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August 19, 2022

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NelsonJune 22, 2015

@Rod Olson (and others), I'm not sure why you thought the what the author said was an attack on you. I have read it through several times and I don't detect any animosity toward gay people. Rather she seems to be a faithful church member trying to follow her conscience and stay true to church teachings in the face of sometimes harsh judgment from those who favor legalizing same sex marriage. You clearly have a problem with the term same-sex attraction (SSA) and prefer the term gay. I agree that "SSA" might sound too clinical, but I have spoken with faithful LDS gay/SSA men who are not comfortable with the term gay, believing it implies adopting a certain lifestyle. Others, like yourself, are comfortable with the term and don't see it as having any such implication. This just underscores how difficult it is to even talk about these issues in a way that people don't perceive as judgmental. You also seemed to have been offended by the section labeled "Gay people can't change", in which some articles were cited that refute the absolutist claim that sexual orientation never changes. In some cases, maybe a minority, it does change, but that is not the main point. Rather, the first article she was referencing in that section, is critical of some so-called "change therapies", many of which have been counterproductive and even harmful. Instead that author was referring therapeutic approaches that do not deny the (often unwanted) attraction, but help the person realize that while those tendencies are a part of him (or her), they are not something that controls them. It's an approach that can usefully be applied to any trait that a person doesn't want to be controlled or defined by. Most puzzling, you criticized the author for not listening to the voices of faithful LDS who experience homosexual attraction, when in fact she prominently mentioned being moved by the accounts of gay and lesbian LDS adults at ldsvoicesofhope.com and mormonsandgays.org. Really, I saw more agreement than disagreement between your comments and the author's article. Maybe you wish she would have said things in a different way; maybe you feel she got a few details wrong. That's fine, point them out in a more patient and loving way. No one's personal experience represents everyone's experience, not hers, not yours. We all need to work harder to understand one another. This site is a forum for faithful LDS to discuss issues in a faithful way. I assume that each author who posts here supports the Lord's ordained servants, as you clearly also do. Finally, I personally don't think the Church leaders will "evolve" on the issue of same sex marriage, that somehow God will change position on the purpose of marriage, any more than I think He will repeal the commandment to be faithful to one's spouse or to not steal. But I do believe that we can come to better understand the complexities of this mortal existence and that we can learn to love and understand one another more completely.

NelsonJune 1, 2015

@Rod Olson (and others), I’m not sure why you thought the what the author said was an attack on you. I have read it through several times and I don’t detect any animus toward gay people. Rather she seems to be a faithful church member trying to follow her conscience and stay true to church teachings in the face of sometimes harsh judgment from those who favor legalizing same sex marriage. You clearly have a problem with the term same-sex attraction (SSA) and prefer the term gay. I agree that “SSA” might sound too clinical, but I have spoken with faithful LDS gay/SSA men who are not comfortable with the term gay, believing it implies adopting a certain lifestyle. Others, like yourself, are comfortable with the term and don’t see it as having any such implication. This just underscores how difficult it is to even talk about these issues in a way that people don’t perceive as judgmental. You also seemed to have been offended by the section labeled “Gay people can’t change”, in which some articles were cited that refute the absolutist claim that sexual orientation never changes. In some cases, maybe a minority, it does change, but that is not the main point. Rather, the first article she was referencing in that section (sadly the link seems to that one seems to have gone dead), is critical of some so-called “change therapies”, many of which have been counterproductive and even harmful. Instead that author was referring therapeutic approaches that do not deny the (often unwanted) attraction, but help the person realize that while those tendencies are a part of him (or her), they are not something that controls them. It’s an approach that can usefully be applied to any trait that a person doesn’t want to be controlled or defined by. Most puzzling, you criticized the author for not listening to the voices of faithful LDS who experience homosexual attraction, when in fact she prominently mentioned being moved by the accounts of gay and lesbian LDS adults at ldsvoicesofhope.com and mormonsandgays.org. Really, I saw more agreement than disagreement between your comments and the author’s article. Maybe you wish she would have said things in a different way; maybe you feel she got a few details wrong. That’s fine, point them out in a more patient and loving way. No one’s personal experience represents all people’s experience, not hers, not yours. We all need to work harder to understand one another. This site is a forum for faithful LDS to discuss issues in a faithful way. I assume that each author who publishes here supports the Lord’s ordained servants, as you clearly also do. Finally, I personally don’t believe the Church leaders will “evolve” on the issue of same sex marriage, that somehow God will change position on the purpose of marriage, any more than I think He will repeal the commandment to be faithful to one’s spouse or to not steal. But I do believe that we can come to better understand the complexities of this mortal existence and that we can learn to love and understand one another more completely.

