2010 - Present

 

 
 
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2010s

2010

  • 2010 – The 2010 edition of the Church Handbook noted that the records of adult members who have participated in "repeated homosexual activities" would be permanently annotated.[323] It also advised that those who have "participated in homosexual activity during or after the last three teenage years will not normally be considered for missionary service."[324] The Handbook 2 also states if members who "feel same-gender attraction but do not engage in any homosexual behavior" they may receive church callings and hold temple recommends.[325]
  • 2010 – A queer-straight alliance, USGA, began meeting on BYU campus to discuss issues relating to homosexuality and the LDS Church.[326][239]
  • September – Keith McMullin of the Presiding Bishopricaddressed the 20th Evergreen International annual conference on September 18 and counseled that if someone says they are homosexual, lesbian, or gay that they should be corrected since it is "simply not true" and God "doesn't speak of His children this way". He further teaches that the "such limitations" as same-gender attraction won't exist after death, though it is not "in and of itself ... neither evil nor sinful".[327][328]
  • October – Packer delivered his "Cleansing the Inner Vessel" October conference address. He states that The Family: A Proclamation to the World "qualifies according to the definition as a revelation".[329] Immediately after referencing "Satan's many substitutes or counterfeits for marriage", he states "some suppose that they were pre-set and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and unnatural. Not so! Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone? Remember, he is our father."[330] His characterization of same-sex physical attractions as "impure and unnatural" tendencies that can be "overcome" sparked a protest of thousands of individuals on October 7 which surrounded Temple Square.[331][332] Packer later altered his words in the print version of his speech to say "Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn temptations toward the impure and unnatural. Not so! Remember, God is our Heavenly Father".[333][334][59][335]
  • October – On the 24th, First Presidency member Uchtdorfstated on the origin of homosexuality that "Many questions in life, however, including some related to same-gender attractions, must await a future answer, even in the next life."[336]
  • October – In response to a petition from the Human Rights Campaign after the suicides of several bullied gay young men the church released a statement condemning unkindness towards those attracted to the same sex.[337]

2011

  • 2011 – Deseret Book publishes Ty Mansfield Voices of Hope: Latter-day Saint Perspectives on Same-gender Attraction—An Anthology of Gospel Teachings and Personal Essays.
  • 2011 – A recording of a committee meeting of top church leaders was leaked by MormonLeaks in which leaders were discussing WikiLeaks and Chelsea Manning's diplomatic cable leaks, apostle Ballard asked if Manning was a "confirmed homosexual", apostle Oaks expressed his suspicion that the "news media cover up anything involving homosexuals when it would work to the disadvantage of the homosexual agenda".[338][339]
  • 2011 – The ninth version of the "For the Strength of Youth" pamphlet was released adding to the paragraph on homosexuality that "lesbian behavior" is also a "serious sin" and that the youth should speak to their parents and bishop if they "are being persuaded to participate in inappropriate behavior".[340][341]
  • 2011 – The church's BYU Honor Code was updated to remove the ban on any "advocacy of homosexual behavior" defined as "promoting homosexual relations as being morally acceptable".[239]
  • September – Affirmation held its annual international conference in the Kirtland, Ohio historic Mormon temple which was reported by many as an important moment.[342]
  • November – BYU fired a gay broadcasting department faculty member. The employee stated that BYU had become an increasingly hostile work environment[343] and that being gay played into his being fired.[344]

2012

  • 2012 – An anonymously authored article was published on the church's website in which a man describes how he lived a "homosexual lifestyle" (engaged in same-sex dating) for a time, but then through counseling with LDS Family Services and local bishop he was able to manage his burden, or struggle, with same-sex attraction. He stated that he was blessed with an alleviation of the intensity of feelings and knows of some people whose burden was lifted and "overcame" same-sex attraction, and no longer experience those feelings. He later married a woman, but states that marriage is not a cure for the challenge of same-sex attractions.[345]
  • 2012 – Mormons Building Bridges is founded.[346][347][348]
  • January - An edition of the church's New Era magazine for teens addressed a question on whether having friends with homosexual feelings was okay. It advised members to choose friends carefully who have similar values since homosexual behavior violates God’s commandments, and that the church condemns the immoral behavior but not the person.[349]
  • May - The church released a statement approving the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) administration's decision to remove the ban on homosexual youth (which had been made an official policy in 1991).[350][351] The church's release stated, "sexual orientation has not previously been—and is not now—a disqualifying factor for boys who want to join [LDS] Scout troops", and that "young men … who agree to abide by Church standards" (which bar any sexual activity) are allowed to participate.[352] The church's policy, however, remains unclear for young men participating in any same-sex dating without sexual activity. The church's agreement with the BSA policy change was important because Mormon scouts constituted the largest group of young men in the BSA (21% in 2010).[353]
  • June – Josh Weed a licensed therapist from Seattle married to a woman[354] came out as gay in a widely publicized blog post[355][356][357][358][359][360] He and his wife came out in support of same-sex marriage in 2015 when quotes from them were used without permission in an amicus brief opposing it ahead of the oral arguments in the Supreme Court Obergefell v. Hodges case.[361][362]
  • December – Jim Dabakis, a former Mormon who had attended BYU in the 70s, and came out at as gay at the age of 23, was elected to the Utah State Senate.[363][364][365]
  • December – The church launched the website titled Love One Another: A Discussion on Same-Sex Attraction at mormonsandgays.org in December "in an effort to encourage understanding and civil conversation about same-sex attraction." The website states that "individuals do not choose to have such attractions".[366][367][239]

2013

  • 2013 – Ty Mansfield, a Mormon man who described himself as almost exclusively attracted to men but married to a woman, taught two religion classes in the summer of 2013 at Brigham Young University as an adjunct faculty member.[368]
  • January – Seventy Tad Callister stated in a speech at BYU-Ireprinted in the Ensign that the church's views on same-sex sexual behavior is eternal doctrine and not a temporary policy. He additionally alluded to homosexual feelings as a weakness or imperfection for which those with those tendencies must do all they can to use the refining power of the atonement to convert into a strength through the atonement.[369]
  • February – Gay BYU student Jimmy Hales gained media attention with a comedic video of coming out live to family and friends.[370][371][372][344]
  • September – Apostle Russell Nelson gave a September CES devotional in which he discussed the "debate", "skirmish", and "controversy" around whether "two people of the same gender can be married". He admonished members to gain understanding of the church's position through prayer, pondering, and listening to conference, as well as memorizing and repeating the words of a hymn.[373]

2014

  • 2014 – An Old Testament student manual was released stating that homosexual behavior was one of the grievous sins widely accepted and practiced in the biblical cities of Sodom and Gomorrah leading to their destruction. The manual further discusses homosexuality and encourages members with gay feelings to "avoid lusting".[374]
  • January – Evergreen International shuts down and transfers its resources to North Star.[184]
  • January – A letter on same-sex marriage was sent to all congregational leaders to be shared with members. The letter reiterated church stances and urged members to review the Family Proclamation and called for "kindness and civility" for supporters of same-sex marriage. It also stated that everyone is welcome in LDS chapels as long as they "respect our standards of conduct while there".[375]
  • February – An amicus brief was filed by the church with the US Tenth Circuit Court in defense of Utah's recently overturned Amendment 3 banning same-sex marriage in the state. The brief summarized the church's stance on marriage while stating that the church held no "anti-homosexual animus".[376][377][378]
  • March – Tyler Glenn, lead singer of Neon Trees, came out as a gay Mormon in a Rolling Stone magazine article,[379] though, he stopped identifying as Mormon by at least April 2016.[380]
  • April – The church sent a survey via email to young single adult members in Utah asking among other things about their sexual identity. The options were: "I am heterosexual, but I struggle with same-sex attraction; I am heterosexual and do not struggle with same-sex attraction; Other, please specify." The survey options were criticized as implying that homosexuality doesn't exist and LGBT individuals are straight people who "struggle" with a problem.[381] The question was later changed.[382]
  • May – The apostle Ballard gave a CES devotional later reprinted in the September 2015 Ensign in which he quoted the church's website which stated that "individuals do not choose to have [same-sex] attractions".[383]
  • September – Another amicus brief on a same-sex marriage case was filed on by the church, this time encouraging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear Utah's Kitchen v. Herbert.[384][385]
  • November – The apostle Eyring stated at an international colloquium on marriage in the Vatican that "We want our voice to be heard against all of the counterfeit and alternative lifestyles that try to replace the family organization". His statement was quoted in the April 2015 general conference by Apostle Tom Perry.[386]

