43: SCOTUS, DOMA, Prop 8, and the Mormons

Greg hosts a discussion about the Supreme Court’s rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8 from California. Panelists include: Heather, Matthew, Andrew, and Stacey. First the group discuss the particulars of the rulings as well as their legal implications. Then, they round out the episode with a lively discussion about: personal reactions to the news; the church’s reaction to the rulings; and the implications of gay marriage for the future of Mormonism.  

Play

References
United States v. Windsor (DOMA)
Hollingsworth v. Perry (Prop 8)
LDS Statement (from the Newsroom)
How the Supreme Court Ruling will Affect Same Sex Spouses

21 Comments

  1. Andrew S

    tagging for future comments

    Reply Jun 27, 2013 @ 08:38:50
  2. reddirtmrmn

    I felt connected to the GLBT community yesterday. As an apostate I don’t get to see my kids get married in the Temple, and that makes me feel like a second-class citizen. It was touching to feel connected to people who now rejoice in being recognized as equals (more equal). I think this mentality of barring people, even loved ones, from basic life events is a hallmark of Mormonism, and that’s sad. The church moves always with an air of judgement and I think this whole thing – from prop 8 to now – is a manifestation of that stark reality. They keep loved ones out of the temple because we no longer believe in a guy who put his head in a hat and looked at magic stones. I really shouldn’t be surprised then that the same organization would oppose equality for the homosexual community. It just feels like the church is sticking their nose up to basic human decency, pointing their judgmental finger at everyone else for being different, all the while holding steadfast to a rod that leads to eventual conformity to the very human decency they ridicule.

    Reply Jun 27, 2013 @ 13:49:40
  3. The Eye of the Gathering Storm (Also, hear my voice!) | Irresistible (Dis)Grace

    […] So, if you have a little over an hour, definitely check out Mormon Expositor 43: SCOTUS, DOMA, Prop 8, and the Mormons. […]

    Reply Jun 27, 2013 @ 22:17:29
  4. Matthew Crowley

    red, I don’t think they perceive themselves to be doing any of that. They have it framed very differently as do most members, I think. But as Greg said on the podcast, it is very difficult to have gay loved ones and friends and give them the party line that they should simply suffer loneliness in this life or have their relationships be treated as second class with a straight face. I realize that they have it framed in their minds as compassionate, and there is an abstract argument that it is. But where the rubber meets the road it is not easy to see it that way.

    Reply Jun 28, 2013 @ 09:07:37
  5. Mungagungadin

    Near the time when there is 22:30 minutes left, a woman says, “Mormons were viewed as weird, and now we are viewed as weird *bullies*”. Which woman was that? It was an important statement.

    Reply Jun 28, 2013 @ 11:53:24
    • Expositor's Heather

      That was me.

      Reply Jun 28, 2013 @ 11:55:46
  6. Gail F. Bartholomew

    I am shocked that you all think the gay and mormon website gives a different message than the pr release. Yes gay and mormon website may put a smile on it, but none of what they say their is any different than what they have been saying for 20 years.

    Reply Jul 01, 2013 @ 12:45:24
  7. Andrew S

    Gail,

    I originally had a comment written that I thought was pretty great, but WordPress chewed it up due to a login difficulty.

    Anyway.

    perhaps you can correct me on my timeline, but here are a few changes that I’ve noticed. The church has moved toward…

    1) Not calling homosexuality an illness/disease
    2) Using the term “homosexuality” (albeit in addition to SSA/SGA, but still)
    3) Not recommending that gay people marry heterosexually
    4) Being quieter (if not silent) on whether homosexuality as an orientation can be changed/removed in this life.

    You may say that these aren’t big changes, or that they are not enough, etc., Well, I’d just say that that’s not the church’s MO, so if you’re expecting that, you’re going to continue to be disappointed.

    What these changes do allow is for a gestalt shift between generations.

    See, for “us” (people who hear both the old and the new rhetoric), we know enough about what the “code” means to fill in any blanks with what we’ve heard in years past. So, the message seems the same, because they aren’t overtly disputing or denouncing anything they said in the past, and neither are they saying much if anything that directly contradicts what they said in the past.

