Quantcast
Opinion

My view: Sexual orientation is no one's fault, it is an opportunity

Comments

Return To Article
  • jzwillows willows, ca
    Aug. 5, 2014 7:47 p.m.

    This article is a blatant attempt through blending teachings from the APA & author with those from the Church. Each of her & the APA positions cited are incompatible with LDS teachings. For examples, the author's position that 1) same-gender attraction is not affected by behavior or is inborn, 2) reparative therapy is wrong - the Church is not against therapy to help some overcome homosexual attraction - rather the Church leaders have explained this isn't the fit-all solution. The California law outlaws a professional from helping youth overcome homosexual attractions - obviously based on beliefs contrary yo the Gospel including violating agency. The Church's position is that same-gender attraction is complex & leaders have never stated it cannot be affected by behavior - she manipulates the LDS leader's statement. Her statement "The APA has compiled recommendations for therapists that center on honoring the agency of individuals to determine for themselves their values, behavior and self-labeling connected to their sexual orientation." speaks for itself - the church does not teach individuals should determine for themselves their values & behavior but should adhere to standards the Lord has set.

  • jzwillows willows, ca
    Aug. 5, 2014 6:09 p.m.

    This article is a blatant attempt through blending teachings from the APA & author with those from the Church. Each of her & the APA positions cited are incompatible with LDS teachings. For examples, the author's position that 1) same-gender attraction is not affected by behavior or is inborn, 2) reparative therapy is wrong - the Church is not against therapy to help some overcome homosexual attraction - rather the Church leaders have explained this isn't the fit-all solution. The California law outlaws a professional from helping youth overcome homosexual attractions - obviously based on beliefs contrary yo the Gospel including violating agency. The Church's position is that same-gender attraction is complex & leaders have never stated it cannot be affected by behavior - she manipulates the LDS leader's statement. Her statement "The APA has compiled recommendations for therapists that center on honoring the agency of individuals to determine for themselves their values, behavior and self-labeling connected to their sexual orientation." speaks for itself - the church does not teach individuals should determine for themselves their values & behavior but should adhere to standards the Lord has set.

  • David Matheson Holladay, UT
    July 30, 2014 8:13 a.m.

    Those who dismiss or condemn therapy for those of us with unwanted homosexuality make the defining mistake of arrogance: they believe that what they don't know doesn't matter. And here are a few things they don't know. First, there are many approaches to helping people with unwanted homosexuality--some helpful and some harmful. Second, the helpful approaches truly do change lives. That has been demonstrated many times over, including in my own life and in the lives of many men I've worked with as a therapist over the past 18 years. Third, they are perpetuating a falsehood with serious repercussions for men and women who really need good therapy and will avoid it because it is routinely slandered by people like Laura Dulin.

    More care should be taken when discussing this topic. I suggest that if you don't have personal experience you might want to avoid presenting yourself as an expert.

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    July 21, 2014 7:50 p.m.

    @Ranch
    "If we love someone, and share that love it is not destructive. Bigotry is though."

    Love is not lust.
    Bigotry implies I disapprove or dislike someone unfairly. Neither applies here. First, I neither say nor feel anything negative about someone with SSA. It is loving to help a person deal with a temptation that is destructive, just as my parents helped me grow up and overcome some of my natural but destructive inclinations. I still have some of those inclinations, but I learned to control them--to be true to my better self

  • Svenn Morgan, UT
    July 21, 2014 3:45 p.m.

    Two For Flinching said:

    “- Leviticus 11:10: ‘But whatever is in the seas and in the rivers that does not have fins and scales among all the teeming life of the water, and among all the living creatures that are in the water, they are detestable things to you.’"

    “Sure hope you've never been to Red Lobster....”

    Read Acts 10:10-16 and get back with us.

    You said:

    “- 1 Timothy 2:9

    ‘Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments.’"

    The Apostle Paul was addressing the decadent (and sometimes inappropriate) dress of the women of Ephesus during worship. He wanted to ensure the focus was on worshiping God, not having the focus on the person. Modesty in worship is still appropriate today

    You said:

    “- Leviticus 19:27 ‘You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads nor harm the edges of your beard.’"

    The Israelites were not necessarily forbidden to trim their hair or beards, but certain styles (perhaps learned while in Egypt) had highly idolatrous meanings.

    Nothing but diversions.

  • canvas1 San Tan Valley, AZ
    July 21, 2014 8:38 a.m.

    @ Two For Flinching

    If you read my other posts above you would see that I am a success story and i went through conversion therapy. It is my story alone, but to claim it does not work is not true. My therapist mentioned others he had helped as well. Is it a cure all, no, because every person is different.

    What I do know, because this is what happened to me, is a large part of the healing process is spiritual. Very spiritual!

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    July 21, 2014 12:01 a.m.

    @ Svenn

    - Leviticus 11:10: "But whatever is in the seas and in the rivers that does not have fins and scales among all the teeming life of the water, and among all the living creatures that are in the water, they are detestable things to you."

    Sure hope you've never been to Red Lobster....

    - 1 Timothy 2:9

    "Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments."

    Good luck explaining that to your wife

    - Mark 10:8-9

    "are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."

    Are you fighting as hard against divorce as you are against SSM?

    - Leviticus 19:27 "You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads nor harm the edges of your beard."

    You must hate Gillette, and Great Clips. Also I bet your beard is awesome.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    July 20, 2014 11:49 p.m.

    @ Standing for Truth

    "I can give you the names of a number of therapists who have thousands of successful cases of those desiring to overcome their same-sex desires and behaviors and re-orienting to proper and God-intended desires. "

    No you can't. They would be world famous if your claim was true, but they are not. The American Phycological Association, The American Academy of Pediatrics, and The American Counseling Association, among others, do not support conversion therapy because it doesn't work and it can be extremely emotionally and mentally damaging. Bottom line, it's dangerous and unethical.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    July 20, 2014 11:32 p.m.

    @ J Thompson

    LDS people also make up a tiny part of the population. Why should you get rights? Not to mention you weren't born LDS; you made the conscious choice...

  • canvas1 San Tan Valley, AZ
    July 20, 2014 10:53 p.m.

    @Really???

    Since I am rather new to this subject, I have never heard of electro-shock therapy. Sounds rather primitive. I simply went through a therapy of light hypnosis to deal with the trauma that had occurred when I was young and eliminate them. I didn't see how it could work. didn't make sense to me, but it did.

    Let me just say, that even though I do not know you I love you the same as anyone else, especially because of what tortured pasts we both have walked I love you more. I also know that God does not love you or I any less. Bless you in all your endeavors.

  • Svenn Morgan, UT
    July 19, 2014 5:16 p.m.

    @Ranch

    You completely ignore the scriptures condemning the practice of homosexuality: Leviticus 18:22; 20:30; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Timothy 1:8-11

    I know you folks love to cling to Ezekiel 16:49, but seem to ignore Ezekiel 16:50 which says: "They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it."

    What do you think the "abomination" referenced in Ezekiel 50 is? Let's look at Leviticus and Jude to find out:

    Leviticus 20:13 says: "If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination..."

    Jude 1:7 says: "just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire."

    Looks like Ezekiel is condemning more than just their arrogance and lack of hospitality; he is indeed condemning their practice of homosexuality.

    Care to deal with these Biblical scriptures: Leviticus 18:22; 20:30; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Timothy 1:8-11; Ezekiel 16:50; and Jude 1:7?

