Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God. The Church accordingly opposes same-gender marriages and any efforts to legalize such marriages. Church members are encouraged "to appeal to legislators, judges, and other government officials to preserve the purposes and sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, and to reject all efforts to give legal authorization or other official approval or support to marriages between persons of the same gender" (First Presidency letter Feb 1, 1994; see also "Homosexual Behavior" in the previous column).
As a doctrinal principle, based on the scriptures, the Church affirms that marriage between a man and a woman is essential to
God'sthe Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children. The powers of procreation are to be exercisedSexual relations are proper only between a man and a woman who are legally and lawfully wedded as husband and wife. Any other sexual relations, including those between persons of the same gender, are sinful and undermine the divinely created institution of the family. The Church accordingly favors measures that defineaffirms defining marriage as the legal and lawful union of a man and a woman and that do not confer legal status on any other sexual relationship. While opposing same-gender marriage, the Church reaches out with understanding and respect to individuals who are attracted to those of the same gender. See also "Homosexual Behavior" on page 187.
This is a large change. The Church rolls back overt support or opposition of any specific marriage statute and replaces it with a vague statement that "affirms defining" marriage in a way that would exclude same-sex couples. ("Affirm" could mean just about anything in this context. It's not a strong word.) The admonition for members to get involved politically has been entirely deleted as well as opposition to civil recognition of same-sex relationships that falls short of marriage.
It's not exactly "I'm sorry, gays" but who am I to quibble? This is progress.