Same-sex marriage is tearing the Mormon Church apart
A rift over the issue of same-sex marriage is threatening to tear the Church of the Latter Day Saints apart from the inside.
Since the Church opposed marriage equality in the case of Proposition 8 – which temporarily banned gay marriage in California – many members of the church have softened their stances on the issue.
Young Mormons in particular are increasingly approving of same-sex marriage, according to a Public Religion Research Institute poll released in June.
However, the leadership of the Church support radically different values.
The late anti-LGBT leader of the church, Thomas Monson – who died on Tuesday – is set to be replaced with an even more homophobic elder.
Monson refused to let women become priests and excluded LGBT families to the point where many removed themselves from the Church entirely.
Diane Oviatt, who has a gay son, was one of the people who left over its resistance to same-sex marriage.
“You don’t leave Mormonism easily…there is shunning that happens,” she said on VICE News Tonight on HBO.
Diane became an activist to try and change attitudes within the Mormon community, co-founding a support group for mothers of LGBT children which she called Mama Dragons.
While the Church doesn’t condemn same-sex attraction, it does require celibacy from gay people.
And in 2016, it introduced a hateful anti-LGBT policy which expelled same-sex couples and prevented their children from getting blessed or baptised until they were 18.
When it comes to members in general though, support for same-sex marriage has steadily risen since it was legalised in the US.
Mormons have also increasingly disapproved of businesses which refuse to serve gay couples.
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Many Mormons are confronting their crises of faith, with some of those who support LGBT rights seeking new tribes.
John Dehlin, who was excommunicated after raising questions about Mormonism on his podcast for those struggling with their faith, is a long-time supporter of LGBT youth.
He said there will be equality within the Church, but warned that it will take “20 or 30 years.”
Watch a video on the subject below: