As some of you may know, the Church has released a new pamphlet dealing with the issue of Same Sex Attraction. A copy of the new pamphlet can be found here.
The discussion of this new pamphlet sparked some interesting comments at T&S. (And I’m sure elsewhere — sorry, I have been on vacation for the last few weeks and haven’t been keeping up with my reading).
I’m not interested in re-hashing all of the old discussions on SSM. However, I am interested in a few comments MikeinWeHo made. (See comment #29 and subsequent comments, including a response from Adam G).
Basically, Mike, who is gay, would like to feel more comfortable in some hypothetical future coming to Sacrament meeting with his gay partner and their child. Is that appropriate?
Now, let me start out by saying that I have spent years visiting all kinds of people with all kinds of issues, and I always encourage them to come to Sacrament, no matter what the issues are. So, the first and most important answer to the question of “am I OK with two gay people and their kid coming to Sacrament” is an unqualified YES! In fact, I would be ecstatic to see them there.
Having said that, I think it is unavoidable to consider some related issues. What is Mike and his partner hold hands, or put their arms around each other or kiss? This kind of behavior (PDA) is increasingly common among gay couples these days, and I’m not sure how I’d feel about that in Sacrament.
It is worth pointing out that an actively homosexual person who has not repented from homosexual activity (not attraction — activity) cannot hold a Church calling and will probably be excommunicated from the Church or at least disfellowshipped. I doubt very much we will see a change in Church policy on that issue anytime in our lifetimes. It is worth pointing out that in my experience the Church does not hunt down people who display this behavior — the only people who would ever suffer from Church discipline would be people who actually come to Church and are relatively active. The people who stop coming to Church are usually left alone.
But I feel strongly that God loves all his children. I do not know why some people are born with same gender attraction, but I know that God loves those people and wants them to draw closer to Him. I also know that I have a responsibility to be tolerant and loving to everybody. For me, that means encouraging people to come to Church as much as possible and being a good example and a positive influence.
I’m wondering how others feel about this issue.