Mark StoddardMay 30, 2015

Much one way wringing of hands about those who have been improperly cast out for their sexual orientation. And I find it sad. But, once again this subject is treated with a one way mirror. I've seen it from many sides and notice how many "gay" people have concluded there is NO middle ground, that there is only their way or the highway. No compromise. BUT, in every political situation (and this is exactly a political situation) there must be compromise. Rational thought is thrown out the window for cheap jingo like "equality in marriage" when not one person actually wants equality in marriage. (Does anyone want children to be free to marry, or incestuous marriages, or NAMBLA authorized marriages -- see, you have your standards and unequal standards so you don't believe in willy-nilly equality of marriage nonsense)

Mark StoddardMay 30, 2015

Many object to pointing out that intact, biological fathers and mothers have the greatest chance of producing children with the least amount of emotional and civil problems. They like to point out that adopted children, step-children and children raised by single mothers or gay/lesbian parents they know turned out fine. That is not a logical conclusion. The point of biological parents being best is simply a statistical conclusion. Even though some studies have show single mothers and lesbian couple's children have the greatest chances for unstable lives, there are those who turn out fine -- if it was one in 5, well, one is wonderful for that one. In creating social order and laws, society needs to seek out the best solutions for creating a better society as much as possible while still honoring our rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. In that the biological parents prove out time and again to be what is best for our children, public policy ought to be slanted to doing everything possible to encourage strong, nuclear biological families with one natural father married to one natural mother. Of course when that is not possible, other accommodations must be made, but whatever we do, do NOT destroy the best means of perpetuating society. AND THAT IS WHAT IS HAPPENING in the name of phony equality. But that's another subject.

Rod OlsonMay 27, 2015

I do agree 100% that the home is where children should be taught eternal truths, tolerance, love and living the best Christlike life as possible, amen to that! Let me state here, I do believe 100% in The Proclamation of the Family and the current official stance of our living Apostles and Prophets. I am an active and openly GAY man. I also have a current temple recommend, serving as a veil worker besides, as serving as Ward Mission Leader, Federal Prison Sunday School teacher, Gospel Essentials Teacher and home teacher. I say this so ALL LDS members know exactly how I officially stand in the eyes of the church. BUT some of the "truths" cited here are not truths or official stances held by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They may be her personal views, many things here should NOT be taught as Church official statements... (many are and many are not, it's a mixed bag all declaring eternal truths) that is what is most unsettling here. Especially, since these distorted statements and mostly personal feelings, beliefs and skewed conclusions by the data... are being taught by, I'm sure well, meaning adults--BUT they are teaching their children false doctrine and information. Yikes. Wow. Embarrassing. Here are the official statements regarding homosexuality: www.mormonsandgays.org "Senior Church leaders in this website represent the official position of the Church." "The experience of same-sex attraction is a complex reality for many people... Even though individuals do not choose to have such attractions, they do choose how to respond to them. With love and understanding, the Church reaches out to all God’s children, including our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters." -- Stop believing it's a choice and as in the official web address GAY is used. It is 100% appropriate to say GAY. Its NOT a four letter word nor does it imply any negative "lifestyle," maybe in 1970, 45 years ago! NO ONE but Evangelicals, Mormons, Conservative Christians and Reparative Therapy activists use SSA. (see below definition of SSA) "Unlike in times past, the Church does not necessarily advise those with same-sex attraction to marry those of the opposite sex." "Though some people, including those resisting same-sex attraction, may not have the opportunity to marry a person of the opposite sex in this life, a just God will provide them with ample opportunity to do so in the next." "Some of you are denied the blessing of marriage for reasons including... same-sex attraction... everyone can contribute to the unfolding of the divine plan in each generation. Much that is good, much that is essential—even sometimes all that is necessary for now—can be achieved in less than ideal circumstances. So many of you are doing your very best. And when you who bear the heaviest burdens of mortality stand up in defense of God’s plan to exalt His children, we are all ready to march." https://www.lds.org/general-conference/print/2015/04/why-marriage-why-family?lang=eng -- The Brethren now know and understand sexual orientation does NOT change... some men and women do marry and are very happy but their sexual orientation did not change, as cited above, see Voices of Hope. Those couples are also the EXCEPTION NOT the RULE... most homosexual LDS men do not marry. All the men in those videos say their homosexuality did NOT go away... "A mother said, “I have a transgender son who came out to us about a year ago. … I hate having to fear what retaliation [from church leaders] I might have for supporting him … I think we as members need that assurance that we can indeed have our own opinions, support our children, and still follow our beliefs.” Elder Dallin H. Oaks responded, "This question concerns transgender, and I think we need to acknowledge that while we have been acquainted with lesbians and homosexuals for some time, being acquainted with the unique problems of a transgender situation is something we have not had so much experience with, and we have some unfinished business in teaching on that." I would just like to say, regardless where-ever you stand as and LDS member, we all should anticipate that more experience might lead to changes, from our ordained and authorized leaders, the true messengers, guided and inspired by God, Himself today and in the future. (that is our 9th article of faith, who knows? Only God, not you or me. None of us know the mind and the actions of God. That is an eternal truth stated in the OLD TESTAMENT. Why do we still 5,000 years later, believe we do know His mind and how He acts? Until then, we need to recognize that, "And, to be perfectly frank, there have been times when members or leaders in the Church have simply made mistakes. There may have been things said or done that were not in harmony with our values, principles, or doctrine."(1). We do not run past our leaders, even if mistakes are made and feel that some instituted practices are wrong (See Race and Priesthood Essay, LDS.org). BUT we do not and please let's not use scare tactics to inflame or discourage those who already who feel like an outcast, looked down upon, bullied or made fun of... because of no fault of their own. Youth can be mean and unforgiving, let's not help incite that behavior among our young LDS. There are many who are seeking away to come back or join the church and DO NOT because of articles like this... people who think they know what it is like to be homosexual. Heterosexuals DO NOT FULL UNDERSTAND, please stop thinking you do. Now, that's OK, you do not have to understand or make up answers, that somehow satisfy or pacify you regarding my homosexual orientation... I ask, that you just allow me or anyone who is LGBT to feel comfortable to worship along side you at church, help spread the gospel, worship in the temples and give all the service possible one can give without false judgement. I promise you, I did NOT want to be gay, who would, especially, as a believer? I live and have lived, every minute of my life, with the same doctrines as you... I'm here because of my testimony... it is 100% mine and no one else's. I have earned that... and I thank God he has blessed me with that confirmation. Please don't push me or anyone away because you may not understand how I or anyone fits into your paradigm. Trust me, sometimes it takes everything I have to sit in Priesthood, SS or Sacrament meeting and hear very unsettling things regarding my sexual orientation. You cannot imagine how I felt during the Prop 8 campaign in California and the words that came out of many members mouths. I stood with them, I did all I was asked to do during that campaign regardless of how I knew many felt about me, in my own faith tradition, that requires so much of all of us. I stayed and I do stay because I understand I don't understand many of the why's BUT I know, in spite of our human brokenness... that this is THE Church of Jesus Christ, it bares His name, it holds His priesthood, it builds and worships Him in Holy Temples and is lead by ordained Prophets and Apostles who hold the keys of leadership and responsibility for this day. God has said, his tent is big enough for all... there is no capacity limit set by the fire marshal. As Elder Christofferson said in April, "... you who bear the heaviest burdens of mortality,"-- and then we have to read articles like this... filled with partial truths, personal prejudices and skewed facts, it only adds to my burden... and to know these things are being actually taught in homes. I hope many of the incorrect statements and ideas are throw to the side and we are able to use the truths that are in here as guides for better understanding. "Same sex attraction" (SSA) is a term used mostly by conservative Christians to avoid using the term gay when referring to men who are attracted to men or men who have sex with men (MSM). Often, SSA refers to gay men only, and not lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered persons. Unlike many mainstream mental health practitioners and associations which do not think homosexuality is a disease or mental illness, groups which use the term SSA often believe that all persons are heterosexual and homosexual thoughts or sexual relations are deviant. What most people would consider to be a "gay person" is a "heterosexual with a homosexual problem" for many who use the term SSA. Those who use the term SSA deny the reality that the vast majority of LGBT people can't be "cured" of their sexual orientation." (1) https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/10/come-join-with-us?lang=eng&query=make+mistakes

LieselMay 26, 2015

Oops...celibate lives!

LieselMay 26, 2015

I appreciate the well researched studies cited in this article raising legitimate concerns for the safety of children, and the quotes from children raised in same sex homes who speak of their pain. These are an important resource for parents who want to help their children see why children do best being raised by own father and mother. There is a God-given bond between children and their own parents that never goes away. Our biggest concern as a society should be to focus on making stronger homes and marriages. Many parents are not aware of the Voices of Hope source. It's inspiring to know that many church members experiencing same sex attraction have chosen to live celebrate lives. And they are not unique in making this sacrifice. They join an army of other faithful single members of the church who live the law of chastity...singles who have never married and people who are divorced and widowed.

Mike BMay 25, 2015

Huh? While your article provides a great push for education and discussion, your extremist views (all, every, completely) is a little out of reality. In fact, there are good and bad Mormons, Jews, Buddhists, Hispanics, Chinese, Single Parents, Gays, Heterosexuals, ... Right? Of course, Right! If we actually share the truth, we will get farther. This is especially true with the youth who are able to see through some of the 1/2 truth (from all sides) and understand the Lord's doctrine. Many of them know actual gay people who are great people, parents, spouses, not the monsters you propose.

Pamela Morgan SmithMay 21, 2015

To Deg, who states, “I know no one that suffers from this problem first hand”, referring to Same Sex Attraction. I am not surprised by this admission, Deg; but you might be surprised by how few gay people there actually are. I find it astonishing that there are youth today who, because of the gay agenda and the constantness of it in our news cycle, wrongly suppose that 25% of the population is gay! The actual number is closer to 3% or less! Google the Atlantic magazine and “Americans have no idea how few gay people there are” to read a startling and informative article.

NateMay 18, 2015

This article is just a little bit behind the General Authorities curve, which has taken a noticeable course turn in the last year or two. The General Authorities latest offerings have been less about confronting the evil of same-sex marriage, and more about learning to get along with differences. Elder Oaks accepted the idea that as far as the law is concerned, the courts have spoken. Our job is no longer to challenge that law, but to coexist peacefully and respectfully with people who have differences of opinion. The young women in the story need to learn, not how wrong and damaging SSM is, but why Mormons are peculiar and different from the rest of the world. We respect the rights of others to believe and practice as they wish, and we want them to respect our right to do this as well. Otherwise, we place our youth in a pattern of confrontation and aggression, which they will not likely be able to withstand. Rhetorical arguments for SSM, including equality, freedom, family values, etc. are too persuasive to stand against whatever some LDS teen might try to say about homosexuality being sinful or wrong. Rather, it is a commandment Mormons are given not to practice, like the Word of Wisdom.

A Happy HubbyMay 18, 2015

I can't say I agree with all in this article, but it is clear from the comments that we as a church are nowhere near in unity on this topic. I think it is clear that gay marriage will be legalized in all of the US - no matter what the church does. The latest Pew survey finds more American atheists than LDS. I see almost a parallel in the US politic - more polarization. I see both "sides" getting more and more entrenched. I can't see it getting even more decisive. We even have conflicting words coming from the 12 apostles (Elder Christopherson saying that politically supporting same sex marriage does not disqualify one from being a member in good standing). I look at church history and some past issues have been hard to go through. The church will get through it. We need to remember as members that even if someone holds a different opinion, we need to love them.

JulieMay 17, 2015

I have to respectfully say that there must be—and needs to be—the allowance for freedom of speech without attacking the blogger. I read the article a few times and she did not attack nor was she mean. She used studies, quotes and the doctrine. Naturally, if one is pro-same sex marriage and pro-same sex adoption, they will not like these studies and will produce ones that are more favorable to their opinions. It goes both ways. Well done on this article! Thank you for having the courage to put yourself out there. Thank you to Meridian Magazine for publishing these much needed articles. We need more of these (ones on social issues and the doctrine). Keep up the good work.

DegMay 17, 2015

I wonder sometimes if one day we might reverse this doctrine in the church. Granted it's many many years down the road, but we could perhaps see a change in practice as we did with blacks and the priesthood. Perhaps it would be best to step away from CIVIL unions same sex marriages. My only issue some times is that how much of it is actually nature and how much of it is nurtured. Straight men also have to fight temptation and nature to stay faithful to their spouses. So how different is that from having to carry our own cross from that which same sex attraction people might have. Obviously, I completely ignorant on this topic and I know no one that suffers from this problem first hand... but it must be very difficult as a parent or as someone who might have SSA. Whatever the case may be, God loves his Children, and if SSA find greater happiness outside the church then that should be their choice.

StimpsonMay 17, 2015

I really appreciate the comment section on this. Especially like to thank Beatrize for hers. I saw this on my Facebook feed and read the article. The individual who posted it was angered by the contents. I however read and didn't see harm in it and thought it was good to spark discussion. However that was until I got to the part that discussed suicide. I found the statistics used not only to be in bad taste but also just bad statistics. To use one study once stated that took place in one place, just doesn't convince me. But worse it seems to put the blame of the suicides on the individuals. This could be very damaging to an already vulnerable population. The next thing I found disheartening was the notion that being same-sex attraction could change. There is no evidence of this. Go to voices of hope, you will see that they learn to deal with the attraction but it doesn't change. I have nothing against those who campaign for traditional marriage. But this article goes beyond to undermine those who consider themselves LGBT. Many individuals in the comment section have started that this is an excellent compilation of resources, this just makes me think that this article will now be used to distribute these misconceptions. I just hope and pray that the damage will be minimal and that these misconceptions will be addressed in future articles.

ElizabethMay 17, 2015

I'm LDS and sustain my church leaders and follow the advice and counsel of our church. However, one thing that doesn't sit well with me with this article is grouping trauma associated with children not raised by their biological parents into this tone of inevitable doom. What about faithful LDS couples who have adopted? What about a faithful LDS parent who, to no fault of his/her own must divorce? What about the Atonement of our Savior who can and will through our faith perform mighty miracles of healing for those caught in these situations called life? It's hard enough for infertile couples constantly hearing the sole purpose of marriage is to bear and raise children. Then add on top of that your claim that children who are not raised by their biological families will never be as well adjusted. As an adoptive, infertile mother, I'm here to say the Lord works miracles and sometimes taking a child out of their biological home IS in the best interest of the child and they can heal and it is part of the Lord's plan to be raised by their adoptive parents. Aren't most of us adopted into His house of Israel? While this article is focused on the ramifications of these traumatic separations being done for same-sex marriages, I'm here to say don't generalize all adopted, broken families into this unrealistic assumption that they will develop poorly. I support traditional marriage solely because I have faith that in an eternal perspective the Lord intended for marriage to be for man and woman. All of this evidence, and extra statistics, and newly found data just enables people to base their beliefs on the philosophy of man rather than doctrine. And while I don't have a "normal" Mormon family, I know the Lord intended our family to come to be this way and I put my faith in His ability to heal and not on the statistics of man.

Beatriz KillpackMay 16, 2015

I am a Mormon and I believe in the church and its teachings. I think we need to teach our children about marriage between a man and a woman, but we also need to understand that people don't choose to be gay and that their attractions and desires are as strong as any heterosexual person's. Being gay or having a SSA is not only about sex, but I would not blame a person wanting to have a fulfilling relationship with someone else. I know God loves his children And is aware of them including hiis LGBT children. He is the only one who can judge a person's heart. This topic is a real challenge, you cannot fully comprehend the challenge unless you are experiencing it. As a mother of a gay son I can tell you that what I have learned so far from this experience is unconditional love and empathy. Maybe the challenge is not for them but for us. As much as I wish my son could find a girl that he likes, it is an unrealistic expectation and could be unfair and unfulfilling for both parties involved. It could work as it has for some. One more thing I would like to point ou is that this article references secondary sources. The best thing to do is to go to the primary source and do your own research on the topic using peer reviewed publications with sound research behind them. Not something that someone quoted or gave their opinion on in another article. I read one of the sources and it is quoted throughout as if that article gives factual information, when the article is the authors point of view on some research he has done. He even acknowledges in the references that he recalculated numbers and inferred meaning that was not there.

