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They Said What? When?

About half way through 8:The Mormon Proposition, a handful of quotes attributed to Mormon church leaders fade on to and off of the screen.  Were the quotes accurate?  Were they taken in context? Were they recent or ancient?  You decide.  There are a couple of quotes missing, but I didn’t want to leave you hanging while I found time to grab the info on them:

“How will these be stopped? Only by the destruction of those who practice them. The only way is… for the Lord to wipe them out.” – George Q. Cannon, Mormon Apostle

George Quayle Cannon was the First Counselor in the First Presidency when he uttered those words at the October 1897 General Conference. The background for the whole quote included below describing how “a man” in England was known to be author Oscar Wilde can be found at this link which is a revised and expanded version of an article written by Connell O’Donovan, “‘The Abominable and Detestable Crime Against Nature’: A Brief History of Homosexuality and Mormonism, 1840-1980”, Brent Corcoran (ed.), Multiply and Replenish: Mormon Essays on Sex and Family, (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1994), pp. 144-5

“In England a short time ago a man [Oscar Wilde] who had posed in society as a man of culture and of taste, and who lectured upon esthetics, was found to be guilty of a most abominable crime – a crime for which under the old law the penalty was death; a crime which was practiced by the nations of old, and caused God to command their destruction and extirpation. This crime was proved against this man, and some of his associates were what are called noblemen. He was sent to prison. His term of imprisonment having expired, he comes from prison, and is now engaged, it is so published, in writing a book, and, we suppose is received into society, though guilty of this nameless crime. And is this common; If we may believe that which is told to us, without going into researches ourselves, it and other kindred wickedness, is far too common. The same sin that caused the utter destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah! This and other abominable crimes are being practiced. How will these be stopped? Only by the destruction of those who practice them. Why, if a little nest of them were left that were guilty of these things, they would soon corrupt others, as some are being corrupted among us. In coming to these mountains we hoped to find a place where we could live secluded from the abominations of Babylon. But here in this secluded place wickedness intrudes itself, and is practiced in this land which we have dedicated to the Lord as a land of Zion! How can this be stopped? Not while those who have knowledge of these filthy crimes exist. The only way, according to all that I can understand as the word of God, is for the Lord to wipe them out, that there will be none left to perpetuate the knowledge of these dreadful practices among the children of men. And God will do it, as sure as He has spoken by the mouths of His prophets. He will destroy the wicked, and those who will be left will be like the Nephites after the wicked were all killed off; they were righteous men and women who lived for over two hundred years according to the law of heaven.” [emphasis O’Donovan’s]

“Homosexuality is an ugly sin. Repugnant, like adultery and incest and beastiality (sic), they carry the death penalty under mosaic (sic) law.” – Spencer W. Kimball, Mormon prophet

This quote is from the oft-cited book, Miracle of Forgiveness written by Spencer W. Kimball in 1969 before he was the President of the Church. As he was an apostle at the time, however, church members sustained and viewed him as a “prophet, seer and revelator.” Although it is now more than 40 years old, it continues to be used and quoted from in Church materials and lesson manuals, although much of the harshest language has been toned down or not referred to. Edward Kimball, son and biographer of Spencer Kimball, was interviewed in a podcast in March 2010 and discussed the realization that, “We achieve more by a soft word rather than we do by the harsh.”

The full quote in context is from Chapter 6, Crime Against Nature. (Other “ugly sins” in the book include fornication, (unwed) pregnancy and abortion.)

Homosexuality is an ugly sin, repugnant to those who find no temptation in it, as well as to many past offenders who are seeking a way out of its clutches.  It is embarrassing and unpleasant as a subject for discussion but because of its prevalence, the need to warn the uninitiated, and the desire to help those who may already be involved in it, it is discussed in this chapter.

This perversion is defined as “sexual desire for those of the same sex or sexual relations between individuals of the same sex,” whether men or women. It is a sin of the ages. It was present in Israel’s wandering days as well as after and before. It was tolerated by the Greeks. It was prevalent in decaying Rome. The ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are symbols of wretched wickedness more especially related to this perversion, as the incident of Lot’s visitors indicates. (See Gen. 19:5.) So degenerate had Sodom become that not ten righteous people could be found (see Gen. 18:23-32), and the Lord had to destroy it. But the revolting practice has persisted. As far back as Henry the Eighth this vice was referred to as “the abominable and detestable crime against nature.” Some of our own statutes have followed that apt and descriptive wording.

Sin in sex practices tends to have a “snowballing” effect. As the restraints fall away, Satan incites the carnal man to ever-deepening degeneracy in his search for excitement until in many instances he is lost to any former considerations of decency. Thus it is that through the ages, perhaps as an extension of homosexual practices, men and women have sunk even to seeking sexual satisfactions with animals.

Unnatural and Wrong

All such deviations from normal, proper heterosexual relationships are not merely unnatural but wrong in the sight of God. Like adultery, incest, and bestiality they carried the death penalty under the Mosaic law. (Miracle of Forgiveness, pp 77-78).

Homosexual abominations are fast becoming the way of life among the wicked ungodly.  – Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Apostle

Elder McConkie said these words in the October, 1980 General Conference (as reported in the November 1980 Ensign, p. 50). He is perhaps most well-known for writing the now-out-of-print book, Mormon Doctrine. Until recently nearly every manual and study guide in the Church had at least one quote from that book, despite the fact that it is was not every an official study guide created by a unanimous vote of Church leaders.

We live in a day of evil and wickedness. The generality of men are carnal, sensual, and devilish. They have forgotten God and are reveling in the lusts of the flesh. Crime, immorality, abortions, and homosexual abominations are fast becoming the norm of life among the wicked and ungodly. The world will soon be as corrupt as it was in the days of Noah.

If any of us are to escape the perils that lie ahead, if any of us are to abide the day of the Lord’s return, if any of us are to gain peace in this life and be inheritors of eternal life in the world to come, we must receive the message sent from on high and conform to the counsel it contains.

Gays have a problem. – Gordon B. Hinckley, Mormon Prophet

Former Church President Gordon B. Hinckley made this statement during an interview with Larry King on CNN on December 26, 2004.

KING: … I know that the Church is opposed to gay marriage.

HINCKLEY: Yes.

KING: Do you have an alternative? Do you like the idea of civil unions?

HINCKLEY: Well, we’re not anti-gay. We are pro-family. Let me put it that way.

And we love these people and try to work with them and help them. We know they have a problem. We want to help them solve that problem.

KING: A problem they caused, or they were born with?

HINCKLEY: I don’t know. I’m not an expert on these things. I don’t pretend to be an expert on these things. The fact is, they have a problem.

KING: Do you favor some sort of state union?

HINCKLEY: Well, we want to be very careful about that, because that – whatever may lead to gay marriage, we’re not in favor of.

We – many people don’t get married. Goodness sakes alive. You know that.

Many people who have to discipline themselves. If they transgress, they become subject to the discipline of the Church. But we try in every way that we know how to help them, to assist them, to bless their lives.

One more quote from Bruce R. McConkie and one from Harold B. Lee and then we’ll move on to a few more thoughts about the movie.

Filed in homosexuality,mormons,Uncategorized | 93 responses so far

93 Responses to “They Said What? When?”

  1. 1Sherion 06 Jul 2010 at 1:46 pm

    We rented 8: the Mormon Proposition on On Demand. Pretty pricey, cost $6.99, but well worth it. I hope the makers get rich on it:-) I have never been so happy to have removed my name from the records of the church. I couldn’t sleep after watching it so I got up and wrote till 2 in the morning. What angers me the most is that my daughter, who was battlng cancer and on state disabilty and assistance at the time, was coerced into donating $250.00 to Yes on 8. I’m certain they guilted her into it by telling her it was the special blessing she got from one of the general authorities that saved her life. Never mentioning of course that she had a world class oncologist treating her and the state footing the bill.) UGH!!!

  2. 2Joshuaon 06 Jul 2010 at 5:26 pm

    While discussing Sodom and Gomorrah, many people argue that there is a difference between a committed relationship between people of the same sex versus the promiscuity of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. Oscar Wilde had several partners, and hence his lifestyle more closely reflected the lifestyle of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah than that of committed same-sex couples seeking marriage. I think Elder Cannon was right in comparing the promiscuous lifestyle to that of Sodom and Gomorrah. I do not the directors of the film were right in comparing the lifestyle of Oscar Wilde to those who are in a committed relationship. We know that at the second comming, the Earth will be cleansed of all wickedness, so there is no surprise that will include people going around having multiple sex partners.

    It is important to note President Kimball considered homosexuality to be a “sex act”, whereas people today refer to it as a sexual orientation. He was very clear that while any can change, the desires would still be there, even as an acoholic may still have the desire to drink alcohol. It is very clear his quotes concerning homosexuality had to do strictly with the behavior, not the orientation. I like the fact that he compared homosexuality with adultery. Even today, the church looks all sexual relationships outside of a husband and a wife the same, whether it is with a man or a woman.

    The quote “They have a problem” came in the middle of a discussion about civil unions. I believe he was referring to those seeking a civil union, not gays themselves. Of gay people, he said:

    “Now we have gays in the church. Good people.”

    The film constantly jumps back and forth between the sexual orientation and the behavior. It would have you believe because the church teaches about behavior, it is somehow against the orientation. That is not true. Neither does teaching against illicit heterosexual behavior makes the church anti-straight.

    Many straight and gay people have been put off by the Church’s law of Chastity, but other straight and gay people have found solace in the healing balm of Jesus Christ. I am very thankful for the Church’s stance on homosexuality, for in it I have found peace.

    It is also important to distinguish between the church’s doctrine and the Church’s political stance. Politcally, the Church has no problem with same-sex couples having all the rights and priviledges they need to raise and protect their family.

  3. 3fiona64on 07 Jul 2010 at 10:10 am

    Joshua, I think that both you and Elder Cannon need to reconsult your scriptures. The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was *inhospitality.* In a desert culture, refusing hospitality was tantamount to a death sentence. It had nothing to do with sex or anything else. According to scripture, the angels were sent to Sodom and Gomorrah because of reports of inhospitality. The reality is that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by an asteroid.

    You may wish to revisit Ezekiel 16:48-50 for the scriptural reference lest you think I made this up: 48 As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, your sister Sodom and her daughters never did what you and your daughters have done.

    49 ” ‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.

    And for the asteroid reference: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/article3649054.ece

    I do love your assumption that those who had “multiple sex partners” will not be part of your so-called Rapture. I guess that the parts of scripture that refer to men having numerous wives (to say nothing of your own church’s history of polygamy) will be conveniently left out.

