Things I Want to Tell my Straight Faithful Mormon Friends Reacting to the SCOTUS Decision

I like to blame the fact that I avoid conflict on the fact I am from Canada. I mean we waited 100 years to ask to become a country, and even then it was basically like we moved out of our parents house and into the house right next door. Whatever the reason, I don’t like conflict. I hate Facebook arguments. As a result, I tend to delete people instead of engaging in a debate. The hide button is a wonderful invention. Since the Supreme Court decision on Friday, I have said a quiet goodbye to many efy and girls camp acquaintances. However, there are people who I am too close with to delete or hide. And too many people saying things to ignore them all. But I still hate conflict, so I have written a list of things I would say to them were I born south of the border.

  1. Your religious freedoms aren’t being threatened. Same-sex marriage has been legal in Canada for 10 years. It is legal in more that 15 other countries. Many of which (including Canada) have Temples and far weaker protections for religious freedom. And yet, not once has the LDS church been sued, much less forced, to perform a same-sex marriage. It is not going to happen. If it were even a possibility the church would change its policies to only perform religious and not civil sealings in temples, as they have done in South America and Europe. But still, it is not a possibility.
  2. Being called homophobic is not the same as being called a slur. As a queer Mormon, I have at different times felt attacked for my religious beliefs and my sexuality. And while neither is fun, they are not comparable. I promise you it is not the same. Remember that you can control and change whether you offend someone, but sexuality is not a choice.  If someone calls you out for offending them, considered the oft cited talk, and don’t choose to be offended. Instead, take the time to consider why that person was hurt by your remarks.
  3. If you aren’t planning on entering a same-sex marriage, don’t experience same-sex attraction, and you aren’t being forced to perform one (see #1), consider why you feel the need to share your opinion on this topic. There are a lot of political issues, or things common in society that are rarely ever discussed by Mormons despite being against doctrine. I understand you might feel like you need to be as loud as the voices celebrating the SCOTUS decision. Maybe you hope to keep someone from choosing a path you feel is wrong. Or maybe you feel the need to make sure that people know where you stand. Here is the thing though. I can promise you, as a queer Mormon at BYU, I know where you stand. I have sat through the same conference talks, the same lessons on the Proclamation to the World, the same Sunday school discussions. If I know you are straight and Mormon, I am going to assume your beliefs echo the ones I have been taught my whole life. Using the very problematic phrase, I know you hate the sin, but what I don’t know is if you love the sinner. Queer people know the church’s stance, and most likely know you support it. What they need to know is whether you support them.
  4. Saying you love us, and that you don’t mean to offend, isn’t enough. So many of the posts that have bothered me the most begin with a phrase like, “I hope all my friends who struggle with same-sex attraction know that I love them.” If the only time you ever talk about homosexuality or LGBTQ issues is arguing against same-sex marriage then I am going to guess that those friends don’t feel loved by you. I am not saying that you can’t affirm the LDS position on marriage and show love to queer saints, I am saying that it is going to take a little more work. Here’s what you can do:
    1. Read our stories. If all of your “research” on the question of marriage equality comes from straight white men, and that one article by a gay man who opposes same-sex marriage, then I suggest reading some more. Read stories of hope of faithful same-sex attracted Mormons living the church commandments in Northstar. Read the heartbreaking letter of a Gay Mormon who was excommunicated for marrying the love of his life. Learn from organizations like USGA and Affirmation, about the wonderful diversity of experiences, beliefs, and identities, within the queer Mormon community and the struggles and triumphs they have. The internet makes reading these stories so easy. Listen before you talk, learn before you try to teach.
    2. Educate yourselves on other issues. Believe it or not, marriage equality is not the only goal of the LGBT movement. If you feel like you are unable to support that cause consider others you could. Many states do not protect individuals from discrimination in housing or employment based on their sexuality. This contributes to high rates of homelessness in LGBT youth. Depression and suicide are major problems with queer LDS youth and adults–These are things we can agree on. These are ways you can show your love for same-sex attracted brothers and sisters.
  5. Be empathetic. Consider that no matter how long you have thought about this issue, queer Mormons have thought about it more. Think about what matters most to you, an integral part of your identity, your religion maybe, or maybe your family heritage. Now think about a person you love. Consider that maybe how you feel about those things, the people you love and the identity you claim for yourself, is how queer individuals feel about their sexuality and the ones they love. It is not a temptation or an affliction. Being queer has taught me about love and service, it has helped me understand and learn from the struggles of others. It has made me more Christ like and I wouldn’t change it for anything. Don’t suggest we won’t feel this way in the next life. Don’t call it a struggle. When you do that you are attacking an integral part of a person’s identify. Try and understand that and remember the things you love and care about as you discuss this complicated topic.

I might not know how to engage in Facebook debates, but I do know that the way this issue is being talked about hurts me and people I care about. I also know that that is not the goal of the LDS faith or its members. I know that despite the sometimes impossibly wide gulf between those celebrating and those mourning this Supreme Court decision, we are a lot more similar than we are different (just like Canada and the United States) and we are all trying our best (just like the Canadian Women’s soccer team). Even if this decision means that the political relevance of the same-sex marriage debate is drawing to a close, this is a conversation we need to keep having, and we need to get better at having it. For the strength of our future queer youth.

