Mormon support for gay marriage growing, but still trails Muslims, Jews, Catholics

Mark Lindsay, left, and Tom Kerns kiss after mailing a resignation letter as Mormons gather for a mass resignation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Nov. 14, 2015, in Salt Lake City | Associated Press file photo by Rick Bowmer, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Mormon Alex Landers supports the legalization of gay marriage despite her religion’s opposition for a simple reason: She has LGBTQ friends who she loves and respects, including her best friend who is a bisexual man.

“I can’t look at him and his boyfriend and tell them that they can’t be happy and they can’t love each other,” said Landers, 20, of Draper, Utah. “Heavenly Father loves us for who we are. He wants us to be happy, as long as we’re treating people well and we’re being who we truly are and we’re not hurting anyone.”

She is among a growing number of young Mormons driving the faith’s gradual acceptance of same-sex marriages, even though The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ support still lags well behind national approval and those of Catholics, Muslims and Jews, according to the survey released this week by the Public Religion Research Institute.

The survey found that 40 percent of Mormons in the United States supported gay marriage in 2017, up from 27 percent in 2014. Among Mormons between the ages of 18-29, the acceptance is 52 percent. That’s up from 43 percent in 2014. Members who are 65 and older have the lowest rate of support at 32 percent, according a survey based on about 40,000 phone interviews done last year. That’s up from 18 percent in 2014.

Nationally, 61 percent of Americans support gay marriage, up from 52 percent in 2013.

The Utah-based religion of 16 million worldwide members has held firm to its opposition of gay marriage and homosexual activity while trying to foster an empathetic stance toward LGBTQ people.

Last year, church leaders updated a website to advise that attraction to people of the same sex is not a sin or a measure of their faithfulness and may never go away. But the church reminded members that being in an intimate same-sex relationship is a sin.

Among religious groups included in the survey, only white evangelical Protestants and Jehovah’s Witnesses had lower levels of support for gay marriage. Support was higher among Catholics (about 65 percent), Muslims (51 percent) and Jews (77 percent).

The survey found that Mormons had the largest gap between support for gay marriage and support for anti-discrimination laws to protect LGBT people. While only 40 percent of Mormons favor gay marriage, 69 percent support anti-discrimination laws.

Luis Miranda, a 30-year-old heterosexual Mormon, said he wasn’t surprised by the survey results because he senses a shifting tone among other young Mormons in the singles congregation he attends.

He said he grew up as a Catholic in Guatemala believing that traditional marriage between a man and a woman was sacred and important. He continued to hold that belief after he moved to Utah as a teenager and converted to Mormonism.

But as he grew older, he realized he needed to meet and spend more time with gays and lesbians. “I realized they were just as beautiful and loving with each other, and as pure as anyone else,” said Miranda, of Salt Lake City.

Miranda said he sometimes struggles to reconcile his opinion with what church leaders are teaching. He believes Mormon leaders have good intentions. He is committed to remain in the religion to be a voice of support for gay marriage.

He finds hope in the fact that the religion believes church doctrine can be altered through revelations from God. That’s how the church explained why it lifted the ban on blacks in the religion’s lay priesthood in 1978.

“If it’s happened before, it could happen again,” Miranda said.

Written by BRADY McCOMBS, Associated Press

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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  • great success May 4, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    The herd won’t fully approve until the old farts at the top stop calling it evil. Even then, it’s been engrained so forcefully in prior generations that you’ll still have biases for a while.

    All because men who put together the Bible hundreds of years ago allowed their squeamishness about difference become the “word of God.” People are tribal. We get uncomfortable when someone isn’t like us. Majority rules. Homosexuality will always be in the minority in the human population. Just stop being a dick to people that are different than you, and get over yourself.

  • PogoStik May 4, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    If you don’t want to marry someone of your own sex, then DON’T. Simple as that. Why is that anybodys business other than the two people getting married? If the LDS, Muslims, Jews, and other religions don’t want to marry same-sex couples, then DON’T. But don’t keep sticking your nose into areas that don’t really concern you.

  • NotSoFast May 4, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    I got an idea, Tell Heavenly Father his feeling on shacking up with the same sex is so Old Fashion and Mean. Wherever his word (felling’s) to his earthly children concerning the subject is written in stone, how he handled Sodom & Gomorrah for example? Just delete the meanie stuff from his written word. Easy right?
    (I can hear the deceptive one now), ‘Yea, that’s the ticket! Screw the old fool. Come follow me.

  • comments May 4, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    Marriage might as well be done. It is done. A lot of clueless leftists will start droning on about “the bible… blah blah blah”. Marriage was a lot more than some religious tradition. It was actually a very important part of societal cohesiveness. Leftists ALWAYS ATTRIBUTE IT TO RELIGION. Leftists are clueless and brainwashed. Gay “marriage” is nothing less than a sign of societal decay. Marriage is now a joke. Might as well allow people to marry donkeys, goats, dogs, etc.