  4. 4fiona64on 07 Jul 2010 at 10:11 am

    PS to Joshua: Oscar Fingal Wilde was *never* proven to have had a same-sex relationship. Just so you know. Your libel against one of the most brilliant authors of all time amuses me greatly.

  5. 5fiona64on 07 Jul 2010 at 10:12 am

    Joshua wrote: Politcally, the Church has no problem with same-sex couples having all the rights and priviledges they need to raise and protect their family.

    That, sir, is a damnable lie. Otherwise, your church would not be busily inserting itself into politics all across the country in order to DENY the rights and privileges needed by same-sex couples to rear (crops are raised, children are reared) and protect their families.

  6. 6Sherion 07 Jul 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Joshua, you say “the Earth will be cleansed of all wickedness, so there is no surprise that will include people going around having multiple sex partners.”

    Perhaps you think you know this, but for thousand of years groups of people have had this same belief, thinking it would happen in their life time. And yet, generation after generation continues on. This small minded thinking that we humans can really know the mind of God seems ludicrous to me. To make blanket statements about things you really know nothing about and lump whole groups of people into negative definitions does much harm to those you persecute by your immoral definitions of children of God. I believe it’s the intolerance and judgement of those we don’t understand that is what will be judged as evil and immoral in the final analysis because it keeps us from moving forward in our evolution as humans. It keeps us bound to our animal instincts of surival of the fittest. WE humans are give free-will and choice, that’s what sets us apart. But in the radical religious community that free choice is taken away. You don’t see it that way, I know I was there once, but it’s true.

    You defend the ugly, perverted definition that Spencer Kimball made about homosexuals. You find ways to justify intolerance and self-righeousness by turning a blind eye to the plight of “real-live-humans”.

    It amazes me that so many people use Sodom and Gomorah as a litmus test for morality, and in particular homosexuality, when the worst kind of immorality (incest) was condoned and the willingness of a father to allow his daughters to be raped and possibly murdered – well, how can that be judged as righteous???

    More and more I am convinced that the scriptures, which have caused more hatred, violence and heartbreak in our world than any other book, were actually edited in order for the powerful to gain control over the masses. And based on today’s climate of self-righteous intolerance of anyone who doesn’t fit a particular “religious” mold, their agenda has worked, and people are killing and dying because of it.

  7. 7fiona64on 07 Jul 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Sheri, I said this in another thread, but it seems fitting here as well:

    Robert F. Kennedy said it best: For when you teach a man to hate and to fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his color, or his beliefs or the policies that he pursues, when you teach that those who differ from you, threaten your freedom or your job or your home or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens, but as enemies. To be met not with cooperation but with conquest, to be subjugated, and to be mastered.

  8. 8fiona64on 07 Jul 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Sheri wrote of Joshua: Perhaps you think you know this, but for thousand of years groups of people have had this same belief, thinking it would happen in their life time. And yet, generation after generation continues on.

    You know, I keep forgetting how young Joshua is (early 20s, married less than a year). He seems to believe he has all of the answers.

    It is somehow fitting, given this conversation, that Joshua reminds me of my favorite quote by Oscar Fingal Wilde:

    I am no longer young enough to know everything.

  9. 9Sherion 07 Jul 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Fiona, you always make me smile=o) I wish I was as intelligent and well read as you are then I’d have more to back up what I just inately know;-)

  10. 10fiona64on 08 Jul 2010 at 8:37 am

    Aww, thank you Sheri! I just know lots of good places to look.

    Another Oscar quote, likewise apropos of the conversation: Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike.

    In case you haven’t guessed, I love Oscar Wilde. :-)

  11. 11Joshuaon 08 Jul 2010 at 11:56 am

    I know that the Earth will be cleansed of all wickedness and that we will enter into a millennium of peace. I must admit I do not know what that means. I probably shouldn’t have judged who that would or would not include.

    I guess I made some assumptions about Oscar Wilde based off what I read on Wikipedia. Teaches me to trust that site.

    Fiona64, if you think what I said was a damnable lie, then you should research what the church has said on the matter. Repeating falsehoods about the church isn’t going to make it any more true.

    Anyway, you still haven’t responded to my question about the film and this web site confusing people with same-sex attractions with people who pursue same-sex relationships. It seems many quotes are twisted so that explanations of the Church’s doctrine on behavior seem to become an attack on people for who they are.

  12. 12Lauraon 08 Jul 2010 at 12:30 pm

    I don’t think there’s any question that we should treat all people with the same dignity and respect whether they are gay, straight, bi-, transgender or questioning. I guess that means we love the sinners and the righteous all the same? We certainly aren’t condemning one and blessing the other.

    That some people choose to draw a distinction between people who act out sexually and people who remain celibate is interesting, and is certainly valid from a religious requirement point of view. Kind of like saying a moral or virtuous person is someone who doesn’t have sexual relations outside of marriage (and ignoring the broader scope of both morality and virtue). Is there such a thing as a virtuous, moral, sexually active gay man? Yes. Is there such a thing as a virtuous, more, celibate gay man? Yes. Is there such a thing as a virtuous, moral heterosexually active gay man? Yes.

    Since it’s only been in the past couple of decades that LDS church leaders have taught that homosexuality is not necessarily a choice, a disease, or a crime, there’s really no point in trying to draw a fine line between having an attraction or acting on an attraction when discussing anyone’s 19th-century quotes. There’s a fairly substantial body of history which shows that there was no difference between having same-sex attractions and acting on same-sex attractions.

    It was not all that long ago that merely admitting to same-sex attractions was punishable by excommunication (at worst) and probation (at best) for any Mormon. Choosing to undergo a sex-change operation as an adult is still cause for removal of a temple recommend and limits on abilities to serve. Just this week we read about a BYU student who admitted to loving another man and was told “any contact with him – even a handshake or a hug – would be inappropriate” (and a violation of BYU’s Honor Code and reason enough to question his ability to remain at college).

    Now, it’s possible that people like Spencer W. Kimball and Bruce R. McConkie and Harold B. Lee came to an understanding about the difference between behavior and thought and that they condoned attraction while condemning action. It’s also possible they recognized that things like electroshock therapy and heterosexual marriage were not effective treatments for the “disease” of homosexuality. But it does seem odd that someone who would write that masturbation is the gateway to homosexuality would also believe that homosexuality is less than a disease or a choice and would choose to call it a temptation or test instead.

  13. 13Lauraon 08 Jul 2010 at 12:41 pm

    The quotes the movie used are what they are.

    The movie used those quotes to point out what the LDS Church and its leaders have taught about homosexuality in the past.

    They were presented in the film without context.

    Since a text without a context is a pretext, we’ve made an effort to provide some context.

    The added context here is what it is and there are links and/or citations to complete works where they are available.

    We’ve got lots of nice quotes about what current general authorities and LDS scriptures have said about treating homosexuals – both those who act and those who don’t act – with love and respect. The movie didn’t include those quotes, so they’re not part of the discussion here.

  14. 14fiona64on 08 Jul 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Joshua, I am keenly aware of what your church *says* about politics, and the rights of same-sex couples.

    What it does is something else entirely.

    For example, while giving “approval” to a state non-discrimination ordinance, the church granted itself an exception to the law.

    I pay attention to actions, Joshua, and stand by my assertion that your words about the church’s support of same-sex couples and their families is a damnable lie.l

  15. 15fiona64on 08 Jul 2010 at 12:50 pm

    PS to Joshua: How can you sit there and say that your church is not using political circles to cause harm to same-sex couples and their families via abrogation of rights when we all know who was really behind Prop 8 and HB 444?

    Just a little food for thought …

  16. 16Joshuaon 08 Jul 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Laura,

    It has only been in the past couple of decades that the meaning of homosexuality has been broadened to include a sexual orientation. Before that, leaders were clearly understood when they taught against homosexuality they were teaching against the behavior. To indicate that they were directing their comments against people with same-sex attraction is not very honest.

    Some individual bishops may have punished people for same-sex attraction, but then again many bishops make mistakes. There is a huge difference between bishops ex-communicating people with same-sex attraction, or recommending they get shock therapy, and the leadership doing that. The leadership has never recommended shock therapy and they have never recommended to ex-communicate people for their sexual orientation. The bishops were wrong in going against the teachings of the modern prophets.

    Masturbation leads to a preoccupation with sex in the mind. That also leads to acting out. Masturbation leads to inappropriate homosexual behavior for a SSA person just like it leads to inappropriate heterosexual behavior for a OSA person. I think President Kimball’s counsel for people with SSA to avoid masturbation as a way to avoid homosexual behavior is very wise.

    You said: “There’s a fairly substantial body of history which shows that there was no difference between having same-sex attractions and acting on same-sex attractions.” I’m a living contradiction to that statement. That is my major issue with this site. You marginalize those who don’t fit your mold, saying we are an exception. North Star and Evergreen are pretty big groups, and I don’t think you realize how much we dislike being marginalized.

  17. 17fiona64on 08 Jul 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Laura, I just read the article about the BYU student.

    Wow.

    So much for the idea that people are not punished merely for being gay, but only if they ‘act on their attraction.’ The university is saying this man should be shunned simply because he is gay.

    I am glad that Mr. Kovolenko has moved on to far bigger and better opportunities.

  18. 18fiona64on 08 Jul 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Joshua, believe me: you ARE the exception.

    There is indeed a substantial body of history, just as Laura says, that shows there is no difference between having same-sex attractions and acting thereon. It goes right up until the modern day, as a matter of fact. You might want to take a gander at Lawrence v. Texas and Romer v. Evans, and the case law that led up to those decisions.

    Stop thinking only of yourself, Joshua.

    Think of the bigger picture. Not everyone wants to be closeted, or forced to marry someone of the opposite sex so that they can have some companionship.

  19. 19fiona64on 08 Jul 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Just one more recent piece of legislation for Joshua to consider WRT having same-sex attraction vs. acting on said attraction:

    Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, decided by the US Supreme Court on 6/28/2010:

    In Christian Legal Society, the Supreme Court definitively held that sexual orientation is not merely behavioral, but rather, that gay and lesbian individuals are an identifiable class. Writing for the Court, Justice Ginsburg explained: “Our decisions have declined to distinguish between status and conduct in this context.” Slip op. at 23 (citing Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558, 575 (2003); id. at 583 (O’Connor, J., concurring in judgment); Bray v. Alexandria Women’s Health Clinic, 506 U.S. 263, 270 (1993)). This confirms that a majority of the Court now adheres to Justice O’Connor’s view in Lawrence, where she concluded that “the conduct targeted by [the Texas anti-sodomy] law is conduct that is closely correlated with being homosexual” and that, “[u]nder such circumstances, [the] law is targeted at more than conduct” and “is instead directed toward gay persons as a class,” id. at 583 (O’Connor, J., concurring in judgment) (emphasis added). See also Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620 (1996) (treating gay and lesbian individuals as a class for equal protection purposes). The Court’s holding arose in response to Christian Legal Society’s argument that it was not discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation, but rather because gay and lesbian individuals refused to acknowledge that their conduct was morally wrong. The Court rejected that argument, holding that there is no distinction between gay and lesbian individuals and their conduct.