    But for the generations coming up in the church in a MormonandGays or post-MormonandGays environment, they may very well have an experience of Mormonism that has *never* mentioned homosexuality as a disease. They may find that this was a common assertion to be a strange, cultural artifact rather than past doctrine. the idea that people would be advised to marry heterosexually? Same thing. And even if they think homosexuality may not be acted upon, they probably won’t think that it can be removed/eliminated (at least, not in this life.)

    These changes alone shift the gestalt. Because when these folks get into power (which admittedly will be a trickle thanks to the gerontocratic structure), certain ideas simply won’t be in their vocabulary, while others will be.

    Reply Jul 01, 2013 @ 13:07:20
  8. Gail F. Bartholomew

    Andrew,

    I stand corrected at least partially. 20 years is an inflated figure.

    I agree that these 4 things you have listed are significant.

    I think if you go back further you can name even greater changes. Miracle of forgiveness, which I would think can be fairly said to be the churches stand up until the seventies, when Kimball was president, masterbation causes homosexuality and homosexuality causes beastiality.

    In the 80’s Ballard said that homosexuality was caused by selfishness.

    But I would say that all 4 of the changes you have stated have been around for quite some time. In 1991 Packer said that homosexuals may never lose their attractions in this lifetime. Which in my opinion is the beginning of not talking about the cause of homosexuality or stopping saying people can change their orientation. Using the term gay or homosexuality really was the only real change I saw in the gays and Mormon website. SSA that Oaks terms in 1996 I think does likely more harm than even Miracle of Forgiveness. I think that salt lake has not recommended opposite sex marriages to gay members since the 80’s. Also all the statements that the first presidency issued under Hinkley highlight that we don’t know what causes homosexuality which is what they say instead of calling for changing orientation.

    When I read gays and Mormons other than using the terms gay and homosexuality I see nothing theologically different than the church has been saying for some time. I also agree that they speak in very ambiguous language. And yes it will serve them whenever they choose to change their stand, which some day they will be forced to do an about face. Even when you really read the proclamation it says nothing about homosexuality or gay marriage. Which is funny when you know that it was written expressly to justify the churches actions in Hawaii and latter in California. It also makes them seem far more tolerant to people in and out to the church when they do this gays and mormons thing than they really are. First of all no matter how pretty we wrap our theology it still says that the urges that gay members bodies produce are from the devil. Ultimately what does this say to any gay person if they try to believe this? In my opinion for close to twenty years our theology really has been homosexual actions or thoughts are all sin and are never anything else and that we love the people who have these thoughts and feelings anyway. Also for that time for the most part the church has worked at trying to make this sound nicer and nicer. Yes gays and mormons are their best attempt at this, but substantively they are still saying gay people are evil if they are gay. The other effect that this ambiguous speech has is that their are plenty of members of the church still believe that the church still stands by what kimball said in Miracle of Forgiveness.

    I believe it was 2001 that Packer said something to the effect that we are not required to tolerate anything that leads to unhappiness. This theology that the church still holds no matter how nice or unkindly it may say it not only leads to unhappiness it cause it and as well as suicides every year. I still stand by the fact that the gays and mormons website may have been stated more kindly than the churches press release about the prop 8 ruling, but they really have the same offal effect. I personally don’t want to tolerate even the nice version of this theology.

    Reply Jul 01, 2013 @ 14:26:13
  9. Andrew S

    Gail,

    Thanks for correcting on the time scale. In fact, the slower the change (and the fewer the changes with each go around), i think that strengthens my hypothesis that the church rarely does huge changes (only when ABSOLUTELY pushed to it.)

    Even when you really read the proclamation it says nothing about homosexuality or gay marriage. Which is funny when you know that it was written expressly to justify the churches actions in Hawaii and latter in California.

    hey, that was going to be MY line!

    But yes, this is exactly what I’m talking about. *We* know the context and history, but in the future, the church could easily (and I fully imagine this will be how they do it) make a Mormon Newsroom post about how the Proclamation *never* mentioned gay marriage so everyone who reads that into it is jumping to conclusions.

    But here’s where I disagree:

    It also makes them seem far more tolerant to people in and out to the church when they do this gays and mormons thing than they really are.

