Earlier today I watched a talk—by Elder Oaks, no less—that touched
on this subject in a very sensitive, delicate, and compassionate way, even
though it was given eight years ago. The Church need not compromise its core
principles or doctrines in order to show true Christ-like love and understanding
towards those struggling with same-sex attraction—for whom the choice
whether or not to remain faithful to Gospel principles is not quite as stark as
the world would have them believe.
to OHBU: I once heard a lesbian comedian make an excellent point. She
said even if she did not have sex with a woman for the rest of her life, she is
still a lesbian. She is correct. Please look up the dictionary meaning of what
a homosexual is and what a lesbian is.
I don't know why people publicly say they are gay or lesbian. This is a
personal matter. When a person does this, other people sometimes will treat the
person differently (meaning treat the person badly). I don't want to know
if someone is gay or lesbian, especially if the person is a member of The Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, like I am.
@ Rick"But there are people with a high level of both -
bisexuals, and those with little of both - asexual. And a whole lot of mixture
in between. The advocacy community would deny this, and instead try to insist
there is some genetic switch that says we are one or the other. That's just
not fact..."Correct, and it's called Sexual Orientation.
One is not born with a genetic switch for a particular religious view that
condemns LGBT persons either. Instead, in the name of religious freedom, folks
should be able to choose a religious view that celebrates and honors LGBT people
exactly as they are along with their civil marriages.
But which religious view do we codify into our civl marriage laws?
The following religions believe the lord accepts and honors the sexuality and
marriages of LGBT peoples. Should their religious freedom and liberty be
respected in our nations civil marriage laws?Affirming Pentecostal
Church InternationalAlliance of Christian ChurchesAnointed Affirming
Independent MinistriesThe Association of Welcoming and Affirming
BaptistsChristian Church (Disciples of Christ)Community of ChristConservative JudaismEcumenical Catholic ChurchEcumenical Catholic
CommunionThe Episcopal ChurchEvangelical Anglican Church In
AmericaEvangelical Lutheran Church in AmericaGlobal Alliance of
Affirming Apostolic PentecostalsInclusive Orthodox ChurchMetropolitan Community ChurchOld Catholic ChurchProgressive
Christian AllianceReconciling Pentecostals InternationalReconstructionist JudaismReform JudaismReformed Anglican Catholic
ChurchReligious Society of Friends (Quakers)Unitarian Universalist
ChurchUnited Church of ChristUnity Church
J-TX:"You are not "gay or lesbian" unless and until you
engage in gay or lesbian sexual behavior"Does that mean I
wasn't "straight" until I first had sex with a woman? Up until
then, I guess I might have been gay...
Pop culture is designed to make things black and white, you're in or
you're out, you're hip or you're not, you're popular or
you're not, you're a jock, you're a head-banger, you're a
nerd, you're a foreigner, you're a blond, you're a star. It is a
culture that simplifies identity. It is easier that way, but very, very
inaccurate. The only true identity everyone has is either a son or
a daughter of God. Everything else is culturally derived.
"I married my wife," he added, "because I love her, and because I
believe fundamentally in the divine design of relationships and that marriage
and gender complementarity are important parts of growing into the divine image
and likeness of God."Out of the entire article and every comment
in response, this is the most important statement among them all.
I applaud the church's efforts to understand and proceed with a path that
affords those people who experience SSA options other than the world's
hard-set path of mindless acceptance of that to the exclusion of all other
choices. It's been a long bumpy, often confusing and contradictory road,
but I think this approach of reframing the issues and using language that
doesn't cast people into roles without any choice is the right approach to
take.It isn't an easy position to take, because it is so very
contrary to our openly accepting natures and desire to make peace with
everybody. But having the option and encouragement to faithfully live the Law of
Chastity and obtain temple and family blessings and covenants leads to great joy
despite how often the world would claim it's living a lie.Of
course we all hope for revelations and further clarity, but this patient and
far-seeing approach, I believe, is much more productive.
@scwoz;I question the integrity of your comment about
"loving" your "gay" friends.1) How can you possibly
say you "love" someone, and then turn around and say that they
shouldn't be allowed the same protections you enjoy for your family?2) How can you possibly call someone "friend" and then turn
around and say that they shouldn't be allowed the same protections you
enjoy for your family?Regardless what your books say about
"sin" and homosexuality, your Jesus, the very son of your god told you
to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you". Which brings
into question the integrity of your belief in your god; if you truly believed,
you would actually do what he told you to do.@J-TX;I
hope your son isn't just doing the straight-thing to please you; that is
extremely unfair to the woman he married (not to mention your son himself). It
is NOT sin to be gay and love someone else wholeheartedly!
scwoz, "I believe that those who have a same sex attraction
deserve the same protections in America as every other group; I do not however
believe they have the right to marriage as it currently defined."Luckily for your gay friends and relatives it doesn't really matter what
you believe about gay marriage. Gay couples do have that right now in 19 states
and I suspect there will be more within the next few years. I hope you can be
happy for your gay acquaintances (why the quote marks?) even if you don't
believe they should have the same rights that you do.
J-TX, I'm not sure how to address your comments, except to say that I have
experience with this. As a teenager I went through the therapy recommended by
the Church Family Services to turn me straight. It didn't work, I am
openly gay and happy now but it took me years--even a decade to work through the
damage that therapy did to me. You and your son may fall somewhere on the
bisexual scale--I won't make any judgements because I don't know
either of you--but it's a mistake to tell gay people that they should live
straight lives. You and your son's story is in contrast to the innumerable
broken families that mixed orientation marriages bring about. And I can't
imagine why anyone would want their daughter to marry a man with homosexual
feelings or their son to marry a woman who wasn't really attracted to them.
It's very selfish.
@ Karen R:"This places the homosexual individual in a terrible bind.
To remain faithful to oneself means exclusion from the religion that is so much
a part of one's world (and one's belief about an afterlife). To remain
faithful to one's religion means denying a fundamental aspect of one's
humanness. This sounds more like a Sophie's choice than a free
choice."Some 'fundamental aspects of my humanness':I have urges to steal. Strong urges. To steal is sin. to drink.
It is part of who I am. To drink is sin. to abuse pain pills. It is
part of my physical makeup. To do so is sin. to cheat on my taxes. To do
so is sin.to eat junk, also physiology. To do so is sin.to engage
sexually with men. To do so is sin.I overcome all these through the
The rest of the story: My son married, was sealed in the temple, and recently
provided me with a granddaughter. We have discussed still feeling pangs and
pulls of same gender attraction at times, but with faith in the Lord, this, our
particular cross to bear, can be mitigated by the atonement.We
preach that Jesus had infinite empathy, so don't you think at some point he
also may have contemplated these same gender issues? I would like to think that
Jesus would say to a gay man the same as he said to the adulterous woman,
"go and sin no more", which was not to condone, but also not to judge at
that moment, and encourage them to go and work out their issues through the
atonement, and become better people. This would not indicate forgiveness for
sin, but that judgement was deferred until the final judgement.
There are many commentators here who have opinions, but appear to have no
experience with this.When my son came to me and told me he thought
he was gay, we talked through it and discovered that because of his dalliance in
inappropriate media, he was titillated by images of men with men. Upon
discussion, he had never engaged with a man, though there were some he
considered attractive. He had engaged with women in pleasurable, though
guilt-laden physical contact. That guilt further led to his mental turmoil.Thank goodness I am secure enough to admit to my son that at times in my
life I have also experienced this same gender attraction, and that it is not
terribly uncommon among young men as they sort out their hormones and their
values.You are not "gay or lesbian" unless and until you
engage in gay or lesbian sexual behavior, or adopt and embrace an LGBT
lifestyle. Until and unless you do, "same gender attraction" is a
valuable and accurate term.Continued....
Excellent. I have loved my "gay" friends and relatives for many years,
fought for their protection and even been injured in that protection (I am a Law
Enforcement Officer). I believe that those who have a same sex attraction
deserve the same protections in America as every other group; I do not however
believe they have the right to marriage as it currently defined. I do believe
that we should love all of God's children, just not their sins. I have
accepted several friends and members of the church who are "gay" and are
working hard to keep their membership and to live the gospel fully, I also have
friends and family who have other attraction issues which are more harmful and
full of much more pain. I accept them and I try and help them as long as they
accept and keep the laws of the gospel. There are many members of the church
who have done things that would make your skin crawl but they have accepted the
gospel and live it as the Savior would want them too.
@ RedWings"Accepting that we can each choose without criticism
and demonization because that is not what we would choose is a truly tolerant
attitude."Agreed. What I question is whether a truly free
choice can be made when coming from within a religion that teaches that
homosexual behavior is immoral. This places the homosexual individual in a
terrible bind. To remain faithful to oneself means exclusion from the religion
that is so much a part of one's world (and one's belief about an
afterlife). To remain faithful to one's religion means denying a
fundamental aspect of one's humanness. This sounds more like a
Sophie's choice than a free choice.I don't doubt that
given a free choice there would be some that would choose suppression of their
orientation and I don't have a problem with this. I don't
particularly care how you choose to express your sexual orientation as long as
you don't harm others in the process. But I do have a problem with
coercion and I believe this is the result of some religious doctrine on this
O'Really, Lots of people have "core beliefs" that white children
should have to rub elbows with children of other races. They shouldn't
operate schools. Some people think that girls shouldn't be
educated. They shouldn't become teachers.Some people's
religion tells them that interracial marriages are wrong. If they feel that
way, then they shouldn't become bakers or photographers or operate wedding
venues. Do you get the idea?
The April 2011 Deseret News article "LDS or Mormon? It depends" makes
clear the LDS Church's preference for using that shortened term or the full
name "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" rather than the
"Mormon Church". The quoted LDS leaders clearly understand basic public
relations: how word-choice influences public attitudes and outcomes. LDS is more
prone to be accepted as part of America's Christian tradition if it
emphasizes the word "Jesus" in the name. In contrast the phrase
"Mormon Church" emphasizes the significant theological deviation from
all other Christian denominations.Using the phrase "same sex
attraction" communicates the PR message that sexually active gays and
lesbians are simply not trying hard enough if they cannot overcome something as
trivial-sounding as a mere "attraction" as it it were a whim or passing
fancy. The speaker's tactical use of that phrase encourages the listener
to adopt a predetermined political/social judgment against the people
described.Deliberately using this phrase is no different from folks
who purposefully use the phrase "Mormon Church" to subtly denigrate LDS
adherents as out-liers from mainstream America.
@Mr.Bean / wrz / Alfred wrote, "What? You don't want to have and raise
a family? I don't understand how two guys or two gals who are in love with
each other can have a family. I guess I missed the class in school where the
human anatomy and reproductive systems was covered. I guess some folks just
don't want families".Two men or two women can have families
the same way my husband and I had them--via adoption. But it sounds like you
think that non-biological kids don't make a real family, right? So tell
me--if my husband and I jettison our ten adopted kids and just keep our four
homemade ones, will you consider us a real family?
From article: "...wrote a well-received article for LDS Living
magazine titled "What (and what not) to say to someone who experiences
same-sex attraction."I admire Ty Mansfield beyond words for his
experiences and life that I have read about in the past, and am glad he is
trying to help and speak for SSA Church members. But in connection
with his article referenced above, I can not imagine members of the Church
disclosing anything about their sexuality to other members--thus even needing
this information in the article.Do SSA members actually want other
members to know their most personal business?? Especially their
sexuality business?? That is incomprehensible to me. When I have had issues of a personal nature of ANY kind, I sure didn't
want my fellow Ward members knowing about it. It was extremely personal.
People never had to wonder what to say to me about any of those personal
things because they never knew. Is it just an in vogue thing now to
want people to know such personal things? Or just an in vogue SSA thing?
@Utah1893"That's just the price of civil society, and
baking a cake isn't a violation of a core belief."How do
you know? Perhaps this baker feels he is participating, endorsing and
celebrating every wedding he makes a cake for. If his religious belief is that
gay marriage is a sin, then he is being forced to violate his core beliefs.I don't know why lesbians and gays can't leave these Christian
business owners alone. There are obviously plenty of other bakers and
photographers who would relish the business. "If it walks and quacks like a
duck..." These lawsuits walk and quack like petty revenge, and rubbing these
poor folks faces in it while the lawsuits destroy their businesses. And theses
gays certainly aren't endearing the LGBT community to the business owners
or their Christian friends in the community, either. They are contributing
heavily to giving "Gay" and "Lesbian" a negative connotation.
Respect has to be a two way street.