    You’re welcome, Joshua.

  20. 20Dr. Boneson 08 Jul 2010 at 3:39 pm

    You marginalize those who don’t fit your mold, saying we are an exception. North Star and Evergreen are pretty big groups, and I don’t think you realize how much we dislike being marginalized.

    Dude, exceptions are the rule here: Mormons who speak up for gay rights, let alone marriage equality? Exceptions. If you’re not part of the majority, you are, by definition, a minority. Minorities ARE exceptions. Embrace your uniqueness – nobody’s kicking you off the playground – or even off the soapbox. You’re marginalizing yourself, man.

    But since you brought it up, how big, is big? There are about 6.7 billion people in the world; 13 million Mormons. Statstically, that’s 670 million GLBT people and 1.3 million GLBT Mormons. Even if every GLBT Mormon was part of North Star or Evergreen, you’d still be an exception in the grand scheme of things. Own it, you are peculiar, and that’s okay.

  21. 21Joshuaon 08 Jul 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Thanks Laura, I didn’t realize how far gone some of the court cases are. That makes me all the more glad that the church does make a distinction and stands up for us. I just don’t think the film accurately represents the Church’s view when the Church makes a distinction but the film does not.

    Dr. Bones, marginalizing someone is more than just stating they are a minority. I am fine being a minority. I am not fine being marginalized. Saying we are all a bunch of sad, lonely losers with horrible marriages who really don’t love our spouses and you better protect your daughters from us, is marginalizing us.

    I have long worked so that Mormons with SSA can be more fully accepted in the Church. It is hard to get over the stereotype that we all want to disobey the commandments of God. I am glad the Mormon leadership is trying clear that up. I am sad this film is trying to confuse it.

  22. 22fiona64on 08 Jul 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Joshua, I’m the one who provided the court case information.

    That said, we are talking about civil law on this board — and thus the court cases trump whatever your church teaches within its walls. Not everyone is Mormon and thus Mormon teachings are irrelevant in the public square.

    Joshua wrote: I have long worked so that Mormons with SSA can be more fully accepted in the Church. It is hard to get over the stereotype that we all want to disobey the commandments of God.

    Your work seems to be focused on telling gay and lesbian Mormons that they should remain single and celibate unless they can “manage to develop an attraction” for someone of the opposite sex. This makes me very sad, as I have said repeatedly. I would rather have an honest gay friend than a husband who treated intimacy as some Sisyphean burden that he had to force himself to complete. :-(

    No one is saying that you cannot be married to a woman; gay men have done it for centuries. OTOH, you are saying that gay men should not be allowed *under civil law* to marry their partners because you personally find it immoral.

    Remember that other Oscar Wilde quote, Joshua: Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike.

    I really do hope that you seek professional, non-religious counseling to help you deal with your evident self-loathing. I feel very sorry for you, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

  23. 23fiona64on 08 Jul 2010 at 4:44 pm

    PS to Joshua re: the documentary under discussion:

    The Church of LDS was given an opportunity to present their side of the story and failed to do so. They have also failed to repudiate anything in the film.

    This tells me that they are fully aware that the film is *accurate.*

  24. 24JLFulleron 09 Jul 2010 at 3:46 pm

    The LDS Church stands behind the notion that homosexuality is not an acceptable lifestyle. It is an abomination to God and nature. There is nothing more to respond to, it seems to me. Were you expecting some clarification or semi-apology or something? This is a moral question question not a legal one. It goes to LDS theology that says man and woman must be married by one having authority and thereafter live a certain lifestyle and obey certain commandments in order to achieve the biblical promise of living with God and Christ forever. Those who fall short have no promise. Marriage to a member of the opposite sex is a prerequisite to achieve a part of the full inheritance of Jesus Christ. Suggesting homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle in the eyes of God counters what Mormons believe and works against God’s intent to have all his children live with him again. Those who do not make it are separated from Him for eternity. They will be living somewhere else, not necessarily outer darkness or the traditional thinking of hell though.

  25. 25Lauraon 09 Jul 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Well, welcome to the community, JLFuller. Please take a minute to read what else has been written here and learn why this space has been carved out of the internet ocean. This page would be a great starting place.

  26. 26Sherylon 10 Jul 2010 at 11:49 pm

    What I have a difficult time with is how people cannot see the difference between religious and civil. Prop 8 is/was a civil matter; how the LDS or other churches view homosexuality is the business of that religion and should not be imposed on society.

    Joshua, have you seen 8: The Mormon Proposition? It is too bad that the church did not have anything but a “no comment” comment.

    Guess, having been a church member all of my, I was aware of the decades that those being quoted lived. Can certainly see where those who are not church members would not know that and think that everything was recent.

  27. 27cowboyIIon 11 Jul 2010 at 11:15 am

    JLFuller is so kind to say I’ll not live in “outer darkness” or hell. That’s so magnanimous of you.

    I’ve been celibate for years now. No prospect for any kind of marriage for me…especially with someone of the opposite sex. So, say I get run over by a truck today. I die. Question: I’ll be forever in some sort of lesser heaven than you who has married?

    Really?

    Laura here doesn’t approve of some of my more colorful adjectives. She has censored some of my previous postings. But “sanctimonious” comes to mind.

    Maybe my celibacy is not by choice. It is somewhat a elected celibacy because I’m not working hard enough to find a companion right now. I’m a good guy. I don’t rob, cheat on my taxes and I try to obey the golden rule. But thanks for saying I’ll be not in outer darkness if I die tonight.

  28. 28fiona64on 12 Jul 2010 at 10:54 am

    Welcome, JLFuller. I noticed that you wrote this:

    Suggesting homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle in the eyes of God counters what Mormons believe and works against God’s intent to have all his children live with him again. Those who do not make it are separated from Him for eternity. They will be living somewhere else, not necessarily outer darkness or the traditional thinking of hell though.

    I challenge you to show me anyplace in Scripture where Rabbi Yeshua ben Yussef spoke against same-sex relationships. I think you’ll be a while, since he didn’t do any such thing. In fact, if you go back and study the story of the centurion and his “dearly beloved slave” in context of the time, you will come to understand that such relationships were condoned in society.

    Again, not everyone is Mormon. Your church can (and doubtless will) continue to discriminate in any way it so chooses. However, your Church’s insertion of its beliefs into civil law actually prevent other denominations from full exercise of *their* religious freedom. We are talking about civil law, after all — and laws that prevent other religions from practicing their beliefs are unconstitutional.

    I hope you will consider these words prayerfully.

  29. 29fiona64on 12 Jul 2010 at 10:57 am

    CowboyII wrote: I’m a good guy. I don’t rob, cheat on my taxes and I try to obey the golden rule. But thanks for saying I’ll be not in outer darkness if I die tonight.

    You know, that is one of the things that really gets to me. The people who think that their god needs a mouthpiece, and that they know what their god wants, are beyond sanctimonious if you ask me.

    The word that comes to mind for *me* is hubris.

    One of these days, just like the story of the good Samaritan, those hubris-filled people may be the guy laying in the ditch and in need of some compassion. I hope they remember their own behavior at that time, since they show no compassion to those who look, think, believe or love differently from themselves.

  30. 30fiona64on 12 Jul 2010 at 11:04 am

    JLFuller wrote: The LDS Church stands behind the notion that homosexuality is not an acceptable lifestyle. It is an abomination to God and nature.

    Well, I’m pretty sure that God has not stopped by to address you on this matter, so I don’t buy that God has told you that GLBT people are “an abomination.” Nor did “God” say that in scripture, to be honest. You see, the word that you are thinking of in Leviticus? It’s “toevah.” It means “ritually impure.” Hint: a woman on her period is “toevah.” The word “abomination” is Latinate, from “abominatio,” and was not even coined until the 15th C. CE. The reason that two men together were “toevah” is that the ancients did not understand sexuality the same way we do. They believed that there were, so to speak, the “do-er” and the “done to.” The “done to” was never to be an equal to the “do-er.” Men were superior to women, so the relationship was not toevah. Men were equals, so the relationship there was toevah, unless the “done to” was a slave. The slave/slave-owner relationship was often understood to be sexual in nature, and no one thought anything of it.

    Now, as for your assertion that homosexuality is an abomination against nature, I guess you had better hurry back to science class. There are some 1500 non-human animals who practice homosexuality; one of them, the bonobo ape, is our closest relative (we share 98 percent of our DNA with them), and the most frequent form of congress amongst the bonobos is lesbianism.

    All of this has been known in the scientific community for a few years, but I thought I would let you have a link lest you disbelieve me.

    http://www.news-medical.net/news/2006/10/23/20718.aspx

    If you want to argue that these creatures are “choosing a lifestyle,” feel free … but I’m afraid you will look a trifle foolish.

  31. 31Sherion 12 Jul 2010 at 12:43 pm

    JLFuller, I have a couple of quetions: Do you ever consider that it’s a little arrogant to believe that out of the billions of people on the planet, you are among the select few who were chosen to make it to the celestial kingdom – based of course on your abiding by all the rules the church enforces? And when you look at people like me who have chosen to leave the church due to their political involvment and persecution of gay citizens, do you think of yourself as superior to me and them (gay people)because you are a married heterosexual member of the Mormon Church? Just curous.

    Sheri

  32. 32CowboyIIon 12 Jul 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Fiona, is quite right.   It has been and will always be a civil-rights issue.   I don’t begrudge any Mormon who wants to get married in their Temple of choice.  That has been always the case.  I have never heard any one of my gay friends ever desire to be married in a Mormon Temple.   (Qualification:  I don’t know of any ex-Mormon gays who are actively trying to return to being active in the LDS Church.  And I don’t see a big queue of gays outside any Temple demanding entrance.)   Not one sign at protests indicates they want to have a Mormon Wedding. 

     

    Let’s be honest here.  We all know there are two kinds of marriages in the Mormon Church:  The ones that are performed in the “civil” sense and those that are performed as part of a “sealing” ceremony in the LDS Temples.   Mormons have a disparagingly attitude towards civil marriages as it is.   Admit it.  There is a class difference here and we all know the prevailing attitude and smugness that is known/felt/implied whenever someone is married in “only” a civil ceremony rather than in a Temple. 

     

    Let the Mormons keep their “sealing” ceremonies.   Let the gays have, at least some, dignity with having a civil marriage.   It’s no skin off their turned-up noses if they do.  

