There are reports that Republican leaders are advising that their troops to stay away from engagement on gay marriage. There are probably many reasons for that; the world is already out for their anti-gay marriage base and further discussion distracts from a discussion of the economy.

But I wonder if a more interesting reason for the party's reluctance to have a broader discussion of gay rights is that it might shine a light on the discussion within the Mormon Church.


Long known as an institution deeply at odds with gays — in 2008, the church basically funded the entire effort to pass a ban on gay marriage  in California — there are entire websites devoted to the sufferings of gay and lesbian Mormons. To be a gay or lesbian Mormon is often to be shunned by both the church and by fellow gays as being strange.


Romney himself is made uncomfortable on the issue as you can see here.

He struggles even to answer the question of whether his Church thinks simply being gay is a sin. (It does.)


But now the interesting part. The Mormon Church is undergoing its own debate and change on gay matters. There are clear efforts being made in several quarters to liberalize attitudes toward and treatment of gay and lesbians.


This is especially difficult for Mormons, one would believe, because like all fundamentalists, they believe that their scriptures and laws are the word of God verbatim. So one messes with that rather carefully.  But small steps are being taken.

One might ask: If even the Mormon Church is evolving in its attitudes toward gay and lesbians, shouldn't the Republican Party?