I appreciate the candor in which the author talks about his past, and his
ability to overcome his same-sex attraction is certainly an example of great
faith, courage, and persistence. I also support the wording difference between
'same-sex attraction' and 'gay'. They are not the same.
The first is something over which we have no control. The second implies a
lifestyle which is in direct contrast with the Eternal Plan for God's
The absolute problem with this debate (not the specific article and discussion -
although it is prevalent here) is the absolute refusal to discuss it logically
by the LGBTetc advocacy community, and the squelching of any rational debate and
research surrounding the topic. For example, those repudiating My
Mansfield's suggestion are insisting people are gay, lesbian or they are
not. That is not really the case. Everyone on earth is going to have a variable
amount of opposite sex attraction, and a variable amount of same sex attraction
(this goes with a lot of other attractions as well). The two are not related to
each other. There are people who have a strong opposite attraction (OSA) and
very little same sex attraction (SSA) - we call them heterosexuals. There are
those completely opposite and we'd typically call them gay or lesbian. But
there are people with a high level of both - bisexuals, and those with little of
both - asexual. And a whole lot of mixture in between. The advocacy community
would deny this, and instead try to insist there is some genetic switch that
says we are one or the other. That's just not fact.
@ Pops "Placing legal protections on immoral behavior creates a
contradiction between the newly-protected behavior and religious
freedom."I think your source of information is outdated.
"LGBT men and women will continue to be vulnerable to the sins of homophobia
and heterosexism, to the violence of hate and fear until we in the church can
say to homosexuals now what it has said to heterosexuals for 2,000 years. Your
sexuality is good. The church not only accepts it. The church celebrates it and
rejoices in it. God loves you as you are, and the church can do no
less." - 2014 Episcopal Proclamation from the National Cathedral.
Why doesn't the American Medical Association, American Psychological
Association, American Psychiatric Association or the National Association of
Social Workers use the classification "Same Sex Attracted?" Moreover,
do we target people with the term Opposite Sex Attracted? Why is the term
Bisexual rejected? Everyone has a sexual orientation, where some
may identify as heterosexual, homosexual or bi sexual. Why the need
for the term "Same Sex Attracted?" Isn't it suspect when members
of a religion see the need for another term or to view something differently
that main stream medical and psychological organizations do not?
@Pops: Your statement that, "Placing legal protections on immoral behavior
creates a contradiction between the newly-protected behavior and religious
freedom," demonstrates a pathetic lack of awareness. The Supreme Court
protected that behavior back in 2003. The case is cited as "Lawrence v.
Texas" and established beyond a hint of doubt that the "behavior" of
which you speak is absolutely, perfectly legal, a private matter, and fully
protected by the Constitution of the United States. No state or locality may
prohibit or criminalize it.Also, being perfectly legal
"behavior," it is not a subject for justifying laws intended to restrict
homosexuals in other ways.You have both the religious right to
believe as you will, and the right of free speech to explain it. However, you
don't have the right to harass, abuse, assault, or restrict homosexuals in
any way that you're not allowed to do to heterosexuals. And, according to
most Constitutional scholars, we don't have a right to legislate against
them without a nondiscriminatory, legitimate purpose.Your religious
belief alone, or any "argument" derived solely from it, does not
constitute a legally legitimate purpose.
@pops - you aren't using the term religious freedom correctly. Religious
freedom means that you have the ability to worship what you choose, where you
choose, and whom you choose to worship with. Gay people getting married will not
stop you from going to church, it will not stop you from going to the temple,
and it will not stop you from believing the way you do. Now you are correct that
there has to be a balance between social demands and religious beliefs, for
example you can't declare that your religion is to murder people and be
allowed to go about doing that. I'm guessing you're referring to a
baker in Colorado who had to make a cake for a gay marriage. That's just
the price of civil society, and baking a cake isn't a violation of a core
belief. I highly doubt that God will send someone to hell because they made a
cake for a wedding that they didn't approve of, but he might send them to
hell for judging others, lacking charity, and not loving their fellow man.
@ KarenA lot of those things may come to pass...In this crazy and
unpredictable world you never know what will happen.I think there
will be more tolerance / understanding as least in the short term. I am not
sure though where / how you are getting the probability of "homosexuality
will be discussed in terms of morality about as often as left-handedness is
LDS fear and hatred (including self-hatred) of homosexuals and homosexuality is
clear, no matter what this author wishes to call it. Regardless of the
church's profession of love, it pushes 10% of its members out of the church
and out of their families. The church has no shame.
@greatbam22I believe that the basis of the objections to
homosexuality is no different than the basis of the objections we formerly had
to left-handedness. I believe that one day in the not too distant
future homosexuality will be discussed in terms of morality about as often as
left-handedness is today. I believe that "multiplying and
replenishing" will happen with or without marriage, gay or straight.
"When gay marriage is legal in Utah it won't change your life one bit,
you won't even notice a difference."That's a fairy
tale. Placing legal protections on immoral behavior creates a contradiction
between the newly-protected behavior and religious freedom. It has already begun
to infest our courts with the intractable problem of reconciling that
contradiction. It can't be decided on principle because they are
fundamental opposites."pops suggests gay people are
'anti-family and anti-religion.' Sounds like prejudice: an unfavorable
opinion of gay people based on insufficient knowledge, irrational feelings, or
inaccurate stereotypes."You misread what I wrote. I didn't
accused any gay person of any such thing. What I said, stated another way, is
that the gay movement itself tends to stereotype gay people as anti-family and
anti-religion, which we both agree is wrong.
@mattrick78"I think people are judging Ty based on one thing he has
said and it has become a semantic battleground in this discussion."In fairness the subject matter at hand in this article is semantics. @Pops"It's the gay _movement_ that attempts to force all people
with same sex attraction into the anti-religion anti-family construct."There's nothing anti-family/anti-religion about gay couples who
want to marry in their churches but can't because you all want to ban it.
Who exactly is anti-family/religion there?
Bravo to those who choose to live true to their beliefs. Bless them and honor
them. So many do whatever feels good without thought to any moral base. So be
it. There is agency for all and each choice brings it's own consequences.
We should honor the wish of those who choose to be called
"same-sex attracted". If you prefer "Gay" or "Lesbian"
so be it. But don't get your tail in a knot because not everyone chooses
the same path.
MtnDewer,"Loving your wife, as you do, what if you could never
again express that love physically? - no hugging, kissing, hand holding or more.
