US researchers are carrying out an online survey on the lives and experiences of LGBT Mormons.

Renee Galliher, a psychology professor at Utah State University, and Bill Bradshaw, a biology professor at Brigham Young University, say they hope to find out the truth about the gay Mormon experience” and give faith leaders more information.

While Prof Galliher is not Mormon or gay, Prof Bradshaw is Mormon and has a gay son, Associated Press reports.

They hope to get responses from around 1,000 people and have worked to frame the questions as neutrally as possible.

In the past, the Church of Latter-Day Saints has ploughed millions of dollars into the campaign to ban gay marriage in California. Mormon teaching says all sexual relationships outside heterosexual marriage are sinful and that even thinking about gay sex is a sin.

However, the church showed surprising support for equal rights legislation in Salt Lake City last year, calling it “fair and reasonable”.

The legislation, which protect LGBT people from discrimination in employment and housing, has some caveats to allow the church to avoid penalties for abiding by its religious principles.