  • Ranch Here, UT
    July 19, 2014 9:40 a.m.

    @Svenn;

    "Abominable things": Rape. Specifically, gang rape.

    @buffy;

    Janet's Boynes story does NOT defy the “APA’s findings”. She is still attracted to women; the fact she's married to a man only says that she's suppressing her lesbian feelings. Reparative therapy does NOT work and it IS HARMFUL.

    @John C. C.;

    "If we love someone, and share that love it is not destructive. Bigotry is though.

  • firstamendment Lehi, UT
    July 19, 2014 1:08 a.m.

    One of the saddest things about the SSM issue is that propagandists suppress a lot of valuable research and helpful information. For example, the former president of the APA (a Fellow of APA's Lesbian and Gay division) gave a speech titled "Free to Choose." He discussed the growing body of suppressed evidence indicating that gays can change. He spoke against the propagandists efforts to destroy those who tell the truth about homosexuality and help people change. He received a standing ovation from the conference participants BUT, like others who tell the truth, he was threatened by the "special interest mafia" and lawyers entered and the truth is again sadly silenced.

    Search for his speech under "Former APA President Supports NARTH's Mission Statement, Assails APA's Intolerance of Differing Views" it can still be found, but maybe not for much longer- here's a quote:

    "...freedom of choice should govern one's sexual orientation ... If homosexuals choose to transform their sexuality into heterosexuality, that resolve...should not be tampered with by any special interest group--including the gay community...(that right) is considered self-evident and inalienable..."

  • Danny Chipman Lehi, UT
    July 18, 2014 10:41 p.m.

    I'm surprised by those commenters who accuse this woman of being "dishonest" and unfair by choosing to remain with her husband. As if destroying one family with the potential to be eternal and eventually free from mortal imperfection for a relationship that will only end in mortality and everlasting regret (and as she is LDS, too, this is what she believes) is somehow the right thing to do? Some of you do not seem to realize that there is more to love and marriage than just sexual appetite. Virtues such as sacrifice, service, and dedication to the vows one makes, "for better or worse".

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    July 18, 2014 9:43 p.m.

    Because of love, we don't blame people for their differences. Nor do we encourage them to give in to those that are destructive.

  • buffy American Fork, UT
    July 18, 2014 7:56 p.m.

    Laura- Janet's Boynes story defies the “APA’s findings”. And by promoting the falsehood that reparative therapy is “largely ineffective and potentially harmful” therapists are increasingly losing the freedom to offer this as a viable choice. Although you see it as a positive shift to limit the use of reparative therapies, it does not “honor the agency of individuals” to limit that choice.

    While I agree that sexual orientation isn't anyone's “fault” and that “Latter-day Saints recognize the enormous complexity of this matter” church leaders are unwavering on matters of morality, and, well.... change. As President Boyd K Packer stated: “...We cannot change; we will not change our moral standards...For those confined in a "prison of sin, guilt or perversion," there is a way back: repentance.”

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    July 18, 2014 2:57 p.m.

    @Mike Richards
    "and that 50% or more of Americans support their same-sex sex."

    Actually that would pretty much be true since support for same-sex marriage is around 50% these days and there is some implicit support of that sort of activity if you support that sort of marriage. Unless you meant something different that I just didn't pick up on.

    @J Thompson
    The LDS church is around 2% of the US population. The Catholic church is around 20%. Just because there's a factor of 10 difference doesn't mean that they should be treated differently when it comes to rights. It is in that context that we say it doesn't make a difference whether LGBT make up 2% or 20%.

    @Overdubbed
    "1. Conversion Therapy is the only well known mechanism or system for helping people who have same sex attraction to not have that same sex attraction. That it does not work for everyone (or perhaps not even most people who try it) does not mean it is useless"

    How would you (or whoever) feel about conversion therapy to try and get people away from your religion?

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    July 18, 2014 2:45 p.m.

    @SCfan
    "Ask an average person on the street, particularly a young person what percentage of Americans are homosexual. The number 25% is not unusual to hear. The true number. About 4%. That just goes to show how the media, missinformation, and a well orchestrated propaganda campaign have altered the public perception."

    I find that a decent percentage of gay marriage opponents think I'm gay just because I support same-sex marriage. Maybe those who claim to advocate for the "straight community" just have trouble thinking straight people can support gay rights.

    @Mickie
    "From personal experiences I have a hard time believing that the homosexual population is just at 4%."

    I've only known of 8 people in my life who are lesbian, gay, or bisexual which is a decent amount less than 4%. That said, that doesn't mean that ONLY those 8 people of all those I know actually are LGB. Of course it doesn't really matter if a demographic is 4%, 1%, or 20% when it comes to whether or not their rights should be protected.

  • Svenn Morgan, UT
    July 18, 2014 2:25 p.m.

    RanchHand said:

    "Why do you ignore the scripture where Ezekiel spells out EXACTLY what the sin of "Sodom" was (greed, treating the poor badly, etc.)?"
    =====

    I have serious doubts you’ve even read the passage of Ezekiel that pro homosexual advocates love to use to supposedly show that homosexuality was not a reason that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by God.

    Ezekiel 16:49-50:

    “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did abominable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.”

    I’ll agree, they were arrogant, and did treat people badly. This being said, these were not the only sins that these two cities were guilty of. Verse 50 also says they “…did abominable things…” What do you suppose these “abominable things” were? Jude 1:7 indentifies what these abominable things were:

    “In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion.”

    BTW, even “righteous” persons like Lot can do unrighteous, sinful things at times. Only Jesus was perfect.

  • Svenn Morgan, UT
    July 18, 2014 2:12 p.m.

    RFLASH said:

    “Imagine being taught all of your life since childhood that you are an abomination!”

    God is not calling us as humans an “abomination”; rather, he calls our sins an abomination.

    You said:

    “Then, when we become adults, you simply push us off to the side and say that it goes against God! After 50 years, I want to say that, I for one have had enough! What kind of God would do that? He wouldn't!”

    There are many things we as humans do that God has deemed sinful. Homosexuality is one of these things. Since God created us, He can decide what is and isn’t sinful in His eyes. Since He loves us, He wants us to be knowledgeable of the things He has declared sinful. We can disagree all we want, but it doesn’t change the facts.

    You said:

    “When we stand up to do something good in our lives, the so called people of God have to rip it all apart because of their need to believe awful things about us! Do you notice how nothing we say means anything!”

    Care to provide some specifics?

    Your problem is with God, not other people.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    July 18, 2014 1:13 p.m.

    there is something wrong when human beings feel a need to degrade other human beings! It is so absurd to bring God into something so nasty and destructive and it is disgusting that people allow themselves to believe that it ok! Imagine being taught all of your life since childhood that you are an abomination! You know, I look back and I feel anger! The people I trusted did the most awful thing! Then, when we become adults, you simply push us off to the side and say that it goes against God! After 50 years, I want to say that, I for one have had enough! What kind of God would do that? He wouldn't! When we stand up to do something good in our lives, the so called people of God have to rip it all apart because of their need to believe awful things about us! Do you notice how nothing we say means anything! I am bold enough, now to say how disgusting it truly is? For fifty years I have had to endure all of the degradation the so called people of God choose to heap on me! How moral is that!

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    July 18, 2014 9:58 a.m.

