Protests mount against Mormon-themed TLC program “My Husband’s Not Gay”

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gay prideProtests are mounting against the unfortunate TLC reality show My Husband’s Not Gay, airing this Sunday. The special describes itself as following “four men living in Salt Lake City, Utah, who don’t identify themselves as homosexual despite having an attraction to men.”

Almost immediately after the program’s teaser was released in December, the protests began. has launched a petition that, as of this afternoon, had garnered 67,900 e-signatures. “I’m urging you to cancel your upcoming special, My Husband’s Not Gay, which promotes the false message that gay people can and should choose to be straight in order to be part of their faith communities,” begins the petition.

Meanwhile, the co-hosts of The Young Turks freely share their opinions. The female host is hyper-critical of the men’s wives, whom she sees as exploiting their husbands and forcing them to conceal their homosexual identity. (This point about secrecy is sorely undermined by the families’ apparent agreement to tell their stories on national television.)

“. . . for a woman who . . . knows that her husband is gay and that he’s forcing a heterosexual relationship, well then you’re stupid. You really shouldn’t enable that.”

But the Young Turks are missing a key component of the subject matter here, which is that these women and their gay husbands have been taught to not even have “gay” as a category. There’s a third option between open-mindedness and stupidity, which is church-sanctioned denial. These women can say with a straight face that their husbands find men sexually attractive but are not gay, because that’s what they truly believe.

There is room now for same-sex attraction in the LDS Church—“a struggle to be overcome!” —but there is not yet room for a homosexual identity.

This insistence on homosexuality being a struggle to overcome can lead to tragic consequences when LGBT young people find that, in fact, they can’t overcome it. Suicide and homelessness are realities for too many LGBT Mormon youth.

And when the denial of a person’s sexual identity leads to the extreme measure of taking on a “straight” marriage in order to remain fully in the fold, it is, ironically, damaging to the family, the very institution that the LDS Church claims to be defending.

As a Mormon I’ve known three women who married men they later learned were gay; one of those women, the writer and poet Carol Lynn Pearson, wrote the beautiful memoir Good-Bye, I Love You: The True Story of a Wife, Her Homosexual Husband, and a Love Honored for Time and All Eternity.

Her family’s heartbreak occurred in the mid-1970s, when Mormon men were told in no uncertain terms that homosexuality was “an ugly sin . . . degenerate . . . revolting . . . [and] unnatural,” in the words of then-apostle Spencer W. Kimball. Men who were attracted to other men were taught to marry women to conquer those urges.

It’s safe to say that the Church as an institution has quietly stopped telling gay men to marry women, so we can count that as a small win compared to 40 years ago. Instead, LGBT Mormons are now the religion’s only people to be steered toward a celibate life—forever.

But while the Church as an institution is no longer pushing gay people into heterosexual marriage as a “cure,” some individual Mormons who are trying to be faithful to the gospel are still embracing that dubious solution—hence the TLC show.

I didn’t sign the petition because I haven’t seen the program. I suspect it will be critical, even mocking, of these families’ choices rather than “promoting” them, which the petition seems to assume. Mormons who watch the show may cry foul at the way our religion is portrayed, and indeed it could well be entirely one-dimensional—it was reality television, after all, that brought us such gems as Amish in the City. The throwback music and old-fashioned ice skating depicted in the trailer for My Husband’s Not Gay do not bode well for a nuanced portrait of our faith.

However, I expect that Mormon discomfort with the program will also stem from a sinking realization that these couples’ lives—and, more sadly, their children’s—are constructed on a cracked foundation.

And this is a fracture that the Church has encouraged—either in actual policy, as in Pearson’s day, or in ethos, as in ours. If any good comes from this unfortunate reality show, perhaps it will be in putting a human face on the problem.

  • Larry

    A couple of thoughts about this show:
    1. Do you think the participants knew what was the real premise of the show when they agreed to appear on it? It doesn’t particularly look or sound too favorable to its subjects.

    2. I think the petition missed the point of the show. The title itself comes off as a feeble denial flying in the face of what one expects they will be seeing. If anything its premise appears to be how silly and obviously dishonest a gay person passing themselves off as straight appears to the general public.

    3. Mormon discomfort appears to come from the embarrassment of figuring out that the subjects of the show are not being viewed in a favorable light. Discomfort over being embarrassed, not over their role in creating the embarrassing situation.

  • Joshua Bolding

    I usually like the way your stuff leads to open mindedness, but this post just disappointed me.

    You make some assumptions about gay men marrying women that are blanket statements- that they are just trying to fit in to the church (church- based denial). In the trailer itself, these men show that they made choices despite their orientation. Is it wrong they have made choices against their sexuality? Based on their faith? What about people like Josh Weed who married a woman based on affection towards her? One of the men in the trailer talks about how he is attracted to his wife- is it not enough because he is likes men too? What about a man who wants a biological child of his own instead of adopting or having to use a surrogate? Are these men building on a cracked foundation because they prioritize other things in front of sexuality for their marriage?

    I am in no way advocating that people should marry against their sexuality if they don’t want to. I even have deep disagreement with the Mormon church over these issues. But making a blanket statement like you did that these marriages are built on a cracked foundation or have to do only with church-based denial is irresponsible and born of your own denial that there is only one way to see and choose things like this.

  • Larry

    “Is it wrong they have made choices against their sexuality? “

    Is it honest to themselves and their spouse?

    “Based on their faith?”

    What good comes out of actions based on peer pressure from their church, family and community?

    What about people like Josh Weed who married a woman based on affection towards her?

    Do you think its a bit shaky to enter into a legally binding relationship which demands connubial monogamy as a precondition, if one is not really willing to do so?

    What about a man who wants a biological child of his own instead of adopting or having to use a surrogate?

    Sounds like a rather extreme way to do so. Especially since one is treating their wife as a free surrogate anyway. Again not an honest foundation to a marriage.

    Are these men building on a cracked foundation because they prioritize other things in front of sexuality for their marriage?

    Yes, because they are not prioritizing honesty between themselves and their wives. The foundation of any lasting marriage.

    Is a marriage which avoids honest relations between spouses really worth sanctifying by a community? There is little positive which can be said about a church which is telling people to lie to each other for the sake of maintaining a relationship.

  • Joshua Bolding

    1. Faith is not peer pressure from a community. That’s called pretense.
    2. Affection does not mean someone is unwilling to maintain connubial monogamy.
    3. Marrying for sexuality only is not the only way to be honest in a relationship.

  • Larry

    You want to avoid the essential issues here and try to mitigate what is obvious about the situation.

    Marriages are built on honest monogamous relations between spouses. You want them to lie to each other in order to maintain some pretense in accordance with faith. This is a greater redefinition and denigration of marriage than what the LDS church accuses marriage equality proponents of.

    1. Faith and communities of faith bring peer pressure as a matter of course. Denying the existence of such pressures is hardly an honest response. Yes faith is peer pressure because one is expected to follow the rules of one’s religious group or face consequences. In the case of the LDS, that always comes with a social pressure element. Ostracism for those who step out of the graces of the church.

    2. Affection is hardly a strong term for the bonds one expects for a married couple. Attraction to a different gender than one’s spouse certainly puts a damper on healthy connubial relations. It certainly provides impetus for avoiding monogamous relations.

    3. Marrying for sexuality is one of many things people do in a relationship based on honesty. Your statement was a bit of a non-sequitur.

  • Ned Flaherty

    There’s not one shred of scientific evidence to suggest that LGBT people should perform fake weddings, live with the wrong spouse, or pretend to be heterosexual. The idea that this is how LGBT people earn “eternal salvation” is just one of Mormonism’s many discredited superstitions.

    No network can broadcast such a program and still claim to be a “learning” channel.

    Gay men who mislead themselves and their girlfriends or wives are just as illegitimate as ancient soothsaying, Medieval sorcery, and Caribbean witchcraft.

    No educated, certified, registered, insured modern professional supports this quack-medicine idea, so TLC should prepare to be sued for both mental/medical malpractice and consumer fraud.

  • nobody important

    “This insistence on homosexuality being a struggle to overcome can lead to tragic consequences”

    The opposite is also true

    “This insistence on homosexuality being a lifestyle or behavior that individuals neither desire nor support can lead to tragic consequences”

  • Renee

    Has anyone given even the smallest shred of consideration that these men might actually be BISEXUAL (and statistically, probably are) and made a specific effort to find a woman to marry? WHY doesn’t anyone even think of this. They
    probably aren’t denying homosexuality at all. As many issues as I have with how same-sex attraction is treated here, I don’t think that denying that they are is one of those.

  • Sasha

    There is much more to the foundation of marriage, or any relationship, than raw sexual attraction or appeal. Yes, that is important and desirable for a marriage, and marriage is far more likely to be successful if the spouses are attracted to one another, but there is much more.

    Take, for instance, an elderly couple. I doubt most married heterosexual men in their 70s, 80s are very attracted to their similarly aged wives (speaking of raw, physical, sexual attraction) but they are often some of the closest, strongest, most tender relationships. There are other things- shared experiences, good communication, trust, history of getting through thick and thin together, etc- that keep them together even when sexual attraction is small or nonexistent.

    I wouldn’t recommend that my gay child marry someone of the opposite sex, just for the sake of having a family. As noted in the article, it’s an unsure foundation to build a marriage upon, and the rate of failure is high. That said, if a couple deeply believes that they don’t need raw attraction to make their relationship work, who am I to tell them otherwise? I would caution them, but I would celebrate their choice so long as it was deliberate, independent, though tout, and heartfelt.

    I can’t condemn a couple who say they love each other, and I can’t say that their love is void or their relationship inauthentic. I don’t expect most gay people who marry heterosexually to have ideal marriages, but then again few people have ideal marriages. They deserve as much chance and support as anyone else, or maybe more because of their unique minority status.

  • GaybyGod

    Let them live their life! People become deeply addicted and brainwashed into many things, including religion. If this works for both of them, then they found the perfect mate. True spirituality comes from the heart, and not from a preacher or text. It comes from a deep and personal relationship with God. God created Gays, and every Gay person (not straight) knows this in their heart. Wether they choose the life God created them to live, or another, is totally their choice.

  • Ned Flaherty

    No mixed-orientation couple has ever succeeded at a fake wedding to the wrong spouse, or at pretending to be a heterosexual couple.

    Yes, a truly bisexual man can successfully marry someone of either gender; however, none of the men in this documentary is bisexual, so no woman can be “the perfect mate” for any of them.

    The Mormon church is practicing medical malpractice and consumer fraud when it pretends that this can ever work for any gay men or lesbian woman.

  • Rio

    Those in a marriage or who have been in a Marriage KNOW perfectly well that a Marriage is a Journey full of ups, downs, scrapes, and bruises with periods of calm waters in between. It can be a source of personal growth and strength, that can lead to fulfillment.

    Now that Marriage is legally open to all, those who advocated for Marriage Equality are coming across as self proclaiming to have the moral right to dictate who is allowed to on such a Journey.

    Put aside the Labels and start Seeing People as People… with a heart, mind, and spirit to choose how to live their own lives. Wasn’t that what Marriage Equality was about??????

  • Rio

    Don’t be ignorant. Just because you don’t know anyone in a mixed orientation marriage or know very few doesn’t mean they don’t work.

    By the way you really think these types of relationships are only found in the Mormon Church?

    Educate yourself and remember you aren’t them and they aren’t you. They never asked for your permission to get married.


  • Ned Flaherty

    Not a single one of the people who advocated for marriage equality is now dictating who may or may not marry, or to whom they may or may not be married.

    Yes, everyone should be free to choose how to live, including whatever ups, downs, scrapes, bruises, growth, strength, and fulfillment that may arise.

    But a fake marriage, to the wrong person, and pretending to be a heterosexual couple when that is not the case, are all recipes for disaster.

    The Mormon church cannot honestly promote this quack medicine, and leaves itself open to lawsuits for medical/mental malpractice, and consumer fraud.

    To be intellectually honest and scientifically accurate, any documentary on mixed-orientation marriages must include: (a) couples whose marriages eventually failed, (b) couples whose faith was destroyed, and (c) surviving spouses of those who commit suicide because of a religious superstition.

  • Rio

    Please site where in Mormonism it is taught and enforced that Gay Mormons Should and Need to Marry Straight Mormons?

    Has it Happend?? Of course! Are gay Mormons the only ones who do? Absolutely NOT!!!

    I am a Gay Mormon who is Divorced. I can honestly say I had Genuine feelings for my at the time wife. We have to beautiful children that we co parent together. As in any marriage… it was tough. But we wanted a family and we still are a family even if we’re no longer together.

    I have other gay Mormon friends who are great husbands and fathers to their children.

    You can’t judge a marriage that you aren’t in…only the ones involved have the moral standing to judge the marriage they are in.

  • Rio

    *Two beautiful children.

  • Ned Flaherty

    Yes, everyone is different, and yes, adults should make their own decisions.

    And no, no one needs my permission, or anyone else’s permission, to marry or to not marry.

    Regarding whether or not mixed-orientation marriages work: there’s no peer-reviewed, published, scientific evidence that couples who knowingly attempt this ultimately succeed at it. There is, however, an abundance of documentation that such marriages ultimately fail.

    The tortured relationships shown in this documentary are also attempted among people of all other faiths, and among people of no faith. This quack propaganda piece, however, uses all Mormons, only Mormons, and no one else. As such, it promotes the Mormon-driven superstition that such ill-fated pairs are permanently successful.

    That is a falsehood. They are not.

    If that were the case, then this film would include lots of people who knew they were a mixed-orientation couple, and who married young, and who then survived, in marital bliss, all the way to age 80.

    There are no such couples in this film, and no records of such couples in modern times.

  • Rio

    She is a wonderful mother to our children and we make decisions together concerning our children.

  • Rio

    So although my marriage wasn’t the happily ever after everyone dreams of… (mind you look at the divorce rate in America). I feel have a great relationship with my ex-wife and focus on being involved parents to our kids.

    Tell me…is my story a Failure?????

    I know a bunch of straight marriages who have since divorced and aren’t as fortunate as we are!!!

  • Pingback: The Cultural Hall Podcast – Mormon News Report, 6-January-2014()

  • Ned Flaherty

    To the anonymous Rio:

    In the late 1980s, the highest ranked bishops of the Mormon and Roman Catholic churches began conspiring to oppose human rights for LGBT people, and most especially to repeal and ban same-gender civil marriage for everybody, everywhere, forever, including those of all faiths, and those of no faith. The plan was to write Mormon & Roman Catholic religious superstitions into the civil laws that govern everybody else.

    That is still the goal of Mormon and Roman Catholic bishops.

    For Mormons, (1) same-gender sexual relations are always forbidden, (2) mixed-gender marriage is a moral imperative and required for eternal salvation, and (3) profuse procreation is mandatory; therefore, in 1995, the Mormon church published “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” which still says:

    “We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children. . . . God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remain in force. . . . The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.”

    The entire Proclamation was never rescinded, and it remains in full effect.

    No, Mormon theology does not say “gays must marry straights” but it does say that in pre-mortal, mortal, and eternal identity, there are only 2 kinds of beings, male and female, and each must marry the other, and they must procreate. The other four sexual orientations recognized by modern medicine (lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, asexual) are ignored as though they don’t even exist. Consequently, Mormon theology requires that all males and all females, regardless of orientation, must marry and must procreate.

    Yes, the mistake of a mixed-orientation marriage occurs among people of all faiths, as well as among people of no faith.

    No one doubts the feelings of you or your friends, and no one doubts that your children are beautiful, and no one doubts that you and your friends are adequate co-parents; however, the fact that you are already divorced from your former wife is proof that mixed-orientation marriages don’t succeed. If they did, you wouldn’t be divorced.

    No one is making any moral judgment about your honesty, or about your marriage, or about anyone else’s marriage.

    Nonetheless, while your gay Mormon friends may be great fathers to their children, they cannot be great husbands to their wives in the way that Mormon theology demands, and so, like you, they will eventually divorce for everyone’s benefit.

    The Mormon bishops are still promoting quack medicine, and are still at risk of lawsuits for medical malpractice and consumer fraud.

    The superstitions of the Mormon bishops, and their plans for all citizens in all societies (regardless of faith, regardless of government) are evident in the many legal briefs that they filed in state and federal courtrooms over the last quarter century.

  • Ned Flaherty

    To the anonymous Rio:

    No one questions whether you get along well with your ex-wife, and no one questions whether you are an involved parent.

    But yes, your marriage did fail, which is why your former wife is your current ex-wife. You wouldn’t call her your ex-wife if the marriage had stayed intact.

    Regardless of whether they are more fortunate or less fortunate, other divorced, mixed-gender, heterosexual couples are irrelevant to the fatal flaw in this documentary, which is the LDS demand that gay/lesbian Mormons still must marry opposite-gender Mormons, and still must procreate, to fulfill a religious superstitions.

  • Rick Patty

    Joshua, Well said. Thank you for your post. Jana does at times have good insights and comments, but the PC of the Gay movement seems to have overwhelmed her reason this time.

  • Dan the Mormon

    It doesn’t seem like anyone is dishonest in this show. The women know that their husbands are attracted to men and choose to be married to them anyways. The men aren’t hiding their sexuality from their wives. In what way are they being dishonest?

  • Clayton

    Many homosexual/bi-sexual men are in relationships, even marriage, with women.
    LGBTQ groups don’t like this. They reject “gay” people who choose to live as normal people and want, for example, to have biological children.

    To homosexuals, life is only about sex. They’re pathetic.

    Well-known homosexual activist men have sometimes started relationships with lesbian women (yes, it’s true and well-documented).

    These men are regarded as traitors by LGBTQ groups and are rejected.
    Fact is, LGBTQ groups are fascistic and the opposite of tolerant.

  • jwchenard

    These men are attracted to other men, but they “do not self-identify as gay.”

    Right, and I married a black guy, but if he didn’t refer to himself as black, our marriage wouldn’t be interracial. He’s clearly black, is African American descent, and *his skin is dark brown*, but if he did not use the word “black” to describe himself, that would make a difference. Really?

    A cat can call itself a dog, but that don’t make it so. If you are physically attracted to people of your own sex, then you are gay. Pretty simple, really, and nothing to be ashamed of. No different than being left handed. True, nothing says that you can’t still marry a person of the opposite sex, but why would you, when you can instead spend your life with someone that you actually love?

    If your family and church are dead-set on sending you down a path to life-long unhappiness in a sham marriage, it might be time to part ways. Just a thought.

  • Dan the Mormon

    If you believe in marriage quality you shouldn’t have a problem with the show. If you believe that marriage between two consenting adults of whatever gender or orientation is a right, then you should not have any problem with this show.

