Mormon Couple Pushes LDS Church to Change Anti-Gay Stance After Son Comes Out

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Wendy and Tom Montgomery, devout Mormons, are pushing the church to reconsider its anti-gay stance now that their own teenage son has come out.

They had to do some rethinking of their own. As recently as 2008, they campaigned hard in their California neighborhood for anti-gay marriage proposition.

The Supreme Court threw out Prop 8 for good this year, upholding a lower court's ruling. Despite their prior efforts, the family now sides with the court.

They learned last year that their 15-year-old son is gay, a revelation that rocked their belief system and shifted their views, Wendy Montgomery admits.

Now, she is leading a growing movement among Mormons to push The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to teach that homosexuality isn't a sin.

Wendy and Tom set out on a grueling six-month spiritual journey as they reconciled their love for their son, Jordan, with the teachings of their lifelong faith.

They let family, friends and church mates know he was gay and established that they wouldn't tolerate any harsh treatment of their son for any reason.

They remain faithful Mormons, but admit they have switched congregations after enduring harsh ridicule from some friends and fellow church members.

One woman actually told Montgomery her children should be taken away from her and given to somebody who follows the teachings of the prophet.

Montgomery and her husband had to step down from their positions - he was the assistant bishop and she was a Sunday school teacher to teens.

The family's story is one of many featured in a compelling documentary made by the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University.

The organization works with conservative religious families to help them navigate the doctrines of their faith while also accepting their gay children.

The Utah-based LDS church's stance on homosexuality hasn't softened dramatically since it was one of the leading forces behind California's Prop 8.

However, a new website launched this year encourages more compassion toward gays, implores them to stay in the faith and clarifies other positions.

For example, church leaders will no longer "necessarily advise" gays to marry people of the opposite sex in what used to be a widely routine practice.

Some gay Mormons who left or were forced out of the church say they are now being welcomed back, even though they remain in same-sex relationships.

Church leaders backed the Boy Scouts' policy allowing gays in the ranks.

It may seem like negligible progress to outsiders, but Mormon scholars say 2013 has been a landmark year for the religion on gay and lesbian issues.

The Montgomerys hope that trend continues in 2014 and beyond.

"It made me question everything," said Wendy, 37. "I'm looking at this 13-year-old boy who is totally innocent and pure and an amazing kid."

"I think, 'Either everything I know about homosexuality is wrong, or my son is not really gay. And, he's obviously gay.' I kind of had to unlearn everything I had learned."

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