A new Gallup poll has some interesting results. The poll is interesting reading. Check it out.
Acceptance of homosexuality is now tremendously correlated to age: 75% of 18-to-34-year-olds think that homosexuality is "an acceptable alternative lifestyle" versus only 45% of those 55 and older. Seventy-five percent is an overwhelming majority. And guess which group of folks is going to have the bigger influence in twenty years. :-)
The Church should take note of this trend and plan for it realistically. In twenty years there is going to be a tidal wave of social support for gay people. It will be no different than social acceptance of non-white ethnicity or the full emancipation of women, both of which witnessed first-hand by the current Church leadership. In both of these previous cases the Church had to do some serious adjusting: a change in who can hold the priesthood and new language for the temple ceremony are big changes.
It's a risky time for the Church. It can either go the "fundamentalist" route and become completely marginalized, or it can adapt. Historically, it has followed the path of adaptation to the changing views of the white middle class. Will this trend continue? If past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior then yes. However, in this case I am less certain. Conservative Christians in the U.S. have taken a reactionary, highly politicized fork in the road in recent years. Will our church follow the general trend of evangelical Christianity or its traditional center-of-the-road tendencies?
Right now, it seems that the Church is trying to play it both ways. Even though its latest official policies are moving in the direction of acceptance (celibate SSA gets full fellowship), it doesn't remove material inconsistent with its current position (such as The Miracle of Forgiveness and that BKP pamphlet). The general attitude of church members is probably more conservative on this issue than that of the leadership.