The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today issued a statement following the delivery of a petition by the Human Rights Campaign, an organization representing LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people throughout the United States. The petition denounces an address by President Boyd K. Packer to Church members, in which he characterized same-gender attraction as impure and unnatural.
Delivering the statement was the Church’s global public affairs director, Michael R. Otterson.
The statement, which can be read in its entirety at the Church’s Newsroom internet site, makes a number of important points, including the following.
- This week we have witnessed tragic deaths across the country as a result of bullying or intimidation of gay young men. We join our voice with others in unreserved condemnation of acts of cruelty or attempts to belittle or mock any group or individual that is different – whether those differences arise from race, religion, mental challenges, social status, sexual orientation or for any other reason. Such actions have no place in our society.
- Our parents, young adults, teens and children, of all people, should be sensitive to the vulnerable in society and be willing to speak out against bullying or intimidation whenever it occurs, including unkindness toward those who are attracted to others of the same sex. This is particularly so in our own Latter-day Saint congregations.
- As a church, our doctrinal position is clear: any sexual activity outside of marriage is wrong, and we define marriage as between a man and a woman. However, that should never be used as justification for unkindness.
- Those in the Church who are attracted to someone of the same sex but stay faithful to the Church’s teachings can be happy during this life and perform meaningful service in the Church. They can enjoy full fellowship with other Church members, including attending and serving in temples, and ultimately receive all the blessings afforded to those who live the commandments of God.
Today’s statement is important and deserves careful reading, in its entirety, by all Church members. I encourage my readers to review it at the Church Newsroom site, here.