2015

  • 2015 – A version of The Eternal Family manual is released in which teachers are encouraged to ask students to treat lesbian and gay people with greater love, empathy, sensitivity, compassion and kindness and to evaluate their attitudes and actions towards homosexual individuals to see if they are Christ-like.[387]
  • 2015 – An edition of the New Testament guide for seminary students was released which interpreted a scripture in Romans as saying that lesbian and homosexual behavior is "against nature".[388]
  • January – The TLC special My Husband's Not Gay aired on the 11th featuring LDS men attracted to men but dating or married to women.[389][390][391] Church spokesperson Eric Hawkins stated in response to media questions that the Church "does not promote marriage as a treatment method for same-sex attraction" and that religious couples in a mixed-orientation marriage should have our "support and respect".[392][393][394]
  • January – Church leaders held a "Fairness for All" news conference on the 27th supporting LGBT non-discrimination laws for housing and employment that would also protect religious individuals.[395] Apostle D. Todd Christoffersonopened calling for "a way forward" to balance religious freedom and LGBT rights. Next Neill Marriott of the presidency of Young Women's recognized the "centuries of ridicule, persecution and even violence against homosexuals". Oaks followed stating that the church rejects "persecution and retaliation of any kind, including persecution based on ... gender or sexual orientation" and called on all levels of government to pass legislation protecting "religious freedoms ... while also protecting ... LGBT citizens in ... housing, employment, and public accommodation." Holland closed outlining the church's stance on religious freedom.[396][397][398]In answer to a press question afterwards Christofferson stated that "understanding is possible" and affirmed his love for his brother Tom who is gay and had been in a 20-year relationship with another man.[399][400][239]
  • March – The "Utah Compromise" is struck on the 4th between the LDS Church and LGBT advocates, creating a nondiscrimination law in Utah that also includes religious protections.[401]
  • March – In early March the church released a public statement[402] and employed its lobbyists[403] to garner support of a proposed nondiscrimination and religious rights bill in Utah. The bill would grant previously non-existent housing and employment protection for LGBT persons in Utah. Though similar bills had failed 6 times before,[404] SB 296 was passed on March 11 and another statement of church approval was released.[405] The new law, nicknamed the "Utah Compromise",[406] was praised by many.[407][408]
  • March – The apostle Christofferson gave an interview on the 13th in which he acknowledged the diversity of sociopolitical views among church members and stated that advocating for same-sex marriage on social media or holding political beliefs differing from official church stances would not threaten a members standing in the church. He also stated that church leaders had "gained added understanding [of LGBT people] over the years, especially in recent years", though, he said the church would never accept same-sex marriage. In his closing answer to a question on members feeling on the outside because of their position on same-sex marriage, he stated that obedience to principles taught by the church may require "very significant sacrifice" for "all of mortal life", but "no one is predestined to a second class status" and that the end result can be "a state of happiness".[409][410][411]
  • April – The church filed an amicus brief with the Sixth Circuit Court on a pending consolidated same-sex case stating that allowing same-sex marriage would "impede the ability of religious people to participate fully as equal citizens".[412][413][414]
  • June – Three days after the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage the First Presidency sent a letter on the 29th to be read to every US congregation affirming that "Changes in the civil ... cannot change the moral law that God has established." The letter clarified that leaders should not perform same-sex marriages and that any church property cannot be used for any activities "associated with same-sex marriages". It was noted, however, that "all visitors are welcome" on church property if church standards of conduct are respected.[415]
