Christians need to be clear — Change is possible

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  • Lilalips Attleboro, MA
    July 17, 2014 9:34 p.m.

    Jesus always told his followers to "keep the commandments". Anyone familiar with the Old Testament knew what those were. Love God. Honor parents. Men were to "Leave a father and mother and cleave unto your wife". There has never, ever been any exception to create any kind of understanding that anything other than a man/wife union was within "keeping the commandments". So, I say to you all, follow Jesus and search his words. He will give you the strength and the power to keep his commandments if you truly love him with all your heart.

  • Reasonable Person Layton, UT
    July 8, 2014 7:29 p.m.

    Janet Boynes is in business as an incorporated "religion" and is free to take in donations without ANY oversight.

    As a "religion", she is free to spout the most outrageous concepts and anyone who dares speak out, is said to be waging a war on religion.

  • Go 273 river miles Draper, UT
    July 7, 2014 1:17 p.m.

    Living by the beach is a lifestyle. Riding motorcycles on the weekends is a lifestyle. Backpacking and hiking frequently is a lifestyle. Being LGBT is not a lifestyle anymore than being attracted to the opposite sex is a lifestyle. Who you are attracted to and who you love is the essence of who you are -- not a lifestyle. My son is gay. He has never been abused. He is not broken any more than his 4 straight siblings are. He's just gay and always has been. Science and evidence doesn't support this woman's position. She is a complete outlier. If you are a parent of a LGBT child stop reading and believing this crap and get on with accepting and loving your child. Don't waste your time or emotions and your precious influence on your child on this failed, discredited approach. Love is the only real tool you have at your disposal in understanding your child. Get on with loving and accepting if you want to have any kind of meaningful relationship.

  • TheTrueVoice West Richland, WA
    June 30, 2014 12:44 p.m.

    It is rather unbelievable (of not irresponsible) for DN would publish an editorial like this.

    Most individuals with just a modicum of critical thinking skills can see right through this article.

    At least is was published in the Opinion section.

  • Starry starry night Palm Springs , CA
    June 28, 2014 11:34 p.m.

    This is a cruel, misguided and dangerous editorial. Being "homosexual" is not a "lifestyle" just as being Chinese is not a lifestyle.
    The antediluvian attitudes expressed in this piece and the forum provided such thinking by this paper is discouraging. While many ill informed individuals build their view of gay people on the few caricatures that dominate the culture let me assure you, our lives are spent like yours is. We work hard,we hope for good futures, we fret at sitting in traffic, we celebrate and laugh when given the chance, we screw up royally and often and we cry when life is hard. Why is it so easy for some people who have not taken the time to get to know us to consign us to the stockade. Why do people who have no idea what they are talking about find it so easy to demand that gay people unravel their very souls to meet the bizzare expectations of others? I could no more change the part of me that finds sensual beauty in my own sex than I could grow wings and fly to Mars. Thank goodness this insanity is near its end.

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 28, 2014 8:31 a.m.

    To see comments that "thousands have changed their orientation" is an outright dishonest representation. There are people who have changed their behavior, but very few, if any that have changed their orientation. There are no examples of this and this assumption is not correct. This op-ed was not a very good representation of the troubles that young people have. This type of presentation has lead to many suicides.

    I work in the health care field and to say these changes have occurred is not honest. This brings about false hope and results in failure when people realize they can not change. The suicide rate among young gay teenagers is sky high.

  • Light Giving Valley Sandy, UT
    June 27, 2014 6:47 p.m.

    I think it's important to point out that Janet Boynes is not declaring her experience as the "cause" of homosexuality. She is acknowledging that the reasons she was drawn to that lifestyle were not healthy, that may or may not be true for others who experience homosexual attraction.

    We know very little about how our sexuality is developed, whether it's homo or hetero. Simon Levy's 1991 study finding differences in the brains of gay men which "supported" that sexual orientation is inherent has been discounted (William Byne, Stuart Tobet, and associates, "The Interstitial Nuclei of the Human Anterior Hypothalamus: An Investigation of Variation with Sex, Sexual Orientation, and HIV Status," Hormones and Behavior, 40:86-92, 2001). We don't know if people are just "born that way."

    Let us be as wary of silencing dissenting opinions as we are of socially-constructed labels.

    We also should be careful that we don't limit free choice by telling people that they are born a certain way and cannot change... Isn't that the foundation of all socially constructed labels?

  • Jaime Lee Bonberger Houston, TX
    June 27, 2014 2:56 p.m.

    Maudine states: "Mental health professions no longer classify same-sex attraction or homosexuality as disorders because science and research have shown they are not."

    Please provide references to these scientific studies.

    On the other hand, it is well documented that homosexuality was removed from the DSM in 1973 due to political pressure. No scientific evidence was provided and those who promoted its removal frankly admitted this.

  • Pepper2 Springville, Utah, UT
    June 27, 2014 12:27 p.m.

    I appreciated Deseret News sharing this open editorial by Janet Boynes. Thank you! We all have a story, and she has thoughtfully shared hers. It's sad that she is criticized for trying to help others. Why attack a person for his/her opinions, or a newspaper for printing them as an open editorial? As for the topic, many of those who have commented seem to have done so with the attitude of "knowing the truth." The bottom-line truth is that homosexuality is not immutable. There are thousands of former homosexuals. Many have chosen to seek help and make major changes from a predominantly homosexual orientation to a predominantly heterosexual orientation. Homosexuality is not a civil right. And taking this issue further to the same-sex marriage issue, history and biology have clearly proven that children need a mother and a father.

  • prochild Springville, UT
    June 27, 2014 11:36 a.m.

    I appreciate Janet Boynes perspective and agree that those who desire to leave the homosexual lifestyle can be helped. We should support them in their choice, and of course love them as we should all people no matter what their choice. There is much evidence and on going research that is being ignored today because people think they "know".

  • Ranch Here, UT
    June 27, 2014 8:07 a.m.

    buffy says:

    "If you don't want to be free from sexual addiction, or attraction, you have that right."

    Buffy, please tell me if your loving, committed, relationship with your own spouse is a "sexual addiction". Do you want to be free, yourself, from your attraction to the opposite gender? If not, why do you think we would?

  • buffy American Fork, UT
    June 27, 2014 6:38 a.m.

    Janet Boynes' message is about personal freedom, and the right to choose it. If you don't want to be free from sexual addiction, or attraction, you have that right. Obviously people have overcome such tendencies, and people who say it can't be done are making that assertion based on their own limited experience. It's most unsettling that those who promote tolerance are willing to use the force of law to silence anyone who disagrees with them.

  • Juleen Jackson Highland, UT
    June 27, 2014 12:31 a.m.

    Just came from hearing Janet Boynes speak at the American Leadership Fund event. She was electrifying, inspirational and tremendously hopeful. She said her former lesbian lifestyle was her demise that through the love and grace of God became her voice. Her message was powerful and defies what many say is impossible to do -- leaving homosexuality and being "called out" of darkness into God's wonderful light as she put it. She truly is teaching -- those who have eyes to see and ears to hear and hearts that yearn to understand -- that God willingly forgives sin when we confess it to him. Her courage and honesty in sharing her story, and others like her, will change the world. She is bold and fearless in the face of death threats and harassment. She is a modern day hero and profound voice for redemption and healing. Thank God for women like her...

  • gatheredin Bountiful, UT
    June 27, 2014 12:15 a.m.

    I was impressed with the message of Peace, goodwill and love that Janet gave us at the gathering tonight at the Larry Miller complex. She encouraged us all to be more loving to all of God's children. We need to be reminded often to express more love toward one another regardless of our belief. Thank you Janet, I am anxious to read your book. It was your countenance of love that impressed me. We are beloved children of God and he loves us as we strive enlarge our capacity to love.

  • Scott M Soulier South Jordan, UT
    June 26, 2014 10:46 p.m.

    As an attendee at the SLCC event Thursday night in which this author spoke, I found her statements credible and prompted by love of God and her fellow man. As a retired surgeon, I have some basis on which to conclude that human behaviors involve two steps, at least: 1. The attraction towards a particular behavior, and, 2. The choice one makes regarding one's actions relative to that attraction. The attraction may not be chosen, but the action inevitably is. There are countless individuals who, choose to let their souls rule their bodies rather than the other way around. I respectfully disagree with any who say that human behavioral characteristics are immutable. My best wishes to those to disagree with me and I genuinely hope for the day when all sides will be heard without bullying of any sort aimed at silencing the others. Peace.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    June 26, 2014 4:02 p.m.

    @gmlewis – “So far, that has been the pattern for every gay person I have known for the last 50 years.”

    How many is that exactly?

    And putting aside the fact this assertion is a logical fallacy (e.g., Jill has red hair, Jill is a girl, therefore all girls have red hair), I wonder how many gay people have engaged in self-destructive behavior (assuming they do so at a higher rate than the population at large) because they live in a society that makes them feel alienated, 2nd class, inferior, damaged, and even sinful just because of who they are.

    I don’t know… if people were constantly making me feel like a freak I’d probably want to get loaded too. Beats going postal…

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    June 26, 2014 3:03 p.m.

    I'm not LDS but I stand with Mormon Prophet Monson and Pope Francis on this tough issue.

    Its nice to hear directly from someone who did change.

    Yes, its possible. And its a worthy goal for all who struggle with this tough issue.

    Good luck to all of them!

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    June 26, 2014 2:14 p.m.

    'So far, that has been the pattern (drug use) for every gay person I have known for the last 50 years.'

    Then you need to know more gay people.

    How about the 14,000 who were discharged from the US military under 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'? Are you going to make the assumption they are all drug users because of your limited experience? FYI, they don't allow drug us when you are serving in the US military. At least not when I served in South Korea.

    You don't see me claiming that anyone who is LDS promotes discrimination.

    Why the sweeping generalization?

    We should be better than this, as Christians.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    June 26, 2014 1:32 p.m.

    @Maudine - "This editorial not only goes against science and research, it goes against the official stance of the LDS Church."

    I am unaware that the LDS Church teaches that homosexuality is permanently unchangeable. What the leaders have said is that it might not be a choice.

    By the way, I'm sure I am going to incite a frenzy with this question, but I wonder how many people who self-identify now as gay had previously engaged in drug abuse with marijuana, LSD, etc.? So far, that has been the pattern for every gay person I have known for the last 50 years.

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    June 26, 2014 11:27 a.m.

    @The Balloonatic
    I have met several hundred LGBT people--probably 99% of them grew up LDS. Would it bother you if I extrapolated that the LDS church makes people have SSA?
    Child abuse is tragic. I'm sorry for your friends. You carefully framed your statement saying abuse is a possible influence and may apply to some people and you have limited data. Those are all critical observations that Janet doesn't make. She asserts that SSA is caused by childhood trauma and can be completely overcome by therapy. She claims that there is a conspiracy to hide this "truth." She makes that assertion based on her limited experience without any other evidence. She runs a ministry to convert gay people to straight that has exactly zero success stories except her own.
    I have two loving parents, six happily married siblings, no history of mental health problems, no abuse of any kind in my life, happy childhood with lots of friends, no addictions. Can you believe me when I say that abuse did not make me gay and that I can be completely happy and faithful in the church even while I accept that my SSA will not go away?

  • JHannigan Spanish Fork, UT
    June 26, 2014 11:06 a.m.

    This article makes me very sad. As a person who went through Aversion Therapy years ago at BYU, I personally know of the torture of a therapy that does not work. Science and LDS doctrine is against this idea that change is possible. Let's not bring up events of our shameful past with a misguided opinion like this. Lets promote love instead of abuse.

  • The Balloonatic Taylorsville, UT
    June 26, 2014 10:06 a.m.

    Janet is telling her story and she has the right to do so. The homosexuals that I know (which admittedly are few), actually were abused in some way as children. Even Ellen DeGeneres was abused as a child. It has happened. I'm not saying that all homosexuals were abuses, but at least some have, therefore it is a possible influence. A friend of mine shared that on her mission, she shared the Gospel message to a lesbian couple. They felt the spirit and the both said that the way they were living was wrong. They wanted to change. It happens. We're all broken and have our own struggles. I have high functioning autism and am learning to deal with it. Everyone's got something, and we can all be better, but at the same time know that God loves no matter what. Self improvement and love is what life is about.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    June 26, 2014 9:23 a.m.

    'Psychologists nix gay-to-straight therapy' - AP - 08/05/09

    'The American Psychological Association declared Wednesday...(sic) No solid evidence exists that such change (to orientation) is likely, says the report, and some research suggests that efforts to produce change could be harmful, inducing depression and suicidal tendencies.'

    'UK mental health bodies UNITE to CONDEMN gay 'cure' therapy' - 02-28-14

    'The groups have condemned the practice known as ‘conversion therapy’, as requested by the Department of Health, to say it has potential to cause HARM and are more likely to be based on religion rather than on an informed understanding of sexual orientation.'

    'Exodus International Prez Alan Chambers Declares: There is 'NO CURE' for homosexuality' – By Dan Avery – 07/09/12

    ' He (Alan Chambers) said that virtually every “ex-gay” he has ever met STILL harbors homosexual cravings'

    I wonder why these studies and comments were denied previously?

    Suppression of information does not 'support' ones claims. It merely tries to deny the facts.

    Sure, change is possible.

    I have better odds of getting super powers after being struck by lightning.

    The only thing attempts to change orientation factually do, is promote suicide.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    June 26, 2014 7:39 a.m.


    Being gay and accepting it is not harmful to anyone. Nor is it harmful to society.

    Trying to live the "straight" lifestyle was extremely damaging to me though. I was ready to commit suicide as a result. Once I finally accepted that I am gay, I can't change it, and it isn't the "evil thing" I'd been raised to believe it was, my life turned around. I found a wonderful partner and couldn't possibly be more happy than I am - 15 years in a loving, committed relationship.