    I could understand having a problem with the show if you have a belief that mixed-orientation marriages are bad for society. If so, you should ask yourself why you believe that mixed orientation marriages are bad and whether that reason supersedes the right of these people to marry who they want.

    That said, I don’t plan on watching the show because it looks like a waste of my time. I also don’t watch shows about polygamous marriages, or pretty much any other TV show for that matter. Watching TV is pretty much a waste of your life.

  • Dan the Mormon

    marriage equality*

  • Rick Patty

    Ned, Soul Mates are not found, they are made. I have been married to the same woman for more than 30 years and I can tell you that what started off with a lot of hope and just a bit of love, has grown, put down roots and blossomed into a stronger love than I could ever have imagined. It is faith and trust in God, combined with respect, honor, service, patience and time that creates a soul mate. How thankful I am for my wife, who has stuck with me for all these years, and I with her. Sexual attraction is a fact which must be dealt with in the proper way by everyone. As has been stated, “Sex is a river of fire that must be banked and cooled in a hundred different ways if it is not to consume the individual and society”. Same sex attraction is not the end of the world. It is another fact that for some must be dealt with. But true love conquers all. Let those with same sex attraction deal with it in the way they choose. The Mormon church, which I believe is the true restored gospel of Jesus Christ teaches people how to maximize joy and happiness both in this life, and in the life to come. All we do is teach and encourage faithfulness, nobody is forced to do anything. We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own consciences, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where or what they may.

  • jwchenard

    Your post is wrong and disgusting in so many ways that I don’t have time to explain them all. Gay people can have biological children, as you are presumably well aware. And the primary reason that gay men and lesbians have in the past sometimes been married was that they could not get the legal advantages of marriage (most often health insurance, but also inheritance issues, taxation, etc) any other way, because they couldn’t marry the people that they really did love. But the second paragraph is the most despicable. I would stay with my husband for the rest of our lives regardless of whether we were able to have a physical relationship. We are every bit as In-Love as any opposite-sex couple, and more so than many, frankly. Take your offensive, ignorant, bigoted, nonsense elsewhere, please.

  • jwchenard

    Your typo was UNBELIEVABLY ironic, Dan!

  • jwchenard

    All very well said. But it’s still a whitewash.

    What we are talking about here is people denying themselves the opportunity for a happy, satisfying, life-long partnership (which, yes, should include sex), because the people around them say they should live by a set of rules based on the rantings of a lunatic, polygamist, prepubescent-girl-marrying conman about buried gold plates back in the early 19th century.

    It’s just plain sad.

  • Ned Flaherty

    The protestors do not object to people choosing to marry, and they do not object to people choosing whom they shall marry; what the protestors object to is the quackery of the Mormon theology, which demands that every Mormon marry someone of the opposite gender, and then procreate profusely, regardless of their respective sexual orientations.

    This demand of the bishops replaces modern medical science with religious superstition, which Mormon bishops are trying to write into the civil laws that govern everybody else.

  • Ned Flaherty

    People who support marriage equality object to the quackery of the Mormon theology, which demands that every Mormon marry someone of the opposite gender, and then procreate profusely, regardless of their respective sexual orientations. That theology replaces modern medical science with religious superstition, which Mormon bishops are trying to write into the civil laws that govern everybody else.

  • Brian

    Another fine example of gay activists being hypocrites, undoing their #1 argument of “everyone should be able to marry who they want”. They funny part is watching other gay activists trying to defend and justify the hypocrisy.

  • Ned Flaherty

    Rick Patty fears that sex is a monster which:

    – “must be dealt with”;
    – is “a river of fire”;
    – must be “banked and cooled in 100 different ways”;
    – can “consume the individual”
    – can “consume society.”

    Modern health professionals know that these are ancient, ignorant, negative, self-defeating attitudes which reduce sex to a pool of fear, loathing, denial, and regret instead of normal human experience that is joyful and fulfilling.

    This negativity is typical among Christian-like faiths.

    Rick Patty writes — incorrectly — that “true love conquers all.” He’s wrong. It doesn’t. True love never changes sexual orientation from heterosexual to homosexual, or from homosexual to heterosexual.

    Rick Patty writes that “nobody is forced to do anything” and that each Mormon worships as he/she pleases, per conscience.

    That is untrue. For Mormons, (1) same-gender sexual relations are always forbidden, (2) mixed-gender marriage is a moral imperative and required for eternal salvation, and (3) profuse procreation is mandatory; therefore, in 1995, the Mormon church published “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” which details these rules. The entire Proclamation was never rescinded, and it remains in full effect.

  • Ned Flaherty

    To the anonymous Brian:

    Some marriage equality supporters are LGBT, but the vast majority are not, so the reactions to this film are not coming from what you imagine to be “gay activists” (your words).

    All advocates for marriage equality still support everyone choosing their own spouse without government interference, so the hypocrisy you imagine here just doesn’t really exist at all.

    But the nearly 100,000 petition signers do object to the quackery of the Mormon theology, which demands that every Mormon marry someone of the opposite gender, and then procreate profusely, regardless of their respective sexual orientations. This demand of the bishops replaces modern medical science with religious superstition, which Mormon bishops are trying to write into the civil laws that govern everybody else.

  • Larry

    They are lying to themselves. That they can maintain sane marital relationship despite lacking a major component to it, physical relations. Lacking in such connections in marriages have been known to be grounds for divorce in most cases.

    Might as well be calling it an arranged marriage or marriage of convenience.

  • Larry

    “I wouldn’t recommend that my gay child marry someone of the opposite sex, just for the sake of having a family.”

    Why bother to put yourself through the trouble of being legally bound to someone who you have no desire for physical relations just to have a family?

    The only honest part of the Regenerus study on “gay families” was that family tension was extremely high in the majority of cases where gays married straight people and raised children. In the overwhelming majority of instances where a gay person marries straight for the purposes of appeasing religious/social/family custom it leads to divorce, and troubles for the children.

    Family is more than biological children. Plenty of gay couples have and raise children. You are telling me that children through adoption, medical science or surrogacy are inferior to those produced otherwise.

    Nothing says they shouldn’t do so. Its just not a sane thing to do. Plenty of people justify pointless, destructive behavior under the guise of following religious teachings. This is no different.

  • Larry

    I think you miss the intent of the show’s producers.

    Even from the title, one can tell that the show does not intend on treating its subjects as happy functioning couples. We are meant to see the couples heading into a train-wreck that they do not.

  • The Bike Guy

    In Western societies we have evolved the concept of the individual right to romantic love. Its seeds were sown with Romeo and Juliet. Once this was established for heterosexuals it was inevitably going to arise for gay men and lesbians, and finally has. At least for those of us who accept homosexuality as a natural biological variant, like left-handedness, and not “a struggle to be overcome.”

    If the Mormons choose to live by medieval norms, that is their prerogative. I am a gay man who considered marrying a woman in my youth, mainly to conform to social norms and for biological children. I do not judge others that decision. I personally decided it was morally wrong to live an inauthentic life, and profoundly unfair to the woman. I have now been happily married to the same man for over thirty years, with two wonderful children. I believe we made the right moral choice and try hard not to judge others’ choices.

    But I will always hold a particular animus in my heart for Mormons since the respect is not mutual. The Mormons are obsessed with gays, from Proposition 8 to the Boy Scouts, rooted in their belief in celestial marriage. Keep your wacky beliefs – it is indeed a free country – but how dare you try to destroy our lives?
    My spouse and I were both Boy Scouts and would have loved the same for our son. However thanks to the Mormons taking over the American Boy Scouts in the 1990s for their own needs – less than 2% of the US population but they fund almost a third of troops – they turned the BSA from the open, non-denominational group that I loved into their (and the Baptists’) fiefdom. Our son lost out – and he would have loved it – and we will personally never forgive Mormons for their narrow-mindedness. I suppose having grown up in NYC (where our Scout troop had all kinds), I will never understand the narrow and self-righteous mindset of this medieval sect, born out there in the isolated desert.

  • Larry

    Actually the show probably does more to support marriage equality by showing what a disaster gays marrying heterosexually for religious purposes looks like in real terms.

    Dan, you and others appear to miss the apparent point of the show. It appears to be RIDICULING your beliefs, not reinforcing them.

  • MB


    SInce it appears that you’re a scientist, can you please explain to me the scientific evidence of being gay? What medical journal has diagnosed what gay is or how it occurs with concrete evidence? The simple answer is that there is no scientific evidence or discovery that proves that being gay is normal. If you disagree, by all means, please explain to me the science behind being gay. I want science Ned!

  • MB

    Dude, Ned, you keep referring to the “quackery of mormon theology which demands that every mormon marry someone of the opposite gender…” Have ya read the Bible Ned? Last time I checked, that so called quackery wasn’t developed by the Mormons. In fact, that “quackery” is in more than just Christianity. So my suggestion to you would be to look into things a little further before you try to drag people’s beliefs through the mud. Besides, just because your point of view is different than my own doesn’t mean I’m a quack. To be honest, I think the gay community has missed the point entirely on what the purpose of sex is. Sure it feels great, but the pleasure is only a side effect of the actual purpose….which is to have children. Forest through the trees Ned, forest through the trees. P.S. anyone who believes that Mormon bishops are trying to write civil laws is a straight up looney tune. If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge to the FL Keys I’ll sell you.

  • MB

    Ned, explain medical malpractice?

  • Larry

    You miss the point. Just because your religion says something is acceptable, it does not make it so. Nor does it make it a sane thing to do.

    In this case Mormon theology is making a mockery of marriage in ways unseen since the days before Utah was a state. They encourage gay people to marry straight out of social pressure and try to foreclose the existence of gay families living a sane existence.

    “Sure it feels great, but the pleasure is only a side effect of the actual purpose”

    Your wife must be a very lonely person. 🙁

    ” anyone who believes that Mormon bishops are trying to write civil laws is a straight up looney tune.”

    MB, you are a liar. The LDS funded, provided manpower and political support for many efforts to have gay marriage banned. Most notably were their efforts in California which rendered the marriage of 20,000 people null and void for several years.

  • I had the same thought as Renee. Sexuality is not always binary. There is a spectrum, and there are bisexuals. However, I can’t say without watching this show whether this is just simple denial (the clickbait title suggests it is, plus it’s reality TV so nuance is a tall order) or fear-based living among Mormons (doubtless this is an issue for some). I don’t like reality TV, but if I were going to start watching it, this isn’t the kind of show I’d cut my teeth on.

    There’s a test that shows more nuance than the binary sexual orientation here:

  • WifeAndMom

    I remain nameless to protect loved ones who are not yet ready/able to speak out. This topic spurs strong feelings because it goes right to the core of our hearts and souls. Many will have differing opinions, and will make blanket statements. Many people just don’t know “the other side” of the story. Many of us have felt the joys and the heartaches that come from truely loving another person, and we feel we can speak from experience.

    None of that will change what someone knows is true to them personally in their core. I respect all of your opinions, because our differences is the stuff that makes the world go around! Everyone just wants to love and be loved in return.

    Different doesn’t always equal wrong, no matter what side you are viewing the situation. Saying hurtful things only perpetuates the problem of misunderstanding others.

  • Ned Flaherty

    To the anonymous MB:

    Your own vocabulary (“normal”) inhibits your ability to learn and understand.

    Beginning over 100 years ago, modern medical science identified 5 sexual orientations: lesbian (female), homosexual (male), bisexual, asexual, and heterosexual. Each occurs at a different frequency, but all 5 orientations are considered normal, and none are abnormal. (American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Sociological Association, etc.)

    Homosexuality has been observed and documented in every animal species (including humans) in which it has been studied. Exactly why it occurs at the rates that it does, and not less often or more often, remains unknown, but in humans it has long been scientifically linked to about 15 measurable biological characteristics (language skill, hair pattern, finger length, hearing, blink rate, speech, chromosomes, etc.).

    You assume — incorrectly — that there’s “no evidence proving that sexual orientations are normal” (your words). That is untrue. In fact, the opposite is true: there’s no evidence proving it is “abnormal” (your word).

    It’s irrelevant that I disagree with you. What’s important is who else disagrees with you: the modern organizations of professionals who have spent their careers studying the science.

  • Ned Flaherty

    To the anonymous MB:

    Malpractice occurs when a person or organization that is attempting to deliver medical/mental health care acts in one or more ways that are professionally negligent, by act or by omission, such that the treatment fails to meet the accepted professional standards and harms the patient.

    All of the religious organizations (Mormon, Christian, Jewish, etc.) that advertise or sell quack “cures” for sexual orientation are committing medical/mental malpractice. That’s why none of them can get training, certification, licensure, supervision, regulation, or insurance for what they do. It’s all quack medicine, based on junk science, fueled by religious superstition.

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  • Neon Genesis

    Why don’t they just identify as bisexual then? It seems clear they’re bi men and only calling them gay for the sake of sensationalism.

  • Franken

    It’s good to see people who struggle with sin not succumb to it and live faithfully to God.

    Only two choices for anyone with SSA to stay faithful to God:

    1. Celibacy
    2. A heterosexual relationship where your partner knows about your sinful attractions.

  • Seth R.

    You know all the talk of suicides in these debates kind of reminds me of those used car commercials:

    “Buy NOW at Bubba Bo Bob’s Auto Emporium – or I’ll shoot this puppy!”

    “Vote for gay marriage NOW or the gay teen gets it!”

    Of course, it’s inconceivable that gay suicide rates might have to do with something other than how people vote on gay marriage.

    And of course you can choose who you love. People do that all the time. Enough to where it’s almost an unremarkable occurrence.

  • Larry

    “Of course, it’s inconceivable that gay suicide rates might have to do with something other than how people vote on gay marriage.”

    You are right.

    It has to do with the people who typically vote against gay marriage. 🙂

    People who encourage gay teen suicide through social pressures and prejudices. People who use religious belief as an excuse to deny gay people a normal, sane existence.

  • Sara

    Thank you for speaking up Joshua- I agree with your critique of the writing and what you added and I share your disagreement with the Church’s handling of gay issues in and out of the church.

    I read Jana’s work because it usually gives me insight into difficult subjects and I’m disappointed that her assumptions here seem to echo those made by other organizations seeking to silence TLC and the sharing of these stories. It’s so telling that GLADD and other organizations- the champions of “ALL LOVE IS EQUAL” are unwilling to champion love stories that threaten their interests.

  • Seth R.

    Uh huh, and marriage is certainly part of “sane existence” right?

    That must be why so many gays favor marriage over cohabitation…

    Oh wait.

  • Seth R.

    And of course people who vote against gay marriage are automatically the sort of nasty people who bully gays at school and disown their own gay children right?

  • “However, I expect that Mormon discomfort with the program will also stem from a sinking realization that these couples’ lives—and, more sadly, their children’s—are constructed on a cracked foundation.”

    Always looking at the symptoms, never looking at the root of the problem.

    The foundation of Mormonism is cracked.

  • Frank

    Teens who struggle with SSA are suffering from an affliction and often have other mental health issues. They need to be treated and supported as people and their sinful attractions need to be understood in their proper context. The people who are most responsible for any suicide are those that encourage them that their sinful attractions are their identity. No they are simply sinful attractions. But since they are not fully developed as adults they tend to make everything they feel their identity. So very sad.

    Of course the truth is a threat to those that want to use theses kids to further their own sinful lifestyle.

  • Larry

    “Oh wait”, my posterior! You are trying to tell me that gays aren’t seeking marriage? Why must you lie so badly? Its cringeworthy.

    Of course the marriages depicted on this show are not sane. Hence the subject of reality TV. Nobody has a show called, “The Happy Trouble Free Existence Hour”

    Marriage to someone you share physical and emotional bonds with a foundation of honesty is sane. You can’t say that about these religion-based arranged marriages. Very tough to call a marriage sane when a spouse says to the other literally, “I am never going to be physically attracted to you”.

    That being said, those who typically vote against marriage equality also tend to engage in behavior hostile to gays. Including (and especially) those in their own families. There are even people who encourage gay teens to commit suicide.

  • Larry

    Statistically most likely. Especially since the opposition to it is entirely based on religion and prejudices. There is not a single rational and secular argument against it. A lot of nonsense, but little else.

  • Larry

    Gay Teen Suicide More Likely After Religious Counseling

    “individuals who sought religious or spiritual treatment had higher odds of later attempting suicide than those who did not seek treatment at all,””

    Rejection by parents is a leading factor in gay teen suicide

    No Frank, the teens are not broken, their parents and peers are. Your vicious version of religion is broken.

  • Ned Flaherty

    None of the men in this documentary are truly bisexual, and nothing “clearly” says that they are bisexual. What they are is gay men pretending to live heterosexual lives because their religious superstitions force them to do that.

    If they were merely bisexual, they would never have joined North Star, the Mormon church’s quack medicine club for “ex-gay therapy.”

  • Frank

    See above. It’s not the counseling but the outside voices deceiving these young victims.

    Try again.

  • Ned Flaherty

    To the anonymous Franken:

    Modern medical science, developed over the last 100 years, proves that your amateurish term SSA (same-sex attraction) does not exist; it is a junk-science notion founded upon ignorance.

    Modern medical science recognizes 5 sexual orientations: lesbian (female), homosexual (male), bisexual, asexual, heterosexual). All are normal; none are illnesses and none are “curable.”

    Every major religion (Mormonism is not major) now has a growing number of clergy who bless same-gender couples and/or perform same-gender weddings. Therefore, LGBT and asexual people have 4 choices, not just the two you dictate.

    3. Reject Mormonism in favor of any of the many faiths that recognize modern medical science and that do not preach religious superstition.
    4. Reject Mormonism in favor of agnosticism or atheism.

  • Seth R.

    Gays are seeking marriage because it’s something exciting going on right now that they think will gain them social acceptance.

    But when polled, very small numbers of them actually value monogamy or intend to be monogamous. Big percentages of gay relationships are actually open.

    With the rest of American couples moving to cohabitation as the new norm, it is expected that gays will too – as soon as the marriage fad thing is finished.

  • Seth R.

    Basically, all dogs are mammals, so all mammals are dogs then Larry?

    Kind of like most people who bully gays or disinherit them opposed gay marriage – therefore – most people who oppose gay marriage bully gays or disinherit them.

  • Joshua Johanson

    People who support marriage equality should support the equal opportunity of EVERYONE to marry who they want to.

    Why is it such a big deal to you if we are gay and marry a woman? If we love each other and want to be together, who are you to stand in the way of our happiness? I married my wife because I loved her, not because the Church said too, and that is what these men say too.

