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"Is LDS Church taking a step back on gay issues?"  By Rosemary Winters, The Salt Lake Tribune, 09/25/2009

LDS general authority Bruce C. Hafen's speech last week about homosexuality sounded like a throwback.

He told those assembled at a conference for Mormons trying to "overcome" same-sex attraction that being gay is "not in your DNA." He talked about the 1970s, when psychology manuals listed homosexuality as a mental disorder and gay-rights activists were working just to get anti-sodomy laws off the books.

... "It was a big step backwards," said Gary Watts, a Provo physician who, for decades, has watched the church's position on homosexuality evolve. "The church has a long way to go to get into the 21st century. They're making incremental movements. What Hafen has done is take them back 25 years."

How Hafen's speech stacks up:  Source:
Here's how statements made by Bruce C. Hafen, a member of the LDS First Quorum of the Seventy, last week compare with some made in 2006 by LDS apostle Dallin H. Oaks and a 2008 church statement.

Hafen » "Having same-gender attraction is not in your DNA."

Oaks » "The church does not have a position on the causes of any of these susceptibilities or inclinations, including those related to same-gender attraction. Those are scientific questions -- whether nature or nurture -- those are things the church doesn't have a position on."

Hafen » "Evidence that people have indeed changed [their sexual orientation] threatens the political agenda of the activists, because actual change disproves their claim that homosexuality is a fixed condition that deserves the same legal protections as those fixed conditions like race and gender."

Church statement » "The church does not object to rights for same-sex couples regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights or probate rights."


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