  33. 33Todon 13 Jul 2010 at 7:12 pm

    fiona64,

    Your attitude is harsh and noncooperative with any hope of reconciliation between gays and the LDS Church. You would be wise to relax a bit and engage in dialogues that are based on a more loving cooperation between parties.

    Cheers,

    Tod

  34. 34Sherylon 13 Jul 2010 at 11:55 pm

    Don’t think fiona64 was being the least bit harsh. And, she was certainly correct in pointing out (as have I and other posters), that this is a CIVIL issue not a RELIGIOUS issue. The LDS Church and other churches may teach whatever they want about homosexuality; however, by supporting Yes on 8, they have moved in the civil arena and managed to take rights away from a law-abiding, tax-paying segment of California residents. And, have infringed on the religious freedom of those religions that do support same-sex marriage.

    And since dialogues have been mentioned, I’d like all of you to check this out:

    http://blog.beliefnet.com/flunkingsainthood/2010/07/mormons-and-gays-guest-blogger-carol-lynn-pearson-reports-on-a-stake-gathering.html#preview

  35. 35fiona64on 14 Jul 2010 at 8:36 am

    Hello, Tod. I guess that if you find my attitude harsh, you are probably not too keen on the First Amendment either. ::shrug::

    I support your church’s right to practice (including discrimination) in any way it so chooses — within its own walls. I support any church’s right to do so. That’s what the First Amendment allows for. However, the separation of church and state means that churches are not to meddle in civil law — and they are granted a tax exemption for that reason.

    Once your church starts to insert its beliefs into civil law, it steps on the rights of other churches to practice as *they* so choose.

    BTW, it appears from your comments that you are making a typical assumption: that anyone in favor of marriage equality must be gay. I am a “traditionally married,” straight middle-aged woman. In other words, I have no dog in this fight other than the absolute understanding of the real slippery slope that the Mormons and their allies have started: once you can put an unpopular group’s civil rights to the vote, any group’s rights can be put to the vote.

    I wonder, Tod, which of *your* civil rights you would like to have put on the ballot to be voted away because of fearmongering.

  36. 36fiona64on 14 Jul 2010 at 8:37 am

    Hi, Sheryl, and thanks for your words of support. In my experience, those who think that the truth is “harsh” have found their consciences tweaked by it.

    Hugs,
    Fiona

  37. 37Dave Hoenon 14 Jul 2010 at 6:47 pm

    I absolutely love Fiona’s comments on this website and other websites that I have seen her postings. Her words are always so relevant and come from wisdom one seldom sees in most blogs.

    I also understand where Tod is coming from. Having been through that pain myself, my heart breaks when I think of all the pain the gay youth and young adults and their families within the Mormon Church are going through or have yet to go through. While it is really easy for those outside of the Church to tell the Church to “just butt out of where you have no right to be”, that doesn’t offer anything to the young gay kid within the Mormon Church whose parents without thinking, voted yes on 8, sees no way out and is about to blow his brains out.

    This is a war that the Church Leadership has declared on both its own membership as well as non-members. And we all know that this is a war the Church leadership will lose, whether it takes a hand of fellowship in dialogue or a “no punches pulled” approach, all of our voices together will bring that day.

  38. 38Sherylon 14 Jul 2010 at 11:28 pm

    Dave, so true about the gay mormons (and not just the young ones). By the way are you on Prop8TrialTracker?

    The Leadership has been wrong before (interracial marriage comes to mind where the arguments were so the same that you could almost switch gay for negro (or whatever politically correct term was used at the time). This dates back to Brigham Young right up to the 70′s.

    I think that is why dialogue is important, especially the kind that the Oakland Stake has undertaken. Another website for anyone wanting to know how some individual members are reaching out is Propositionhealing.com (Yes, another Carol Lynn Pearson site).

    As for me, if I had to choose the Church (LDS) or my son, there is no question, my son is at the top of the list. I am so grateful that he accepted his homosexuality and decided not to continue attending a church that teaches him that he is a sinner because of that. And also grateful that he came to terms with it before thinking that he needed to find a nice Mormon girl to marry him and help him overcome “the affliction.” How I continue to be a semi-active Mormon is a discussion we have had and I don’t have particularly good reasons other than I think if all members who disagree with the leadership on this issue left the church, there is no hope for change. This change has to come from within and only by those of us, minority that we are, voicing our disagreement and participating in healing dialogue, letting the gays (Mormon and otherwise) know that there are Mormons who are not bigots, who believe in equality for all, and who love and stand by our children, family members, friends, etc. no matter their sexual orientation and their choice to be true to themselves and not live a life that, in my opinion is void of hope, will the suicides end (perhaps I’m too much of an optimist).

  39. 39fiona64on 15 Jul 2010 at 9:08 am

    Dave and Sheryl, thanks for your kind words.

    I honestly think that unless there is a sea change in the LDS leadership, the only hope for gay Mormon youth is to *leave.*

    I think I’ve mentioned before that my parents joined LDS when I was an adult. I have studied the church’s teachings, and the church says that it stays out of politics — which is patently untrue. :-(

    That’s why I keep bringing up the separation of church and state.

    Part of the reason I post as often as I do, and use facts instead of rhetoric is that I am hoping that some young gay person will see that not every straight person sees him or her as some sort of perversion (the way many churches teach) and that he or she is a person of value just as he or she is. I believe that we are embodied spirits for a reason, and that our sexuality is a gift from God. To tell a kid that his or her spirit is not worthy because of who he or she happens to love, and that the only hope is to love someone else or love no one? What an awful, empty feeling that would provoke. I cannot imagine anyone doing that to their child — or to the children they don’t even know.

  40. 40Sherylon 15 Jul 2010 at 1:34 pm

    I so agree with you, Fiona. As a Mormon I’m appalled at my Churches involvement with politics. Say what you want from the pulpit but don’t get involved to the extent that the church has.

    My son says that the only way equality is going to happen is for the old folks to pass on. Unfortunately, those old folks are teaching the next generation the same bigotry. So many of the parents don’t know that, when they talk about homosexuality, they have a child (or children) who is (are) homosexual, they have no idea the lack of self-worth they are planting in their children’s minds.

    Church and state should be separate, that’s how the founding fathers wanted it, they knew what religious suppression was.

    Marriage equality is a civil issue not a religious issue. Churches may teach what they want, but they don’t have the right to impose their values on others who believe differently. This is why Prop 8 needs overturned.

  41. 41Sherion 16 Jul 2010 at 2:21 pm

    Dave, I agree with you about Fiona’s comments. She is so articulate and states the facts simply in a straightforward unambiguous manner without rhetoric. Fiona, you’re the bomb:-) I need to learn to leave my emotions at the door around this issue and state the “facts” simply in like manner;-) (I may have reached more people by now had I learned that art earlier.) Thanks for all you do. And Sheryl, what a lucky guy your son is to have a mom like you. The church needs people like you and Carol Lynn Pearson who somehow are able to maintain your activity while being on the right side of history yourselves. Bless you.
    Sheri

  42. 42Joshuaon 16 Jul 2010 at 8:16 pm

    A couple things. Fiona, you twisted JLFuller’s words. He was talking about a lifestyle choice. You twisted it to say “that GLBT people are “an abomination”. Those are two different things. Everyone is free to chose. You have accused me several times of telling LGBT people to find someone of the opposite sex to marry. I have NEVER suggested that. Again, you twist my words. You are the one suggesting ” the only hope for gay Mormon youth is to *leave.*” Where is the choice in that? It is you who are telling LGBT people what to do, not I. I stand by my original accusation that it is homophobic to suggest that it is impossible for gay people to be happy faithful members. One of the key pillars of Mormonism is agency and this site seeks to take it away from LGBT Mormons. Also, it was Laura, not you, who told me “There’s a fairly substantial body of history which shows that there was no difference between having same-sex attractions and acting on same-sex attractions.”

    This film is misrepresenting Mormon doctrine. You keep saying this is a civil matter, but when you step into the realm of twisting Mormon doctrine, then it matters what the doctrine is.

    This film misquotes President Hinckley. Instead of him saying “Now we have gays in the Church. Great people” it has him saying “Gays have a problem” which is completely different than what he said.

    As a LGBT Mormon I am SO thankful for the Church’s stance on homosexuality.

  43. 43Sherylon 18 Jul 2010 at 11:24 pm

    Joshua, Fiona is stating her opinion just as you are stating yours. I think I speak for everyone when I say that we are happy that you are happy remaining in the church and having a temple marriage with the female of your choice. I think everyone has to make their own choice. My son decided to be true to himself and I am happy for him that he has chosen to do so. He is who Heavenly Father made him. He is not gay because of his environment, but because that is how he was created. In my opinion, and this is just my opinion, I think Heavenly Father is not going to judge us by our sexual orientation but by how we live our lives, especially, do we following the Golden Rule “Do Unto Others as You Would Have Others Do Unto You.” I am thankful that there are Stake Presidents who are willing to have discussions with the wards in the stake about the issues of homosexuality. I am not thankful that the Church has played such a large role in the political arena of marriage equality for all.

    As for all that President Hinckley had to say about homosexuals in his interview with Larry King, did you not read Laura’s post of that interview? In the following, note that President Hinckly twice made that statement:

    “HINCKLEY: Well, we’re not anti-gay. We are pro-family. Let me put it that way.

    And we love these people and try to work with them and help them. We know they have a problem. We want to help them solve that problem.

    KING: A problem they caused, or they were born with?

    HINCKLEY: I don’t know. I’m not an expert on these things. I don’t pretend to be an expert on these things. The fact is, they have a problem.

    In my opinion, the film does not misrepresent Mormon doctrine at all. I’m much older than you and have been a Mormon all of my life. I think the misrepresentation may be to people who do not realize that the quotes were quotes through the decades, not all by today’s prophets. But, by the Churches involvement in the political arena of marriage equality, the church leaders certainly, again in my opinion, displayed how homophobic the leaders of the religion are. I keep wondering which of their rights, church members would like to have put up for a vote.

    And, once again, Prop 8 was a CIVIL issue not a RELIGIOUS issue. I don’t understand how people have such a difficult time with that distinction.

  44. 44fiona64on 19 Jul 2010 at 10:10 am

    Joshua, this is what I said: I honestly think that unless there is a sea change in the LDS leadership, the only hope for gay Mormon youth is to *leave.*

    That is a statement of opinion, not a statement of direction. You are the one twisting people’s words.

