LDS Church clarifies survey question on same-sex attraction

Published: Tuesday, April 29 2014 10:05 p.m. MDT

The LDS Church reworded a question on same-sex attraction in a survey it is conducting.

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SALT LAKE CITY — The LDS Church has changed a question about same-sex attraction in a survey it is conducting among college-age Mormons.

The survey is being sent via email to members of Young Single Adult congregations, called wards, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. YSA wards consist of single Mormons 18 to 30 years old.

The email, sent by the church's communications services department, said the goal is to help church leaders understand what young single adult church members believe about same-sex attraction, not to gather information from specific university students about sexual identification as some outlets intimated.

“The survey is part of the church’s broader research to understand the attitudes and opinions of Millennials,” church spokeswoman Jessica Moody said.

The survey initially included the question “What is your sexual orientation?” and gave three options for answers:

I am heterosexual, but I struggle with same-sex attraction

I am heterosexual and do not struggle with same-sex attraction

Other, please specify

An item on the website of the New Civil Rights Movement was first to report about the survey and criticized the question for not listing gay, lesbian or bisexual as possible answers.

The church changed the question Monday. The revised question says, "Do you experience same-sex attraction?" Possible answers are yes, no or other, with room for written responses.

“The survey question has been reworded to better convey the intent of the question,” Moody said.

Some reports erroneously linked the survey to Brigham Young University. As of its annual fall headcount, BYU had 30,243 students, most of them LDS and attending YSA wards, so many of those students likely received the survey.

However, the survey was generated by the LDS Church, not BYU, and was sent to a broader sample.

Email: twalch@deseretnews.com

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