Ranch:"Religion is a choice; sexuality is not."I
would counter that, for someone whose entire life has been centered around a
particular faith for their entire lives, religion isn't really much of a
choice anymore. Sure, a true-blue LDS could choose to acknowledge that what
they've always been taught is a silly fiction and leave the church, but
consider the cost. Many would undoubtedly lose respect, friendships, and
possibly even marriages. So, yes; technically a choice, but the pressure is
enormous to not make that choice.I know because I just described
myself. It's a huge internal struggle for me, but there are no good
answers; only degrees of lousy ones. If I had a sympathetic spouse, it would be
much easier, but I do not. So, my choice has been to fake my way through church
membership and chip away from the inside. Progress is slow but visible.CynicJim:If you're equating a taste for chocolate with
one's sexual identity, you're not being honest. Avoiding a food
that's bad for you is a very minor sacrifice; faking attraction to other
humans is a recipe for self-loathing.
Did you hear the one about the reporter who walked into a bar in Utah and
shouted "everyone here who is Mormon raise your hand". O.K. so I just
made this one up but my point is that being Mormon certainly does not mean you
support the Prophet. (Primary hymn- Follow the Prophet, he knows the way)
To say "I was born that way", is to negate the victory won for agency in
the War in Heaven. If I like chocolate, but am allergic to chocolate and it
makes me deathly I'll, I choose not to eat chocolate, regardless of how
good it might taste.
Anyone familiar with LDS theology, viz. 'Plan of Salvation', can see
the problem associated with same sex attraction. Looks like Church leaders are
trying to establish an understanding of the extent of this situation; perhaps
create a dialogue.
Oh brother. More comments please? No-one is asking about YOUR business because
no-one is tracking who is answering... it is a SURVEY!!! to identify
statistics!! Not people. And, why be offended by the use of the word
struggle? Maybe they weren't asking about those who have just given in or
yielded to same-sex attraction, but were interested in those who are trying to
change? We know that gender, male and female, is a part of God's eternal
plan, which doesn't merely include for sake of convenience, but mandates
pro-creation. So, why wouldn't the Church want to survey milennials about
their orientation and struggles? Well, the Church re-phrased the question,
and I'm sure for the better, and so that is good. But the controversy over
Why does a church need a survey? Surveys are to gauge public opinion. Do any
opinion changes mean they have to adjust their message to retain members due to
society's acceptance of homosexuality and marriage?
The struggle is not unique to homosexuality so it is inconsistent to call my
orientation a struggle while taking yours at face value. All of us who follow
the law of chastity might "struggle" to keep our sexuality within
bounds. A married Mormon man must control his thoughts and actions in quite the
same way that a gay Mormon must, but I think most married men would not like to
be characterized as "struggling with heterosexuality." Most of us figure
out pretty young how to keep things in control. What I want to make clear is
that just like there are many straight guys who can see that girls are pretty
and like getting to know them without having dirty thoughts and actions run away
from them, there are lots of gay guys who have every bit as much control and
don't have any problem keeping their thoughts and actions clean and staying
totally worthy in the LDS church. Even if I control my thoughts and actions
though, I am still fundamentally persistently only capable of feeling romantic
love toward guys. Controlling those thoughts doesn't make me suddenly
This survey shows a great interest in the upper chambers of church organization
for GLBT issues with the young adults of the church. They really do care what
makes up young LDS. The adjustment to the question mentioned above shows the
church really is making an effort to be sensitive to the GLBT issues. Thank you church heirarchy for caring.
The people "struggling" with same sex attraction, homosexuality and the
like are the far right religious folks who "struggle" with trying to
poke their noses into other people's lives. And that is the only thing
turning this into a "struggle" over civil rights for LGBT citizens.
they can try to be PC and change to saying "experience" or they can be
truthful and stick with "struggle".
Its true that homosexuality is not a choice, but homosexual actions ARE always a
choice.so struggle is the correct word if one wants do to as God has
said and yet has desires to do against what God has said.
@Liberal Ted;You make a point. "The issue is, one side believes
that acting on homosexual feelings is against Gods commandment. While the other
side believes homosexuality is the same and equivalent to a heterosexual. ...
But, actually have a desire to seek better understanding where each side stands
on the issue and learn how to live peacefully one with another."Wouldn't we be able to live peacefully with one another if the side that
believes god doesn't like something would just simply not do that something
themselves instead of trying to require others, who may or may not believe that
same thing, to not do that something too?Simple solution:
Don't believe in something, don't do it, but let others live their own
lives/beliefs w/o the interference of beliefs not their own?
