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Comments about ‘My view: Sexual orientation is no one's fault, it is an opportunity’

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Published: Wednesday, July 16 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

" 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!

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

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?

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

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.

Spark44
MIDVALE, UT

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.

Cats
Somewhere in Time, UT

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.

iron&clay
RIVERTON, UT

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.

Tiago
Seattle, WA

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

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.

J in AZ
San Tan Valley, AZ

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.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"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?

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Sister Dulin,

Thank you. Wonderfully written.

sonofabronc
Boise, ID

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.

airnaut
Everett, 00

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

David Clarke Pruden
Salt Lake, UT

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.

ExecutorIoh
West Jordan, UT

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.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

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?

Lagomorph
Salt Lake City, UT

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.

Tiago
Seattle, WA

@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.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

@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.

Really???
Kearns, UT

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.

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