The gay/Mormon intersection has been in the news a lot recently. There’s the gay BYU students and LDS parents of gay kids who’ve made “It Gets Better” videos. There’s talk of bishops apologizing and standing up for gay members in their wards. Yesterday, a group of gay Mormons met with Mormon officials (no higher leadership, though) and, among other things, asked the Church to denounce Evergreen for still advocating reparative therapy. I doubt that’ll happen, since Evergreen is the only gay Mormon organization LDS leadership has actually participated in. The gay/Mormon intersection has been reaching commentary at the national level probably in part because of Romney’s presumptive nomination.
As Joanna Brooks has reported, some gay Mormons are interested in going back to church as they hear reports of bishops becoming more understanding.
[B]ishops tell LGBT members, I am not a gatekeeper for the Lord. My job is to bring people to Christ, and I want you here.’
It’s conceivable that single gay Mormons (in their 20s, 30s, 40s) are returning to church in greater numbers. This “invitation” was already put forward in a 2007 Ensign article when apostle Jeffrey Holland said, “You’re gay. And?”
But non-celibate gay Mormons…wouldn’t they would face immediate disciplinary councils and be excommunicated? What would happen if I, for example, went to back to church and let my local bishop know I’m still on the official roster? After a few questions, wouldn’t he be required to begin the excommunication process?
Me: “You said you want me here, and the first thing you do is excommunicate me?! Rude.”
Currently, non-celibate never-been-Mormon gays are “welcome” to attend, assuming they’re okay with remaining unbaptized, which I doubt there are many people out there with that mindset.
There’s also a rising generation of young gay Mormons in their teens who do not “struggle” with their sexuality because their church and families environments are less homophobic than they might’ve been a decade ago. I know a gay guy who said church was the only place he felt that no one judged him, except the expectation to “fight the good fight” was eventually overwhelming and he had to leave. Mormonism will struggle more and more with finding a place for young people as they reach dating and settling-down age.
There’s talk of greater understanding, but the true understanding won’t come until the doctrinal issues are tackled.