  • June – D. Todd Christofferson acknowledged that "we have individual members in the church with a variety of different opinions, beliefs and positions on these issues and other issues...In our view, it doesn't really become a problem unless someone is out attacking the church and its leaders," and stated that members who openly supported LGBT marriage would not be excommunicated.[416]
  • July – The church made a $2,500 donation to the Utah Pride Center which serves LGBTQ persons around Salt Lake City.[417]
  • July – After the Supreme Court decision making same-sex marriage legal through the US, top church leaders sent out a letter to be read in all US congregations reaffirming the church's position on marriage and calling for civility.[418]
  • July – A church statement is released saying leaders are "deeply troubled" and re-evaluating its scouting program, as a Boy Scouts of America policy change permits openly gay scout leaders.[419]
  • August – The LDS Church announces it will stay in the Boy Scouts of America program, despite concerns over permitting openly gay scout leaders.[420]
  • August – Following a Boy Scouts of America (BSA) policy change on July 27 allowing for gay scout leaders[421] (though allowing for churches to continue banning them)[422] the church stated that it has "always welcomed" gay youth, but that "the admission of openly gay leaders is inconsistent with the doctrines of the Church". The official press release (preceded by one on May 21[423] and July 13[424]) alluded to a potential change in church relations with the BSA by stating "the century-long association with Scouting will need to be examined". Despite the majority of church members wanting to drop relations with the BSA,[425] however, no change in relations occurred.[426]
  • September – Presidency of the Seventy member Rasbandgave a BYU address (later reprinted in the Ensign)[427] in which he addressed concerns about the church's involvement in politics. He shared hypothetical stories of a man fired for being gay and a woman marginalized at work for being Mormon and bemoaned that it is less politically correct to empathize with the religious woman. He invited listeners to discuss LGBT rights and religious freedom and to write comments on his Facebook post.[428][429]
  • October – Apostle Dallin Oaks publicly disagreed with refusing gay marriages in violation of the recent supreme court ruling.[430] Days later at the World Congress of Families, apostle Russell Ballard urges tolerance for the opposition.[431]
  • November – On the 5th an update letter to leaders for the Church Handbook was leaked. The policy banned a "child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship" from baby blessingsbaptismconfirmationpriesthood ordination, and missionary service until the child was not living with their homosexual parent(s), was "of legal age", and "disavow[ed] the practice of same-gender cohabitation and marriage", in addition to receiving approval from the Office of the First Presidency. The policy update also added that entering a same-sex marriage as a type of "apostasy", mandating a disciplinary council.[432][433] The next day, in a video interview, Todd Christofferson clarified that the policy was "about love" and "protect[ing] children" from "difficulties, challenges, conflicts" where "parents feel one way and the expectations of the Church are very different".[434][239] On November 13, the First Presidency released a letter clarifying that the policy applied "only to those children whose primary residence is with a couple living in a same-gender marriage or similar relationship" and that for children residing with parents in a same-sex relationship who had already received ordinances the policy would not require that "privileges be curtailed or that further ordinances be withheld".[435][436] The next day around 1,500 members gathered across from the Church Office to submit their resignation letters in response to the policy change with thousands more resigning online in the weeks after[437][438][439][440] Two months later, in a satellite broadcast, Russell Nelson stated that the policy change was "revealed to President Monson" in a "sacred moment" when "the Lord inspired [him] ... to declare ... the will of the Lord".[441]

