We knew it was too good to last. Last week we were hearing some quasi-official Mormon voices saying respectful things about gay people and the law of the land and so forth, but this week a new policy on gay families an actual LDS church document sets forth a new policy on gay families that’s exactly the same as the old policy, except even more so.
Not only will gay Mormons who get married be treated as apostates and excommunicated—their children will be treated as untouchables, which seems like an appalling choice for a movement that claims to be committed to family wholeness to make. This is the circling of the wagons, and it confirms that the church is on a path toward cultural irrelevancy. As John Dehlin, who was excommunicated in February for, among other things, taking seriously gay people’s desire for basic rights,put it: “The inclusion of same-gender marriage as specific grounds for apostasy is surprising only because it really paints the church into a corner, and leaves them less room to slowly finesse a change over time.” That’s exactly right. Like the Boy Scouts, the Mormons are digging themselves into a hole. Except the Boy Scouts, finally, are starting to dig themselves out.