John Dehlin, a Mormon Gay-Rights Advocate, Faces Excommunication
It’s no surprise that the Mormon church doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to LGBTQ rights. However, one of the church’s most outspoken advocates for the gay community is on the verge of being excommunicated.
John Dehlin, a fifth-generation Mormon, met with church leaders in Utah on Sunday to see if he would face disciplinary action or excommunication. The Ph.D. student came under fire from the church after he published a master’s thesis on the damaging effects of gay conversion therapy for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He received a letter from local church leaders at the start of June, requesting that he resign from the church or face excommunication.
On Dehlin’s Mormon Stories Podcast website, he posted this commentary on the leaders of the LDS church:
“I believe that many LDS church leaders have good intentions, but I am deeply troubled by their historical and current treatment of women, racial and sexual minorities, and scientists/intellectuals. I am also troubled by their historical and current approaches to faith/doubt, sexuality, the pursuit of vast commercial interests along with financial non-disclosure, the coercion/shaming of members through the withholding of temple and priesthood privileges, and the current culture of leader worship within the LDS church. I believe that the discouraging of criticism of LDS church leaders is possibly the single most pernicious and damaging aspect of LDS church culture — and that sunlight and candor are ultimately the best disinfectants.”
The 44-year-old Dehlin, a father of four, describes himself as “unorthodox, unorthoprax Mormon.” His excommunication case isn’t the only one that has made national headlines; Kate Kelly recently was excommunicated from the LDS after she lead a fight for equal rights for women in the church.