    U-tar says:
    "If sexual orientation is none of your business, then keep yours to yourself."

    Do you hold your spouses hand in public? Have photos of your family on your desk? Talk about what you and your family are doing over the weekend? Every one of these things is a proclamation of your "sexual orientation"; and then you expect us to "keep it to ourselves"? That is called hypocrisy.

    @Sven;

    Genesis 19:5 is about rape, not sex. Why was Lot "righteous" to offer to let the mob rape his daughters instead of the angels? That doesn't sound particularly "righteous" to me; in fact, I find it downright disgusting.

    Why do you ignore the scripture where Ezekiel spells out EXACTLY what the sin of "Sodom" was (greed, treating the poor badly, etc.)?

  • Sven Morgan, UT
    July 18, 2014 9:07 a.m.

    @Stormwalker:

    To come to the conclusion that homosexuality is not sin, one must actively ignore the Biblical passages that condemn the act of homosexuality: Leviticus 18:22; 20:30; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Timothy 1:8-11; and Jude 1:6-7. Why don’t you deal with these passages of scripture? In Matthew 19:4-6, Jesus reiterates God’s design for men and women, and their relationship to one another. He is in effect, disqualifying homosexuality as acceptable.

    You said:

    “Seems to be about how they treated people, not about the Gay. Which fits, as Jesus was talking about towns that treated his disciples badly, not towns with a gay pride parade.”

    This is patently ridiculous!

    Genesis 19:5 says:

    “They called to Lot, ‘Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.’”

    These men were surrounding Lot’s home! They were so overcome with their lust; the Angels had to inflict blindness on them. Jude 1:7 tells us Sodom and Gomorrah were punished because of “sexual immorality and perversion”…not a “gay pride parade.” Strange you didn’t address this.

  • U-tar Woodland Hills, UT
    July 18, 2014 8:05 a.m.

    If sexual orientation is none of your business, then keep yours to yourself.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    July 17, 2014 7:34 p.m.

    @Cats;

    You think it's terrible these practices have been outlawed in several states? Perhaps you should experience the treatment yourself and see how much you like it.

    @iron&clay;

    Life is hard; people like you make it much harder.

    @JinAZ;

    The temptation to judge others is very strong in you (says Yoda & Obi-wan).

    @ExecutorIoh & MikeRichards;

    Being gay isn't a weakness. You wouldn't believe how strong your opposition has made us.

    @Tiago;

    I don't believe he has good intentions. Like you, I suppressed my orientation for years; You may grow to regret all the lost years; I do.

    @canvas1;

    Maybe nobody but the one responded because, sorry to say, we don't believe you. Having spent years myself trying to change, I know for a fact that I can't. I don't believe you could either. Maybe you weren't gay to being with or were bi; or maybe your just a troll out to make people think that it really is possible.

    @JThompson;

    Even if only 1.6%, we are ALL Americans; and we are ALL protected by the Constitution.

    @Darrel&Really??;

    Same here.

  • LovelyDeseret Gilbert, AZ
    July 17, 2014 5:51 p.m.

    This article is horribly one sided. To pretend that homosexuality is genetic with no genetic evidence to back that up is guess work at best. Then to want us to stand behind the guess work is harmful to those who disagree with the author.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    July 17, 2014 5:35 p.m.

    Change is possible? I don't believe it, here are two reasons.

    #1. I am a hetrosexual, if my church and society told me to like the same sex, I am pretty sure I couldn't do it. Liking the opposite sex is too deeply ingrained.

    #2. Churches and others have tried to come up with a cure for homosexuality. So far there isn't one. Therapy hasn't helped and neither has prayer.

  • Bob K Davis, CA
    July 17, 2014 4:51 p.m.

    Mama Liz
    Spanish Fork, UT
    "We all have desires that we have to control ...people can live without sex. It is possible to have intimacy and closeness without physical relationships. Difficult, yes. But who in this life doesn't face difficulty of some kind or another."

    --- How can you believe that the very most basic desire -- loving another human being and wanting to be one with them -- was put in us by a cruel God who wants us to ignore it?

    One's feeling and desires toward the person he or she wants to marry are not comparable to deciding one ought to cut out desserts to lose weight.

    Jesus told us to walk in the shoes of our fellow man, not to belittle their feelings.

  • Bob K Davis, CA
    July 17, 2014 4:27 p.m.

    --- Most Americans believe that God wants you to live as the person He made you, not as a martyr who tells us she was given a large cross to bear.

    I am very disappointed to see yet another propaganda piece in this sad vein. Even assuming that the article is real, and the author's beliefs are real, stuff like this gets used to hurt and torment young people who were born Gay and are struggling to accept themselves.

    Do lds people realize that by continually telling Gay people that what they feel in their hearts is wrong, that you encourage bullying, self-harming, even suicide, in your zeal to follow the church ezactly?

    If you do not follow me, think of the times before 1978, when Black and Brown people were told to live with their unfortunate affliction.

  • Zabet Spanish Fork, UT
    July 17, 2014 4:26 p.m.

    j0bi you are a true hero to me. I believe the Lord allows us to suffer the vicissitudes of life that we have the opportunity to learn to overcome. Some face steeper mountains to scale and some may have volunteered for their particular paths so they can show others the way to Christ. I stand in awe of people like you who choose faith when faced with overwhelming challenges.

  • Standing for Truth Pleasant Grove, UT
    July 17, 2014 4:19 p.m.

    Laura,
    You assert as a fact reparative therapy comprises "largely ineffective and potentially harmful sexual orientation change efforts." And your support for that statement is . . .? Sorry, you're not getting away with making such a statement without backing it up. Because I can give you the names of a number of therapists who have thousands of successful cases of those desiring to overcome their same-sex desires and behaviors and re-orienting to proper and God-intended desires. My personal experience is that if a person wants to overcome SSA, they certainly can.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    July 17, 2014 3:51 p.m.

    @Overdubbed: The "coming out" paradigm. Not only "coming out" but "coming out" to the Church Congregation. I do not know of anything in the Gospel that gives us the right or the requirement to impose on others, confessions of our sexual fantasies and desires.

    A young man and young woman, sitting in church holding hands are "coming out to the congregation" as heterosexual. A young man and young woman going to a stake dance are coming out as heterosexual to the congregation. Going steady. Engagement. All "coming out." And much of it happens at church.

    Stepping up and coming out as gay? That isn't about my "sexual fantasies and desires" it is about who I am, which includes who I love.

    Simply by standing at the podium and saying "this is who I am and it is okay" may well have touched and helped others in the congregation who struggle and are in deep despair to have hope for their own future.

  • Mama Liz Spanish Fork, UT
    July 17, 2014 2:34 p.m.

    I don't understand why one of the commentators considers it dishonest to admit to being gay but remaining in a heterosexual marriage. Being gay is one thing and that is not a sin. The question is if we will act on those feelings. Not acting on desires is not dishonest.
    We all have desires that we have to control - overindulging in eating, drinking, sexual behavior outside of marriage, overspending, gossiping ... and the list goes on. Contrary to what Hollywood and the media would have us believe, people can live without sex. It is possible to have intimacy and closeness without physical relationships. Difficult, yes. But who in this life doesn't face difficulty of some kind or another.

  • Overdubbed San Diego, CA
    July 17, 2014 1:45 p.m.

    I do not like this article for two reasons:

    1. Conversion Therapy is the only well known mechanism or system for helping people who have same sex attraction to not have that same sex attraction. That it does not work for everyone (or perhaps not even most people who try it) does not mean it is useless. And there ARE people who want such options. This article praises efforts to eliminate this *opportunity* from the lives of such people who also want to exercise their agency.

    2. The "coming out" paradigm. Not only "coming out" but "coming out" to the Church Congregation. I do not know of anything in the Gospel that gives us the right or the requirement to impose on others, confessions of our sexual fantasies and desires. Why is this worldly narcissistic exposure, this "look at me" approach, considered to be good even in Church? If you open your raincoat to expose your body in a park you can get arrested. But every day now, we are mentally flashed by individuals who do this for their "integrity". I prefer more boundaries than this.

  • j0bi SALT LAKE CITY, Utah
    July 17, 2014 12:09 p.m.

    I'm a 40+ year old active LDS LGBT man who holds and has held many callings. This single issue about myself has devoured most of my life's energy and attention. What I have to show for all of that is a deep and abiding testimony of the Christ and a relationship with him that surpasses any other aspect of my life. He has lead me and guided me these many years into places of safety for my soul. All of my righteous desires for healing were finally answered when I became willing to lose everything for His truth.

    But it wasn't the healing I expected. Instead of being made straight, I was healed of confusion, bitterness, pain, and anger. The hallowed hand that has always directed my testimony has finally led me to embrace the truth of my identity. I never wanted to be gay so I ignored His promptings for many years, but now I know by the same spirit that testifies of Christ and the BoM, that my sexual orientation is pleasing to God. The official doctrine will change when the collective church is ready for it, not sooner.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    July 17, 2014 11:02 a.m.

    I have other friends who went through unsuccessful conversion therapy. One friend has physical scars from the electroshock treatments. He doesn't like to talk about his experiences, but he has overcome the difficulties caused by the harmful treatments he has received.

    The most appalling part of my therapy was the multiple attempts to somehow place blame on my parents. I was encouraged to believe that I was gay because of a distant father or an overbearing mother. Neither one of those theories were true. I can't help but how many families have been damaged because of such nonsense.

    I also participated in a support group that wasn't very effective. The reason it didn't work is because too many participants used it as a screen for meeting other men for possible dates. It is no longer in existence, but I believe it lasted as long as it did because of what was going on behind the scenes.

    Canvas1, I really am happy that you have found peace through your therapy. Please, however, realize that you are probably the exception rather than the standard result.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    July 17, 2014 10:48 a.m.

    @canvas1

    I went through various levels of conversion therapy, and I was worse off because of it. I was told not to confide in other people, to search for more manlike activities, and avoid making friends with anyone else who might be gay. I was pretty much taught that I was meant to suffer through life alone.

    I suppressed my talents that are considered stereotypically gay traits. I started withdrawing from my friends, and I doubted my faith. I had suicidal thoughts pass through my mind more than once. All of this was damaging my soul, and I felt worthless because God refused to change me, and I was told that the reason was because I wasn't trying hard enough.

    To this day, I have an extremely difficult time in social settings. For so long I was taught by my therapists that if I showed my true self, I would be rejected. I am now going through therapy to overcome the effects of my previous therapy. It's very expensive, but I am finally learning to be honest and authentic about who I am.

  • Sneaky Jimmy Bay Area, CA
    July 17, 2014 10:03 a.m.

    Congratulations to the DN for publishing this informational piece. Perhaps the message that being Gay does not mean one is "broken" or fighting a temptation will start sinking in. It's natural. It's the way you were made by God. I know of 100's of gay latter day saints that have overcome the abusive teachings of "deny your identity" and the suicidal thoughts these teachings create to find peace with themselves. Many of these Gay LDS have obtained a personal relationship with God and know that they are accepted for who they are, despite the rejection they endure at the hands of people that were supposed to help and support them through life. I've heard it said the God made gay people not to test them but to test how His "saints" accept and love as commanded. For gay people, how better to know Christ than to walk in His shoes and suffer the rejection of your own.

  • wendell provo, UT
    July 17, 2014 9:10 a.m.

    I was taught that being gay was next to murder. I went through many years of hating myself and doing everything in my power to change. Much of my life was spent begging God to "fix" me. I read scriptures daily, served a mission, attended the temple, and did everything church leaders instructed me to do in order to be straight.

    In addition to ecclesiastical counseling, I spent thousands of dollars on secular therapy trying to change something I despised. The self-hatred and thoughts of suicide I experienced led me to drastic measures such as electroshock therapy in a last-ditch effort to become normal. None of my efforts reduced my same gender attraction at all.

    I eventually reached the point where I could handle no more and started living a genuine life. I am no longer LDS, but I can truly say for the first time in my life, I know God loves me and I am okay just the way I am.

    Change is possible? Perhaps it is for some people, but not for everyone. While I certainly cannot, and will not, speak for anyone else, I would ask that nobody speak for me either.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    July 17, 2014 8:31 a.m.

    @Sven:

    Ezekial 16:49-50. "Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen."

    Seems to be about how they treated people, not about the Gay. Which fits, as Jesus was talking about towns that treated his disciples badly, not towns with a gay pride parade.

    Also, if Sodom was about the gays, then the context has to include the oh-so righteous Lot offering his teenage daughters to the mob to be raped. I have a daughter, and find both Lot and the god who called him "righteous" to be dispicable.

    You are right, I did take Matt 19:22 out of context. The young man was keeping the commandments, he lacked one thing. American Christians are ignoring dozens and dozens of clear Bible commandments. Keeping their wealth instead of giving it to the pour is moot while ignoring so many other commandments.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    July 17, 2014 7:37 a.m.

    Mickie

    Well, the Center for Disease Control, and a PEW poll, I think, recently came up with that number of about 4%. I don't know if you are old enough to remember, but back in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, there was a standard dogma that 10% of the population was homosexual. It was discovered that the truth back then was about 3 or 4 percent. Same seems to hold today. Many times interest groups will up their numbers to try to get their agenda passed. Once, back in the 1980s when Reagan was President, the homeless adovcates tried to claim that 23 million Americans were homeless. (Because of Reagan of course). When Clinton became President, there were no homeless, and it wasn't an issue. What a surprise! There of course never were 23 million homeless. It was a lie for political reasons.

  • Sven Morgan, UT
    July 16, 2014 10:31 p.m.

    Stormwalker said:

    “How do Wilsee Christians live in congruence with the commandment to ‘sell all you have and give it to the poor’?”

    This quote is from Matthew 19:21 which you’ve taken out of context. Go back and read Matthew 19:20-22 for the full context.

    You said:

    “…but he [Jesus] never actually addressed homosexuality in any of his sermons or teachings.”

    Actually he did:

    Matthew 19:4-6: "And He answered and said, 'Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.'”

    Jesus reminds us of the original design of humankind...Male and Female.

    Matthew 10:15: "Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city." Cross reference with Jude 1:7.

  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    July 16, 2014 8:46 p.m.

    @Sven

    A few brief examples. When asked who the neighbor was we were to love, Jesus shared the story about the Good Samaritan and concluded that the one who loved his neighbor as Christ intended was the one who loved and served one who was different (culturally, religiously) than he was. Having friends and family members with same sex attraction has provided the opportunity to love and serve those children of our Heavenly Father who at least in one respect are different than I am.