    Please understand and stop denigrating our lives. You may not realize it, but your comments that being gay is harmful are denigrating to us LGBT citizens.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    June 25, 2014 10:48 p.m.

    "others I know found far more healing than I and actually overcame severe homosexual childhood abuse and are now happily married to the opposite gender."

    I'm sorry but what does that mean? Severe homosexual childhood abuse? Were they abused by someone of the same gender, and if so how would that make them attracted to the same gender? It just doesn't make any sense.

    Further I don't see anyone here saying that if you are attracted to someone of the same gender that you need to live in a certain way. Maybe you've experienced that in your life but you haven't read it here from the "liberals".

    In fact your point that individuals should decide their own fate is exactly the "liberal" point. A person has a right to decide for themselves whom they will marry. The state doesn't get to decide that for them.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    June 25, 2014 10:13 p.m.

    I am always fascinated by the liberal posters on this site who talk of tolerance and choice - but display absolutely no tolerance for anyone else's choice.
    I am homosexual, I tried reparative therapy, I wasn't cured, but I did change (for the better as far as I am concerned). Like most things in life, some people I know did not view it positively, while others I know found far more healing than I and actually overcame severe homosexual childhood abuse and are now happily married to the opposite gender. That's the funny thing about "choice": the individual should decide; not a bunch of patronizing fashionably intolerant politically correct bullies who censor anything they don't approve simply because it doesn't fit into their narrow view of the world: ironically displaying a fun house mirror image on steroids of virtual everything they claim to despise.

    As an "open-minded" homosexual (as opposed to a fundamentalist gay) I find that "tolerant people" are a far greater threat to my personal happiness than any discussion of ex-gays ever was.

  • DonM Bountiful, UT
    June 25, 2014 10:03 p.m.

    Too many people are under the impression that all people with SSA are born that way. Studies of identical twins where the twin of someone who self identifies as SSA show that only about 5% of the siblings are also SSA. Genetics therefore cannot by itself explain all SSA situations. There is definite environmental influence in play here. Studies have also found that SSA experience child sex abuse at 5 times the rate of heteros. Some researchers believe there may be a correlation here though it does not apply to all people with SSA. Despite championing tolerance and diversity, there is an element of the LGBT community who do not tolerate or accept the diversity of people with SSA who chose not to follow a lifestyle that is often permissive and dangerous to one's health.

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    June 25, 2014 9:00 p.m.

    in regards to Mike R earlier this afternoon

    I can't help but notice these eternal laws you point out are kinda slanted to 1 religion.

    Philosophy: Questions that cannot be answered. Religion: Answers that cannot be questioned. - Anon

    The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also. - Mark Twain

    Religion is like a pair of shoes.....Find one that fits for you, but don't make me wear your shoes. - George Carlin

  • Pendergast Salt Lake City, UT
    June 25, 2014 8:58 p.m.

    to Mike Richards

    Isn't funny how we have to teach children about religion. Then, be on our best behavior so they did pickup on our racism, sexism, or any other demographic biases?

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    June 25, 2014 6:07 p.m.

    @ Mike Richards

    Banks too big to fail, endless wars, unregulated Wall Street, greedy bosses, corrupt judges who rule that bribery is free speech, and politicians who lower our credit rating and shut down our government will destroy our society.

  • Seeker of Truth Kaysville, UT
    June 25, 2014 4:53 p.m.

    Tiago, I am not claiming that people struggling with SSA can change to be straight by trying harder. I am sorry you are frustrated that I compare your struggle to genetic predispositions to hurt people or addictions. These were extreme examples to make a point. My point is that we all have natural man tendencies that, if we give into them, can be harmful to the well-being of ourselves and others. Some of those tendencies are less harmful and some more harmful. My other point is that just because we are born with genetic predispositions does not justify us giving in to those urges if they are harmful. I believe my extreme examples make clear why that would be a bad idea. The issue is learning to control our natural man tendencies. I have my own natural man challenges and you have yours. It sounds like you are doing a great job with yours.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    June 25, 2014 4:47 p.m.

    Judging from the comments on this board, it is clear that the Deseret News needs to do a lot more research on those they turn their editorial page over to. Running a piece written by this particular author is surprising to say to the least.

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    June 25, 2014 3:52 p.m.