    With every change in messaging, no matter how subtle, some stuff gets dropped. (Previous statements might not be publicly repudiated for years and years, but they are dropped). What this ends up doing is that it makes appearance into reality — at least for new generations exposed to the church or raised to it. Non-members don’t know how to decode the Mormon message, but neither do new/young Mormons. So, what happens is the generations rising up really believe that the church is more tolerant, while the older generations believe that the church is not. Both groups think they are 100%, completely aware of the truth of the church.

    First of all no matter how pretty we wrap our theology it still says that the urges that gay members bodies produce are from the devil.

    This is literally untrue. LITERALLY.

    the church LITERALLY says, “The attraction itself is not a sin, but acting on it is.”

    the church LITERALLY says, “Same-sex attraction itself is not a sin, but yielding to it is.” Those are direct quotes from MormonsandGays.

    I understand that this is really lame consolation. I understand that this is a pretty lame position. I think it will cause a lot of cognitive dissonance because the church doesn’t really have good reasons backing this up.

    But it LITERALLY is not saying that the *urges* are from the devil. This is something that older members may still read in the lines, but for younger members, the thought never crosses the mind.

    however, I completely agree with you here:

    The other effect that this ambiguous speech has is that their are plenty of members of the church still believe that the church still stands by what kimball said in Miracle of Forgiveness.

    But here’s what I think will happen. i think for older members, there may be many who still believe the MoF is totally doctrinal. But for many people, the MoF will seem like “speculation.” It will seem to them like many people view the Journal of Discourses, etc., Antiquated, undoctrinal, speculative, irrelevant.

    I totally understand if this change is not enough. If it’s still totally intolerable to you. If you want prophets to make REAL bold prophecies for equality, etc.,

    But I just don’t think that’s how the church operates.

    Reply Jul 01, 2013 @ 15:58:08
  10. Gail F. Bartholomew

    Andrew,

    Thank you for this clear and timely response. I agree with so many of your points. I do disagree with this:

    “This is literally untrue. LITERALLY.”

    “the church LITERALLY says, “The attraction itself is not a sin, but acting on it is.”

    the church LITERALLY says, “Same-sex attraction itself is not a sin, but yielding to it is.” Those are direct quotes from MormonsandGays.”

    This is a quote directly from Mormons and Gays it also has been said before. I believe it was first said by Oaks in his 1996 ssa talk.

    But I think this is where you have failed to think through the implication of this theology. Yes they say that the attraction is not a sin, but acting on it or even fantasizing or thinking about them are always a sin should always with no exceptions be avoided. So the feelings can only be describe as temptations which by the definition of our theology are from the devil. Also in the pamphlet “God loves his children”, which is what is routinely given to gay and lesbian mormons when they go to the bishop with issues of ssa, it says you should only share the fact that you struggle with ssa with your bishop and a close family member. Which is what we tell people to do with serious sins. Giving Same sex attraction the same status as serious sins. Yes the brethren say that “ssa” is not a sin only acting on it is, but in this they talk out of both sides of their mouth. When you follow any degree of logic any gay person that tries to believe this can only get to a state of self loathing. I submit that all the gay members with a healthy self concept that I have had any experience with simply reject the theology of “The attraction itself is not a sin, but acting on it is.” I hope I am not misrepresenting Mitch Main here, but when I have talked with him it seems that he believes that he will only be in good standing with the church until he meets the right man. Saying to me that he does not believe that acting on these urges are not always a sin.

    Thank you.

    Reply Jul 01, 2013 @ 16:52:26
  11. Andrew S

    Gail,

    This is a quote directly from Mormons and Gays it also has been said before. I believe it was first said by Oaks in his 1996 ssa talk.

    Agreed. I think one main thing is that it takes a LOOOONG time for stuff to filter through the church — especially since the church rarely openly repudiates stuff.

    But I think this is where you have failed to think through the implication of this theology. Yes they say that the attraction is not a sin, but acting on it or even fantasizing or thinking about them are always a sin should always with no exceptions be avoided. So the feelings can only be describe as temptations which by the definition of our theology are from the devil.

    But don’t you see how now, you have to speculate. What you call “implications of this theology,” the church (or the newsroom, or anyone) can call speculation. And this is the church’s current MO — don’t explain anything, let speculation happen for a while, but when it becomes publicly embarrassing, dodge, dodge, dodge.