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67 thoughts on “Things I Want to Tell my Straight Faithful Mormon Friends Reacting to the SCOTUS Decision

  1. Thankyouthankyouthankyou! This is EVERYTHING I’ve wanted to say in the last week but I didn’t have the words for it! THANK YOU!

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  2. LOVE this! Well done! I must say, even though I am straight/LDS, the phrase “Love the sinner, not the sin,” drives me INSANE, too! We can only judge our own behavior if the activity we are doing is a sin. Period. God knows all of our hearts, and knows whether our thoughts or behavior is motivated by deviance, confusion, ignorance, happiness, etc. I don’t believe all “sin” is categorized the same, and why only He is supposed to judge us for it, because it’s really not that simple. Even if you love the sinner, not the sin, you still just made a judgement that you are not supposed to make on another brother/sister. Not cool! Just love or don’t love. Don’t give yourself a conditional out.

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  3. Thank you so much for this post. I’m a 23 year old, gay, exmormon that has been struggling with how to deal with LDS family members posting various articles about how same-sex marriage. It’s hard to decide whether or not to engage in Facebook discussions because I often end up doing all the heavy lifting with nobody that backs me up and it can get exhausting. You make such wonderful points here that I’ve been struggling to put into words. Thank you for giving me the inspiration not to stop commenting, in hopes that I’ll reach them or perhaps a friend of theirs that feels alone.

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  4. I appreciate the thoughts here, but there are fundamental flaws.
    Point 1: Interesting you use Canada as an example of religious freedoms not being threatened. This gay man from Canada disagrees with you: (or Google “The Public Discourse A Warning from Canada” if the link doesn’t work).
    Point 2: “Homophobia” may not be a slur, but at the very best it twists the reasons that those opposed are opposed by labeling them as fearful, when many are just looking at the issue under a different framework than you. That’s not fear. Calling one a “homophobe” can be hurtful, so take your own advice and consider why that might hurt others.
    Point 3: It seems to me that I can summarize your point here with the quaint statement: “If you disagree with what I said in Point 1, then shut up.” Really, this seems to be an argument that those with a different opinion than you should keep quiet. Not cool. Or fair.
    Point 4: People say they love you prior to posting opposition as a means of mitigating and trying to be fair. So give them the benefit of the doubt and, as you said in Point 2, don’t be offended. At any rate, it’s rather presumptuous of you to assume that because someone posts a lot of pro-traditional-marriage stuff to their social media that they are not being loving in their actual human interactions with others. A lot of people do feel hurt by the SCOTUS opinion. Shouldn’t they be allowed to make their arguments too without being told they don’t love others?
    Point 5: Its tough to tell others to be empathetic when it seems that you are not doing it yourself.

    Look, I know that your post here is well-intended. And I *do* agree with the core of your argument here: Those against gay marriage need to be loving and respectful of those in the LGBT community. The Church agrees with you and has made this point rather clear. But I’m concerned when I read this that you are not giving the same respect to others as this article really seems to be asking the other side to be quiet. By all means, celebrate the SCOTUS decision. You can and should do so. But please, allow the other side to make their case too and don’t assume that by so doing they are being hurtful and unloving. Tolerance is a two-way street.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m going to rant because I am pretty sick of the posts I’ve been seeing from most members and because it’s the internet so that’s what you do. I’ve been thinking a lot about the 4th point and why members need to “stand for the truth” on this one issue. For contrast, the church teaches us to dress modestly yet we know (hopefully) that it would be very immature to tell someone who doesn’t share your same beliefs that their mode of dress is inappropriate because it doesn’t comport to your standards. And yet the way we dress is entirely a choice (as opposed to one’s sexuality). If we can keep our mouth shut and live with our neighbors in peace on those issues, why is this one different? I think a lot of it has to do with the cognitive dissonance members face when deep down they are good people but they hold bad beliefs because of their culture, and so they need to defend their beliefs to themselves as much as anyone else. I understand the emphasis on the doctrine of the family which has *never* changed, but I have yet to see a compelling case why this issue deserves our outspoken distain for the trends in society, other than a historical understanding that from even the temperance movement we have had a desire to get friendly with other Christians by joining them in their crusade against their imagined ills facing society, whether it was prohibition, interracial marriage, the civil rights movement, anti-communist sentiment, the ERA or now gay marriage. We say that we understand there is a difference between church culture and church doctrine but we don’t really act like it.

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    2. sjmkun, please know that your whole reply just comes across as an offending party needing desperately to be heard. I suggest you take the advice of the author and ask yourself why you have such a burning desire to be heard. No matter how you view this issue, you have not been oppressed or injured by this issue in a way that is realistically comparable to the author. Sometimes it is wise to know when to give someone else the day. Find it in your heart.

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      1. I think he makes some pretty good points and why your burning desire to silence the opinions of another person. Also you don’t know him or the person who wrote the article personally and so cannot make judgements on what each person has been through or whether that’s comparable. Sometimes it is wise not to try to oppress the opinions of others by making personal assumptions

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    3. Couldn’t agree more with each of your counter points. In addition, point one is absolutely absurd. “It is not going to happen.” “But still, it is not a possibility.” Considering there are lawsuits in multiple different countries, including our own, where business AND churches are being sued over their unwillingness to participate in same sex marriages or ceremonies, to sit back and say with certainty that it will never happen (the LDS church being sued), is just ridiculous. In 2014 a UK couple began suing a church for not performing their ceremony. Denmark has already passed a law mandating that churches must perform same sex marriages. I could go on… so saying these things will never happen when they already are happening is just ignorant and completely undermines your credibility. There isn’t enough time in the day to discuss why point 3 is ridiculous.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. We should point out that the lawsuit in the UK is against a state supported Church, the Church of England. State supported Churches are supported by taxes paid by the citizens of the country.

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    4. Thank you. This is everything I wanted to say and couldn’t quite put my finger on. I am trying hard I be more tolerant and open in the wake of this decision, but it isn’t easy the way people talk or view each other. I pray that there can be more understanding in all quarters.

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    5. I agree tolerance is the core of the issue, but unfortunately it is not as equal a two way street as you make it out to be. From the perspective of the lgbt community, we have been oppressed, hated, and had our civil rights refused from us. Asking a group like this to be tolerant and understanding of those that disagree is akin to asking blacks to understand and tolerate how difficult it was for whites to give up Jim Crow laws, interracial marriage, etc. That is not the puroggarive of this sort of movement and it can come across as insulting when you say, “why can’t you understand me as well?” when you are the one coming from a place a privilege.

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      1. You don’t need to be tolerant of the hurtful and hateful ideas, but we should all be tolerant of the people who have those ideas. I have had people who have hated my skin color and that’s something I can’t change. What I can change is how I love those people who hate me.

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      2. Marriage is not a civil right and in no way is the lgbt movement comparable to black history. Try again. So you had picketers show up at your parade? Try slavery for thousands of years and continued discrimination and racism after that. Then you can give me a call. Guaranteed a white gay person will still be treated better than a black in this country

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    6. “Tolerance is a two-way street?” Are you tolerant of people who disapprove of your very being? Please. You are trying to create a false equivalence. You want people to “tolerate” and “respect” your choice to reject who they are, and to deny them the same rights you enjoy. Ridiculous denial of your own privilege.

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      1. I think tolerance is a two-way street. I am Japanese and have many older people call me derogatory names like, Jap and ask why their grandchildren could ever be friends with me. I have been very hurt by their words and actions but my parents taught me to understand that their misplaced hatred was coming from racist beliefs and WWII. Understanding that these people grew up in different circumstances and culture helped me learn to tolerate and then love them even though their ideas were very hurtful and wrong. Some people may never change their ways or beliefs but that doesn’t mean we should write them off. We learn more of love when we love someone different than when we love someone who is the same.

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    7. A friend of mine posted this about the “Tolerance is a two-way street” nonsense. Not accepting your intolerance is NOT being intolerant.
      He said:
      There is a refrain that keeps returning suggesting that “tolerance is a two way street.” It is not; losing your ability to oppress other people does not mean you are being bullied, silenced, or oppressed. Our refusal to accept your history of oppressive intolerance is not an equivalent intolerance.

      You have had the power until now, and we are equalizing it; you are not being bullied. You still get to express your bigoted opinions or beliefs, even if no one respects or listens to them; you are not being silenced. You still have all of the same rights guaranteed by our Constitution you have always had, others now have access to more of the same ones; you are not being oppressed.

      Losing the upper hand is scary for some people I’m sure, but if you will treat us as equals, we will reach out and shake it. – Emerson Collins

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    8. Dawn Stefanowicz was sharing her opinion; not the truth. I also live in Canada and I have not seen this problem. She wants it to be a problem so it is. They used to say the same about interracial marriages – “It’s the children.” That is nonsense; children need love. Gay people can give love the same way straight people left handed people, handicapped people can.

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  5. This was beautiful Anne!! As someone who has grown up in the church and shares many of the same FB friends as you do, I can only imagine how the news feed has made you feel as of late. Just know there are many of us who are allies and do love and support you and all the LGBT community (and would continue to do so even if I wasn’t such good friends with a couple of your sisters in law and brother.). My respect for your family has only grown with you 🙂 .

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  6. Wonderful. Those of us who have struggled to remain active members of the Church so appreciate people like you who can so eloquently and accurately put our struggles and our feelings into words.

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  7. I agree that empathy is important, even essential. I disagree with everything else.
    Yes, in fact, our religious freedom IS threatened.
    “Homophobic” IS a slur, and cast at us in lieu of actual discussion.
    We need to comment because honest, innocent Christians are being harassed, threatened, and sued under false pretenses, and this is BEFORE the Supreme Court ruling, which is both highly suspicious, as one justice SUDDENLY reversed his position when it was time to vote on their ruling, and also flat-out unconstitutional.
    My gay friends are my gay friends because they don’t demand my approval or anyone’s endorsement, so I will happily support them, and I will support every human’s right to fair housing, employment, etc.
    If they want to be together, then let them be together.
    Which is why it irritates me to no end when I see the Liberal crowd taking their honest feelings for one another and twisting it into something they can use for their own ends, which include a government that can control every aspect of your life, and punish those who do not conform to their world views.
    Is this unreasonable of me?

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    1. The word “homophobic” is not a slur. It’s just not. Neither is “racist.” They are descriptors, adjectives that describe words, actions, and laws/policies that protect and affirm a majority. You sound so defensive and haughty and as an LDS straight woman, I am barfing a little. That is the extent of my eloquence this morning. Your response -to a thoughtful article that asks straight, faithful LDS folks to do a little more listening so they have a reference point for any “loving” they actually want to do towards the queer community- makes me barfy.

