My post: Figuring out a few things (in which I came out of the pseudo-closet), got some really mixed comments. I'm not surprised--my viewpoint is certainly NOT the traditional or majority view in the LDS church. Most of the negative comments focused on The Family: A Proclamation to the World, a document written by the leaders of the church in 1995. I wanted to make a few points to clear up exactly why I've arrived at the decision I have.
1) People confuse the Family Proclamation as doctrine. It is not doctrine. It was not and has not been canonized. The Church does not have any doctrine on LGBT matters. Similarly, the church never had doctrine on how black people should be treated, either. What the church has is policy. And there is a big difference between doctrine and policy.
Doctrine rarely changes, nor should it, as we view it as the word of God. Policy, however, is the words of our human leaders, and it DOES change. Fairly frequently. Our leaders are human and fallible. We need to remember that, and allow them to be fallible and to grow and change, just as we do.
2) I'm not asking for doctrine to change. I'm not asking for the Family Proclamation to change. "Marriage between a man and a woman is essential to [God's] eternal plan." That's what it states. And I believe that wholeheartedly. It IS essential to God's plan. It's how we bring children into this world. And I'm not saying that should change. I respect the church's right to base its religious recognition of marriage as being between a man and a woman.
The issue of gay marriage, for me, is a public policy issue, not a religious one. The public policy issue is that right now same-gender couples are not allowed to have the same legal protections for their spouses as straight couples do. And I have a problem with that.
The church will always have the right to recognize marriage however they choose to, as well it should. The religious definition of marriage is one thing--the state's definition is another. And the 12th Article of Faith states that we believe in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law. 9 states and D.C. have legalized same-sex marriage. For the gay people who DO choose to marry, shouldn't we do the Christlike thing, and allow them to be protected under the law, even if we don't agree with their personal choice?
No one is going to force the LDS church to perform gay marriages, nor should they, and I'm not debating that.
To close, a quote from Mitch Mayne, an openly gay man and an active member of the church: "We'd do alot better as disciples of our Savior if we paid a little more attention to our own salvation, and a little less to everyone else's."
There's a lot of talk about the Family Proclamation, so I wanted to point something out. I mentioned above that the Proclamation says that marriage between a man and a woman is essential to God's plan. It is. Absolutely. But it does NOT say that marriage between a man and a woman is the only way. It says "The family is ordained of God." It is. Absolutely. It does NOT say, "The family is ordained of God, unless it consists of a same-gender couple."
Nowhere, not ONCE, in the entire document, does it say anything about homosexual/transgender people or couples.
It says that ALL human beings are created in the image of God. It doesn't say, "All human beings are created in the image of God, unless they're LGBT."
It says that gender is an essential characteristic of individual eternal identity and purpose. Not gender unless you identify with a different gender than you were born with. Not gender unless you're gay.
So, yes. I did study the Family Proclamation. Extensively. I prayed about it. And no where, not once, does it say anything about LGBT children of God. Regardless of whether you believe it's doctrinal or not, there is nothing about gay/transgender people.
NOTE: BEFORE commenting, please read this post. Thanks.