US: Mormon facing excommunication after calling for church to accept gays

PinkNews logo surrounded by illustrated images including a rainbow, unicorn, PN sign and pride flag.

A Mormon activist is facing excommunication, after calling for the church to accept gay members.

John Dehlin – a member of the Utah branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – runs podcast Mormon Stories, for people questioning their faith.

After he suggested that the church should be more accepting of gay members, the president of his church region sent him a letter, calling on him to either leave the church or face a disciplinary board.

He faces a charge of apostasy – meaning he would be entirely cut out of the religion, and formally renounced.

He said: “It feels awful to be told that your church wants to reject you. It makes me feel sick to my stomach.

“Mormon Stories has always been about administering to those who have doubt and have hard questions.

“The church is experiencing a wave of members leaving, and I don’t think they know how to deal with it.

“I worry that the church is kind of shooting the messenger… they’re shooting the people who are trying to help and be part of the solution.

In a statement, the church said: “Local leaders have the responsibility to clarify false teachings and prevent other members from being misled.

“Decisions are made by local leaders and not directed or coordinated by church headquarters.”

Neon Trees singer Tyler Glenn, who is a Mormon, came out as gay earlier this year, adding that he will never throw his faith away despite “terrible things” said by leaders of the church.

Watch Dehlin deliver a TED talk about his faith below: