Comments about ‘Terms important to same-sex discussion in LDS Church, Ty Mansfield says at FairMormon Conference’

Return to article »

Published: Thursday, Aug. 7 2014 9:20 p.m. MDT

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended

I can absolutely understand why Mansfield feels more comfortable referring to himself as "experiencing same gender attraction" and can respect that term. I can also support using "same gender attraction" as a starting base for talking about the topic. It is definitely better than calling someone a "homosexual" which in current culture sounds harsh.

I, however, cringe when someone says I have "same gender attraction" and cringe if the say I "suffer" with it. I prefer being referred to as gay. It isn't a dirty word. You can call me gay. And I'll say Mansfield has same gender attraction.

This is not trivial. Terms are very important and better help all of us understand the experience of the individual.

Provo, UT

I like 2 Npehi 2:26,27 which states that we are agents capable of choosing to live God's laws or not. We are not victims of anything we may or may not be born with. We can live God's commandments in spite of our circumstances. Mansfield is a good example of that. I applaud his faith, and his courage in sharing his experiences.

West Jordan, UT

I was taught that you call people by the name they wished to be called. It's simply a matter of respect. Members of the LDS Church have gone back and forth about how to refer to them and their church. (i.e. Mormon, LDS, Latter Day Saints.....) The LDS Church has put a lot of effort into teaching the press how to refer to it and its members, because how you identify someone is important to people. How would it sound if people referred to LDS members as "those who suffer from a belief in false prophets" or something as offensive?

West Jordan, UT

Mr. Mansfield speaks for a very small group of people with a specific agenda. He and his associates may choose to be referred to themselves in these terms, but its highly offensive to the vast majority of Gays & Lesbians. If your goal is to offend a gay or lesbian person, refer to them as someone who struggles, suffers, experiences same gender attraction. It is a huge slap in the face.

West Jordan, UT

The only people I have ever heard say this are members of a religious group who believe that there is something wrong or flawed with Gays & Lesbians. Disrespectful terminology is never productive in bringing people together. It may work for Mr. Mansfield and his associates, who choose not to embrace themselves, but it is highly offensive to those who love and embrace themselves and their family members.

Idaho Falls, ID

This makes more sense to me than about anything I've heard on the topic lately. This is truth at it's best.

I can't figure out why the Church termed it's website the way it did when previously, general authorities have specifically recommended the term "same sex attraction" over "gay".

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA


I appreciate your thoughtful comments. I have several LDS college students who marry opposite-sex partners and they always refer to themselves as "Gay." They also say the same thing that those in same-sex marriages say: They don't want to be referred to as someone with an affliction.

The phrase "someone who experiences same-sex attraction" has the virtue of being neither pejorative nor judgmental but its a mouthful and sounds like it was invented by a committee. It also tends to unnecessarily prejudice the commonly used term "Gay." Perhaps something as simple as saying you are "LDS-Gay" or "Mormon-Gay" could convey pride in who you are and how you choose to live your life while still being a term people are likely to use.

Cedar City, UT

"Mr. Mansfield speaks for a very small group of people with a specific agenda"

The group is bigger than you think. There are many people who struggle with "same sex attraction" who strive to keep their covenants in order to receive the blessings of the gospel. Furthermore, I can hardly think that that goal is considered an "agenda".

Denver, CO

Heterosexual marriage, where one member experiences same-sex attraction (is gay), does not violate the moral covenant of marriage as long as both parties have full consent. Arranged marriages are the presumed heterosexual analogue to this type of contract, where money, family, offspring, or politics take precedence over 'natural' sexual attraction. Love however, is a powerful enforcer of commitment, be it homosexual or heterosexual, and can impart long term advantages in family stability when raising children. Gays and straights who fall in love recognize this powerful bond. Today, gays overwhelmingly view 'love', not a marriage contract (same-sex or not), as fundamental to family commitment. I have yet to hear of a gay arranged marriage, and no doubt, it's the challenging logistics that discourage this. So, what relationship would serve the interest of children best, one based on love or one founded on the principles of an arranged marriage? Most contemporary studies conclude that children of same-sex couples are developmentally comparable to their traditional counterparts. While it would be very challenging to all involved, the planned marriage described here, while not ideal, may be the only option when religious beliefs superseded all other considerations.

