Comments 118

  1. While it would be nice if this would influence people to at least try to be a little more understanding (even if they don’t agree), stuff like this usually just polarizes people even more. I can already see quite a few friends and acquaintances casting her out of the LDS mainstream. It’s a lot easier to just slap the “you’re not following the prophet” label on someone, rather than to consider the incredibly difficult position they may be in, essentially being told by a leader they have sustained their whole life to discriminate against a family member. Whatever one’s opinion, all I hope for is an increase in patience, empathy, and a desire for understanding, rather than labeling, exclusion, and aggression (on both sides).

  2. I was reading in the Book of Mormon about and event in the Nephite culture that is applicable here. It says:

    34 And thus we see that the Nephites did begin to dwindle in unbelief, and grow in wickedness and abominations, while the Lamanites began to grow exceedingly in the knowledge of their God; yea, they did begin to keep his statutes and commandments, and to walk in truth and uprightness before him.
    35 And thus we see that the Spirit of the Lord began to withdraw from the Nephites, because of the wickedness and the hardness of their hearts.
    36 And thus we see that the Lord began to pour out his Spirit upon the Lamanites, because of their easiness and willingness to believe in his words.
    37 And it came to pass that the Lamanites did hunt the band of robbers of Gadianton; and they did preach the word of God among the more wicked part of them, insomuch that this band of robbers was utterly destroyed from among the Lamanites.
    38 And it came to pass on the other hand, that the Nephites did build them up and support them, beginning at the more wicked part of them, until they had overspread all the land of the Nephites, and had seduced the more part of the righteous until they had come down to believe in their works and partake of their spoils, and to join with them in their secret murders and combinations.
    39 And thus they did obtain the sole management of the government, insomuch that they did trample under their feet and smite and rend and turn their backs upon the poor and the meek, and the humble followers of God.
    40 And thus we see that they were in an awful state, and ripening for an everlasting destruction.

    (Book of Mormon | Helaman 6:34 – 40)

    …and had seduced the more part of the righteous…

    The word seduce is only used once in the Book of Mormon. It is an interesting word.

    Does anyone think we’re gradually being seduced into accepting evil and calling it good, and seeing good, and calling it evil?

    I know a devote LDS family with 12 children. One of them is homosexual. The family has no difficulty supporting both their son and the prophets. The son, who I know well, accepts this. He loves his parents, and the rest of his family. He and his partner respect the families faith.

    Sister Osmond doesn’t have to choose between her daughter and the prophets. Sister Osmond’s daughter has responsibility to her mother too, its not a one way street.

  3. I didn’t listen to the interview, but didn’t is say civil unions? I think the line in the sand is still marriage.

  4. I apologize in advance – I don’t have any critical thinking skills tonight.

    A successful rancher died and left everything to his devoted wife.

    She was a very good-looking woman and determined to keep the ranch, but knew very little about ranching, so she decided to place an ad in the newspaper for a ranch hand.

    Two cowboys applied for the job.. One was gay and the other a drunk.

    She thought long and hard about it, and when no one else applied she decided to hire the gay guy, figuring it would be safer to have him around the house than the drunk.

    He proved to be a hard worker who put in long hours every day and knew a lot about ranching.For weeks, the two of them worked, and the ranch was doing very well.

    Then one day, the rancher’s widow said to the hired hand,
    ‘You have done a really good job, and the ranch looks great. You should go into town and kick up your heels.’ The hired hand readily agreed and went into town one Saturday night.

    One o’clock came, however, and he didn’t return.
    Two o’clock and no hired hand.

    Finally he returned around two-thirty, and upon entering the room, he found the rancher’s widow sitting by the fireplace with a glass of wine, waiting for him. She quietly called him over to her.

    ‘Unbutton my blouse and take it off,’ she said. Trembling, he did as she directed. ‘Now take off my boots.’ He did as she asked, ever so slowly.

    ‘Now take off my socks.’ He removed each gently and placed them neatly by her boots. ‘Now take off my skirt.’ He slowly unbuttoned it, constantly watching her eyes in the fire light.

    ‘Now take off my bra.’ Again, with trembling hands, he did as he was told and dropped it to the floor.

    Then she looked at him and said,
    ‘If you ever wear my clothes into town again, you’re fired.’

  5. My guess is that the casual, non-LDS observer already thinks that Marie Osmond is on the fringes of Mormonism, based on her being twice divorced, rumors about a suicide attempt, having a son who’s been to rehab and, now, having a lesbian daughter. Remarkably, members of the church tend to accept that “these things happen” and as long as she hasn’t formally denounced the church, she seems okay by us. So this latest statement about “equal rights” might shock us but not the non-LDS observer.

    Personally, I always opposed the way she was mean to Donny for no good reason. Donny is 100% cool.

  6. Remarkably, members of the church tend to accept that “these things happen” and as long as she hasn’t formally denounced the church, she seems okay by us.

    Good point. I remember reading Carol Lynn Pearson how she was surprised at how supportive her ward was. But things do happen. The first divorce was not her fault at all. Not in the slightest. I suspect the same about the second, or there would be more news about it.

  7. #9 – Amen. That particular stereotype is more than sad.

    Fwiw, anyone who had the childhood and adolescence Marie had deserves the utmost compassion, particularly when you add in her first marriage. God bless her and her daughter.

  8. “The family has no difficulty supporting both their son and the prophets.”

    No difficulty? Really? Honestly I’m a little envious. How can you be in that position and not have at least a little ambivalence?

  9. Engaging in gay sex is one of the worst things you can do. In the publication God Loveth His Children, the First Presidency indicates that same sex attraction was not present before this life and will not be present after this life. Also, there is another school of thought out there that you are not born gay.
    Just as with anyone in the church who isn’t married, celibacy is a requirement as one strives to keep the commandments. This will not every change and nothing Nick Leterski says or does will ever change that.

  10. “Engaging in gay sex is one of the worst things you can do.”
    I disagree, given things like murder, rape, abuse, adultery, incest, torture, ignoring the poor and the needy and the widows, and for sure watching rated-R movies. Okay, so maybe not the last one, but where does this idea come from that fornication is worse than beating your kids? Not even close. If anything (and maybe I’m going out on a limb here) gay sex shouldn’t be as bad because there is no possibility that children will be created out of wedlock, correct? Stephen, how about another speculation post? 🙂

    There are all types of “schools of thought” but from what I understand the latest stuff put out by the church suggests that it may indeed be innate. That being said, I don’t discount nurture for anyone, for almost anything. I think it’s both, to varying degrees.

  11. Dara, that is not the official stance of the Church – absolutely not the opening sentence and not the claim about it being strictly a learned or influenced activity. Your comment simply does not represent the Church’s current view of homosexuality – even though it still forbids homosexual intercourse.

    PLEASE, let’s not turn this thread into the same-old, same-old argument over homosexuality. There is a specific topic addressed here; let’s try to stick to it.

  12. To Nick Literski – Why don’t you put a lid on your political correctness? People like you are turning this country into a psychological prison where you can’t say anything to anybody. I thought Wyoming’s anecdote was hilarious.

    To tell ya the truth, Literski, I’d rather break bread with a flaming apostate like Ed Decker instead of a stuffy, sanctimonious, judgmental prig like you. At least Decker doesn’t pretend he’s not an enemy.

    Don’t like it? It’s called D&C 121:43. Reproval, with SHARPNESS. And that’s how I treat anyone who traffics in political correctness.

  13. Wasn’t it Marie Osmond who wrote a book about how her life was falling apart and her being totally depressed?

    “Marie Osmond supports gay marriage.” Maybe so. But the real question is: Do the gays support Marie Osmond? Hmmmmmmm . . .

  14. If anything (and maybe I’m going out on a limb here) gay sex shouldn’t be as bad because there is no possibility that children will be created out of wedlock, correct? Stephen, how about another speculation post? In a different thread, perhaps. I already have this week’s post up (this morning in fact).

    But the real question is: Do the gays support Marie Osmond? Hmmmmmmm . . . no offense, but as far as I can tell “the gays” are not a monolith or even a party.

  15. Ray:
    My personal opinion is (which is what blogs are all about) that it’s not a good idea for LDS celebrities or anyone to advocate a lifestyle that ultimately, will lead to nowhere.

