A schism is riling America’s conservative Christian denominations, and ironically enough, it's over marriage. The widening split in opinion on same-sex marriage is particularly apparent in the Mormon church. Though it has has softened its rhetoric opposing same-sex marriage since its support a decade ago for California’s Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage, a majority of its followers still oppose same-sex marriage.
(For how long, however, seems unclear — a new study of 4,000 religious people that included 700 Mormons found support for same-sex marriage rising considerably. And the contentious issue of businesses refusing to serve LGBTQ customers fell below a 50 percent approval among Mormons this year, according to the same study.)
Younger Mormons, in particular, according to a Public Religion Research Institute poll last year, are generally more amenable to the idea of same-sex marriage. And some young Mormons and their families are going so far as to leave the church over the issue.
To help those Mormons with their crises of faith, a podcaster named John Dehlin runs workshops across the country that address the most difficult aspects of walking away from Mormonism, including crumbled marriages, lost job opportunities, and shunning from family members.
Dehlin hasn’t been a practicing Mormon since 2015, when church officials excommunicated him — after numerous warnings — because of his support for same-sex marriage. But despite the church labeling him an apostate, Dehlin still considers himself a Mormon.
“I am as Mormon as anyone there and I care as much or more than anyone out there,” Dehlin said. “And I challenge anyone to tell me any different.”
This segment originally aired January 4, 2018 on VICE News Tonight.