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Mormon Activists See New Opportunity Following Gay Marriage Decision

Dan Bammes
Mormons for Equality marched in Salt Lake City's 2014 Pride Parade

Mormon activists who’ve been pushing for more inclusion of gays and lesbians within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints see a new opportunity now that the U-S Supreme Court has decided not to hear Utah’s appeal of its same-sex marriage case. 

Erika Munson is one of the founders of Mormons Building Bridges, which has marched in Salt Lake City’s Pride Parade and helped to moderate many private discussions among Mormons.

Munson believes more gay couples will be coming to LDS worship services after the legalization of same-sex marriages in Utah.

She tells KUER, “Mormons want to be good neighbors, and I think it’s even an opportunity for the national spotlight to show that Utahns, who are often considered in the context of the nation as a very conservative group, can actually be kind of a model of civil conversation and outreach and neighborliness for gay couples.”

Munson says it’s especially important to accommodate the children of gay couples and make sure they have all the opportunities the church provides.  She says remarks by ElderDallinOaks during the recent general conference helped to set the tone for more acceptance of same-sex couples.

Oaks also restated the church’s doctrinal position that marriage is meant only for opposite-sex couples.  But Spencer Clark, who leads the group Mormons for Equality, expressed his personal belief that could change some day.

“I don’t doubt that in future years we’ll receive greater clarity and inspiration regarding our gay, lesbian, bisexual friends and family and people within our congregation," Clark tells KUER.  "I don’t know what that will be, but I do look forward and anticipate we’ll have more revelation on that subject in the coming years.”

Clark says having a final decision on the legal status of same-sex marriage means that other issues can now be decided as well, including protecting gays and lesbians from housing and job discrimination.

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