    Neither did I “twist JLFuller’s words.” I quoted him/her, when s/he said “The LDS Church stands behind the notion that homosexuality is not an acceptable lifestyle. It is an abomination to God and nature. ” and responded accordingly. Being gay is not a “lifestyle,” nor is it “an abomination to God and nature.” It is no different from being left-handed or blue-eyed; it simply is. AND IT IS NOT A CHOICE.

    Keep your church doctrine out of civil law, Joshua. Go back and read the first amendment to the US Constitution if you’re not sure why that matters. Not everyone in this country is Mormon, so your church’s doctrine (which is, IMO, bigoted prima facie) is IRRELEVANT IN THE PUBLIC SQUARE.

  45. 45Joshuaon 20 Jul 2010 at 10:43 am

    Fiona, it is extremely harmful to LGBT Mormon youth to tell them unless there is a sea of change they have no choice but to leave. I was a LGBT Mormon youth not too long ago. You have no idea how much some of us love the church, and we are sick and are not going to stand for people telling us what our only choice is or is not. We do not have to follow what you tell us. We have our agency, and I am glad I am in a church that teaches us we have a choice.

    The gay lifestyle is MOST CERTAINLY a choice. I have chosen not to participate. Others have chosen to participate. That is completely different than being left-handed or blue-eyed. Sexual orientation is not a choice, but JLFuller was talking about a lifestyle choice, not a sexual orientation. You twisted the words to make it sound like they were talking about sexual orientation.

    Sheryl, the conversation was most clearly talking about civil unions and people who may want to enter into those unions. There are plenty of LGBT Mormons who love the Church and love its teachings and have no problems following the law of chastity. President Hinckley was talking about people who wanted to enter a civil union, not gay people. Of gay people, he said “Now we have gays in the Church. Good people.”

    The movie twisted President Hinckley’s comments to be about civil unions to be about LGBT people.

  46. 46Lauraon 20 Jul 2010 at 11:00 am

    Just so we are clear here (and this is probably a threadjack, but it’s important), please define the following:

    Gay Lifestyle

    Bisexual Lifestyle

    Straight Lifestyle

    Transgendered Lifestyle

  47. 47Lauraon 20 Jul 2010 at 11:03 am

    And then define the following:

    Gay

    Bisexual

    Straight

    Transgendered

    Otherwise we’ll be talking past each other.

  48. 48Joshuaon 20 Jul 2010 at 11:46 am

    Certainly. That is a good question. Let me answer that in the reverse order.

    Looking up gay in the dictionary, it directs me to homosexual, which directs me to homosexuality. Homosexuality is defined as (according to the American Heritage Dictionary):

    1. Sexual orientation to persons of the same sex.
    2. Sexual activity with another of the same sex.

    So the term itself is ambiguous. This coincides with the usage within Mormonism. Both Elder Oaks and President Packer said that gay is an adjective that describes thoughts, feelings or behaviors. Elder Oaks added that our doctrine dictates such usage.

    Since it is an ambiguous adjective, the meaning will depend on its context, particularly the noun which it modifies. Lifestyle is the way you chose to live your life, so when gay is used in connection with a lifestyle, it is clear that it is using the second definition, which is “Sexual activity with another of the same sex”. The emphasis here is the choice the person is making upon entering the gay lifestyle, where sexual orientation is not a choice. It started when people stopped pursuing same-sex relationships. They described their change as a lifestyle change.

    American Heritage similarly defines bisexuality as “Sexual activity with another of the same sex” and heterosexuality as “Sexual feeling or behavior directed toward a person or persons of the opposite sex”. I haven’t heard of a bisexual or straight lifestyle, but I would imagine it would similarly emphasize a person’s sexual choices. I have heard of a celibate lifestyle or even an asexual lifestyle, which someone can chose even if they are straight. Hence a monk can be straight, referring to his feelings, but still chose a celibate lifestyle.

    Since it is so ambiguous, you have to look at the context to see how people are using it. So when JLFuller said “homosexuality is not an acceptable lifestyle”, it is clear he was using the second definition, which refers to a lifestyle, not an orientation. When President Hinckley said there were good members of the church who were gay, it seems he was talking about the orientation, not the lifestyle.

    It all depends on the usage. One of the things that Elder Oaks taught it that it is essential to distinguish the two. When talking about Mormonism, you have to keep Elder Oak’s counsel in mind.

  49. 49Lauraon 20 Jul 2010 at 12:17 pm

    These are helpful, but it still doesn’t explain what a “homosexual lifestyle” is. After we know what it is, then we can distinguish it from a “straight lifestyle” or a “bisexual lifestyle.” I wonder why nobody ever talks about “straight lifestyles” anyway?

    The reason I ask is because everybody has a different view of what a “homosexual lifestyle” is. Is it bathhouses, drag queens and leather chaps? Is it a decades-long relationship raising kids and puppy dogs? Is it all-night drunken parties or is it going to work every day and volunteering at the soup kitchen at night?

    Is my heterosexual lifestyle the equivalent of a prostitute’s heterosexual lifestyle? Or a polygamist’s heterosexual lifestyle? Or a Frat-boy’s heterosexual lifestyle?

    And how far down the sexual slope can one go before homosexual activity becomes more sinful than heterosexual activity? Is it possible to have a platonic homosexual relationship that includes Backrubs? Holding hands? Kissing? Making Out? Sleeping in the same bed without having sex? At what point does affection become sexual? And at what point does it become a “lifestyle”?

    Is a heterosexual kiss okay but a homosexual kiss indecent? Is viewing Arnold Friberg’s paintings (examples here and here) okay for girls but not for boys?

  50. 50fiona64on 20 Jul 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Laura, thank you for asking these questions — and I have to back you up in saying that I have not yet seen anyone say what makes a “gay lifestyle” different from a “straight lifestyle” or any other “lifestyle.”

    My gay friends’ lifestyle looks very similar to mine: they go to work, they attend church, they help the kids with their homework, clean the house, go to the grocery, eat meals, pay bills, walk the dog, mow the lawn, go to a movie now and then, read the paper, goof off on Facebook, etc.

    Nothing too radical there that I can see.

    I don’t want to know what a dictionary says, because I’m literate and can look things up if needed. I want to hear what people talking about the “homosexual lifestyle” or the “straight lifestyle” mean, and why one is considered inferior to the other.

  51. 51Stevenon 20 Jul 2010 at 5:19 pm

    haha man! For a good few minutes I was REALLY confused how there was a momons against prop 8 site, seeing as the church has made it as clear as possible what their stance is. But after reading this and other articles as well as many comments I now realize that this is a site of former members of the church, claiming that they know everything about the church and are now against it. The LDS church could not force anyone to vote one way or another. When the majority of people in california are ok with same sex marriage than it will get voted in. Until then, get over yourselves and stop pretending to be good mormons who also happen to be against prop 8. The LDS church did what many organizations and interest groups have done to push something that they feel strong about. There was nothing no-democratic about what they did

  52. 52Joshuaon 20 Jul 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Gay is an adjective that describes thoughts, feelings or behaviors. It is not meant to be all-encompassing to describe someones life.

    Someone might live a fast-paced lifestyle. What does that mean? Maybe they rob banks or maybe they feed the homeless. We really don’t know. The only thing we know is their lifestyle is fast-paced.

    We use adjectives to describe one aspect of the noun we are modifying. Gay lifestyle refers to people who chose to pursue same-sex relationships. We don’t know much else about them. The adjective is only meant to describe one aspect of their life. They might lead a fast-paced gay lifestyle, or a slow gay lifestyle, or a gay lifestyle that is filled with service, or a gay lifestyle of crime. I mean gay was only meant to describe one aspect of a person, not everything about them.

    When you are talking about people, of course they are more than any one adjective you may use to describe them. Many people who lead a gay lifestyle also lead a very charitable and loving lifestyle. I have said several times I believe many people in same-sex marriages will go to heaven. Also many people who lead straight lifestyles or celibate lifestyles also lead a very prideful and self-centered lifestyle.

    Fiona, a gay lifestyle is different than a straight lifestyle or a celibate lifestyle in that it involves gay sex. That is the difference.

  53. 53Sherylon 20 Jul 2010 at 11:17 pm

    First, in regards to President Hinckley’s comments, the fact that he said, “we’re not anti-gay.” and then goes on to say “And we love these people and try to work with them and help them. We know they have a problem. We want to help them solve that problem.”

    Says to me that he was talking about gays, not same-sex marriage. You have your opinion and I have mine. And, yes, they did not use his quote “Now we have gays in the Church. Good people.”

    Once again, we come back to the fact that this was about Proposition 8 and not about celibate gays in the church or those, like yourself, who are in a heterosexual marriage. Proposition 8 was not about Mormon philosophy but about taking rights away from a law-abiding, tax-paying segment of California’s population.

    Laura, you have asked some excellent questions, especially about how far a relationship can go before it crosses that line. Somehow, I think dances for the LGBT community would not be tolerated as they are for singles in the church.

    Joshua, if someone is gay but not involved would you then say they have a straight lifestyle?

    I guess I’m just one of those who doesn’t make the distinction between orientation and activity.

  54. 54fiona64on 21 Jul 2010 at 8:38 am

    Joshua wrote: I have heard of a celibate lifestyle or even an asexual lifestyle, which someone can chose even if they are straight.

    Just a quick note, Joshua: asexuality and celibacy are not the same thing, and asexuality is not something that one “can choose even if they are straight.

    Why? Because people who identify as asexual are not attracted to anyone of either gender.

    Thanks for your understanding.

  55. 55fiona64on 21 Jul 2010 at 8:40 am

    So, in other words, Joshua — you think that a “gay lifestyle” is just about sex. Why isn’t a straight lifestyle just about sex if that’s the case?

    You have not answered Laura’s perfectly reasonable questions, but you’ve danced around them beautifully. If this were a ballet, I’d be standing up and shouting “bravo.”

  56. 56Joshuaon 21 Jul 2010 at 10:19 am

    “You think that a “gay lifestyle” is just about sex. Why isn’t a straight lifestyle just about sex if that’s the case?”

    It is. I am not straight, but I am living a straight lifestyle. A straight lifestyle IS just about sex. Before I was married, I lived an asexual lifestyle. I have chosen not to live a gay or bisexual lifestyle. Living a gay lifestyle is a choice, and I have chosen not to live it.

    Why is it just about sex? That is the adjective that is used. In this context, gay means “Sexual activity with another of the same sex.” Why is a face-paced lifestyle just about the speed of your life? Why is an American lifestyle just about your culture? Why is a bachelor’s lifestyle just about your marital status? Why is a gay lifestyle just about sexual activity with another of the same sex? Because in the dictionary, that is what the word gay means.

  57. 57fiona64on 21 Jul 2010 at 10:35 am

    Joshua wrote: Before I was married, I lived an asexual lifestyle.

