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Two Decades of Mixed-Orientation Marriages

The Journal of Marital & Family Therapy is releasing its latest entry on peer-reviewed scholarship about mixed-orientation marriages, and since this is a topic that comes up a lot here at Mormons for Marriage, it’s only fitting that we avail ourselves of the opportunity to see what the state of research is at the beginning of this new decade.

Barbara Couden Hernandez, Naomi J. Schwenke and Colwick M. Wilson of Loma Linda University use their paper, “Spouses in Mixed-Orientation Marriage: A 20-Year Review of Empirical Studies,” to both summarize research so far and to suggest places where research is lacking.

First, the authors set the stage for MOMs (marriages between a heterosexual spouse and a gay/bisexual spouse):

Approximately 20% of gay men marry women over the course of their lives (Janus & Janus, 1993). Buxton (1994) reported that approximately 2 million families must deal with emotional and cognitive dissonance that exist in mixed-orientation marriage (MOM), and that 15% of these marriages continue past a 3-year duration.

With 85% of mixed-orientation marriages lasting less than three years, marital and family therapists are trying to understand the complexities of these relationships and figure out how best to help those involved cope with the aftermath – both surviving/negotiating a continuing relationship and recovering from the pain of divorce. The purpose of this article was to provide a road map of sorts for therapists searching for understanding and considering research and education topics.

An “executive summary” version of the article might read like this:

All the varieties of peer-reviewed research studied (quantitative, qualitative and case study) have found that MOMs are complex.  There is pressure to manage homoerotic feelings, to meet the needs of the straight spouse, to balance tension both inside and outside of the relationship.  There are often fears of losing family – either family of origin or spouse and children. Concerns about living with integrity and ambiguity are real and important, as are coping with issues surrounding religious belief and community. Sexuality within the relationship often needs regular renegotiation.  Bisexuals do better at making MOMs successful, but they are most likely to feel misunderstood by society.

Coming out to the straight spouse is very stressful, and spouses married before 1968 were more likely to postpone coming out than younger bisexual/gay/lesbian spouse have been.

Straight women in MOMs have a variety of reactions to their husband’s coming out – from outrage to relief, but nearly all reported some amount of isolation, humiliation, the need for counseling and attempts to renegotiate or dissolve marriages.

The article goes on to state,

There is not a single theory that accounts for why gay, bisexual, and lesbian individuals marry straight spouses. It was hypothesized that gay, bisexual, and lesbian people choose heterosexual partners based on a combination of early life events, life schemas, societal expectations, religious beliefs, hope to ‘‘cure’’ homosexual feelings, or an overriding desire for family and children. A number of authors offered explanations for their findings based on clinical experience.

and concludes:

Mixed-orientation marriage has only recently been considered a viable form of coupling; however, this is not a universal sentiment. The challenges associated with this unique relationship are many and multifaceted for both spouses. As societal discourse around issues of sexual orientation and marriage become more prominent, a clear understanding of the tasks of MOM families and couples is needed. It is anticipated that this review will encourage further discussion, research, and education on MOM in the field of marriage and family therapy.

The studies reviewed by JMFT were:

Alessi, E. J. (2008). Staying put in the closet: Examining clinical practice and countertransference issues in work
with gay men married to heterosexual women. Clinical Social Work Journal, 36, 195–201.

Buxton, A. P. (2004). Works in progress: How mixed-orientation couples maintain their marriages after the wives
come out. Journal of Bisexuality, 4, 59–82.

Buxton, A. P. (2001). Writing your own script: How bisexual men and their heterosexual wives maintain their
marriages after disclosure. Journal of Bisexuality, 1, 155–189.

Corley, D. M., & Kort, J. (2006). The sex addicted mixed-orientation marriage: Examining attachment styles, internalized homophobia and viability of marriage after disclosure. Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, 13, 167–193.

Edser, S. J., & Shea, J. D. (2002). An exploratory investigation of bisexual men in monogamous, heterosexual
marriages. Journal of Bisexuality, 2, 7–43.

Hays, D., & Samuels, A. (1989). Heterosexual women’s perceptions of their marriages to bisexual or homosexual
men. Journal of Homosexuality, 18, 81–100.

Hernandez, B. C., & Wilson, C. M. (2007). Seventh-day Adventist women in mixed orientation marriages:
Another kind of ambiguous loss. Family Relations, 56, 184–195.

Higgins, D. J. (2002). Gay men from heterosexual marriages: Attitudes, behaviors, childhood experiences, and
reasons for marriage. Journal of Homosexuality, 42, 15–34.

Higgins, D. J. (2004). Differences between previously married and never married ‘gay’ men: Family background,
childhood experiences and current attitudes. Journal of Homosexuality, 48, 19–41.

Kort, J. (2005). The new ‘‘mixed’’ marriage (with case commentary by M. Weiner-Davis). Psychotherapy Networker,
29, 83–89.

Lee, R. B. (2002). Psychosocial contexts of the homosexuality of Filipino men in heterosexual unions.Peng Clijsters continued the the community in present 22 matches in a. payday loans One operator were and whose payday loans had services on another operators which he was later to become notorious. Have bought other he stressed that such bars certain senior staff on the Futures 13. Journal of
Homosexuality,
42, 25–63.

Malcolm, J. P. (2000). Sexual identity development in behaviorally bisexual men: Implications for essentialist theories of sexual orientation. Psychology, Evolution and Gender, 2, 263–299.

Malcolm, J. P. (2002). Assessment of life stress in gay and bisexual men with the Gay Affect and Life Events
Scale. Journal of Homosexuality, 42, 135–144.

Pearcey, M. (2005). Gay and bisexual married men’s attitudes and experiences: Homophobia, reasons for marriage,
and self-identity. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 1, 21–42.

Peterson, L. W. (2001). The married man online. Journal of Bisexuality, 1, 191–209.

The JMFT cite is:

Hernandez, B. C., Schwenke, N. J. and Wilson, C. M. , Spouses in Mixed-Orientation Marriage: A 20-Year Review of Empirical Studies. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, no. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2010.00202.x

Filed in gay,Uncategorized | 93 responses so far

93 Responses to “Two Decades of Mixed-Orientation Marriages”

  1. 1fiona64on 09 Jan 2011 at 7:38 pm

    It’s always nice to see longitudinal studies. Twenty years seems to be a more than adequate time period.

    And, wow: 85 percent failure rate. Just think of all of the pain that could be avoided if marriage equality existed universally.

  2. 2Paulaon 09 Jan 2011 at 8:00 pm

    We spouses in mixed orientation marriages (or formerly in one) have support groups online, for the pain does not cease, and emotions can be like a rollercoaster. If marriage equality were available, some of us would have been saved this pain, but at the loss of some really special children. Now just to have the courage to move onward.

  3. 3Dave Hoenon 09 Jan 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Thank you Laura. How do you manage to hear about all this interesting information?

    And according to Laura’synopsis, that is 85% failure within the first three years. I don’t know why anyone, understanding what their chances are, would want to risk those kind of odds. Most folks I know in this situation have lasted longer than three years, including myself. Does the study show failure rates for longer periods?

    And I agree with Paula, that we would be missing out on some really special children. But the pain of these marriages and subsequent divorces, even long afterwards, is really awful for everyone.

    Interesting that Loma Linda University, the sponsoring institution of this study, is associated with The Seventh Day Adventists. I’m pretty sure Seventh Day Adventists preach homosexuality is sin. I’m wondering if BYU researchers that were not long ago using aversion shock therapy, would be honest about the long-term results of that therapy?

  4. 4fiona64on 10 Jan 2011 at 11:30 am

    I don’t mean for this to come off as flip as it sounds, but I have struggled to find a better way to phrase it.

    Was it really worth the pain you put those awesome kids through?

    The entire family is affected by divorce (and MOM), not just the parents.

    I speak with second degree experience here, as my niece and nephew’s dad is a gay man who tried a straight marriage with my SIL. My nephew is a hate-filled homophobe as a result, because he somehow fears that he is “tainted” by his dad’s orientation. My niece has a whole separate set of issues surrounding the matter, but at least she is not as angry and hate-filled as my nephew.

    I realize that my comment is anecdotal, but my question is serious.

  5. 5Joshuaon 10 Jan 2011 at 1:01 pm

    20% of gay men is a huge percentage, and very misrepresented in today’s society. I would imagine it would be more among LDS men. I wonder what the percentage is for women? If this large of a percentage of gay men are choosing to get married, more emphasis should be placed on supporting these marriages. Too often, stigma and societal pressures lead to unnecessary break ups in these marriages.

    I’m glad you made this point:

    “Coming out to the straight spouse is very stressful.”

    Another report I saw, found that 2/3 of these relationships end shortly after coming out. Of those that survived the coming out process, the success rate was comparable to same-orientation marriages. Any relationship where one spouse is not being completely honest with the other spouse is bound to have problems.

    I am glad in the Church we encourage openness and honestly. Undoubtedly, that is one of the reasons that it seems that church members in mixed-orientation marriages seem to be able to make it work so much better. I know openness and honesty has made my relationship better.

    Did they study say what helped the 15% of relationships stay in tact? Did it talk more about how many of them were came out before the marriage, and how many came out after the marriage?

    Thanks for posting this. I haven’t found this online, but I will try to look it up in the library.

  6. 6Joshuaon 10 Jan 2011 at 1:03 pm

    “I don’t know why anyone, understanding what their chances are, would want to risk those kind of odds.”

    Love, true love. There just comes a time in your life when you meet someone that you could not fathom being away from. You want to spend the rest of eternity with them, and you won’t let anyone discourage you from following your heart.

  7. 7Brad Carmackon 10 Jan 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Great study, thanks so much for posting it!

  8. 8fiona64on 10 Jan 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Joshua, do you have links to these studies you “saw”? When were they conducted? Were they longitudinal? What was the methodology? Who were the sponsors? Where were they published?

  9. 9fiona64on 10 Jan 2011 at 2:20 pm

    PS to Joshua: Twenty years’ worth of study (this is, after all, a longitudinal study) is a long time … and laws have changed in the interim. Given that, in 1990, same-sex marriage was legal exactly NOWHERE, I think that you are being disingenuous with your comments.

    Again.

    Quelle surprise.

  10. 10fiona64on 10 Jan 2011 at 3:29 pm

    6Joshuaon 10 Jan 2011 at 1:03 pm

    “I don’t know why anyone, understanding what their chances are, would want to risk those kind of odds.”

    Love, true love. There just comes a time in your life when you meet someone that you could not fathom being away from. You want to spend the rest of eternity with them, and you won’t let anyone discourage you from following your heart.
    —-
    And yet, you were more than willing to take that right away from same-sex couples.

    Why haven’t you answered my question, Joshua?

    Why do you claim, on one hand, to want same-sex couples to have their relationships honored and recognized in the same way that your “traditional” marriage is, but yet gave your time, money and vote to support Prop 8? Which is it, Joshua?

  11. 11Joshuaon 11 Jan 2011 at 4:24 pm

    I looked up Buxton’s 1994 reference, the one that claimed 15% continue after a three-year period. The name of the book was:

    “The other side of the closet: the coming-out crisis for straight spouses and families.”

    Apparently, the three-year period referred to AFTER the coming-out. In other words, only 15% remain intact 3 years after coming out. That explains the question Dave and I had about it seeming really short.

    Three of the marriages ended because of an AIDS death, so not all of the 85% ended because of complications due to mixed-orientation marriages. The book didn’t say whether the AIDS deaths were the straight or gay/bisexual spouse. As pointed out here many times, AIDS effects more straight people than gay people.

