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Mormon Handbook To Use Softer Language On Gays

The guideline changes in the handbook will be announced today during a large get-together of Mormon leaders. The Salt Lake Tribune reports:

Mormon The book, known as the Church Handbook of Instructions, lays out Mormon policies on everything from baptism to running a worship service to counseling troubled marriages.

The updated reference book, scheduled to be presented to thousands of Mormon leaders in a giant televised training session Saturday, will set the tone for church interactions for years to come.

The new handbook makes a clear distinction between same-sex orientation and behavior. It eliminates the suggestion, mentioned in a 2006 edition, that same-sex relationships "distort loving relationships" and that gays should repent of their "homosexual thoughts or feelings."

It also says that celibate gay Mormons who are "worthy and qualified in every other way" should be allowed to have "callings," or church assignments, and to participate fully in temple rituals.

The handbook simply repeats what top LDS leaders have been trying to say, but in more explicit terms that many members will understand, said David Pruden, president of Evergreen International, a support group that helps gay Mormons live by church standards.

Joanna Brooks of the website Religion Dispatches looks at the impact of the changes: "The new CHI does not offer institutional welcome or affirmation to LGBT people who want to live full lives as LGBT people. It maintains that 'homosexual behavior' is sinful. It does not create space for LGBT Mormons to attend church on Sunday with their partners, as I am able to do. But it does show institutional LDS movement on LGBT issues, most crucially—one hopes—for LDS LGBT young people who may have been brought up to despise themselves simply for having homosexual thoughts and feelings."

The changes in the guidelines are a start, but a very small one. You may remember that just last month the president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Boyd K. Packer, reiterated the church's anti-gay stance by declaring that "to enter into any relationship that is not in harmony with the principles of the Gospel must be wrong."

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  1. I don't give a damn what they think of gay sex. The only thing I care about is their homophobic political behavior. They can screw with their congregations' heads however they want...just keep it to yourselves, bigots.

    Posted by: candideinnc | Nov 13, 2010 4:04:00 PM

  2. agreed, candide!

    Posted by: shanesoho | Nov 13, 2010 4:16:23 PM

  3. This is what mormons actually believe:

    They aren't qualified to speak authoratively on any morally significant topic...and if they believe this shit, and many do, aren't to be trusted to talk authoritatively on any subject...they're crazy bigoted. This distinction between orientation and behavior is an update? LOL! Yeah...maybe fifteen hundred years ago...but mormons aren't christians.

    Posted by: TANK | Nov 13, 2010 4:20:33 PM

  4. Joseph Smith, the founder of LDS was a NY based con man, who was chased by the law, and people he conned from state to state, until they caught up to him in IL. He and his brother were arrested for trying to start a war against those who did not believe in his cult.

    While publicly denying he was a polygamist, he was said to have over thirty wives, ten of whom were already married, a third of which were teenagers. His wife denied he was practicing polygamy, even though four of the wives lived with them.

    He was in jail when a mob stormed it and shot his brother in the face, while Smith tried to defend himself with a gun he had smuggled into the jail. He was shot jumping out a second story window, where the mob caught and killed him.

    Anyone who believes in this crap is an idiot, just like Scientology, two cults built by con men. There are meant ex-members who way they have been shunned by their families, for being gay, or straights who no longer believe or want to practice. If people want to believe, fine, just do not let them sink money into political campaigns like they did in CA's Prop 8.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Nov 13, 2010 5:05:46 PM

  5. It doesn't matter if the language is "softer", the message is the same: Gays are unworthy to be loved or to love. So how do they think GLBT teens in the church are going to handle that? I have no expectations that there will be any shift in Mormon attitudes until long after society in general has moved on. Look how long it took them to accept blacks as equals.

    Posted by: Gary | Nov 13, 2010 5:15:19 PM

  6. I actually think that, for this group, this is a huge step forward. The fact that they are clearly and forcefully articulating that gay actions, and not gay thoughts, are the problem is a really a giant leap forward.