What if you could never have that again with any woman? Would you be sexually
repressed?"For everything of worth, there is a price. The
greater the treasure, the greater the cost. If we find nothing of value
eternally that we will bridle our passions for, then perhaps what Christ offers
is not what we truly desire yet. There is always a possibility of me never
again being able to express love physically. That is a risk for everyone.
I'm under no illusion that it is easy. That said, I have gone for many
years without it and can do so again. People do it all the time and have full
and meaningful lives. A nephew of mine will be in a wheel chair for the rest of
his life and very likely will never experience the joys of sexual expression.
There are others who have spouses who are paralyzed who are unable to express
themselves in that way either. Those are many who don't marry who have to
cope as well.
Rustymommy - "I feel that Gay and Lesbian by definition exclude
some people attracted to people of their own sex. I know a female who is
attracted to females but does not necessarily consider herself lesbian. Why?
Because, in her head, she is a man born in a woman's body."You're right. She's not a lesbian, she's transgendered. So
what's your point?
RE: 'Same-sex attraction' is a more nuanced and useful term than
'gay. True,"ye have respect to him that 'weareth the
gay clothing', and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to
the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then
partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?" James 2:
The word, gay, originally meant joyful, carefree, or showy. Also it meant
inhibited hedonistic. In the past, a "gay woman" was a euphemism for
being a prostitute. A "gay man," was a womanizer. Or it could mean,
just out of the norms of society. It wasn't until the mid-twentieth
century that it was used as a euphemism for homosexual inclinations. Homosexual
was considered to be clinical, so they preferred the euphemism of,
"gay." But again, I'd like to reclaim that word to mean joyful,
carefree, and showy. Same sex attraction is a correct term. And I don't
mind being described as opposite sex attraction, or even heterosexual.
Let's grow up and stop hiding behind euphemisms, especially when we learn
the etymology of them.
@pops suggests gay people are "anti-family and anti-religion."Sounds like prejudice: an unfavorable opinion of gay people based on
insufficient knowledge, irrational feelings, or inaccurate stereotypes.Gay people aren't anti-family. The very fact they have made an enormous,
sustained push for marriage should make you question that notion. Gay people
overcome enormous obstacles to have and raise kids. They fight to remain
involved in the lives of parents and siblings that often reject them. Nor are they anti-religion. Many religions are welcoming, and many gay people
are deeply religious.Utah and its dominant religion have done much
to harm these families, driving gay people away, obstructing their marriages,
opposing their legal relationships to their children, and trivializing the very
nature of their ability to love as an affliction to be overcome.Humans have sexual orientations and reach different conclusions about what to
do about it. "SSA" just means "don't want to be gay," and
reflects the same "gay is bad" ideology that has caused so many problems
for so many people. Meanwhile, the gay agenda remains simply to live
a life free from interference of people whose religious beliefs denigrate them.
I'm all for "Respect the individual's description/label of
themselves."As a result, I find this "debate" rather
silly.BTW, I am a gay man who is a former Mormon!
@Alex 1 asks: "Am I sexually repressed for not acting out on my attraction
to women who are not my wife?"Ah. The "control your sexual
appetite" argument.This line of reasoning is silly.You don't get to pat yourself on the back for resisting extra dessert
after you've filled up on the main course. In your example, you're
doing exactly what you want with your heterosexual appetite, even if it's
difficult.Then you suggest gay people should just go without eating
completely, as if those are parallel scenarios.This is an example of
why the "same sex attraction" formulation is pernicious.It
treats sexual orientation as if the expression of sexuality is separate from
affection, love, and personhood. As if the love you have for your wife is
unrelated to the sex you have with her (or others).That's why
the word "gay" is both more accurate and useful. "SSA" only works as a concept for people who don't want to be
gay, or don't want others to be gay-- usually for reasons that have little
to do with sex or love, but plenty to do with social and religious conformity.
I feel that Gay and Lesbian by definition exclude some people attracted to
people of their own sex. I know a female who is attracted to females but does
not necessarily consider herself lesbian. Why? Because, in her head, she is a
man born in a woman's body. According to her, she sees women the same way
any guy sees women. She does not see herself as a woman and therefore
doesn't fit the definition of Lesbian. There are no words that can
succinctly describe every sexual orientation situation. People
usually only damage themselves by being defensive and hung up on labels. Instead
of just graciously accepting compassion when it is offered, they go crazy over
nitpicking definitions. If somebody is genuinely offering kindness and
understanding, why get offended over words? It would be nice if people looked
more at attitude and less at vocabulary issues. The more someone is open to
accepting others, the more they are likely to find acceptance.
Mr. Bean: "What? You don't want to have and raise a family? I
don't understand how two guys or two gals who are in love with each other
can have a family. I guess I missed the class in school where the human anatomy
and reproductive systems was covered. I guess some folks just don't want
families."-----------------Please tell me that you
are not this naïve. Facts are the 25% of gay couples in Utah are raising
children. They are families--or do you only think families are a mother, father
and children that they can create? So, couples that adopt children, step
parents, Grandparents raising their grandchildren, etc. are not
"families?" What is your definition of a family? I can tell you, if you didn't know, gays have families. In the US today,
it is estimated that 200,000 children are being raised by gays. I guess you are
not forced to call them families, but allow them the dignity to call their group
a family if they want to.
Alex 1 Tucson, AZMtnDewer,Answer my question
and I will answer yours.---------------My answer is that
you are not sexually repressed because you have an outlet for your urges -
showing love towards your wife.You are asking a gay person to not
have any contact, emotions or feel loved by one special individual for their
whole lives. You do know that after air, food, water and shelter, LOVE is the
next necessity in a persons life...don't you? That is how strong the need
to feel love is for humans. And this has nothing to do with a sexual urge, btw.
someone who is gay and is a practicing and commandment keeping member of the
Church should be applauded. I see these people with legit same sex attraction
feelings and yet they haven't followed the radical gay movement but instead
have chosen to keep the faith and move forward with faith in a civil way. There
are 15+ million members now and it won't be long before that number hits 20
million with the larger missionary force . With that surge to a large world wide
and multi cultural church there will be people of all kinds coming into the fold
and we will all have to let go of our personal bias and have faith in the
leadership to do what the Lord would have them do.
@Karen"We can't get beyond this mistaken belief fast
enough."Not all people believe and think like you. I don't
know what you believe.Many people believe in God and that he has a
plan for them. I am one of them. I believe that God plan is live in families.
I believe he wants us to multiple and replenish.So if that it is the
case then yes there is some major problems with same sex marriages.
@Really???:Please, let's stop the myth that those of us who are gay
are struggling with an affliction that needs to be overcome."What? You don't want to have and raise a family? I don't
understand how two guys or two gals who are in love with each other can have a
family. I guess I missed the class in school where the human anatomy and
reproductive systems was covered. I guess some folks just don't want
families."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.'"That's a great song. But, what about the first verse? 'Savior, may
I learn to love thee, walk the path that thou hast shown... Lord I will follow
thee.'Then there's: 'Ere you left your room this
morning, did you think to pray?'I pity anyone that has sexual
orientations tough to figure out and difficult to overcome. But it can be done.
The article's author, Ty did it.
@Alex 1 "... although I am married, I experience opposite
gender attraction to women who are not my wife. "Now I have a
question. Am I sexually repressed for not acting out on my attraction to women
who are not my wife? "--- "... although I am
married, I experience opposite gender attraction to women who are not my wife.
"We're not talking about promiscuity, the discussion is
marriage. You won't even allow us to marry the person of our choice, so
you're example is apples and airplanes.@Born in Bountiful;You are welcome to your religious attraction, you just aren't
welcome to make non-members live by your attraction.@RedWings;Thank you.frugalfly says:"...because the
"gay" sector has predetermined the agenda ..."--- I
really, really need a copy of that agenda. Do you happen to have one I could
borrow?@Pops;The "anti-relgious" segment
couldn't really care less about your god and wouldn't if the
"religious" segment would just leave us alone.
"Please, let's stop the myth that those of us who are gay are
struggling with an affliction that needs to be overcome."Fair
enough. But let's stop the myth that just because there are those who
don't feel as though they are struggling with an affliction that there are
those who feel they are struggling with unwanted sexual feelings that that a
trying to overcome.
@MtnDewerWhat if the women died and he never marries again? I
don't think the first thing we would say is that that man is "sexually
@frugallife"It seems to me that same gender attraction is more
globally useful because it covers all persons either partially or fully, acting
or not acting upon, the attraction to the same sex. "Gay/straight refer to what attractions that person has. It doesn't
require having an active sex life.
MtnDewer,Answer my question and I will answer yours.
I appreciate Ty Mansfield's insights and his example of faith. His address
promotes the need to be sensitive and respectful of feelings of those
experiencing same sex attraction. Isn't that what has been needed all along
- for us to listen with sensitivity? It's impossible to know always how
people want to be addressed. If you prefer to be called "gay" or
"lesbian" you can lead out and say so. Otherwise, at least you can know
the person talking to you was trying to be courteous and sensitive.
"Now I have a question. Am I sexually repressed for not acting out on my
attraction to women who are not my wife?"-----------Here is another question. Loving your wife, as you do, what if you could
never again express that love physically? - no hugging, kissing, hand holding or
more. What if you could never have that again with any woman?Would
you be sexually repressed?
In other words, for most 'gay/lesbian' people, the idea of rejecting
their natural urges and tendencies toward someone of the same sex in order to be
obedient to the Church teachings is NOT, I repeat, NOT an option. ===========================It may not be an option for the people
that you know, but it is an option for some and has been successfully achieved
by many. People often defend their argument with the fact they have to reject
natural urges and tendencies in order to follow the gospel plan. We agree with
you in part because this battle to reject unwanted urges applies to everyone not
just those who consider themselves gay, homosexual, or have same sex attraction.
The term "experiencing same sex attraction" is a term that makes it
sound as if it is a psychological or medical condition that will go away, kind
of like "experiencing nausea." This article is right, terms are
important and "experiencing same sex attraction" isn't a good
phrase for describing who a person really is.
This use of terms is consistent with the law of chastity as well as with our
understanding of the nature of temptation. For example, although I am married,
I experience opposite gender attraction to women who are not my wife. (Relax
dear, I’m not going anywhere. ) Does the nature of my attraction
make me an adulterer? Of course not, and neither does same sex attraction make
one a practicing homosexual. The commandments of God require me to restrain my
natural tendencies. Because I love God, love my wife, and willingly exercise
self-control and restraint, I do not allow these attractions to undermine my
covenants and my love. There is a greater joy and love to be had in
self-restraint and a lot fewer regrets.Now I have a question. Am I
sexually repressed for not acting out on my attraction to women who are not my
wife? Am I being untrue to myself because I choose to be a non-practicing
adulterer? Should I come out of the closet and demand acceptance of my
particular kind of love? Is disapproval of adultery bigotry?
First of all, with regard to use of proper "terminology," I tend to see
the use of labels - either by one's self or by others - as
counterproductive. To call one's self a gay (Christian, Mormon, Atheist,
etc.) is to label one's self by what he does, not who he is. Second of all,
to those who do not believe in Christ or the Bible, there is no sin of any kind
- they live lives of situational ethics. However, there are those who claim do
be Christians who have tried desperately to use eisegesis in order to read their
own views into the Bible/Book of Mormon in order to justify being gay. This is
inherently and eternally dangerous. I respect, therefore, Mr. Mansfield's
candor in how he has dealt with his own issues, while respecting those who
disagree. One can either accept what God has said with regard to sexuality or
not; but no one can change God or what He has deemed appropriate sexual
@Free AgencyI think we agree. It's the gay _movement_ that
attempts to force all people with same sex attraction into the anti-religion
anti-family construct. As you and others note, we are all different and
shouldn't be forced into the same mold - with certain caveats. "One
size fits all" is appropriate for some things, but not others. For example,
we shouldn't steal - one size fits all. But we don't all have to play
the piano - in that regard, one size doesn't fit all.When it
comes to marriage and sexual activity, there _is_ a "one size fits all",
and that's most likely the basis of the anti-religion element of the gay
movement. A lot of gay people - not all - reject God's standard. I get
that. I happen to disagree. My experience is that God's commandments, if
obeyed, tend to produce happiness in the long term. We might think we know more
than God does, or that he is entirely a fiction, but my experience in life
suggests otherwise. I encourage others to give consideration to that standard.