    The book did have this quote, which I liked:

    “The significant finding is that about half of those who tried to make their marriages work succeeded, an important figure for couples who are dismayed by the fifteen percent figure to keep in mind. This low figure is based on all marriages where the husband came out.”

    I think that is why it is so important that you talk to your spouse about your attractions BEFORE you are married. This will bypass the loss of trust and confidence that happens when your spouse finds you have not been yourself.

    The great news is that if you are open and honest and willing to make the marriage work, then you have about a 50% success rate which is about the same as same-orientation couples. It also shows how successful programs like Exodus and Evergreen are in helping gay people achieve their goals. Where would be without these wonderful organizations that help mixed-orientation couples avoid an ugly divorce? I am so glad there are organizations out there willing to help gay people.

  12. 12Dave Hoenon 11 Jan 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Fiona asked, “Was it really worth the pain you put those awesome kids through [to enter into a Mixed Orientation Marriage]?”

    They are awesome and as much as I love my kids and can’t imagine not having them in my life, I would say no. If I were to do it over again, I would say no. It is just too painful for everyone involved and though the pain subsides, Prop 8 has reopened wounds and inflicted additional ones for my family. And much of that pain has been inflicted by individuals within the Church who have their own warped interpretations of the Church’s un-Christlike stance on LGBT people.

    I entered marriage not knowing I was gay. I knew I was always attracted to guys, but honestly did not know I was gay. I had seen the portrayal of “homosexuals” in the media and the Church and I knew I wasn’t anything like them. So I followed the counsel of my Bishops and Stake Presidents – that if I married a “choice daughter of Zion” in the Temple, those feelings would go away. And I was a really good and faithful Mormon kid who really isn’t allowed to experiment or study or discover the true me. I exceeded what every Mormon kid is supposed to be. So it wasn’t until after I got married (when those feelings didn’t go away), that I finally figured out that I was gay.

    Of course now the option of celibacy is “given” for those who are gay. That is total BS! How is a good kid ever going to have a healthy adjustment to being gay? If he is to remain “clean and pure”, he isn’t even allowed to study homosexuality or watch movies or TV that have positive portrayals of LGBT people. And contrary to the belief of many ignorant people, being clean and pure isn’t going to keep a kid from being gay. It just keeps him from having a healthy adjustment. With the Church’s participation in Prop 8, the gay teenagers and young adults within the Church received a very powerful message that there is no place at the table for those who are LGBT. The only options are to be celibate or get married (to the opposite sex).

    So there will continue to be a lot more Mixed Orientation Marriages within the Mormon Church and the inevitable unhappiness and failure. That is heinous! And it is not worth it.

  13. 13Lauraon 11 Jan 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Quickly, while I have two seconds – Just a reminder that this paper is NOT a longitudinal study over 20 years. It is a REVIEW of 15 studies conducted over a period of 20 years.

    Each study included in the review is listed within the post – interested readers should be able to find each study to review independently.

    Every study included information about the marital status and length of marriage, but the number of years married before/after coming out was only reported in 7 of the studies.

    Study sample sizes ranged from 2 people to 350 people, and while each provides some information, it would be premature to draw conclusions based solely on the results of any one of the studies.

    Despite problems with the current state of research, the authors reported (as noted in the OP) that there are significant stressors involved in MOMs, and that marriage and family therapists need to be aware of those issues.

    The authors also noted that “The majority of gay, bisexual, and lesbian spouses attempted to remain married and renegotiate their relationships. Rating on scales of homosexuality was positively correlated with incidence of divorce and separation.” (Which tends to correlate with all of the anecdotal information we’ve seen on this site, that people whose sexual orientation is closer to bisexual than strongly homo- or hetero-, are more likely to be able to create successful mixed-orientation marriages.)

    The authors created this article to show how much (or little) is knows about MOMs, and to point out places where further research, study and care in counseling are needed.

  14. 14Joshuaon 11 Jan 2011 at 6:50 pm

    >>How is a good kid ever going to have a healthy adjustment to being gay?

    I think I have had a healthy adjustment to being gay. It was a long, hard trip, but I learned a lot on the way. I know your experience with trying to be a good kid in the church was negative, but realize not everyone is that way.

    >> If he is to remain “clean and pure”, he isn’t even allowed to study homosexuality or watch movies or TV that have positive portrayals of LGBT people.

    I am not sure where that came from. Maybe it was a counsel from the Bishop. Not all counsel from Bishops are good. The Church has never made any such statement. I do think it is wise to avoid people flaunting their sexuality, whatever the orientation.

    >> And contrary to the belief of many ignorant people, being clean and pure isn’t going to keep a kid from being gay. It just keeps him from having a healthy adjustment.

    Is there something about being gay that stops people from being clean and pure? Why can’t he be clean, pure, gay and have a healthy adjustment?

    Dave, I know you had a bad experience in your marriage, but that is not the case with everyone. Realize that some people have a healthy adjustment to being gay and go on to have happy and healthy relationships. The 85% failure rate is for those who did not adjust to being gay before marriage, and even that had a 50% success rate for those who still wanted to be married after adjusting.

  15. 15Stephenon 12 Jan 2011 at 1:27 am

    Please read. The best study for why LDS should accept and support same sex marriage. Amazing. I am a gay Mormon and this brings hope

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/44716106/Homosexuality-a-Straight-BYU-Student-27s-Perspective-Draft-2h

  16. 16fiona64on 12 Jan 2011 at 9:30 am

    Joshua wrote: I think I have had a healthy adjustment to being gay.

    Really? Then why did you go to NARTH, Exodus and Evergreen, whose stated missions are to “help people transition from” being gay?

    And why is it that you cannot seem to answer my question? Why do you, on one hand, keep insisting that you want same-sex couples to have the same recognition for their relationships that you have in your mixed-orientation marriage, but on the other hand, are vocal about the fact that you supported Prop 8 with your time, money and vote?

  17. 17fiona64on 12 Jan 2011 at 11:44 am

    Joshua wrote: I am not sure where that came from. Maybe it was a counsel from the Bishop. Not all counsel from Bishops are good. The Church has never made any such statement.

    Really, Joshua? I guess you had better re-read Page 9 of “God Loveth His Children.” In case you don’t have a copy handy, I have a link: http://lds.org/topics/pdf/GodLovethHisChildren_04824_000.pdf

  18. 18Dave Hoenon 12 Jan 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Joshua -

    It is possible for a good kid to grow up with a healthy adjustment to being gay, but . . .
    - When a kid is told by his mother, whom he loves and trusts more than anyone else in this world, that she would rather see him in a pine box than to see him marry outside of the temple, it is difficult to have a healthy adjustment to being gay.
    - When a kid hears his parents speak derogatorily about gays and lesbians, it is difficult to have a healthy adjustment to being gay.
    - When a kid isn’t allowed to watch any movies or TV that might have positive gay role models (Glee for instance), it is difficult to have a healthy adjustment to being gay.
    - When a kid is told he can only read books or visit websites that are in accordance with Church standards, it is difficult to have a healthy adjustment to being gay.
    - When a kid comes to the conclusion that he will be rejected by his family after seeing them donate thousands of dollars and spend many hours to take away marriage from American Citizens, it is difficult to have a healthy adjustment to being gay.
    - When a kid watches a loved prophet in General Conference tell him that God didn’t make him that way, it is difficult to have a healthy adjustment to being gay.
    - When a kid is bullied by his own family or other members of the Church, it is difficult to have a healthy adjustment to being gay.

    Add them all up and it is a miracle when a gay kid comes out the other end and thrives.

  19. 19Dave Hoenon 12 Jan 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Joshua -

    I believe you said that you have been married for two or three years. I don’t think that yet qualifies you as having a successful and happy MoM. I literally know hundreds of gay men that have been married or are currently married. Some were married for only a few years and some for many decades and some are still married. Many of them are Mormons or ex-Mormons. Some of them went through Aversion Shock Therapy and some attended Exodus/Evergreen and two of them were co-founders of Exodus and became gay partners (one has since passed away, however). Of those that had gay experiences before marriage, some of them told their wives beforehand and some didn’t, and some didn’t know they were gay before they got married. I cannot think of even one of those hundreds of men who haven’t said, “If I knew then, what I know now, I would have never married.” I’m sure there must be some that would do it all again, but I’ve never met any.

    When I was first coming to terms with being gay, I asked the Church Social Services Counselor if I could meet with a gay married man who had succeeded in a long term marriage, so I could find out firsthand a possible strategy. I was told that I would not be able to do that and when I asked him why, he said that, “they’re too fragile”. I still vividly remember crying to him and saying, “We’re talking about my life here, and you’re telling me that not one of these men who have succeeded in marriage is willing to talk to me”? He again said no.

    Don’t get me wrong Joshua, I want you to be truly happy. As others have said, I would like to hear what you have to say a few years down the road. I sincerely hope your journey will be happy, wherever it leads you.

    In the meantime, I am personally thankful that I no longer have to spend an inordinate amount of energy trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. I am grateful that I don’t have to be involved in organizations whose purpose is to try to make me different than what God made me.

  20. 20Arleneon 12 Jan 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Dave Hoen, thank you for your well thought out reply to Fiona’s question about whether or not it was worth the pain to have entered into a MOM. The counsel given to a couple of my family members, as well as to many other members across the church, to marry a woman and the feelings would go away was clearly false and created so much pain and confusion for the adults and children involved.
    Joshua stated, “I am glad in the Church we encourage openness and honestly.” I have to admit that I burst out in uncomfortable laughter at reading that statement. My experience in the church has been the opposite, with members becoming very skilled at pretending to be what they are supposed to be, rather than being open and honest – since that can cause significant problems. It is also the exact opposite of the time-worn practice of encouraging gay men to marry straight women in order to “cure” themselves. Another example of pretending to be what one is supposed to be, rather than being open and honest.

  21. 21fiona64on 12 Jan 2011 at 3:37 pm

    @Dave Hoen: Thank you for your response. I really appreciate you taking the time, and telling your story.

    @Arlene: Hello, and welcome! I don’t think I’ve seen you post before. I am sorry to say it, but Joshua seems to live in a different reality from the rest of us. :-/

    @Joshua: As I have said before, I truly wish you the best. IIRC, you recently celebrated your first wedding anniversary. I am sure that you believe everything you have written to be so, and I hope (for the sake of all parties involved) that it is. I just wonder why you continue to ignore simple questions. I wonder why you will spend paragraphs justifying the church’s actions, but won’t answer simple questions like “Why do you say one thing and do another” or “could you please cite your source.” Why are you unwilling to answer my questions, Joshua? Is it because you can’t?

  22. 22Joshuaon 12 Jan 2011 at 6:03 pm

    David,

    Once again, your experiences are not mine. My mom never said she wished to see me in a pine box, and I am still confused what is wrong with watching Glee. A lot of what you said is really bad, and I am thankful I belong to a church that discourages gay-bashing and tells family members to love their gay children. See

    http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_gender_issues/Same-sex_attraction/Family_members

    I might not have been married long, but I am sick of all these predictions of gloom and doom. I know many people who have been happily married for decades. Even the study Laura quoted says couples who are open and honest with each other have a 50% chance of survival. There are some many people on here who have been hurt and are seeking to take their hurt out on other people. WE need to stop accusations against other people’s lifestyles and let them live how they want to live.

  23. 23Joshuaon 12 Jan 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Arlene,

    In regards to marriage, Elder Oaks taught:

    “We are not going to stand still to put at risk daughters of God who would enter into such marriages under false pretenses or under a cloud unknown to them. Persons who have this kind of challenge that they cannot control could not enter marriage in good faith”

    More information about the church encouraging people to be open and honest can be found here:

    http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_gender_issues/Same-sex_attraction/Honesty

    The Church never encouraged people to marry people in order to become straight. Individual bishops might have, but never from the Church level. See here:

    http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_gender_issues/Same-sex_attraction/Marriage_as_therapy

  24. 24Lauraon 12 Jan 2011 at 6:25 pm

    The reality now is different from what it once was (at least in part). That is important to remember because we are all products of our cultural upbringing. While many young people have not experienced the rhetoric of 40 (or even 20) years ago, many leaders and other older people still recall that counsel (and some, shamefully, continue to preach it), and the thousands that grew up hearing it still carry the scars that should not be lightly dismissed.

    Regular readers may recall a prolonged and somewhat painful discussion about how the rhetoric has changed from what it used to be:

    In 1970, the Church published a pamphlet for local leaders called, “Hope for Transgressors.” It advised that “homosexuality can be cured…. [and]… forgiven.” It encouraged leaders with particularly difficult cases to contact [Quorum of the Twelve] President Spencer W. Kimball and Elder Mark E. Petersen if they needed specific assistance. As men worked through the curative and repentance processes, leaders are counseled:

    When you feel he is ready, he should be encouraged to date and to gradually move his life toward the normal….If they will close the door to intimate associations with their own sex and open it wide to that of the other sex, of course in total propriety, and then be patient and determined, gradually they can move their romantic interests where they belong. Marriage and normal life can follow.

  25. 25Joshuaon 12 Jan 2011 at 7:04 pm

    I have read much of what President Kimball has said. He consistently refers to homosexuality as a “sex act”. He likened it to drinking alcohol, in that the act of drinking may be overcome, but the desire may never go away.

    Even the current American Heritage Dictionary defines homosexuality as:
    1. Sexual orientation to persons of the same sex.
    2. Sexual activity with another of the same sex.

    It is obvious that in the 1970′s, President Kimball was using the second definition.

    When he said “cure” you have to remember that at the time, the World Health Organization considered it a mental illness. Using the correct vocabulary of the day should not be taken as a doctrinal stance on the issue.

    So yes, I agree with President Kimball that anyone having gay sex can stop.

    I am also glad that he added “when you feel he is ready”. Marriage is not for everyone, put those who do feel they are ready need to know that marriage and normal life is a possibility. That is what the study Laura quoted shows.

    This is totally different than what Arlene was said about “the time-worn practice of encouraging gay men to marry straight women in order to “cure” themselves”. There is a huge difference between assuring that marriage is possible when you are ready and using marriage as a tool to become ready. I think this quote from 1992 clarifies the difference:

    “Encouraging members to cultivate heterosexual feelings AS A WAY to resolve homosexual problems generally leads them to frustration and discouragement. However, some people have reported that ONCE THEY ARE FREED from homosexual problems, heterosexual feelings have gradually emerged.”

  26. 26Joshuaon 13 Jan 2011 at 9:18 am

    That probably didn’t come out the way I wanted it to. I am trying to make it sound like the Church and President Kimball were perfect. That is not true. Both the Church and President Kimball have made mistakes. The Church has made a lot of improvements, and they still have more to make. I feel they are trying to understand the situation, but they don’t yet. No one does.

    President Kimball was from the 1970s. No one understood homosexuality like they do today. I believe President Kimball was trying to do what was right, but he simply didn’t understand homosexuality. It seemed he was saying that marriage would be an obvious next step once you are ready. It seems many Bishops missed the once you are ready part, or didn’t understand what it meant to be ready. Obviously many people were promised by Bishops that marriage would make the feelings go away. That certainly isn’t the case in my situation. President Kimball never promised that, in fact warned the opposite was true, but neither did he correct that. It wasn’t until the 1980′s that the Church clarified that marriage was not to be a cure. We do see tragedies, like Dave and Paula, were people who never were supposed to get married were pressured into marriages.

    However, I think this web site is making the same mistake. The LDS church isn’t perfect, but neither are you. Many of you have been hurt deeply by the LDS Church’s naivety on this subject back in the 1970s. I am glad they got that corrected in the 1980s. I still think it was done out of love for LGBT people back in the 1970s, but it was naive. While they did make mistakes, they didn’t make half the mistakes you are accusing them of making.

    The difference is that it seems many people here are reacting out of the pain that has been caused them. They were hurt, so they can’t see any good. They don’t understand that many LGBT people have been richly blessed by the LDS Church, and by pitting us against our own church you think you are doing us a favor. It is not fair. Why repeat mistakes? Let everyone pursue happiness as they see fit don’t. Don’t attack anyone’s relationships. Don’t attack anyone’s religion. Let’s all be friends and be happy.

  27. 27fiona64on 13 Jan 2011 at 9:37 am

    Joshua wrote: WE need to stop accusations against other people’s lifestyles and let them live how they want to live.

    Then why did you lend your time, money and support (via the ballot box) to Prop 8, which took away peoples’ rights to live how they want to live?

  28. 28Roberton 13 Jan 2011 at 9:44 am

    Finona wrote: “Was it really worth the pain you put those awesome kids through? The entire family is affected by divorce (and MOM), not just the parents. I speak with second degree experience here, as my niece and nephew’s dad is a gay man who tried a straight marriage with my SIL. My nephew is a hate-filled homophobe as a result, because he somehow fears that he is “tainted” by his dad’s orientation. My niece has a whole separate set of issues surrounding the matter, but at least she is not as angry and hate-filled as my nephew…..”

    Ouch.. really ouch.. that was my situation.

    Except I was in denial and honest about my homosexuality before my young marriage. My denial during my marriage went like this “Yes I think about members of the same sex” but I’m certainly not one of those horrible homosexuals.

    My ex left me for a series of unsuccessful relationships and I was forced to deal with reality, yes I am a gay man. I was denied visitation by my ex-wife’s family members because they did not want our son getting AIDS or turning into a homosexual. And my son had to deal with relatives who would whisper “sure hope he does not turn into one of those” as he was growing up.

    And the relationship that I ended 3 years ago… is one that for years it was as though he was doing me a favor to even talk to me. He calls me by my first name and never uses the term “Dad”. I would wait, and hope “he would come around, forgive if needed and let go”.. It never happened.. I just could not continue a relationship of disrespect… the price to have a son, became too high… His Mormon homophobia from a small Utah town, got the best of a what I think could have been a good father and son relationship.

  29. 29fiona64on 13 Jan 2011 at 11:24 am

    PS to Joshua: Mormon apologist sites? Really?

    Wow.

  30. 30fiona64on 13 Jan 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Joshua wrote: A lot of what you said is really bad, and I am thankful I belong to a church that discourages gay-bashing and tells family members to love their gay children.

    He then provided a link to a Mormon apologetics site which says that family members are instructed to love their gay children and denies that there is a significant portion of gay LDS kids who are homeless.

    I guess that Joshua has missed this recent article (from November 2010): Suicide, Homelessness Plague LGBT Youth in Utah.

    Or perhaps this one: Life on the Streets for Utah Kids: A Growing Problem.

    Or perhaps Joshua did not see “8: The Mormon Proposition,” wherein numerous GLBT LDS youth were profiled — in their homeless squat, where they lived after being put out of their homes. (I’m guessing that Joshua did not see this film, as “alternate sources of information” are frowned upon by the Church of LDS.)

    So often, it seems to me that what Joshua says the church teaches and what the church actually *does* are two different things.

    Why is that?

    And why haven’t you answered my question yet?

  31. 31fiona64on 13 Jan 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Joshua wrote: Let everyone pursue happiness as they see fit don’t. Don’t attack anyone’s relationships.

    If this is your philosophy, Joshua, why did you donate your time, money and vote to attacking relationships between same-sex couples via your support of Prop 8? Why did you support a ballot measure that removed same-sex couples’ rights to pursue happiness as they see fit?

  32. 32fiona64on 13 Jan 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Joshua wrote: However, I think this web site is making the same mistake. The LDS church isn’t perfect, but neither are you. Many of you have been hurt deeply by the LDS Church’s naivety on this subject back in the 1970s. I am glad they got that corrected in the 1980s.

    Really, Joshua? Perhaps you can explain the Church’s involvement in defeating HI’s marriage equality bill and in Props 22 and 8 during the 21st Century?

    And while you are at it, you can answer my questions.

  33. 33fiona64on 13 Jan 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Joshua wrote: Even the current American Heritage Dictionary defines homosexuality as:
    1. Sexual orientation to persons of the same sex.
    2. Sexual activity with another of the same sex.

    This does not mean that the AHD authors believe they are two different things, Joshua. It means, in fact, that they believe they are the *same* thing.

  34. 34Roberton 13 Jan 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Fiona asked a great question to Joshua, and I’m also waiting anxiously to hear the answer…

    “Then why did you lend your time, money and support (via the ballot box) to Prop 8, which took away peoples’ rights to live how they want to live?”

  35. 35Arleneon 14 Jan 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Fiona – thank you for the welcome. I have only posted once before, quite a while ago, but have been “lurking” here since I first heard of the website prior to the vote on Prop 8. You seem to bring up many of the comments I would like to make (plus a few I haven’t thought about), so I typically don’t repeat them, but I appreciate your comments in favor of treating all of our neighbors with equality.

    Joshua – after reading your posts for a long time now, I was stunned to see you acknowledge that the church and its leaders have made mistakes in the past. We have seen more discussion of this topic by church leaders lately as they try to mend fences related to how support of Prop 8 was managed. However, so many members (or former members) are still trying to recover from the results of those mistakes and I firmly believe that the list of mistakes will include the handling of Prop 8 in the future. I grew up in the 60′s-70′s and have lived in many places and attended many wards. In my life experience, the “mistaken” counsel to marry was not isolated to a small area, but was fairly widespread, as were other “mistakes” in the church’s history. It is hard for me to believe that it was due to a few rogue bishops, rather than counsel from higher church authorities that caused such a widespread affect. You are free to believe otherwise and, if you grew up in a different generation, your experience may have indeed been better than mine.

  36. 36Joshuaon 14 Jan 2011 at 5:56 pm

    This web site is called Mormons for Marriage. The purpose, as I understand it, is to support marriage equality from a Mormon perspective. Marriage equality is treating all marriages equally. I came on here to support that goal. I do not agree with all aspects of marriage equality, but I wanted to contribute where I do fell passionate about, and that is marriage equality for mixed-orientation marriages.

    While I do not completely embrace marriage equality, I am glad that there is a site for Mormons to come to who are supportive of that goal and I do not want to interfere with it. I have had long talks with people who opposed Prop 8 and for the most part I see their arguments and respect their opinions. I appreciate the discussions we have had on here about how to stop bullying, about saving LGBT teens from homophobic parents, about how to treat same-sex couples with respect, and so on.

    In fact, I respect most of what this web site is doing. I do not respect what I consider fear-mongering, scare tactics and misinformation to attack gay Mormons. Painting us as hopeless closet cases who are horrible husbands and wives is not really doing us a favor. I do not understand how people can think doing so is “pro-gay” or “pro-marriage equality”. I have no respect for that mentality.

    I came on here to defend marriage equality. Not to attack it. You know my position on Prop 8, and that is good enough for me. If you can’t see how someone can in good faith support Prop 8 and still argue that everyone should have the right to live how they want to live, and have the rights and benefits they need to protect their families, then I suggest you read some more pro-Prop 8 sites. That argument has been hashed over a million times. No sense repeating it here. This is not the web site to attack marriage equality. Here, I am defending marriage equality, not re-hashing pro-Prop 8 arguments. That is why I am not responding to those questions.

  37. 37Lauraon 14 Jan 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Joshua:

    If you can’t see how someone can in good faith support Prop 8 and still argue that everyone should have the right to live how they want to live, and have the rights and benefits they need to protect their families, then I suggest you read some more pro-Prop 8 sites.

