CAN OF WORMS

Mormon Leaders Accidentally Tell Gay Students They Don’t Exist… Then Backtrack… Then Backtrack Again

The Mormons just can’t seem to get it right when it comes to the gay community.

A recent online survey distributed among Brigham Young University students inadvertently suggests gay people don’t exist.

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is conducting a focus group to better understand your views on marriage and same-sex attraction,” the survey, which was obtained by The New Civil Rights Movement, reads. It then asks a series of questions about respondents’ thoughts on social and moral issues, how comfortable they are expressing their opinions to others, and more.

The questions are pretty simple and straight-forward, until it comes to the topic of sexual orientation.

Originally, the survey asked the following question:

 

What is your sexual orientation?

• I am heterosexual, but I struggle with same-sex attraction.

• I am heterosexual and do not struggle with same-sex attraction.

• Other, please specify:

 

No option for gay, lesbian, or bisexual people was given.

So either the church would like to deny the existence of homosexuals, or they’ve relegated them to the category of “others.” Or maybe it was just an honest mistake? Who knows?

Shortly after The New Civil Rights Movement broke the story, the survey was updated to include a third option: 

 

What is your sexual orientation?

• I consider myself heterosexual and I struggle with same-sex attraction.

• I consider myself heterosexual and I do not struggle with same-sex attraction.

• I consider myself homosexual, bisexual, or transgendered.

• Other, please specify:

 

(For the record: It’s transgender, not “transgendered.” Furthermore, transgender is a gender identity, not a sexual orientation.)

That question was quickly scrubbed away and replaced with a more general but no less offensive one:

 

Do you experience same-sex attraction?

• Yes

• No

• Other, please specify:

 

Now we’ve reverted back to the original problem: Suggesting that gay people, in the minds of the Church leaders, don’t exist. They are merely straight people who “experience” gay feelings.

A Church spokesperson for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent an e-mail to The New Civil Rights Movement explaining the kerfuffle, saying that the “original wording of the question in the survey was unclear, so the question has been reworded to better convey the intent of the question.”

He added: “[It’s] important to us that people understand that the doctrine of the Church has not changed and is not changing … and all members are taught and encouraged to live according to God’s laws of moral conduct.”

Which begs the question: If the Church has no plans on changing its views on gay people, why conduct the survey in the first place?

The New Civil Rights Movement reports that there are 34,000 students at Brigham Young University, and estimates that approximately 700 of those students are gay, lesbian, or bisexual… Maybe… If they exist… It’s still unclear.