The Pentagon commissioned a big survey among military personnel to find out how they would react to the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell. Preliminary results show the majority of US military personnel would either have no problem serving with openly gay people or would be able to deal with it.
Significantly, the study showed personnel look to the chain of command for direction in the matter. That's what command is there for. So it's not surprising the greatest resistance is in the Marine Corps, whose leaders have been the most vocal in their opposition.
I think what this shows is that attitudes about homosexuality (among other things) can be learned or unlearned, depending on who one looks to for leadership. I think faithful Mormons could probably unlearn their negative convictions about gays if the brethren ever changed their tune. It happened regarding race -- to the point some Mormons don't believe the church was ever racist, even though they lived through those days themselves.
I suspect a lot of Mormons who were on the fence about gay marriage got pulled over to the church's side only because of official opposition from the brethren. If the Prophet says it's bad, then it must be bad. But if the old men had said they'd had a revelation and the Lord is now fine with gay marriage, there would have been a huge shift the other way.
There's a behind-the-scenes evangelical-political group that has figured this out. Rather than trying to save the lost sheep one at a time, they're going after the shepherds, the leaders, the policy makers. Where they go, the sheep will follow.
Sheep follow, soldiers follow, Mormons follow. Whether it's for good or bad depends on the leaders. That's why my negative feelings about the church are mostly aimed at the brethren. They're responsible. The members, even if they sometimes annoy the shit out of me, are just following, just doing what they've learned.
I totally agree. I think most of the followers would change quickly-- and many of them would be relieved.
I have TBM family members who have admitted that while they won't go against the church, they are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the church's policies and doctrines on homosexuality. They think the church is true and that the word from the brethren is as good as word from God's mouth, but they've confessed that they don't like it much and their personal preferences would be better suited if they didn't feel morally-obligated through fundamental commitment to the church's teachings, to make an issue out of homosexuality and gay marriage at all.