2016

  • 2016 – BYU and Church policies on LGBT persons got the spotlight as these served as a deterrent in their football team being considered as a Fall addition to the Big 12 Conference.[442][443][444][445][446][447][448]
  • January – The church released a statement through spokesman Dale Jones on January 28 mourning the reported suicides of 32 LGBT Mormons. The release stated that leaders and members are taught to "reach out in an active, caring way to all, especially to youth who feel estranged or isolated".[449][239]
  • February – The apostle Oaks was asked about church leaders and members' responsibility for the treatment of LGBT individuals that may have precipitated in suicides to which he stated "that's a question that will be answered on judgment day" and that "nobody is sadder about a case [of suicide] like that than I am".[450][239]
  • February – In a church statement on spokesperson Dale Jones spoke against passing any LGBT-related laws which could affect the "careful balance" of religious liberty and gay rights.[451] The statement was in reference to proposed Utah hate crime bill SB107 which would add sexual orientation to the current law's list of existing groups protected by law from hate crimes in Utah.[452] The bill failed as it had in past years and its sponsor a Mormon Republican senator criticized his church for its opposition to the bill citing the church's press release as the reason for its failure.[453][454]
  • February – The apostle Bednar answered a members question in a February 23 broadcast stating that "there are no homosexual members of the Church" since we are not defined by sexual attraction or behavior and "all of us have different challenges in the flesh". He compared homosexuality to a physical handicap like "being born with a body that is not fully functional".[455][456]
  • March – Apostle Holland addressed a question on homosexuality in the church's first "face to face" broadcast event for youth on March 8.[457] Stated at around 1 hour and 13 minutes into the broadcast, the question referred to homosexual members who felt "scared", "alone", and like they didn't "fit into the Lord's kingdom". Holland respond that the church does not "make any attempt to say why ... or how [homosexual attractions] happened" and that those with homosexual attractions have "complexities in their makeup" that we don't fully understand. He continued saying that what the church asks "for those inclined to a homosexual feeling is exactly what we ask for those with heterosexual feelings" and that the church is not making them "second-class citizens", later comparing them to women who never married.[458][459]
  • March – Church spokesperson Eric Hawkins stated that the church "denounces any therapy that subjects an individual to abusive practices" and hopes LGBT Mormons "find compassion and understanding from family members, professional counselors and church members".[460] The statement was in response to media inquiries around the experiences of a lesbian Mormon teen who beginning in 2010 was subjected to physically abusive conversion therapy techniques in an attempt to change her sexual orientation leading to a suicide attempt.[461][239]
  • June – The Mexican area authority presidency had a letter read in congregations around the country urging members to oppose the national legalization of same-sex marriage and pointed them to the political organization Conciencia Nacional por la Libertad Religiosa.[462][463]
  • October – On October 25, the Mormons and Gayswebsite was revised and moved to mormonandgay.lds.org[464]where it states, "If you experience same-sex attraction, you may choose to use a sexual orientation label to describe yourself. ... If you decide to... openly identify as gay, you should be supported."[465][239] The website says that "sexual desires can be ... changeable" and "shifts in sexuality can and do occur for some individuals", but notes that therapy focusing on "a change in sexual orientation" is "unethical".[466]
  • October – Tyler Glenn releases his solo album, "Excommunication", about his experience with the LDS Church and his frustration with their policies.[467]
  • December – An LGBT resource center "Encircle" is founded in Provo, Utah across from a Mormon temple by a member. A church spokesperson welcomes the center saying it's good to see the property being used to serve LGBT people.[468]
  • December – Apostle Christofferson answered a youth's question on homosexuality at a "face to face" church broadcast in Guatemala. About 56 minutes into the broadcast he stated that "we don't know much about the causes" of why one would feel attractions to someone of the same sex, but stated that those individuals do not choose to feel those attractions and that the only sin would be in "acting" on those feelings. He encouraged the congregation of youth to respect, include, and fellowship those individuals and made clear that the church is not a place for gossip or making fun of a homosexual persons. He cited his brother Tom as a "great example" of a gay member of the church.[469][470]