I'm a pretty good Latter-Day Saint;and I struggle with -- Getting up in the morning, Doing my Home Teaching, Staying awake
in Priesthood Meeting, Not being offened by Tea-Party comments in Gospel
Doctrine, liking one of the new Temple movies, Utah Drivers, Not swearing, Urban sprawl, people speeding through School Zones,
breathing our polluted air, and the lack of recycling in the
State.We all "struggle", but being Gay is not one of
them.Being Gay is who one is.Struggling to keep being active LDS,
keeping friends, or staying in one's family be the only real
I suppose saying someone "struggling" with alcohol or other addictions
also give a negative connotation then? What would you call it or how would you
word the question?Maybe we can't use the phrase "civil
rights struggle" because that would make civil rights negative?Everyone struggles with something. The issue is, one side believes that
acting on homosexual feelings is against Gods commandment. While the other side
believes homosexuality is the same and equivalent to a heterosexual. I think
the honest people on both sides, do not have the level of "hate" that is
often displayed on posts and in their protests. But, actually have a desire to
seek better understanding where each side stands on the issue and learn how to
live peacefully one with another.
Ranch - It appears we agree on having the right to our opinions but
not to force them on others....If someone has same-sex attraction
and they shoose to act on it, that is their choice. I may disagree, but it is
still their choice. Still others choose to follow their religious beliefs and
not act on that attraction. Either choice is acceptable, and personal. I know many men who have overcome SSA and live happy heterosexual lives.
I even struggled with it for a time and have overcome. This is simply a part
of the reality of SSA and homosexuality that is ignored and hidden by the media.
But is it real, and people can change of the choose to. If the do not, that is
up to them as well...
@ Tyler D: " as long as your “tolerance” does not include
actively working to deny them rights"I can only speak for
myself, but I am not opposed at all to civil "marriage" rights for gay
couples. It is disciminatory to deny them visitation rights in hospitals, tax
breaks, etc. Marriage should remain the religious ceremony that it
has always been. Government should only be involved in civil unions. That way
government treats everyone the same, and religions can marry "according to
the dictates of their conscience"...
@Rexburg Reader;Don't you think that your gay son's
problems, instead of being a "struggle", may have been the result of a
"struggle" to fit into the norm? Or perhaps due to the way others
treated him?"...a gay person's worst enemies are usually
their own lack of self-esteem, and other gay people."Wow. Our
"own worst enemies" are our families who blame us for being gay instead
of just accepting that that was the way god made us.@SlopJ30;Your response to RR was probably the best one I've ever seen.
Thank you for understanding.@RedWings;Perhaps those who
"do not want to engage..." are adverse due to the expectations of
others?@Redshirt1701;Again, expectations of others.@RedWings;You have a right to your opinion, but not to force
others to adhere to it.@cambodia girl;I know what you
said. Jesus also told you to not judge others; being gay IS being successful if
you're gay (and it is perfectly okay to be gay)!@Brent T.;Religion is a choice; sexuality is not. Your church may think
homosexuality is wrong but it has NO business telling non-members how they must
So the only two options are you're heterosexual or you're
heterosexual? this questionnaire seems a little biased to me...
To those who say it is not a choice: "And now remember, remember, my
brethren, that whosoever perisheth, perisheth unto himself; and whosoever doeth
iniquity, doeth it unto himself; for behold, ye are free; ye are permitted to
act for yourselves; for behold, God hath given unto you a knowledge and he hath
made you free." We make our own choices on everything. Mankind
doesn't do anything strictly on instinct. We are "to act for ourselves
and not to be acted upon".The other problem is that in the
pre-existence before coming to this earth we elected some of the weaknesses and
tribulations we were going to go through. We knew before coming here some of
what we were going to be faced with and other things so we choose a lot before
we got here. Many of those who have same-sex attraction knew of this before
they came here and promised they would get through it and stay true.
Unfortunately, we don't remember many of these promises.So
everything we choose from the beginning before we came here, and we choose and
allowed it to happen. It is a CHOICE.
Use of the word "struggle" is neither here not there to me. The dumb
thing was to say "I'm heterosexual" AND "I struggle with same
sex attraction." By definition you're not heterosexual if you struggle
with same sex attraction.
