If a U.S. state permits gay marriage, can a gay couple be sealed in an LDS temple?
See also: Resources for Gay Mormons: Websites, Books, and Videos here at RookieMormon.net.
Because of the law of chastity of the Mormon church, it would be impossible for an actively homosexual couple to be baptized, which is a prerequisite for getting a recommend to enter an LDS temple. (Those bolded words are the key).
Currently there is no law that forces the Mormon church to perform temple sealings (the actual name of a temple marriage) for couples who are not of their faith. Also, there is no law that forces the Mormon church to allow those who disbelieve its teachings to receive baptism.
There are gay Mormons who do have temple recommends and attend the temple. They are just not practicing homosexuals.
There are many roles for homosexuals, or anyone without a temple recommend, within the LDS church.
God loves homosexuals too.
God's does not withdraw his love from any of us based on our genetics or our choices! (However, we can distance ourselves from His love as much as we want.)
Non-homosexual Mormon church members are likely to be OK with serving alongside homosexuals. A member would most likely be reprimanded or disciplined for showing hateful behavior toward homosexual members.
Fearful attitudes toward gays may persist in some members of some congregations, but this mirrors the world at large--these sorts of things just take time to change.
Under What Circumstances Can a Gay Person Become a Mormon?
Gays can and do join the Mormon church. They can be (and usually are) productive members and are not looked at as worse humans than anyone else. They are not spotlighted or paraded around. Usually, other members do not know they are gay unless they want to share that fact, and sharing that fact is not really a problem for those who really want to.
Gay members are asked to live the law of chastity, the same law of moral behavior that all members of the church are supposed to live. This means that they are to abstain from (homo)sexual activity and avoid inappropriate thoughts. If gay members sin or transgress, the repentance process is available to them just as it is to every other member of the church, and does not necessarily mean formal church discipline or losing their membership.
Are Gays Really Welcome in a Mormon Congregation?
Contrary to the typical outsider's view, empathy toward homosexuals is likely to run fairly high in most LDS leadership cadres, especially among bishops. The bishop's job is to help members of the church find their way through life's challenges. A fast way to become an ineffective bishop would be to condemn someone or make them think they are a permanent failure, or arrived on earth as a broken, satanic individual.
I personally know several people who are one of LGBT and who made a choice to remain members of the LDS church. In fact sometimes it seems that they re-make this choice every week as they ponder current events and their own place in the world and their religion. The fact that they remain active members seems to be due to their deep relationship with God, and it seems to work in spite of difficult trials they've had to endure as they see through a glass darkly in regard to the reconciliation of their faith and their genetics.
The LDS church encourages members to grow spiritually by pondering, seeking God's help, and struggling through their trials, whatever those trials may be.
What Roles Can Gays Play In the LDS Church?
I can't think of any LDS church role, leadership function, or other capacity in which a gay member could not serve. In fact, as one church spokesman said:
As has been mentioned, there is a relatively tiny handful of callings within the Church that require marriage.
I know of at least one gay LDS executive secretary, so if you're gay and willing to live a chaste life, serve God and your fellow humans, the leadership doors within the LDS church are probably open to you.
(Those of us who aren't huge fans of working in leadership roles can do other things, like teach or arrange charitable projects or clean up the church--all equal in importance to God.)
For more information on Gays in the Mormon church, please see the Resources for Gay Mormons page.