    Let’s say that Prop 68 means every person “afflicted with same-gender attraction” legally HAS to marry someone of the same sex. Let’s say I support Prop 68. Let’s say YOU want to marry someone of the opposite sex – your soulmate, even – but you are attracted to members of the same sex, so if Prop 68 passes, you won’t be able to marry the person you love. We have debates and arguments and after it’s all over, Prop 68 passes and now the law says you can’t marry your soulmate.

    Then I come and say, “I’m for marriage equality. I want everyone to be able to live how they want to live in whatever lifestyle they choose.” You respond by saying, “But MY choice is to marry someone of the OPPOSITE sex. Because of YOUR campaign FOR Prop 68, I can NO LONGER MAKE THAT CHOICE. I cannot live the way I choose to live. How can you say that you are for marriage equality when you are against the kind of marriage I want?”

    Does it really make sense to respond, “If you can’t see how someone can in good faith support Prop 68 and still argue that everyone should have the right to live how they want to live, and have the rights and benefits they need to protect their families, then I suggest you read some more pro-Prop 68 sites?” If ANYONE sees how that makes sense, please enlighten me.

    Back to Prop 8: John and Mark have two children. One is John’s from a heterosexual marriage and the other could be either man’s daughter (they mixed their sperm and used a surrogate mother). They began their own committed relationship in late 2003. When same-sex marriage was legalized in California, they wanted to marry one another in order to “have the rights and benefits they need to protect their famil[y].” They prepared for marriage and were looking forward to it, and their children were looking forward to participating in the ceremony and watching their dads promise to love one another and to take care of each other and their children ‘as long as they both shall live.’

    Then voters in California changed the constitution, taking away the right of these men to “live how they want to live.”

    I’ve read lots and Lots and LOTS of websites and listened to ALL the arguments in favor of traditional marriage. I must be really stupid, though, because, for the life of me I cannot see any way that an argument in favor of “letting people live how they want to live” can be made while simultaneously taking away the opportunity for people to choose the life they want to live. People wanted to marry others of the same sex. That was their desire and their chosen lifestyle. When California’s constitution was changed, the state was unable to let them live how they want to live.

    You can’t take away all the chocolate and then say people can choose any kind of candy they want. If the only kind of candy they want is chocolate, they are SOL.

  38. 38fiona64on 14 Jan 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Joshua, if I were a lawyer and this were a trial, I would look at the judge and say “Move to strike as non-responsive.”

    The bottom line is that you espouse a philosophy that is belied by your actions. This is called being a hypocrite. If you honestly think I have not read what the other side is up to, then you are hopelessly ignorant.

    You, sir, are a hypocrite. The end.

  39. 39fiona64on 14 Jan 2011 at 7:02 pm

    PS to Joshua:

    Just a clue for you. When the only kind of marriage you support is heterosexual (i.e., man/woman)? You do NOT support marriage equality.

    Stop deluding yourself, because you’re the only one being fooled by your inane rhetoric.

  40. 40Joshuaon 14 Jan 2011 at 7:05 pm

    Laura,

    There is a lot of tension between both sides, but I believe by discussion we can come to common understanding. I said I came here to promote marriage equality, not to attack it. Your position does not make sense to me either. I’ll tell you what, if YOU explain why:

    1) This web site only gives two options for gay Mormons to live within the bounds of the Church, and calls both options “hopeless”. No chance of happiness is given for faithful gay Mormons, making us seem like depressed people to be “rescued” for Mormonism.

    2) Uses scare tactics like “Would you want your child to marry someone in this situation?” when you are so upset about Prop 8′s scare tactics.

    3) Say “The vast majority of the mixed-orientation marriages ended in tragedy or divorce”, but fail to acknowledge that those who are open and honest had a 50% success rate.

    If you explain how you can do these things and still call this site “Marriage Equality”, then I will explain my reasons behind Prop 8. But I warn you, I don’t think you will like my reasons once you hear them anyway.

  41. 41Lauraon 14 Jan 2011 at 7:32 pm

    (A) I haven’t voted or campaigned to prevent people from marrying, and once any two people are married I send my hearty congratulations and best wishes that it works out.

    (B) The Mormon Church provides options for gay Mormons, not this website. These words are not mine, they are LDS Church Historian Marlin Jensen’s:

    “And yes, some people argue sometimes, well, for the gay person or the lesbian person, we’re not asking more of them than we’re asking of the single woman who never marries. But I long ago found in talking to them that we do ask for something different: In the case of the gay person, they really have no hope. “

    (C) As for scare tactics, there was a succinct answer here The quote in context reads:

    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.

    Just as I wouldn’t ask you to go marry a man just because he was a man, I wouldn’t ask someone else to go marry a woman just because she was a woman. That you have developed a deep love and appreciation for your wife is commendable. In fact, it’s extraordinary.

    (D) The mixed-orientation marriage research is clearly identified on the site and anyone interested in it can go and look up the numbers. And the comment thread continues to provide details from the research data available for anyone who wants to take the time to read, study, share, etc.

  42. 42Dave Hoenon 14 Jan 2011 at 7:51 pm

    Arlene, I too was stunned and was about to commend Joshua for acknowledging that the church and its leaders have made mistakes in the past.

    Joshua, as I’ve said before, I appreciate your contributions to this website. And I hope you don’t get fed up and stop contributing. I appreciate your attempt at explaining why you supported Prop 8. But, I have been to the pro Prop 8 websites and I have listened to many (if not all) of their arguments. I’ve listened to lay members and leaders of the Church explain their reasons and I understand what they’re trying to say, but their arguments don’t hold water when it comes to the Constitution of the United States and basic tenets of the Church (The Articles of Faith, as a starting point). And most of their arguments are just plain fearmongering BS. And when it gets right down to it, the only “valid” argument that members have left is that they did it because the Prophet told them to.

    Which gets us back to your statement that the Church and its leaders have made mistakes in the past. In the past, the leaders called for the destruction of homosexuals. They softened that stance and just called for excommunication instead. Then they softened that stance and came up with a list of causes for homosexuality and methods of curing them. Then they softened that stance and said they don’t know what causes homosexuality. We all can look back now and recognize they made mistakes, but at the time those proclamations were made, they were regarded by the membership as the inspired words of prophets.

    So every few years, they pull out the stake they had so firmly planted in the ground and they move it. You’d expect better on such an important matter from a Church that claims divine revelation. Have they finally got it right and planted the stake for the last time, or in a few years will we look back and recognize the mistakes they are making now and the stake will once again be moved?

    I’ve got an easy fix. All Mormons must stop having kids immediately. There will be no more gay kids born into the Church and in a few years there will be no more gay young adults. Just a few years after that and the entire gay Mormon population will be cleaned out. The crisis will have been averted.

    Of course, that is ridiculous. But telling members to stop having children, is no more ridiculous than telling gay members to remain celibate and never take a companion.

    Stop with the incremental mistakes and get to the real fix of full equality for gay members, including temple marriage to the person of their choice. We all know that is what is going to be required anyway. That is if the Church wants to remain relevant.

  43. 43Roberton 14 Jan 2011 at 9:08 pm

    As someone lived in a mixed orientation marriage for 9 years and loved my wife, rated my marriage an 8 or 9 on a scale of one to 10 (would have been higher if there was more than robotic action during love making). I am glad my ex-wife found the courage to leave me for another man who could love her fully in a way I could not. It took me over year to come out and face denial. Joshua, I’ve been there and done that. My sincere hope that your eventual journey is less painful than mine.

  44. 44fiona64on 15 Jan 2011 at 8:33 am

    Joshua wrote: I said I came here to promote marriage equality, not to attack it.

    Marriage equality, in your mind, consists solely of marriages between opposite sex couples: straight/straight and gay/straight, but opposite sex only.

    That’s like being in the KKK and saying that you promote cultural diversity by means of segregation.

    Like I said, no one is fooled by your inane rhetoric but you. You do NOT promote marriage equality; you promote exactly the opposite. I wish you would just *admit* the truth: you voted in favor of Prop 8 for two reasons and two reasons only.

    The smaller one is that you genuinely do NOT believe that same-sex couples should have the same rights as opposite sex couples (because being gay is icky/bad and must be overcome) … and the larger one is because you marched in lockstep with what your church told you to do in the October 2008 General Conference special comment.

    Oh, one more thing: you tried to argue that “liberation from homosexuality” meant something other than what it does. Liberation means freedom. “Freedom from homosexuality” does not mean “freedom from having gay sex,” no matter how many times you want to defend the oft-discredited, NARTH, Evergreen, Exodus, Northstar and every other organization that exists *solely* to stigmatize gay people.

    I feel more sorry for you than you will ever know, Joshua. Just stop lying to yourself and everyone else; your life will be much better as a result.

  45. 45fiona64on 15 Jan 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Joshua wrote: 5Joshuaon 10 Jan 2011 at 1:01 pm

    20% of gay men is a huge percentage, and very misrepresented in today’s society. I would imagine it would be more among LDS men.
    —–
    Best estimates of the percentage of gay people in the population is 5 percent — of whom half are men. Twenty percent of 2.5 percent is not very many people in the grand scheme of things, and that is why not very many studies are out there.

  46. 46Joshuaon 15 Jan 2011 at 5:09 pm

    >>The Mormon Church provides options for gay Mormons, not this website

    The quote from this web site is:

    “Presently, LDS Church leaders offer only two options to homosexuals within the church.”

    You then give the two options. The first you end by saying “Would you want your child to marry someone in this situation?” The second you say is “just as hopeless”.

    Those were the two options that this web site mentioned, both hopeless. This site clearly said the church only provided two options: a disaster marriage or a life of solitude. That is simply not true.

    The argument “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” might have worked if you were not making an exhaustive list. You did not say two of the many options available to gay Mormons is a disaster marriage or a life of solitude. You say those were the ONLY options.

    Obviously it would stink to be married to someone who wasn’t attracted to you even if both are straight. What is your point if it isn’t to say that is what is going on in mixed-orientation marriages.

    You provided the example of Prop 68, which I will address as promised. Let me give you another example.

    Suppose instead of being about mixed-orientation marriages, it were about same-sex relationships. Suppose it said:

    Presently, the LGBT community offers only two options to homosexuals within their community:

    * Option 1: To enter into a same-sex marriage in spite of their dismal success rates — most often leading to misery and disaster for both spouses. Consider what it would be like to either: 1) marry someone you were not faithful to (www.nytimes.com/2010/01/29/us/29sfmetro.htm), or 2) marry someone who is not faithful to you. Would you want your child to marry someone in this situation? For most, this option is simply not viable. But Option #2 is just as hopeless…
    * Option 2: To voluntarily choose a lifetime of casual sex and solitude – where one of the most basic human needs (that of human physical intimacy) – is made unavailable for the entire lifetime of the homosexual member. Can you imagine for a second being asked to deal with HIV your entire adult life (http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/msm/index.htm) – never to know the joys of spousal companionship and intimacy? To us, this is perhaps the cruelest of requests. In war, the worst possible type is not the loss of lives, but biological warfare, where the soldier deal with the consequence the rest of their life. And this, in essence, is what we’re asking of our gay brothers and sisters with this option. Can you imagine living the rest of your life unable to have sex with someone you love for fear of passing on HIV? While it’s true that some heterosexual people live a promiscuous lifestyle and get HIV, at least they have the HOPE of leaving it and living a chaste lifestyle, where they can be free from casual sex and the solitude and diseases that brings.

    Obviously, this paragraph is full of errors. It assumes all same-sex marriages are unfaithful, and that everyone else has casual sex and gets HIV, but isn’t that what you are doing? I honestly don’t see a difference.