This survey was clearly constructed to give a very specific result: Everyone In
the Single Adult Program is Heterosexual.See? They all said so,
right here. They all checked they are "Heterosexual." Sure, some might
"struggle with same sex-attraction," but they are all heterosexual. They
said so themselves. Checked one of those two "hetero" boxes. Yep. All straight here. And the debate is over. Ya'll go home
now. All the Single Adults are straight. G'night.
I think I must have been around five years old when I knew that I was different.
I am 48 now. I was born gay and I will die gay! I think that one of the greatest
gifts that I have received from being gay is the realization that God never
intended me to be the judge of another person's life! God never told me
that I had to put a worth on a person! I was sitting across from a transgendered
person. Lets just say that things didn't go well for him and very few
people wanted to be near him. AS I sat there I thought about what I have always
believed. There was a soul inside that body! Maybe the outside was not in good
shape but there was somebody like me inside! Who am I to say how much that soul
is worth and why would I want to judge?I grew up Mormon. I remember them
teaching me that we came to Earth and that we should love each other. I can
remember thinking wow, I can love anyone! God made us different to help us learn
how to truly love others!
Every predisposition is biology based, or however someone wants to describe it.
I get the distinct impression by some of the commenters here of a hope that
Homosexuality will some day be validated not just by society, but also by God.
not so! The church's stance has never changed. acting on your
weaknesses, whether adultery or homosexuality, is wrong. Anything less is a
Rexburg Reader, I'm sorry to read about the problems your son experienced.
I cannot judge the reasons why things went that way.But, comparing
it to many other cases, it seems that one of the contributing reasons is the
whole stigma that our culture & religion has been attaching to
homosexuality. As long as our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters are not
recognized for the normal, natural person they are, they will feel marginalized
and discriminated against. That's why recognition of same-sex marriage is
such an important issue to succeed.
@Bill McGee said that the Church acknowledges that SSA is biology based. I
don't think this is true. The "Mormons and Gays"
website has this statement: "Even though individuals do not choose to have
such attractions, they do choose how to respond to them." This
does not say that SSA is biology based. It says that it somehow develops
independent of conscious choice. There are a lot of aspects to human psychology
that aren't biological.
To Brent T of Aurora Co.You Stated:"To BJMoose and others --
homosexuality is something you do, choose to do -- and not what you are.
Behavior is always a choice."First of all I have been married to my
loving wife for 35 years. I am male. She is female. I have no close relatives or
friends who are gay or lesbian. Having stated that I disagree with your
statement. Homosexuality is not something one does, it is not a choice and is
what one is. Homosexuals are what they are at birth. That has been proven
scientifically beyond a doubt. Weather one chooses to act on their tendencies or
not is what is a choice. So yes, behavior is a choice. To choose to have sex
with someone either in a heterosexual or homosexual scenario is a choice. One
can either say yes or no. But the determining factor on which one (hetero or
homo) is desirable to any individual is inborn.
To BJMoose and others -- homosexuality is something you do, choose to do -- and
not what you are. Behavior is always a choice. Most everyone is tempted to
take things that aren't theirs. It is only upon doing so that one becomes
a thief. Same with lying. Same with wanting to hit or enact violence upon
another person. So is revenge. Greed, avarice... other things...Point is, is engaging in homosexual behavior wrong? The church, therefore its
faithful members, answers unequivocally YES, always wrong. If that isn't
accepted, there is where our disagreement lies. We believe our prophets and
apostles and leaders to be speaking the will and word of the Lord.But that position does not equate to denial that there are people, even many
people, even many people in the church itself, that feel the urge (temptation
would applicable here) to act upon homosexual feelings that most certainly do
exist. And the intensity of those attractions, and the difficulty experienced
in not happily realizing those urges, deserves understanding and compassion.
But NEVER endorsement; that won't happen nor should ever be expected from
the Savior's Church.
@RedWings – “That is true tolerance, not forced
"acceptance"Sounds fine to me… as long as your
“tolerance” does not include actively working to deny them rights
(i.e., trying to legislate your religious condemnation into law).
Why conduct a survey if you don't care about the results? Seriously,
intentionally inserting leading questions into your survey automatically
invalidates survey results. Particularly given the stated purpose of the survey,
to collect information about the "attitudes" of millennials. If you want
to know someone else's attitude you don't inject your attitudes into
the mix. The rewording of the survey only validates what we already know...that
the LDS Church's leaders believe that Same Sex Attraction is a
psychological abberation against "true" identity. Do you
"experience" SSA vs "are you heterosexual". The survey does not
allow for the "attitude" that someone might feel they "are"
homosexual and not just "experiencing" Same Sex Attraction. It
intentionally fails to represent all possible attitudes and therefore is a waste
of time in trying "study the attitudes" of others. This is obnoxious.
To:CatsSomewhere in Time, UT"Homosexuality or gayness is not
something that you are. It's something that you do. It is behavior.
Behavior is ALWAYS a choice."The only thing you have correct is your
location. And apparently it is known only to you. Your statements have been
debunked over and over by science. It is what someone is. It is NEVER a choice.
Continuing to expound as you do is only a feeble attempt to perpetuate a myth
that has been dis-proven. It's time for you to leave wherever your
somewhere is and join the real world.
To Ranch, All I can say to your post that included me is,
"Huh???" You apparently struggled with what I had to say.Jesus also said, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek
and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy,
and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30 Please know that
Heavenly Father will never ask us to do something unless he provides a way for
us to be successful.
Tyler D - I love all people as children of a Loving God. I love my
gay firends, but I do not condone or accept their behavior. We find other
things to talk about that we agree on. That is true tolerance, not forced
"acceptance" through propaganda we see in today's society Ranch - You state your opinions as if they are facts. They
are not. You have a right to your opinion, but not a special right that those
you disagree with do not. My opinion is just as valid as yours....A
Scientist - Your struggle is "against" the Mormon Church.
Sadly, it is one you will lose...
"I don't know about anyone else but gay means to be happy not one man
attracted to another, that is homosexual. No meanness intended just want to get
the language right. On the other hand striaght means does not mean heterosexual
either."If you don't believe words meanings can change,
you're going to have to change an awful lot of your vocabulary. Don't
use "rival" unless you stick to the original meaning: another person
who shares the same river as you. In fact, you better not use the word you did,
"mean" unless you intend "common to two or more people," in
which case, "gay" definitely "means" homosexual. Uh oh, it also
looks like you need to stop using "happy" unless you strictly
"mean" the adjectival form of "having luck or fortune."
To "Schnee" but it is a struggle. When you know that you desire
something that you know will lead you to sin, then that is a struggle.They struggle with it because the LDS doctrine teaches that acting on
homosexual feelings is wrong. Imagine they had asked the men in the LDS church
if they struggle with pornography. Is that a struggle? To some yes, but to
many no. The same with the questions on same sex attraction. Most will say no,
but some may say yes.
Same-sex attraction is a struggle for those who do not wish to engage in the
homosexual lifestyle. Those who want to follow their church's principles
and teachings but have SSA do struggle. Do call it something else is
untruthful.It is intersting to see posts that SSA should not be
called a "struggle" and people are "who they are". That is your
opinion - others have a different one. I know many who have
oversome SSA and live happy heterosexual lifes. Why would you deny them their
right to "the pursuit of happiness" while you fight for that same right
for those who want to be homosexual? People should respect the
opinions of others, even when they disagree. Unfortunately, this concept is not
popular in the LGBT community....
Rexburg Reader, your post seems to draw a simple line from "my son is
gay" to "my son has all sorts of other problems in his life," as if
there can be said to be a direct correlation. Not knowing you, or him or
anything beyond two paragraphs, I don't know what to tell you. I do free
pretty confident stating that the simple fact that your son is attracted to men
and acted on his attraction isn't the reason he's messed up.I feel for anyone who realizes they're gay at a young age, but is being
brought up in a household that is clear that homosexuality is (1) an abomination
in God's eyes, (2) a disease that needs curing, and (3) really gross. How
do you deal with that as a kid? it's so easy for a religious heterosexual
person to say, essentially, "Jesus, Heavenly Father, Plan of Salvation, pray
the gay away, blah blah blah," but from the gay kid's perspective. your
self-image would be getting pummeled daily. It's very sad, but it's
oversimplistic to just blame his orientation.
@Rexburg Reader – “… a gay person's worst enemies are
usually their own lack of self-esteem, and other gay people.”Without knowing more particulars, you seem to be making a strong argument for
gay marriage.If gay people can enjoy the same rights &
opportunities to lead a conventional life as the rest of us, perhaps they
won’t be drawn into the seedier side of gay culture as their only
perceived avenue to living an authentic life. All the best to you
and your child – hope he/she finds a better life.
I don't remember where I heard this but I do remember the saying,
"It's not harmful because it's forbidden; it's forbidden
because it's harmful." We are not all given the same temptations and we
are not only given one temptation per customer. Some temptations we outgrow;
others take us a lifetime to overcome. Life- it's all a struggle.
I am a faithful Mormon who experiences same-sex attraction. I don't like
calling it a struggle. I just like guys in the same way other guys like girls. I
deal with it. I avoid sin just like everybody and struggle against the natural
man, but that is a struggle with sin. My attractions and desire to love are not
sinful and not something I struggle with. The fact that I find a guy charming
and care about him is not a sin and not something I struggle with.Would
you like it if someone characterized your marriage as "struggling with
adultery" or your religion as "struggling with Mormonism" or your
fatherhood as "struggling with being a dad" or your job as
"struggling as an attorney?" Sure, all of those things involve things
that are tough sometimes, but the struggle doesn't define what it is.
@U-tar – “The same sex crowd will always be offended and upset at
almost anyone and every thing. Why even try to appease them, waste of
time.”I know, right?Wanting to be understood,
accepted and even loved for who they are… what nerve!
@Redneck Lefty:I never struggle with Pepsi.I DO struggle to write
left-handed.I cheer for BYU and the only time I cheer against Utah is when
they play BYU.I never get offended when someone accuses me of being
unjust. That only tells me they don't know me, they don't understand
me, and they don't understand justice.
So if a person is attracted to the opposite sex and there are thoughts or
behaviors that do not comply with LDS standards. Then could we not say they
struggle with opposite sex attraction? There are many where be it same or
opposite sex, they struggle to abide by this law.
As a parent of a gay child, the word struggle is most definitely appropriate.
Despite trying our best to be non-judgmental, supportive and loving, we watched
our once high-achieving child flunk out of college; go in and out of jail;
submit to substance abuse; deal with multiple partners with a laundry list of
major problems, including being physically abusive and being thieves; and not be
able to hold down even a minimum wage job. This all happened immediately after
coming out of the closet. It's not PC to say this, but you'll never
convince me there wasn't a clear connection. Being gay is not the
Candyland so many say it is. Based on my experience, a gay person's worst
enemies are usually their own lack of self-esteem, and other gay people.I applaud the LDS Church for taking steps to try to better understand
its gay members, as this survey was intended to do. I hope such efforts
continue. I also think it's unfortunate no matter what the Church does, so
many people automatically default to being critical.
@SchneeSame sex attraction IS a struggle if someone is a faithful
LDS. Not because of some cognitive dissonance or cultural influence, but as a
trial and temptation. I don't struggle with same-sex attraction, but I most
struggle with heterosexual attraction. The action one chooses to
take dictates their level of peace.
@Bill McGeeAre you saying that humans are held to the same standard
as animals? We are not. We are children of a loving Father in Heaven who has a
plan for all of us. We can all choose how we want to live our lives. That is
regardless of what obstacles, afflictions, trials, etc. are placed in our way.
We have to ability to overcome all things regardless of what they are through
the help of our Savior, Jesus Christ.Many of the conversations on
here from those who are offended by the wording of a question for a survey. If
the LDS Church wants to know the attitudes of its members in an effort to
understand them and put into play some means to help them, how is that any
different than a company conducting a survey for its employees to learn how to
employ strategies to be more competitive? The LDS Church would never send
something out to its members that was meant to offend - that's not what the
Church is about. The Church is about helping every son and daughter of God to
come to know Him and eventually return to Him.
The article points to the difficulty of good survey design, i.e. design that
yields useful, interpretable results and responses that actually address the
researcher's objectives. The initial wording of the question simply does
not achieve the stated goal of identifying the respondent's sexual
orientation. The loaded language ("struggle") and the limited options
(both preselected options premised on heterosexuality as the default) amount to
"push polling" and betray the (possibly subconscious) biases of the
survey designer. I suspect that whoever wrote the question could not conceive
that people would self-identify as other than heterosexual or that they might
actually be comfortable with SSA.The heteronormative assumptions in
the original wording ignores the current state of knowledge. It is not unusual,
for instance, for men to answer "yes" to both "Are you
heterosexual?" and "Have you had sexual contact with men?" in
surveys. The contradiction stems from a disconnect between self-identification
and behavior. The revised question is an improvement, but still has some
ambiguity. What does it mean to "experience" SSA? Does it mean
emotional feelings or behavior? More nuanced questions acknowledging a broader
range of human behavior are in order.
RedneckLefty wins "Post of the Day." He spoke direclty to me . . someone
who prefers Sprite but struggles with an occasional raspberry iced-tea
attraction. My famliy suffers because of this.My reaction to the
survey was not "Oh, how offensive!" but rather "Well, that's
telling and just about right." If you listen to enough General Conference
talks, you'll hear statements or insinuations that no-one is really gay;
God makes us all straight and some of us choose to dabble in homosexuality . .
oops; I mean "same-sex attraction."This is so obviously,
undeniably wrong that it boggles the mind that a lot of people still believe
"Oh, it's totally a choice." I see some posters decry any "just
be yourself" advice as if it's as simple as choosing vanilla over
chocolate. If you were asked or "commanded" to be attracted to a group
of people you just weren't attracted to, how would you respond? If your
answer is "Well, if it came from the prophet, I'd make it work,"
then we have nothing further to talk about. Let me know when you've come
back to reality.
It's a good thing that survey question was changed because it does
presuppose that anyone who experiences same-sex attraction are
"struggling" with it. Maybe some experience it and then indulge in it
with no struggling about it. Best to make surveys with fewer leading questions
as possible. Better to stick with factual questions that produce factual
How about: "I am atheist, but struggle with Mormonism"?
Someone said "Homosexuality or gayness is not something that you are.
It's something that you do. It is behavior. Behavior is ALWAYS a
choice." Really? In this society that persecutes (and more so in the
past) who would choose it?THEN I guess "Heterosexuality is not
something you are, but is a behavior and always a choice." Tell your
wife/husband tonight that today you choose to behave heterosexual and see what
response you get. Why the mixed message - we have the church website
MormonsAndGays.org (it uses the "G" word) but then in surveys like this
it is always "same-sex attraction" I guess most members are not
heterosexual but we have "opposite-sex attraction". There was an
LDS specific handbook by psychiatrists to help church leaders and others be
supportive of gay members who might consider suicide, but the church rejected it
because it called them "gay" rather than "same-sex attracted".
Sad to loose that resource, advice, professional help for those leaders and
their members who need it because of the choice of words. Lets use
"same-sex" and then "opposite-sex" attraction then.
The question was poorly worded, and changing it was the right thing to do.
It's not about "offense," rather, it's about asking the right
question to get an honest response. As was pointed out in the comments already,
the original wording of the question seems to indicate that those administering
the survey do not fully understand the situation.
I am not an authority in the Church, I am simply a member, but let me offer you
this....The Church of Jesus Chris of Latter-day Saints is here in
all it's fullness to help husband and wife to enter into Celestial marriage
covenants. Keeping these covenants rewards them with exaltation and glory..they
can become kings and queens exalted to thrones in the eternal world.To not
reach that objective, whether it be a same gender diversion or other issues of
unworthiness is considered to be a 'struggle'.
It's interesting how often people fail to recognize the fact that "the
church" is not a coherent, cohesive entity consisting of a single point of
authority on all ideas. While it strives to make God that single point of
authority, by the very fact that people are involved, the truth is far more
complex. In this case, I think it is likely that the survey authors failed to
ask the question correctly because they simply failed to study out the issue. It
seems to me like the survey was written too quickly, preventing the proof
reading and careful consideration that all mass communications require.
I don't understand everybody defending the initial wording of the survey.
It was not good. The reasons have been explained in the comments and in the
article. The church recognized the error and changed the wording. There is
nothing to gain from defending that initial wording. I'm sure the person
who wrote it didn't mean harm, but any way you slice it, "heterosexual
and struggling with same-sex attraction" is not the best or even a good way
of describing most people who experience same-sex attraction.Lots of
people saying "no big deal" and "your fault if you're
offended." Please try to have a little more empathy. You are coming from a
position of privilege. It is not nice to say things that are hurtful and then
blame the victim for being hurt. I agree this is not the end of the world or
anything, but it could have bothered people and it's ok to try to
understand why that might be and to actually acknowledge the validity of other
Re: "I, too, wonder if framing same sex attraction as a 'struggle'
is correct."Wonder all you want, but to many, it is, indeed a
struggle.For more than a few faithful LDS, their deepest desire is
to live in accordance with God's will and His plan for them. They recognize
that yielding to same sex attractions they may experience is contrary to both.
So, rather than capitulate to disingenuous worldly sophistry, they struggle
with, and quite often overcome such temptations -- meaning they refuse the
advice of those that encourage them to flout God's law, and continue to
live their mostly happy, faith-filled lives.Like many of us who
struggle with many other issues, they trust in God to buoy them up when their
struggle becomes more difficult. Unlike thoughtless or disingenuous activists,
they don't try to remake Him in their own image, or to speak for Him on the
I have read on other comments on the Deseret News the fact exists that if one
confesses or confides to their bishop that they have had a homosexual
experience, their record is marked with this information for life. Kind of a
Scarlett Letter approach. If this is true so be it. If it is not true the fact
that the "rumor" exists would be enough to sway individual's
answers. Being sent by email, the survey is not anonymous. If nothing else, the
responses could be tracked by the email address they came from. I would think
many would not answer truthfully for fear of follow-up and reprisals. I also
think the survey was constructed in such a way to influence the responses to fit
a pre-conceived conclusion. Like what we saw with the Regnerous study that the
state first relied on and then disavowed.
@Chris B;Many people do struggle with religious addiction. We love
you anyway and I'm sure there's a 12 step program for you
somewhere.The only "struggle" we face is dealing with people
who think we shouldn't have the same rights as heterosexual people.@SamL;The problem with the wording is that I am NOT a
heterosexual "struggling with same-sex attraction', I am a homosexual
facing constant religious bigotry. Since you believe that marriage
is between a man and woman, that is what YOU should have; but your opinion on
the matter is irrelevant to anyone else and you don't get to tell others
who they may or may not marry.@RedneckLefty;I love your
analogies; they put a smile on my face.@LogicalPrime;It
is illogical to expect LGBT people to remain abstinent until marriage and deny
them marriage.@cambodia girl;Nope. Wrong. "The
Savior said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15)."
He never commanded LGBT people to marry straight people, nor did he command you
to judge others.@Cats;Bigot is not something that you
are, it is something that you do. "The Church" is wrong.
The word "struggle" was ambiguous, and reminds me of this joke:The bishop asks: "Do you entertain immoral thoughts?""No," is response, "they entertain me"
Poorly written questions do not provide useful results. It was asserted in
another comment that the question is designed to get what the Church is looking
for. It does not. It is easy to ask questions that reinforce one's existing
point of view. But such questions do not provide reliable results - and should
never be used to make policy decisions.There are many - even
students at BYU - who do not see their "same sex attraction" as a
"struggle." Characterizing everyone as heterosexual, but with different
challenges, not only trivializes the issue, but offends the survey taker - which
will skew the results. It also denies research on the subject (over 300 species
have been identified as having homosexual members) *and* it runs counter to the
position taken by the Church on its Mormons and Gays website that homosexuality
is biology based.The church has clearly failed to develop a
consistent policy on this subject. For an organization with a mission for
ministry, good information and a consistent approach is critical. This survey -
even with the amended question - makes it clear that the church has an agenda,
and real ministering is not part of it.
Homosexuality or gayness is not something that you are. It's something
that you do. It is behavior. Behavior is ALWAYS a choice. The Church is only
trying to find out if members struggle with SSA. That's a legitimate
question. And it IS a struggle.
Look in the mirror every time you get offended and see if you can find the real
problem with taking offense.
"Struggle" is a perfect word for same-sex attraction. Just interview
those who have it and you will find they have "struggled" with it for
years, wondering why they have it, what they should do about it, if they should
confide in someone, and then who could they confide in that they could trust.
Anything that goes against Heavenly Father's plan puts us in a
struggle mode. We need to recognize the issue (dare I say problem?), read about
the commandments, pray to have help and strength, and then align ourselves with
Him. The Savior said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments."
(John 14:15).I'm grateful for Heavenly Father's plan for
His children, for our Savior who taught simply and beautifully, for the
scriptures which are there for a constant reminder of what is expected and the
promised blessings that await us.
I believe that the use of the word "struggle" is perfectly appropriate
in this context. There is no difference between same-sex attraction and
heterosexuality when it comes to how difficult it is to keep your hands out of
the proverbial cookie jar. In either case, the importance of abstinence is also
the same. The struggle, in the case of same-sex attraction and pornography
addiction, is not external by any stretch of the word; it is internal to the
individual.Resigning one's self to the notion that "we are
who we are" is dangerous and destructive. It destroys personal values and
ambitions and reduces people to objects that can only exhibit reactive behavior.
We may be born with our own personal challenges. The measure of a person does
not increase when they indulge in their lusts out of rebellion against societal
pressures. Truly great people, without exception, choose to rise above their
weaknesses and, against all odds, succeed in doing so to some degree. Stating
that "we are who we are" is essentially an expression of the belief that
no one can be truly great, and I beg to differ.
It's not that people take offense, it's that this survey shows a
startling obliviousness about the topic it purports to study. "I am
heterosexual, but I struggle with same-sex attraction." If you are attracted
to the same sex, you're not a heterosexual. You are a homosexual--or
perhaps in fairly rare cases, a bisexual. At any rate, there are already grownup
words for these things. If we can't even bring ourselves to say the word
"gay" or "homosexual" in a survey, we've got our head in
the sand. The Church no longer teaches that homosexuality is a choice. So why
can't we grow up and use the word?What's your favorite
beverage?A. CokeB. Coke, but I sometimes struggle with PepsiAre you right-handed or left-handed?A. Right handed.B. Right
handed but I seem to use my left hand an awful lot.Which team do you
root for?A. BYUB. BYU, but I sometimes struggle with rooting for
The same sex crowd will always be offended and upset at almost anyone and every
thing. Why even try to appease them, waste of time.
The fact is that some people do see it as a struggle, dilemma or whatever you
want to call it. To the point: Lets find out the facts, anonymously, and with
compassion, but thoroughly. To often, the first casualties of controversy are
the facts and the truth.
I'm sure the first wording wasn't meant to be offensive, but it was
clearly intentional. It shouldn't be surprising that people were bothered
by it though. If someone told you they were gay and you corrected them and said
"I prefer to think of you as heterosexual but struggling with same-sex
attraction," how would you expect that person to like it?
I don't know about anyone else but gay means to be happy not one man
attracted to another, that is homosexual. No meanness intended just want to get
the language right. On the other hand striaght means does not mean heterosexual
The world needs to get a grip. Every day there is something new that some group
of people are offended by. Usually where no intent to be offensive is
intentional If people don't like the first two options there appears to be
room to use the third option to express their feelings. But the church being the
wonderful organization it is has worked to make this form better so as not to
cause hard feelings.
From the Church’s perspective, same-sex attraction is a
“struggle.” A conflict between the desire to engage and the
Church’s standards regarding sexual relationships.The
interesting thing about perspectives is that for the perceiver (in this case,
the Church), their perspective is always right. My perspective might be
different, but I’m not authoring the survey. Since the survey is from the
Church, it should reflect their perspective, not mine. In my 30 year career as
a public health investigator, I have conducted many public surveys and feel I
have considerable training and experience in survey design. From my perspective,
the survey question for the information the Church wants to gather. [But that is
my perspective.]Since the church is in the “business” of
watching over and helping the members of the Church, including understanding the
challenges Church members face, I propose that the Church has every right and
responsibility to conduct these kinds of surveys. I would be happy to answer
such.Just in case (since I alluded to my perspective above): I
believe that marriage is between one man and one women; that sexual relations
should only occur within a marriage.
So, they are still unable to use the words gay, lesbian, or bisexual. That may
say more than the survey itself might uncover.
Talk about hyper careful word parsing from critics. It all depends on what
"is" is.Appears to me that responding to such a survey is
entirely voluntary. Perhaps if such questions offend sensibilities, just
don't answer it?Because such issues are so commonly encountered
in today's world, it seems natural that the Church would take some interest
in members attitudes. I should think that the community in general would
welcome the opportunity to share their feelings. Hasn't there been much
critical discussion about how to establish effective channels of communication
with Church leadership?
I have not seen the survey, but an important question would be to further
question heterosexuals as to their attitude toward LGBT. It's probably
there that the most revealing shifts in attitude are to be seen, not in the
ratios of heterosexuals versus LGBT.
I, too, wonder if framing same sex attraction as a 'struggle' is
correct. People are who they are, the concept of struggle for many is probably
external. It's not who they are, it's how others react and deal with
I a absolutely straight, as is my husband. If either of us had received a
survey like that, our answers would have been very much to the point -- "Why
do you think that's any of your business? Because it isn't."
@Chris BCalling same-sex attraction a "struggle" is a
negative connotation and saying that someone is a heterosexual but struggles
with same-sex attraction is just factually incorrect. A heterosexual, by
definition, does not have same-sex attraction, only opposite-sex attraction.
I applaud the LDS church's handling of this difficult
issue(homosexuality).They have always been clear that we should be
kind to everyone, but kindness is not the same as supporting something that is
wrong.Additionally, the LDS church provides resources to those
struggling with same sex attraction.I stand with Mormon prophet
Monson and Pope Francis on this difficult issue.
This is much ado about nothing.Many people do struggle with same sex
attraction.There was no need to change the wording.