Comments about ‘LDS Church clarifies survey question on same-sex attraction’

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Published: Tuesday, April 29 2014 3:55 p.m. MDT

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Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

This is much ado about nothing.

Many people do struggle with same sex attraction.

There was no need to change the wording.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

I applaud the LDS church's handling of this difficult issue(homosexuality).

They have always been clear that we should be kind to everyone, but kindness is not the same as supporting something that is wrong.

Additionally, the LDS church provides resources to those struggling with same sex attraction.

I stand with Mormon prophet Monson and Pope Francis on this difficult issue.

Salt Lake City, UT

@Chris B

Calling same-sex attraction a "struggle" is a negative connotation and saying that someone is a heterosexual but struggles with same-sex attraction is just factually incorrect. A heterosexual, by definition, does not have same-sex attraction, only opposite-sex attraction.

Ogden, UT

I a absolutely straight, as is my husband. If either of us had received a survey like that, our answers would have been very much to the point -- "Why do you think that's any of your business? Because it isn't."

American Fork, UT

I, too, wonder if framing same sex attraction as a 'struggle' is correct. People are who they are, the concept of struggle for many is probably external. It's not who they are, it's how others react and deal with it.

Wilf 55

I have not seen the survey, but an important question would be to further question heterosexuals as to their attitude toward LGBT. It's probably there that the most revealing shifts in attitude are to be seen, not in the ratios of heterosexuals versus LGBT.

Jim Cobabe
Provo, UT

Talk about hyper careful word parsing from critics. It all depends on what "is" is.

Appears to me that responding to such a survey is entirely voluntary. Perhaps if such questions offend sensibilities, just don't answer it?

Because such issues are so commonly encountered in today's world, it seems natural that the Church would take some interest in members attitudes. I should think that the community in general would welcome the opportunity to share their feelings. Hasn't there been much critical discussion about how to establish effective channels of communication with Church leadership?

Bill McGee
Alpine, UT

So, they are still unable to use the words gay, lesbian, or bisexual. That may say more than the survey itself might uncover.

Stansbury Park, UT

From the Church’s perspective, same-sex attraction is a “struggle.” A conflict between the desire to engage and the Church’s standards regarding sexual relationships.

The interesting thing about perspectives is that for the perceiver (in this case, the Church), their perspective is always right. My perspective might be different, but I’m not authoring the survey. Since the survey is from the Church, it should reflect their perspective, not mine. In my 30 year career as a public health investigator, I have conducted many public surveys and feel I have considerable training and experience in survey design. From my perspective, the survey question for the information the Church wants to gather. [But that is my perspective.]

Since the church is in the “business” of watching over and helping the members of the Church, including understanding the challenges Church members face, I propose that the Church has every right and responsibility to conduct these kinds of surveys. I would be happy to answer such.

Just in case (since I alluded to my perspective above): I believe that marriage is between one man and one women; that sexual relations should only occur within a marriage.

Julie gluten free mother

The world needs to get a grip. Every day there is something new that some group of people are offended by. Usually where no intent to be offensive is intentional If people don't like the first two options there appears to be room to use the third option to express their feelings. But the church being the wonderful organization it is has worked to make this form better so as not to cause hard feelings.

Mountain Village, AK

I don't know about anyone else but gay means to be happy not one man attracted to another, that is homosexual. No meanness intended just want to get the language right. On the other hand striaght means does not mean heterosexual either.

Seattle, WA

I'm sure the first wording wasn't meant to be offensive, but it was clearly intentional. It shouldn't be surprising that people were bothered by it though. If someone told you they were gay and you corrected them and said "I prefer to think of you as heterosexual but struggling with same-sex attraction," how would you expect that person to like it?

Vince Ballard
South Ogden, UT

The fact is that some people do see it as a struggle, dilemma or whatever you want to call it. To the point: Lets find out the facts, anonymously, and with compassion, but thoroughly. To often, the first casualties of controversy are the facts and the truth.

Woodland Hills, UT

The same sex crowd will always be offended and upset at almost anyone and every thing. Why even try to appease them, waste of time.

St. George, UT

It's not that people take offense, it's that this survey shows a startling obliviousness about the topic it purports to study. "I am heterosexual, but I struggle with same-sex attraction." If you are attracted to the same sex, you're not a heterosexual. You are a homosexual--or perhaps in fairly rare cases, a bisexual. At any rate, there are already grownup words for these things. If we can't even bring ourselves to say the word "gay" or "homosexual" in a survey, we've got our head in the sand. The Church no longer teaches that homosexuality is a choice. So why can't we grow up and use the word?

What's your favorite beverage?
A. Coke
B. Coke, but I sometimes struggle with Pepsi

Are you right-handed or left-handed?
A. Right handed.
B. Right handed but I seem to use my left hand an awful lot.

Which team do you root for?
B. BYU, but I sometimes struggle with rooting for Utah.

Rigby, ID

I believe that the use of the word "struggle" is perfectly appropriate in this context. There is no difference between same-sex attraction and heterosexuality when it comes to how difficult it is to keep your hands out of the proverbial cookie jar. In either case, the importance of abstinence is also the same. The struggle, in the case of same-sex attraction and pornography addiction, is not external by any stretch of the word; it is internal to the individual.

Resigning one's self to the notion that "we are who we are" is dangerous and destructive. It destroys personal values and ambitions and reduces people to objects that can only exhibit reactive behavior. We may be born with our own personal challenges. The measure of a person does not increase when they indulge in their lusts out of rebellion against societal pressures. Truly great people, without exception, choose to rise above their weaknesses and, against all odds, succeed in doing so to some degree. Stating that "we are who we are" is essentially an expression of the belief that no one can be truly great, and I beg to differ.

cambodia girl
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

"Struggle" is a perfect word for same-sex attraction. Just interview those who have it and you will find they have "struggled" with it for years, wondering why they have it, what they should do about it, if they should confide in someone, and then who could they confide in that they could trust.

Anything that goes against Heavenly Father's plan puts us in a struggle mode. We need to recognize the issue (dare I say problem?), read about the commandments, pray to have help and strength, and then align ourselves with Him.

The Savior said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15).

I'm grateful for Heavenly Father's plan for His children, for our Savior who taught simply and beautifully, for the scriptures which are there for a constant reminder of what is expected and the promised blessings that await us.

gambier, oh

Look in the mirror every time you get offended and see if you can find the real problem with taking offense.

Somewhere in Time, UT

Homosexuality or gayness is not something that you are. It's something that you do. It is behavior. Behavior is ALWAYS a choice. The Church is only trying to find out if members struggle with SSA. That's a legitimate question. And it IS a struggle.

Bill McGee
Alpine, UT

Poorly written questions do not provide useful results. It was asserted in another comment that the question is designed to get what the Church is looking for. It does not. It is easy to ask questions that reinforce one's existing point of view. But such questions do not provide reliable results - and should never be used to make policy decisions.

There are many - even students at BYU - who do not see their "same sex attraction" as a "struggle." Characterizing everyone as heterosexual, but with different challenges, not only trivializes the issue, but offends the survey taker - which will skew the results. It also denies research on the subject (over 300 species have been identified as having homosexual members) *and* it runs counter to the position taken by the Church on its Mormons and Gays website that homosexuality is biology based.

The church has clearly failed to develop a consistent policy on this subject. For an organization with a mission for ministry, good information and a consistent approach is critical. This survey - even with the amended question - makes it clear that the church has an agenda, and real ministering is not part of it.

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