    And to be fair, in an absence of information, in a silent spot, speculation happens (see also people explanations for why blacks were not given the priesthood). But let’s not forget: when speculation happens, the church and/or newsroom comes out and says, “Nope, we don’t agree with that speculation.”

    If you think that per the church’s theology, the feelings can *only* be described as temptations/from the devil, I would suggest that this is because you’re already steeped in a history of this sort of rhetoric. But for someone who is not, that might not be how they view things.

    I hope I am not misrepresenting Mitch Main here, but when I have talked with him it seems that he believes that he will only be in good standing with the church until he meets the right man. Saying to me that he does not believe that acting on these urges are not always a sin.

    Actually, Mitch Mayne’s position seems extremely consistent with church rhetoric. he points out that he is openly gay, and that hasn’t prevented him from his callings (although I think people overinflate his callings. He’s not in a bishopric technically). So, based on this alone, this would be a treatment consistent with “Same-sex attraction is not a sin.” In other words, being gay (and openly so) does not affect him at all.

    However…his noting that his good standing will probably be called into question if he gets into a relationship is also very consistent with the church’s position. E.g., he can be gay, even openly gay, but as soon as he acts upon it, the situation changes.

    I understand that many people say that the only reason things work out for him is because he lives in a liberal area. And sure, change trickles down very slowly across the church. But Mitch Mayne is EXACTLY a case of “SSA is not a sin, only acting on it is.”

    The fact that there are more and more Mitch Maynes out there suggests that more people are internalizing something other than self-hatred…unless you think that Mayne is also self-hating (some people have suggested that too.)

    For whatever it’s worth, I agree that the church’s position OFTEN leads to cognitive dissonance, and in the end, it’s probably not workable. However, I don’t think that logic necessarily requires it to be a position that leads to self-loathing.

    Reply Jul 01, 2013 @ 17:36:13
  12. Gail F. Bartholomew

    Andrew,

    Again thank you for your timely and thoughtful response.

    Yes you very clearly articulate the churches official stand. What I am talking about is not speculation it is just looking at the implications of this theology that does not logically follow. The two parts of this theology are in opposition.

    Yes many people speculated that the church denied temple blessings to black members was because the curse of cain. Many of these members were members of the twelve and first presidency.

    I speculate that the church denied temple blessings on the basis of race was because Brother Brigham was a bigot.

    I even speculate that the reason the church lies to defend the theology on homosexuality is because they know that any true acceptance of homosexuality into the fold will lead to a breakdown of the patriarchy.

    But understanding when you saying that any expression of your biological sexual urges even in your mind will always be a sin inherently calls this biology evil even if you say we your are not really a sinner if you have these urges is not speculation it is just following the logic of the contradictory states of the church. This theology really can and does causes deep blows to any gay person trying to believe it.

    I can’t tell you how many gay members I have spoken with that this theology have dramatic and negative effects on how they feel about themselves. Now I have meet gay members, Mitch being one of them, that do not seem to have their self concept affected in a noticeable way, and in all these cases when I question these individuals they believe that the church will someday change and say that gay members can have sex with someone of the same sex if they are married. And they also seem to believe they would be willing to give up their temple recommend if they meet the person of the same sex they wanted to marry. These are members highly committed and active in the church. Now I guess I am speculating here when I say that these beliefs and practices imply that they don’t believe this doctrine of the church is true or that they believe the church is mistaken in this case. But I am speculating on the thought process of these people not the doctrine of the church.

    To reiterate if someone truly believes that the biological desires that your body gives them and the person is unable to be stop or change these urges, and these urges can only be expressed or imagined in sin, and never acting or imagining them will lead you to hell, I believe this can only lead to self loathing. I also believe that this is why three times the gay men in the church compared to straight men in the church commit suicide every year. Understand these are only counting gay men out of the closet, given the church is culture that encourages being closeted these numbers are likely under reporting. This is not speculation it is logic. I can and do speculate about doctrine or even the reasoning of the church, but when looking at what the contradictory statements of the church concerning “Same Sex Attraction” and what those statements say about the worth of a gay member it is not speculation about church doctrine. It is explanation. Please explain why my explanation is not sound.

