on earth. Leaders also should help them accept responsibility for their thoughts and actions and apply gospel principles in their lives.

“While opposing homosexual behavior, the Church reaches out to understanding and respect to individuals who are attracted to those of the same gender.” [This was moved from being the 2nd to 3rd paragraph]

In addition to the inspired assistance of Church leaders, members may need professional counseling. When appropriate, bishops should contact LDS Social Services to identify resources to provide such counseling in harmony with gospel principles.

There are several pages on homosexuality in the church handbook however. The full changes aren’t available yet, but PRIDEinUtah will try to get a hold of it as quickly as possible.

One thing for sure, no chance of a change to the church’s policy on Transgender people. Currently Mormon policy dictates that anyone who has had a sex change operation can not hold any church callings, hold the priesthood, participate in temple ceremonies and can only be baptized with express permission from the 1st Presidency themselves.

Is this good? Yes. Is it good enough? Not even close. I give them credit for improving, but they are still decades behind and the pressure will not be let up until they recognize the value of all human life, no matter what sexual orientation, gender, race or gender identity.

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