    Seeing how some of those friends and family have turned to God for understanding and strength and my own prayers on their behalf have deepened my understanding of, and faith in, God. Regardless of whether you consider same sex attraction a weakness, it's indisputable that there are challenges living in our current culture and certainly for those of our faith, within our faith, with same sex attraction.

    God has told us his work and glory is to bring about our eternal life and that eternal life is to know Him and His Son, any increase in our understanding of God is a manifestation of the glory of God.

  • intervention slc, UT
    July 16, 2014 8:38 p.m.

    @j Richards

    It does not matter if it is 99 perecent or 1 perecent civil rights cannot be denied based on religous bias that flies in the face of the scientific facts. Ithese facts do not change no matter how many unrealed analogies you make. Although next time I think you should attempt to relate to the distance to the moon just for fun.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    July 16, 2014 7:57 p.m.

    @Sven: Okay, so how does a homosexual (who claims to be a Christian)

    How do Wilsee Christians live in congruence with the commandment to "sell all you have and give it to the poor"?

    Jesus did make some statements about marriage, but he never actually addressed homosexuality in any of his sermons or teachings. He was, however, very explicit about ways that his followers would act around money. I see a lot of very wealthy Christians – not many conservatives were asking how they reconcile that!

    Orthodox Jews… Actually live with their scripture and teaching and religion says. Christians, on the other hand, pick and choose what is convenient.

  • Sven Morgan, UT
    July 16, 2014 7:17 p.m.

    let's roll said:

    "The disciples asked Jesus why a young man was born blind. His answer, that the Glory of God might be made manifest."

    "I know those in my life who have same sex attraction have helped me to grow, have provided me the opportunity to increase in my faith and understanding of Christ and His teachings, to love my neighbor, all of which has manifested the glory of God."

    =======

    Could you please explain this to me...I'm not clear in the way you mean this?

  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    July 16, 2014 5:41 p.m.

    The disciples asked Jesus why a young man was born blind. His answer, that the Glory of God might be made manifest.

    I think that principle can be applied to any human trait, regardless of whether we typically view it as a blessing or a trial: blindness, physical beauty, intelligence, same sex attraction. Each has the possibility of turning us inward and away from God.

    Each also provides the opportunity for us to turn to God, better understand ourselves and Him, learn to love and to be loved and thereby the Glory of God is made manifest.

    I know those in my life who have same sex attraction have helped me to grow, have provided me the opportunity to increase in my faith and understanding of Christ and His teachings, to love my neighbor, all of which has manifested the glory of God.

  • Sven Morgan, UT
    July 16, 2014 5:08 p.m.

    Mrs. Dulin, you are putting forth two conflicting ideas and trying to show compatability where there can never be any:

    1) “Does the growing shift away from largely ineffective and potentially harmful sexual orientation change efforts mark the end of therapeutic support for same-sex attracted individuals who want to live in congruence with their faith values?”

    2) “The APA has compiled recommendations for therapists that center on honoring the agency of individuals to determine for themselves their values, behavior and self-labeling connected to their sexual orientation. These evidence-based recommendations include offering unconditional positive regard and empathy, conducting thorough assessments of the sources and symptoms of distress, assisting individuals to overcome internalized shame and stigma and helping clients to connect with increased social support.”

    Okay, so how does a homosexual (who claims to be a Christian) “live in congruence with their faith values”, while they’re “determin[ing] for themselves their values, behavior and self-labeling connected to their sexual orientation”? You cannot live in congruence with your faith, if you’re deciding for yourself, which parts of that faith you’ll accept or reject.

    You talk of faith, but no mention of repentance?

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    July 16, 2014 4:58 p.m.

    "How should those of us who are not gay or lesbian treat those who are?"
    -Mike Richards

    =======

    What did God say?

    Love thy neighbor, as thyself.

    “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

    Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

    Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets.

    God has already told those of us willing to listen...

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    July 16, 2014 4:23 p.m.

    Someone asked what difference it makes whether 1.2% or 12% of the population is actively homosexual. What difference does it make if I tell the I.R.S. that I made $10,000 or $100,000? What difference does it make if I tell my boss that I was in the office for ten hours when I was only there one hour?

    When fundamental values in society are being challenged by 1.6% of the people, but they lead us to believe that their numbers represent 25% or more of the people, should that make a difference? If we bought a huge car that the dealer promised would give us 25 miles per gallon and we only got 2.5 miles per gallon, could we claim fraud? If a credit card company told us they would charge is 2.5% interest per year and they charged us 25% interest per year would that be fraud?

    The Center of Disease Control is not subject to dispute. Why would they lie about one thing and tell us the truth about everything else?

    Honesty counts if people are to be taken seriously.

  • Mickie SLC, UT
    July 16, 2014 4:21 p.m.

    @canvas1

    I'm sorry for your struggles and how it distressed you in your life. I'm glad you received the help that you needed. As you stated yourself, you felt your desires stemmed from some early experiences in your life rather than something you were born with. I 100% believe this was the case for you. From what you related it doesn't seem that you went through a typical conversation therapy program meant to change your orientation but rather you worked through these issues that were the root cause (correct me if I'm wrong). Working through the underlying issues is what worked for you. That's great. Keep in mind that anyone else who is distressed as you were and has similar issues can certainly receive therapy to work through those issues.

    But for this who do not have any underlying cause, there is no therapy needed. As has been pointed out conversion therapy has been shown to cause harm and there is no statistical proof of success.

    Also, as I understand it, conversion therapy is legal in all states for adults. It's illegal in some states for children who are incapable of consenting to the treatment.

  • canvas1 San Tan Valley, AZ
    July 16, 2014 4:07 p.m.

    I find it interesting that here I posted above my success with conversion therapy from SSA and not one person responds except one. I suffered years of personal torment, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, etc. So this was a major step for me. I read a lot of negative comments about conversion therapy today but has anyone that has posted today even tried it besides me? I am doubting it. I can understand that some do not want to change or have inherent inclinations they can be born with, but many DO want to change and I am proof there is hope.

  • Mickie SLC, UT
    July 16, 2014 4:02 p.m.

    @Mike Richards

    Thanks for sharing the CDC survey. I hadn't heard of that one. While I suspect the number is higher than the CDC reports (we know that there are validity issues in self report surveys as people may under report an identity when that identity is stigmatized), it does tell me that the percentage is likely lower than the 12% estimation I've seen before.

    In any case, what difference does it make? After all, the LDS faith makes up a very small percentage (less than 1%) and its members are afforded equal religious protections, as they should be. Therefore a population of LGBT, whether it be 2% or 25% (by the way, I have to interject how shocked I am that people believe the 25% number) should be afforded equality under the law.

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    July 16, 2014 3:28 p.m.

    Someone could get rich doing conversion therapy that works. I live near a 1000 student high school. If 25 kids (2.5%) are gay and each parent would be willing to pay $10,000 to have their kid "cured", that's $250,000 with another $60-65k every year....just from that one school. Throw in other local schools, the college, etc...and someone would be rich. The fact that there aren't such clinics popping up across from schools (perhaps they could share a parking lot with the seminary buildings), shows that conversion therapy is a crock.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    July 16, 2014 3:27 p.m.

    "How should those of us who are not gay or lesbian treat those who are?"
    -Mike Richards

    "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself"
    -Jesus

    Simple Stuff

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 16, 2014 3:15 p.m.

    The Center for Disease Control and Prevention tells us that 1.6% of Americans self-identify as being gay or lesbian. Another 0.7% self-identify as being bi-sexual. So, according to the Government, 2.3% are homosexual. That number is far less than the numbers being bandied about by the pro-same-sex marriage crowd. They want us to believe that 25% or more Americans are gay or lesbian and that 50% or more of Americans support their same-sex sex.

    That is a lie. That is a lie being perpetrated by those people who want to change the definition of marriage and the definition of family.

    How should those of us who are not gay or lesbian treat those who are? We should show them kindness and respect. We should not march in parades to show the world that we are not gay or lesbian. We should not sue store owners who refuse to photograph our traditional marriage or make a cake for our traditional marriage,; but, we don't have to watch TV, go to movies or support anything that portrays America as being gay or lesbian.

  • Mikhail ALPINE, UT
    July 16, 2014 3:03 p.m.

    Heavenly Father is loving and understands ALL of His children - intimately. Because He loves us, He provided a Savior for us - knowing that we would all come into adversarial conditions as mortals. The only consistent and true "therapy" is found in the Atonement of His Son, Jesus Christ. Each of His individual children are allowed to choose how to address our individual "burdens" - to attempt to manage on our own, to rely upon the understanding of other mortals to "assist" us, or to look to the Savior to lift us through the matter through hope, faith and pure Love of Christ.

    I am grateful when others share their trials in a humble manner - because it helps me to know that I am not alone in the struggles of life. When my brothers and sisters affirm their reliance upon God's plan to deal with these struggles, I am lifted. Thank you for sharing.

  • Mickie SLC, UT
    July 16, 2014 2:47 p.m.

    @SCfan

    The number isn't conclusively 4%. Different studies have come up with different numbers and we don't really know the exact number. I've seen several studies report 12%. Maybe it's actually in the middle at 8%. Is hard to quantify since most people don't actually fall perfectly 100% heterosexual or 100% homosexual (see the Kinsey scale). I myself am asexual and current research estimates that 3% of the population is asexual. From personal experiences I have a hard time believing that the homosexual population is just at 4%.

  • Bendana 99352, WA
    July 16, 2014 2:13 p.m.

    "This doesn't mean that you can pray away the gay any more than you can pray for cerebral palsy to disappear. It means that through Christ and the Atonement, He can give you strength and power to deal with your weakness. (See Mosiah 24:15)"

    Being gay is NOT a 'weakness'. It is not a weakness of character or morals, it's the sexuality you are born with, not something to be over come to please the morality of someone else's religious beliefs. What a condescending and judgmental notion.

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    July 16, 2014 2:01 p.m.

    Same-sex attraction is a disorder of human psychological and physiological development, and millions of people's attractions have changed during their lives. Further, people are responsible for their immoral actions regardless of what attractions and inclinations they feel.

    The repudiation of those facts in DSM-III and the advent of claims that "orientation" is a fixed inborn characteristic of people and that they are "dishonest to themselves" if they don't act on this "identity" were politically, not scientifically driven (check the history and the funding sources).

    This doesn't make anyone inferior or less human; most people have some disorder to some degree- depression, anxiety, narcissism, etc. Disorders are not the result of a direct choice and blaming people for their disorders is counterproductive.

    But you don't see police forced to join pyromaniac pride parades or hear cries to shut down businesses who refuse to hire active kleptomaniacs.

    The reason conversion therapy is generally a bad idea is not because "orientation" is unchangeable or that change is undesirable, it's because it's very doubtful anyone understands human psychological and sexual development well enough to devise such a treatment likely to do more good than harm.

  • Marco Luxe Los Angeles, CA
    July 16, 2014 1:41 p.m.

    I find the terms weakness and perfection conclusory in this discussion. Maybe the weakness is not the weakness of someone with SSA, but it is the failure of the majority to deal with scriptural and scientific uncertainty about sexual orientation. This used to be called hubris. Like this fresh look at weakness, the concept of striving for perfection in the Lord could mean to become the most perfect gay person one can be, with a healthy integration of innate sexual orientation and honest interaction with the world.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    July 16, 2014 1:22 p.m.

    @ Red Corvette

    I understand where you're coming from, but I agree with others who said in reply to you, "Her choice." What I find tragic is that the author's religion places her in a position in which such a choice is necessary.

    It is so clear now that variations on sexual orientation naturally occur and at a very predictable rate across populations - despite laws, despite religious proscriptions, despite "therapies." As Craig Clark suggests, we really need to consider that, as with skin color and handedness, we have been making much ado about nothing.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    July 16, 2014 1:15 p.m.

    Ask an average person on the street, particularly a young person what percentage of Americans are homosexual. The number 25% is not unusual to hear. The true number. About 4%. That just goes to show how the media, missinformation, and a well orchestrated propaganda campaign have altered the public perception. Now imagine making all public policy based upon such falsehoods, which is likely happening with more than just the homosexual question. Amazing that in this so called information age, American seems to be becoming less informed about facts not more.

  • BJMoose Syracuse, UT
    July 16, 2014 1:07 p.m.

    I feel sorry for the husband. Unless this is a "marriage for the sake of appearance" for both of them I cannot think of a more disingenuous situation to be put into.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    July 16, 2014 11:56 a.m.

    @canvas1,

    I am happy for your successes and that you feel like you have overcome some struggles in your own life. That, however, is your experience and yours alone. What about the thousands of us who did not participate in sexual experimentation at a young age? There are so many of us who have no past experiences or traumas that caused us to be gay--we just are who we are.

    Quite frankly, the damage that so many of us have experienced comes from well-intentioned help that weakens our sense of self worth. It comes from the mistaken idea that we if we try to be just a little bit more obedient we will be cured. We are damaged when we hear the insensitive comments from our neighbors and family members whom we love so we decide to hide who we are. We want to get along, but its time that we start accepting that each one of us experiences life differently, and it's not our place to judge others based on our limited view of how things should be. We need more empathy.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    July 16, 2014 11:42 a.m.

    Sometimes in a heterosexual marriage one of the partners simply loses interest in sex - for any one of a number of reasons.

    This often causes great distress in the relationship, and sometimes ends up in divorce.

    To be fair, those who reject homosexual activity as being contrary to God's will should also very, very strongly condemn divorces where there has been a "loss of affection", or whatever you want to term it.

    People who divorce due to an absence of sex in the marriage should be condemned as selfish. Be consistent, folks.

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    July 16, 2014 11:17 a.m.

    @ cats Podcasts and unspecified articles are your evidence? Hundreds of people? They are experts? The fact is that faith-based reparative therapy groups do not make public their success/failure rates. Outside investigators have found that about 2/3 of those seeking change give up within 2 years. 3/4 of these reparative therapy groups close operations within 5 years. Exodus International closed in 2013 and actually issued an apology for the harm they may have caused. Evergreen International recently admitted that reparative therapy likely does not work. The emphasis in these programs was to have participants abstain from any kind of sex altogether. In other words, the "conversion" was to turn them asexual. It was not to try and make them sexually-practicing heterosexuals.

  • Mickie SLC, UT
    July 16, 2014 11:09 a.m.

    @Red Corvette

    As someone who is a proponent for equal rights for all no matter sexual orientation I am offended by your statement that the author of this piece is being dishonest because she chooses to remain in a relationship with a man and her children. What are we fighting for if not the freedom of choice of who to be with? If the author beleives the LDS church and chooses to live by their teachings who are we to tell her she is wrong?

