There was a new policy announced in November of 2015. The handbook of instructions was updated to include same-sex married couples in the category of “Must” excommunicate. These are a major concern for those who are in a same-sex marriage.
On January 27, 2015 the LDS Church gave a press conference where Elder D. Todd Christopherson said the following:
“What about Mormons who support same-sex marriage privately among family and friends or publicly by posting entries on Facebook, marching in pride parades or belonging to gay-friendly organizations such as Affirmation or Mormons Building Bridges? Can they do so without the threat of losing their church membership or temple privileges?
“We have individual members in the church with a variety of different opinions, beliefs and positions on these issues and other issues,” Christofferson said. ” … In our view, it doesn’t really become a problem unless someone is out attacking the church and its leaders — if that’s a deliberate and persistent effort and trying to get others to follow them, trying to draw others away, trying to pull people, if you will, out of the church or away from its teachings and doctrines.”
That’s very different, he said, than someone who backs a group such as Affirmation.
These issues with individuals are not “resolved at church headquarters,” Oaks added, “but require the prayerful consideration of a [local] bishop.”
The apostle noted the 15 million-member Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has “30,000 bishops [lay pastors] in the world and they have differences. We are constantly trying to teach correct principles … [but it’s difficult] to maintain uniformity.”
Top Mormon leaders “do recognize the need for constant training” to prevent local leaders from imposing inappropriate sanctions on members, Christofferson said, “and are committed to that … so there’s greater … sensitivity.”
Mormon and Gay is an official church resource for the intersection of SSA/LGBT issues and Mormonism.
Six sources provided by the LDS Church:
- The official website of the Church about homosexuality is found at MormonAndGay.org. “Few topics are as emotionally charged or require more sensitivity than same-sex attraction. This complex matter 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 site also says the following, “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.” On this Church site you can find statements by three of the apostles– Elder Oaks, Elder Cook and Elder Christofferson and other statements by members of the Church affected by this issue.
- The official publication of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for individuals and families wanting to know what the Church teaches regarding these issues is God Loveth His Children, published by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve, 2007.
- Relevant sections from the Official 2010 Church Handbook II: “Policies on Moral Issues: Chastity & Fidelity” ( 21.4.5), “Homosexual Behavior & Same Gender Attraction” (21.4.6), and “Same-Gender Marriages” (21.4.10).
We have also found the following current articles to be essential in understanding the official Church policy regarding these issues:
- Interview with Elders Dallin Oaks and Lance Wickman (August, 2006), posted on the LDS Church website. Provides answers to common questions for parents and leaders.
- “Helping Those Who Struggle with Same-Gender Attraction,” Elder Jeffrey Holland, Ensign (October, 2007).”
- “Church Responds to HRC Petition: Statement on Same-Sex Attraction,” LDS Newsroom, 12 October 2010. Official statement read by Michael Otterson on behalf of the “leadership” of the Church.
Together these six links and documents constitute the most authoritative pronouncements on same-sex attraction by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve.
For more information, see this article on Ten Questions Answered from Six Church Sources