  16. I just noticed the incorrect url

    Same sex attraction can be eliminated. There was a book put out at BYU called Eliminating SDB’s (Self Defeating Behaviors)
    Homosexuality was on the list of behaviors.
    And what if it doesn’t go away? Through his prophets The Lord has promised that if you keep the commandments and remain faithful the rest of your life, you will receive all blessings in the next life.

  17. Dara, I’m going to suggest that you do some reading. Ray has already pointed out that your comments in #12 do not accurately represent the current position taken by the LDS church, as it is reflected in the pamphlet you mention, God Loveth His Children. For other resources on the LDS church’s current position, I would refer you to an Ensign article by Jeffrey R. Holland, which was published almost simultaneously with the above pamphlet, as well as to the mock interview on, between LDS Public Affairs, Lance Wickman, and Dallin Oaks. While I don’t personally agree with all the statements in these resources, they do represent the current position taken by the LDS first presidency and quorum of the twelve, and they are quite different than what your comment suggested. You may also wish to be aware that while the LDS church does donate to Evergreen International, and provides a general authority speaker at each annual conference, the LDS church explicitly does not sponsor or endorse Evergreen. A few statements by Oaks and Holland have gone further, suggesting that many “therapies” used to “cure” homosexuality are in fact abusive.

    Your repeated assertion that homosexuality (dubbed by the evangelical anti-gay movement as “same sex attraction” in order to deceptively make it sound like a diagnosed syndrome or disorder), “can be eliminated,” is misleading at the very least, in that Oaks, Holland, and God Loveth His Children readily acknowledge that the cause of homosexuality is not clearly understood (despite Evergreen’s theory that gay men just aren’t “butch” enough, so they can be “cured” by such things as learning to play basketball), and that LDS should not expect that every person who experiences primarily homosexual attraction can or will “overcome” such feelings. While your “it can be eliminated” rhetoric may play well at Evergreen meetings, it also gives false expectations to many very devotedly-LDS gays and lesbians, who have been wrongly convinced that their continued homosexual feelings are evidence that they are spiritual failures. All too often, such individuals have chosen to end their own lives as a result.

    I do not find it surprising that a book promoted by BYU would list any activity prohibited within LDS teachings as a “self defeating behavior.” It reminds me a great deal of another book, Breaking the Cycle of Compulsive Behavior, which was once actively promoted by LDS bishops, counselors, etc. That book also discussed homosexuality at length, including dramatic “case studies” of gay LDS men who were allegedly turned heterosexual through LDS church activity. The authors were a married couple at the time they wrote the book in 1990. One author, Martha Nibley Beck, was a daughter of Hugh Nibley. Ironically, Martha and her husband, John C. Beck, separated in 2003, and divorced in 2004. Since then, both have publicly come out of the closet. The book continued to be sold through Deseret Book at least through 2005, but has since gone out of print–big surprise. Of note, Evergreen International–the group you recommend as a cure for self-hating homosexuals–continued to sell copies of this book until at least the beginning of 2007.

    Finally, Dana, I would encourage you to do some active reading on the history of the evangelical anti-gay movement. You may be surprised to find that LDS rhetoric has rather consistently tracked (even to the point of verbatim statements) the evangelicals on this issue. Evergreen International is itself merely an LDS spin on the evangelical “ex-gay” group, Exodus (which doesn’t work so well for LDS members, since they consider the LDS church to be a non-christian “cult”). Groups such as Exodus and Evergreen may be of assistance to religious gays and lesbians in helping them to modify their outward behavior in a way that is more compatible their faith, but growing evidence suggests that very few, if any, experience any change in their sexual orientation. The false hopes often created by these groups can have serious emotional, and even physical, consequences for those who place their trust in them.

  18. Marie was being very careful with her words. She advocated full civil rights for gays, but did not acknowledge marriage as a civil right. If she meant to support gay marriage, it would have been much simpler to just say so flat out. So I have no idea whether she supports gay marriage or not. Clearly she is fine with the interviewer and his listeners believing that she does, but just as clearly, she wanted to preserve deniability when it comes to Church members.

  19. #11 adamf said: No difficulty? Really? Honestly I’m a little envious. How can you be in that position and not have at least a little ambivalence?

    Initially, they had to make adjustments. But because of their commitment to one another they worked things out.

    People of faith can overcome anything life brings to them. This is what the Lord promises and examples of faith overcoming the obstacles life presents is evident all around us.

    Having “gay” children and being “gay” can be dealt with through faith. Is is easy? No, but possible–YES.

  20. I, for one, have long taken my political cues from Marie Osmond, and have looked to her for guidance on all my major life decisions. Now that she supports gay marriage, I’m “all aboard” with that bandwagon. Anyone know where I can turn in my “Yes on Prop. 8” banner for a rainbow flag?

  21. I hate to be the stick-in-the-mud but despite all the spin that the Church and secular society puts on it….homosexual sex is still an abomination to God.

    Read your scriptures and the teachings of the prophets for the last few thousand years.

    Sorry, I can’t support that behavior.

    1. when the modern day prophet or general authorities put a spin on something and it becomes the official position of the church then nothing past prophets have said matter the prophet has spoken

  22. On Hardball last night, Chris Matthews said the latest poll results for the first time find a majority of US people in favor of gay marriage. Today on NPR I heard that Maine just legalized it. It is just a matter of time. The Church is not going to be able to stop it outside the Mormon Belt no matter how much tithing money they spend on it, so members might as well figure out how they are going to live with it.

  23. Nick – “Wyoming, being gay does not equal being a transvestite. Perhaps you should seek some education before you pop off with offensive stereotypical “jokes.”” I was skimming a bit, and somehow I thought that your note was directed at the entire state of Wyoming. Hmmm, maybe that’s not a bad idea!

    I’m not a big Marie Osmond fan or hater – mostly ambivalent – but I find it encouraging that there’s room for diverse public opinion statements in Mormonism, which is necessary if we really want to be in the world and not just holed up in a bunker in Utah County. Now, if she shows up in Chad Hardy’s Muffin calendar, THAT will marginalize her.

  24. Wyoming, Funny 🙂 but you’re in deep sh… here.

    Anyway with Marie: nope, Utah will look at her and say: “Two divorces, bit mental, kid into drugs, short skirts on TV, no wonder she supports gay marriage” etc etc

    Unfortunately they will take that line with Marie although she is talking about something serious.

    #12 Dana and #27 and others: True. Although I’d put homosexual sex just under Adultery in ‘badness’ imho.

  25. Nick,

    I think you make some good points. I think many of us can agree that the reasons for homosexuality/SSA whatever you want to call it, are not well understood, and that if someone wants to currently be in full fellowship with the Church, they must be celibate. If they want to practice or fulfill those feelings, then they are in danger of disciplinary action. Whether that is right or wrong is really not what I want to discuss. Furthermore, the reasons for it do not need to be debated, but we should just acknowledge that it is real, and happens with people with real feelings and real tendencies just as much as those who are hetero have feelings and tendencies. That much I think is absolutely clear and nothing more needs to be said about it. Whether one thinks that should change or will change is a matter of opinion and/or speculation. Furthermore, we should have charity and acknowledge that these are real sons and daughters of God with real tendencies and feelings and not try to minimize them.

  26. Jared, your second comment sounds a lot better (24). When you said “no difficulty” my therapist side jumped off the couch, but you’re making more sense now. Initially you came across as dismissing.

  27. Bruce, the great thing about our country is that you don’t have to support my choices, nor do I have to support your choices! We can vehemently disagree with one another, and even vehemently disapprove/criticize one another’s choices. At the same time, we can honor every person’s right to make their own personal choices, rather than demanding that all of society follow the dictates of our conscience and faith.

    As for reading your scriptures and the teachings of the prophets for the last few thousand years, I’d encourage you to really search out ALL of those “abominations,” so you won’t be one of those “pick and choose” believers. The scripture search function at is terrific for this sort of thing. Just for starters, I found the following “abominations:”

    (1) eating the flesh of “all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters”
    (2) eating the flesh of eagles, ossifrages, osprays, vultures, ravens, owls, night hawks, cuckows, hawks, cormorants, swans, pelicans, storks, herons, lapwings, bats, and any fowl that “creep, going on all four,” and “flying creeping things, which have four feet,” with the exceptions of locusts, beetles and grasshoppers
    (3) eating any creeping thing that creepeth on the earth
    (4) eating anything that “goeth upon the belly” on the earth
    (5) a man “lying” with mankind “as with womankind” (women lying with women, on the other hand, goes without mention in the Bible, and women lying with beasts is merely “confusion,” rather than an “abomination”)
    (6) eating the flesh of any peace offering on the third day after offering
    (7) the offering of sacrifice by “the wicked”
    (8) oppressing the poor, taking property by violence, not restoring a pledge, idol worship, charging usury when lending money
    (9) sacrifice of any bullock or sheep with a blemish
    (10) being a person with a proud heart
    (11) being an unjust person
    (12) dressing in clothing considered appropriate to the opposite sex
    (13) a man remarrying his ex-wife after divorcing her
    (14) passing your children through fire as part of idol worship
    (15) a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, lying, sowing discord among brethren
    (16) justifying the wicked, condeming the just
    (17) a man praying, after having turned from the law

    I could go on, of course, but you can do the research for yourself. “Abominations” evidently have a much wider range of seriousness than modern English speakers expect. In any case, if one wishes to avoid those “abominations” which have been condemned by prophets for thousands of years, one probably has a LOT of repenting to do. Let him who is without sin cast the first stone, eh?

  28. #31:
    I think many of us can agree that the reasons for homosexuality/SSA whatever you want to call it, are not well understood, and that if someone wants to currently be in full fellowship with the Church, they must be celibate.

    Assuming your comment refers to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, your comment is generally correct, Aboz. Of course, one may also remain in full fellowship with the LDS church by hiding one’s orientation, and foolishly marrying a person of the opposite sex with the expectation that deity will “make it work out.”

    Gays and lesbians can, of course, “remain in full fellowship” with other affirming churches, without such measures.

  29. Nick and Bruce in Montana are an interesting combination. Both reject modern “LDS-ism” (as Nick likes to call it), and both prefer their version of “original Mormonism”. It’s interesting to see the rather different results that takes, however. 🙂

  30. Nick—

    Thanks for posting here. I’m too worn out discussing this issue with believing members who have only Sunday School experience with homosexuality. I just can’t make my fingers do it any more.

  31. Back to the original questions:

    1) Will announcements like this eventually impact broader LDS opinion going forward (at least in the U.S.)?
    I think not. Marie Osmond isn’t a significant voice in matters of church policy nor doctrine. Maybe if a General Authority went out on a limb on this issue and/or was disciplined for speaking out. Even then, not every General Authority would shake up the church if he spoke out. It’d have to be someone well-known and universally respected. And the chances of it happening are, well, let’s be honest.

    2) Will it make some LDS members think twice, or feel emboldened to disagree w/ the mainstream church on this one issue? Yes, of course, when you use the word “some.” But I think they’re already speaking out. Maybe they’re hiding behind pseudonyms on forums like this for now. Maybe they’ll start to go beyond this kind of anonymity.

    Are we looking for someone whose opposition to the church’s stance on “gay marriage” will be equivalent to Sonia Johnson’s opposition to the church’s stance on the Equal Rights Amendment? If so, I think that individual’s success will be equivalent to what Sonia Johnson accomplished. And, of course, Marie Osmond isn’t the one. (I’ve met a handful of people who really hated the church’s position on ERA, but it was never enough to drive them out.)

  32. “I find it encouraging that there’s room for diverse public opinion statements in Mormonism”

    Ditto that statement. Marie’s love for her daughter demonstrates that kind of love that people I admire maintain for their children when their children announce that they are gay. I remember watching Donny and Marie on Barbara Walters years ago when they were asked about blacks and the priesthood. I remember the shock that her divorce caused and the process that some of my LDS peers went through with their own attitudes toward divorce. She also published the book on post-partum depression and a history of abuse. All of these issues that she has been involved in have and will make LDS members think twice, even if they don’t choose to disagree with the mainstream church.
    She must a a very strong and grounded woman to have dealt with all of this and still have the optimism she appears to have.

    Now I am probably guilty of what Nick describes as “being a person with a proud heart”. I root for my children to be heterosexual. I rejoice that their choices for dress and play reflect typical gender roles. If that changed, I would adapt, grieve, accept, and love.

    As civil rights extend to same-gender couples, I think it will require media diversity portrayals from earliest age if an elimination of the “ick factor” some feel toward same gender couples is to occur. Just as children’s media has included more racial diversity to teach kids to grow up familiar with diversity of color, media will have to embrace the inclusion of same-gender intimate relationship behavior if that familiarity with diversity will be extended to homosexuals.

    For example, I was reading my daughter a bedtime story where dancing bears were depicted as opposite gender bear couples. That is conditioning that teaches opposite gender intimate relationships as the norm. I thought to myself that if the story were to be politically correct in regard to same-gender couples, at least one out of every 10 dancing bear couples should have been depicted as a same gender couple. I then pictured myself having to explain to a 4 year old why this might be a possibility, in spite of the fact that she knows of no couples in our circle of acquaintances that meet this description. As much as I can attempt to feel good about embracing the extension of civil rights to same gender couples, the idea of seeing children’s media embracing depictions of same gender intimate couples is too much for my “proud heart”. I still feel a responsibility to protect my children’s innocence until they have achieved a level of maturity to acknowledge alternate lifestyles without shaking the confidence in their own degree of adaptation to gender roles that are typical for the statistical majority.

  33. Ray:
    I am re-posting because this makes so much sense.

    Gay marriage doesn’t satisfy life’s purpose

    It is amazing to me the extent that people will go to in order to achieve their personal goals. Take, for example, Prop. 8 that was on the ballot . This is the second time the California voters have passed this law, and yet those who fought against Prop. 8 continue to fight against the will of the people.

    They keep saying this is a religious issue. That is not true. Everyone needs to answer the question of “What is the purpose of life?” Leaving religion out of the answer, as well as the Bible and personal opinions, there is only one answer that can be given that will satisfy the laws of NATURE. That answer is: “Reproduce yourself and your species.”

    Can two female or two male marriage partners conform to this law? No! So, this is not a religious issue alone. It is an issue that defies the laws of nature. The animal, bird, fish, insect, and plant kingdoms all live this law. They reproduce themselves as per nature’s laws.

    If any of these kingdoms failed to live this law, their kingdom would become extinct in a short period of time. If the plant kingdom failed to live this law, there would be no food for man or animals to eat. We would soon become a dead planet.

    Only man wants to defy this law of nature. In so doing, they become destroyers of, rather than contributors to, the human race.

    Society is based on the family of husband wife and children. This is how the next generation rises. Gay marriage/ sex has no purpose and will only lead to a life of heartache and depression.

    Nick Literski:
    Satan is fooling you and apparently being very effective.

  34. Rigel, I don’t think what you’re describing is a “proud heart” at all. I think you simply hope that your children will embrace the values you’ve taught them.

    As for your “dancing bears” example, I’d suggest that you handle the question of same-sex couples just as you would any other non-LDS-conforming couples. I’m betting you have family members or dear friends who cohabitate without the benefit of marriage, for example. I’m sure you probably tell your children that there are some couples who live together without being married, even though that’s different from what you and your faith teaches is right. It’s really not that big of a deal for your children to see that not every family follows an LDS model, and that it’s okay to be friendly and kind toward them.

  35. Dara, have you considered that there are many individuals who are infertile, yet who live meaningful, purposeful lives? You’ve just told every childless couple that their relationship—even their life itself—“has no purpose.”

    Assuming that you’re a heterosexual man (rather than one of those self-loathing closeted GAY men, who post loud diatribes against gays in order to convince yourself and others of your charade—-like I used to do), I agree that it would “only lead to a life of heartache and depression” for you to enter into a romantic and sexually intimate relationship with another man. Trying to force yourself to live in a way that is against your own creation invariably breeds heartache and depression. I know this is true, having tried for many years to force myself to conform to a heterosexual family life.

    Aside from your religious certainty that being gay is an “evil choice,” Dara, I’d love to know what you think I’m being “fooled” about. Am I “fooled” about the authors of a popular anti-gay LDS book coming out of the closet? Am I “fooled” about the theories which Evergreen International has put forth over the years, as ways to “cure” homosexuality? By all means, elaborate! Pull that nasty wool away from my eyes, so I can be “unfooled,” like you!

  36. P.S. Dara,
    One more thing you might want to educate yourself on, is the incidence of homosexual activity in the animal kingdom. I note that you claim that “only man” engages in homosexual activity. I hope this isn’t a foundational idea of your faith, Dara, because a little research will quickly tell you that homosexual activity has been observed in the wild, among more than four hundred animal species.

  37. Nick or anyone else:
    Everyone has their own opinion and no one is going to change anyone’s mind.
    I have a serious question. In the states/countries that allow gay marriage, are the following situations permitted?

    1. Gay man marries gay father/son/brother/uncle!
    2. Lesbian marries gay mother/daughter/sister/aunt
    3. Will polygamists be demanding the right to marry in Canada or elsewhere?

    If gay marriage is permitted, why wouldn’t the first two groups of people be allowed to marry?
    Why wouldn’t polygamists have the right to marry? You can’t discriminate, right?

  38. I was 42 years old when I got married. That’s 42 years of commitment to celibacy (although I was really only aware of it for about 30 years). Throughout those years, society expected me to break that commitment. But society was wrong. I often pondered the idea that I was under the same obligation to celibacy as a gay Latter-day Saint. The only difference was that at least I had the hope that someday, if I got married, I could end my celibacy in a gospel-approved way while someone who was gay didn’t have that hope.

    But wait! What if my wife suddenly died today? I’d be right back to the celibacy commitment. What if it took me another 42 years to find another wife? What if, instead of dying, she were in a coma or had some other physical ailment which prevented sexual relations?

    My point? There seems to be a common belief “in the world” that a person isn’t whole until they’re able to act upon their sexual desires. And there seems to be a lot of folk doctrine within our church to support that thinking (as long as you follow the church’s rules, of course). But it’s still not true. My primary identity was never defined by these things and it never will.

  39. Dara, you are making assumptions that aren’t accurate about my views. Nick and others who have read my comments for the last few years know that I am opposed to gay marriage at the most fundamental level. I believe in civil unions, not gay marriage.

    Frankly, that’s the biggest issue I have with your comments in this thread – other than the inaccuracy of some of the info in them. (mis-characterizing the Church’s stance on homosexuality and the idea that only humans engage in homosexual activity are the clearest examples – and PLEASE don’t make the latter argument in the name of Mormonism – it is 100% wrong and simply will lead others to think we are ignorant of science and the world around us) You seem to have assumed that everyone who comments regularly here is a stereotypical “liberal” – that we lack faith in the Church and its teachings. Everyone in the Bloggernacle who has read my extensive comments knows that’s simply wrong. I am personally conservative in lifestyle, religiously active and faithful, politically moderate (with both conservative and liberal views). I have a deep and abiding testimony of the Restoration. etc., etc., etc. I simply believe in trying to understand everything as comprehensively as I can – and being as charitable as possible in my characterization of others.

    Please step back just a bit and read what people are actually saying. Judge my (and others’) words for their own sake – not through the lens of assumption. Please.

  40. I don’t know Nick..
    This maybe an unfair analogy but I don’t think it’s too far off.

    Suppose that I am biologically predisposed to be a pedophile or a thief or to find that beastiality satisfies my lustful urges…

    I don’t think that any of the above are a problem UNTIL I engage in one of them. Then it’s wrong and I can’t excuse it by saying that “that’s the way I was created”. Horse hockey.

    We all have our cross to bear and it’s not ok to engage in behavior that God has told us not to just because it’s our nature. The natural man is an enemy to God.

    Rant at will I suppose.

  41. #44: Probably not, for the same reason a father can’t marry his daughter, and a brother can’t marry his sister, etc …even if either party is infertile

    And personally, as far as polygamy, as long as all parties are consenting adults. Go for it.

    #47 Actually, that is a bit of an unfair analogy because- Pedophilia involves a child, who is not a consenting adult human, beastiality involves a creature who is not a consenting adult human, and thievery/murder/rape/whatever other crime you wish to compare it to involves a non-consenting victim of some kind or another.

    Homosexuality is between two consenting adults. Therefore, there is no victim, and that is why the anology fails.

  42. Even if Marie came out stating that she supports gay marriage, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.

    I think people would be suprised on how many members of the church do support gay marriage.

  43. Everyone has their own opinion and no one is going to change anyone’s mind.

    Also untrue. I was against gay marriage until I started listening to the arguments gay people and their supporters make. And eventually I had an epiphany.

  44. Kuri:

    I would have to second that notion, on this topic as well as other politically “liberal” matters.

  45. #45:
    I often pondered the idea that I was under the same obligation to celibacy as a gay Latter-day Saint. The only difference was that at least I had the hope that someday, if I got married, I could end my celibacy in a gospel-approved way while someone who was gay didn’t have that hope.

    Greg, there is an additional difference. As a single heterosexual LDS man, you could date women, hold their hands, hug, kiss, and express affection in a variety of physical ways short of sexual behavior. You could do those things without condemnation, all the while upholding the LDS ideals of celibacy and chastity. So long as you didn’t get too carried away in public, you could even do these things as a student on BYU campus.

    A gay LDS man doesn’t have those options, Greg. Even if a gay LDS man is absolutely committed to remaining a virgin for life, he is considered to be violating the LDS law of chastity if he dates another man, holds his hand, hugs him, kisses him, etc. Any of these behaviors, if engaged in by a student at BYU, is sufficient to result in his expulsion from the school. The standard simply isn’t the same (and a few general authorities have even acknowledged this).

    If a gay man wishes to be a member of the LDS church, he really does need to accept and behave according to this “super-celibacy” standard, whether it seems fair or not. If, on the other hand, he wishes to engage in sexual relations with another man, the honorable thing to do is to withdraw from membership in that organization, rather than violate the promises that his membership entails.

  46. Nick beat me to it. There really is a double standard when it comes to defining “sexual activity” – and that is the primary thing I would change if I had any power to do so.

  47. Andrew,

    It’s the “no one” and “anyone” I actually object to. Some people are open to changing their minds about some issues, as I was on this one. I doubt I’m alone. In fact, I suspect that a majority of people who now favor legalizing gay marriage felt at least somewhat negative about it in the past.

  48. “As a single heterosexual LDS man, you could date women, hold their hands, hug, kiss…”

    I see your point, sort of. I was never the type to seek non-committal affection. So, if I knew I wasn’t going to “court” anyone then those things would have been a non-issue. (Believe me, they were almost always a non-issue anyway. Did I mention I got married at age 42?)

  49. Kuri:
    You think it’s okay to support someone in sin? We all know Hollywood does it. Why would church members do it?

  50. Denying the Holy Ghost
    Shedding innocent blood
    Sexual sin

    It’s number three on the list. Gay sex is condemned by prophets ancient and modern. What is the source of your epiphany?

  51. Dara, please don’t take this as a defense of gay marriage, but that list is not accurate, imo. It’s an overly-narrow reading of Alma’s statement to his son. I can think of lots of sins that are much worse than some sexual sins.

  52. Dara,

    I agree with you. But here in Mormon Matters the majority seem to be much more liberal.

    The list is generally correct and the proof is in the excommunication practices of the church, although within ‘sexual sin’ there are many categories which don’t result in disciplinary action like watching porn.

    But one surely understands that ‘sexual sins’ under shedding innocent blood relates to incest/child abuse, adultery, homosexuality, fornication.

    But then again if I was church president I’d have then treat homosexual relations as they do fornication or adultery, without the distinction used today to disparage it as the sin against nature that is worse than adultery etc, imho, but then I’m not Monson 🙂

    By the way I just found out that Marie’s eldest daughter is gay living in LA with her ‘wife’ so no surprise that she would want leniency from the church over SSM.

  53. “without the distinction used today to disparage it as the sin against nature that is worse than adultery”

    That’s not a distinction used today in the official statements of the Church. Homosexuality is a form of fornication, as long as marriage is not involved. The most recent statements clearly don’t call it a “sin against nature”.

    From “God Loveth His Children”:

    Same-gender attractions include deep emotional, social, and physical feelings. (Not exactly “against nature”.)

    Everyone has temptations, but one of the purposes of mortality is to learn to overcome them. (Sounds “natural” to me.)

    Do not blame anyone—not yourself, not your parents, not God—for problems not fully understood in this life. (“We don’t understand human sexuality fully.”)

    I have said consistently that I view homosexual activity as either sin or transgression, depending on the circumstances, just as I view heterosexual activity outside of marriage. Sexual activity is “natural” in all its manifestations, and the Church’s current statements highlight this. They simply call for all of us to be unnatural to some degree – and that’s why it is such a difficult standard for some people, especially for homosexual members who see no hope of ever being able to engage in activities they consider to be natural (while heterosexual members either can do so now or hope to do so later). That is is tremendous price to pay, and it’s more than a bit dismissive to discount the difficulty when it’s strictly academic to your situation.

    Let’s at least be accurate, OK?

  54. Oh, and the reason I really dislike the phrase “sin against nature” is that, within Mormonism, “the natural man” is not a good thing – which means the greatest act against nature is REPENTANCE.

    Also, this post is about how having a homosexual child affects one’s view of homosexuality. At the most basic level for that parent, I would think it destroys the old argument that homosexuality is unnatural – and that’s important, imo.

  55. This has been said, but frankly anybody who would rank consensual homosexual behavior as being A) “Almost” as bad as murder B) equal to or worse than rape, incest, child abuse, or any other physical and/or sexual assualt on another; really has their priorities out of whack, the scriptures notwithstanding.

  56. #61:
    So, Dara, you lump a whole category of “sexual sin” as #3 in your list of big bad no-nos? Great! So unless you were one of those one percent of males who has never once taken care of their own sexual release, you’re just as big a sinner as I am! After all, LDS teachings quite clearly consider masturbation a “sexual sin.” (By the way, if you say you’re one of those one percent, then chances are good that you’re in the “liars” category, and still sinning.)

  57. Dara–

    I’ve read, with interest, all of the above posts. I do not make long posts. I usually simply respond with pithy, snide remarks and go on to something else. Today, I’ll respond differently. I have a gay son who lives with a partner of three years. They have, at this point, no interest in getting married. They are young still, in their 20s, and the legalities of marriage are far removed from their youthful interests. My wife and I were married in the temple 33 years ago. We have 5 sons, all of whom are active except for our gay son. We live in California and because of prop 8 and the reaction of members here, the only reason my son would visit an LDS church now is to burn it down. While my son was growing up he attended church, seminary, and mutual. I remember ordaining him a priest and telling those in attendance that Matt was 16 and is yet to sin. He was the most obedient and a most wonderful, caring (he still is) young man. A tenor voice the angels would love to have in their choir. When my son came out to us and they were looking for a place to live, I told my wife they should live with us. We would never understand homosexuality better than by having two gay people live with us. It was the best thing we could have done. From all appearances, they care deeply for each other. We never heard them fight in the 2 years they lived with us. How many of you marrieds can say that? The other day, they drove 40 miles and spent about two hours to take two abandoned hummingbirds to a specialist they found on the internet. Gays are not evil beasts from the Never-Never Land.

    Dara, for all I know, you have never had a conversation with a gay person. Maybe you’ve never talked to a parent of a gay child. The reason for my post today is your comment “You think it’s okay to support someone in sin?”. I don’t fully know what you mean by this. I do know you, if you have children, would never disown your children. Yet, that is what many religious people do when they find out their children are gay. When we learned that our son is gay, my wife and I decided to learn as much as we could about homosexuality. We refrained from teaching, extolling, preaching or anything even close to that. Our son is an intelligent person and we came to understand that he had thought very long and hard on his situation as he grew up in a Mormon home. He started to like boys the same time his friends started to like girls. He said he has never had a dream about a girl. We are convinced “without a doubt” his homosexuality is inborn. Certainly he could choose to live a celibate life. He could choose to go home every night of his life, alone and not share his innermost feelings with the one he loves. He could. I understand the celibacy debate. Nick used the phrase “super-celibacy”. That is more correct for the reasons he listed.

    For most members of the church, the gospel answers all questions. They feel if the problem has a size 40 waist, it will fit into the size 32 pants because everything in God’s plan has an answer. I no longer feel that way. There are size 40 waists and unfortunately they don’t fit into size 32 pants. After spending 3+ years of learning about homosexuality in so many of its aspects, after spending well more than a thousand hours researching the historical treatment of gays within and without the church and the other related issues, I honestly no longer care what the brethren say about homosexuality in their cute little pamphlets or over the pulpit. If you listen or read what the inspired brethren have said over time it is a “mass of confusion”. I find nothing inspired or even comforting about what the brethren said before their latest change of heart, which only coincides with the political correctness in our society. If the brethren were left to their own feelings on the matter, I believe the same prejudice that permeated the journals of the brethren in the 50s and 60s about blacks would still exist regarding gays. Where were the kind-hearted, gentle, general authorities in the 1960s and 1970s as LDS gays struggled as much as they do today, only to have a future prophet call them perverts and blasphemers because they said that God made them that way? Chapter 6 of Miracle of Forgiveness should have been entitled “God Condemneth His Children”

    In the “interview” posted on, which is cited so often, Elder Wickman said, “Whether it is nature or nurture really begs the important question, and a preoccupation with nature or nurture can, it seems to me, lead someone astray from the principles that Elder Oaks has been describing here.” Elder Boyd K Packer has said that learning the cause of homosexuality was crucial to its treatment. President Hinckley said he didn’t know. Elder Faust said it would be against God’s plan for men to be born that way. Well, which is it? So many “light-giving” answers. All different.

    Again from the Oaks-Wickman interview: “The good news for somebody who is struggling with same-gender attraction is this: It is that ‘I’m not stuck with it forever.’ It’s just now. Admittedly, for each one of us, it’s hard to look beyond the ‘now’ sometimes. But nonetheless, if you see mortality as now, it’s only during this season.” So, we don’t have any clue why it exists, yet somehow for this interview someone pulled out of their hat the unsubstantiated revelation that homosexuality is for this life only.

    These are all theoretical issues. To me, the most important is how are gays treated. To paraphrase a Rabbi whose name I can’t remember, “Religion should teach us who we are required to love, not who we are entitled to hate.”

    In the interview, Elder Oaks said, “I can also imagine some circumstances in which it might be possible to say,….Don’t expect us to take you out and introduce you to our friends, or to deal with you in a public situation that would imply our approval of your “partnership.”

    To me, it is reprehensible to suggest that your son or daughter is not worthy to be introduced to your friends and be seen in public with you. Of all the statements I object to in the interview, this is the most heartless. We all need a refuge against the world. If it isn’t in your home and with your parents, where is it?

    Elder Oaks would no doubt follow a former prophet’s example where he preached so long to his inactive, nationally-known attorney son that the son no longer would speak to him. My gay son and my four other sons will know that their parents will always be there for them, no matter what life decisions they make.

    So, if the question is how does having a gay son or daughter as a member affect you—-my answer is: if you think God and his servants should be the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, you can get pretty cynical.

  58. Holden, your remarks are wonderful and I agree completely with them. I too have found what the general authorities say about gay people to be a “mass of confusion”—and in many cases even hypocritical. But most members never see it as that because once a general authority has spoken, “the thinking has been done”, and they just never ever question it no matter how absurd it may be. I honestly feel that one day some of our supposedly “great” church leaders may have to answer for the suicides they have caused because of their “teachings & preaching” about gay people.
    I truly admire Marie Osmond for saying what she said and for loving her daughter and caring about her happiness.
    I have always wondered why it is that if homosexuality was such a terrible sin, then why wasn’t it included with the 10 Commandments?
    Also, everyone is always willing to use the scriptures to “justify” their reasons for condemning gay people, and yet no one ever seems to bring out the one scripture that seems to be so relevant to what has been happening recently. In my eyes we are seeing a very huge prophecy being fulfilled right before our eyes and no one seems to see it, including the church.
    In the Bible the apostle Paul prophesied that one of the evils for our “latter times” would be “forbidding to marry” (see 1 Timothy 4:1-4). Therefore anyone opposing gay marriage and trying to keep it from happening is contributing to this prophesied evil. Tell me, when has there ever been a time in history that such an effort has been made, with millions of dollars spent, to keep people from getting married???

  59. Bob, given everything else Paul said on the topic, I think that is a HUGE distortion of what Paul meant.

    If I’m going to call Dara on shaky use of the scriptures, I need to do the same on the other side of the discussion, as well.

    I do want to echo Bob’s thanks to Holden. That’s exactly what this post is about – how being a parent of a gay child affects one’s view of the issues surrounding homosexuality.

  60. Ray,

    “The most recent statements clearly don’t call it a “sin against nature” True, technically, but then again Kimball’s Miracle of Forgiveness was never shelved.

    And: “Sexual activity is “natural” in all its manifestations, and the Church’s current statements highlight this.” Dude! is pedophilia natural sexual activity? Is sex with a sheep ‘natural’. C’mon you know better. Your comment shows clearly that accepting homosexuality to an extent will also lead to accepting some pedophilia to an extent!! The problem is that when we starts to accept homosexuality at any level we start to twist, bend and accept what is fundamentally mistaken just like Marie Osmond has now done, because her daughter is in a SSM. If Marie Osmond (HC) did really love and appreciate her daughter she would try to at very least tell her that her lifestyle is wrong and will not lead to ever lasting happiness because she excludes herself from many blessing in the afterlife.

    Bob: “I honestly feel that one day some of our supposedly “great” church leaders may have to answer for the suicides they have caused because of their “teachings & preaching” about gay people.” What?*&@#? “They have caused”? Talk about shooting the messenger.

  61. HC: “My gay son and my four other sons will know that their parents will always be there for them, no matter what life decisions they make.”

    Yes you should be. I assume they were sealed to you so no matter where they end up, be it the celestial telestial or hell, they will still be sealed to you and be you sons and you should ‘be there’ for them. But that doesn’t include twisting doctrine to say that its somehow OK to be gay.

  62. “If Marie Osmond (HC) did really love and appreciate her daughter she would try to at very least tell her that her lifestyle is wrong and will not lead to ever lasting happiness because she excludes herself from many blessing in the afterlife.”

    This is such a tired argument. “Really did love”, meaning the way that only CarlosJC and people like him can. So, CarlosJC, you think that my son lived in a temple-going home for 20 years and never heard such things while growing up? At some point, he decided for himself something different. We discussed this with him. Should we have weekly home evenings throughout the millenium to tell him how wrong he is and how deep into hell he is going? At some point, you have to realize that your kids become adults and have chosen a life path. Their life path. How condescending and demeaning to constantly tell someone that you have the ultimate path and they do not. Your life, as a believing member, is based on faith. You hope to God, literally, that you are right. Maybe you are, maybe you aren’t.

    I explained above how Spencer Kimball drove his son away. If that is what you mean by “really loving”, I want no part of it.

    I don’t twist the church’s doctrine when it comes to gays. On the other hand, I don’t believe over time the church has had a clue as to the origin of homosexual or the reality of its unalterable nature in most gays. This has not stopped the brethren from issuing many conflicting and demeaning statements about things they don’t know. I don’t need to twist the church’s statements about gays. They are twisted enough.

  63. Carlos, I am going to bow out before I say something I will regret. You are at the point where you are twisting what I’ve actually said – and I simply refuse to get into that type of argument. I refuse to defend what I’ve never said, and I refuse to repeat myself over and over and over again in the unrealistic hope that someone will respond to what I actually say.

  64. #73 HC “think that my son lived in a temple-going home for 20 years and never heard such things while growing up?”
    No, I’d guess that both you and the church taught him well the law of chastity.

    “At some point, he decided for himself something different.” Most certainly, as all adults do sooner or later and therefore they are responsible for their actions. U18’s, or there abouts, are a different matter.

    “Should we have weekly home evenings throughout the millenium to tell him how wrong he is” No, there’s a right way to do this and a wrong way. Constantly telling him would be the wrong way I think although I honestly doubt he’d entre the millennium if he is in a SSM, imo. Same case for Marie’s daughter.

    “How condescending and demeaning to constantly tell someone that you have the ultimate path and they do not.” Its not, its about what the truth is and what is right or wrong. Its a doctrinal matter.

    “I explained above how Spencer Kimball drove his son away.” I was wondering who that was. Love the gossip but the issue is much more important. With Kimball, well respectfully, one needs to be there to know what it was going on and the why he did this. If he was trying to teach him that homosexuality is wrong, I’d agree but wouldn’t do that way, in that constant preaching way. But then if his son is still inactive, well then Kimball was right since the son misses out on a lot, actually misses out on the totality of what God has.

    “I don’t believe over time the church has had a clue as to the origin of homosexual or the reality of its unalterable nature in most gays” Very true, the church doesn’t know because God never explains the why or why not of sins. He just states what is and what isn’t sinful. We, adult men and women, assign explanations to the why and how but those explanations seem to change over time. Rape is a good example, between what the McKay/Kimball explanation was, to what it is today but rape was then and still is today a sin. What I find noticeable is that the scriptures do condemn homosexuality (or the ‘knowing’ each man as they called it in the PofGP) but there isn’t much said about a ‘go and sin no more’ for a gay person. I wonder if it is unalterable or beyond help? Either way gay sex is still a sin and that’s the clear line in the sand.

  65. Ray,

    Dude, I quoted what you wrote, how is that “what I’ve never said” ????

    But you are free to say anything here without regret. My skin is certainly thick enough.

  66. Carlos, you can quote someone and then put a spin on it that distorts what that person actually said in multiple comments.

    “Your comment shows clearly that accepting homosexuality to an extent will also lead to accepting some pedophilia to an extent!!”

    No, my comment doesn’t show that – not at all. That’s so over-the-top that it’s not worth addressing further.

    I’m done.

  67. OK, you’re done.

    But you did write that “Sexual activity is “natural” in all its manifestations” (#64) How else could I interpret that than to think that “sexual activity” would include all sexual activity? Or should I think that hetero and homosexual relations are defined as ‘sexual activity’ but if its with someone under about 15 years old well then its not sexual activity? (for the adult not the child mind you)

    Anyway, you’re done.

  68. *sigh*

    Again, that is so distorted it is nowhere close to what I actually said.

    It’s the association of “natural” with “acceptance” that is exactly opposite of what I actually said. If you can understand that, I will come back to this; if not, we will be talking in circles forever – and I won’t do that.

  69. Nope, because you wrote something else. But you are welcomed to retract it or change it.

    So moving on, I guess then that you would say is that acceptable sexual activity is natural? Right/wrong?

    If so then, well….homosexual activity isn’t acceptable therefore not natural. I’m not sure now if this is what you mean so feel free to clarify it to me a lesser being. 🙂 (there I’ve even sent you a smiley of good faith!)

  70. “I explained above how Spencer Kimball drove his son away.” I was wondering who that was. Love the gossip but the issue is much more important. With Kimball, well respectfully, one needs to be there to know what it was going on and the why he did this. If he was trying to teach him that homosexuality is wrong, I’d agree but wouldn’t do that way, in that constant preaching way. But then if his son is still inactive, well then Kimball was right since the son misses out on a lot, actually misses out on the totality of what God has.”

    The issue with Kimball’s son was not homosexuality. The sin for which is received continual battering throughout his adult life was not believing in the church.

  71. Oops,

    “I guess then that you would say is that acceptable sexual activity is natural? Right/wrong?”

    I suppose you claim that acceptable sexual activity is natural? Right/wrong?

  72. #81 I wish that was more widely known. It would help many parents who have children that go inactive. Today they only seem to talk about the death of a young child but cover up all other cases.

  73. “I wonder if it is unalterable or beyond help?”

    I’m glad you at least wonder. Most “know” it is a choice and that it can be altered, if only those poor, sinful boys would just pray a little harder or miss a few more meals. Or, as one LDS psychologist told his gay patient, not touch his penis while he went to the bathroom.

  74. “Or, as one LDS psychologist told his gay patient, not touch his penis while he went to the bathroom.”

    Oh dear!

    But then again they always seemed to think that masturbation leads to ‘gayness’. I always wondered about that one too since I reasoned that it means that 99.99% of men are nearly gay!

    And I suspect that 99.99% of women are also nearly gay although they don’t admit to masturbation, at least not to men…..

  75. I just realized that this discussion has gone from Marie Osmond and SSM to sins and Ray’s frustrations and now to masturbation. I hope its not my fault.

    But back to Marie……….

  76. #81 –

    1st paragraph: *SIGH*

    2nd paragraph: Nope; not even close

    3rd paragraph: Just in case your “good faith” comment is sincere, I will try one more comprehensive comment:

    “The natural man is an enemy to God.”

    How anyone can say that I believe what is natural is acceptable is beyond me – especially when I said clearly that I accept the Church’s stance that homosexual activity is a sin or transgression, depending on how someone defines those terms. I’ve never said otherwise, and admitting that something is not a “sin against nature” doesn’t mean it isn’t a sin. Often sins are sins explicitly because they are natural. Heterosexual adultery and fornication also are natural, and I also accept them as sin. I can accept lots of things as natural AND sinful, and I can agree totally with Holden that constant badgering about anything (no matter what it is) is not a sign of love and acceptance of someone else’s choices as an individual agent unto him/herself.

    I can accept people who make choices which I would not make without accepting those choices as right or proper. Also, at the most basic level, ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God – and ALL are commanded to judge not that they be not judged. I want to be judged charitably, so I try to judge others charitably. Finally, I can believe one thing as a moral standard while decrying and not accepting legal discrimination in the pure sense.

    For example, I have one primary issue with how we treat homosexual members in the Church and one primary issue with how we address gay marriage in our society.

    In the Church, we define inappropriate, non-marital, heterosexual activity pretty narrowly as intercourse and “petting”. However, we define inappropriate, homosexual activity as practically ANY expression or show of affection. We really do employ a double standard. Straight, single members can hold hands, sit arm in arm, kiss (quite passionately) and enjoy all kinds of physical intimacy without risking disciplinary action of any kind. Gay members, otoh, can’t even hold hands or sit arm in arm without being accused of sexual misconduct. That’s wrong, imo. The same standard should apply to all.

    Legally, we allow fornicating heterosexual citizens to claim “married” status through the recognition of common law marriages. We give them all the benefits of a married couple simply for fornicating long enough. Also, there are no laws enforced anymore against adultery. We allow adulterers to retain the status of “married” regardless of the fact that they are actively trashing the entire idea and symbolism of marriage. Again, I don’t support gay marriage; I favor civil unions with full civil rights. However, I object to and can’t support a system that allows licentious heterosexual fornication to morph into marriage for some people but refuses to do the same for others – and that allows spouses to hire prostitutes, sleep around with co-workers and violate any kind of sexual norm without removing invalidating their marriage while denying that term to totally “faithful” people who are the same sex, even if they aren’t doing anything that would be considered sinful for a heterosexual, non-married “couple” to do. Equal treatment under the law is important to me, and such blatant discrimination is abhorrent to me as a legal standard.

    My core issue is the same in each case: If we are going to take a stance on something, we need to be consistent across the board. We need to take a stance FOR something comprehensive, not a stance AGAINST something limited. Either we restrict allowable heterosexual conduct or broaden allowable homosexual conduct – but we quit enforcing such a blatant double standard. It’s hypocritical, and it’s wrong.

  77. I suppose you claim that acceptable sexual activity is natural? Right/wrong?

    Carlos, “natural” ≠ “acceptable.” The “natural man” is an enemy of God, after all.

  78. Well there is a lot we can agree on. I also don’t like legal discrimination and certainly reject gay bashing. An yes all have sinned but then all adults also need to know and judge between what is a lawful act under God (not society) and what is clearly not. Adultery comes to mind, we constantly judge when to stop talking to the opposite sex because its becoming flirtatious and judge when others are going to far and so on.

    But I strongly disagree with your main complaint here, the so called double standard claiming its hypocritical and wrong etc. As soon as affection is of a homosexual nature in church, then imo, the church is right to stop it. And they are right because the path the two men are on leads to, well respectfully, a non-exalted life in the hereafter, or bluntly to hell. So they should put an end to it because in our doctrine there is no room for a man-man eternal marriage. There is room for a woman-man eternal marriage so what leads to it, that hetero couple cuddling up in church, is therefore good and should be promoted. If its married persons cuddling up with a non-partner then the church reacts the same unless they are divorced and through with the first marriage.

    But with regards to the ‘unnatural’ statement I think you may have missed the point in that. To be unequivocal here since we are all adults, its the anal sex part that is classified unnatural and ‘sin against nature’, whether between two men or a man and a women. Problem is that in today’s church many claim that anal sex is ok if the couple agree etc but the ideas behind it all (no pun intended) was to teach of the ‘natural’ way of sex meaning heterosexual as God intended way which leads to procreation et al. In that anal sex is automatically a sin against nature or ‘unnatural’ and so on.

    I think your core issue is off here. Its either restrict heterosexual conduct or broaden homosexual conduct or continue to encourage heterosexual relationships which ultimately lead to eternal life. In all cases though anal sex would be excluded as an ‘sin against nature’ (I even remember one HP getting excommunicated because he wouldn’t stop anal sex with his own wife).

  79. Kuri,

    You missed the entire argument here. I was putting word into Ray’s mouth (in a way) when asking that question, asking if that’s what he thinks is right or does he think it wrong. But he answered clearly in #87

    Off course the natural man is an enemy to God, that’s clear.

  80. But with regards to the ‘unnatural’ statement I think you may have missed the point in that. To be unequivocal here since we are all adults, its the anal sex part that is classified unnatural and ’sin against nature’, whether between two men or a man and a women.

    So, in your opinion, lesbian sex is not “unnatural” or a “sin against nature”?

    (I even remember one HP getting excommunicated because he wouldn’t stop anal sex with his own wife).

    Two questions: How in the world did anyone find out about his sex habits, and why wasn’t his wife excommunicated too?

  81. If he was excommunicated because he continued over his wife’s objections, he was a rapist and should have been excommunicated.

    Having said that, let’s not turn this into a thread about various sexual practices. That’s not the point of the thread, and there are lots of places that conversation can be had without restriction, I’m sure.

  82. If he was excommunicated because he continued over his wife’s objections, he was a rapist and should have been excommunicated.

    That was going to be my next point. But I will drop the subject.

  83. Kuri,

    “So, in your opinion, lesbian sex is not “unnatural” or a “sin against nature”?”

    We love lesbians!!!! 🙂 .

    Seriously, considering what’s done….well without going into details because Ray gets nervous, I doubt its natural.

    The HP? I was stake clerk in his disciplinary council (back then they were church courts). The wife went to SP after years of anal sex asking if it was OK for the church because she found it ‘dirty’ but it wasn’t a rape case strictly speaking and it wasn’t painful to her plus they used it as a form of birth control, believe it or not, a point made repeatedly by the husband during the court. She was asking more or less if it was OK doctrinally for the church. SP had told him to stop though and since he didn’t and clearly said he wouldn’t, SP ex’d him for abusive treatment of spouse. I remember two voted against ex’d wanting only a minor outcome. This was back in 78 or 79. I personally don’t agree with the church’s intervention here because we never saw anyone from that family again so I’m not sure if the result was worth it. Plus I suspected that the SP didn’t mail in the paperwork so he wasn’t all that sure either.

  84. I doubt that there is an actual policy here, outside of the fact that the spouse clearly didn’t want to participate because as you, she felt “dirty”. I can’t imagine holding a court on the private practices of consenting marriage partners that does not cross legal boundaries.

  85. Yes certainly. The SP needs to have a complaint there in place to do something but then again SP are so powerful that they get things done even if most of the high council disagrees with him. No one really regulates SP (until they are released) and GA only have PPI’s to guide and teach them so mostly SP’s actually establish the policy they will follow within their Stake themselves and get counselors to back them up. Only if its way out there will counselors go up the chain to complain, at least in my experience.

    But I doubt its a matter of “legal boundaries” since the church doesn’t necessarily follow them, we have our own moral stature and it seems to vary between stakes and regions at times, based on the varying outcomes of disciplinary councils. Some excommunicate all adulterers while others only disfellowship them. And I was in a court once which only gave probation to an ex bishop who admitted to child abuse which, I sometimes suspect, resulted in the policy change back in ’99 or so(not sure now) where HQ stopped accepting probation for child abuse cases (that was another case I never agreed with)

    But we divert here, a lot 🙂

  86. “without going into details because Ray gets nervous”

    Ah, Carlos. Dear Carlos. I have to love you, ’cause the alternative is just so tempting. 🙂

  87. Four years ago I found out my son was dealing with SSA. (That’s what we were encouraged to call it.) He went through two years of therapy through LDS Social Services. We were told there was an 80% chance of change. Despite what my psychology background suggested, I decided to have faith. I fasted, prayed, cried, went to the temple weekly, fasted more, prayed more, cried more, went to the temple more. I was literally fasting and praying myself into insanity. . . and so was my son. Often I saw him on his knees crying. Or curled up in a ball in his bed sobbing. If those of you who are so condemning and self-righteous could go through this experience, I would imagine your heart would be as softened and as broken as mine.

    Unfortunately this very private situation became public. Many in our ward and community found out about his struggles, and I’m sorry to say there was no outpouring of love and fellowship for this struggling son of God. He gradually became very disallusioned about the therapy and quit, and then gradually become completely inactive. There has not been one knock on the door, one phone call, one act of fellowship directed towards him. Why? I believe it’s because no one has a clue what to do. My son is not acting on his sexual orientation. He is pure. . . but honestly, that doesn’t seem to matter. I have been active all my life. My father was my Bishop. I have been a Primary President, and a Young Women President.

