The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) has launched a new website titled Mormon and Gay.
The site is a reboot of a previous attempt to reach out to gay Mormons. It offers advice for parents on when to seek professional counseling for their children and help with suicidal thoughts and depression.
The church is being praised for changing the name – the old site was titled Mormons and Gays – and moving the content from a separate location to lds.org. Also the site repeatedly states that gay men and lesbians "should not be marginalized or judged, nor have their faithfulness questioned."
Despite those changes, the message remains the same: being gay is not a sin, but acting on it is.
Gay Mormons are expected to remain celibate.
"There are sacrifices made, lonely nights felt, and sorrow that the eye cannot see," Josh Searle, a gay Mormon in Idaho who ended a relationship to return to the church, says in one of the videos on the website. "But God has blessed me with moments where I emphatically say I am here to stay the course."
Addison Jenkins, president of Understanding Same-Gender Attraction, an LGBT group at Brigham Young University, noted the site's exclusion of transgender members.
"It was glaringly obvious right away that trans people were not part of the scope of the website," Jenkins told The Salt Lake Tribune
The site makes no mention of the church's policy of excommunicating gay members in a relationship and barring their children from being baptized into the faith until they reach 18 and disavow their their parents' union.