AndrewMay 16, 2015

I'm surprised that no one has pointed out that research articles linked within this article actually lean towards supporting same-sex marriage. Even within the single research article referenced directly in this text, the author admits that there are 50+ studies that have proven that same-sex parenting is actually beneficial for children. Yet somehow he still proceeds to make a mockery of himself in a 20 page "research" paper that claims that children of same-sex marriages fare worse in mental health. From the perspective of a professional researcher that works at a reputable academic institution, the NFSS study listed in this article is severely flawed. The first flaw being the insertion of bias into his work. Any legitimate and reputable researcher will tell you that a golden rule of research is to avoid bias at all costs because that's how the credibility of a paper is ruined. The author in the NFSS study utilitized that research article as a means for publishing a 24 page soapbox rant about the dangers of homosexuality. The other major flaw being that the author also references research articles that would disprove his theory. He lists that there are an overwhelming number of articles that have proven that same-sex parents have no affect or are actually beneficial to their children. Another thing to consider with that socalled research study- why wasn't it published in a larger, more reputable journal? If you're going to use scientific research to support your stance on a topic, at least stick to the rules of the field. There's nothing worse than trying to bring science into religion when your scientific approach isn't even scientific. Plus I always thought it was a sin to use science as a means for trying to define God/God's will. Doesn't that go against the entire view of creationism? Or did we loosen morals in trying to defend less important topics?

RiaMay 15, 2015

My life was forever altered by the LDS Church's teaching that a gay man can change. My first husband, an RM, and I were married in the temple. I didn't know that he believed himself to be broken and disgusting for how he felt, and believed a bishop's promise : if he "got married and had children, it would go away." I learned 3 years after our wedding that he considered himself to be homosexual and had acted upon it. I bought into church teachings as well at that time, and continued to have his children, believing that if only I could demonstrate faith and continue in our extremely codependent, damaging relationship, he would be healed. I do not regret any of this for myself; I've grown through it all. I mourn for him in all his aloneness, clear through his 30s when we divorced; and for the pain caused our children because of the divorce. I am angered by the Church's stance. I am saddened for Daniel Parkinson, and wonder why on earth his sister felt that SHE was an appropriate voice for these thoughts.

BSHMay 15, 2015

Prayers and deep sympathies to those LGBTQ folks out there who have friends and family that believe this. It must be so heartbreaking to know that they discount and vilify your kind of love. Know that there are many, many people in the world who will love who exactly how you are. Get out and find them if you need to. Prayers and sincere good wishes to those to subscribe to this way of thinking. I feel for you and imagine it must be very stressful standing your ground when so many people disagree in the name of love and human dignity. It's quite an impass. I pray also that this divide resolves quickly. There are so many other important issues that we need to tackle together. ❤️

Emily SchaeferMay 15, 2015

Thank you for writing this. It is a beautiful article and contains many helpful resources. This is about love. If we stay in line with God's teachings we will find healing and joy, no matter what we are up against. When going through seemingly impossible to solve emotional challenges in my life, it was clinging to the word of God that saw me through - even as I was tempted not to. I can testify that it works. Turning to Him has always been and will always be the joyful and glorious solution.

Emma W.May 15, 2015

(Bi/pan) Exmormon here. I realized I'm not hetero at the same time I realized the Mormon Church isn't for me anymore. One of the BIGGEST reasons I left was cause of the absolutely terrible treatment of LGBT people by my former religion. If you don't like cookies, great, DON"T eat them. Sit there and eat your donuts all day long, and let those that like cookies enjoy them. But how dare you go around telling other people they can't have a cookie if that's what they like?

John BreedingMay 15, 2015

This is one area where members of the church usually suspend logic. The Lord does not usually take away our challenges. Like Paul and his thorn in the flesh, the Lord allows us to have challenges to test us and those around us to see how we and they will behave. The author believes that same gender attraction is subject to change. "Faith can move mountains, but only if it is the lords will"-Neal A. Maxwell. The author pre-supposes that it is the Lord's will that people not experience same gender attraction. This is not the case.

StephenMay 15, 2015

Article of Faith 11: "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may." I choose to worship as an Episcopalian, including my marriage to my same-sex husband in the Episcopal Church last year. Why do Mormons want to prevent me from exercising my religious freedom according to the dictates of my own conscience?

LieselMay 15, 2015

Well written article! I appreciated the respectful tone and thoughtful presentation of information that supports man woman marriage. In the name of love and tolerance we cannot dismiss the things discussed in this article. It is not loving to dismiss consideration of long term negative affects on children same sex marriage will bring, nor is it loving to dismiss the children raised in these circumstances who are speaking out about their pain. I appreciated the story of the young women and her lesbian friend. Tolerance truly does go both ways. When there is mutual respect and tolerance on both sides, loving relationships can continue to the benefit of all. People can disagree and still love each other. When one person gets mad, accuses the other of hatred and stomps off, relationships tragically break down. That is the choice of the person who became angry and chose to disconnect. Anger and name calling are being used to silence people speaking out in favor of man woman marriage. I appreciate this author’s courage. Nowhere does she advocate shunning or rejecting people who are same sex attracted. To the contrary, she advocates speaking in love and respect, even when people choose to live a gay lifestyle. I appreciate her sources recognizing that many with same sex attraction are choosing to live chaste lives. That is inspiring and needs to be known. Thank you for writing this article.

