An openly gay man has been selected for the first time for a leadership role in a Mormon congregation.

Bishop Don Fletcher of the San Francisco Bay Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints asked gay Mormon man Mitch Mayne to serve as a ward executive secretary — coordinating administrative and pastoral functions and participating in executive-level decision-making within the congregation.

After a discussion with local Mormon leaders, Mayne committed to adhere to the same standards of sexual morality expected of heterosexual members of the church, and agreed to serve.

“I love my Heavenly Father, and one of the ways I express that love is through being my genuine self and honouring the way He made me,” Mayne said. “I now have a unique opportunity to focus on helping other people.

“We have so many people on the Church records who are inactive, whose families are still members. Many of them served honourably as Mormon missionaries. Many identify as LGBT.

“As an openly gay priesthood leader, I hope my example also shows that not only do they have a home here but they have a path.

“One of the most heartening things is the straight people … who have written me to say, ‘My wife and I have been praying for greater understanding and light on LGBT issues in the Church for years’.”

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