SALT LAKE CITY — Four years ago, the LDS Church published its landmark website mormonsandgays.org and invited LGBT members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to "stay with us."
On Tuesday, the faith's leaders introduced its long-anticipated re-launch of the site, complete with changes to its name and location and significant new content.
The new Mormonandgay.lds.org resides on the official church website, lds.org.
"The site is part of the official website of the church and what is on it is just as official as everything else that is on that website, and that's a change," said Elder Von G. Keetch, executive director of the church's public affairs department and a General Authority Seventy.
The new web address plays a major role.
"The 'Mormon and Gay' title makes clear that someone can be both Mormon and feel same-sex attraction or identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual. Mormon and gay," said Elder L. Whitney Clayton, the senior president of the Quorum of the Seventy, in an interview with the Deseret News.
Mormonandgay.lds.org makes it clear that Mormons can experience same-sex attraction or identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual and still be active, temple-recommend-holding church members if they comply with the law of chastity, which requires that all sexual activity take place in heterosexual marriages.
The site reiterates the church's teaching that attraction is not identity. Instead, the church teaches that a person's primary identity is as a child of God and that learning self-mastery is important to becoming like Heavenly Parents.
The site includes an increase in content, including the personal stories of those who identify as Mormon and gay. The site also includes tips for families and friends, including many videos from family and friends of the gay, lesbian and bisexual Mormons whose stories are told on the site.
The website makes it clear that heterosexual marriage is not an appropriate therapeutic response to same-sex attraction.
See the Deseret News story for more information.