Mormons church has landmark year on homosexuality, changing stance leaves many with questions

The Mormon church's stance on homosexuality has softened considerably since it was one of the leading forces behind California's Proposition 8.

The Utah-based Church of Latter-day Saints launched a new website this year encouraging more compassion toward gays. It also implores gay members to stay in the faith, and clarifies that church leaders would no longer necessarily counsel gays to marry people of the opposite sex. In May, church leaders backed the Boy Scouts' policy allowing gays in the ranks.

It may seem like negligible progress to outsiders, but Mormon scholars say 2013 has been a landmark year.

Still, the church has only gone so far.

Church apostle Dallin H. Oaks reiterated this past weekend during a biannual conference that human laws cannot "make moral what God has declared immoral."