Latest: Anti-gay stance spurs exodus from Mormon Church

The church has a history of anti-gay actions.

  • A pride flag flies in front of the Historic Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah.

    George Frey /Getty Images
 

BACKSTORY
For decades, the Utah-based Mormon Church has played a leading role in the battle over gay rights in the United States. In 2008, the church helped bankroll Proposition 8, a controversial ballot measure that sought to ban gay marriage in California. Mormon leaders supported the campaign, calling on church members to “do all you can.” Individual donations totaled more than $9 million, and Proposition 8 passed (“Prophets and Politics,” HCN, 10/20/08).


FOLLOWUP
In mid-November, the Mormon Church strengthened its anti-gay stance, announcing a new policy that bars children living with same-sex couples from baptism and other rites. It also declared that Mormons in same-sex marriages must undergo disciplinary hearings that could lead to excommunication. Church officials said they needed to draw a line between civil laws that allow same-sex marriage and church doctrine, which does not. Afterwards, as many as 3,500 Mormons officially resigned from the church.