    Marriage equality has turned into equality for some.

  • Joshua Johanson

    Marriage equality should be about letting two consenting adults get married. I didn’t get married for the Church, and these men didn’t either. They married because they loved their wives, as did I.

    Stereotyping gay men, even Mormon gay men, can only hurt marriage equality.

  • Joshua Johanson

    Just because we are attracted to men doesn’t mean we don’t love our wives. Please don’t call our marriages a sham marriage.

    BTW, The APA defines sexual orientation as the following:

    Sexual orientation refers to an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic and/or sexual attractions to men, women or both sexes. Sexual orientation also refers to a person’s sense of identity based on those attractions, related **behaviors** and membership in a community of others who share those attractions.

    If their behaviors are heterosexual, then that is part of their orientation according to the APA.

  • Seth R.

    Not to mention that a fairly large chunk of the sexually active gay population in America also “swings both ways.” This percentage usually tends to get shoved under the rug by the pro-gay marriage movement because they’re messing up the narrative.

  • Joshua Johanson

    The problem is when YOU get to decide whether our marriages are fake or not. You take your preconceived notions and then try to apply them to our marriages. Your assumptions about us are wrong. We should have all the rights that you have.

  • Ned Flaherty

    To the anonymous Frank:

    “SSA” (your word) is junk science, an amateurish, cultural notion invented by arch-conservative right-wing Christianists for labeling other people as “sinful” (your word).

    The whole notion of “sinful attraction” (your term) is merely a religious superstition from the Bronze Age. Over the last 100 years or so, modern medical science has identified 5 sexual orientations, all of which occur regularly and normally, and none of which are an “affliction” (your word). Sexual orientation cannot be cured, because it is not a diagnosis, because it is not an illness or a defect; it is a regularly occurring feature that is found in every species on earth in which it has been studied.

    Sexual orientation never causes suicide; what causes it is the treatment of LGBT people by the rest of society. Whenever the mistreatment stops, the suicides also stop.

    Your “sin” isn’t everyone else’s sin, your scriptures aren’t everyone else’s scriptures, and your deity isn’t everyone else’s deity. Most major religions (Mormonism isn’t one) have a growing number of clergy who bless same-gender couples and/or perform same-gender weddings.

  • Joshua Johanson

    The point is we don’t need our sexual orientation to change in order to be happy. Before I met my wife, I was only attracted to men. I developed an attraction to my wife, but no other women. We are happily married. What is it to you?

  • Joshua Johanson

    Why can’t it be that we love our wives? Why does it have to be denial or fear?

  • Joshua Johanson

    I actually get that a lot. Before I met my wife, I was only attracted to men. I wanted to get married to a woman, but everyone told me I was gay and couldn’t change. I met my wife, and after dating I developed an attraction to her, and we got married. She remains the only woman I am remotely attracted to, and I am fine leaving it that way. Lots of men in my situation seem to be similar.

    So either there are men out there who think they are gay, but could actually be bisexual if they meet the right women, or some people changed their orientation. It seems odd that I am bisexual when I am only attracted to one woman, but who knows.

  • What a lot of people don’t realize, that many married gay men ARE attracted to our wives. I am. That might be why these men don’t identify as gay.

    I typically still identify as gay, as do people like Josh Weed, because sexual orientation is usually a pattern, and the only woman I am attracted to is my wife.

    Our marriages are fulfilling in all sense of the word. We aren’t doing it from outside pressure, but because we truly love our wives. I wish people would respect that. There are more and more of us standing up because we are tired of being a stereotype.

  • Larry

    That is the most ridiculous thing you have said so far. You are pulling stuff out of your posterior here. Big percentages of all relationships are actually open. Ascribing such a thing specifically to gays is dishonest nonsense.

    Its pretty irrelevant nonsense on this subject. These gays are marrying straight people because their religion is pressuring them to do so. Whatever you think of gay couples is not important here.

  • Larry

    Nobody is stopping you under the color of law from marrying someone you have no sexual attraction to, are they? So there is no relationship between these marriages and marriage equality. The are more than welcome to do so. It doesn’t mean that I can’t think its an insane and silly thing to do.

    Gay mormons who marry straight people which seemingly comes out of religious coercion, Does a great deal to show why marriage equality is so important. The whole premise of the TV show is to show how dysfunctional such unions. Again, nobody has a reality TV show, “I Am Perfectly Fine and Functional”

  • Larry

    I am calling bullcrap on that whole line of argument. Joshua, NOBODY is preventing you from marrying a straight woman under the color of law. It has nothing to do with marriage equality.

    it is a big deal because it is a rather silly and insane thing to do, but is spurred on as the only way the LDS deems gay people acceptable.

  • Larry

    I see you are trying to avoid straightforward non-wingnutty conversation.

    The anti-marriage equality lobby is an anti-gay one. People who apparently have no problem with supporting discrimination against gays. In many cases they even support gays being imprisoned or executed for being what they are. Such as the big American Evangelical support in Africa and Russia for such measures.

    You will know a Christian by their deeds. They speak for themselves here.

  • Larry

    Except you support these counselors. Especially the vicious ones in the “ex-gay” crowd. I suggest you get a fire extinguisher for your pants at this point.

  • Ned Flaherty

    People who support marriage equality DO support it for everyone. It does not matter to me what your sexual orientation is, and it does not matter to me whom you choose to marry. I do not oppose any marriage between two consenting adults.

    If you think you can juggle this — a sex-life with other men and an everything-else-life with your wife — then best wishes to all three of you.

    But just remember what happens whenever a Mormon woman marries a gay Mormon man:

    1. The wife never has a fulfilling sex life.
    2. The husband never has a fulfilling sex life.
    3. The husband’s sex life eventually turns to another man, or men.
    4. The other man eventually refuses to be only a part-time alternative.
    5. This whole arrangement violates Mormon doctrine.

    You write that these men did not marry their wives just because the Mormon clergy ordered them to.

    That is untrue.

    Seven of the cast members are deeply affiliated with North Star, the radical, Mormon, quack-medicine, “ex-gay therapy” club. And listen closely to Jeff Bennion (who also defended the Mormon ban on African-American clergy) as he sells this medical/mental malpractice to other people because the Mormon deity demands it.

  • Ned Flaherty

    No one ever said that you don’t love your wife.

    What people are saying is that you are a gay man who married a woman, and that the fundamental contradictions and conflicts in such a 3-way relationship are typically very unhealthy for all of the people involved.

    Remember: The APA’s “related behaviors” are behaviors related to sexual orientation and gender identity. Consequently, no one can genuinely, simultaneously have both a homosexual orientation and a heterosexual behavior. (Yes, one can have a bisexual orientation and bisexual behavior, but that is not your case at all.)

    If you never belonged to any faith at all, then an argument could be made that your marriage is unusual, and not necessarily a sham. But your Mormon marriage is part of Mormon theology, which requires:

    1. Every Mormon must marry someone of the opposite gender (regardless of their orientations).
    2. Every Mormon must procreate profusely.
    3. Eternal salvation is jeopardized if key Mormon rules are violated.

  • Ned Flaherty

    To the anonymous Seth R.:

    Over the last 100 years, modern medical science identified 5 sexual orientations: homosexuals (males), lesbians (females), bisexuals, asexuals, and heterosexuals.

    Therefore, there is no such thing as “gays who swing both ways” (your words). Anyone who is attracted to both genders is bisexual, never gay.

    Also, the marriage equality movement does not shove bisexuals “under the rug” (your words).

  • Ned Flaherty

    I did not decide that your marriage is fake.

    Your Mormon clergy decided that every Mormon must marry someone of the opposite gender, regardless of their orientations. Your Mormon clergy teach that a mixed-gender marriage where one partner is a gay man or a lesbian woman is a “cure” for the non-existent “disease” of non-heterosexual orientation.

    But modern medical science over the last 100 years has learned much that your clergy have not. What defines your marriage as a sham is not what other individuals say or think, but what is now known about medical/mental health and human sexuality.

    If those shoes fit, then you are, indeed, wearing them.

  • Joshua Johanson

    Why is it a 3-way relationship? Are you including my kids?

    I know atheist gay men who marry. The Straight Spouse Network estimates there are about 2 million opposite-sex couples where one spouse is gay, and I have only seen estimates of 700,000 committed same-sex couples.

    It isn’t a big deal. Everyone should be free to be with who they want, but I am tired of people acting like my marriage is unusual. We are the silent majority.

  • Ned Flaherty

    Gay men who marry women invariably, eventually end up with one or more male extra-marital partners that they never planned on having. If it’s not 3-way yet, it will, in all probability, be so at some point.

    If you have any doubt, contact gay ex-Mormon men who finally quit the whole charade and regained their health.

    It doesn’t matter whether there are 2, 20, 200, 2000, 2 million, or 200 million mixed-gender, mixed-orientation couples, because that quantity, by itself, reveals nothing. Some of the Straight Spouse Network men didn’t know they were gay when they got married, some hoped marriage would change them (it rarely does), some were forced by religious superstition to marry as a “cure,” some were forced by relatives, employers, regional cultural customs, etc.

    Your statistics are obsolete. Among America’s 330 million citizens, 73% today live in jurisdictions where same-gender civil marriage is legal. There already are millions of legally married same-gender couples, plus millions more committed-but-unmarried couples, plus 20 other nations of couples. Worldwide, the number of legally married same-gender couples is now around tens of millions.

    The reason that people react as if your marriage is unusual is because it IS unusual (less than 1% of the population).

    America has 330 million citizens, so even if there are 2 million couples with one gay spouse, that’s still only 1% of the nation, and 1%, whether silent or vocal, is never a “majority” (your word) of anything. Yes, couples like yours are almost always silent, but no, they are never a majority.

  • BrotherofJared

    Explain Highest ranking Mormon Bishops… I’ve never heard of that.

  • BrotherofJared

    And I’m at a complete lost on this one: “profuse procreation is mandatory” Even the author knows better than this unless any procreation is considered “profuse”

  • BrotherofJared

    That being said, there the almost 100,000 petitioners will probably be the only people watching it.

  • Ned Flaherty

    To the anonymous “Brother of Jared”:

    The highest ranked bishops in the Mormon church are the 18 men (women are banned from all LDS priesthood positions) who work full-time as: First President/Prophet, 1st Counselor, 2nd Counselor, Quorum of the 12 Apostles, and the 3 men of the Presiding Bishopric.

    “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” (1995) says: “We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that . . . God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force.”

    The entire Proclamation was never altered, modified, cancelled, or rescinded, and it remains in full effect.

    Brigham Young wrote: “It is the duty of every righteous man and woman to prepare tabernacles for all the spirits they can . . .”

    Apostle Rudger Clawson said most women can produce 8 – 10 children, and he encouraged reproduction to the “utmost limit.”

    President Joseph F. Smith said, “. . . it is a crying evil . . . among any members of the Church to curtail the birth of their children.”

    In 1960, Apostle Hugh B. Brown, counselor to President McKay, said, “The Latter-Day Saints believe in large families wherever it is possible. . .”

    In 1958, Bruce McConkie’s Mormon Doctrine, a standard reference, said, “Those who practice birth control – by artificial means or contraception – are running counter to the foreordained plan of the Almighty. They are in rebellion against God and are guilty of gross wickedness.”

    In 1969, the First Presidence wrote, “. . . it is contrary to the teachings of the Church to artificially curtail or prevent the birth of children.”

    Mormon doctrine denies that over-population can occur; consequently, efforts to subsidize birth control, even in heavily populated regions of the globe, are “in direct opposition of the plans and laws of God.” (Mormon Doctrine, 1958)

    Mormon leaders have never condoned economic limitations, educational obligations, or “arbitrary” restriction of family size as excuses for using any form or method of birth control.

    For details, see “Birth Control Among the Mormons” by Lester E. Bush, Jr.

    Compared to people of other faiths and of no faith, Mormons marry earlier, stay married longer, have children earlier, and have more children. “The Mormon culture puts a high value on children, and on having a lot of them,” University of Utah research economist Pam Perlich told the Salt Lake Tribune (07-Nov-2010).

  • Joshua Johanson

    Wait, how does opposing my marriage support marriage equality, but equality for my marriage has nothing to do with equality.

    Domestic unions were treated the same as marriages under California law. Prop 8 was about the word “marriage” more than any rights. Any why is that. One word “dignity”.

    After all, why should same-sex couples be treated separately from opposite-sex couples. They wanted the dignity to say they were married, to not be treated as the exception all the time. They wanted not to be constantly told their union was inferior and destined to fail. That is what marriage equality was all about anyway.

    Well, we want the same dignity for our marriages. We want to be able to talk about our marriages, without all hell breaking loose. We want to live our lives without having to be constantly told we are inferior and we are going to fail. We want dignity.

    You are not any different than those who supported Prop 8. You want your viewpoint enforced on others. I am going to fight so my marriage is free from the tyranny of people like you.

  • Joshua Johanson

    Marriage equality is a lot more than the ability to marry under the law. A large part is dignity.

    I want to be able to live without a flurry of people petitioning to boycott anyone who gives me the time of day. I want to be who I am without people calling me “silly and insane”, without writing articles complaining that someone is actually admitting that I exist. Why does it bug you so much that I am married to a woman.

    When Prop 8 was going, people would say if you don’t like gay marriages, then don’t get one. That tune has totally changed. It is now, if you don’t like gay marriages, you need to get one anyway.

    It is interesting how quickly you have adopted all of the techniques that the Prop 8 supporters used to attack your marriages.

  • Larry

    “Wait, how does opposing my marriage support marriage equality, but equality for my marriage has nothing to do with equality.”

    1. I criticize the sanity of your marriage, not its legality. Personal opinion. Something which is never meant to carry force of law. Marriage equality is about legal rights. Not personal opinions.

    2. You were dead wrong about domestic unions under Proposition 8. Domestic unions never carried the full power and rights of a marriage. The law invalidated the legally recognized marriages of about 20,000 people at the time. It was an attack on their civil liberties. Besides “the civil liberties compromise” did not exist when the anti-gay lobby thought they had political power. The anti-gay lobby openly attacked any form of union which was a civil marriage for gays. The only purpose for such suggestions is to create an inherently inferior union to marriage. “Separate but equal”

    3. Your marriage is already recognized under the national and international laws. If you want respect for your union, well that is something that I have no desire to give, nor have to. Its a personal opinion. Your situation is not even close to the same as what people are looking for with marriage equality.

    4. I am far different than the bigots who supported Proposition 8. I am not trying to use force of law to control how people get married. I am ridiculing you, but not in any way affecting your legal right to carry on in your marriage.

    You can stop dishonestly invoking marriage equality now. Pretending you are in any way similar to people facing actual legal discrimination is pathetic. The tyranny you face is merely people making fun of you. Deal with it like an adult.

  • Larry

    No it isn’t. Marriage equality is an effort at civil laws. Ultimately a gay couple doesn’t have to care if other people ridicule their union if it is recognized under the law. The only approval people are expecting here is the approval of the State.

    You want dignity, tough luck. Nobody has to give it to you as a matter of course. Your situation has nothing to do with marriage equality. You are in a legally recognized marriage already. Be happy with that. Stop trying to ride the coattails of people who are facing discrimination under the color of law. You are not one of them.

    (See my response above for how stupid your Prop 8 reference is)

  • Seth R.

    I kind of find it interesting how all of your opponents are apparently dishonest Larry.

  • Larry

    @Seth R

    But not interested enough to dispute what I say.

    I can’t help it if lying is second nature to some people and arguments. Especially when they do so in service of their religious faith.

    You are more irritated about dishonesty being pointed out than you are in showing that I am incorrect in any way. Duly noted.

  • Seth R.

    A study out of San Francisco State University found that over half of gay couples have open relationships where they regularly sleep with partners other than their main partner.

    Over half Larry.

    That’s a LOT more than heterosexuals do – by a big margin.

    A 2003 study in the Netherlands found that gay marital relationships had an average mean of eight partners a year outside those relationships.

    Xirdou, M. et al (2003). The contribution of steady and casual partnerships to the incidence of HIV infection among homosexual men in Amsterdam. AIDS, 17 (7), 1029-1038.

    Exit polling that same year in Vermont on couples who entered into same sex marriages (when that state first allowed such marriages) found that 50% of them do not value sexual fidelity.

    As for partner abuse, the latest study I have verified figures for is a 1993 study that found that 47.5% of lesbians and 29.7% of gay men had been victimized by a gay partner.

    Waldner-Haugrud, L.K., Gratch, L.V. & Magruder, B. (1997). Victimization and perpetration rates of violence in gay and lesbian relationship: Gender issues explored. Violence and Victims, 12(2), 173-185.

    A 1994 study found that a staggering 90% of surveyed lesbians had been victims of one or more acts of violence in the last 12 months.

    Lockhart, L.L., (1994). Letting out the secret: violence in lesbian relationships. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 9, 469-492.

    Another study concluded more than 50% of the lesbians in the study had been abused by a partner.

    Lie, G.Y. & Gentlewarrior, S. (1991). Intimate violence in lesbian relationships; discussion of survey findings and practice implications. Journal of Social Service Research, 15, 41-59.

    Yet another noted the incidence of domestic violence among gay men almost doubled that of the heterosexual population.

    Island, D. & Letellier, P. (1991). Men who beat the men who love them: Battered gay men and domestic violence. New York: Haworth Press.

    And although gay activists have kind of jumped on the marriage fad for the time being, it should be noted a lot of prominent gay activists have a history of rhetoric that was always very hostile to marriage – calling it outdated and barbaric and sexist.

    Rotello, a gay author noted “Gay liberation was founded…. on a sexual brotherhood of promiscuity and any abandonment of that promiscuity would amount to a communal betrayal of gargantuan proportions.”

    Rotello, G. (1997). Sexual ecology: AIDS and the destiny of gay men. New York: Penguin Group.

    In a 2006 New York Times article, gay activists, such as Bill Dobbs, questioned whether or not monogamy is normal and questioned why gay men and lesbians are buying into an institution (marriage) they see as rooted in oppression. Other gay activists have strongly opposed marriage, which they view as a way of narrowing of sexual opportunity, noting that in France “… adultery is actually an equal opportunity. Women have almost as much adultery relationships as men.”

    Hartcollis, A. For some gays, a right they can forsake. (2006, July 30) New York Times, 9,2.

    By contrast, a study in 1994 concluded that the vast majority of heterosexual couples were monogamous while the marriage was intact. 94% of marriage couples and 75% of cohabitating couples had only one sexual partner in the previous 12 months.

    Michael R. Gagnon, J.H. Laumann, E.O. & Kolata, G. (1994). Sex in America: A definitive survey.