    Reply Jul 01, 2013 @ 18:42:29
  13. Andrew S

    What I am talking about is not speculation it is just looking at the implications of this theology that does not logically follow. The two parts of this theology are in opposition.

    I agree with you that for many people (straight OR gay), this concept will be cognitively dissonant, and problematic. However, I don’t think that is an essential implication. I don’t think that’s the only way someone can interpret it.

    Yes many people speculated that the church denied temple blessings to black members was because the curse of cain. Many of these members were members of the twelve and first presidency.

    My main reason for bringing up these analogies is to point out that for people who speculate (even leaders), the logic behind their speculation seems completely solid — to the person doing the speculation. So, it feels like that is the ONLY reasonable interpretation. (Bruce R. McConkie wrote what he did because he REALLY thought that was the best explanation.)

    But the thing is that in each case, the logic isn’t the *only* possible way to interpret things.

    But understanding when you saying that any expression of your biological sexual urges even in your mind will always be a sin inherently calls this biology evil even if you say we your are not really a sinner if you have these urges is not speculation it is just following the logic of the contradictory states of the church. This theology really can and does causes deep blows to any gay person trying to believe it.

    Yeah, I guess I’m just not getting through on this point. I’m ok with that, because really, I do recognize that for many people, that is the way that they interpret and internalize the statements.

    It just seems to me that Mitch Mayne is a great example of someone who doesn’t follow that. When you say

    And they also seem to believe they would be willing to give up their temple recommend if they meet the person of the same sex they wanted to marry.

    This seems definitely like someone saying, “I recognize that I’m not sinning if I’m openly gay, but according to the rules of the church, I am if I’m in a relationship/married. Maybe this will change, maybe it won’t, but I understand these are the current rules.”

    To reiterate if someone truly believes that the biological desires that your body gives them and the person is unable to be stop or change these urges, and these urges can only be expressed or imagined in sin, and never acting or imagining them will lead you to hell, I believe this can only lead to self loathing.

    “never acting or imagining them” won’t lead you to hell in mormonism, though. So, I guess, it won’t only lead to self loathing. (I get that I probably won’t reach you on this point, but I mean, it seems to me that you already know gay people in the church who are active believers, and yet who don’t self loathe. I understand fully that there are many many people who do regrettably end up loathing themselves…I do understand that there are too many tragic losses and suicides. I am fully aware that the church has a looooooong way to go. But what I’m saying is ***everyone*** isn’t forced to those conclusions. It’s not a 100% logical certainty that believing the church’s position must lead to self-loathing. )

    Reply Jul 01, 2013 @ 19:40:56
  14. Gail F. Bartholomew

    Andrew,

    Yes “never acting or imagining them” won’t lead you to hell in mormonism, though.
    I am sorry for my typo here. I meant that for gay individual ever acting or imagining these acts that their biology asks them to will lead them to hell.

    So you are saying that what I have stated is not the only logical conclusion to this theology. Ok I am game. Give me another logical conclusion for someone that their biology tells them to want something that if they ever have or think about having will always be a sin no matter what. Please.

    Also just because someone is actively serving in the church does not prove or even imply that they believe every doctrine of the church in the same way the brethren do. In fact I would have a hard time believing that all the brethren believe the same thing about every church doctrine. Therefore the gay members I have meet, including Mitch Main, just because they are active does not prove they believe that the churches stand on homosexuality is logical or even true. I should apologize here though. I should not presume to speak for mitch or any other gay member. I likely best described as a straight apostate. So likely both these facts affects my views on this subject.

    I do believe that that everyone one in the church is not forced to come to the same conclusions as I have. In fact most straight members of the church likely never really looks this theology deeply. For that matter we are trained as mormons to not look deeply into anything, history or theology.

    Like I said before I should not speak for gay members, but I believe you would be hard pressed to find any gay member that has not struggled with self hatred until they rejected at least part of this theology.