    The argument: “It does not state that there are not same-sex marriages where the couples is faithful to each other, but asks you to consider what it would be like to be in an unfaithful same-sex marriage.” Doesn’t work because there is no mention of the faithful same-sex marriages.

    Also, the argument “The same-sex marriage research and HIV research is clearly identified on the site and anyone interested in it can go and look up the numbers” just seems like a slap in the face.

    The above paragraph that I wrote is horrible, twists the facts, and demonizes the opponent, which is what I feel you are doing.

  47. 47fiona64on 15 Jan 2011 at 6:35 pm

    Joshua, you are a liar. Pure and simple. Laura answered your questions. The things you say that she wrote? Are quotations FROM YOUR CHURCH LEADERSHIP or FROM PEOPLE WHO HAVE STUDIED THE MATTER FROM A PERSPECTIVE OF YOUR CHURCH.

    Yes, I am shouting on purpose.

    You also didn’t answer the question about the reasons for your hypocrisy (as you promised that you would). The bottom line, Joshua, is that you want to be left alone to live your life the way you want to — BUT YOU DON’T GRANT OTHER PEOPLE THE SAME RIGHT. You have no problem with denying people the right to marry the person they love, because you think that being gay is only about sex. You said yourself that “people who have gay sex do not want to be in long-term relationships.” Where did you draw that conclusion, Joshua? Because it sure as HELL doesn’t match up with reality for any of the gay couples I know — some of whom have been together longer than you’ve even been alive.

  48. 48fiona64on 15 Jan 2011 at 6:43 pm

    You know what, Joshua? I think you really DO believe all of the things you wrote in your examples, with all of your heart.

    And then you write this: The above paragraph that I wrote is horrible, twists the facts, and demonizes the opponent, which is what I feel you are doing.

    How shall we speak politely about people who want to deny equal protection under the law to law-abiding, tax-paying citizens? People who went a long ways to REMOVE EXISTING RIGHTS from people? Are you proud of yourself? And then you have the freaking AUDACITY to pretend that someone has tried to stop you from being married to a WOMAN? Really? Could you show me the big ol’ campaign that did that? The television ads filled with falsehoods? The “gathering storm”?

    Oh, wait. You can’t. Because it’s bovine excrement.

    Perhaps it’s time to stop having false niceties and call it out for what it is: bigotry, pure and simple. It is not “demonizing the opponent” to call bigotry what it is. It’s called REALITY.

    And just so you know, Joshua, straight marriage does not make anyone “the opponent.” I’m married, I’m straight — AND I KNOW GOOD AND WELL THAT SAME-SEX MARRIAGE NOT ONLY DOES NOT HARM MY MARRIAGE, BUT IN FACT STRENGTHENS IT.

    [edited - time for a deep breath or two]

  49. 49fiona64on 15 Jan 2011 at 6:48 pm

    Joshua wrote: Obviously it would stink to be married to someone who wasn’t attracted to you even if both are straight. What is your point if it isn’t to say that is what is going on in mixed-orientation marriages.

    Joshua also wrote: I managed to develop a sexual attraction to my wife. At first it was forced, yes.

    Hmm. Sounds like that’s what was going on at YOUR house, but obviously you “overcame.”

    You are a typical “concern troll,” Joshua (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=concern+troll). You espouse a belief in marriage equality — but you don’t actually believe in it, as has been revealed repeatedly.

    [breathe, breathe, breathe]

  50. 50Lauraon 15 Jan 2011 at 11:22 pm

    There have been a lot of conversations since July, 2008, and it’s possible that Joshua has had a change of heart about same-sex marriages in the interim.

    I know a number of people who supported Prop 8 two years ago who’ve since spent time in quiet conversations, reading, listening to legal arguments and thinking things over and have figured that allowing two consenting, loving adults to marry wouldn’t really destroy the very foundation of modern American society as was threatened by Prop 8 proponents. There are plenty who haven’t changed their minds as well, but the pendulum continues to swing.

    So maybe we can ask, “If a same-sex marriage amendment were on the ballot again in 2011, would you do things differently?”

    Or, perhaps more apropos to this thread, “If same-sex marriage were legal, what effect (if any) would that have on mixed-orientation marriages?” If SSMs won’t harm MOMs, why spend precious time and energy fighting SSMs?

  51. 51fiona64on 16 Jan 2011 at 8:35 am

    50Lauraon 15 Jan 2011 at 11:22 pm

    There have been a lot of conversations since July, 2008, and it’s possible that Joshua has had a change of heart about same-sex marriages in the interim.

    Joshua stated that he does not believe in “all aspects of marriage equality.”

    He’s also stated that he’s here to “offer a message of hope” to gay people that it is possible for them to “overcome” and marry straight people.

    I will concede that there is a possibility that what you say is true, but that it is incredibly remote. Like … light years away remote.

  52. 52cowboyIIon 16 Jan 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Joshua typed:

    2) Uses scare tactics like “Would you want your child to marry someone in this situation?” when you are so upset about Prop 8’s scare tactics.

    I don’t think this is a scare tactic. First off, it pales in comparison to the televised commercials a lot of Mormons funded and still promulgate.

    It’s a honest question. Would anyone like their daughter to marry me, a gay man, even if I promised to support financially and raise our children together in the best way I can?

  53. 53Joshuaon 16 Jan 2011 at 3:30 pm

    First I wanted to address the Prop 68 scenario, then I will get to my support of Prop 8. (Please give me time, I’m not going back on my word, just making sure I have a good response.)

    >> Let’s say that Prop 68 means every person “afflicted with same-gender attraction” legally HAS to marry someone of the same sex.

    I prefer to say “blessed” with same-sex attraction because I believe God blessed me with it because He loves me.

    I would object to any proposition that forced anyone to marry anyone. Even saying a straight person HAS to marry someone of the opposite sex would be unfair.

    Let me reword that to be more consistent to say if I wanted to get married, I would have to marry someone of the same sex.

    >> Because of YOUR campaign FOR Prop 68, I can NO LONGER MAKE THAT CHOICE. I cannot live the way I choose to live.

    Because Prop 68 forces me to marry, it takes away my right to live as I want. However, this is different from Prop 8 because Prop 8 still allows you to live as you want. What is more, Prop 8 still allows for same-sex relationships to be legally recognized and subsidized by my tax money.

    In the scenario you suggested with John and Mark, they can still have a ceremony and their kids can “watch their dads promise to love one another and to take care of each other and their children ‘as long as they both shall live.” It just isn’t called a marriage. It is called a domestic partnership.

    I realize that there are differences between the rights same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples have in California. The biggest difference is same-sex couples don’t have their relationships recognized outside of California and consequently don’t get a lot of federal benefits that opposite-sex counterparts. I think that is wrong. I would like to see same-sex couples get the same benefits and rights as opposite-sex couples regardless of where they live or move to or travel. I just don’t think Prop 8 is the way to do it. Prop 8 only applied to California, not the rest of the US.

    So for the scenario to really work, I would to NOT be forced to marry someone of the same-sex, and I would have an opportunity to be in a relationship with my soulmate that would be recognized and subsidized by the government in which I lived. The only difference is I would not be able to marry her.

    Even with this modified Prop 68, I would be outraged. Excluding my relationship from marriage seems to modify marriage to being only about sex and sexual attraction, not about the union between a man and a woman, which I think it is. I would protest. I would start web sites like this one. I would speak out. I would NOT attack other people’s relationships, unless there were a direct comparison about how so-called “marriages” were better than mine.

    I think I have said several times that I am glad this web site exists. I am glad there is a place where Mormons who believe in marriage equality can come together and fight for what they believe in. If I were in your situation, I would do the same thing. I think I said the only thing I didn’t like is the claim that gay Mormons only have two options – a disaster marriage and a life of loneliness.

    Of course, this doesn’t answer the question of why I supported Prop 8, but that will have to be another day when I have more time. I am working on it. I am not going back on my word.

  54. 54Dr. Boneson 16 Jan 2011 at 4:52 pm

    “Because Prop 68 forces me to marry, it takes away my right to live as I want. However, this is different from Prop 8 because Prop 8 still allows you to live as you want.”

    Do you hear what people are saying? They are saying:

    I don’t want to be just “domestic partnered” I want to be “married.” Prop 8 took away my right to marry. I want that right back. Plain and simple.

    Prop 68 takes away the right to of a gay man to marry a woman if he so chooses. Want to be her domestic partner instead? Go right ahead. But don’t dare call that a marriage.

    Now, if a gay man wants to marry a man, we’ll call THAT a marriage. And if a straight man wants to marry a woman, we’ll call THAT a marriage as well.

    So, if a gay man wants to lie about his orientation and marry a woman, we’ll call THAT a marriage as well, because it looks just like a marriage between a straight man and a straight woman.

    But if someone is attracted to men, and does not want to lie about that attraction, but still wants to follow the belief that he needs to be married to a woman to find true happiness, they would have to settle for a domestic partnership registration. No marriage for them.

    Can someone support Prop 68 (which denies marriage to people who seek it) and still be counted in the group “Marriage Equality Supporters”?

  55. 55Dr. Boneson 16 Jan 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Oh, just say, “I supported Prop 8 because I am interested in saving souls.”

    As we learn to control our feelings and bridle our passions, we feel better about ourselves. We are empowered to do more, and accomplish great things. There is a peace that only Christ can give us. This peace is the sweetest thing on Earth. As members of the Lord’s church, we dedicate our lives towards bringing this peace to our fellow man. This may prove difficult at times, as it may require an abrupt change in the lives of those we teach. However this peace and joy is the purpose of why we are here, and if we are diligent in helping our brother and sisters to change their lives, they too can join with us in the most glorious joy available to man.

    This requires some hard changes. In doing so, we might come off unloving. With regards to the church’s position on same-sex relationships, many feel the church is unloving. But this is really one of the greatest things we can do for those involved in same-sex relationships.

    President Packer explains “We understand why some feel we reject them. That is not true. We do not reject you, only immoral behavior. We cannot reject you, for you are the sons and daughters of God. We will not reject you, because we love you. You may even feel that we do not love you. That also is not true. Parents know, and one day you will know, that there are times when parents and we who lead the Church must extend tough love when failing to teach and to warn and to discipline is to destroy. We do not make the rules; they were revealed as commandments. We do not cause nor can we prevent the consequences if you disobey the moral laws. In spite of criticism or opposition, we must teach and we must warn.”

    Our leaders teach us correct principles because they love us. Wickedness brings pain, and our purpose is to have joy.

    Satan tells gay people who want to obey the commandments of God that it is impossible, he tells gay people who are confused about which way they should go that they should pursue same-sex relationships, and he tells those that are in same-sex relationships that they can’t change. Isaiah 5:20 reads “Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” So many people with same-sex attraction believe they should pursue same-sex relationships in order to be true to themselves. They avoid marriage because they believe it would be dishonest for their spouse. Those already married leave their marriages because they believe that is what they should do. Those who want to obey the commandments of God are being ridiculed and told they are being dishonest, and those trying to help them are being told they are hurting them. Marriages are being broken apart, lives are being destroyed, souls are lost, and the wounded suffer in silence and are denied the healing power of the atonement, all in the name of acceptance and open-mindedness.

  56. 56fiona64on 16 Jan 2011 at 7:24 pm

    Joshua wrote: However, this is different from Prop 8 because Prop 8 still allows you to live as you want. What is more, Prop 8 still allows for same-sex relationships to be legally recognized and subsidized by my tax money.

    In the scenario you suggested with John and Mark, they can still have a ceremony and their kids can “watch their dads promise to love one another and to take care of each other and their children ‘as long as they both shall live.” It just isn’t called a marriage. It is called a domestic partnership.
    —–
    Except you are wrong, Joshua. The situations are not even remotely the same.

    Domestic partnerships not only lack Federal benefits, but also have different requirements from marriage. For example, you must be jointly domiciled; if one of you has to move for a job, your DP is invalid. Not so with marriage.

    You cannot have been in a previous DP for six months before the current one. Not so with marriage.

    If you are in a DP, the partner whose employer is providing various benefits must pay taxes on those benefits as though they are income. Not so with marriage.

    If you are in a DP and die intestate, your partner will not automatically inherit — as they will with marriage — because they are not next of kin.

    If you are in a DP and your will specifies that your partner inherits, they have to pay capital gains taxes. Not so with marriage.

    If you are in a DP and hospitalized, your partner may not be permitted to visit you in the ICU for the same reason — even when you have paperwork proving that you are not only the next of kin but hold their durable power of attorney for health care decisions (here I specifically reference the case of Janice Langbehn: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/19/health/19well.html). Not so with marriage.

    If you move to another state, even if that state recognizes DPs, you are no longer in a DP and have to start the process all over again — not so with marriage.

    And guess what? This is not even the complete list.

    So, yeah. I think you’re more than a little bit misinformed (quelle surprise). None of those, BTW, are Federal-level benefits.

    So, all of that said: if a DP should be good enough for gay couples, Joshua, then why wasn’t one good enough for YOU?

    Oh, wait. You wanted to be married.

    Just like the gay couples from whom you took away that right.

    BTW, just a little scripture for you to look up: Matthew 7:12. Think about it, Joshua. Meditate on it. Then think about it some more.

  57. 57fiona64on 16 Jan 2011 at 7:27 pm

    53Joshuaon 16 Jan 2011 at 3:30 pm

    First I wanted to address the Prop 68 scenario, then I will get to my support of Prop 8. (Please give me time, I’m not going back on my word, just making sure I have a good response.)
    —–

    Seems to me, Joshua, that you had plenty of time to write the response; I’ve been asking for months. And, as usual, you had time to write something bizarre that totally misses the point of the discussion.

    I don’t believe you have an answer other than “because the ‘prophet’ told me to,” frankly … and I think you’re just stalling for time.

    I would respect you a lot more if you could at least be honest about *that.*

  58. 58fiona64on 16 Jan 2011 at 7:32 pm

    Joshua wrote: I just don’t think Prop 8 is the way to do it. Prop 8 only applied to California, not the rest of the US.

    You’re right, Joshua, Prop 8 did not grant rights to people: IT TOOK THEM AWAY. It took away a right that Californians were enjoying. Some marriage ceremonies were stopped right in the middle — did you know that? Some people were seconds away from being legally married and the JP had to stop and tell them he or she was sorry.

    Thanks to people like you.

  59. 59fiona64on 17 Jan 2011 at 1:53 pm

    A little something in honor of the day:

    ”When any society says that I cannot marry a certain person, that society has cut off a section of my freedom.” — Martin Luther King, Jr. (whose mentor was a gay African-American man named Bayard Rustin)

  60. 60Arleneon 17 Jan 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Laura wrote: “So maybe we can ask, “If a same-sex marriage amendment were on the ballot again in 2011, would you do things differently?”

    Or, perhaps more apropos to this thread, “If same-sex marriage were legal, what effect (if any) would that have on mixed-orientation marriages?” If SSMs won’t harm MOMs, why spend precious time and energy fighting SSMs?”

    My answers would be the following:
    1. If this went to ballot again, I would have fought so much harder against the bigotry behind it. I honestly did not imagine that so many people could have been so misled by the bizarre “arguments” for the proposition in all of the advertising. That brings me to…
    2. I cannot find any way that SSMs would harm MOMs just like I could not find a reason they would harm straight marriages. Allowing SSMs to be strengthened and protected by allowing full marriage rights doesn’t take anything away from my straight marriage or Joshua’s MOM, rather, it provides for the same strengthening tactics for all types of marriages, straight, MOM, SSM. I never understood how prop 8 could strengthen my marriage by denying someone else the right to marry the person he/she loves.

    Two quick questions for Joshua:
    1. Did you live in California during the campaigns?
    2. From which year was the quote from Elder Oaks about honesty that you quoted to me above?

    I am here on this site because I believe in marriage equality for every person to marry the person they love. No exceptions. No justifications.

    The work of the church and its members against marriage equality is bigotry, pure and simple.

  61. 61fiona64on 18 Jan 2011 at 7:44 am

    55Dr. Boneson 16 Jan 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Oh, just say, “I supported Prop 8 because I am interested in saving souls.”

    Dr. Bones then goes on to quote extensively from Joshua’s blog article.

    Looks like, Joshua, you already know your answer … and have written it repeatedly in other places. Why were you unwilling to write here what you did in your blog: that (in summary), God wants people to change from being gay to being straight?

    (And when did God tell you that? I have never met anyone to whom God speaks directly.)

  62. 62fiona64on 18 Jan 2011 at 11:32 am

    Arlene, the quote comes from this interview with the Church of LDS Public Affairs department. Unfortunately, the interview itself is not dated, but it does speak about constitutional amendments against marriage equality — which tells me that it is from 2004 at the earliest (when Bush was trying to get such a thing accomplished).

    http://beta-newsroom.lds.org/official-statement/same-gender-attraction

    (I know you asked Joshua, but he seems to be a little … tardy … in responding to hard — not as in difficult, but as in direct — questions when they are asked of him.)

  63. 63Lauraon 18 Jan 2011 at 11:38 am

    I’m fairly certain the Public Affairs interview was in 2006. If I get time later, I’ll try to pin it for sure.

  64. 64Lauraon 18 Jan 2011 at 11:48 am

    Yes, August 2006. It’s listed in our Prop 8 Timeline post.

  65. 65fiona64on 18 Jan 2011 at 12:18 pm

    Thanks, Laura!

  66. 66Arleneon 18 Jan 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Thank you, Laura and Fiona, for confirming the date. This push for “honesty” is certainly a recent one, huh?

    Joshua, no one begrudges you your ability and decision to have gotten married and I am glad that you were honest with your fiance prior to your marriage. I am sure that that honesty will make your marriage stronger than if you had kept the information regarding your sexual orientation from her. However, I don’t believe that you are here for the reason of promoting equal marriage. The rest of us are here to support marriage equality for all – whether it is straight, MOM, or SSM.

    After all this time, we are very aware of your opinions and I don’t think it serves this site well to have so much contentiousness. You have been very clear in your belief that homosexuality can be “cured” and you offer yourself as proof. I am glad for you that you have found the option that works best for you. However, most homosexuals will not be cured and this website is obviously not the place to promote that idea – it is a site to promote marriage equality only, which you only believe in for male-female marriages. We get it.

    You also offer yourself as proof of the viability of MOM as an option. I have no problem with that option as long as it was entered into willingly by your wife (which you have already asserted) and I sincerely wish you both the best of luck in your marriage. I’m glad you married for love and wish you could see that other homosexuals just want to do the same – marry the one they love.

    Because this site is meant for those who fully support marriage equality for all, including SSM, and is a place for us to share ideas and stories regarding that goal, I am frankly tired of the continual argumentative mood that you bring to the discussion. You’ve already contributed all you have to offer; perhaps it’s time to move on to other websites where your message will have a better chance to make a difference. It’s simply not working here.

  67. 67Joshuaon 18 Jan 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Fiona said (that I said) “God wants people to change from being gay to being straight?”

    Arlene said “You have been very clear in your belief that homosexuality can be “cured” and you offer yourself as proof.”

    Neither of these statements are true. I actually strongly object to both mind sets attributed to me.

  68. 68Joshuaon 18 Jan 2011 at 3:04 pm

    >> This push for “honesty” is certainly a recent one, huh?

    The Church has always taught honesty. “We believe in being honest” is one of our articles of faith. They never encouraged dishonesty. One problem that the church faces is dealing with people’s “reinterpretation” of what they teach. I spend most my time on this site saying “I didn’t say that”. I don’t know how many times I have said I haven’t been cured of homosexuality, but yet people still quote me as having said such things. The church faces a similar problem.

    This interview from 1986, shows Elder Oaks surprise at the accusation that marriage should be a cure.

    CBS: The Church has recommended in the past marriage as a part of repentance, when you’re engaging in homosexual…

    ELDER OAKS: I don’t know whether that has been recommended by individual bishops or priesthood leaders counseling persons in individual circumstances. I just don’t know that. Marriage is not usually thought of as an act of repentance.

    CBS: As part of repentance from …there have been several cases cited of when a homosexual who wants to remain within the fold and is fighting his feelings will go to a bishop or will go for counsel and what is recommended is that you repress those feelings and get married and have children and that will set you on a better path. Is that foreign to you? Does that sound…

    ELDER OAKS: I don’t know whether that has been recommended or not because the counseling sessions you refer to are very confidential counseling sessions and when the bishop comes out of that counseling session he doesn’t report to anyone. When the person he’s talking to comes out of that session they’re free to talk to anyone and say anything without fear of contradiction. So I don’t know. I just don’t know what has been said in such sessions.

    This was 1986, which was before President Hinckley made the statement marriage should not be viewed as a therapeutic step. Elder Oaks said that marriage was not thought of as repenting, yet apparently even at that time people were making accusations that the church recommend marriage as part of the repentance process.

    The church never recommended lying to your spouse or using your spouse as a therapeutic sex object, yet people continue to pin that on the church. Does the church have time to address every single wild claim that is levied on the church? If they addressed it recently, it is only to reiterate the church’s long-standing position on honesty.

    How many times have I been misquoted on this site? Even you have misquoted me. How am I supposed to believe what people claim the Bishop told them? Why a Bishop would encourage someone to lie is beyond me, but it certainly didn’t come from the brethren.

  69. 69fiona64on 18 Jan 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Joshua, give me a break. You keep promoting organizations that offer “liberation from homosexuality” (from quotes I already posted, with links, to the sites in question).

    You’re very fond of quoting the American Heritage Dictionary, so I’ll do the same here:

    lib·er·a·tion
       /ˌlɪbəˈreɪʃən/ Show Spelled[lib-uh-rey-shuhn] Show IPA
    –noun
    1.
    the act of liberating or the state of being liberated.
    2.
    the act or fact of gaining equal rights or full social or economic opportunities for a particular group.

    Do you know what it means to be “liberated” from something, Joshua?

    lib·er·ate
       /ˈlɪbəˌreɪt/ Show Spelled[lib-uh-reyt] Show IPA
    –verb (used with object), -at·ed, -at·ing.
    1.
    to set free, as from imprisonment or bondage.
    2.
    to free (a nation or area) from control by a foreign or oppressive government.
    3.
    to free (a group or individual) from social or economic constraints or discrimination, esp. arising from traditional role expectations or bias.
    4.
    to disengage; set free from combination, as a gas.
    5.
    Slang . to steal or take over illegally: The soldiers liberated a consignment of cigarettes.

    Yep. To be free of something. To be “free of homosexuality” is exactly what you promote, Joshua.

    And I see you still haven’t answered the question you promised to answer.

    At this point I’m not even surprised.

  70. 70fiona64on 18 Jan 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Your words, Joshua, from the link provided by Dr. Bones:

    Satan tells gay people who want to obey the commandments of God that it is impossible, he tells gay people who are confused about which way they should go that they should pursue same-sex relationships, and he tells those that are in same-sex relationships that they can’t change. Isaiah 5:20 reads “Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” So many people with same-sex attraction believe they should pursue same-sex relationships in order to be true to themselves. They avoid marriage because they believe it would be dishonest for their spouse. Those already married leave their marriages because they believe that is what they should do. Those who want to obey the commandments of God are being ridiculed and told they are being dishonest, and those trying to help them are being told they are hurting them. Marriages are being broken apart, lives are being destroyed, souls are lost, and the wounded suffer in silence and are denied the healing power of the atonement, all in the name of acceptance and open-mindedness.

