The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also called the Mormon Church, has been in the news quite a bit lately because of its support of traditional family values. The Mormon Church has always been led by prophets of God, who receive revelation directly from God the Father and Jesus Christ. Because of this, the leaders of the Church are bound to follow God’s will as they receive it. Thus, they cannot make policy decisions for the Church according to their whim or social pressure. Some gay rights activists see in past actions of the Church, the possibility that policy might change. They look at the cessation of polygamy in 1890 at a time of huge government pressure on the Church, and the giving of the Mormon priesthood to the Blacks during a time of great social pressure. But both actions were taken in response to direct revelation from God. Had the Church not waited for revelation, both situations may actually have occurred earlier.
This said, we must also realize the difference between ending polygamy and giving priesthood to Blacks versus allowing gay marriage. The first two have nothing to do with good and evil, but the latter does. The Lord has reiterated in modern times the Law of Chastity, and He expects His followers to keep it. The Law of Chastity proscribes (forbids) sexual behavior outside the bonds of marriage, and it defines marriage as a legally-binding covenant between a man and a woman. In fact, some years ago, the prophet and apostles issued a revelatory proclamation called, The Family: A Proclamation to the World, which defines the family and morality, and warns that if we allow or encourage the family unit to disintegrate, all the plagues prophesied in the Bible will surely befall us. Even though the Church stays out of political arenas, social action with moral consequences does invite the involvement of the Church, which seeks to build the kingdom of God on earth. There is also the question of religious freedom, and though the gay rights movement issues reassurances that no religious freedom will be curtailed, this is not true. Religious freedoms are already being curtailed because of the gay rights movement, and this will only grow worse; the prophets have foreseen it.
If revelation from God is true, then Mormons want to help, not hurt, the mostly wonderful people who face gender issues. If such revelation is true, then gays who justify their lifestyle in order to find the joy they deserve, will in time, bring destruction upon themselves, making their perceived joy temporary and invaluable. Mormons are seeking the higher good for all. Mormons are not haters, and it disingenuous to call them such.
The Mormon Church and its membership are well-aware that gays, lesbians, transgender and bi-sexual people face daunting challenges and difficult lives. Gays in the Mormon Church have some decisions to make. The first is whether to be open about one’s sexual orientation, which is not considered a sin in the Church. This is becoming easier and easier, since the leaders of the Church have addressed the subject often lately, and understanding and compassion among the membership and individual families are increasing.
Next, the gay person must choose what to do with his or her orientation. Many heterosexuals in the Church live celibate lives. All who keep the Law of Chastity are celibate while they are single, and many are single for a long time, or for all of their mortal life. Some gays choose to find a good friend of the opposite sex, marry, and raise a family. Others choose acting on their sexuality over their membership in the Church and leave the Church in order to practice homosexuality. Homosexual behavior is a sin, just like heterosexual behavior outside of marriage is a sin. There is counseling available for those with same gender attraction. It is more successful for some than others, but some have found value and help in counseling.
Obviously, this is mostly a religious question, but socially, gay marriage is a less desirable alternative in general. As far as civil unions are concerned, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is in favor. The Church wants GLBT’s to enjoy all the rights available to other citizens and has spearheaded reform in the state of Utah. Gays have freedom of choice, just like anyone else, and the Church upholds their right to live their lives as they desire, uncurtailed, with God as their (and our) judge. However, the Lord has drawn the social line at marriage, and bids the Church to uphold traditional marriage. The Lord has drawn the morality line at marriage, and bids the members of the Church to live the Law of Chastity.