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Pro-LGBT Mormon Podcaster Faces Excommunication

Pro-LGBT Mormon Podcaster Faces Excommunication

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Charged with apostasy, Mormon Stories podcaster John Dehlin faces a threat of excommunication for supporting same-sex marriage and the ordination of women. 

"If given the choice between denying my conscience and facing excommunication, I'd much rather be excommunicated."

That's what Mormon Stories podcast host and marriage equality supporter John Dehlin told The New York Times in light of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints charging him with apostasy (abandonment/desertion of principles or beliefs) due to his criticism of the church as well as some of his beliefs.

"Dehlin said he would be excommunicated if he refused to take down podcasts that are critical of the church and to disavow his support for women's ordination and gay marriage," the Times reported. Dehlin's regional church leader has scheduled a disciplinary hearing for January 25.

A graduate student at Utah State University, Dehlin was recently in the news for his part in a study on LGBT or "same-sex attracted" Mormons in mixed-orientation marriages (i.e., relationships like those featured in the TLC documentary My Husband's Not Gay).

The study, reported TheSalt Lake Tribune, found that more than half of such mixed-orientation marriages end in divorce and that most Mormons who identify as LGBT or "same-sex attracted" ultimately leave the church.

The conflict between Dehlin and church leadership has been brewing for some months; Dehlin wrote in July that he thought he was "being considered for disciplinary action" because of his website and podcast, his pro-LGBT values, and his support for female clergy. Last June the church excommunicated Kate Kelly, a human rights lawyer who advocated for women's ordination.

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