    @Seeker of Truth
    Yes, Ms. Boynes had some serious problems. Her book explains that her life was full of trauma and resulted in years of poor choices including having multiple and sometimes simultaneous relationships with both men and women, doing and selling drugs, and committing other crimes. She found tools and support in her Evangelical church that helped her cope and live a more stable life. That is a nice story and one we can all celebrate.
    The problem is that she takes her experience and assumes things that are not true--such as saying childhood/family trauma causes SSA and that SSA people can change to straight with faith or something (not clear what the process is).
    Compare that to my experience, one shared by many of my friends: I have been active in the LDS church my whole life, never broke the law of chastity or word of wisdom, highly religious and faithful, have good self control. But I'm still gay. I deal with it. But I get really frustrated when people tell me I could be straight if I just tried harder or compare my romantic attractions to wanting to hurt people or addictions.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    June 25, 2014 3:20 p.m.

    Change is possible. Yes it is. And this person is proof. Nice to hear directly from someone who struggled with this tough adversity.

    Keep up the good work

  • Seeker of Truth Kaysville, UT
    June 25, 2014 2:38 p.m.

    Let us say that someone is born with a genetic predisposition to become irrationally angry to the point of harming others, or to be addicted to alcohol or gambling. While I agree that shock therapy will do no good to get rid of their natural tendencies, would you not agree that such people should receive counseling to develop coping techniques and behavioral modification strategies to avoid behaviors that are harmful to themselves, to those they love, and to society in general? I would hope your answer would be yes. So the real question is if homosexual behavior fits into such a category? For my part I believe that it is harmful to society in general, and to the happiness of the individual in specific. But it doesn't really matter what I believe. The experiences of each actively homosexual person's life will bear out the truth one way or the other.

    That being said, I also believe that sexual orientation is such a small part of a person. They are so much more precious and valuable than that small part of their personality.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    June 25, 2014 1:04 p.m.

    @MikeRichards: According to MY religion, you are teaching your own children great carelessness towards God. I wouldn't claim the damage you are doing is irreversible, except perhaps to your family's future cohesiveness. Authoritarian certitude and coercion is not a great basis for a child-parent relationship.

    One of the things I love about my own religion is that many parents do not induct their children into membership, but respect them to make that decision later on their own. It means so much more to those who seek it voluntarily.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    June 25, 2014 12:56 p.m.

    "PS - I view your beliefs the same way you view Muslim’s."

    And I believe that for ALL of them, it is speculation based on what has been claimed or taught by a man.

    What makes the prophet Mohammad any different than any other prophet? It all depends on who you believe and what personal confirmation that you think that you have received.

    Lots of folks claim to have personal knowledge that their religion or teachings or prophet or .... are the correct one. And they are almost always in direct conflict with one another.

    If there were 100 religions, either 100 are either wrong or lacking, or 99 are.

    No matter your religion, the odds are not in your favor.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    June 25, 2014 12:33 p.m.

    @2 bits – “But you have to be open to what he has caused to be written (anciently and modernly)”

    But that’s just it… so much of what “he has caused to be written” is contradictory (in addition to the two already mentioned, I could provide a laundry list from the Bible alone).

    And this doesn’t even begin to address other religions. Understand that all the reasons you believe as you do are the same reasons Muslims believe as they do (inspired sacred book filled with miracles and “moral” teachings, words of a Prophet, etc., etc., etc…) and yet I think it’s fair to say (correct me if wrong) that you do not find any of their reasons compelling to believe in Islam.

    Further, you are utterly convinced that what God has told ~13 million followers is truth and what he has told ~1.6 billion followers is nonsense.

    People are free to believe what they want, but when they start making a lot of “I know…” type comments, you should not be surprised at some pushback.

    PS - I view your beliefs the same way you view Muslim’s.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    June 25, 2014 12:19 p.m.

    The family is the most important unit of society. When a "family" teaches children that it is better to change religions instead of changing actions, that "family" has done irreversible harm to the child. There are eternal laws that are absolute. No matter what mankind thinks about those eternal laws, no one can change them. Sexual purity before marriage is an eternal law. People break themselves when they break that law. Marriage between a man and a woman is an eternal law. People break themselves when they break that law. No person who teaches a child carelessness towards God can expect God to look the other way. God will require a full accounting and full repentance. Harming a child by teaching false religious concepts will destroy society. Great harm will be done. Great harm!

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 25, 2014 11:46 a.m.

    I don't believe that people, including the author, 'choose' to be gay. After all, she tried to choose it and it didn't work for her. As for religion, the best it can do is what it always does. Make things worse.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 25, 2014 11:35 a.m.

    @Tyler D

    Re: @2 bits – “WE should be trying to find out what he expects… If we only knew what was in his mind in the first place… do you know"?

    I think I know what he wants. It's no big mystery. He has a goal, and he has expressed it in no uncertain terms. That's why he gave us Prophets, Scriptures, Prayer, Revelation. He is NOT hiding his will from us by any stretch... But we need to humbly and sincerely seek to find out what his will is... not ignore his instructions to us from Adam to today, and insist he accept our modern sophisticated ways...