    Reply Jul 01, 2013 @ 20:28:45
  15. Gail F. Bartholomew

    Andrew,

    I guess why I keep pressing this is the following. I do see how the church has changed what they teach about homosexuality. This is not in a small way at all. My problem even our doctrine stated in the kindest way possible, ie mormons and gays website, doctrine still at its core is no less damaging than all of what we read in miracle of forgiveness. Which is on the face is so hateful and to our eyes in the 21st century wrong headed even humorous. This doctrine no matter how much nicer it seems it is still the same evil shit as it always has been. Unless it is refuted and rejected either individually or as a people we will see it causing pain, suffering and death. We can not be fooled. Even when evil is said even with a smile it is still evil.

    Reply Jul 01, 2013 @ 20:39:49
  16. Andrew S

    Gail,

    I meant that for gay individual ever acting or imagining these acts that their biology asks them to will lead them to hell.

    I also don’t think this is quite right. for example, it relies upon an interpretation of scriptures that says that sexual sin are next to denying the holy ghost in severity (and I will buy that this one can be found several places in current church publications, but I don’t know if it’s *emphasized* everywhere today), but one definitely doesn’t need to have that interpretation.

    Secondly, I don’t think that even in current church lingo, that imagining acts is viewed similarly to acting on the acts.

    So you are saying that what I have stated is not the only logical conclusion to this theology. Ok I am game. Give me another logical conclusion for someone that their biology tells them to want something that if they ever have or think about having will always be a sin no matter what. Please.

    “Everyone has a sinful nature. For some people, it is lying. For some people, it is stealing. My challenge is my attractions. But even though some people may want to lie or some people may be kleptomaniacs, we can repent of these things, and we can also resist these things. Thankfully, with the atonement, even though everyone deserves hell, we can be saved.”

    Boom. No self-loathing there.

    Or

    “I understand that the church considers same sex activity a sin, and that kinda sucks, but I will live my life completely celibate, because my sexual orientation isn’t the sum total of who I am.”

    This position is basically paraphrased by one guy who recently came out to all of his friends and family on YouTube (don’t recall his name)

    Or

    “I understand that the church considers same sex activity a sin, and I agree with the church on this, because I cannot deny the power of my spiritual experiences within the church that testify of the gospel, and the gospel has enriched my life. I’m OK with being celibate because I think that these blessings are worth so much more. I am grateful for having the church.”

    Also just because someone is actively serving in the church does not prove or even imply that they believe every doctrine of the church in the same way the brethren do.

    I don’t think that even the brethren believe every doctrine of the church the same way each other does, or the same way people viewed it in the past. Of course there is diversity of belief and opinion in the church; that’s my entire point. My point is that the diversity of belief and opinion in the church does *not* make these people less Mormon. So when you talk about what Mormonism says, or what Mormonism logically leads to, you have to include the folks who take things a different way.

    Therefore the gay members I have meet, including Mitch Main, just because they are active does not prove they believe that the churches stand on homosexuality is logical or even true.

    I think that your position requires that you ignore the actual statements from many gay members.

    I do believe that that everyone one in the church is not forced to come to the same conclusions as I have. In fact most straight members of the church likely never really looks this theology deeply. For that matter we are trained as mormons to not look deeply into anything, history or theology.

    I agree. But I also think that even if you look at theology deeply, that does NOT mean that you must come to the same conclusion about that theology. In the same way that people can come to very different conclusions without having thought that much about theology or history, people can also come to very different conclusions having studied these things a lot. I mean, you might disagree with apologists, church historians, Mormon Studies scholars, and so on, but these are people who stay in the church even though they have studied history and theology.

    Like I said before I should not speak for gay members, but I believe you would be hard pressed to find any gay member that has not struggled with self hatred until they rejected at least part of this theology.

    I just think you may not have talked to enough gay members.

    My problem even our doctrine stated in the kindest way possible, ie mormons and gays website, doctrine still at its core is no less damaging than all of what we read in miracle of forgiveness.

    Even though i totally get that the current doctrine still can cause a lot of problems for many people, I just think that equating it with MoF is too extreme. The two simply aren’t equal.

    I mean, I’m not trying to convince you that the church’s position is correct. I mean, I do not buy the church’s position myself. But I am just saying that it’s not just saying the same evil thing in a nice way. At worst, it’s saying an ever-so-slightly LESS evil (but still evil) thing in a nice way. We should at least recognize that for some folks, this really is ever-so-slightly less problematic than previous statements.