    Does this mean they are still bigots who need their tax exmpemt status stripped from them? Yes. But, it's progress. Just very slow.

    Posted by: Joe | Nov 13, 2010 5:40:21 PM

  7. "I actually think that, for this group, this is a huge step forward."

    Sad...simple, naive...natural almost. Stupid, though.

    Posted by: TANK | Nov 13, 2010 5:42:00 PM

  8. Calling Evergreen "(A) support group that helps gay Mormons live by church standards" is an almost orwellian euphemism. Evergreen is a "pray away the gay" ministry targeted at LDS (Mormon) lesbians and gays. They are as evil and hateful as Exodus and other groups of that ilk.

    Posted by: Daddy Todd | Nov 13, 2010 6:36:32 PM

  9. I agree with the last sentence in the item but would make minor changes to it: "[T]he Gospel must be wrong."

    Posted by: Hue-Man | Nov 13, 2010 7:08:04 PM

  10. Just a fact check: Boyd K. Packer is one of the counselors in the First Presidency. The President of the church is Thomas S. Monson. Doesn't seem like a big deal from the outside, but to mormons, the distinction is immense.

    Posted by: Todd O. | Nov 13, 2010 7:14:06 PM

  11. In other words, it's not a big deal.

    Posted by: TANK | Nov 13, 2010 7:18:53 PM

  12. Tank do you just go from story to story just looking for your opportunity to say something ignorant, nasty or hateful? If you have such disdain for everyone else in the world please keep it to yourself.

    Posted by: Chaz | Nov 13, 2010 7:36:25 PM

  13. Isn't Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, and Democrat, a Mormon? I guess he can be viewed as an exception by his adoring, gay fans.

    Posted by: JBMiami | Nov 13, 2010 7:41:33 PM

  14. no, chaz...hateful, ignorant and nasty is bankrolling a campaign of terror and hate/bigotry to strip a minority of its rights.

    Posted by: TANK | Nov 13, 2010 7:51:47 PM

  15. I said this over on Huffington Post and received a stern warning from their moderator and I told him exactly what to do with his warning. F*uck the MORMONS! The sooner the church loses its IRS status and disbands the better off America will be. If you've got a Mormon friend insist he leave the church and if he doesn't, drop him like a hot potato. Its the best thing every gay person can do.

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Nov 13, 2010 8:57:37 PM

  16. Anyone who has seen "Latter Days" (fiction though it may be) will agree that this is a huge step for the church. But, more importantly, a huge break for gay kids growing up in LDS homes.

    Posted by: Rodney Wollam | Nov 14, 2010 12:29:01 AM

  17. Yea, yea, yea, talk softly......... but carry a big hate-stick.
    So long as there are cute Mormon guys like Brandon Flowers & Ryan Gosling to drool over, Towleroad will put up w anything the Mormon church dishes out & put a "nice" spin on it too.

    Posted by: Von Lmo | Nov 14, 2010 2:53:56 AM

  18. "Isn't Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, and Democrat, a Mormon? I guess he can be viewed as an exception by his adoring, gay fans."

    So you know. One of the reasons I am a Harry Reid fan is that during the National Equality March, he was the highest ranking person to endorse us. In addition, a really striking thing happened.

    Harry sat with myself, Robin McGeHee, Cleve Jones, Kip Williams, Dan Choi and others for over an hour and told us how he had told the Mormon Elders that they needed to stop going after the Gays. He said it was bad PR and was not what members gave their money to the church for.

    One of our group was live tweeting. By the time my plane landed, I was besieged by reporters from Utah demanding to know if what was tweeted was true.

    Harry Reid not only didn't back down, he reiterated the points he made. He stood up to his own church.

    The day after his election, Harry held a press conference. The pictures are very easy to find online. The people surrounding him on the podium are not Mormons. Those people are myself and my fellow board members of The Stonewall Democratic Club of Southern Nevada. We were asked to be there.

    Say what you want, but, I'm a fan.

