Dear 100 Hour Board,
Where do gay Mormons fit in the Church? If they choose to live a celibate life, what does that look like?
-My Name Here
Dear My Name Here,
I think the answer to this question is currently in flux. What is most important, though, is that if gay Mormons are to fit in the church, straight Mormons are going to have to make room. It's just that simple.
We can talk all day about how the doctrine provides space or how the Savior directs us to love one another so there must be space. We can trade bits of anecdotal evidence about how so-and-so feels welcomed by his ward and so-and-so was treated really well by her family. The fact remains that many, many gay people don't feel like they fit in the church. So, it's up to straight people to figure out how to change that.
A celibate life for a gay person in the church looks a lot like a celibate life for a single straight person, except without the hope that the gay person will ever find a spouse or enjoy a sexual relationship. Straight single people have activities and talks and wards dedicated to helping them find eternal companions. They can hold hands and date until they are married. For many celibate gay people in the church, none of that can happen. They have to live knowing that they will never date, marry, or have any meaningful romantic physical contact. They don't really fit in to the mission of YSA wards, and they often struggle to fit in in family wards. Without marriage, some callings are out of reach. They either have to continually come out or forever field questions about why they aren't married. The road ahead is long for LDS celibate gay people.
I do know some gay people who have stayed active in the church, and even temple worthy, while they date, hold hands, and kiss. They know they will never be married or have sex, and their temple recommend status can change based on whether they move wards or their bishop is released. I've had friends lose their temple recommends in these situations, which was very hard on them.
I used to know a few couples who stayed active in the church even after being married. Since the policy change, however, all of the couples that I personally know who were in that situation have stopped going. I'm sure there are still a few couples who are in this situation, but I don't know any.
- The Black Sheep
Church ≠ BYU but I saw this right as this question was asked and it felt appropriate. Here's clickable link.
So, I don't know exactly. But I know they belong. At least where it most counts.
Here's a few examples of gay, active Mormons (looks like first two are celibate and last two are married to women),
- A friend of mine came out last year & wrote a post about it
- Eric D. Snider
- My cousin-in-law's brother
- Josh Weed
The Church's site Mormon and Gay also has various stories about gay Mormons and their experiences in the Church.