    —-

    Or are you now trying to deny your position that I summarized (for the sake of brevity)? You are saying here that Satan tells people that it is okay to be gay. You are therefore saying that God does not want people to be gay — and that they can change. This is, after all, what you say at the same link:

    This may prove difficult at times, as it may require an abrupt change in the lives of those we teach. However this peace and joy is the purpose of why we are here, and if we are diligent in helping our brother and sisters to change their lives, they too can join with us in the most glorious joy available to man.

    This requires some hard changes. In doing so, we might come off unloving. With regards to the church’s position on same-sex relationships, many feel the church is unloving. But this is really one of the greatest things we can do for those involved in same-sex relationships.

    President Packer explains “We understand why some feel we reject them. That is not true. We do not reject you, only immoral behavior. We cannot reject you, for you are the sons and daughters of God. We will not reject you, because we love you. You may even feel that we do not love you. That also is not true. Parents know, and one day you will know, that there are times when parents and we who lead the Church must extend tough love when failing to teach and to warn and to discipline is to destroy. We do not make the rules; they were revealed as commandments. We do not cause nor can we prevent the consequences if you disobey the moral laws. In spite of criticism or opposition, we must teach and we must warn.”

    Our leaders teach us correct principles because they love us. Wickedness brings pain, and our purpose is to have joy.
    —–

    By this, Joshua, you are saying that being gay is wicked … and that only by changing to being straight will people have joy.

    And you wonder why gay people are stigmatized …

    In the comments, at the same link, you say this (in reference to your earlier remark, “Melissa left her girlfriend and is touring the country telling all of how God saved her from the chains of homosexuality.”):

    One thing I love about Melissa Fryrear’s story is that she was in a same-sex relationship when she showed up at a church. She was as lesbian as they came. The couple was able to show love even though they knew she was not obeying the commandments of God. It was through that love, that she came to know God, and repent.
    —–

    You want people to “repent” of being who they are — as God made them — and be something they aren’t. Being “saved from the chains of homosexuality” is pretty strong language, don’t you agree?

    Once again, you try to deny positions that you obviously hold.

  71. 71fiona64on 18 Jan 2011 at 3:41 pm

    To Laura’s earlier question, I must echo Arlene’s response. I could not imagine that intelligent, thinking people would be so easily bamboozled into violating the rights of their fellow citizens. That they could not see how easily *their* rights could be put up for referendum if some organization thought that they were “icky.” And yet, I was astonished to see that it did indeed happen.

    Since then, I have studied a great deal about the psychology of prejudice. There is a lot of good information here: http://www.understandingprejudice.org/apa/english/

    One of the most powerful statements is “Where prejudices lurk, stereotypes are seldom far behind.” Look at the stereotypes promoted by some of the anti-equality folks: that gay people are disease-ridden, promiscuous, child molestors … just to name a few. As usual, these stereotypes have little, if anything, to do with reality. For example, the largest growing group of HIV patients is heterosexual women of color, according to the CDC, but the anti-equality forces bring up HIV/AIDS as a valid reason to deny same-sex marriage.

    Promiscuity? Well, I guess if you don’t have the right to marry, and marriage is the only “honorable state” in which to have intercourse, folks will view you as promiscuous. On this very website, Joshua said that “people who have gay sex do not want to be in long-term relationships” — a fantasy whose origins I surely cannot comprehend, given the number of same-sex couples I know who have been together longer than he’s been alive.

    Child molestors? This is no doubt because the vast majority of child molestations are adult men on young boys, but the truth of the matter is that 95 percent of child molestors are heterosexual … and the gender of the child is not even remotely as important to the molestor as accessibility (at the age that pedophiles prefer, dimorphism is pretty limited). Child molestors seek positions that put them in regular contact with potential victims, such as coaching teams or leading scouting organizations.

    The thing is, prejudice is not innate. Once I started studying the matter, I could not help thinking of the lyrics to this song from “South Pacific”:

    You’ve got to be taught
    To hate and fear
    You’ve got to be taught
    From year to Year
    It’s got to be drummed
    in your dear little ear
    You’ve got to be carefully taught

    You’ve got to be taught
    To be Afraid
    Of people whose eyes
    are oddly made
    And people whose skin
    Is a different shade
    You’ve got to be carefully taught

    You’ve got to be taught
    Before it’s too late
    Before you are 6 or 7 or 8
    To hate all the people
    your relatives hate
    You’ve got to be carefully taught

    So sad that those of us who believe in equality for all — not just people who look, think and behave as we do — still fight an uphill battle against prejudice in this day and age. And yet, it is the only right thing to do.

  72. 72Lauraon 18 Jan 2011 at 3:41 pm

    FYI, Joshua’s response to why he supported Prop 8 is it’s own post now.

  73. 73fiona64on 18 Jan 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Thank you, Laura.

  74. 74Joshuaon 18 Jan 2011 at 4:01 pm

    > You want people to “repent” of being who they are — as God made them — and be something they aren’t. Being “saved from the chains of homosexuality” is pretty strong language, don’t you agree?

    People aren’t sexual relationships. You are reducing being gay to just about sex. If a gay person so chooses, they should be able to go to groups like Evergreen and Exodus which helps liberate people from gay sex. Many people share my beliefs that reserving sexual relationships for husband and wife will bring them happiness in their own lives. Supporters of marriage equality should respect this choice equally with the choice to have sex with the person of the same gender. We shouldn’t be using scare tactics or claiming the only options are a disastrous marriage or a life of loneliness for people who believe that. That is not marriage equality.

    While I have said I do not support all the goals of marriage equality, equality of MOM is a goal I do support, and I do not think is reflected on this site.

  75. 75fiona64on 18 Jan 2011 at 4:28 pm

    Joshua said of me: People aren’t sexual relationships. You are reducing being gay to just about sex.

    No, Joshua. That’s what you have been doing when you differentiate between sexual acts and sexual orientation. I was just as straight as a virgin as I was when I lost my virginity. I did not suddenly become straight once I had intercourse.

    Joshua then said: While I have said I do not support all the goals of marriage equality, equality of MOM is a goal I do support, and I do not think is reflected on this site.

    Joshua, if there had ever been a law laid down saying that gay men could no longer marry straight women (or vice versa), I would be standing up screaming from the rafters against it. OTOH, no such law exists. Equality of MOM is basically saying “I believe in the equality of the status quo” — which is, by your own admission in the separate post, inherently unequal.

  76. 76Joshuaon 18 Jan 2011 at 5:46 pm

    Is marriage equality just about legal equality? Can’t the words you say and the things you do also be about equality? Using scare tactics against someone’s marriage doesn’t seem to be marriage equality to me.

    Not that I ever said I was completely on board with marriage equality, but it doesn’t seem like some of the tactics this web site uses is either.

  77. 77fiona64on 18 Jan 2011 at 9:10 pm

    76Joshuaon 18 Jan 2011 at 5:46 pm

    Is marriage equality just about legal equality?

    Yes. Absolutely. We are not talking about liturgical marriage, but marriage as licensed by the state. You know, the thing that you and others helped to TAKE AWAY from law-abiding citizens because you don’t think they deserve to be married to the person they wish to marry.

    No one is using “scare tactics” against anyone’s marriage except for the people who supported Prop 8.

    No one stopped you marrying the person you wished to marry, Joshua, but you were more than willing to do that to other people. Did you look up Matthew 7:12 yet?

    Look. When I was seven years old, Loving v. Virginia had been in effect for a little less than three years. My dad had an African-American student named Joe, who fell in love with a Caucasian woman named Christine. They became engaged. My dad gave away the bride because her own parents refused to attend the wedding. I talked with my dad about this many years later, and here is what I said.

    “I was brought up to believe that such a thing wasn’t right. But I also believed that they had the right to be supported in marrying the person they loved.”

    My dad, BTW, is a priesthood holder in the Church of LDS — and he feels the same way about same-sex marriage. He wasn’t brought up to believe that it was right, but he believes that people have the right to be supported in marrying the person they love.

    Why were you so willing to meddle in the marriages of other people if you don’t want people to do that to you, Joshua? (Ref. Matt 7:12 again.)

    If anyone ever tried to stop you from marrying the person you loved, Joshua, I would stand against them. I mean it. But you wouldn’t do my friends the same courtesy, and I pity you because of it.

  78. 78fiona64on 18 Jan 2011 at 9:56 pm

    Oops, just noticed my typo. That quote is not what *I* said, but what my dad said. Mea culpa.

  79. 79Dave Hoenon 19 Jan 2011 at 7:54 pm

    I realize this thread isn’t the Thread du jour, but I’ve been meaning to point out a disconnect in the quote from Elder Oaks that Joshua brought up 18 Jan 2011 at 3:04 pm.

    The premise of Joshua’s post is that the Church has always encouraged people to be honest and that our recollections of past events are not always honest. He then gives a quote wherein Elder Dallin Oaks apparently interrupts the CBS interviewer (asking whether or not marriage has been a recommended path for repentance for homosexual sin) with, “I don’t know whether that has been recommended by individual bishops or priesthood leaders counseling persons in individual circumstances. I just don’t know that. Marriage is not usually thought of as an act of repentance.”

    In other words, Elder Oaks and Joshua are saying that those individuals that have reported that marriage had been recommended as part of their therapy/repentance may not be honest in their recollections.

    That statement by Elder Oaks is extremely disingenuous. It was during President Dallin Oaks watch as BYU president, that the barbaric practice of aversion shock therapy was taking place and he knows full well that all the BYU Bishops and Stake Presidents were always encouraging marriage as a cure for what ails them. If a male member hadn’t proposed to at least one woman within six months of returning from a mission, he was shirking his priesthood responsibilities!

    As a Ward Clerk and a Stake Clerk, who took minutes of Church Courts, I stand as a witness that I’ve heard more than one Bishop and Stake President recommend marriage as part of a “sinners” path to repentance. For Elder Oaks to assert “I don’t know whether that has been recommended or not because the counseling sessions you refer to are very confidential counseling sessions” is lawyer-speak for, “Yes, I know that probably happened a lot, but I can slither my way out of this by claiming counselor-patient privilege”.

    Now who’s the one that is not really being honest? I mean no disrespect for lawyers, but Elder Oaks was a lawyer by profession and lawyers are trained to withold exculpatory or inculpatory information depending on which side their on.

    Probably not a good example of honesty, Joshua.

  80. 80Joshuaon 05 Feb 2011 at 9:15 pm

    I just realized you posted here Dave.

    I am positive individual Bishops recommended marriage as a therapy. I also had a Bishop that told me University of Utah was better than BYU. Heck, I even had a branch president who slept with one of our recent converts on my mission. Bishops are people and they do a lot of things of their own accord, and are subject to the prejudices of the day (as are prophets).

    I think my point and Elder Oaks point is that the direction wasn’t coming from the Church, but from the Bishops, and even those stories could very well be exaggerated.

  81. 81Joshuaon 05 Feb 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Anyway, I actually got a copy of the report in question, and there was an interesting finding. It said:

    “Factors that threatened marital stability were family of origin negativity and negativity from the gay and lesbian community about their marriages.”

    So there you have it. Scientific research that shows that the attitudes in the gay community that are reflected on this site do have a negative impact of mixed-orientation marriages.

  82. 82Arleneon 09 Feb 2011 at 2:07 pm

    There is an interesting article in Slate today that addresses this issue as it is occurring in China at http://www.slate.com/id/2279907/pagenum/all/#p2.