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Nov 14, 2010 4:03:18 AM

  19. Speaking of cults, I was visiting the Christian Science mother church [a tourist attraction in Boston]and was within earshot of a church elder [or whatever they call them] giving very cynical and unflattering pointers to a group church members/employees regarding how they were to interact with non-church members and tourists. I wish I had a recording device.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Nov 14, 2010 9:25:45 AM

  20. "Joanna Brooks of the website Religion Dispatches looks at the impact of the changes: "The new CHI does not offer institutional welcome or affirmation to LGBT people who want to live full lives as LGBT people."

    What a politically correct fool, mindlessly parroting whatever jargon is put in her head. The Mormon guidelines don't address transsexuals, transvestites, or any of the other assorted oddities that make up the "T". The policy change is strictly about sexual orientation, i.e., gays and lesbians and bisexuals. But this woman can't use the correct term b/c someone told her that there is something called "LGBT people" and that it is the only way to refer to gay people.

    Posted by: Jorge | Nov 14, 2010 3:53:01 PM

  21. I have little doubt that the Mormon Church will one day embrace gay people. As soon as it is politically expedient to do so, some Mormon leader will get a phone call from God.

    And all their years of bigotry will be swept under the carpet. All the suicides, of course, will remain dead.

    Posted by: BobN | Nov 14, 2010 5:17:54 PM

  22. While I welcome the recent LDS policy changes in regards to homosexuals with with open arms, there remains one area of policy that still makes me shudder, that is explained in the new Handbook 2 of Administering the Church – 2010.

    This is the current policy of permanently annotating the records of LDS church members who have once engaged in homosexual activity, thereby marking them permanently throughout their Church lives, in a manner that will guarantee that all new wards and leaders (and possibly even the membership) will be informed of the legacy of that person’s current condition and/or past life.

    The Church sates that it reserves such permanent annotations only on the records of members “whose conduct has threatened the well-being of other persons or of the Church”, and this is done in order to help the bishop “protect Church members and others from such individuals” (p. #70).

    Notably, there is no mention of this requirement for any person found guilty of repeated heterosexual activities, which shows that the Church still regards homosexual activity to be a much greater sin and threat to its membership.

    The offence of “repeated homosexual activities (by adults)” is placed alongside other atrocities such as incest, sexual offense against or serious physical abuse of a child, plural marriage and predatory conduct (p# 71).

    While the LDS church truly believes in and preaches repentance and forgiveness, even to the point described in D&C 58:42 - “Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more,” current policies make the “remembering no more” part virtually impossible as “In all cases, an annotation on a membership record is removed only with First Presidency approval upon request of the stake president” (p. #70).

    Such permanent markers for being a homosexual (or even claiming to be a reformed homosexual who has since repented and now refrains) is reminiscent of the pink triangle “annotation” given by Hitler and the Nazis upon all homosexuals rounded up and placed in concentration camps along with all of the others deemed undesirable at the time.

    LDS people with a past that includes homosexual activities should be informed of this current policy so they can decide in advance, before submitting themselves to formal LDS disciplinary processes, whether they want the permanent stain of this annotation to mark the remainder of their lives in LDS fellowship.

    Posted by: Chris Cooper | Nov 15, 2010 1:43:21 AM


    Karl Marx predicted this in his Communist Manifesto of 1848. Too. that people in the professions were not laborers, ( workers ), and were somewhat above getting corns on their hands. Marx's coworker Fredrick Engels, witnessed the destruction of the family in that such of a system was contrary to scientific socialism. However one might view Marx's and Engel's, view on a futuristic society Marx's economic theory holds water. The eastern world and the western world ( Oxidental/Oriental ), are equivalent in handling labor, but the old chime that no one in the professions labor is a well-worn shade of bamboozling various classes of labor. And now, Interest capitalism vs pure capitalism must drop their blinders and come to face with both issues of labor as befitting workers using their brains and laborers on the end of a shovel.