Brigham City, UT

This is the most confusing thing I have ever read, and I now regret reading it. This may be a good journal entry, yet some things don't need to be shared with the public.

Karen R.
Houston, TX

"'So much of the controversy happens around unexamined premises and conclusions unthinkingly drawn, or simply accepted without any thought at all,' he said."

I wish Mr. Mansfield would apply this to his religious beliefs. I have yet to understand just what it is about homosexuality that makes it so terrible other than "God said it's bad." Well what exactly is "bad" about it? It's a sexual orientation. All humans come equipped with one. And homosexuality is seen in many other species as well. So rather than unnatural, it seems instead to be the natural order of things.

No, the only thing wrong with homosexuality is how some religions persist in viewing it. In many cases this leads devout gay people to twist themselves into pretzels in an attempt to remain faithful and accepted. This saddens me to no end. We can't get beyond this mistaken belief fast enough.

Here, UT

I'm glad Mansfield has found happiness; that doesn't mean, however, that every GAY or LESBIAN person should marry someone of the opposite sex or that they should even try to change themselves.

WE ARE FINE just the way we are.

Personally, I am going to continue using the words Gay and Lesbian because I think they're far more descriptive than "same-sex attracted". Do we go around calling straight people "opposite-sex attracted"? It sounds much more like a disease.

Kaysville, UT

Mr. Mansfield delivered a brilliant discourse on a complex subject.

seattle, WA

I think that if members of the LDS were called "religiously attracted" rather than Mormon, or LDS, or whatever, they might find that offensive.

Being attracted sounds like something transitory. Being oriented sounds immutable. Some people like the LTE can forego their attraction, and act out as something, for whatever their reasons. Maybe they are only bisexual. Who knows? However to toss out terms, even to a (semi) friendly audience that infer that other people's same sex orientation may be transitory goes against the experience of millions.

Words matter. If the LTE wants to term himself as same sex attracted, that is his affair. However, most gay and lesbian self identified people will find it offensive. And he should be rightly condemned for playing into the oppression of his faith.

boneheaded, but not a smidgen

you choose to be offended and it appears some people LOVE to be offended.

Vince Ballard
South Ogden, UT

Albemar, Mr. Mansfield has as much right to express his opinions as you, and those who believe likewise have every right to construct their lives as they see fit. If "Gay Rights" doesn't recognize that, then they are not about rights at all.

Ogden, UT

This makes me think of a friend of mine who can't hear. When people refer to him as being "hearing impaired" he corrects them and cays "I'm DEAF." When someone uses the correct (and blunt) term, it means that s/he has faced the issue and resolved it for himself/herself. Using euphemisms (hearing-impaired, same-sex-attraction, etc.) means that the person has not faced the issue, so to speak.

Say No to BO
Mapleton, UT

Read the comments above. Militant gays are clearly, "My way or the highway" types.
For them, there is no weakness to work on. And expressing themselves as homosexuals is no sin.
I think the LDS Church has a different view, though some of the information out there is soft-pedaled to the point where you can't really tell.
One thing is for sure, the spouses of people with SSA are saints of the highest order.

Kearns, UT

"There are many people who struggle with 'same sex attraction' who strive to keep their covenants in order to receive the blessings of the gospel."

Please, let's stop the myth that those of us who are gay are struggling with an affliction that needs to be overcome. There is no truth to that way of thinking, and the harm comes when people close to gay family members or friends think that it is a problem.

The reality is that my emotional, physical, and spiritual health improved tenfold when I finally came to terms with the truth, realized that I did not need to let it be an obstacle in my life, and understood that this is something God does not expect me to change. A huge burden was lifted from my shoulders on that day.

Let's stop making erroneous assumptions about people, please. Let's follow the line from one of my favorite hymns, "who am I to judge another when I walk imperfectly."

Provo, UT

Wonderful, thoughtful essay. Many will be touched by your candor and wisdom. Thank you for writing.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments