The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) is in the news today after it was discovered that church leaders did not want to give their members a chance to identify themselves as gay in a survey about same-sex attractions.
The church administered a survey recently in which respondents were told, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is conducting a focus group to better understand your views on marriage and same-sex attraction.”
Given the survey’s subject, it’s not surprising that a question asking people about their sexual orientation was included. What is surprising, is the lack of options given to people to identify themselves as.
The question “What is your sexual orientation?” could be answered on the survey with one of three options:
- “I am heterosexual, but I struggle with same sex attraction.”
- “I am heterosexual and do not struggle with same sex attraction.”
- “Other, please specify.”
The New Civil Rights Movement first publicized the church's lack of response options on the survey. Shortly after, LDS updated the survey with an added response option of “I consider myself homosexual, bisexual, or transgender.”
But that addition didn’t last long, as just one day later the church updated both the question and the responses. The question now asks, “Do you experience same-sex attraction?”
Available answers are yes, no, and other. Once again, the church seems uncomfortable letting non-heterosexual members identify themselves as such.
The New Civil Rights Movement reached out to LDS for comment. A church spokesperson said the “original wording of the question in the survey was unclear, so the question has been reworded to better convey the intent of the question.”
The spokesperson reiterated that it’s “important to us that people understand that the doctrine of the Church has not changed and is not changing … and all members are taught and encouraged to live according to God’s laws of moral conduct.”