"If you don't say "opposite-sex attraction" for straight people
then why say "same-sex attraction" for gay people?"Who
is to say that heterosexuals prefer one term over the other? The term
"straight" probably gained traction first but that was probably after
the term "gay" was generally preferred over "homosexual." Frankly, I think people are judging Ty based on one thing he has said
and it has become a semantic battleground in this discussion. Ty is doing some
great work in trying to find acceptance in the Church for those who struggle or
how have to deal with unwanted sexual attractions. Granted the Brethren have
counseled that we should be loving and accepting however much of those in the
Church need to "catch up" and put that counsel into practice. There is
much work in terms of love and understanding between those who
"struggle" and those who struggle to accept them.
If someone is openly gay or lesbian, and in a relationship with a partner of the
same sex, they almost always are going to want to be refered to as gay or
lesbian. The only way this term "same sex attraction" makes any sense is
if you are a gay or lesbian person, in a opposite sex relationship.
O'really, you asked "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"."I have wondered this as well. I believe this was
done with the understanding that more people will find the website under this
name and they want to share this message with more people.
It seems to me that same gender attraction is more globally useful because it
covers all persons either partially or fully, acting or not acting upon, the
attraction to the same sex. Gay seems to denotes one spectrum of this
attraction which appears to be a political, social, cultural, personal
identifier that is "all in" in nature. There are tons of people with
same gender attraction who are not "gay" and don't consider
themselves "gay" because the "gay" sector has predetermined the
agenda and stance on such. "Same gender attraction" covers all from
mild to extreme in their attraction. It brings in all the hues of grey and
doesn't let the "gay agenda" choke out the understanding and light
on the basic element which is attraction. I guess "gay" is popular for
those who are pushing the agenda. "Same gender attraction" for those who
are trying to understand the entire spectrum and facilitate awareness.
I like Mr Mansfield's description of what makes him feel best for himself.
And maybe, he will influence others that feel similarly, but don't know how
to express it. But unfortunately, this type of description of "same sex
attraction" will not help all people with this. Some people want to embrace
the fact that they are gay and feel that God accepts them this way. There are
some religions (not the LDS church) who embrace gay people as they are, and
don't think the God (or anyone else) wants them to be different. Most
stories that I know of where a gay person chooses to marry someone of the
opposite sex because of religious or social pressure, turn out badly. This is
because they try, but are unable to live that way. Just as people have different
characteristics in steps, this is often true of gay people. Some might be all
the way gay, while many gay people can be somewhere in the middle. All people
need to evaluate who they are inside and live true to themselves.
@ Really??? : "...this is something God does not expect me to
change"I appreciate your comments and approach to this topic. I
wonder, though, because for those who do not want to act on their attractions,
it really does become an affliction. I am overcoming addiction to
lust. My "attraction" is to women (and for a time men as well), but now
I only want to be intimiate with my wife. This desire is an affliction to me
now because I do not want to feel it, or act on it, but I am confronted with it
everyday.I have found peace and recovery from this in the Lord Jesus
Christ and His Atonement. I am finally beginning to feel different, in much the
same way as Ty Mansfield describes "feeling his sexuality differently".
I don't claim to have the answers for everyone, but I am
grateful for the honest, open, and respectful discussion...
I have a friend who was hurt by his wife and turned off by women and even though
he denies being significantly attracted to men has chosen to be homosexual. I
have a few friends who are attracted to men but have chosen to marry females and
live heterosexually and I know people who are staying celibate rather than
trying to make themselves live a heterosexual life but being able to stay true
to their religious beliefs. My point is saying someone is
"gay" doesn't always describe what is happening. It is a large
umbrella term. My friend who denies SSA but is a practicing homosexual is a
very different "gay" than my friend who is happily married but
self-admittedly still "struggles" with SSA. And both are different from
many who have SSA and practice or choose not to practice homosexuality. Using more narrow terms makes sense for clarity even if it offends
someone who is "gay"- whatever that means.
Mr. Mansfield is definitely in the 'minority' when it comes to Church
members that experience 'same-sex' attraction. In other words, for
most 'gay/lesbian' people, the idea of rejecting their natural urges
and tendancies toward someone of the same sex in order to be obedient to the
Church teachings is NOT, I repeat, NOT an option. Many gay people, want to live
in monogomous, healthy, loving relationships with their partners, for the their
entire life. The idea of trying to exist in a hetrosexual relationship, or worse
yet, living single, is NOT an option. I want to re-emphasize my earlier
statement, gay people and their same sex attraction is natural, and it is NOT
something you change with therapy. If you subscribe to the belief that gay
people can change their sexual orientation the same way a tiger could change the
color of his stripes, you are living in la la land.
Mansfield seems to prefer same-sex attraction. I would think a preference would
be 'gay' and 'lesbian' which removes sex from the
nomenclature."Same-sex' says it's all about sex. Try
as I might, I just can't envision how sexual engagement between two people
of the same sex takes place. Kissing? Sure. But nearly everybody kisses their
mom and dad without involving sex.
@ Ranch-Believe it or not, I appreciate your comment. We each need to find our own way. For those attracted to the same gender, it
should be known that there are options, not only one "proper" way. Your
way - to live a gay lifestyle - is one option. You have the freedom to choose
that option. Mr. Mansfield has chosen differently, and is happy with his choice.
Accepting that we can each choose without criticism and demonization because
that is not what we would choose is a truly tolerant attitude.There
is far too much demonization on both sides of the SSA issue. I hope that
Ty's remarks are the beginning of a more understanding tone from here on...
@Say No to Bo, it seems like you are confusing your right to follow your
beliefs, and your ability to control your beliefs. The vast vast vast majority
of gay people don't care what Mormons believe and don't care to change
it. They simply want to be able to live their lives in the way that their
conscience dictates. So when they advocate for gay marriage, they aren't
trying to stop or change your beliefs, they are trying to pursue their own. When
gay marriage is legal in Utah it won't change your life one bit, you
won't even notice a difference. To gay people who are living their lives
the way they feel is right it makes all the difference. I think it's time
for Mormons to act with charity and compassion.
@Go West wrote: "Homosexual, gay, lesbian are labels."But
"gay" and "lesbian" and "bi" are the labels that gay,
lesbian and bi people themselves usually (but not exclusively) use. And those
labels should be respected."Same- sex attraction is the correct
way to go. It's not labeling people, but it's describing one facet of
a person, without being derogatory." It's absolutely
derogatory. It's pathologizing LGB people.You know what's
respectful? Calling people what they would like to be called.
Say No: "We can believe as we wish and you can do the same; but you cannot
dictate to us our practices."So I assume you will not oppose
same-sex marriage? Denying gay people the rights to their "practices,"
as you say, is morally reprehensible.
I don't suffer from "same-sex attraction - I celebrate a non-hetero
Whenever I hear the term "same sex attraction" I immediately know where
the speaker is coming from and stop listening. It's a code word or a dog
whistle that is used to try to say "people aren't really gay, they just
suffer from same sex attraction", so we don't have to take their
feelings seriously and we can encourage them to live lives without any
erotic-physical-emotional attraction to a partner. We can pathologize their
orientation and continue to treat them in the way we always have--but with the
politically correct term "same sex attraction" rather than the identity
"gay".The people who want to use this term should know that
it's useful to us who want gay people to have equal rights as well--because
it shows us where you are coming from. It's not compassionate, it's
not accurate, it shows us that you don't take non-heterosexual orientation
seriously and that you feel you should change gay people or not allow them to
have a full life. That's what I hear when I hear someone use
@gmlewis ;"These concepts do not differ for those with a
different sexual orientation, even though the attraction is for a different
segment of humanity."Except you WON'T let us marry the
person of our choice. How is a 16 year monogamous, or 52 year monogamous (see:
EstoPerpetua's comment) LGBT relationship any different than yours? Why
can you marry but us not? Why can you "Look but not touch" and we can
only ever "look but never touch"?@Pops;Just who
is the "gay agenda" you keep talking about? I'd really like to
meet him.My emotional, spiritual and physical health improved
tremendously when I accepted who/what I am and stopped believing if your
fairytales.@Go West;"Same-sex attracted" is just
another "label", and no, it isn't "respectful' it is
actually quite dehumanizing. Do you call straights "opposite-sex
I am religiously attracted. I am interested in all angles of the sexual
attraction issue. I have a right to a religious point of view. Others have a
right to their point of view. I am willing to sit down and talk out solutions.
But the solutions won't change either a heterosexual or homosexual point of
view. We will learn to live together, but we need to be willing to have dialog
or there will just chaos. Good luck to both sides.
@Pops"much of the gay agenda doesn't appear to be about allowing
people to discover who they are, but rather about forcing them into a social
construct that happens to be very much anti-family and anti-religion. "The gay agenda doesn't mind people choosing different setups like
celibacy or entering a heterosexual marriage. What the gay agenda has a problem
with is people who want to force only those options or people who coerce people
into those options rather than that being something the individual genuinely
wants. Also there's nothing anti-family about a movement that
is looking to marry and create families and many gay people are also still
This use of terms is consistent with the law of chastity as well as with our
understanding of the nature of temptation. For example, although I am married,
I experience opposite gender attraction to women who are not my wife. Does the
nature of my attraction make me an adulterer? Of course not, and neither does
same sex attraction make one a practicing homosexual. The commandments of God
require me to restrain my natural tendencies. Because I love God, love my wife,
and willingly exercise self-control and restraint, I do not allow these
attractions to undermine my covenants and my love. There is a greater joy to be
had in self-restraint.Now I have a question. Am I sexually
repressed for not acting out on my attraction to women who are not my wife? Am
I being untrue to myself because I choose to be a non-practicing adulterer?
Should I come out of the closet and demand acceptance of my particular kind of
love, and demand that nobody judge my actions if I choose to act out on my
opposite sex attraction towards women who are not my wife?
Missing the mark, again.I'm a grandma, who for some reason has
always had many friends in the LGBT community. While I am straight, and have
never had any desires the other direction, I have always had empathy for those
who do, as it is difficult when you swim against the majority in the stream. What I have seen in the fifty-plus years of associations with LGBT are
differences. The fact is, we are all different. We just can't
say, this is that, and must be thus, because always you will find exceptions to
any hard and fast rule.Some LGBT friends feel the only way they will
find acceptance is to be free to marry within their own sex, adopt or have
children using medical means, and live in neighborhoods where children all play
together knowing some of them have two daddies or two mommies instead of the
norm, and understand that to be "their way, and okay" which, I think,
would be Christlike. This infuriates some other friends, who feel I'm
"allowing them to go to hell." Excuse me, but isn't that why we
followed Christ's plan, instead of Lucifer's? Agency.
@Say no to BO"allow you to participate fully AND live contrary
to the teachings"Allow me? Fascist enough... geez sir
you've elevated the dialogue to new heights. I can't even relate to
your willingness or not to allow people to live their lives. Say no to Obama,
but don't say yes to fuhrer...
If you don't say "opposite-sex attraction" for straight people then
why say "same-sex attraction" for gay people?
@PopsThanks for "agreeing" with me. But that wasn't at
all what I meant in my own posting.I've met many, many people
who identify as gay who are *not* anti-religion and anti-family. Just the
opposite.Unfortunately, you used my words to launch your own
personal testimony as a "one size fits all." My posting says the exact
@Furry1993 How is "same sex attraction" a euphemism? Isn't
"gay" the euphemism? Mr. Mansfield suggests that more precise language
might lead to better understanding by removing the emotion or political
motivation behind the modification of language. It would appear that choice of
language appears to often be motivated by self-interest. By selecting language
that is more clearly defined, and takes into consideration the interpretation
and understanding of the users of the language, there is an invitation to
understanding - rather than offense or defense.Mr. Mansfield is
brilliant. His motivations are clear. He is merely asking for more
transparency, while trying to avoid agendas. His faith defines him - which is
what makes him all the more admirable.
I appreciate Ty Mansfield's advice. It's wrong to label people.
Homosexual, gay, lesbian are labels. There's more to people than that.
Same- sex attraction is the correct way to go. It's not labeling people,
but it's describing one facet of a person, without being derogatory. Gay
used to mean bright and happy. I'd like to reclaim that word to mean happy
again; some people were also given the name, Gaye, and I'm sure they
don't appreciate their names being a label. Lesbian came from ancient
Greek myth, didn't it? Same-sex attraction is much better, and it sounds
more respectful of everyone. The labels are dehumanizing.
It's amazing how far so many have removed themselves from the understanding
or our mortal journey, which had its beginning not at birth, but in the
preparation for that event. Anyone who has experienced the marvel of
child-rearing understands we all bring different pre-developed abilities,
predilections, and weaknesses into this world. Sexuality is no different a
character trait than kindness, honesty, charity, or courage. Not all are equally
courageous; not all are equally honest, kind, or charitable. Not all are equally
attracted to either sex or are even driven by sexuality or passion. To deny the
spectrum of attraction and group people into only the "end zones" is to
deny the 90% of the playing field. Only one person in the history of
earth was the possessor of all truth; the rest of us struggle with the portions
we are allotted. What Mr. Mansfield is laying out is a way for us to be able to
hold a cogent dialogue to better reach a common understanding that strives for
the ultimate truth. And please don't start with that "truth is
@slcdenizenWould you deny a religious group the right to believe
homosexual activity is a sin?Would you demand that they accept your
lifestyle and allow you to participate fully AND live contrary to the
teachings?I believe the Doctrine and Covenants puts it best when it
describes the relationship between church and government.We can believe as
we wish and you can do the same; but you cannot dictate to us our practices.
I agree with "Free Agency" that much of the gay agenda doesn't
appear to be about allowing people to discover who they are, but rather about
forcing them into a social construct that happens to be very much anti-family
and anti-religion. But I disagree with the notion that we should be satisfied
about who we are, unless and until who we are matches the standard set by
God.My emotional, physical, and spiritual health improve when I come
to realize the truth about my own faults and imperfections. That is where the
process of change begins, not where it ends. My emotional, physical, and
spiritual health continue to improve even more dramatically as I work to
eliminate my faults and imperfections through humility, prayer, self discipline,
and reliance on Christ and His Atonement to change my nature to become holy.In other words, I disagree with the assertion that we shouldn't try
to change. One of the basic challenges of mortality is to control all appetites
and passions, rather than to be controlled by them. That usually requires
For hetero-sexuals, attraction to anyone other than your spouse is a weakness to
be overcome. We can say that we are "afflicted" with non-spouse
attraction. There was once a common phrase that "you can look but not
touch." The ultimate goal is to "look and not lust," and for most
of us this is first attained by not looking.These concepts do not
differ for those with a different sexual orientation, even though the attraction
is for a different segment of humanity.
Same-sex attraction is a rather shallow term when used to describe gay people
who have relationships that include more than just sex. I have been with my
partner over 52 years, married over 10 years, and have been living in
Massachusetts over 52 years. I was raised in Boise, Idaho as a Mormon and I
remember the "Fall of '55" when gays were persecuted and sent to
prison because at that time, society did not know much about homosexuality.
Nine out of ten gays that were persecuted were Mormon. Society has learned
much more about the LGBT community since that time and realize that we are born
the way we are and that it is not a choice. There are religions who are
changing and have changed their views about homosexuality, realizing that we are
all God's children. I expect the Mormon Church is on the way to join
humanity in practicing what they preach regarding treating human beings with
Thank you for writing this article. As a teen in the 80's, I wondered why
"gay" suddenly referred to sexual orientation rather than happy.
Attracted to the same gender sounds much better than "gay". For those
who prefer a "blunt" term, I think homosexual is fine. I
have always found Mansfield's articles to be insightful and beneficial
reading. I hope that he has many more years of teaching ahead of him.
This is a weak attempt at shifting the plane of an argument the church is
clearly losing. "Discussion" means re-emphasizing existing positions so
as to avoid looking retrograde or having to backtrack on past doctrines. The
discussion is simple. We want a society in which the most amount of people
benefit, even at the expense of the general comfort of a few. There's no
longer middle ground on certain issues including the application of one
group's arbitrary moral views over the rest. If you disagree with gay
marriage, it's more than enough to simply not participate. You score no
additional points by preventing others from doing so themselves. Pluralistic
societies will continue to be better than exclusive, hierarchical ones.
"'Gay’ is a social construct and also … an
oversimplification . . .'"As a man who not only
"experiences" same-sex attraction but is oriented to it, I found Mr.
Mansfield's words very refreshing. "Gay" *is* a social
construct--"homosexual" is too. It was only in the past couple of
centuries that SSA's were identified by these terms.I
don't like calling myself "gay" because I'm so much more than
that. And while I wholeheartedly fight for gay rights (which are merely the
same rights as straights have), there are some major things in the gay culture
which simply aren't who I personally am.I spent years trying to
cut pieces of myself out in order to fit in with "who I should be"
(straight). Once I gave that up and went into gay life, I found I was doing the
same thing--in order to fit into gay life. Different pieces, but the same
process.No more. Let everyone discover who they really are, outside
of every construct and "who you should be." I believe that's
exactly what our Creator intended. In true Creation, one sizes *never* fits
all. Indeed, it's exactly the opposite.
There's nothing wrong with being gay. Being gay its not a disease and we
don't lack a "cure." I agree with the comment that said we should
refer to people as they would like to be referred to. Having same-sex
attraction, or being gay, its a journey and something that can bring us much
closer to God than many other things. There's no shame.
@Furry1993: When I took ASL (American Sign Language) in college, I was taught
that "deaf" refers to a person with no hearing, and "hearing
impaired" to a person who has some hearing (maybe certain frequencies). Not
everyone has the same degree of hearing, just as not everyone experiences their
sexuality the same way. We may use the term "deaf" to rather inexactly
include the hearing impaired because it's less of a mouthful, but that
doesn't mean it's the only correct term. If a person experiences his
sexuality as "gay", he has every right to use that term. If, however, he
experiences his sexuality as same sex attraction, he has every right to use that
term. @albemar, why take offense because someone experiences his sexuality
differently than you and uses different terminology from the one you use? His
experience is no less valid than yours. There are as many different ways of
experiencing something as there are people in this world. Everyone has a right
to express their own experience, and everyone else has the right not to agree.
Unfortunately, the term "same sex attracted" is not new, nor is it
neutral. Many religious organizations use or have used the term "same sex
attraction disorder" or SSAD as a label for homosexuals. Mansfield and many
others in the church have just happened to drop the word 'disorder'
from the traditional religious label.
Wonderful, thoughtful essay. Many will be touched by your candor and wisdom.
Thank you for writing.
"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."
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.
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.
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.
you choose to be offended and it appears some people LOVE to be offended.
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.
Mr. Mansfield delivered a brilliant discourse on a complex subject.
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.
"'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
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.
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
"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".
@rad3I 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.
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"
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.
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
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
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.
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.