The White StoneMay 15, 2015

@GolfingOrange Polygamy (ie: plural marriage) is a poor comparison against gay marriage. Plural marriage did not redefine the institution of marriage, a marriage was still between one man and one woman. A man would have more than one marriage (plural marriage), not a single marriage consisting of multiple women and himself. It is also not inherently morally wrong. Gay marriage however re-defines the institution in a way contrary to it's purpose and contrary to God's will, and harmful to society. It was God that created the institution of marriage in the first place I would remind you. The concept that gays have some kind of right to marry each other runs into direct conflict with the actual constitution and moral right for a person to live their own life according to the dictates of their own conscience. There has been case after case of that in the news. Denouncing people who disagree with you as 'religous zealots' says a lot about you, and don't mean to be rude but having pioneer ancestors doesn't mean a thing, especially when you put yourself in opposition to the leaders of the church. I would hope that LDS who have questions in this area are humble and teachable enough to seek to understand why the Lord is opposed to gay marriage rather than go the other way and seek to counsel the Lord and his church to do things their way instead. If they are humble like that, this article is great starting point.

RickMay 15, 2015

I enjoyed the article and I appreciate the references. I think this is a real challenge for people - how do we truly "love" out neighbor while not condoning the sin. Of course, activists will tell you that's just another phrase for hatred. But the Josef Pieper quote in the link was right on "Love is not synonymous with undifferentiated approval of everything the beloved person thinks and does in real life." But the activist community is very strong now, and has the popular support - mostly because we it seems we are afraid of the labels they call us. And we sit quietly and let them define the conversation. Meanwhile, they use very specific phrases and tools to stifle the discussion. There is no listening for understanding, just listening to respond and block the discussion. Take GolpherOrange, for example. He doesn't address the topics, but attacks the Church, using his misunderstanding of polygamy to suggest the Church is being hypocritical in his stance. See the point is, there is two kinds of polygamy. There is one where the familiy is sort of married together - so the wives have a marital relationship to each other. In the polygamy practiced by the Church, each marriage was between the couple. So a person may have 3 "traditional" marriages. Or Mr Sneak, who obviously didn't read the article, to understand the difference between the sin and a person who may or may not have sinned. A person with SSA is treated no different than a person who is not. The practice is a sin and is a choice as clearly articulated in the article. What he is really asking for is the practice gets condoned. And of course that's pretty unrealistic. He apparently just needs the opportunity to vent on his anger for the Church in an online forum.

AlysonMay 15, 2015

As a straight Mormon wife and mother, I strongly condemn this article. This article ignores the fact that no person in a heterosexual marriage has ever been harmed by a gay marriage. No straight person has ever entered a gay marriage just because it is legal. The church and it's members, such as the author of this article, resort to fear mongering by telling people that their own marriages and religious freedoms are threatened by legalizing gay marriage. How does that even make sense? Against every shred of evidence, this author claims that gays can change their fundamental nature. Can you change to being gay if you are straight? No. Obviously not. We should all be much more worried about the straight LDS young people, who marry far too young and have children they cannot support or adequately care for. We should be more worried about starving children in your own communities, not whether a gay couple is privately enjoying their relationship. Does common sense exist in the church? Do you guys not understand that it is your bigoted viewpoints and policies that are hurting gay people? Do you not understand that the gay community is entitled to their 14th Amendment rights, just like we are? We claim special protection by the Constitution, but deny it to others. In a church that acknowledges its traditional marriage included its founder being married, adulterously, to a fourteen year old girl, where is there room to condemn anyone else's desire to marry the person of their choosing? Why don't all of you who are so afraid of gay people exercise a little Christlike behavior for a change, and love your neighbor? Reach out to gay kids and let them know they are loved and accepted. And put your money and your time into something worthwhile, like outreach programs for homeless gay youth, who were evicted from their homes by their good LDS parents. Look around you. The world is falling down everywhere, but not because of gays. Your condemnation and judgment is just wrong. God didn't create four percent of the population as gay on accident. There is a place for everyone. Christ didn't tell you to hate gays, Dallin Oaks did. Follow Christ. Do the right thing. Hatred and condemnation have no place in the heart of any Saint.

ToddMay 15, 2015

"All Americans have the freedom to live as they choose, but no one has a right to ...define marriage for everyone else." fixed that for you. no one has a right to define marriage for anyone else. if children truly do best with ONE mother and ONE father, than was the mormon church in its history also destroying the family with its institution of polygamy?

SunnyMay 14, 2015

the LDS church has a history of changing the definition of traditional marriage in the past by practicing polygamy. Not one man and one woman, but one man and many women. Secondly, the author declares that LGBT people can change their sexuality, proven wrong. I want to stay in the church, but when I read this kind of article and when I think my children have to listen to this kind of teaching, I want to change my mind. Just sad all around. The above people who are saying that they will teach their kids from the sources in the article, lets just hope you don't have a child who is gay.