    IMO God is very open about his goal and his expectations. But you have to be open to what he has caused to be written (anciently and modernly) and what he is currently saying through his Prophet. Instead of us telling him what HE must believe.

    When people with our limited understanding of eternal things telling him what he must accept, and what he must change in order to make us happy... you are on the wrong track.

  • Understands Math Lacey, WA
    June 25, 2014 11:08 a.m.

    Besides the 10th circuit appeal, Indiana's same-sex marriage ban was also struck down.

    And apparently, Gov. Herbert's office is reviewing the 10th circuit decision and "whether" they will appeal.

    "Whether" is a very interesting word.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    June 25, 2014 10:45 a.m.

    Just in from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals: Utah's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.

    How soon til these three judges are labeled "activist"?

    How much good could have been accomplished if the state had not blown so much money on a losing cause? There was NO evidence that this "child centric" argument would work, and yet the state spent $200K on a lawyer who argued it.

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    June 25, 2014 10:39 a.m.

    The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals just upheld Judge Shelby's decision. They reviewed the evidence and the state's case and were not convinced that there was any rational basis for excluding gay people from marriage.

    Meanwhile, the Deseret News publishes this article today which is the most backwards argument against SSM I have seen on these pages. If your argument against SSM is that being gay is a choice and can be changed you will inevitably fail to convince anyone who gives it any serious consideration. For most gay people, feeling attracted to their own sex is as natural and fixed as a straight person's attraction to the opposite sex. People can repress feelings and change behavior but they cannot change fundamental sexual orientation.

    I cannot understand why the Deseret News published this editorial. Deception and lies don't help anybody.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    June 25, 2014 10:32 a.m.

    @2 bits – “WE should be trying to find out what he expects…”

    If we only knew what was in his mind in the first place… do you know?

    I mean we hear a lot from the mouths of men, and since so much of what we hear is contradictory I don’t see how we can make sense of any of it.

    Heck, even his sacred books are all over the place – killing is bad - killing Amalekites, not so bad. Slavery (when Egyptians are doing it to Israelites) is bad - slavery (when Israelites are doing it to everyone else), not so bad.

    But I guess those are just examples of God changing his mind… sure doesn’t make it any easier on us to discern what he wants though.

    I think Homer Simpson understood this best when he said – “"What if we picked the wrong religion? Every week we're just making God madder and madder."

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    June 25, 2014 10:13 a.m.

    @ Maudine

    Thank you for the information on sexual dysphoria. Very helpful in this context and generally.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 25, 2014 9:59 a.m.

    God CAN change... that is obvious. But I think SOME get the relationship backwards. We are not here to change HIM... HE is here to change US.

    We should not be constantly trying to change God's mind... and get him to be more like us. WE should be trying to find out what he expects, and be more like him... IMO

  • cellstr Provo, UT
    June 25, 2014 9:54 a.m.

    It is articles like these that make me lose confidence in news networks. In what way was this beneficial? An article purporting that because she was able to change, everyone can? What about the hundreds of testimonies and dozens of articles displaying the contrary?

    Poor editorial choice. If the article actually talked about the complexities of the issue and had a more substantial basis, it would have been more appropriate. But this is weak.

  • dmcvey Los Angeles, CA
    June 25, 2014 9:19 a.m.

    Janet Boynes claims that there are thousands of people who have gone through this "therapy" successfully and yet seems to be unable to produce many of these success stories. The fact is, she makes her living from these poor people who are unable to accept themselves.

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    June 25, 2014 9:18 a.m.

    As a RM and active LDS, I think we're spending far too much time and focus on homosexuality.

    There are far other issues that we should focus on. Debt, greed, and dirty politics. Nationally, look at what's happening in DC and Wall Street. Banks to big to fail (and then did) hurt more people than homosexuality ever did. The dirty money in politics is hurting people too. Just look locally at what payday loan sharks, Swallow, and Shurtleff have done. They hurt far more people than homosexuals have.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    June 25, 2014 9:16 a.m.

    @ DesNews: Really? You print an entire editorial based on speculation about what makes people gay and their ability to change but you refuse my comment that draws a realistic, scientific conclusion based on information presented in the editorial by the author herself?

    If I am not allowed to challenge her assumptions about others, based on information she provides, she should not be able to use your paper as a source to publicize those assumptions.

    Sexual dysphoria is a confusion about sexuality usually caused by adverse childhood experiences including child sexual abuse. Not all survivors of abuse suffer from this condition. Sexual dysphoria can be overcome with effort.

    Same-sex attraction or homosexuality is not caused by adverse childhood experiences, although, just as some straight children are abused by perpetrators of either gender, so too are some homosexual children. Abuse, however, does not cause homosexuality and many homosexual individuals have never experienced child sexual abuse.