    You want to know how having a gay child affects someone? I’ll tell you! It’s painful! Four years later my pain is not quite as acute for my son. He’s going to be just fine. He’s intelligent, gorgeous, talented, compassionate, and as respectful a son as any mother could have. He has a good job and is pursuing his education. I know my Heavenly Father loves him just as much as he loves my straight sons and daughters. My pain is in the knowledge that there is a lot of hypocrisy in my church.

    I’m not sure what will happen, but I have a feeling that he might not choose celibacy. Will I choose my Church or my Son? Oh, I hope that it will never come to that. . . but if it does, my conscience dictates that I will chose my son. My son and my Savior.

    As a result, I rejoice — seriously REJOICE — when I read about Marie Osmond. I wish I could tell her how grateful I am that she stood up for her daughter and her convictions. Are you out there Marie? If you are. . . Thank You!

  88. Ophelia,

    Yes, its very wrong and unfortunate to withdraw fellowship or to gossip about him as most members, I imagine, would do. While I don’t have gay children or relatives I have for years dealt with those excommunicated, as a followup situation to see when they could be ready for rebaptism, so I think I know something, in a way, of what you talk about here. Imagine what its like for a confessed child rapist who is trying to repent and be rebaptized, the members are brutal and I must admit that I’ve not always found myself loving or accepting of him, as well as of adulterers who can’t admit they sinned but blame the wife or claim ‘it just happened’. I’ve never seen a gay person return to church though after excommunication.

    But anyway, although I guess your son will now follow a SS relation there are two point I suggest you consider. One is that although he will be happy and feel relieved in this life the fact is that he can’t be a SSex couple or person throughout eternity (according to well defined mormon doctrine) and that any relationships or SSM will end after death. Two is that you could and should still be his mom and support him and accept him as he is without loosing any of your own eternal blessings. The Kimball example above should be an example of this, even though it wasn’t about SSA, Kimball didn’t leave the church or quite because his son quite the church.

    also consider that no amount of prayer and fasting will change him if he doesn’t want to change. Otherwise God could change Satan into a Jesus….will never happen.

  89. Ophelia:

    Thanks for posting your story.

    I don’t know how you feel but I know the transition I have been through. Because everything I have witnessed with my son is so far removed from what the brethren and especially social services has said about homosexuality, my feelings regarding the church have dramatically changed. During prop 8 in Ca, even though the ward knew we had a gay son, there was not one phone call from leader or member of the ward to see how we were doing, to see if the nightly campaigning, ward members giddily (?) brandishing their “Yes on Prop 8” signs on the street corners. I was released from my ward calling two months before the vote and the only thing either counselor in the bishopric has said to me in the 8 months since then is (laughably) “Here is an envelope to donate to Friends of Scouting. —–you know that organization that won’t allow gays to be a member of, whether the gay person is sexually active or not.

    You are probably like me and have come to disregard advise like CarlosJC’s. I remember the first bishop I saw–to get a blessing only because I knew he knew nothing of homosexuality–ended up telling me that I would go on walks with my son and I would know what to tell him so he “would change his mind”. Wow-that’s deeply considered advise. If everyone only knew a few wisely chosen words will change someones ingrained sexuality!!

    My heart goes out to you while you find the way you need to best deal with your son and in your continued search for spirituality throughout your continuing difficulty.

  90. There are plenty of social attitudes in Mormonism which aren’t doctrine and should be dispelled. Here are just a few.

    1) If you don’t have the priesthood, your role in the church isn’t important.
    2) If you’re over 40, male and not a High Priest, there must be something lacking in you.
    3) If you’re a High Priest but you haven’t been in a Bishopric, then you’re not really as good as a High Priest who has been in a Bishopric. Your ordination was a just a procedural formality but you’re not very important.
    4) It’s impossible to truly be happy if you’re not married.

    So, why do some women think they’re second-class citizens without priesthood ordination? Why do some Latter-day Saints with same sex attraction issues think they need to be married? Is it truly an internal desire or did their upbringing lead them to believe that they cannot be happy without marriage?

    Here’s a shocking doctrine which has been expressed by the Brethren: “Marriage is not for everyone, including heterosexuals.” How many Latter-day Saints “in the trenches” actually accept that? Perhaps we’re doing our children a disservice by telling them otherwise.

    So, why do some homosexuals insist that they want to be married? Is it because they’ve become believers in the myth that marriage means “happily ever after”? Is that because their parents taught them that pair bonding is essential? Is it simply to get the economic and government-endorsed benefits?

    I’ve often said that if I were the Bishop of a singles ward (never gonna happen) I would never talk about marriage from the pulpit. I’d make it clear that anyone could talk to me about it in private. But my focus from the pulpit would be encouraging the characteristics and behavior that make someone a good, worthy person (…and, by implication, someone that another person would want to marry). Too many of us think of marriage as some kind of upgrade or repair method.

    So, does Marie Osmond think that her daughter cannot be happy or “whole” without a pair bond? Why would she? It seems based on a storybook tale of how marriage equals happily-ever-after… which hasn’t exactly been Marie’s experience.

  91. Greg:

    For inactive gay members, which almost all gay LDS people end up becoming, the relationship is the “happily ever after”. Marriage is important because it is a bundle of legal rights. The other reason marriage is important to some gays (not all for sure) is the second-class stigma they perceive that comes with their relationship being branded something else (civil union) or simply a match made in hell between two perverted people.

  92. Greg:

    Isn’t exaltation, according to Mormon theology, contingent upon an Eternal Marriage among other things, ie one that is performed in the Temple by Priesthood authority. I would argue that the Church teaches quite emphatically that the “pair bonding” as you call it, is part of what makes us whole in an eternal sense. The few exceptions to marriage that I have seen the Church take generally, really lie with circumstances such as the Homosexual, where quite frankly the leaders don’t know what to do, so they duct tape a solution by advocating total physical and emotional celibacy.

  93. The Brethren have acknowledged that many won’t have the opportunity to marry in this like through no fault of their own. Maybe you were born gay. Maybe you have a physical or mental handicap which precludes marriage in this life. Maybe you simply haven’t found the right match, through no fault of your own. Whether in this life or the next, the Lord will keep His promises. So, if your lot is to not be married in this life, you can still have hope and retain your faith. Culturally, I’m not sure we accept that. Doctrinally, it’s there. What, pray tell, is “emotional celibacy” anyway?

  94. Fair enough Carlos, but comments #104 & #107 seem to be saying two different things.

    Greg, I will admit that “emotional celibacy” was a contrived reference to the notion which has been mentioned earlier, that homosexuals are not to just remain sexually chaste, but rather must avoid even the non-sexual forms of human intimacy with those whom they are attracted to. In other words, homosexuals are not just required to avoid petting and intercourse, but are to remain romantically abstinate as well, including even mild flirtations, kind of like missionaries.

    If you would like to raise a technical objection to “emotional celibacy”, that is fine I won’t dispute you.

  95. Man, I cannot believe how judgemental people are. Sweep off your own back porch before you start sweeping someone elses! Sheeeeesh!

  96. Amendment 14 – Citizenship Rights. Ratified 7/9/1868. Note History

    1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    1967 U.S. Supreme Court case, Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967)[4], which focused on an anti-miscegenation statute. Chief Justice Warren wrote: “The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.”

    I have served 4 years in the Navy and risked my life, under 2 tours in Iraq/Afgan. to protected you, your family, and your church. I protect your right to worship as well as your rights as a citizen and to me, most importantly, your rights as a human being. There are over 1200 laws that apply to marriage (This is for federal only as state laws differ) not to mention the dignity that is applied the word wife or husband as signifying the most important relationship in a person’s life.

    I live my life in fear. I feel as if I cannot even hold my partners hand walking down the street without retribution from somebody who didn’t want to see 2 women holding hands. I have been accosted, abused, and violated all by people who claim to have the moral ‘upper hand’ on me. I have learned over the years to now fear those who call themselves religious. I guess myself and the thousands of other gay soldiers are good enough to die for you but not to have the same rights as you.

    1. The 14th amendment was written to end the civil war, it was not intended to justify Gay marriage or illegal alien anchor babies, quite trying to corrupt our consitution

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