CoryMay 14, 2015

As a child raised by lesbian parents, I feel qualified to speak to many of the points in this article from a perspective that most simply do not share. I was raised to be moral, kind and to respect others and I eventually found my way to be a member of the LDS Church. The pain that I felt growing up with lesbian mothers came, not from having same sex parents, but from judgmental and rude comments by people who were intolerant and bigoted in their views and opinions. After studying the six (ONLY SIX!) verses in the Bible that touch on the subject of same sex relationships and various other readings (including the LDS Church's mormonsandgays.org), I am convinced that there is little support for considering homosexuality a sin and even less support for believing that same sex marriage will harm society in any real way.

BradMay 14, 2015

What I can't accept is the belief that a perfect God creates his children with same sex attraction but then says if they ever act upon it they will be sent to a lower kingdom of heaven. In fact, Personally, I believe this teaching is from Satan and not God.

MichelleMay 14, 2015

As a Mormon mother of 2 gay children, this article causes me much sadness, and anger. My children were not raised nor taught to be gay, they were born to a heterosexual couple, married for 23 years, Mormon Man and Woman as your traditional marriage claim states! They were born gay, and I can see that now at this vantage point in time. I have been given personal revelation that my children were chosen spirits (patriartical blessing), that Heavenly Father loves them and wants them to be happy! The opinions stated in this article are just that, Opinions not based on fact, nor experience. The only agenda the "gays" have is to Love and be Loved! Heterosexuals have been screwing up Marriage and Families since the beginning of time! Homosexuals have only recently been able to marry in some states, so the idea that they are causing harm to marriages and families is inaccurate! Heavenly Father knows that family perfection will not be achieved in this life! He does not want us to stand still and not progress because of this, he wants all his children to be happy and fulfill the measure of their creation! We humans do not have the right to take that away from each other. Make your family situation the best it can be and leave other humans to do the same! You do not get to decide what is right or wrong for someone else, that's Heavenly Fathers responsibility!

StephMay 14, 2015

I'm LDS and I'm for Marriage Equality. I see it as a freedom of religion issue. If you don't want to be in a homosexual relationship, no one is forcing you. If someone's church supports gay marriage, then I'm not sure why you think your religion supersedes theirs. I want the freedom to worship (or not worship) how, what, or where I may. I think you want that freedom too.

ChrisSEAMay 14, 2015

As a person who was raised LDS and is also gay, and was also put through LDS Social Services and one of those so-called 'reparative therapy' programs, I can tell you first hand that those programs are shams. They do damage and for this reason they're being outlawed, something I fully support. It's taken me (and other people like me) years to overcome the damage from 'ex-gay, pray the gay away' quackery.

GolfingOrangeMay 14, 2015

After reading various articles over the last couple of years on Meridian Magazine, I felt an inclination to comment on this article, especially since I know Wendy Asay's brother, Daniel. He is one of the most amazing and caring people I have ever met, and has a huge heart! Oh, and he is gay and is in a gay marriage. This article reads like propaganda for the Sadducees and the Pharisees denouncing anyone who doesn't simply follow along with the and touts themselves as righteous and well behaved just to make themselves look more holy and better than others. Let me explain a bit about the history of founding of this country that has been re-written in the 1940s and 1950s. The United States of America was founded with the clear intent of separation of church and state, granting religious freedom to citizens and granting equal rights and protection under the laws of this country to all. After studying the stories and histories of the Founding Fathers and the reasoning behind their actions to declare independence from England, it is clear that the Constitution was written for all, not just for religious zealots who want to use Freedom of Religion as an excuse to justify their discrimination and bigotted ways. I spent 5 years serving in the military to defend freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the unalienable rights granted to all men by the Constitution of the United States. There is not a state in this country that does not require a marriage license to be applied for and paid for, placing marriage under the control and purview of the government of the United States. Pleas for a defending traditional marriage by the LDS Church leaders and members is a demonstration of their own ignorance of their own history and proclamations. Polygamy was not only considered doctrine by the church, but was also considered "traditional marriage", or have many of the contributors to Meridian Magazine chosen to overlook that part of church history. I come from pioneer heritage where my ancestors were sent to different areas of the west to establish colonies of member, most times with their polygamous families. The truth about marriage is that it has been constantly changing over the history of mankind, and what is being preached in this article is only the current "truth" about marriage. While I realize that my comments will almost certainly be deleted by the moderators of this site, it also goes to show that the moderators do not believe in freedom of speech when it expresses disagreement with what they are attempting to beguile their readers into believe is the ONLY truth that exists.

James SneakMay 14, 2015

Here is where the disconnect comes in for anyone with a brain and a heart. If same sex attraction is not a sin and same sex attraction is not a choice (as taught by church leaders on LDS.org) Why are we discriminating against LGBT people like we did against people with dark skin and mixed race marriages? Logic would dictate that LGBT people be treated like everyone else in the church (even those with darker pigmentation and those in mixed race marriages) and be allowed and encouraged to marry and be happy. Just tell me why its ok to hurt people and tell them their broken and cant be fixed in this life.

