Earlier today the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints launched a new website aimed at fostering a discussion on same-sex attraction. Mormonsandgays.org encourages members of the Mormon church to “love one another” in the midst of a topic that “touches on the things we care about most: our basic humanity, our relationship to family, our identity and potential as children of God, how we treat each other, and what it means to be disciples of Christ.”
The new site contains a host of videos from LGBT Mormons, their family members, and church leaders telling their personal stories and affirming the truth that “we are all unique.” Elder D. Todd Christofferson says the viewer will ” hear stories and experiences from quite a diversity of people and backgrounds and perceptions” and that “not covering every issue that needs covering will be covered…[but] the idea is to open all of us to greater understanding”
As CNN notes, the website launches at a time when “some same-sex marriage activists believe the LDS Church is toning down its opposition to same sex marriage.”
However, the new site is clear to retain the church’s stance on homosexuality:
The experience of same-sex attraction is a complex reality for many people. 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.”
Still, according to Church spokesman Michael Purdy via Huffington Post, the new site represents a move by the Mormon church to “teach and clarify” the church’s position on homosexuality.