The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints on Thursday launched a website aimed at reaching out to gay Mormons.

LDS officials said the aim of the website was to provide “greater sensitivity and better understanding” of gay issues as they relate to the church.
“When people have those [same-sex] desires and attractions, our attitude is, 'stay with us,'” said Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the LDS Church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in a video posted on the website. “I think that's what God is saying: stay with me. And I think that's what we want to say in the church: stay with us, and let's work together in friendship and commonality and brotherhood and sisterhood.”

“Here [in the church] more than anywhere, it's important that there be love, that there be hope. We want to be with you and work together.”

LDS spokesman Michael Purdy told Deseret News that the site has been under development for more than two years.

The LDS Church faced heavy criticism in 2008 when it organized and encouraged Mormons to support passage of Proposition 8, California's gay marriage ban.

That stance on marriage has not changed, Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of Twelve makes clear in a brief video.

Elder Christofferson quietly suggested celibacy for gay Mormons.

“[A]lthough we don't know everything, we know enough to be able to say that same-sex attraction is not itself sin,” he said. “The feeling, the desire is not classified the same as homosexual behavior itself.” (The video produced by the church is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)