    Reply Jul 01, 2013 @ 21:38:13
  17. Gail F. Bartholomew

    Andrew,

    Again all good points. I want to point out I do respect your thinking and believe we are in camps that are not too far away. I wanted to point this out, because I think debating on line, least for me, it is easy to forget the humanity of the person you are discussing with. I hope I have not been rude or dismissive to you.

    Thinking about sex may not be equivalent to having sex, but it is a sin unless you are thinking about missionary position with your opposite sex real life spouse. For some who is attracted to the opposite sex there is always at least the possibility for a non sinful expression of this desire. For anyone with sexual desires for someone of the same sex there will never be an expression that is not sinful. Real or imagined.

    I have heard all of the justifications you have mentioned. My problem with equating sexuality with a desire to lie is they are just not equivalent at all. Same problem I have with “SSA” it is like saying that my love for pizza is even comparable to my love of boobs. Insane!!! Or my desire to have sex with a woman, even at some time in my lifetime, is similar to when I am tempted to go 75 on the freeway or eat a big mac and a shake. It is not the same at all.

    The problem with saying that this theology is just fine because I can be celibate is the church never, never, never acknowledges that this is what they are asking of gay members. They pretend that they are asking absence just like anyone else, and this is a lie. How long will you feel ok about that lie particularly if you never lose your sex drive. I guess you can hope that once you hit 60, 70, or 80 maybe you just won’t care about sex. Good luck on waiting on that one.

    Comparing to myself is all I have. For me the need to be with someone in a loving sexual relationship is constant and far greater than need for pizza or sushi. It also just does not leave. Again to have this constant need never realized in my life and having to tell myself this desire that is really part of who I am is never ever ever unsinful to fulfill. I just can’t see how anyone could never question why me or what kind of God would devise this kind of torcher. I was once ask what if the brethren were right about prop 8 and homosexuality. My answer is then God is a jackass.

    I do see your point that comparing today’s mormon doctrine on homosexuality with m of f does sound extreme. My issue is the effect of each are at least similar if not the same for those who believe them and are homosexual. Both say their is something broken with you and you just need to resist who you are or you will sin if you give in to who you are.

    Reply Jul 01, 2013 @ 22:19:50
  18. Ronny

    As a missionary who served in California during Prop 8 who was also trying to come to terms with his “same sex attraction,” I echo the comments made at the end of this podcast about what the church should do to strengthen marriage. What if the $22 million spent on Prop 8 was spent on counseling services for LDS people in mixed-orientation marriages? Or outreach programs to help LGBT folks feel welcome in the church? Sounds much more logical than spending the money trying to control how other people can marry.

    Reply Jul 01, 2013 @ 22:35:36
  19. ExMoHoMoDon

    As an gay, RM, BYU graduate ex Mormon who went through aversion therapy at BYU, I have appreciated the thoughtful comments. Gay people for their own mental health need to leave Mormonism. It was the best thing I ever did. I do not accept any of the recent ‘adjustments’ in Mormon rhetoric on homosexuals–it is simply a kinder, gentler bigotry meant only to soften ‘the Church’s’ PR image–nothing more. The Mormon Church has rightly earned the reputation as the most dedicated, well financed enemy homosexuals have.

    The American people are quickly deciding that homosexuals are entitled to equal protection under the law and we are winning the battle for equality. It does not rely on the caprice of the Mormon Church, but on the Constitution of the United States. Once again, Mormons and Utah will be in the bigoted backwater of this country–I wonder how they will find their way out of this one.

    Reply Jul 04, 2013 @ 23:10:28
  20. Christina

    Just listened to the podcast and I just have to ask, why people think the church so worried about displeasing it’s base? It’s base believes in traditional marriage because the church teaches that. The base includes people who would probably jump off a bridge if the church asked. Where are these people going to go if the church says God is okay with gay marriage? Wouldn’t they remain loyal to the church the way they always have? I think the bigger reason the church does not let go of it’s tradition is because it is run by people who grew up being told God wants marriage between a man and a woman and they aren’t going to be sure God changed his mind until He comes down personally to tell them. Also, acceptance of gay marriage means there are marriages without the priesthood and that’s another can of worms.

    Reply Jul 25, 2013 @ 14:48:36

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