    Marx proclaimed," Workers of the world unite). Obviously mobocracy seems to have skipped the mid stream, of the world's productive systems ( labor ), and what we view now no one has an answer-CRIME, CORRUPTION, POVERTY, AND DISEASE. Both pseudo political parties are stalled with no plan to meet any national social rebellion world wide. What we witness today actually threads back to 1933 under the ( New Deal Administration ), of the late Franklin D. Roosevelt. The late Teddy Roosevelt, had been beforehand, an instigator concerning the so-called European Concert in western Europe as a forerunner of the League of Nations-the present United Nations Organizations is a formal political concoction of the globalizing Rothschild banking network, operating under the The Bank of England. From the hankerings from Teddy Roosevelt until Harry Solomon Truman assumed the unelected culprit as President of the United States. Bringing all this to a closure is to view the nasty record of Russian, British, and American contemporary civilization. In a nutshell, one must take the bull by the tail and to the situation square in its face,

    inwardly, all three are dealing with population explosions. Pseudo Democracy, a banker's syndicated criminal network, plus pseudo republicanism's intellectual platform would never reach into Plato's Republic, for there is no room for any abstract government. our national governmental system is in the hands of professional criminals in the hands of judicial gangsterism, State Department of ambassadorial lapdogs in alliance with the Devil in order

    to obtain a valise at large, in order to visit whore houses and free liquor in France at the assume expence of all tax payers. All of the before mentioned runs into infinity, while lawyers, doctors, and finance continues to breed intellectual paupers that will eventual rule a future welfare state.

    Suggestion is that all global revolutionaries, free loaders, deadbeats, anti-social humanoids, and ghetto experts, come where the gutters run free with honey and milk-grab a biscuit and sop your way to prosperity. Pseudo Communism and pseudo Democracy, thrown in with

    abstraction of pseudo Republicanism is reaping what they have sown-revolt of the masses !

    Posted by: hogorina | Aug 4, 2012 4:46:16 PM


    America is controlled by phallus worshipers. Intellectual hypocrisy
    within the national media and elevated education ties to all areas of
    the professions ally themselves with the lowest of animal instincts. It
    shows that higher education is only a front, in latching on in supporting
    obnoxious conduct, in lowering one's self to the world of approved

    Posted by: hogorina | Aug 5, 2012 10:10:32 AM


    One can easily be moderated out of this site. There is a great movement in our nation to shut down reasonable conversation. We must repeat Thomas Paine : " These are times that try man's souls". It is a crime against our national society being held in check by selected satanic perversion, through phallus worship. Paine knew of this when he had written the Declaration of In dependence. Too, this great patriot rebelled against Art. 6, Sec. 6, on treaties. Thomas Jefferson wrote the Constitution; but he not possess the will to oppose this conspicuous clause- standing against the Bank of England, because he was against the wall in attempting to
    oppose universal finance's conspiratorial contro,l from a one-mile square in London known as " The City of Gold ". Yes, within three-hundred years America has been overthrown; for total corruption had found its place when Art. 6, Sec. 6, was funneled into the Constitution, after it had been legally ratified. Phallus worship, perversion, was the fall of mankind several hundred years before the great Deluge, of which Noah escaped via the Ark. If Paine were living today he would hang his head in shame, to witness America's spiritual decline into the lowly world of animal instinctiveness, as this moment our nation harbors the measure of lower life. holding aloft the estate of mother nature's natural habits with the animal world, in glorying in the rebirth of phallus worship. Our Creator warned King Solomon of the Jebusites, who today infect western civilization- pre-programed mental perversion through uncontrolled passions. The late President Herbert Hoover, a Quaker, in autobiography, pub. 1947, warned that America was following the [ spiritual manners ] of ancient Esau. The Jebusites - off-shoot of ancient Esau the Red. This blood line holds thre highest seats in national government-results, phallus worship is the master key of a wicked state, in the hands pf perverted politicians !

    Posted by: hogorina | Aug 5, 2012 4:18:27 PM

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