    Really? You weren’t attracted to anyone of either gender? Then why did you tell us you were attracted to men before you “managed to become attracted to” your wife? Asexuality is not is NOT synonymous with celibacy.

    Thanks for letting me know that my marriage (and lifestyle) is just about sex, though. Until I had your authority and information, I thought it was about love, companionship, partnership, working together, etc. Now I know it’s just about what happens in the bedroom. I’m so glad you were here to correct the error of my ways. @@

    There is more to life than the dictionary, Joshua. I know that you can’t answer Laura’s questions any other way, because you are just parroting rhetoric about “lifestyles” and equating them with sex. But you dismiss everyone’s relationship in the world, gay, straight, celibate — when you make it only about sex. I really feel sorry for you if that’s what you think makes a relationship and a “lifestyle.”

  58. 58fiona64on 21 Jul 2010 at 10:36 am

    PS to Joshua: “Bravo” — I have seldom seen such perfect dancing in a ballet. You danced all over the issue without touching (answering) it — yet again.

  59. 59Joshuaon 21 Jul 2010 at 10:46 am

    I said nothing like that Fiona. Stop twisting my words.

  60. 60fiona64on 21 Jul 2010 at 11:12 am

    Joshua, I am not twisting your words.

    This is what you said, 21 July 2010, at 10:91 AM: Fiona, a gay lifestyle is different than a straight lifestyle or a celibate lifestyle in that it involves gay sex. That is the difference.

    You also said this, in the same post: A straight lifestyle IS just about sex.

    By your own words, you reduced my relationship (and yours) to nothing but sex, Joshua. Of all the things you have said and done on these pages, this is perhaps the most mean-spirited and untrue thing I have ever seen from you. And that is saying something.

    And then you try to pretend you never said these things?

    Come on, Joshua.

  61. 61Joshuaon 21 Jul 2010 at 1:28 pm

    I quoted the dictionary in saying that in the context of a “gay lifestyle”, the adjective gay refers to “Sexual activity with another of the same sex.” I did not reduce anyone’s lifestyle to just be about sex.

    I have chosen a straight lifestyle, even though I am not straight. My lifestyle is more than sex, but what makes it a straight lifestyle instead of a gay lifestyle is that I chose heterosexual sex rather than homosexual sex.

    I also spoke of an American lifestyle. What is the difference between an American lifestyle and a Korean one? Well, obviously, the culture which they follow. Does that mean I am reducing their lifestyle to just the culture. Of course not. Why didn’t you accuse me of reducing lifestyles to just the culture? I spoke of a fast-paced lifestyle, but you didn’t accuse me of reducing someone’s lifestyle to the speed they take their life.

    I never reduced anyone’s lifestyle to sex. I clearly said there are many aspects to a person’s lifestyle. Someone can live a straight lifestyle while living a Korean lifestyle. Someone can live a celibate lifestyle while living a lifestyle of crime. These are all different aspects of the same lifestyle.

    The gay lifestyle is a choice, and I have chosen not to follow it. Many others have as well. Some have taken up a straight lifestyle and others are living a celibate lifestyle. Some lived an American lifestyle before and after living a gay lifestyle. Some people have decided to pick up a vegan lifestyle.

    Of course there are many different aspects to the way we live our lives. I never indicated differently.

  62. 62fiona64on 21 Jul 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Again, Joshua, 21 July 2010 at 10:19 AM: A straight lifestyle IS just about sex.

    I don’t see how you can dance around that.

    You didn’t answer Laura’s questions at all. What is a “homosexual lifestyle”? A “straight lifestyle”? A “transgender lifestyle”?

    Until you can give us your definitions, we can’t address this. You keep reducing “lifestyle” to sex, and then try to pretend otherwise.

    So, I’ll play it your way. Do you really believe that there is one “American lifestyle”? Do you really believe that Americans are one big monolith, all doing things in exactly the same way?

  63. 63Sherylon 21 Jul 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Joshua, perhaps in the future you should preface your comments with where they come from or what you are basing your statements on, cause I’m with Fiona64. She did not twist your words, in response the question: “You think that a “gay lifestyle” is just about sex. Why isn’t a straight lifestyle just about sex if that’s the case?” you stated: “It is. I am not straight, but I am living a straight lifestyle. A straight lifestyle IS just about sex.” Now if you had prefaced that “with based on the dictionary definition of the word gay,…… it would have been much clearer where you were coming from. But to answer as you did, certainly makes it sound very belittling to be involved in any relationship. AND, if the only difference between a gay relationship and a straight relationship is the sex of the partner, why should members of the LGBT community who are living life according to their beliefs not be allowed the legitimacy of a civil marriage (and a religious one if there church allows)?

  64. 64fiona64on 21 Jul 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Just a further clarification of my question to Joshua with his assertions about there being an “American lifestyle”:

    Does the homeless American living in a squat have the same lifestyle as the well-to-do American who drives a Daimler and lives in a 5th Avenue townhouse?

    Please explain the “American Lifestyle” to which you refer in your posts of 21 July 2010 at 10:19 and 1:28.

    Why am I asking you this? Because I think you are deliberately avoiding the point by relying on dictionary definitions and stereotypes. You can no more define the “gay lifestyle” as being about one thing (sex) than you can the “American lifestyle” about being one thing (the fact that you live in the US). And I think, Joshua, that you know this in your heart of hearts.

  65. 65Joshuaon 21 Jul 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Okay. Let me clarify. I think in the context “gay lifestyle”, the word gay means “Sexual activity with another of the same sex”. I think the word lifestyle means the way one chooses to live their life. Putting those together, I think “gay lifestyle” means a way of life that one chooses to live which includes sexual activity with another of the same sex. I base my opinion based on the definitions in the dictionary. Likewise, a “straight lifestyle” means a way of life that one chooses to live which includes sexual activity with another of the opposite sex. A “celibate lifestyle” means a way of life that one chooses to live which does not include sexual activity with anyone.

    I do not think relationships are only about sex. I think the difference between a gay lifestyle, a straight lifestyle and a celibate lifestyle is sex. Those lifestyles can also have many commonalities.

    Fiona, I feel I have sufficiently answered Laura’s question. If she still does not understand, she can ask for clarification.

  66. 66fiona64on 21 Jul 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Gotcha, Joshua. All gay people are the same (because of whom they sleep with), all straight people are the same, (because of whom they sleep with) and all celibate people are the same (because they sleep with no one).

    Thanks for your clarification.

  67. 67Sherylon 21 Jul 2010 at 10:49 pm

    Steven by the following:

    “But after reading this and other articles as well as many comments I now realize that this is a site of former members of the church, claiming that they know everything about the church and are now against it. The LDS church could not force anyone to vote one way or another. When the majority of people in california are ok with same sex marriage than it will get voted in. Until then, get over yourselves and stop pretending to be good mormons who also happen to be against prop 8.

    Do you mean everyone here who believes that taking rights away from a law-abiding, tax-paying segment of California’s population, is an ex-Mormon who is pretending to be a good Mormon?

    And, I really don’t recall any posts where anyone said that they knew everything about the Mormon Church. And, no one ever claimed that the LDS church forced anyone to vote one way or another (may have been some intimidation in some wards, but not force, especially since no one goes into that voting booth with you). However, the LDS Church did get members to donate a large percentage of the funds available to the Yes on 8 campaign. And those funds helped spread half-truths and innuendos about what would happen if Prop 8 did not pass. I call that “fear mongering” and, I believe more people voted Yes on 8 because of that than because they really oppose same-sex marriage. Again, just my personal opinion.

    And, for your information, I am Mormon, not an ex-Mormon. I voted no on 8 not because my son is gay but because I don’t believe in taking rights away from people and I don’t believe religions should impose their beliefs on the rest of society who may believe differently.

    Which of your rights would you like to be put up for vote?

  68. 68Joshuaon 22 Jul 2010 at 10:48 am

    Sheryl,

    It is interesting you use the word “fear mongering”. What do you call statements like “you wouldn’t want your daughter to marry someone like that would you”?

    If Prop 8 was fear mongering against same-sex relationships, this site is fear mongering against mixed-orientation marriages.

    Fiona,

    That is not what I said.

  69. 69fiona64on 22 Jul 2010 at 11:23 am

    Yet, Joshua, you want to make everyone and everything a monolith with your comments about “American lifestyle” and “Korean lifestyle” — and out of your own words, the “straight lifestyle IS about sex.”

    You don’t get it. You don’t get that a “lifestyle” is about more than just the person with whom you sleep. That’s why I pointed out that the “American lifestyle” of a homeless man in a squat is different from the “American lifestyle” of a well-to-do man with a Daimler and a 5th Avenue address.

    I don’t make these arguments to convince *you,* Joshua. In my opinion, you’re a zealot and not interested in arguments that involve critical thinking or examination. I am making these arguments because there are people out there like MikeG who do NOT feel supported by your church (and please, spare him the ex-gay propaganda). There are people out there who are about more than just parroting rhetoric. These points are for folks like MikeG, who need to know that they are loved by God just as they are, despite what the church teaches.

  70. 70Joshuaon 22 Jul 2010 at 11:35 am

    That is not what I said.

  71. 71fiona64on 22 Jul 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Yes, Joshua, it is. Go back and read your own post of 21 July 2010 at 10:19 AM. It is EXACTLY what you said.

  72. 72fiona64on 22 Jul 2010 at 12:52 pm

    Here it is, Joshua, so that you don’t even have to go look. It is *exactly* what you said:

    56Joshuaon 21 Jul 2010 at 10:19 am

    “You think that a “gay lifestyle” is just about sex. Why isn’t a straight lifestyle just about sex if that’s the case?”

    It is. I am not straight, but I am living a straight lifestyle. A straight lifestyle IS just about sex. Before I was married, I lived an asexual lifestyle. I have chosen not to live a gay or bisexual lifestyle. Living a gay lifestyle is a choice, and I have chosen not to live it.

    Why is it just about sex? That is the adjective that is used. In this context, gay means “Sexual activity with another of the same sex.” Why is a face-paced lifestyle just about the speed of your life? Why is an American lifestyle just about your culture? Why is a bachelor’s lifestyle just about your marital status? Why is a gay lifestyle just about sexual activity with another of the same sex? Because in the dictionary, that is what the word gay means.

  73. 73Joshuaon 22 Jul 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Fiona, you take isolated quotes and twist them.

    Gay is an ambiguous term. In some contexts it means “sexual activity” in others it means “sexual feelings”. It depends on the context. You cannot take a quote from one context and apply it to another context.

    When I said “A straight lifestyle is just about sex.” I was explaining the difference between a gay lifestyle and a straight lifestyle. The difference is who you have sex with. There are many similarities. I did not mean to say a lifestyle is just about sex, but the difference is just about sex.