2017

  • January – The Boy Scouts of America announced in January[471]that transgender boys can join their troops prompting a wait-and-see response from the church.[472][473][474] The church withdrew its support of the program for older teens four months later, though it denied any link to the policy changes around LGBT people.[475][476]
  • February – The church filed an amicus brief with the US Supreme Court over the transgender bathroom case (G. G. v. Gloucester County School Board). The brief acknowledged the "heavy burdens" of gender dysphoria and stating that those who experience these "deserve compassion and respect", but opposed the interpretation of sex in Title IX as gender identity.[477][478]
  • March – The church published a video and blog post in March highlighting the Mackintosh's acceptance of their gay post-Mormon son and LGBT people. The video was added to mormonandgay.lds.org.[479][480]
  • April – An Ensign article by Seventy Larry Lawrence stated that "same-sex marriage is only a counterfeit" and quoted a canonized LDS scripture where Jesus[481] warns that a counterfeit "is not of God, and is darkness".[482][483]
  • May – A 12-year-old girl came out to her Utah ward as lesbian during a fast and testimony meeting. During her speech a Stake Presidency member had the mic cut off and told her to sit down. A video of the event gained media attention.[484][485][486][487]
  • June – Former stake president and church architect Laurie Lee Hall was excommunicated by her Utah local leaders for socially transitioning to express her gender identity as a transgender woman. She had experienced years of suicidal ideation and gender dysphoria before being released as a stake president in 2012 due to her identity and deciding to come out to her entire congregation in July 2016.[488]
  • July – An instructor at the church's BYU-Idaho reported being fired after refusing to take down a post on her private Facebook page in support of LGBT rights. Her story gained national media attention.[489][490]
  • August – Minutes from a February 2014 Layton, Utah meeting for stake leaders were released without authorization in which the apostle Tom Perry stated that gay young men need association with "manly things" and strong, vigorous men who know the power they hold. He also stated that he does not believe that people are born with attractions to those of the same sex, but that it's instead a temptation like any other. He further stated that supporting same-sex marriage would "incriminate" members seeking to renew their temple recommend and that same-sex couples expressing any physical affection during church meetings should be allowed to attend but reprimanded by leaders in private. The importance of opposite-sex marriage was stressed with the statement that Jesus and the prophets believed in it and that allowing evil like this to grow would destroy the basic family unit and bring calamities.[491][492]
  • August – The church's newsroom released a statement on the 16th in support of the upcoming Utah County benefit concert, LoveLoud Fest, for LGBT youth held by popular bands Imagine Dragons, and Neon Trees.[493] Former BYU student and Imagine Dragons lead singer Dan Reynolds[494] as well as gay former Mormon and Neon Trees lead singer Tyler Glenn[495] had both publicly criticized the church for its policies and treatment of LGBT people.[496][497][498] The bands performed for a sold-out crowd of 17,000.[499]
  • September – The Pacific area presidency sent a letter to be read in all Australian congregations which reemphasized the church's position against same-sex marriage and parenting and urged members to vote in the upcoming national referendum on the issue.[500]
  • September – The LDS church signs an amicus brief supporting wedding cake bakers discriminating against same-sex couples in a Colorado [Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission|court case].[501][502][503]
  • September – The apostle Oaks stated that the Family Proclamation's teachings on same-sex marriage were not changeable policies but statements of eternal truth, the will of God, and the basis for church teachings and practice over the last two decades. He lamented the increase in public acceptance of same-sex marriage and acknowledged the conflicts with friends and family that opposing this acceptance could cause. He further stated that despite the conflict church members should choose God and the LDS church's plan and way.[504][505]
  • November – In response to a question about LGBT young single adults in the church, apostle Ballard told BYU students in a campus-wide event that, "I believe you have a place in the kingdom and recognize that sometimes it may be difficult for you to see where you fit in the Lord’s Church, but you do." He also told cisgender, heterosexual members, "We need to listen to and understand what our LGBT brothers and sisters are feeling and experiencing. Certainly, we must do better than we have done in the past so that all members feel they have a spiritual home." He further explained that church leaders believe "core rights of citizenship should be protected for all people — for LGBT people, for people of all faiths,” and that "reasonable compromises" should be found "in other areas when rights conflict." He stated that church leaders supported the recent LoveLoud Festival to send a message that "LGBT youth or anyone else should never be mistreated".[506][507][508]
  • November – Apostles Oaks and Ballard gave a broadcast in which they answered some pre-submitted questions, including those about homosexual members. Oaks noted that same-gender attraction is among many challenges or issues people face in life and that with all such experiences, people should avoid labeling themselves as one thing or another and acknowledge that all are children of God. Ballard stated that members need to be willing to talk about the subject and to listen.[509][510][511]