    There are many people who are homosexual, bisexual, or even asexual who choose to live a heteronormative life. That is their choice and we should all respect their choices.

    In addition, it doesn't matter what this author's sexual orientation is. The words she wrote are valid and true no matter her orientation or her lifestyle choices. Tell me what she wrote that is suddently changed by her choice. Surely the facts she stated about the APA's stance remain the same. Surely the facts of what the LDS church has said remain the same. There was nothing but facts and honesty in this piece.

  • TruBias Gilbert, AZ
    July 16, 2014 10:58 a.m.

    To Roland Kayser who said, "I wonder what would happen if I showed up at one of these places that claims to be able to change sexual orientation and asked them to change me from straight to gay?"

    I suspect they would be compassionate and try to understand why you feel the way you do and offer to help in anyway they can. They would likely encourage you to seek understanding of yourself and how you can find peace and self respect, no matter your sexual orientation. They would defer to your agency and self determination and leave it up to you to find happiness, gay or straight.

    Despite your intention of being unbiased, you exposed your bias. Your disdain for their differing opinion contradicts your intention for understanding.

  • canvas1 San Tan Valley, AZ
    July 16, 2014 10:57 a.m.

    Being one who endured SSA since my early teens that I now firmly believe stemmed from sexual experimentation at a young age. Not understanding what I was feeling, I went on with life by getting married and raising a family. But I was still very tormented by SSA. Finally, through a series of events, I was led to a counselor who deals with sexual trauma and SSA. I did not see how I could change from my vantage point, I just wanted it to work and put my faith in my Savior. I speak for only myself, but I am just sharing what happened with me. For me the desires that I had before are not there. I have tested it and tried to tempt myself just to see if it was for real and, again, for me, the desires of SSA are not there. I credit not only what the counselor did by helping me eliminate something that was a part of me for many years, but, most importantly, of which otherwise I believe it would not have worked for me, I filled the void left with the Savior to change.

  • pcdivers80 highland, UT
    July 16, 2014 10:35 a.m.

    Cats,

    you quoted - "They all say that it is possible to change from gay to straight and they literally know hundreds of people who have. I am willing to believe those experts even though it is not politically correct."

    When one of my children came out I spent night and day researching everything i could find on this subject for 3 years. While there are those who claim to know people who have changed, ask them for evidence and they falter. I have met many who claimed to have changed, mostly due to social, family and church pressure only to admit some years later that there was no change in attraction. And the primary reparative therapy expert that made that claim, who claimed to have been changed himself, recanted about a year ago, apologized to all those that his claims had harmed and admitted that his attraction had never changed.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    July 16, 2014 10:34 a.m.

    What stands out in this thoughtful column is that even some who show great sensitivity to the social plight of being gay in a heterosexual society are, to some degree, restrained from lifting homosexuality from pathology. It’s no easy undertaking in that many who self-identify as gay or lesbian don’t see themselves as afflicted with a moral weakness or pathological condition they need to be cured of.

    The hard truth is that same sex attraction, whether consummated or not, is something that we just don’t fully understand. Neither religious dogma, physiology, nor psychology have yet been able to offer satisfactory answers. Maybe it's not really as important as we're trying to make it be.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    July 16, 2014 10:17 a.m.

    @Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah

    Where it OTHER Mike Richards,
    The one who posts here daily.

    This one must obviously be an imposter...
    Because this one is sounding more and more like - me - a Liberal,
    and that just can't be so.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    July 16, 2014 10:15 a.m.

    I wish to commend the LDS for distancing themselves from the long discredited practice of trying to change someone's sexual orientation. I am not LDS but have many Moron college students including some who are Gay. I have seen first hand the damage that is inflicted on these young men and women when someone in authority tells them they could change their sexual orientation if "they really wanted to." Such statements are abusive and destructive. I believe this editorial, repudiating such practices, will go a very long way to promoting healing and restoring a sense of self-worth in these students.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    July 16, 2014 10:03 a.m.

    I have often wondered about the motivation behind people who adamantly claim that we can change our sexual orientation. Is it because you have a true concern for our well being and want the best for us, or is it because we make you uncomfortable? Have you studied and prayed about these issues about how you can change others, or have you gone about learning about what you can personally do to accept others?

    It took me a long time to realize some things about myself, and it came after years of anguish that involved a lot of study and prayer. I met with therapists and attended group sessions in attempt to cure me. Finally, I received a small personal revelation that told me that my sexual orientation was not something that needed to be cured. It was a gift that has taught me to be kinder and more empathetic to others who are different and prone to being societal outcasts.

    Please, please, let's stop these subtle jabs that I see all over these comment boards that make one group of people out to be better than the others. That's not how God wants us to act.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 16, 2014 10:02 a.m.

    @Tiago

    I'm sorry if you have found offense from what I write. I am not a diplomat. Last Sunday in Sacrament Meeting, a High Councilor spoke to us. He didn't mince words. He spoke directly about the number of women who choose to have babies outside of marriage. He spoke of the number of people who don't bother to get married. He spoke of the change in attitudes about what marriage is and what marriage means. He cautioned us to not get caught up in being politically correct.

    Everyone has weaknesses. I don't publicly list my weaknesses because I don't want others to think that because I have their favorite weakness that they can have it too. The Lord told us to be perfect. That means that ANY weakness must be overcome. We can't hold on to our favorite weakness and expect the Lord to excuse that weakness. He is perfect. He allows those who have been made perfect through His atonement to enter into His Father's presence. Sometime, between now and then, we each have to give up our weaknesses if we expect to live with the Father.

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    July 16, 2014 9:26 a.m.

    @Mike Richards
    I am a fully active, faithful member of the church who experiences SSA and has never acted on it. I am not trying to "promote my weakness." In fact, in hundreds of talks and lessons that I have taught in my life, I have never said anything about my own SSA. I have sat quietly a thousand times while people said hurtful things at church.
    I have seen your comments on many articles about LGBT issues. I believe you have good intentions.
    However, I want you to know that your tone and language is not helpful. It is hurtful. I have seen way too many friends leave the church because people make them feel unwelcome and in danger.
    If you want to help your brothers and sisters with SSA, please take time to read the church's mormonsandgays website and try to match the loving and compassionate tone that our leaders use there.
    Please look for the blogs and articles online written by faithful Christians and LDS members with SSA and please talk with us about what helps and what doesn't. There was a great article in LDS Living by Ty Mansfield last month.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    July 16, 2014 9:14 a.m.

    Ms. Dulin's piece is a welcome and refreshing counterpoint to the previous column by Janet Boynes. The whole vocabulary of the issue is distorted. No one speaks of fault regarding other personal traits. Is it anyone's fault that I have blue eyes or like dark chocolate? No, the question is absurd, just as it is absurd for sexual orientation. That said, I share Red Corvette's interest (but not the cynicism) in how Ms. Dulin reconciles her lesbianism with her marriage (and vice versa). Purely by happenstance yesterday I came upon a Sutherland Institute essay that contained this statement: "Nobody forced homosexuals to enter into misguided heterosexual relationships and marriages that produced children." Technically true-- I assume nobody held a shotgun and forced to take her vows, but could she speak to the cultural pressures that made it more advantageous for her to suppress her genuine feelings and deny her self than to be true to her self? Given the centrality of sexual orientation to one's identity, the pressure to conform to heteronormative culture must be overwhelming to compel one to override one's true identity.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 16, 2014 9:00 a.m.

