LDS members talk about being Mormon and gay on updated church website

Posted at 6:54 PM, Oct 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-26 10:48:32-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints unveiled its updated website called “Mormon and Gay” Tuesday.

Andy Miller is one of several Mormons who chose to share his story on the church-sponsored website.

"This had the capacity to help a lot of people and that by sharing my experience I could make a difference," Miller said.

Miller is openly gay and a devoted member of the church. His mother, Tonya said, is this concept is hard for many people to believe.

"If nothing else it gets to start a conversation that hopefully dispels a lot of the fear, even the question, 'can someone be Mormon and gay?' Yep, they can," Tonya Miller said.

Right now, Andy Miller said, he's able to make it work and stay a fully participating member in the church.

Elder L. Whitney Clayton, member of the church’s Quorum of the Seventy, released the following statement about the website:

"The site is intended for our members. Specifically, it's for those who experience same-sex attraction and want to remain faithful."

Tera Brown, serves as board chairwoman of North Star, a faith affirming organization, which supports LDS members. She said this website is also a resource for church leaders.

"Before when they launched the website a lot of leaders weren’t aware that it was actually a church-sponsored website and so they were afraid to go there," Brown said.

Kendall Wilcox is also gay and Mormon.

"It's not perfect but it's a huge step forward in terms of the conversation within the church about lesbian, gay, and bisexual members of the church," Wilcox said.

Wilcox does wish the website would address the issue of reparative therapy, especially since so many gay Mormons are drawn to it.

"The church doesn’t even address that, let alone what they should do, which is categorically condemn the practice. The fact that the website doesn’t go there is a glaring omission," Wilcox said.

To be clear, the people featured on the website are living by LDS standards, meaning they are not engaging in homosexual relationships.