    I have repeated until I am blue in the face I do not believe any lifestyle or relationship is about sex, and yet you keep taking one quote out of context and repeating it. I meant to say the DIFFERENCE between a gay lifestyle and a straight lifestyle is just about sex. Not the lifestyles themselves.

    If I didn’t make myself clear, let me do so now. No lifestyle is just about sex. The straight lifestyle is not just about sex. The gay lifestyle is not just about sex. I should have typed the DIFFERENCE between a gay lifestyle and a straight lifestyle is just about sex. Please forgive me. I mistyped. There are many aspects to a person’s lifestyle. There is not one gay lifestyle. There is not one American lifestyle. Not all gay people are the same and not all straight people are the same.

  74. 74fiona64on 22 Jul 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Why, thank you, Joshua. It now seems that we are getting somewhere.

    Your definition of living a gay lifestyle has solely to do with whether or not you have sex with someone of the same gender.

    Is someone not gay if they are a celibate virgin but are solely attracted to members of their own gender? Or are they “ex-gay,” to use your own terminology? Let’s leave their “celibate lifestyle” (whatever that is) alone, shall we? I am interested in your take on this.

  75. 75fiona64on 22 Jul 2010 at 2:10 pm

    PS to Joshua: I find it very amusing that when I post your entire statement you pretend that I have “isolated” quotes and twisted them. What did I isolate? Your entire post?

    Really, for someone who is so sure of himself and his position you seem to have a lot of trouble articulating what is is and get very, very upset when someone questions you about it.

    Why is that? I don’t care if people ask me about my positions, and I am able to articulate my responses unambiguously and without having to rely on Noah Webster to help me out. I really don’t understand why you cannot spell out what a “gay lifestyle” is other than sex, when you say that the “gay lifestyle” is what you object to. What you are objecting to is same-sex couples, not their “lifestyles,” because you don’t even know what they are.

    Why couldn’t you just say “I object to same-sex couples being in a relationship”? Don’t you find that both easier and more intellectually honest than trying to cloak everything in talk about “lifestyles”?

  76. 76Joshuaon 22 Jul 2010 at 2:42 pm

    I didn’t start using the term gay lifestyle. That was JLFuller. I simply defined it. You did not understand him, thinking he was referring to LGBT people. I wanted to clarify.

    I didn’t say I objected to the gay lifestyle. I didn’t chose it for myself, but I fully support those who do chose it for themselves. It doesn’t coincide with my religious beliefs, but I don’t want to force my beliefs on anyone. Everyone is free to enter into a same-sex relationship. But if someone asks my beliefs, I will say them.

    “Is someone not gay if they are a celibate virgin but are solely attracted to members of their own gender?”

    Gay is an adjective that can describes thoughts, feelings or behaviors. Someone can be gay and celibate. I identified as gay when I was celibate, but I sure was not living the gay lifestyle. That was a choice I made.

  77. 77fiona64on 22 Jul 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Joshua. Laura asked you to define a gay/straight/bisexual/transgender lifestyle — and to define gay/straight/bisexual/transgender. You went straight to Noah Webster, as you are doing right now.

    ::sigh::

    This is a serious question: have you ever given a moment’s thought to these things before now? I get that you are repeating what you’ve been taught for your entire life. I just want to know whether you have actually considered what you, JOSHUA, mean when you say them — not what Noah Webster, or President Monson, or anyone else says.

  78. 78Lauraon 22 Jul 2010 at 3:22 pm

    The reason I asked for some personal definitions was to find some common ground in order to have a conversation that actually means something.

    SINCE Nobody seems to be able to come up with definitions, I am going to pull the moderator card here and tell you what the words mean in the context of this conversation.

    If you don’t agree with these definitions, you are free to (a) tell me; and (b) not participate in the discussion. The definitions are clunky and awkward, but they are precise. But if you are going to keep talking, use these terms so we know we’re all speaking the same language:

    Practicing gay/homosexual (PG/PH): Someone involved in (or wanting to be involved in) a same-sex relationship (whether or not that includes sex).

    Non-practicing gay/homosexual (NPG/NPH): Someone who is attracted to people of the same sex but is not in a relationship and is not seeking a relationship. Includes celibate people attracted to the same sex.

    Straight-acting gay/homosexual (SAG/SAH): Someone who is attracted to people of the same sex but is in a relationship or seeking a relationship with someone of the opposite sex, (whether or sexual intercourse is involved).

    Bisexual (B): Someone attracted to both men and women and willing to seek out/be in a relationship with either men or women (whether or not sexual intercourse is involved).

    Practicing Straight (PS): Someone who is attracted to people of the opposite sex and is involved in (or wanting to be involved in) a relationship (whether or not sexual intercourse is involved).

    Non-Practicing Straight (NPS): Someone who is attracted to people of the opposite sex but is not in or seeking a relationship. Includes celibacy.

    ALSO UNDER THESE DEFINITIONS,
    We’re not parsing “gay” “homosexual” “bisexual” or “anything like unto” them. These words are not solely descriptive, they can be nouns as well.

    THAT MEANS:
    Under these definitions, if you are attracted to people of the same sex, you are gay. If you act/would like to act on those attractions, you are a practicing gay. If you are not acting on those attractions and not seeking to overcome/suppress/ignore those attractions, you are a non-practicing gay. If you are overcoming/suppressing/ignoring/ those attractions and seeking (or in) an opposite-sex relationship or marriage, you are a straight-acting gay.

    FOR PURPOSES OF THIS DISCUSSION, Yes, it IS all about sex.

  79. 79Lauraon 22 Jul 2010 at 3:33 pm

    With all of that in mind, then:

    So, a gay lifestyle differs from a straight lifestyle only by virtue of the fact that gay lifestyles involve same-sex relationships and straight lifestyles involve opposite-sex relationships.

    There are promiscuous and committed people on both sides of the attraction coin. There are good and bad people in both camps. There are cheaters and parents and abusers in both camps.

    If you don’t like gay sex, then say so. But don’t go condemning a “gay lifestyle” on general grounds, because there’s as much variation among gay people as there is among straight people, and there are gay couples right now in your neighborhood living that lifestyle in such a way that you haven’t even realized they are gay.

    If you don’t like bars and bathhouses and casual sex in the park and promiscuity, then say that. But don’t believe for one minute that every gay person lives a hedonistic, party-til-you-drop life.

  80. 80fiona64on 22 Jul 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Thank you, Laura. Here are my thoughts.

    IMO, one is gay, straight or bisexual regardless of whether one is sexually active. I know plenty of people who are celibate, monogamous, polyamorous — of all orientations. I know plenty of people who are asexual (attracted to no one of either gender); of those folks, all of them are celibate. I know transgender people who are gay and transgender people who are straight — their orientation did not change when their physical gender was corrected to match their mental gender, in any case.

    Also IMO, there is no such thing as a “gay lifestyle,” a “straight lifestyle” a “transgender lifestyle” or a “bisexual lifestyle,” because people are individuals, not monoliths. Some straight couples, for example, choose not to have kids (be childfree) while others have kids (not all of them happily) and others do not have kids because of infertility (not all of them happily). I could go on and on and on.

    When someone says that a given “lifestyle” is worthy of approval or disapproval, I want to know what that means. I have been told that my decision not to have children (which I have never regretted) was proof of a “selfish lifestyle,” although I donate to charity, do animal rescue work, and spend a lot of time helping homeless kids (many of whom were put out of the home by their apparently “unselfish” parents, but I digress). None of those aspects of my lifestyle were taken into account: I had a “selfish lifestyle” because I did not want to give birth. A lifestyle is not about just one thing — it is all-encompassing.

  81. 81fiona64on 22 Jul 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Laura, I had to giggle for just a few minutes, because you said exactly the same thing I did — just more succinctly. :-)

  82. 82Sherylon 22 Jul 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Laura, thank you for the very precise definitions. Should make discussion easier. And, I know I’ve said it before, but thank you for keeping this site going.

    Joshua, I used the term fear mongering because that is just what the half truths and innuendo’s are, they played into the fear of the unknown, and the people who published them knew that they were half-truths and innuendos. And, since I don’t remember every single thing that has been written on this site, there may certainly have been the use of “you wouldn’t want your child to marry someone like that.” And, I would agree that is also fear mongering. However, I think, in general that you hear that phrase from the people who do not support same-sex marriage directed at the LGBT community way more than you would hear it from someone who supports same-sex marriage.

    OR, do you think we support same-sex marriage for that reason?

    And, as for this site “fear mongering” against, as you call it, mixed orientation marriage, I’m trying to figure that one out. Simply because someone states their opinion does not make it the opinion of the site, and I do realize that there have been some posters comment that mixed orientation marriages will fail. Still, that does not mean the site is stating that. And, this site is not publishing material and putting out ads to that affect. Frankly, you are the one who keeps pointing out what you perceive as the negative influence of this site. Personally, I find this site quite uplifting. As a Mormon who disagrees with her leaders on this issue, it is very uplifting to know that I am not the only one. And, I think it is wonderful that people from the LGBT community can come here and learn that there are those of use who do support them and think there is nothing wrong with them because they are gay or lesbian, bisexual, or transgender whether they have or have not decided to act on those desires.

  83. 83Joshuaon 22 Jul 2010 at 5:44 pm

    Sheryl,

    That is the official statement of this website. I got that quote from the page “It is not good for man (or woman) to be alone.” The exact quote was “Would you want your child to marry someone in this situation?”

    That was not a guest post. It was not someone’s comments. It is an official statement written by Laura and there is a permanent link to that page on the side. That page also makes the claim that people in mixed-orientation marriages are not physically attracted to their spouses and that most often they lead to misery and disaster for both husband and wife. It says celibacy is “just as hopeless”. On the page “Homosexuality does not go away” it says “The vast majority of the mixed-orientation marriages ended in tragedy or divorce”. They don’t even acknowledge that a happy, fulfilling marriage or life of celibacy is possible.

    I do not have a problem with Mormons supporting same-sex marriage. I think you can be a good member of the church and support it. I support my friends who are in same-sex relationships. I put the wedding announcement on my fridge of a friend who used to be in my ward who was marrying her girlfriend. I don’t have a problem with that.

    What I don’t understand is why this site needs to say such things about mixed-orientation marriages? If you don’t want a MOM, don’t get one, but why attack my lifestyle? If you are really for marriage equality, those pages would be removed or changed.

    Also, the page for the moderator of the facebook group is part of the group “Allies to Stop NARTH! – Clergy & Religious Communities”.