    Some gay activists such as lawyer Nam Hunter have rejected marriage entirely and see gay marriage as simply the next step to rendering marriage a meaningless concept and doing away with the institution entirely. She wrote “the impact of gay and lesbian marriage will be to dismantle the legal structure of gender in every marriage.” According to her, this arrangement has “the potential to expose and denaturalize the historical constuction of gender at the heart of marriage.”

    Hadley, A. 2006. The Family and the Laws, in Robert P. George & Jean Bethke Elshtain (ed.) The Meaning of Marriage. Dallas: Spence Publishing Company, 126-130.

    Matt Foreman, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, in response to the fluidity of homosexuality (the idea that many gays actually change in sexual preference from homosexual to heterosexual and back) commented: “We as a movement can take pride that we opened this door for young people to be much more fluid about sexuality, gender, gender roles, orientation and sexual behavior than any other generation in history. That’s what the gay movement has contributed to society, and that’s a tremendously good thing.”

    Vary, A.B., (2006, June 20) Is gay over? Advocate, pp. 98-102

  • Seth R.
  • Ned Flaherty

    To Joshua Johnson:

    You wrote — incorrectly — that “Domestic unions were treated the same as marriages” and “Prop 8 was about the word ‘marriage’ more than any rights.”

    Both statements are incorrect. (It’s really surprising how Mormons, especially gay Mormons, are so poorly informed about the biggest and most hateful ballot initiative in modern history, which their own church launched, managed, staffed, and funded.)

    Firstly, there never was any such thing as a “domestic union” (your term). Many states often had domestic partnerships, or civil unions, or both, but nowhere was there ever a “domestic union.”

    Secondly, CA domestic partnerships and CA marriages were fundamentally different, because 1,138 federal marriage-related benefits were available to married couples but not available to partnership couples. When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense-of-Marriage Act (on 26 June 2013, the same day it rejected the Proposition 8 appeal, and thus left its 2010 overturning permanently in effect), those 1,138 benefits became available to all civilly married couples, regardless of gender or orientation.

    So no, Proposition 8 was not only about one word, and yes, it was about rights (1,138 of them).

  • Larry

    Except your only verifiable citation, the NIH study, says nothing to that effect. The rest is a cut and paste quotemine, presumably from a source of dubious veracity given the lack of links to sources.

    Quotes without web attribution are not taken at face value. Quote mining/selective editing and distortion is too prevalent

    Plus your quotes are woefully outdated. Do you have something more recent, when gay marriage has become more likely or from countries/states where it has already been legalized? Of course not. If the anti-gay crowd were able to find problems/hazards caused by gay marriage in those places they would be using them as examples by now.

  • Seth R.

    I don’t really care Larry. You asked for a response, you got one.

    If you want to engage in a bunch of hand-waving now, that’s fine. It’s basically what I expected from you anyway.

    Not that it matters what you think since I didn’t post that for your benefit anyway.

  • Seth R.

    Also, I find it kind of hilarious that you think the only “verifiable” source there is the one that has an Internet link.

    It’s verifiable Larry. But maybe not for people like yourself that rely on Google to do all their thinking for them.

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  • Larry

    I know you don’t care. Hence your cut and paste from a source of presumed dubious veracity. A veritable “Gish Gallop”.

    Too bad none of it supports your original assertion. That marriage equality is not really something being sought by gays.

    Here is a hint, citations without a link are usually what people do when they are full of crap and don’t want people to know where they cut and pasted from.

  • Rebecca

    Well said! Thank you!

  • BeenThereDoneThat

    In the interest of disclosure, they don’t disclose their leadership roles as carnival barkers for change therapy. Moreover, if religious doctrine wasn’t in the equation, would they acknowledge that up to 80% of Mixed Orientation Marriages fail?

    Interesting study on Mixed Orientation Marriages

    Bisexuality is Essential in Preserving a Mixed-Orientation Marriage: An even starker finding from our study is that 85% of the men who rated themselves as exclusively homosexual on the Kinsey scale reported MOM divorces. In addition, when comparing Kinsey sexual attraction ratings (0 = Exclusively attracted to the opposite sex, 3 = Equally attracted to the opposite and same sexes or bisexual, 6 = Exclusively attracted to the same sex) of those who were able to maintain their mixed-orientation marriages vs. not — our study found that those who remained in a mixed-orientation marriage reported an average Kinsey attraction rating of 3.75, while those who were not in a mixed-orietntaion marriage reported an average Kinsey rating of 5.1. This strongly suggests that bisexuality is an essential ingredient to preserving a mixed-orientation marriage, while those with exclusive or nearly exclusive same-sex attractions are highly unlikely to be able to make a mixed-orientation marriage work in the long term.

    Mental Health and Quality of Life for Same-Sex Relationships: Conversely, our study found that LGBT Mormons who entered into legal, committed, same-sex marriages reported the highest quality of life and self-esteem scores, and the lowest scores for depression, sexual identity distress, and internalized homophobia — by a large statistical margin.

    Celibacy: Though slightly tangential, it is important to include information about celibacy, since both the LDS church and North Star support celibacy as the only possible alternative to mixed-orientation marriages for believing, active LGBT/SSA Mormons. Our findings indicate that those who were celibate had the lowest quality of life and self-esteem ratings of any major group in our study, along with the highest levels of depression, sexual identity distress, and internalized homophobia (again, worse than for those who have lupus). In short, it appears as though choosing celibacy is perhaps one of the worst major life choices that an LGBT person can make from a mental health/quality of life perspective.

    While we fully acknowledge that Mormon LGBT/SSA individuals and their partners are free to choose mixed-orientation marriages or celibacy (and affirm their right to self-determination), we believe it essential that individuals considering these “lifestyles” are made aware of the best available statistics that underly these decision. Based on the research, we have found the following:
    Approximately 70% of LDS LGBT/SSA individuals end up leaving the LDS church at some point in their lives.
    While the U.S. divorce rate for first marriages is around 25%, mixed-orientation marriages appear to have somewhere between a 50% and an 80% divorce rate. LDS mixed-orientation marriages appear to follow a similar trend, and by our research, have an estimated 70% divorce rate. This means that mixed-orientation marriages are somewhere between 200% and 300% more likely to end in divorce than are heterosexual marriages.
    Bisexuality appears to be an essential ingredient to preserving an LDS mixed-orientation marriage. Those who are exclusively attracted to the same sex have extremely high (upwards of 85%) probabilities of eventual divorce.
    Self-reported quality of life scores for LDS LGBT/SSA individuals who enter into mixed-orientation marriages are lower than for those who have lupus (a debilitating disease). Rates of depression, sexual identity distress, and internalized homophobia are also significantly higher, and rates of self-esteem are significantly lower. Outcomes for celibacy are even worse.
    The health/happiness/well-being of the straight spouses of LDS mixed-orientation marriages should not be overlooked, and are currently under study.
    LDS LGBT/SSA individuals who enter into legal, committed, same-sex relationships report the highest levels of quality of life and self-esteem, and the lowest levels of depression, sexual identity distress, and internalized homophobia.
    The decisions that appear to correlate with optimal quality of life and mental health outcomes for LGBT/SSA Mormons are the following:
    Believing that their same-sex attraction is biological, not a choice, and not a product of familial, social, environmental, or experiential factors.
    Accepting one’s same-sex sexuality.
    Coming out to family, friends, and community once one feels safe to do so.
    Becoming sexually active, preferably in a long term, committed, same-sex relationship (especially when exclusively same-sex attracted).
    Leaving the LDS church, either through resignation, disfellowshipment, or excommunication. We have found important exceptions to this correlate, and we hope that someday most LGBT people in the LDS church will be as happy as those who have left, but currently this is clearly not the case.

  • Greg Allen

    I’m right there with you man. I am not ashamed to be what I am… Attracted to lots of men but to only 1 woman, whom I am lucky enough to be married to. The crux of the matter for me was the life I wanted for myself. The Church didn’t force me… or my wife… to walk into this marriage. We married because we were in love and wanted to make a life together. And we have.

    Seems some of these protesters want to portray us (gay Mormons who choose to live in a straight marriage) as the rats and the Church as the crazy syringe-wielding scientists who are dropping us in a maze. To them I say… Piss off. Get out of my life. Get out of my marriage. I’m in the Church and in my marriage because I want to be. If I didn’t want to be in either institution, I know where the door is.

  • Ned Flaherty

    Being attracted to “lots of men but to only 1 woman” is a remote and rare possibility, which might happen once in a blue moon, but it can’t possibly explain the roughly 250,000 active-Mormon, adult, gay men who are married to women.

    These men often claim they’re married to a woman merely because they “want” to be; however, that alone isn’t plausible, rational, or believable, given the critical mystery of WHY any sane person would want such an obvious, fundamental conflict.

    The answer as to why men choose this is that, in their minds, these men face certain and eternal damnation if they don’t fulfill the Mormon mandates to (1) marry someone of the opposite gender, and (2) procreate profusely.

    “I married a woman but I’m attracted to men” can’t even begin to pass the sniff test unless the man claiming that is agnostic or atheist, and is thus free of religious superstitions about gender, marriage, breeding, and an afterlife.

    Knowing “where the door is” vs. actually walking through it are two very different things. Someone who hasn’t walked through it can’t realistically claim that the threat of eternal damnation vs. eternal salvation had no effect upon his marriage decisions.