    • ladybugavenger May 4, 2018 at 7:28 pm

      Agree. I’m gonna go marry my cat, I’ll be right back…

      • PogoStik May 4, 2018 at 10:22 pm

        Ms Bug, Alright by me even if your cat is a female. Might Get some strange looks when you attend your company’s Christmas party and introduce your husband Mr. Cat to your boss 🙂 Or Mr. Comments, introducing your wife Mrs. Donkey.

        • ladybugavenger May 5, 2018 at 10:06 am

          Oh snap! My cat is Male! Neutered tho so hmmmmmm. LOL.

          • ladybugavenger May 5, 2018 at 4:00 pm

            Wait! It would be alright with you if I married my cat! Oh No! What is this world coming too. You should not be ok with it and you should talk me out of it! What is wrong with people? Marrying my cat is unacceptable! Lol. We love each other tho, meow!

    • Striker4 May 4, 2018 at 8:07 pm

      Pffffffffft when was the last time you crawled out of your mother’s basement ?

  • Craig May 4, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    Gsy marriage is legal. That is what gays demanded. Leave churchs alone. If a chirch refuses to agree with gay marriage thats fine. Its time to stop demanding everyone agree its acceptable.

    • Real Life May 5, 2018 at 11:10 am

      You need to hire a proofreader.

  • ladybugavenger May 4, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    If the mormon church supports gay marriage than it is no longer the church of Jesus Christ. They should call it,”Wherever the wind blows, church of faithful tithers”

    • NotSoFast May 4, 2018 at 11:22 pm

      Hum… Really hits the nail on head ladybug.
      And speaking of ‘Wherever the wind blows’, Jesus foretold where/ how the wind will blow in the last days and how the majority of the little people will follow just like they have been deceived.

  • think4urself May 4, 2018 at 10:30 pm

    The conflict the church imposes on its members is disgusting! Members who support their friends and family, whether they want to admit it or not, are not deeply believing members. Members CAN NOT support gay marriage and be in good standing according to church doctrine and policy. A few years ago I was told by an apostle that if you do not unequivocally defend traditional marriage, you ARE NOT a true disciple of Jesus Christ. That, along with other issues that I chose to no longer just put on a shelf and say ‘it’s okay to not have the answers, someday I’ll understand’, are what caused me to be a ex Mormon and a very happy one!!

  • Maggie May 4, 2018 at 10:57 pm

    Someday soon, in a tiny room somewhere in Salt Lake City, an accountant will crunch the numbers, revealing how much money the LDS church is losing by not allowing same-sex marriage. He, and you know it will be a man as women are not allowed in the hallowed halls of the upper echelons of the church unless they are cleaning, will take his spreadsheets and numbers to the First Quorum. Prayers will be said. The Book of Mormon, Doctrines and Covenants, and A Pearl of Great Price will be perused and analyzed. Soon those numbers, along with the suggestions of the First Quorum, will be presented to the Second Quorum, where the procedure will start again. Eventually, it will be brought to the attention of the Quorum of Seventy and when the men (remember, no women are involved in the decision making process) of the Quorum of Seventy will send it to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who after more prayer and debate, will pass it upward to the First Presidency, where the men (no women allowed) will seclude themselves from outside interference in order to prevent any ‘worldly’ distractions while they pray over the facts and above all else, the figures showing that the LGBTQ community has huge amounts of disposable income from which to draw tithes and offerings. They will pray over the documents presented and Heavenly Father (with no female influence whatsoever) will reveal the church has been remiss in their duties by letting millions of dollars worth of potential income slip through their fingers by refusing to acknowledge that same-sex couples have as much right to be joined for time and eternity as traditional couples. More prayers will be said, and lo, or perhaps verily, a Revelation, or a Manifesto like the one that ‘abolished’ polygamy in 1890, will be received and same-sex couples will be welcomed with open arms holding collection plates, similar to the same Revelation that allowed African-Americans to become full members of the priesthood in 1978. Do the math and follow the money…..

    • 42214 May 5, 2018 at 9:09 am

      One of the smartest and cogent comments I’ve seen in a long time.

    • comments May 5, 2018 at 10:52 am

      The mormon church folding to the homosexual agenda would be an extreme policy change for them, even with the usual main aim of the organization being increasing revenue. Incorporating homosexuals into the culture would be drastic, and I don’t see them doing it any time soon, and if they do it would likely be done in baby steps. I believe the main reason the LDS church is winding down their partnership with BSA is because of the issues of gays and trans in that organization. I’m no fan of LDS inc, but that’s one thing they have going for them is they haven’t folded to gay/trans agendas.