Heather Y.May 14, 2015

My heart breaks for all the young adults I know who have been rejected by their families for being gay. I have a very hard time reading this kind of article and agreeing with it when I have held the hands of grown men who weep when talking about their parents kicking them out and telling their siblings to shun them because they are gay. This is NOT just an LDS issue, it is/has happening in very religious communities all around the world. I hate the thought that beloved children of God feel that it is better to be dead than shunned.

Katherine and David LarsonMay 14, 2015

Bravo!!! We have been talking about these issues in our stake and find that parents and leaders have been too timid in teaching the clear truth and doctrine but times are changing. We are seeing youth want us to tackle to hard issues and that means we ourselves have to be smart and savvy. Let's all do better at studying this article and then using it and the doctrine in teaching youth and YSA. They need us to know this!

Pamela Morgan SmithMay 14, 2015

Superb article. Many thanks to the author. Who would have thought we’d see a day when even Facebook gives the option of 56 different gender identities from which to choose. Yes. Fifty-six. Google it if you don’t believe it. Is there any wonder why many adults today are speechless about how to address this topic with their own children!? We, as parents, MUST be well-armed to fight this onslaught of confusion designed to trip up our children and create chaos and misery for them; which is the goal of the adversary who delights in the fall of the children of God. Inform yourselves so that you can speak intelligently AND by the Spirit in teaching our youth what is right and what is wrong. 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (Ephesians 4:14)

DNAMay 13, 2015

Thank you, Sharon. Just to be clear, I was responding to an earlier comment by Spencer, which seems to have disappeared in the meantime, along with a couple of others.

hollandparkMay 13, 2015

Thanks for this article and the spirit and intent behind it. Also thanks to DNA who soundly put a detractor in his place. The world as it is now, with the activist LGBT/SSM agendas have many of these detractors and people of faith and morality including LDS often have no idea how to respond or counteract their incorrect and dangerous claims. DNA effectively did so---not that it will change any activist LGBT supporter's mind---but it will give those on the opposite side clear examples on the sophistry that is used to silence and shame the moral majority.

SharonMay 12, 2015

Wow! You have done an excellent job of summarizing the resources! Thanks for sharing this with everyone, it is an excellent guide to anyone who wishes to understand in depth the arguments for preserving marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Many of these sources I have read and followed over the past 2 years and found them all to be well reasoned, helpful in understanding the complexity of the arguments, and why so much is at stake for society should marriage be redefined to be a genderless institution. Ryan Anderson is an excellent advocate. He has written many pieces on this topic, spoken to a broad base of audiences across the country, and you can view many presentations of his on youtube, (he even presented at BYU-I). (And thank you DNA, you presented your points very well!)

RyanMay 12, 2015

Very well done! I wish more members of the church would see this and understand it's importance. This is so needed in the church! The resources are great as well.

SusanMay 11, 2015

Thanks for this article. I have felt strongly against SSM but haven't been able to put the reason why into words, other than I don't believe it is right. This article will help me formulate my reasons because I find this discussion is coming up in life more and more. Who would have ever thought!

DNAMay 11, 2015

@Spencer: It's clear that you also have a bias, and that your purpose is to discredit the author and all of her sources with a few deftly-place barbs. You said, "I'm not so certain that you want to be quoting articles and studies from sources that are very clearly biased against SSM. Especially from a source called 'asktheBigot'" That's a very broad brush. Everyone has a bias of some kind. What is important is the rigor with which they argue their point of view. I'm surprised that you jumped on the name of the asktheBigot blog, when, once you visit the blog, you realize that right away the the author is directly addressing the elephant in the room--that opponents of SSM are immediately labeled as bigots in an ad hominem attempt to discredit them. The author of this blog embraces the epithet in an ironic way to make a point--stop name calling and discuss the issues in a serious way. You continued, "there are so many problems with so many of these studies that I don't even know where to begin. I suggest reading the meta-analysis done by Crowl, Ahn and Baker in which they analyze 19 different studies on same-sex parenting and find that the evidence suggests that children raised in same-sex homes fare just as well as those raised in hetero-headed homes." And yet there are newer, even more exhaustive meta-analyses that have reached the opposite conclusion. See, for example, probing criticism of the inadequacy of nearly all previous research on the question of parenting by people in same-sex relationships, authored by Professor Loren Marks of Louisiana State University. Spencer continued, "Disappointed by the lack of real research in this article, it's very clear that the author hasn't even looked at the evidence backing up the other side which is very poor practice. Hint: If you want to make compelling arguments against a side you disagree with, really get to know the evidence and arguments backing up the other side." The author makes no claim to be an expert in the research. She has limited space and presumably doesn't want to rehash the other side's arguments here. Most laymen have neither the time nor the tools to do an exhaustive review of the professional literature. The more important point is that many of the sources she cites HAVE taken the time to analyze the opposing viewpoints, and to refute them in a systematic way. The whole purpose of the post is to point laymen to those sources. We should all make the effort to educate ourselves about the issues surrounding SSM and to discuss our differences in confidence and with respect. Agree or disagree, the content at https://standfortruemarriage.com is worth study and consideration.

Trish MMay 11, 2015

Fantastic collection and resources! I'm bookmarking it right now as a future reference. We try to explain these issues to our children, but these studies, quotes, and explanations will make our discussions so much more in depth and logical. Thank you!

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