As Mitt Romney becomes a forerunner for Republican candidacy, his controversial faith has been propelled into the headlines from the backwaters of Utah and Arizona. Is the US ready to accept a Mormon leader?Historically, Mormons haven't had much luck running for president: the church's founder, Joseph Smith, was lynched on his attempt in 1844. It seems that Mormonism is still "plagued by its past", but does Mitt Romney's increasing popularity mark a new era of mainstream acceptance? Or will his campaign be tarnished by the persistence, in certain fundamentalist communities, of homophobia, polygamy and underage marriage?