    • Tyler May 5, 2018 at 8:15 pm

      This isnt the Boy Scouts…

  • comments May 4, 2018 at 11:00 pm

    I’m not even sure there is such a thing as a homosexual. I’m a firm believer that homosexual tendencies are a genetic trait, and this trait gets passed along thru the generations because these so-called “homosexuals” manage to procreate (and not with a same sex parterner! surprise surprise, huh?!). I’d classify most of them as sexual opportunists. And I’ve never heard any good reason why homosexual “marriage” is not completely absurd. Historically, marriage has been about creating a family unit (a mother a father and children). There were the religious rituals, but that wasn’t the main purpose. It had (has?) an important role in creating a stable society. The main purpose wasn’t about “the bible, blah blah blah”… “why do xtians hate gays so much, blah blah blah”. I’d like to see if any of you brain-drained leftists can make a good counter argument here. I’ve not heard one yet. I have heard a lot of leftist emotive overreactions over the years. That tends to be the typical leftist response.

    • comments May 4, 2018 at 11:01 pm

      oops, misspelled ‘partner’

  • Chuck May 5, 2018 at 5:19 am

    There are three reasons why marriage equality for Gay couples is becoming a non-issue, even among LDS:

    1: The LGBT community has simply done a much more articulate job of stating our case for marriage equality than the anti-Gay side has in stating their case against it. While they have spoken in abstractions, we have personalized the issue.

    2: Unlike 30 years ago, most people today are AWARE of friends and family members who are Gay, and with that awareness has come vastly increased acceptance and support.

    3: People know that getting married is preferable to simply shacking up together. And the friends and family members that the couple makes that solemn commitment before will act as a social support system within which the couple can better honor their vows. It doesn’t matter whether the couple in question is Straight or Gay.

    • comments May 5, 2018 at 10:42 am

      I’d say it’s because sexual perversions are becoming so commonplace in popular mass media and tolerated in society that even LDS are just folding to it. It’s simply moral decay. And mormons are not immune to it.

    • John May 5, 2018 at 4:53 pm

      Minimalizing perversion just because you like it does not make it anything other than a perversion. You want to squeeze another guy’s butt? Do it in the privacy of your own home and leave us non-perverts out of it !

    • Gcia May 5, 2018 at 9:53 pm

      Wrong, wrong, and wrong!

  • dogmatic May 5, 2018 at 8:11 am

    Being a naturalist I view gay relationships as a perversion. No matter how they try their genes will not be past on and in that way it gives me comfort.
    Yep, Mormons will always accept gays……. as being a perversion.

    • comments May 5, 2018 at 10:43 am

      they do spread their genes. You should try reading some other posts…

      • dogmatic May 5, 2018 at 12:25 pm

        I was thinking more in the evaluationary way, like the survival of the fittest, natural selection………
        Undesirable to a fertile mate ……..

        • comments May 5, 2018 at 1:49 pm

          I’ll just kinda repeat what i wrote earlier. Most of these “homosexuals” are not exclusively homosexual. In Utah there are a lot of married LDS men with kids who like to mess around with men on the side. You could call them “bisexuals” or whatever, but in reality its just a tendency towards sexual deviancy and opportunism–in plain language they are simply perverts. I’d go as far as to say that’s the tendency of most “homosexuals”. I could go on a rant about things I learned about human sexuality in a psychology course, but really, it’s not even pleasant to discuss. You could sum it up with: people have not evolved beyond monkey behavior. That’s the truth.

  • dogmatic May 5, 2018 at 8:30 am

    As a naturalist and a very visual person when I hear the words “gay men” I have visions of men in the act of sexual compilation, it is disgusting? . I know this is a phobia but I will never live to be desensitized.

  • Mike P May 5, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    I’m gunna just have a beer and let you all fight this out

    • ladybugavenger May 5, 2018 at 4:02 pm

      Dont let me marry my cat!!?

      • comments May 5, 2018 at 6:47 pm

        you already got the cat’s hopes up. there’s no turning back now 😉

    • comments May 5, 2018 at 6:48 pm

      make it a vodka, michael

  • Tyler May 5, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    So many opinions that dont really matter… Sometimes I wonder if people really think it does matter or just stirring the pot..

    • ladybugavenger May 5, 2018 at 9:37 pm

      Excuse me? My opinions matter and dont you forget it ?

      The only one stirring the pot, of the witches brew, is the mormon church. Accepting gay marriage is a no no for Gods people.

      • Tyler May 6, 2018 at 7:56 am

        You’re wrong, but keep Stirring… Stirring…

        • John May 6, 2018 at 11:29 am

          You can put all the lipstick you want on a pig, it will always be a pig !

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