    This author is taking her personal experiences and generalizing them to others. Such behavior is very seldom helpful and in this case can be extremely harmful.

  • Values Voter LONG BEACH, CA
    June 25, 2014 9:15 a.m.

    The printing of this opinion piece is irresponsible. That is all I have to say.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    June 25, 2014 8:49 a.m.

    When did religion become so myopically obsessed with only what occur between the navel and the kneecaps?

    I’ve been following the comments here for quite a while and rarely do I hear any ethical messages from my pious friends on the right that does not involve sex. Since Jesus rarely mentions it (and never mentions homosexuality), it makes one wonder if my friends on the right are truly following the founder of their religion.

    It would be a refreshing change to hear a bit more about the Sermon on the Mount and a whole lot less about “mounting” in general.

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    June 25, 2014 8:38 a.m.

    The moral of this story is lets save being saved for "being saved"?

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    June 25, 2014 8:34 a.m.

    This article is disheartening. There are going to be parents with children who are coming out as gay, a very difficult process, who will read this article and then start pushing the pseudoscience of ex-gay "therapy" on their kids. This will make an already challenging time of life even harder. It's rare to read a newspaper article and know that it is going to cause harm to people in the very near future. The DNews should be ashamed of itself for printing this oped.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    June 25, 2014 8:19 a.m.

    I'm going to draw a line between sexual behavior and sexual orientation. From my experience sexual orientation is pretty much a set thing. You are attracted to whom you are attracted. Most of the time it's the opposite sex, sometimes it's the same sex, and some times it's both.

    Sexual behavior however is a much more complicated issues and shouldn't be conflated like I think the writer does with orientation.

    There are many reasons for a persons sexual behavior, some healthy and natural, some the result of traumas and experiences in life, and I'm sure some from inherent physical and mental abnormalities. Herein lies the danger of expanding our own experiences to the rest of the world, as the writer does. Don't know the facts but the reasons for her sexual behavior are possibly many and varied but aren't the same thing as her orientation. They may coincide (bisexual) or they she may have simply been acting out the dysfunctions of her life in a sexual manner.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    June 25, 2014 8:14 a.m.

    Gay conversion therapy, like forcing the assimilation of the American Indians into boarding schools, and Jim Crow laws is horribly misguided. Ultimately, it too will fail and our children and grandchildren will look down at us in horror for these harmful practices we performed.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    June 25, 2014 8:08 a.m.

    Overstatement to the point of untruthfulness is no virtue. Neither CA nor NJ have banned the discredited "conversion therapy." They've only banned licensed mental health professionals from practicing it on minors. Pastoral counselors, ministers, priests, etc., are still able to provide the "treatment" to persons of any age.

    All the major mental health associations have determined that subjecting minors to this treatment is abusive, traumatic, likely to induce suicide and have urged states to ban it. Adults are still free to seek and receive such treatment from licensed practitioners, although it seems little more than a scam. Surveys show results of such treatment are far less than claimed.

    Same-sex marriage is the biggest danger to "conservative" religion. If every child knows the hope that they can grow up to marry their own sweetheart, with their happy family and friends in attendance, how will anyone convince gays into believing God hates them as they are? And, there's this conflict of interest: At least one Church is highly dependent upon finding or convincing enough men to forswear sex in order to fill their celibate priesthood.

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    June 25, 2014 8:07 a.m.

    This is a dangerous editorial and I am disappointed to see it published in this paper. The LDS church's position on same-sex attraction can be found on its website That website states that SSA is a complex reality. It states that we do not know the cause of SSA and that, for many people, it will persist for their entire lives.
    The LDS church teaches the law of chastity which applies to all members, no matter their sexual orientation or individual circumstances. Do we expect God to take away autism or clinical depression or red hair or any other condition of mortality that might make life more difficult? Why do we insist that he take away SSA? We believe in the power of the Atonement and the God can heal all wounds, but we don't determine His will.
    Ms. Boynes is free to tell her story, but this editorial is not the full story. For anyone interested, I invite you read her book. It describes that she was always bisexual. Her current ministry has no cases of people who have actually changed their sexuality.

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    June 25, 2014 7:36 a.m.


    This is indeed a violation of the paper's responsibility to the public.

    If a person's sexual orientation is a violation of that person's faith, it is up to them to choose whether or not they want to follow their true nature, or abandon that nature for their faith. The psychological and psychiatric community tells us you may not change your orientation (maybe your behavior, but not your orientation). Therefore you may not choose that. Many people change religious affiliation. Religion is a choice (painful as that can be to change affiliations due to societal and familial pressures).

