Jewish Journal

Mormon Church launches website on gay issues

by Mark Paredes

December 9, 2012 | 12:22 am

I felt a lot like Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky this week: excited about progress in my faith’s relationship with the gay community that may not represent a large doctrinal shift but is nevertheless very significant. Yesterday the LDS Church unveiled a new website, “Love One Another: A Discussion of Same-Sex Attraction,” that presents the church’s views on same-sex attraction to the world in the context of encouraging Mormons to treat gays with kindness and understanding.

The website features a series of conversations with church leaders and members on issues related to homosexuality. One pleasant surprise is the prominent acknowledgement that “Even though individuals do not choose to have such attractions, they do choose how to respond to them.” I have never before seen an official recognition by the church that gays do not choose their sexual orientation (though most Mormons I know have always believed this).

Mormons don’t recognize themselves or their church in anti-Mormon propaganda that demonizes us as haters, bigots, and homophobes because of our opposition to same-sex marriage. Here is a great chance for us to define our own beliefs on homosexuality to the world. This project is a great beginning, and I hope it will be a catalyst for discussions that need to take place between Mormons, their gay friends and family members, and members of other faiths.

Hag sameach to all of my Jewish readers.

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Mark Paredes is a former Mormon bishop currently living in Los Angeles. He has worked for the ZOA, the American Jewish Congress, and the Consulate General of Israel in Los...

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