  • Greg Allen

    Ned, since you seem to believe the presence of published, peer reviewed research is the gold standard to prove anything, let me ask you… Where is your proof that, and I quote, “being attracted to ‘lots of men but only 1 woman’ is a remote and rare possibility”… Really? How do you know this? Where does your estimate of 250,000 gay, married LDS men come from? Is it a guess? Yours or someone else’s? I’ve been to graduate school and have read… and conducted… my share of research, and I can tell you, the research community/business is not as bulletproof as one might think. Lots of bias among researchers directs what research ever gets off the ground, and in some cases informs the results, intentionally or not. Peer review helps but many researchers in the same fields share biases.

    To demonstrate the point of personal bias, you, Ned, have just announced to all the internet trolls reading the comments that my marriage and the marriages of men like me don’t pass the sniff test. You marginalize my personal choice to marry my awesome wife as having been made in a knee-knocking, fear laden choice between marriage and eternal damnation. That’s a pretty broad brush to paint 250,000 marriages with. (Using your number here) Further, you’ve announced that deciding to marry because I want to “isn’t plausible” for me or for an enormous number of other
    men. On its face that is at best an assumption on your part. The fact is, this sane logical person doesn’t see this “obvious, fundamental conflict” as being the defining factor of my marriage. The fact that I, a gay person, have regular rocking sex with my wife, is also not the defining factor of my marriage. To me the defining factor is that my wife and I make a great team. We are best friends, lovers, confidants, and truly partners in every sense. Your declaring my marriage a sham is completely irrelevant. Moreover, I am not the only person I know in such a situation.

    People get married for all kinds of reasons. People get divorced for all kinds of reasons. One of the reasons there is little to no research for you to cite in this field is because seasoned researchers know that trying to apply a case study (like mine, or one from anywhere else on an infinitely variable spectrum) to a general population is poor science. Another reason is because the anecdotes you do hear are almost invariably about the failures, not the successes, and when light is shined upon examples that are currently succeeding there is an enormous backlash publicly attacking their personal lives. What couple wants that? Not I, now or when I’m 80.

    You are right about 1 thing. Knowing where the door is isn’t the same thing as walking through it. Absolutely true. Why would I want to? I have everything I ever wanted… A family and a best friend and partner who loves me, and I her. I love her, boobs and all. To abandon all that to seek for your idea of authenticity is, frankly, ridiculous.

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  • Seth R.

    I always found it rather interesting that the American Psychological Association (APA) considers a gay person wanting to change his sexual orientation to be a sign of mental illness possibly requiring professional intervention – but they consider people who want sex change operations to be completely fine.

    Wonder why that would be.

  • Ned Flaherty

    Greg Allen requested this information:

    1. The Williams Institute reported that non-heterosexual men are far more likely to be gay than bisexual, and the NHIS reported in July 2014, in the first large-scale government survey measuring Americans’ sexual orientation, that only 0.7% of Americans identify as bisexual. On the Kinsey scale, where Group 0 = exclusively heterosexual and Group 6 = exclusively homosexual, that 0.7% is spread over 5 groups: Group 1 (almost exclusively heterosexual), Groups 2, 3, 4, and Group 5 (almost exclusively homosexual). That yields only a small fraction of 1% of the population left for Group 5. Gay Mormon men who are attracted to lots of other men but only 1 woman are classified into Group 5. As a minority (gay) of a minority (Mormon) of a minority (married to a woman), they are a rare breed indeed.

    2. The statistics aren’t biased, and they aren’t assumptions. In 2013, the Mormon church claimed 15 million members. Among Mormons, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life reports that the adults are 71% married and 9% separated or divorced. Nearly everywhere, human populations are about 50%-50% male/female, which yields 7.5 million Mormon males. Gay men (men who identify as gay, plus men who do not identify as gay but who have same-gender attraction and/or same-gender sexual relations) have been estimated many times in many studies ranging from 4% to 16% — but most often at about 10% — of all males, which yields 750,000 Mormon gay males. Subtracting 275,000 boys (37%), 150,000 never married men (20%), and 67,500 separated/divorced men (9%) yields 250,000 gay, married Mormon men.

    3. The 250,000 gay Mormon men who married a woman might have done so for one or more reasons; however, the non-negotiable fear of eternal damnation outweighs all the temporary, temporal reasons (friendship, companionship, finances, social status, etcetera), no matter what they are.

    4. Merely wanting to be temporarily married (regardless of the reason) and fearing eternal damnation from never being married are mutually exclusive. By far, and by definition, in any cost/benefit calculation for any sane person of the temporary benefits of being married vs. the fear of eternal damnation for not being married, the fear of eternal damnation wins every time.

    5. University of Utah reports that 50-90% of Mormon marriages between a gay man and a woman end in separation or divorce. As time passes, that percentage rises.

    6. It is not plausible for any gay Mormon man who is married to a woman to claim “I have everything I ever wanted” (“family, best friend, partner, boobs”) unless he also has one or more gay relationships outside of that marriage to resolve the obvious, fundamental conflict of being a gay man who is married to a woman. A gay Mormon man married to a woman who says he has no steady, outside gay relationship(s) is either (a) lying or else (b) not gay to begin with. And if a gay Mormon man married to a woman does also have gay outside relationships, then he’s right back to eternal Mormon damnation all over again.

    7. TLC’s info-mercial has no plausibility whatsoever because it gives zero equal time to the large percentage of marriages that are sinking due to mixed-orientation conflicts, and it makes no mention of the astronomical eventual failure rate of mixed-orientation marriages.

    8. TLC’s info-mercial also has no credibility because it fails to identify its stars as salesmen for past and present organizations that use a special Mormon brand of the quack medicine of “ex-gay therapy” to frighten gay Mormon men into marrying women instead of men.

    9. 73% of Americans now live in a jurisdiction where same-gender civil marriage is legal, and that % is slated to reach 80% – 100% this year.

  • Vatnos

    How are you so sure that none of them are bisexual? Surely a bisexual mormon is more likely to try to make a heterosexual marriage work than a gay one.

    A fully 100% Kinsey 6 gay man would have a very difficult and uncomfortable time in such a relationship. An… 80% Kinsey 4.5-ish gay man who could also consider himself bisexual could totally hold down a functional relationship with a woman, even if he is going against his preference.

    I suspect that this second category describes some or all of the men on the show. And the religious right likes to hold up these individuals and say “see, gayness cured”. Until the gay community starts acknowledging the widespread existence of bisexuality the presence of these ‘gays who seem to be able to have relationships with women’ will continue to be a thorn.

  • Vatnos

    Thanks for being open and honest about your feelings. I know you’ll get a lot of flack for it but I respect your choices.

    I’m not a Mormon, or religious at all. I’m an atheist, and a liberal, and a lifelong supporter of gay rights. But I’m also bisexual, and my attractions are about as evenly split as they can be. And based on my experience, I can’t help but think that many of you guys are really just bisexual with a male preference rather than fully homosexual, and that using the term ‘gay’, if you have enough attraction to women to be able to hold down a relationship with a woman and enjoy it (sexually and romantically), is disingenuous to actual gays that can’t.

  • Ned Flaherty

    To the anonymous “Vatnos”:

    There are 3 reasons that one of these men are bisexual.

    1. Men who are bisexual never join Evergreen International or North Star International, the Mormon church’s quack therapy sales outlets for “ex-gay therapy.” Those Mormon-sponsored clubs are only for gay men, and these men are all members.

    2. None of these men say they’re “bisexual.”

    3. All of these men say they’re “gay.”

    Regardless of claimed sexual orientation and regardless of actual sexual orientation, Mormon men are given only one choice — heterosexual marriage — because their faith dictates that they are eternally damned if they don’t: (1) marry the opposite gender; and (2) procreate profusely. For Mormon men, that fear of ETERNAL doom always outweighs a few short decades married to the wrong spouse.

    So no, married Mormon men aren’t probably just “mostly” gay vs. “all” gay. Because of eternal damnation, the Mormon marriage trap ensnares everyone (unless/until they resign from the religion).

  • Joshua Johanson

    Thank you Vatnos,

    It is a bit confusing. Before I met my wife, I was only attracted to men. I honestly thought I was gay. As I got to know my now wife, I found that I was more and more attracted to her, and her alone. I wasn’t any more attracted to other women.

    So it is hard to tell when I was supposed to switch from being gay to bisexual. Others have argued that one anomaly (my wife) doesn’t count as a change in orientation. Others say I was bisexual the whole time and just hadn’t found the right woman yet.

    A lot of people I know just talk about same-sex attraction. That way, they don’t have to figure out when they are gay and when they are bisexual. However, other people get really upset about same-sex attraction, and say it means gay, when it really includes bisexuals.

    It is confusing. Really, we need just get past the boxes and accept that people have different preferences and that is okay.

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  • Judith

    I haven’t read all the comments, but I’ve read many of them. Where is God in all of this? With God, all things are possible. I applaud gay men/women who know they have SSA, are transparent about it, and choose to live a life focused on what God would want them to be and do. If that means staying single for the rest of their life, fine; if it means staying single and adopting a child, fine; if it means marrying a member of the opposite sex and having children, that’s fine too. I feel saddened when LDS members choose to live a gay life-style, but that’s a choice. And although I don’t support the choice (the behavior), I will show my love for them anyway. Isn’t that what Heavenly Father asks us to do…to love, to encourage, to support and not to condemn and judge?