    Stop us? If you don’t like NARTH, don’t participate, but don’t join a group trying to stop us from congregating. We have the right of assembly. That is taking rights away from LGBT people who chose to go to NARTH for help. I would never join a group calling to stop an gay rights group. I respect others rights to congregate. Why can’t this site respect our right.

    To really be for “marriage equality” an organization can not have an official position against anyone’s marriage.

    I only ask that this site change those pages to no longer attack mixed-orientation marriages, and quit the facebook group to attack our right to congregate. At least acknowledge that is a viable option for some people.

  84. 84fiona64on 22 Jul 2010 at 6:03 pm

    Joshua wrote: On the page “Homosexuality does not go away” it says “The vast majority of the mixed-orientation marriages ended in tragedy or divorce”. They don’t even acknowledge that a happy, fulfilling marriage or life of celibacy is possible.

    Wrong, Joshua.

    The statement is factually accurate. The “vast majority” means that there is a smaller minority for which that is not the case, but the vast majority of mixed-orientation marriages do end in tragedy and divorce. You can’t deny that.

  85. 85Sherylon 22 Jul 2010 at 8:36 pm

    Okay, Joshua I just went back and re-read that section. Wow, talk about twisting words, Joshua. Here is exactly what it says:

    Option 1: To enter into a heterosexual marriage in spite of their dismal success rates — most often leading to misery and disaster for both husband and wife. Consider what it would be like to either: 1) marry someone you were not physically attracted to, or 2) marry someone who is not at all physically attracted to you. Would you want your child to marry someone in this situation? For most, this option is simply not viable.

    So, put into the perspective of what was actually written, would you, Joshua, want to be married to someone who was not attracted to you or to whom you were not attracted? I mean, you didn’t just marry your wife because she was a female, did you?

    It does not state that there are not “mixed orientation” marriages are where the couples are not attracted to each other, it asks you to consider what it would be like. While you may have developed an attraction to your wife, that is not always the case. Perhaps that is more prevalent in those older than you because it has not been that many years ago that the advice to homosexuals was to marry and live the gospel and those feelings would be taken away. Perhaps not by the general authorities but by bishops and state presidents (and are we not supposed to follow their counsel). So, at least church leaders have learned that those feelings do not go away and, hopefully, those in leadership positions do not give that advice now.

    As for the failure rate, it does not state vast majority, it states “in spite of their dismal success rate” So, it does leave room for the successful marriages. Once again, we may be looking at the older generation that was given the advice “to marry, live the gospel, and those feelings would go away.” Perhaps if the younger generation is open and honest from the beginning, there won’t be quite so many end in divorce.

    As for interpreting this to mean that all “mixed orientation” marriages will lead to failure, I don’t. I think what this points out is that one should not enter into the marriage without knowing all of the pitfalls. How long have you been married, Joshua (1 year, 5 years, 10 years). Have you ever read “Good-bye I Love You” or “No More Good-byes?”

    Since you are still attracted to men, what is going to happen IF you meet that one man whom you cannot get off of your mind? What is going to happen IF your wife meets someone to whom she is more attracted and, because he is not gay, can give her his total self? I am not trying to diminish your marriage, just stating two of the things that you MIGHT face in the years to come.

    When put into the context in which the statements are made, there is nothing anti-mixed orientation marriage about them. Focus on and take out of context and even slightly change, such as your:

    “Joshua on 22 Jul 2010 at 10:48 am

    Sheryl,

    It is interesting you use the word “fear mongering”. What do you call statements like “you wouldn’t want your daughter to marry someone like that would you”?”

    changing the quote from “in this situation” to “someone like that” makes a dramatic difference in what is meant.

    As for the facebook page, didn’t even know there was one. However, think a moderator is entitled to like any facebook page they want. Just because a moderator likes a page doesn’t mean the contents of that page are now a part of the original facebook page. And after looking over the facebook page, wondering if it is moderated by the same person. After all, anyone can start a facebook page with any name as long as there isn’t already one by that name. Still the link to anti-NARTH page is on the moderator’s profile, not the main facebook page (at least that I could find).

    Okay, time to fix dinner.

  86. 86Joshuaon 22 Jul 2010 at 10:04 pm

    I give my wife my total self, Sheryl. Don’t you worry about it. Gay men are just capable of straight men in every way. To think we are somehow inferior husbands is plain discrimination. If she meets some other guy, he will not even begin to compete with this animal. I please her, and I please her good. Don’t worry, I’m twice the man as any man who tries to hit on a married woman.

    Back to the official stance of this web site. The web site gives two options for faithful gay members of the church. (1) Marry someone you aren’t attracted to and which you wouldn’t want you daughter to marry and will probably end in divorce or, just as hopeless (2) celibacy, which is compared to solitary confinement.

    There are no other options. There is no option for mixed-orientation marriages where we are attracted to each other. There is no option where a parent should apparently feel comfortable giving their child to a homosexual. Anyone reading it would get the impression mixed-orientation marriage is a bad thing. Add a third option. Say there are cases where gay people are happy living the gospel. Say not everyone can make a happy marriage, but some can. That is all I ask.

    In the support, how come there is no link to North Star or Evergreen. I mean, if this site claims to help SSA people, wouldn’t they want to help all SSA people? What about the gay person who desperately wants to live the gospel and didn’t know where to turn? Is there hope for them, or should they resort to suicide? Is the only option turn your back on the church you love or live a miserable life?

    It is fear-mongering. It is not an over-sight. I brought this up before. They are aware we exist but purposely exclude us from the so-called “options” because we cripple their message.

    Well, until it changes, I just want to make sure everyone who comes to this site understands it is not telling the truth. Gay people can be happy faithful members of the church. This web site says we cannot.

  87. 87Sherylon 22 Jul 2010 at 11:33 pm

    Laura, please correct me if I am wrong. As I understand it, the purpose of this site is not the actual support of LGBT members but rather the coming together of like-minded Mormons who were against Proposition 8. And, the links were to help us better understand the LGBT community. Now, if the name of this site was, say, Mormons for helping the LGBT community, then the sites you mention would be appropriate. It is not it is Mormons for Marriage, specifically, marriage equality.

    Obviously, you and I interpret the comments differently. And, guess what, Joshua, the message is not crippled because there are some same-sex oriented people who are happily married to an opposite sex partner. That is because not all members (in fact probably only a small minority) of the LGBT community is LDS. And, why should non-LDS people be held to the LDS standard on this issue? This is not an issue that harms anyone (except, of course when those people are denied their right to marry the person of their choice), same-sex marriage is between 2 consenting adults and will make them extremely happy, and it will benefit them and their families.

    Continue to think this is site is against you, that, of course, is your right.

  88. 88fiona64on 23 Jul 2010 at 6:34 am

    Joshua wrote: If she meets some other guy, he will not even begin to compete with this animal. I please her, and I please her good.

    You know, Joshua, I once went on just one date with a man who talked like this about himself. He was straight and, frankly, nothing to write home about. He carried on about what a great stud he was the entire evening.

    IMO, men who talk like this are trying to convince *themselves* of something. There is a psychiatric diagnosis called “narcissistic personality disorder with compensatory tendencies.” The kind of grandiosity you are displaying is one of the primary symptoms.

    I’m just saying.

  89. 89fiona64on 23 Jul 2010 at 6:42 am

    87Sherylon 22 Jul 2010 at 11:33 pm

    Laura, please correct me if I am wrong. As I understand it, the purpose of this site is not the actual support of LGBT members but rather the coming together of like-minded Mormons who were against Proposition 8. And, the links were to help us better understand the LGBT community. Now, if the name of this site was, say, Mormons for helping the LGBT community, then the sites you mention would be appropriate. It is not it is Mormons for Marriage, specifically, marriage equality.

    —-
    Sheryl, that is my understanding as well.

    Joshua wrote: In the support, how come there is no link to North Star or Evergreen. I mean, if this site claims to help SSA people, wouldn’t they want to help all SSA people? What about the gay person who desperately wants to live the gospel and didn’t know where to turn? Is there hope for them, or should they resort to suicide? Is the only option turn your back on the church you love or live a miserable life?

    Give me a break, Joshua. That’s what the church shoves at LGBT people all the time. LDS GLBT people know where to find those “helping organizations.” (And yes, the “sarcasti-quotes” are deliberate.) But not everyone who comes here is LDS (I’m not) and those organizations have been known to cause significant harm to many LGBT people (please note, since you seem to be their self-appointed poster child, that I did not say *all*). They teach sexual repression, which is extraordinarily unhealthy. http://www.affirmation.org/evergreen/

  90. 90fiona64on 23 Jul 2010 at 6:44 am

    You know, Joshua, something just occurred to me.

    WordPress, which is the blog system on which this site is made? It’s free.

    Why don’t you, since you are *so angry* about this site as it does not meet with your personal approval, go start your own website to tout the amazing wonderfulness of your ex-gay “lifestyle,” your abilities as a lover and all of the other things you have boasted about here instead of demanding that Laura kowtow to your personal feelings?

    I know that men in the Church of LDS are not accustomed to women gainsaying them, but I suspect a man of your amazing talents will overcome the blow somehow.

  91. 91fiona64on 23 Jul 2010 at 6:49 am

    And finally, Joshua?

    You’re a liar. You say that Laura doesn’t link to your precious (if debunked) North Star and Evergreen?

    Did you look at “LDS Resources for Those Dealing With Same-Sex Attraction,” which has been listed under the links since day one of this site?

    Here’s where it goes: http://www.ldsresources.info/

    And guess what? They refer to “God Loveth His Children,” which refers to Evergreen and North Star.

    Stop telling lies, Joshua. Just stop it.

  92. 92Brad Harrison 28 Aug 2010 at 7:33 pm

    I am so happy to have watched this documentary. I remember when I was 19 and desired to go on my mission, I knew I was gay and had tried for years to change. After telling my bishop, I was told I had to see Vaughn Featherstone in Salt Lake City. While in his office, he told me that if I remain gay that I will have to wear a coloscopy bag. He told me to move back to Arizona and get a job in construction and not wait tables or work in retail. It was at this time that I realized that these men do not really speak with the spirit of God. Guess Vaughn never heard of the Village People.

    Years while attending BYU, I read Carolyn Pearson’s book, Good bye, I love you. Thank you Carolyn for sharing your story. It truly saved my life. While I have no hard feelings towards the church that I loved, I only hope and pray that one day they will side with God and be on the right side of history for a change.

  93. 93Sherion 30 Aug 2010 at 10:42 am

    Brad, It thrills me to read stories like yours of gay brothers and sisters who came to know their true identity as loved children of a merciful God, and not take upon themselves the false image that their religion painted them with. Carol Lynn’s stories have breathed new life into so many wounded souls, and for that I am eternally grateful.
    Blessings, Brad.
    Sheri