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Two Mormon Activists Who Pushed For Acceptance of LGBT People Threatened With Excommunication

MormonTwo Mormon activists, Kate Kelly and John Dehlin, are facing excommunication from the Mormon Church due to their progressive work and activism. Kelly has spent several years pushing to have the Mormon Church to ordain women to the priesthood and Dehlin has worked to have the church accept openly gay members. The charge they both face is apostasy, which is defined as repeated and public advocacy of positions that oppose Mormon beliefs and teachings.

Kelly, a human rights lawyer, and John Dehlin, a writer and LGBT activist who is a doctoral candidate in psychology, were notified on two consecutive days (Saturday and Sunday). Both are devastated and shocked by the news.  Kelly called the situation, “both cowardly and un-Christ like." Dehlin said in an interview yesterday, “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.”

Dehlin has worked for years with the LGBT community. Dehlin started a Gay Mormon Stories Podcast in 2013, gave a TED talk on the issue and was part of a conference that focused deeply on Mormon LGBT issues. 

The church said in a statement: “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.”

HRC's Religion and Faith program has engaged extensively with efforts to highlight the contributions of LGBT Mormon's and their families.  Earlier this year we coordinated the distribution of an Arizona letter against a discriminatory law in Arizona that falsely claimed religious freedom as a means to strip LGBT freedoms. On June 1st in collaboration with Affirmation: LGBT Mormons, Families and Friends we sponsored the first interfaith testimony meeting to usher in the Pride season.  As fair minded Mormons speak out about these unjust practices in the hierarchy HRC is there in solidarity.  

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