  83. 83fiona64on 09 Feb 2011 at 4:28 pm

    Joshua, please provide a link to the report you are quoting. No one knows what you are talking about otherwise. You are kind of famous for saying “I read a report that said XYZ” and never providing the report for anyone else to look at. When people *do* find the reports, we often find that they do not say what you stated.

    At this point, to be honest, I wouldn’t believe you if your tongue came notarized (h/t to Judge Marilyn Milian).

  84. 84Joshuaon 09 Feb 2011 at 10:57 pm

    It was the report that Laura cited, “Spouses in Mixed-Orientation Marriage: A 20-Year Review of Empirical Studies”. The quote is from the top of page three.

    The discrimination by the gay community against people like me is well documented. The Report of the American Psychological Association Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation found one of the benefits of ex-gay groups was that it serves as “a refuge for those who were excluded both from conservative churches and from their families, because of their same-sex sexual attractions, and from gay organizations and social networks, because of their conservative religious belief.”

    There is a lot of antagonism against us, and to deny it is to compound the problem.

  85. 85fiona64on 10 Feb 2011 at 5:12 pm

    Joshua wrote “a refuge for those who were excluded both from conservative churches and from their families, because of their same-sex sexual attractions, and from gay organizations and social networks, because of their conservative religious belief”

    You know, I googled that phrase to see where it came from, and the only reference is to the “Ex-Gay” article on Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ex-gay. And guess what? Only one of the footnotes has anything to do with the APA, and it goes to their pamphlet that was sent out to school administrators when NARTH started demanding that public schools teach about “ex-gay ministries” and “conversion therapy” rather than allowing gay-straight alliances.

    Nowhere in the entire 24-page pamphlet does that statement appear, BTW.

    So, then I decided to check out the other three footnotes that go with that quote.

    Crafting stories of sexual identity reconstruction. Social Psychology Quarterly, 62, 157-172: http://www.jstor.org/pss/2695855. This is, according to the abstract, a specific look at why a group of religious lesbians went to Exodus.

    “Emotion work, commitment, and the authentication of the self: The case of gay and exgay Christian support groups”. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 30: 305–334: http://jce.sagepub.com/content/30/3/305. The abstract pretty clearly shows that this is not a study of the efficacy of reparative therapy at all but, in fact, on the general nature of how support groups work. Quote: Whereas previous research on support groups focuses on cognitive aspects of the self-redefinition process central to support group success, this ethnographic study of gay and ex-gay Christian men examines the importance of emotion in the support group process. By analyzing the emotion work done within these groups, we learn how support groups can create and maintain the member commitment necessary for individual transformation and support group success. Specifically, the author shows how members are (1) recruited through an emotional promise, (2) taught emotion management strategies that make participation initially tolerable and later rewarding, (3) encouraged to share emotions that build collective identity, and (4) lead to authenticate new self-meanings via emotional experience. The implications of this study for understanding how emotion work affects recruitment and participation in social movement organizations are also discussed.

    Straight to Jesus: Sexual and Christian conversions in the ex-gay movement. Los Angeles:University of California Press. This one brought me to a book by that title. http://www.amazon.com/Straight-Jesus-Christian-Conversions-Movement/dp/0520245822/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1297382690&sr=8-1 . This is an ethnographical study of a particular e-gay group (New Hope). It is not presented as an endorsement of these groups, but as an observation. Quote: Erzen, an assistant professor of comparative studies at Ohio State University, spent a year of intensive dissertation fieldwork in 2000 with a residential program in the ex-gay movement called New Hope. The ministry caters to men, usually from conservative Christian backgrounds, who struggle with a deeply felt contradiction between their sexual desires and their religious convictions. Erzen argues that most analysis of the ex-gay movement has failed to grasp the powerful role of religion, and how many homosexuals yearn to reconcile sexuality and faith.

    All these documents do is affirm my belief that “reparative therapy” is the religious equivalent of a pie-crust promise: one that actual science demonstrates is easily made and easily broken.

    And nope, not one of these documents contains that Wikipedia phrase that you attributed to the APA.

    The evidence (or, in this case, the lack thereof) is there for anyone who bothers to look.

    At least now I understand why you never provide links to go with your assertions. It’s worth the time I take to research your comments, though, because those who read but do not comment need to see the truth behind what you are saying.

    No one, despite all of your assertions, is trying to stop you from marrying the person you wanted to marry — the proof is that you did so. And yet, you would not give that same courtesy to millions of people whom you don’t even know. You insist that the courts are trying to stop you from doing so, which is a blatant lie (there, I said it) … while you support courts doing that to same-sex couples.

    You keep insisting that you want to be left alone to live your life the way you choose. Why don’t you want others to have the same right?

  86. 86Joshuaon 10 Feb 2011 at 5:51 pm

    I gave you the document I got it from. It is called “The Report of the American Psychological Association Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation”

    http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/therapeutic-response.pdf

    The quote is on page 49.

    This has nothing to do with reparative therapy. This is how we are “excluded both from conservative churches and from their families, because of their same-sex sexual attractions, and from gay organizations and social networks, because of their conservative religious beliefs”

    The other quote talks about how the negativity from the gay community contributes to our divorce rate.

    So what if we happen to be conservative Christians? We are still gay. Is there only one way to be gay?

  87. 87Lauraon 10 Feb 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Joshua notes,

    The discrimination by the gay community against people like me is well documented. The Report of the American Psychological Association Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation found one of the benefits of ex-gay groups was that it serves as “a refuge for those who were excluded both from conservative churches and from their families, because of their same-sex sexual attractions, and from gay organizations and social networks, because of their conservative religious belief.”

    Technically, this was not a finding by the APA, but a summary of findings from three studies which discussed positive perceptions of people who participated in sexual orientation change efforts (but I see nowhere that the studies are specifically looking at discrimination by any community specifically against people in mixed-orientation marriages). The studies specifically examined religiously oriented ex-gay groups, noting that benefits for participants included “options for individuals to remain connected to others who shared their religious beliefs, despite ongoing same-sex sexual feelings and behaviors”; they “recast homosexuality as an ordinary sin, and thus salvation was still achievable”; and “built hope, recovery, and relapse into an exgay identity, thus expecting same-sex sexual behaviors and conceiving them as opportunities for repentance and forgiveness.”

    Certainly these groups provide shelter and space for religious people who want and need social support in coming to terms with their sexual orientation and sexual orientation identities. The APA report also notes that there are LGB-affirming groups that provide similar benefits to their participants. This seems to indicate that what people need is support in living with the decisions they make in their lives – that if they want to choose sexual orientation change efforts, they need support groups and if they want to choose to accept their LGB orientations they need support groups. And that there is a place for each.

  88. 88fiona64on 10 Feb 2011 at 9:15 pm

    86Joshuaon 10 Feb 2011 at 5:51 pm

    I gave you the document I got it from. It is called “The Report of the American Psychological Association Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation”

    Yes, Joshua, you did. And, as I pointed out, that phrase is not used by the APA itself, anywhere (although you tried to bamboozle people into thinking that it was). I gave the three citations of the ethnological studies that were examined (and to which Laura refers).

    Why do you keep doing this, Joshua? You misattribute statements, or define words differently from the rest of the world, and then you get upset when people call you out or question you.

    You still haven’t shown me a court case that denies you the right to marry a woman, BTW — although you claim that “recent court cases” discriminated against you. Nor have you explained to me the difference between marriage and marriage, as I requested after you went on your “separate but equal” rant and I introduced the drinking fountain analogy.

    ::shrug::

    I really pity you, because your position must not be pleasant if you are so defensive all of the time. You presume that general statements are all about you and your situation, and you presume that people should bow to your authority on all matters (even those in which you are blatantly, factually incorrect). I don’t know what happened in your life to make you that way, but I do know this:

    You get to choose your thoughts and feelings. How about if you focus more on your marriage and less on preventing other people from marrying? People whom you don’t even know? People with loves and dreams and aspirations and plans that probably look just like yours? Except that ::gasp:: the person they want to marry is of the same gender? They’re no different from you, Joshua; they want to marry the person they love.

    You got to do it. I got to do it.

    So, why shouldn’t other people get to do it? (And skip the “procreation” argument, okay? I don’t have kids and don’t want ‘em … and plenty of my gay friends have children and want more.)

  89. 89stephanieon 11 Feb 2011 at 2:53 pm

    As a woman in a failing MOM of 16 years, I was once as bright eyed and hopeful about my marriage as Joshua is. I, in my head, proudly proclaimed that my husband and I had beat the statistics. I felt certain that my marriage would endure into the eternities. However, as time wore on the discord within my gay husband became too much. I feel that it is important for us to stand up and realize that being gay is not a communicable disease. We LDS believe that it is not good for man (or woman) to be alone. I would never condemn anyone to an empty existance where there is no hope for any intimacy. A life spent without intimacy or hope for intimacy is a recipe for disaster. We can not be the gatekeepers for everyone else’s morality. And we can not deny people who desire to make a legal and moral commitment to their partners. That is not part of the plan of Agency or of Happiness.

  90. 90Joshuaon 11 Feb 2011 at 4:04 pm

    > This seems to indicate that what people need is support in living with the decisions they make in their lives.

    Yes. I agree with this 100%. That is what I have been advocating all along. I want same-sex couples to get support in living with the decisions they make. I want MOM couples to get support in living with the decisions they make. I want celibate gay people to get support in living with the decisions they make. Saying their decisions are “hopeless” is not giving that support.

    What the report says is that the gay community does not provide that support. For gays living the law of chastity, which includes both celibate as well as those of us who are in a MOM, we are “excluded” from gay organizations and social networks. That is not right and that is not fair. Why are religiously oriented ex-gay groups the only groups we can turn to for support?

    Shouldn’t I be concerned that we only have one place for support, and that gets openly attacked here on this web site? Shouldn’t I be concerned that modern research shows that “Factors that threatened marital stability were family of origin negativity and negativity from the gay and lesbian community about their marriages” and that negativity is expressed here?

    I’ve brought up my concerns, and you have brushed them off saying that the negativity expressed here does not harm my marriage. I have provided evidence from the very same study that you quoted that the negativity is one of the biggest factors that affected MOM’s.

    Are my concerns valid yet?

  91. 91Joshuaon 11 Feb 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Stephanie,

    I am sorry you have a failing marriage. I have seen a lot of marriages fail, both mixed-orientation marriages as well as other marriages. As the statistics show, MOM that are open and honest still have the same failure rates as other types of marriages. I think every failed marriage is a tragedy.

    I also completely agree with what you are saying about not being the gatekeepers for everyone else’s morality. That is why I think we should stop pointing fingers at whose relationships are better and whose are worse and just try to love and support everyone in whatever lifestyle they chose – even if it is a choice that we have already tried and failed.

    It seems our worse enemies are those who didn’t succeed at what we are trying to do.

    What if the Wright Brothers listened to those who said “We tried to fly, so you will never make it”? I am sorry your marriage is failing. I really am. But that doesn’t mean I don’t deserve a fair chance.

    That is all I am asking for, a fair chance. I want to be open and normal and feel free to be me. I can love a woman just as good as someone else. Telling me that I can’t isn’t going to improve my marriage.

  92. 92fiona64on 11 Feb 2011 at 5:23 pm

    I also completely agree with what you are saying about not being the gatekeepers for everyone else’s morality. That is why I think we should stop pointing fingers at whose relationships are better and whose are worse and just try to love and support everyone in whatever lifestyle they chose unless it is one that my Church disagrees with.

    I hope you don’t mind that I fixed that for you, Joshua. You seem to have missed a clause there, based on your own actions in support of Prop 8.

  93. 93Joshuaon 11 Feb 2011 at 5:35 pm

    That is not what I meant Fiona. I meant what I said.