    Seems to me that the only answer is follow one's true nature, and find a soulmate in a same sex relationship, rather than live a life of celibacy. Or worse, enter into a relationship that will forever be incomplete, cheating the other party. There are plenty of religions out there that believe in the basics of Christianity that accept gay and lesbian couples. And if your family's religion is more important than their love of their child, it is appropriate to say goodbye to mama and papa. Their love was conditional.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    June 25, 2014 7:34 a.m.

    I agree that churches and counselors should listen to the LGBT community. I think they should listen a long while before opening their mouths though since they need to give their jaws a rest.

  • Michael Hunt Murray, UT
    June 25, 2014 7:30 a.m.

    This editorial exemplifies the truism 'that which one most fervently forbids, he or she secretly most desires'. Pieces of this nature have become a parody of public warnings and are more confessional than enlightening. As frequently as public shootings, now it seems, are cases where Christian spokespersons are caught molesting children or patroning gay prostitutes. It's not the average homosexual that needs therapy, it's the one's who most sincerely want to change their proclivities by condemning the same in others.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    June 25, 2014 7:26 a.m.

    If organized religion adopts as doctrine a position that homosexuality is some kind of disorder to be "overcome," then this is yet another (richly deserved) nail in the coffin for organized religion.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    June 25, 2014 7:04 a.m.

    There is nothing inherently good or bad about sexual orientation. Every human being comes equipped with it. It is our respective cultures that teach us how to look upon it. Unfortunately, some cultures are dominated by religions that teach their adherents to view sexuality in an unnatural light.

    No one is born religious. It is not a natural state. It must be learned. Perhaps something akin to reparative therapy would be appropriate to address religious indoctrination which, unlike sexual orientation, is a cognitive state.

    I feel only sadness for Ms. Boynes. I believe she is sincere – and harmfully misguided.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    June 25, 2014 6:55 a.m.

    "It takes consistent teaching, love, and the word of God to bring about transformation. This is a process."

    Being a homosexual would be a very difficult life. Who would choose that? Seriously. Think about it. So many people would choose a lifestyle that they have to hide? Does that make sense to you?

    So, Ms Boynes is another Christian advocating a "pray away the gay" therapy.

    I have yet to see anyone, WITHOUT a Christian agenda, or WITHOUT making money off of it, advocating such therapy.

    Show me the studies and the science.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    June 25, 2014 6:30 a.m.

    "Thousands living the Christian lifestyle, along with thousands not actively involved in a church, but who are dealing with questions, are looking for a way OUT."

    FTFY Janet.

    "Quite often, we treat the symptoms instead of finding the root cause."

    Homosexuals are NOT BROKEN. That bears repeating. We are NOT BROKEN!!! Please stop interfering in our lives. Please STOP telling us that we're not "good enough" for your fellowship. Please STOP telling us that you know better how to manage our lives than we do. Please, JUST STOP!

    "Choosing that lifestyle ..."

    We do not "choose that lifestyle", Janet. I did NOT choose to be gay; I was born that way.

    "Media and school programs promoting tolerance, equality, fairness and love are drawing our youths into the gay lifestyle."

    Nonsense! These programs are simply telling LGBT people that "your are perfect just as you are". Janet, you would tell us that we're failed human beings which is simply disgusting.

    Conversion therapy HARMS PEOPLE. When will you people get that through your heads?

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    June 25, 2014 12:58 a.m.

    Dear DesNews: I understand the concept of free speech and the sharing of opinions - however, that does not mean one person's ignorance has the same value as another person's knowledge.

    Mental health professions no longer classify same-sex attraction or homosexuality as disorders because science and research have shown they are not. Science and research has shown that same-sex attraction and homosexuality are not caused by the "baggage" of problems in childhood.

    "Conversion therapy" is no longer an accepted "treatment" for same-sex attraction and homosexuality because it has been proven to be ineffective and harmful. Yes, there are homosexuals who marry and live straight lives, this does not mean they no longer experience same-sex attraction nor does it mean they are not part of the bisexual community.

    This editorial not only goes against science and research, it goes against the official stance of the LDS Church.

    Printing this editorial is irresponsible and harmful. And in the interest of free speech, one must wonder if you are willing to print am editorial countering this one?

  • Understands Math Lacey, WA
    June 25, 2014 12:51 a.m.

    Alan Chambers, former president of Exodus International, the leading 'ex-gay' Christian organization later had this to say about his work there: "I am sorry for the pain and hurt many of you have experienced. I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions didn’t change. I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents."

    Janet Boynes wrote: "Alarmingly, California and New Jersey laws have banned “conversion therapy” counseling for minors who want to leave homosexual lifestyles."

    Is it the minors who want to change, or is the parents who want to force the minors to change? That is the question.