A schism is riling America’s conservative Christian denominations: The young and the old cannot agree on same-sex marriage. The disagreement is particularly apparent in the Mormon church. Although the church has softened its rhetoric opposing same-sex marriage since its support a decade ago for California’s Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage, a majority of Mormons still oppose same-sex marriage.
But younger Mormons, according to a Public Religion Research Institute poll last year, are generally more amenable to the idea of same-sex marriage. And some young Mormons and their families are choosing to leave the church over the issue.
To help those Mormons with their crises of faith, a podcaster named John Dehlin runs workshops across the country that address the most difficult aspects of walking away from Mormonism: Marriages crumble, job opportunities disappear and families sometimes shun those who leave the church.
But Dehlin hasn’t been a practicing Mormon since 2015, when church officials excommunicated him — after numerous warnings — because of his support for same-sex marriage. Despite the church labeling him an apostate, Dehlin still considers himself a Mormon.
“I am as Mormon as anyone there and I care as much or more than anyone out there,” Dehlin said. “And I challenge anyone to tell me any different.”
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