Mormons Move To Excommunicate High-Profile LGBT Supporter

lds_templeAs the creator of a popular online forum for Mormons, John Dehlin tackles some of the more uncomfortable issues for believers, including the Church’s stand on gays and lesbians. Dehlin is an ally of the LGBT community, and that’s too much for the LDS leadership. Dehlin has received a letter from the head of his Church region threatening Dehlin with excommunication.

“Because of the love I have for you, I have become concerned about some of your recent statements and actions regarding this church and your place in it,” the letter, which Dehlin shared with The New York Times, reads. 

It’s not an isolated threat. Within a day, Kate Kelly, who founded a group promoting the ordination of Mormon women, received a similar letter, suggesting that that LDS headquarters are clamping down on anyone it considers out of line.

Despite his conservative upbringing, Dehlin has become an ally of LGBT Mormons and ex-Mormons, with his dissertation in psychology exploring the pain the Church’s policies have inflicted. His speech at a TED Event at Utah State University last fall has been viewed more than 39,000 on YouTube. His Mormon credentials are impeccable, including a stint as the Church’s Chief Information Officer.

Dehlin, who is married to a woman and has four children, believes that he is fostering an open dialogue among Mormons who are struggling to reconcile their faith with the Church’s position on hot-button issues, including LGBT rights.

“I worry that the church is kind of shooting the messenger,” he said. “They’re shooting the people who are trying to help and be part of the solution.” It’s not just his position on LGBT rights that has gotten Dehlin in trouble; he also questions many “truth claims” of the Church.

The Mormon Church insists the letters to Dehlin and Kelly are just an amazing coincidence. “Local leaders have the responsibility to clarify false teachings and prevent other members from being misled. Decisions are made by local leaders and not directed or coordinated by church headquarters,” the Church said in a statement.

The moves against Dehlin and Kelly undercut the softer image that the Mormons have been trying to fashion for themselves. The Church has been largely absent from the marriage equality debate, after being burned for its support for California’s Proposition 8 in 2008. The Church’s “I’m a Mormon” campaign features gay believers as part of its effort to convince people of its diversity.

Apparently, diversity has its limits when it comes to opinion. The choice facing Dehlin is to resign or to face a Church trial for apostasy. Dehlin says resigning is out of the question.

 “I will not be resigning my membership,” Dehlin told the Deseret News. “I love the church too much to resign from it. My biggest hope is that this goes away.”

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  • Mezaien

    HAHAHAHA I was LSD, oops LDS member for many years in South African, till I realize they are D.E.K.C.U.F UP Christian, so I left! lucky me.

  • woodin

    “Dehlin told the Deseret News. “I love the church too much to resign from it.”

    Just like the Log Cabin Republicans learned recently in TX….when the layers are peeled back…’re really not welcome in the organization.

    Dehlin, might be just the messenger as he claims, but at the end of the day…the church really doesn’t care either like the GOP.

    I always wonder how the Catholic and Mormon Church’s reconcile their respective hypocrisy, documented deviant history & behavior, etc. with what the teaching they throw out to the mass.

    Just remember the Mormon church only outlawed plural marriage to secure statehood and Billy Graham only recently lifted the decades old cult status of the Mormon faith for political reasons just to get the Evangelical backing for Romney.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    The Mormons are a nefarious cult, a reed in the wind, a nothing-burger, organized to spread false teachings and wild machinations. It is emptiness. It has no historical nor archeological basis. “When you wish upon a star…”

  • Cam

    The church hasn’t been silent on the gay marriage front since Prop 8. Remember, after Prop 8 they continued to fund the group NOM, and Hawaii was just one of the other states where they tried to marshall out the money and troops to attack gay rights.

    This story here is typical. A woman dares speak up to ask the church a question, a man thinks the church shouldn’t hate gays and they are both to be excommunicated.

  • Charles The Great

    Listen, the LDS is nothing but a cult and who they worship a terrorist known as Joseph Smith.

  • loren_1955

    So much side stepping, pontificating, and out right lies anymore by Mormon leadershp. People like Dehlin and Kelly are simply a conduit for members to feel free to express themselves in the face of threats by Mormon leadership. The Mormon culture is sick and unhealthy based anymore on fear. Fear that others will find out the truth about the church, about other member’s lives. The church of today is 180 degrees different and away from the one I was reared in 50+ years ago. What was black is now white, what was white is now black. Today’s leadership is purposely white washing and rewriting the beliefs of the church for the protection of the corporation. Truth is truth and should be consistent through the years which for the Mormon church is not the case anymore. The whistleblowers within in the Mormon church need beware, the Church has no loyalty to it’s members, feeds on it’s members, and when the member gets in the way or is no longer needed disposes of them through excommunication and shunning. This has been going on for years with their gay youth. If a church and parents could go so low as to shun and dispose of even 12 year olds to lives of prostitution and drugs for being gay, they have little sympathy for adults that get in the way.

  • SteveDenver

    Cults have rules!
    Embrace a hate group, expect hate.

  • manjoguy

    Let us not forget what Islam thinks of us gays. Here are two quotes from Barack Hussein Obama on Islam:
    “We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world — including in my own country.”
    “Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance.”

  • Cam


    I see that the B.S. Anti-gay supporters are here trying to distract anything that exposes Mormons or the GOP for the true gay haters they are.

    Considering that in the last few years Islam hasn’t spent over 100 million dollars here in the U.S. fighting against gay rights and the Mormons have, I would say that they are far higher up on the list of hate groups as far as the gay community goes.

    Additionally, they are also excommunicating one of these people simply for supporting women having more rights in the church. So actually your comparison seems on point, the Mormons ARE like conservative Islam, they hate gays and don’t want women to have full rights, thank you for pointing that out.

  • smiles

    Got your facts wrong. John has never been CIO for the LDS church. If you are going to print it, get it right.

  • smiles

    Makes me think your other facts are suspect too.

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