    I agree with iron&clay and with J in AZ. Some people tell us of their weaknesses to promote that weakness. Others tell us of their weakness so they can get help to rise above that weakness.

    On any given day, convicted felons, adulterers, liars and cheaters enter the LDS Temples. When people have repented of their sins and done whatever was required of them by their church leaders and have been found worthy to enter the temples, they are allowed to be recommended to the Lord as being worthy. The Lord does not judge us on what we were, but on what we have become. He said, "Come follow me". He also said, "Go they way and sin no more". Should we look back on what we were or should we look forward to what we may become, with Christ's help through the grace of His Atonement?

  • ExecutorIoh West Jordan, UT
    July 16, 2014 8:58 a.m.

    I don't believe that same-gender attraction makes a person broken. As humans we are all born with inherent weaknesses, most of them mental or psychological. Whether a person is prone to violent outbursts, substance abuse, or atypical sexual behavior. Many other weakness may be physical like epilepsy, autism, or a host of any other condition. In the end if an inherent weakness makes a person broken, then we are all broken.

    But then there is really only one way to address our weaknesses: "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." (Ether 12:27, Book of Mormon)

    This doesn't mean that you can pray away the gay any more than you can pray for cerebral palsy to disappear. It means that through Christ and the Atonement, He can give you strength and power to deal with your weakness. (See Mosiah 24:15)

    The Atonement applies to all people and all weaknesses.

  • David Clarke Pruden Salt Lake, UT
    July 16, 2014 8:57 a.m.

    Let's don't confuse "fault" with temporal mortality or the ability to grow and change to overcome mortal challenges to become more like Christ. Faithfulness, growth and change is what we were sent here to accomplish.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    July 16, 2014 8:55 a.m.

    I'm old enough to remember when being attracted to someone of another RACE was considered - sinful, wrong, and criminal.

  • sonofabronc Boise, ID
    July 16, 2014 8:54 a.m.

    To the contrary, Red Corvette. The author is not being dishonest, she has chosen to put off the natural woman and has taken up her cross, denying herself of a same sex relationship. She has chosen to lose herself for Christ's sake and He has promised her in return that she shall find it. See Mark 8:35. In this way, the author has chosen to be like the Savior. See 2 Ne 26:24. He gave his mortal life that others might have eternal life. Thank you, Sister Dulin. I learned something from you today.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    July 16, 2014 8:43 a.m.

    Sister Dulin,

    Thank you. Wonderfully written.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    July 16, 2014 8:40 a.m.

    "listened to podcasts from experts who have been in this field for as much as forty years."

    You mention these "experts" numerous times in your post. Care to share their names so we can vet them?

    "They all say that it is possible to change from gay to straight and they literally know hundreds of people who have."

    All of them? Is it possible that you only choose to read those who promote your stance? Are you aware that many experts also denounce such therapy? John Paulk is one fairly notable one.

    "I am willing to believe those experts even though it is not politically correct"

    Are you also willing to believe those experts who come to the opposite conclusion?

    "I also think it is terrible that some if these therapies have been outlawed in some states."

    I am pretty sure that lobotomies and electroshock therapies are banned also. Should those still be available?

    Many people only seek out information that confirms what they already believe and discount everything else. Is that you in this case?

  • J in AZ San Tan Valley, AZ
    July 16, 2014 8:29 a.m.

    1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us all we need to know about SSA and any other strong temptations to sin. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

    The temptation exists, people who choose to resist it in moral ways will have divine help.

  • iron&clay RIVERTON, UT
    July 16, 2014 7:56 a.m.

    Or, in other words, channeling our God-given desires, appetites and passions to be kept within the bounds the Lord has set is the challenge.

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    July 16, 2014 7:56 a.m.

    Thank you, Laura, for this informed, respectful response to Ms. Boyne's opinion. I have heard from so many of my friends who were hurt by the false ideas in that article.

    I love Elder Christofferson's quote "Each experience is different. Latter-day Saints recognize the enormous complexity of this matter. We simply don’t have all the answers."

    This is the reality we need to accept. Accepting that people are different and that we don't know everything motivates us to listen, try to understand, and love. It is not our job to tell people what they are experiencing or invent stories about their lives to make them fit our paradigms.

    It is fine that we don't know everything and that there is no cure. If we are LGBT, we do the best we can with what we do know. If we have faith, we live according to our faith. If we don't personally experience SSA, our only job is to show pure love and make our homes, churches, and communities a place where people feel safe to be their best selves.

  • iron&clay RIVERTON, UT
    July 16, 2014 7:52 a.m.

    No one is asking for public admissions of carnal, sensual thoughts that we may have about same gender or opposite gender attractions.

    Members of God's Church have weaknesses. That is why we are here. To recognize our carnal nature and rely upon God's grace to give us strength to match our weakness and with effort have a spiritual re-birth, a baptism of fire with no more desire to do evil.... That is the ideal.

    Life is hard.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    July 16, 2014 7:42 a.m.

    I have read a number of articles and listened to podcasts from experts who have been in this field for as much as forty years. They all say that it is possible to change from gay to straight and they literally know hundreds of people who have. I am willing to believe those experts even though it is not politically correct.

    I also think it is terrible that some if these therapies have been outlawed in some states. No one should be precluded from taking advantage of these if they wish to. If they don't want to they shouldn't be forced. I also don't believe anyone is harmed by them, according to experts I have heard and read.

    I admire this woman for her courage and her life choices, but I don't necessarily buy her position on this subject.

  • Spark44 MIDVALE, UT
    July 16, 2014 7:03 a.m.

    Thanks for your courage in sharing your life experience with us, Laura. I have learned much of the same information through my involvement with Mormons Building Bridges. It wasn't long ago that I felt uncomfortable just saying the words gay and lesbian. Now, I know many such people and love them. I started the Sit With Me Sunday events for LGBT members who would like to attend church from time to time with an welcoming friend. We plan to attend the Tabernacle Choir broadcast this coming Sunday. All are welcome to join us through our Facebook group.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    July 16, 2014 6:48 a.m.

    I find that the majority of "religious" people have a strong need to believe that gays and lesbians are broken. Many go to great lengths to foster their necessary belief that in no way did God make them that way. They certainly were not born that way.

    To me, that flies in the face of common sense. What? Do you really think that people see how gays are treated and want to choose that lifestyle? They risk much just by being gay.

    The notion that people become gay over time is totally illogical to me.

    Ask yourself this. "What could have happened to me to make me change sexual orientation"

    For me, I come up empty... How about you?

    Don't let religious leaders, beliefs and teachings trump logic and common sense.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 16, 2014 12:15 a.m.

    I wonder what would happen if I showed up at one of these places that claims to be able to change sexual orientation and asked them to change me from straight to gay?

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 16, 2014 12:12 a.m.

    " My sexual orientation isn't anyone's “fault,” or an outgrowth of something negative that happened, or a symptom that I'm damaged in some way."

    Well stated. People have rights. We all have rights. People are often beaten up for a variety of reasons: because they are LGBT, because they are not assertive or aggressive, or because their behaviors do not conform to stereotypes (often true of heterosexuals too).

    We can't be manhandled. We have rights. Don't tread on me - indeed!