Thursday, January 29, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

No decision on Mormon gay-rights advocate case

By
From page A4 | June 30, 2014 |

SALT LAKE CITY — A Mormon man well-known for advocating for gay rights and questioning some church policies said no immediate decision was made Sunday by a Utah church leader considering whether he’ll be excommunicated.

John Dehlin, of Logan, Utah, said regional church leader Bryan King told him at a meeting that he needed time to think and pray on whether to send Dehlin’s case to a disciplinary panel.

Another meeting or deadline wasn’t set, and Dehlin said he agreed not to talk with the media any more about his case.

Dehlin, 44, a married father of four, has operated a website for years that provides a forum for church members questioning their faith. He was told in June to resign from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or face a disciplinary committee.

This is the third time in the last decade that Dehlin has faced possible discipline from the church. He has been allowed to remain a church member each time.

“Nothing has changed in my beliefs or behavior since then. It’s really frustrating that these inquiries continue to happen,” Dehlin said this week. “It feels a little bit like harassment, although I believe they are well-intended.”

The meeting with King came six days after Kate Kelly, the founder of a prominent Mormon women’s group, was excommunicated – sending ripples through the country. Kelly is appealing that ruling.

Scholars say Kelly and Dehlin are the most high-profile examples of excommunication proceedings since 1993. That year, the church disciplined six Mormon writers who questioned church doctrine, ousting five and kicking out a sixth temporarily.

Jan Shipps, a retired religion professor from Indiana who is a non-Mormon expert on the church, said church leaders were practicing “boundary maintenance,” using Dehlin and Kelly as an example to show dissenters how far they can go.

Mormon officials haven’t discussed Dehlin or Kelly’s cases specifically, but they have said the church welcomes questions and sincere conversations about the faith.

In a new message posted Saturday online, the church’s highest leaders said members were “always free to ask such questions and earnestly seek greater understanding.”

“We feel special concern, however, for members who distance themselves from church doctrine or practice and, by advocacy, encourage others to follow them,” the church leaders said.

They clarified that apostasy, of which Kelly was accused, is “repeatedly acting in clear, open, and deliberate public opposition to the church or its faithful leaders, or persisting, after receiving counsel, in teaching false doctrine.”

Dehlin believes he’s being targeted not only for the website he started nine years ago, Mormonstories.org, but also for his outspoken support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual community and his support of Kelly’s group, Ordain Women. That group is pushing for gender equality with the goal of women being allowed into the faith’s lay clergy.

Dehlin, a doctoral candidate in psychology who previously worked in the high-tech industry, said his desire to stay in the faith is a demonstration of his love for the religion he had belonged to his entire life.

“I stay in the church as an expression of faith and hope that the church can mature to the point of being able to accept doubt, criticism and the open discussion of difficult matters,” Dehlin said. “So many people are suffering in silence in the Mormon church, it’s a fight worth fighting.”

Excommunication is reserved usually for cases where Mormons violate the religion’s moral code by having affairs, being charged criminally or committing sexual abuse, said Patrick Mason, chairman of the religion department and professor of Mormon studies at Claremont Graduate University in California.

Excommunication is not a lifelong ban, and there are other, lesser forms of punishment that allow people to remain members but limit forms of participation.

Nobody has solid numbers on how many church members are ousted each year, but it is probably between 10,000 and 20,000, said Matt Martinich, a church member who analyzes membership numbers with the nonprofit Cumorah Foundation. The church has some 15 million members worldwide.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 4 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Jason KnowlesJune 30, 2014 - 8:32 am

    The price you pay for joining a cult...

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rick WoodJune 30, 2014 - 10:33 am

    Unlike many other faiths (Islam comes to mind) the LDS church has a process for change, but it's hard to see how that happens without some pressure. These cases are a good test of the church's ability to adapt to an evolving world (again). If the church DOES change to, say, accept and welcome same-sex marriage just a few years after the Prop 8 debacle, it will be a remarkable transformation and a testament to how the church has managed to survive and grow over the years in a sometimes hostile environment.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JimboJune 30, 2014 - 5:19 pm

    Considering the mormons I have known, excommunication sounds like a blessing. I am guessing that this man has too large of a bank account for them to just do so.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • PornacJune 30, 2014 - 7:11 pm

    A lot of great stories involving religion in the paper today. I'm glad I live in a country where another persons religion can't dictate how I live.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
1st release for birds with mysterious goo a success

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Sweep by sheriff’s team nets 4 arrests

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 5 Comments

 
Travis starts work on Functional Fitness Center

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Boy Scouts to screen award-winning film

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Church makes ready for health, wellness fair

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
4-H Annual Presentation Day returns in February

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Vacaville SWAT team serves search warrant

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

 
Real estate occupancy continues to climb

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
Council backs beer, wine sales for Vacaville store

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Vacaville police seek help to find sex offender

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 4 Comments | Gallery

Fairfield police log: Jan. 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

 
Suisun City police log: Jan. 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10, 2 Comments

.

US / World

 
Air Force probing alleged ‘treason’ remark by general

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Expect tiny tuxes but no real puppy love at doggy weddings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Quake rattles N. California coast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Second arrest in student stabbing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Large salmon release planned

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Violations mount for toxic recycler

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Marshals track down missing treasure hunter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

‘Drunk’ excuse falls flat in Vandy rape trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Attorney General nominee defends Obama immigration changes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

Police seek law to alter Google app

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Euro coast guards scramble to locate Syrian ghost ship

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Chinese regulators go after online sale of fake goods

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Investigation stems from police-involved shooting outbreak

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Hezbollah missiles kill soldiers

By New York Times | From Page: A6

 
ISIS extends hostage deadline

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Tape: Scientist offers to build nuke bomb targeting New York

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

India now has 322 billion reasons to fix economy

By William Pesek | From Page: A7

 
Don’t brush off bullying

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A7, 2 Comments

Editorial Cartoon: Jan. 29, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Just be honest and come forward

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

 
A truly misinformed writer

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 35 Comments

.

Living

Today in History: Jan. 29, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Jan. 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Deadbeat boyfriend ruined my relationship with my granddaughter

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscope Jan. 29, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Theater legend Joel Grey reveals that he is gay

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5, 2 Comments

 
Super Bowl advertisers aim not to offend

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

.

Sports

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins hoping to make All-Star team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Rodriguez wrestlers pull out 34-24 win over Wood

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Solano men cruise past LMC for biggest win of season

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

NFL players who started young show more thinking problems

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
GM John Schneider has been architect of Seahawks’ success

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Patriots not dwelling on last Super Bowl loss in Arizona

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Woods returns to Phoenix with plenty of memories

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Tony Stewart acquires national sprint car series tour

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Korda, Lewis, Munoz tied for lead at LPGA season opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Head of NCAA enforcement: Academic misconduct on rise

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Chicago Cubs’ Ernie Banks statue moved downtown for tribute

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Kobe Bryant has surgery, expected to be out for 9 months

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
This date in sports history for Jan. 29, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9