Mormon Church Officially States That Being Gay Is Not a Choice

The Mormon Church has launched a new website, Mormonsandgays.org, to establish its official stance on homosexuality, saying that gay people were born this way, as it were. It's a surprising evolution from the church's previous attitude. Whereas, as recently as 2008, mormons didn't accept "biological determination for same-sex attraction," now the church has changed it's position, stating that "individuals do not choose to have such attractions."

The site one-paged site features numerous videos of church leaders speaking about AIDS counseling and urging parents not to reject their children who "pursue a gay lifestyle." Aside from aiming to clarify the church's standing on homosexuality, it also seems to promote a message to its followers of extending love and understanding to gay people, and "responding sensitively and thoughtfully" when encountering those with same-sex attraction.

However, it's far from acceptance, and the church is clear on that:

From a public relations perspective it would be easier for the Church to simply accept homosexual behavior. That we cannotdo, for God's law is not ours to change. There is no change in the Church's position of what is morally right.

It's a little weird, mostly because, unlike the bible, The Book of Mormon actually makes no references to homosexuality. Still, the church maintains that while "the attraction itself is not a sin, acting on it is," which isn't all that different from the views of other religions, like Catholicism. But instead of just asking gay followers to simply abstain from gay sex, Mormonism actively seeks to "pray the gay away" with counseling that aims to train gay people to be able to exist in heterosexual marriages, since marriage is a very important tenet of the religion. Videos of some of these "success" stories are also available on the site.

Image via braedostok/Shutterstock</em

Mormon Church: Sexuality Is Not A Choice [Buzzfeed]