I do not feel that I am a degenerate. I know how painful it was to hear that, to read it in my study with a companion while I was on a mission to which I had been assigned by... Spencer W. Kimball.
The church, the hierarchy of the church, the doctrine of the LDS church state that homosexual behaviors are as wrong as they ever were. Thankfully they do not say degenerate. However -- back to that specificity -- the church now makes the differentiation between the state and the behavior. The behavior is considered wrong. The state of being is not. I am gay. I am not a degenerate. I choose to behave according to what I feel is right, trying to be/stay morally clean.
A: Change is part of the human existence. Change may coincide with personalities of church leaders. Conference became a friendlier place with Gordon B. than it had been with Ezra Taft. Doctrine was still the same, but there was a different personality at the helm and a slightly different focus.
As a people our focus changes as well. In the seventies we wondered about blacks and the priesthood and received clarification. Today we have different questions, and the focus in the church reflects that. We are in a different place than we were 50 years ago and our questions are different, and – dare I say it – more evolved.
First, we need to clairfy. Are you talking about being with a partner and having a recommend at the same time? Probably not going to happen. Or are you talking about gay people participating in the church? It can happen. I am gay and I am in the church and I have a temple recommend.
I suppose it has something to do with the people themselves. The doctrine is the same from place to place, but the personality of the ward reflects the members. Are they more accepting of people and their differences in California than they are in Idaho Falls? Is that your point? Maybe. There is much freedom handed over to local leaders who are pulled directly from the local congregations.
If not everyone is welcome in your ward -- whether you are in Boise or Boston, then do something about it. You are the church and you can exert influence on how your local ward acts towards their community.