• Larry

    The whole purity cult of conservative Christianity is rather pernicious. Essentially it is turning a women’s sexuality into a commodity (and only source of value outside of brood mare/housekeeper).

  • Brian Pellot

    THANK YOU for this para – it’s absence has been the most perplexing/annoying aspect of most media coverage around this show.

    (This is, of course, assuming that the men featured in the show, as indicated by the promotional material, are actually homosexual and not bisexual, which is always a possibility in situations like this.)

  • Jack

    Fretting about a “purity culture” in 2015 is like fretting about a drought during a tsunami.

  • Caitlin

    The polygamous practices didn’t start because women needed to be married,many of the original plural marriages happened with already married women and Joseph smith.The Mormon church put out essays admitting that,and that several very young teenage girls were adopted into the practice too (Hellen Mar Kimball,and Fanny Alger 14,and 16 respectively)I’m not anti-Mormon but please research before putting claims like that up.

  • Ahmed

    Only people in the West are obsessed with the rights of individuals and shame their families with talk about sexual wants and needs.

    These marriages would be respected anywhere else in world.

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  • There is one correction I would make to your article, Jana. You say, “Much of the pressure for these women is specific to the Mormon religion.” I would argue that this is not a part of the religion, but rather, as you stated, the issue comes from “conservative Mormonism” or in other words, conservative Mormons.

    This is what I refer to as Mormon mythos, as it is a part of some members’ mythology and not a part of the doctrinal religion. No where in our scriptures can we find anything that equates to the idea than men and women should suffer together simply to be married. These people are already sealed to their parents and that should be enough if it is the sealing power that helps us enter the celestial kingdom.

    In fact, Paul stated that “It is good for a man not to touch a woman.” (1 Corinthians 7: 1) and that we are only to marry to avoid fornication. Gay men then have no need to marry a woman as they, like Paul, are not tempted by the flesh of a woman.

  • Mike

    I want to explore your line of thought, Ahmed, when you say “These marriages would be respected anywhere else in the world”

    Is that claim 100% accurate or would you care to make a revision or two or perhaps some qualifiers?

    I’m really interested in learning more about your perspective.

  • Larry

    Maybe he means “anywhere else in the world were rights of individuals is not a concern for the cultures”.

    You know the same places where people can still be considered chattel property and making fun of religion gets one executed.

  • Trevor

    Whoever wrote this is assuming much greater knowledge of Mormonism than they actually have. Mormon women are not “taught they do not have sexual drive.” Or that they cannot want sexual fulfillment. They are only taught to save it until after marriage.

  • Trevor

    Actually it is a requirement for a man and woman to be sealed together in order to be exalted.

    Paul was answering a letter that we don’t have, so we don’t know exactly what he was talking about, but certainly he wasn’t universally condemning marriage, particularly in light of 1 Cor. 11:11.

  • Ben in oakland

    “It is this theology that produced polygamous marriages within the beginnings of the Mormon Church, as women essentially would not be saved if they were not married. While much of this theology has liberalized in past decades, it is a teaching still deeply ingrained in Mormon thought and culture – which increases the pressure for single Mormon women to settle down and marry.”

    I don’t understand how theology can possibly be liberalized if it was EVER the word of God, unless God says in unequivocal terms, “You know that ‘thing’ I told you? It’s no longer a ‘Thing’. do this from this moment on..”

    especially when it comes down to the question of who is really saved, you’d think God wouldn’t be pussyfooting around.

    On the other hand, I have just learned that people whose parents are sealed in the proper marriage are sealed into heaven becuase of that. Does that mean they don’t have to get married to make it into mormon heaven?

    THis sort of thing makes my head hurt.

  • Eliel Cruz

    So glad i got to host this blog from the amazing Dianna on this subject. I wrote my thoughts about this show for Rolling Stone:


  • Chelsea

    Wow, thank you so much for this article! It was totally missing from the conversation. Is it bad that I was thoroughly surprised to see it was written by a man? Thanks for being aware of the struggle for both participants in a marriage like this. I have some friends who were once in a marriage where the man was gay and wife straight. They thought they could change by marrying and are both divorced now. They didn’t tell their wives (and maybe not admit to themselves) that they were gay before they married and both have expressed regret about what it did to their wives. It destroyed their lives too and they felt awful that it ruined the life of a person they loved.

    I have also met two couples who married knowing the man was gay and even though I am open minded and always try never to judge, it was uncomfortable hearing about their marriage because it was so opposite of how a typical fulfilling relationship/marriage works. Everyone in the room grew up LDS (some active, most not) and it did not sit well with any of us.

  • Jose Rodriguez

    For the record:
    Homosexuals are free to marry whoever they want, for whatever reason they want. Likewise the woman they marry. It is not my place to criticize or second guess their decision, much less analyze what deep-seated motives or desires compels them to take on this arrangement. I do not see any doctorate degrees or certifications in psychology after Ms. Anderson’s name, so I can assume that her conjectures are speculative at best, notwithstanding her literary talents, which in the case of this article, I find to be totally lacking of any kind of supportive evidence.

    I have been a member of the LDS church all of my life, and I have never heard or read in any of the church publications, videos, conferences, or Sunday school lessons, Priesthood meetings, or even in my home, that woman are incapable of having a sexual drive. I can assure you from my own experience with the young woman I have known in the church that this is simply not true. When I say this, I in no way imply that these young woman were indecent or impure. I am simply saying that they obviously have sexual desires and drives, just as I have them. I was able to postpone my sexual desire until I was spiritually, economically, and socially prepared to express those desires, which for the LDS, usually means lawfully married and prepared to enter this commitment. For the most part this is also true of the young women I courted in my youth.

    Ms. Anderson implies that the men involved in this marriage arrangement perhaps are not truly homosexual, but are maybe bisexual. My understanding was that when it comes to sexual orientation, “you just know” that you’re gay, straight, bisexual, or transgender. Yet Ms Anderson, for the sake of her untested theory, is willing to question these men’s sexual orientation simply because their behavior does not conform to accepted gay perspectives. In other words, if they don’t yield to their same sex attraction, and marry someone of the same sex, then they must be heterosexual or bisexual.

    Ms Anderson is correct in assuming that these men and women perhaps do not experience the full range of sexual gratification they are capable of, but when has sexual gratification been the absolute measure of human fulfillment?

    Food for thought.

  • Erik Horne

    It appears to me that Ms Anderson has missed some important scriptural teachings. The very first commandment God gave to Adam and Eve was to multiply and replenish the earth. Why? Because as part of Gods plan this is how bodies are to be provided for the spirits he created. The only way to fulfill this commandment is through sexual relations between a man and a woman. The second important teaching is that marriage is sacred and this partnership is described as being similar to Christs love for his church. Marriage and families are central to God’s plan for us as his children and that is why God wants us to marry and raise families.
    The Mormon church does not teach that sexual feelings by either sex are wrong. The Mormon church teaches that sexual desires are natural and good but that God has commanded us to only express those desires with our marriage partner.
    So I would expect that there are people who are homosexual that opt to marry a person of the opposite sex so that they can be obedient to God and experience the greater joy that God has promised in a loving and happy family unit. This is not an act of denial but rather an act of Faith.

  • ben in oakland

    “So I would expect that there are people who are homosexual that opt to marry a person of the opposite sex so that they can be obedient to God and experience the greater joy that God has promised in a loving and happy family unit.”

    The loving and happy family unit is a huge assumption. And according to the Regnerus study, created to sow confusion, hate, and discord, but actually useful on one front, mixed orientation marriages are not good for children. And if the anti-ex-gay industry paid for the study, which they did, and directed its course, which they did, and if Gov. Herbert and AG Reyes used it in court, why then, it musty be true. So much for the happy family meme, right?

    I mean, they wouldn’t feel justified in using an entirely misrepresented study that did not examine what it claimed to examine, but examined something else entirely, in an effort to harm innocent people? That wouldn’t be very Christian of them, would it?

  • ben in oakland

    No one is questioning their sexual orientation. what we are questioning is the label they apply to themselves, when it clearly isn’t accurate for the most part, and their reason for doing it, because their is usually a religious, social, and political agenda behind it.

  • Kesona

    I am Mormon, and I wanted to clarify a few things that the article seemed to be confused about.
    Sex is not demonized in our doctrine at all. I can’t always speak for the culture speak for the culture, but in the LDS church we believe that sex is a wonderful gift from God. It is, however, sacred, and we have been commanded to keep sexual relations within marraige. I was never taught that I didn’t have a sexual drive, quite the opposite – though I will admit that such lessons came from my parents, not my teachers at church, who generally avoided talking about sex drives with other people’s children. But they did reinforce that sex was of God.
    Mormonism also teaches that marraige should be kept between a man and a woman. There is little else in modern revealed doctrine to indicate that homosexual relations are forbidden in some way; and I do have gay Mormon friends who have sought marraige to each other, keeping to the commandment of abstinence before matrimony. I am cisgender, so I have a hard time relating to members who struggle with this divide between their sexuality and their beliefs, but I like to apply this rule of thumb to such situations:
    It is none of my business.
    If someone is forced to choose between two parts of who they are – their sexuality and their beliefs – I am not going to tell them they are wrong or right. Either way, they have to give up a part of themselves. That is difficult enough without me thowing my unsolicited two cents at them. This is their decision, and I am not involved in any way.
    As for a woman who marries a gay man, or a man who marries a gay woman, once again I have no right to judge their life choices. Isn’t it possible that they have chosen love over sex? Mormons don’t marry just so we can start having sex. There’s a certain degree of love and understanding that goes into a relationship in addition to physical attraction.
    What I would like to see is people being honest with themselves and their spouses, and making the best decisions they can for themselves.

    Regardless of commandments regarding sexuality and marraige, I am commanded not to judge.

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  • Karin

    Another important point: LDS doctrine not only teaches that a woman needs to be married to a man to enter the highest part of heaven, but a man must be married to a woman. The dependence goes both ways. It is erroneous to only emphasize women’s need for a man.

    It seems to me that the reason being Mormon and gay is so painful is because of dissonance. You have 2 lifestyle options: act on your orientation or your faith. Both promise a level of happiness but you have to give up one. If either were easy to give up, there would undoubtedly be less depression, suicide among this demographic. In such a difficult situation, I don’t know that there is an ideal. I also cannot judge those decisions.

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  • Ken

    Of course, as the blind leads the blind, the attack on the purity movement is ignored. The attack and bashing of the “Purity movement” is nothing less than the gathering of the Sodomites around Lot’s front door. It’s not only creepy seeing the lascivious demanding and drooling “to know” all the little virgins there are, there is also the reality that evil forces demand compliance to an evil agenda. There is only islam to compare the evil of progressives and their ill-titled “Progressive Values” stalking The Church and the Christians that desire to not be like the world and its ways. What evil cannot tolerate is a Christian desiring to not celebrate it with thought, behavior and deeds.


    Call the liberals and progressives for being what they are, simply: this present darkness.


  • ben in oakland

    “There is only islam to compare the evil of progressives and their ill-titled “Progressive Values” stalking The Church and the Christians that desire to not be like the world and its ways.”

    Long on rhetoric, short on reality.

    If you desire to not be like the world and its ways, there is absolutely nothing stopping you. Live your life as you see fit, believe what you want to believe, do what you think your god commands you.* Just stop insisting that the rest of us live according to your narrow little world, your narrow little worldview, and its narrow, little rules.

    As for the sodomites slobbering over the virgins, I would suggest you read the story of the woman of gibeah.

    *except for the reviling and slander that you just committed. We know that that is just par for the course for the sex-and-sin obsessed bunch.

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