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      1. I imagine the scribes and Pharisees and Sadducees thought Jesus was haughty. And everyone Noah tried to warn, and every Egyptian (and a number of Isrealites) who heard Moses and Aaron, and Laman and Lemuel when Nephi was talking, and the Nephites who heard Samuel the Lamanite, and the mobsters who heard Joseph Smith, and a number of people today who hear Thomas S. Monson. And so on and so forth.

        Of course it’s arrogant of me to compare myself to such distinguished company, but I also find it worthy to emulate them.

        Basically, if my words “make you barfy,” that is not my concern, but yours.

        I sound defensive? Because I am defending my freedom of religion. In so doing, I find it best to be honest, simple, and clear. Speaking of:

        If two homosexual people want to be together, fine. If they truly love each other, kudos to them. If they trust each other enough that they want that person to be the one making decisions for them when they lie unconscious in the hospital, super.

        If they can do the job better than the proverbial next man, and can be more respectful than said next man, then they should have the job. Not only is it their right, it’s good business to have the better, more respectful employee working for you.

        They have the same rights to food, water, employment, shelter, free speech, free religion, assembly, guns, due process under the law, etc. which straight people have.

        I don’t really care about their behavior behind closed doors.

        What I care about is how they treat others.

        If they demand approval from others, as if that is the criteria which validates or invalidates their relationship, this is a problem. But it’s also a personal problem, not my business. At least, not until they start hurting people over it. Like a certain lesbian couple who has committed perjury in order to sue a baker and ruin them, ostensibly over one single cake, but really over their religion. They and their advocacy group have been in collusion with state officials in their withering attacks as they have harassed the baker’s vendors, threatened the baker’s family, and sued them past the point of simply putting them out of business. These are facts, and now the same state is trying to gag the bakers so they can’t talk about their religion or their experience in all of this mess, which directly violates their first amendment rights.

        These lesbians? I do not like. Other lesbians, who stand up for a pizzeria when it’s owners are threatened just because they answered a theoretical question, I like, and can be friends with, and support in whatever lifestyle they choose.

        The biggest problem of all is not gay marriage, but how it is being used to expand government authority. The bigwigs in Washington are using this cause not to advance equality, but to increase their power, taking it from us, We the People. The Supreme Court ruling was unconstitutional and far exceeded their legitimate authority. That’s the issue. Not gay marriage, but the illegal nature of the ruling, not to mention how suspicious it is for a judge who opposed gay marriage SUDDENLY did a one-eighty when it came time to vote. Something about that just stinks, ya know?

        Finally, there’s how the Liberal agenda is not equality, not tolerance, not love, not peace. What they want, and strive for, is the annihilation of every way of thinking except their own. They use underhanded methods, including physical threats and harassment, to attack those who do not conform to their worldviews. They were already attacking Christianity, and ignoring the atrocities committed against gays, Christians, and everyone else by ISIS, long before this unconstitutional ruling. Now they have “legitimized” carte blanche to attack as never before. And they will. Oh, they will.

        So, to ask my question a second time: is it unreasonable of me to oppose illegal, unconstitutional measures and rulings which expand government authority to intrude into our lives, supports past and future animosity against my religion and others, and does so by taking my gay friends’ honest feelings for each other and twisting them into a hammer to beat us down?

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      1. Agreed. Unfortunately, some liberal members of the church have told me they hope BYU’s accreditation is threatened, as they hope it will force the church to change its doctrine with respect to sexuality. I think they’re looking at things in completely the wrong way, of course. Anyway, it is scary …

        By the way, my liking my own comment was an accident, and apparently I can’t undo it!

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  8. Here are some things I would like to tell my Gay LDS friends.
    #1. Homosexuality acts, (not desires), have always been a sin. You were born of a man and a woman, that was Gods plan.
    #2. You can try to change other members minds to your point of view but how is your relationship with God? Have you read the scriptures to see what he thinks about the subject? The biggest mistake you can make in life is to create your own god instead of trying to follow the real and living one. If the truth makes you angry then that is a sign of the status of your own heart and I would challenge you to spend your time trying to pursue the will of God and his plan for you on earth. Salvation is individual, Gods laws are eternal, and it doesn’t matter if the whole world accepts Gay marriage, his laws won’t change.
    #3. The Supreme Court is not the Supreme Court. Someday all of us will be judged by our actions in following Gods Laws. That is “The Supreme Court”.
    #4. Be less judgmental and more accepting of faithful LDS saints. They have the right not to agree with you or compromise their standards and stand up for truth.
    #5. Be grateful that you live in a country founded on Judeo Christian vales where you won’t be killed for being homosexual.
    #6. This issue absolutely has to do with religious freedom. If a wedding cake business was forced recently to make gay wedding cake how long do you think it will be before a mormon bishop is forced to perform a gay wedding.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Okay ummmm… Where to start. Yeah I know you believe that homosexual acts are a sin but what about MY religious freedom to believe differently? I know I cannot make up a God because I believe fervently in the same one you do but I don’t believe he is a misunderstanding and cruel deity. I believe he takes all of our temptations and desires into account when upon the judgement seat. Why is your religious freedom more important than mine? I’m sick of people arguing like queer people are Godless and that’s simply not true. Yes some are atheist but so are some straight people. And it’s funny how you support the law when it upholds what you think is right but when it supports someone else it loses all credibility. I remember a YW lesson I gave about the laws of the land and how important government is yadda yadda yadda. And yeah I am grateful I live in America where I have more liberties like being able TO GET MARRIED, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel scared of being jumped, raped, or even killed just because I want to hold the woman I love’s hand when I walk down the street. Queer people get killed EVERYDAY in this country just because they are queer and you need to do some serious research if you think otherwise. And yeah there are some people who are mad they can’t get service because of who they are and I get that. I agree you should be able to turn away people for weddig purposes only, not just because they are gay. So stop posting passive aggressive posts because I know your stance and it isn’t necessary, it’s just hurtful.

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      1. Please provide references for who is murdered every day in this country just for being gay, because we know it actually does NOT happen every day here, while it DOES happen every day in the Middle East.

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  9. I agree with most everything here. I also agree (more fully) with this http://www.millennialmormons.com/your-choice-supporting-gay-marriage-or-supporting-gay-members/ I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on that post. I can assure you I have done everything in #4, even before reading this article (and ps I think your #5 is meant to be #3 in your #4, but maybe not?). And yet I still feel like sharing my opinion would offend you.

    I’ve learned one crucial thing this past year, and that is that you can never really know someone’s sexual identity, no matter how close you are to them. Perhaps some of your “straight” friends are the children or the spouse of an active, gay member. Perhaps they are gay themselves (and just not as open about it as you are). Just something to think about.

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  10. “1. Your religious freedoms aren’t being threatened. Same-sex marriage has been legal in Canada for 10 years. It is legal in more that 15 other countries. Many of which (including Canada) have Temples and far weaker protections for religious freedom. And yet, not once has the LDS church been sued, much less forced, to perform a same-sex marriage. It is not going to happen.”

    Religious liberties have been under sustained assault since the early sixties,with substantial losses already sustained in a number of varied contexts, and the homosexual marriage movement and last week’s ruling (which, we should keep clearly in mind, had itself no constitutional basis, which is problem enough), as both as a matter of conceptual and logical implication and clear political and legal precedent, have opened the way for the further ever more aggressive pursuit of the war on traditional religion, family, and marriage of which the gay marriage movement is the tip on the shaft of a much longer spear.

    A mere decade is far too short a time to look seriously at long-term effects and trends, and the (unsigned) author’s claim here is, in any case, is either disingenuous or deeply uninformed, as it is precisely Canada that has an Orwellian “human right commission” in place who’s job it is to silence and legally persecute those with politically incorrect views (one will note its legal prosecution of conservative social critic Mark Steyn for his literary comments in McLean’s magazine about Islamic fundamentalism and Third World Islamic culture to see these government ministries of ideological orthodoxy in action).

    To say “it isn’t going to happen” is many days late and many dollars short: it already has been happening in America for at least a decade, with overall success in the courts. Its already here, and there is little reason, at least logically or politically, to think this ruling will not now galvanize and release the dogs of politically correct culture war with a greater vehemence and prejudice than it had allowed itself in the past.

    “Being called homophobic is not the same as being called a slur.”

    This author, whether riding ideological shotgun for the movement here, or whether just extremely politically and philosophically naive, is not going to be able to get away this this with knowledgeable interlocutors. No one who has studied the origins and nature of the linguistic war on language and its meaning known as “political correctness” does not understand that the term “homophobia,” used to designate anyone who for any reason disagrees with leftist orthodoxy on matters of homosexual rights and the same-sex marriage movement, is part of a long and time-honored tradition on the Left of medicalizing and pathologizing dissenting views.

    Framing dissent from progressive ideology as mental illness or personality disorder has always been de rigueur on the Left and always will be.

    Indeed, the author sustains my argument here himself below:

    “Remember that you can control and change whether you offend someone, but sexuality is not a choice. If someone calls you out for offending them, considered the oft cited talk, and don’t choose to be offended. Instead, take the time to consider why that person was hurt by your remarks.”

    Translation: if you are a conservative/conservative Christian/Jew who disagrees with homosexuality as a way of life, as a sexual practice, and with attaching the concept of marriage to that way of life and sexual practices, you are to shut up, be silent, and be seen but not heard, as your speech and dissent are offensive, traumatizing, and hurtful, and as we now understand, the worst possible sin any of us can commit, regardless of the principles involved, is to say things others don’t want to hear and which may emotionally/psychologically upset them.

    I would counter that with Orwell’s observation that “Freedom” is, in its most important form, “the right to tell people what they do not want to hear,” especially when it is hard truths being communicated.

    “I can promise you, as a queer Mormon at BYU, I know where you stand. I have sat through the same conference talks, the same lessons on the Proclamation to the World, the same Sunday school discussions. If I know you are straight and Mormon, I am going to assume your beliefs echo the ones I have been taught my whole life. Using the very problematic phrase, I know you hate the sin, but what I don’t know is if you love the sinner.”

    The author’s rhetorical and logical intent here is clear: you cannot love the sinner but, at the same time, hate the sin, in these and other sexual cases. Why? Because the sin is not a sin but a God-ordained state of being, and hence to hate the sin of homosexual behavior is to assault and delegitimize that state of being; the very person him or herself at their very core. This is the crux of the NOM/progressive argument as found within the church.

    “Queer people know the church’s stance, and most likely know you support it. What they need to know is whether you support them.”

    Meaning what, precisely?

    “Saying you love us, and that you don’t mean to offend, isn’t enough.”

    Exactly: we must support, uphold, defend, accept, and celebrate their sexual proclivities, practices, relationships, and way of life. Failing this, we are to cringe under the withering cry of “homophobe,” and sheepishly accept reeducation (now known as sensitivity training) and therapeutic intervention as the price for our ideological disability.

    “So many of the posts that have bothered me the most begin with a phrase like, “I hope all my friends who struggle with same-sex attraction know that I love them.” If the only time you ever talk about homosexuality or LGBTQ issues is arguing against same-sex marriage then I am going to guess that those friends don’t feel loved by you. I am not saying that you can’t affirm the LDS position on marriage and show love to queer saints, I am saying that it is going to take a little more work. Here’s what you can do:

    Read our stories. If all of your “research” on the question of marriage equality comes from straight white men, and that one article by a gay man who opposes same-sex marriage, then I suggest reading some more. Read stories of hope of faithful same-sex attracted Mormons living the church commandments in Northstar. Read the heartbreaking letter of a Gay Mormon who was excommunicated for marrying the love of his life. Learn from organizations like USGA and Affirmation, about the wonderful diversity of experiences, beliefs, and identities, within the queer Mormon community and the struggles and triumphs they have. The internet makes reading these stories so easy. Listen before you talk, learn before you try to teach.”

    Reading emotional and psychologically cathartic stories and self-reports by homosexuals about their relationships, while this may have sociological value along other dimensions, is of little if any relevance to the doctrines of the restoration and the rigor with which they must be attended to, both by individuals and by at least a reasonable critical mass of a given society if that society is to remain morally and culturally viable as a civilization. Oprahfying the issue by immersing oneself in personal narratives is, at least for me, the least important approach, although this is not to say that such narratives do not contain valuable material in a psychological and philosophical sense.

    Next, of course, the larger political morality tale begins:

    “Educate yourselves on other issues. Believe it or not, marriage equality is not the only goal of the LGBT movement. If you feel like you are unable to support that cause consider others you could. Many states do not protect individuals from discrimination in housing or employment based on their sexuality. This contributes to high rates of homelessness in LGBT youth. Depression and suicide are major problems with queer LDS youth and adults–These are things we can agree on. These are ways you can show your love for same-sex attracted brothers and sisters.”

    In reality, the disproportionate levels of social pathology of all kinds among, not just “LGBTQ” youth, but among homosexuals per se, can just as easily be traced to the prime directives and fundamental nature of sexual perversion and the culture’s erected around and sustaining it, as to any external features of the social environment. Drug and alcohol use is and always has been rampant in the gay subculture (as has its well-known exaggerated promiscuity), and alcohol/drug addiction is heavily associated with homelessness.

    “Think about what matters most to you, an integral part of your identity, your religion maybe, or maybe your family heritage.”

    As President Hinckley said, if the gospel is true, “nothing else matters.”

    “It is not a temptation or an affliction.”

    Well, this is simply non-doctrinal and in complete conflict with the principles and teachings of the restored church of Jesus Christ in this last dispensation of all dispensations.

    “Don’t suggest we won’t feel this way in the next life. Don’t call it a struggle. When you do that you are attacking an integral part of a person’s identify.”

    As I mentioned in part I:

    “The author’s rhetorical and logical intent here is clear: you cannot love the sinner but, at the same time, hate the sin, in these and other sexual cases. Why? Because the sin is not a sin but a God-ordained state of being, and hence to hate the sin of homosexual behavior is to assault and delegitimize that state of being; the very person him or herself at their very core. This is the crux of the NOM/progressive argument as found within the church.”

    And there we will leave it for now.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What I have to say is you are WRONG. Our religious freedoms WILL be affected when Gays start suing Churches for not performing marriages. It has already begun. Just because it hasn’t happened in Canada doesn’t mean anything after all it is Canada and the people are not known for rational thought. The Gay community in the US has already begun it’s assault on religious freedoms. It has cost a small bakery in Oregon $135,000 dollars and the end of their business for choosing not to be part of a Same Sex Marriage ceremony. It has cost another small marriage company their business. The assaults began before the SCOTUS ruling and now are beginning to intensify. And you are Completely wrong about “sexuality” it is indeed a choice. I have seen several people CHOOSE to be homosexual after leaving marriages that produced children. Someone truly unable to control sexuality could not willingly participate in heterosexual behavior but they do. Heterosexuals have adopted homosexual behavior in prisons. So your arguments are misguided and completely without basis or truth. The fact is you are seeking a way to justify your deviant desires rather than deal with them and reject them. I have known individuals who have CHOSEN to be homosexual and ultimately leave that life style for a heterosexual life but of course you will argue the case proving your inability to reason that people can make choices in life both good and bad.

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  12. There’s a lot of hypocrisy in this article and presumptions that all you “straight faithful lds friends” think the same, are uninformed, have not been through any of the same “struggles” and should quietly shut up when it comes to their opinions.

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  13. Well isn’t this special, especially coming from a … what? Gay Mormon?! No conflict there. But you avoid conflict? Uh huh. And then go on to imply (because a Canadian would never say such things) that I (indirectly, of course) am … what? … lacking compassion? Over-reacting? Ignorant? No. You’re far too civil for that kind of behaviour.

    But now here’s a bit of truth and verifiable history from one who grew up in Germany, home of both Lutheranism and pretty much all forms of modern Communism, such as Marxism, Leninism, Socialism, and even Nazism. (And, yes, Nazism is Socialism.)

    You wouldn’t recognize Germany today as the land that began the Reformation. People don’t go to church there. I know. I sang at the dedication of the Frankfurt temple. I stood right behind then elders Hinkley and Monson. I know. I lost my wife, daughter, job, and adopted country, all because I went to church. You just don’t do that in Germany. If you do, you’re a nut.

    And how did this happen?

    The 19th century happened. Secularism took hold in Germany, and gave us a string of secular prophets such as Sigmund Freud, and C. J. Jung, among many, many others, all of which argued for various secular doctrines if not necessarily against religion.

    But that would follow.

    As anti-religious, secularist sentiment grew in Germany, and, in fact, throughout all of Europe, the ‘rational’ people began to elect increasingly virulent leaders, all of whom promised to marginalize, if not obliterate certain religious groups. You’ll note, for example, that Mussolini was an avowed atheist, and Hitler avidly promoted German mythology as a replacement for religion. You’ll also very easily find that most religious people suffered in Europe in the 1930s and 40s, not just the Jews, most notably, in our case, Helmuth Hübener, but also such luminaries as Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Niemöller.

    The only religions to escape persecution were those which essentially applied a nationalistic paint over Christ’s teachings, or otherwise collaborated with the enemy.

    And all this was due to nothing more than decades of slow, grass-roots, reinvention of history, invention of grievances, repainting of the innocent as villains, and politicians fanning those flames to their own ends.

    And how many died?

    And who were they?

    Oh, yeah, a few other things you should know about Hitler:

    He was liberal. I know the liberals everywhere have been on an 80-year push to deny the facts, but the facts are than Nazism is Communism, or rather Socialism, which is just Communism stripped of its ‘voluntary’ pretenses. Hitler even said as much in an interview. All this talk of him being anti-Communist is just so much more of his saying whatever he had to to fool as many people as possible, a favorite tactic of liberals still today. And that liberalism extended to every other liberal policy that you see in the USA’s Democratic party to this day, including their long, sad history of racism.

    Hitler was a vegan, in keeping with his other liberal views. And this was just one more clue.

    Hitler was gay. Many deny it, but can’t deny that his best, ‘bosom’ buddy was notoriously gay, right up until the day …

    Hitler was a murderer. Hitler (contrary to some reports) actually murdered Ernst Röhm with his bare hands while his henchmen dealt with Röhm’s friends.

    Now, why all this detail?

    You say that our religious freedoms aren’t threatened?

    You know, one has to be a special breed of naive to believe that. Either that, or one has to be a special breed of dishonest, attempting to beguile their friends and neighbors into a false sense of security.

    Before shipping them off to the gas-chambers.

    And we’ve seen this all before.

    It has happened.

    It’s happened right here in the USA.

    Or have you forgotten your pioneer heritage?

    Or have you, like so many other ‘Mormons’ (if not necessarily saints) failed to notice that, just as liberal media (and, yes, they are) (just study the French Revolution for an excellent prophecy of our own future) have reinvented Nazism as something from the extreme right (and you really should look up the youtube video: The American Form of Government), liberal ‘Mormons’ have erased our own history of the real reason for Joseph Smith’s murder? Let’s see now … A New York religious leader moves himself and his followers into the slave-state Missouri, and the soon to become (look it up) pro-slavery southern Illinois, professing abolitionist sentiments, baptizing indians and freed blacks, and then announces that he’s going to run for President.

    Joseph Smith never stood a chance. And his murderers were very much like Hitler, flying whatever flag anyone would salute. They didn’t really care one way or the other, so long as no one threatened their power, and Joseph Smith, religious leader, threatened their power.

    So they killed him.

    And those are the footsteps you tread: Government tyranny of religion, from the liberals enactment of marriage licenses (so they could prevent blacks from marrying whites) to today’s exploitation of their previous usurpation of government power over religion in complete contradiction (a word you claim not to like) of our First (for a reason) amendment.

    Government does not belong in the marriage business anymore than it belongs in the religion business. Religion belongs to the people, and the people can do what they want with it, or whatever they feel God wants of them by it.

    But you sure as hell (and I mean that) have no business calling anyone any names because they have the acuity to see the SS gathering just over the horizon, and the common sense to make of it what you either can not or will not.

    Could there be a certain bias at work there?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow!!! Marcus, you nailed it!! Love the last part the best – about seeing what’s coming and using common sense. I have been trying very hard to understand how it is that others truly don’t see this. And I mean, they sincerely don’t see it. The darkness engulfing us all is thick. What helps me is to know that ALL of this is prophesied. The Lord knew there would those of His faithful who would not stand on His side but be led away by their “love”. The Priest Eli and all his house was rejected by the Lord because he allowed his love of his errant sons to blind him. Even love has boundaries. This is the essence I think of what’s happening. But it’s blowing my mind to actually be witnessing it all and to realize how hardened and complete the deception really is. Thank you for sharing your unique experiences and perspective. Anyone who says that homosexuality is not a sin, does not know the scriptures, or is choosing to ignore them. This is a mockery of the highest order in the face of God’s laws and we as a country will pay the price.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I read your article and enjoyed it very much. I also agree eith you on many of your points of interest, excrpt one. That being gay is not a choice. I disagree and and will tell you why. First I am Mormon as well raised in the church all my life. In my early 20’s I chose to live the gay lifestyle….I lived this lifestyle for over 40 years….I too, thought I was born this way and that was that. Then latter in life I had the most beautiful spiritual awaking and felt a feeling I have never felt before. I was waching General Conference on Tv and Elder Jeffery R. Holland was speaking. I felt like he was talking just for me. His message was to thoses of us who were inactive to please come back to the church. I cried like a baby when I heard these words, for I had been inactive for over 40 plus years. So I started to go back to church and I felt like I was home agsin, I knew this is where I belong. So my point is I choise not to live the gay lifestyle anymore, and prayed to my Father in Heaven to take these feelings away, and he did…Being gay is the way of the adversary, he makes you feel you are born that way. He is out to destroy the family and what better way than choosing to be gay. I have since been through the temple and im happier than I have ever been. I bear you my testimony that if I can change my life through the atonement anyone can. I know this church is true, and we have a prophet to guide and direct us in these perlis times. I know God lives and loves each and every one of us and knows us by name. My prayer is you will seek out your Heavenly Father in humble prayer and as for his strength to guide you to do what is right. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Please don’t state that sexuality is not a choice. For some it is, otherwise why have some people changed from hetero to homosexual and vice versa. Some people may feel that for themselves it is not a choice an that is fine, but it is not accurate to state that for all people.

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  16. The author of this self-serving article up above
    begins her already proven false blather
    by admitting to ‘unfriending’ anyone who disagrees
    with her political stand. Right from the get-go
    she lets us all know how shallow she is,
    and how much of an enemy she is to anyone
    who has any religious convictions that counter
    her own agenda, or hint that she take accountability
    for her own feelings and behavior.

    http://ldsmag.com/would-you-unfriend-christianity-the-supreme-court-just-did/

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  17. For those who believe the Church is in danger of being forced to participate in gay marriages, I would like to point out that, when the civil rights act was passed in 1965, there was no pressure on the Church to ordain blacks or allow them entrance to the Temple. Not from the US government, at least.

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  18. thank you for the courage to post these thoughts. this goes a long way toward helping straight LDS to accept that attraction to people of the same sex is not an option for some people, it is part of their nature, a disposition already present at birth. i don’t know what this means anymore than i know what it means that some people come into this world with red hair, and some with brown or black. i think gays and lesbians are as deserving of love as anybody else, and in certain seasons, like the present, lds gays and lesbians deserve a more attentive kind of compassion. i’m not afraid about fast and testimony meetings after the SOTUS decision and the letter from the 1st Presidency and Quorum of the 12. i am blessed to be in a ward made up of members with a healthy range of beliefs and convictions, young and old, and i am pretty confident that something beautiful will happen in these meetings. Will someone hammer down on the evils of SSA? Maybe. But others will be there who will extend the hand of fellowship without polemics. And even if they don’t make it to the pulpit during f&t meeting, they will be there in support, in acts of love and compassion all through the week. i love my ward. but i’m under no illusions about its uniqueness. i think they exist all over the world, even in parts of UT.

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  19. Your comment that we need to listen to just more than “straight white men” (AKA prophets and apostles) but also from your suggested sources makes me wonder if we need to start living our lives according to the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture. Also, when you say same sex attraction is not a temptation, it makes me wonder if you read Mosiah 3:19 (the natural man is an enemy to God). And by your assertion that attractions won’t change in the next life, you seem to ignore that eternal marriage is a requirement for the highest degree of glory in the Celestial Kingdom (D&C 131:1-3). There are so many flaws in your reasoning that it makes me wonder how anyone who has studied the scriptures could come to such a position. And the fact that you would cut connections with people who don’t agree with you says something about your character. (Don’t blame it on Canada- lots of Canadians have no trouble having a respectful debate with others who do not agree with them.)

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  20. Why do you struggle to remain with a church that does not endorse your views? Why do you not just leave and worship in a church that teaches love and acceptance. There are many. Is it because you will have to move out of your comfort zone,learn new forms of worship and give up a community that demands following without thought? The Gay community has certainly felt that discomfort and more. If you really followed Jesus you would be called to step out of your safe little cocoon.

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    1. And why would we want the author to leave? If we believe the church is true why would we wan’t ant me to leave? Let’s help them feel welcome to stay instead of asking why they don’t leave.

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  21. One point that is in error in this post is that religious liberties are not being infringed on and that the church and it’s leaders and members won’t need to change it’s practices…. The process of limiting the role of a church in a community has already begun. Last year LDS services closed their adoption program because as the laws have changed, creating a new “civil right” with same sex marriage, the result of this is that their legal status as an adoption agency can be revoked as well as litigation for discrimination if they refuse to place a child in a same sex marriage. Thus they must choose to compromise their beliefs or quit. They chose to quit and a long standing wonderful program ended. The same events will take place with marriage licenses. No longer will the church be able to perform marriages if they don’t do it according to the law which makes no differentiation between homo/hetero marriages. They’ll need to choose to do things according to their religious convictions or quit. From now on, a Mormon couple will need to get married civilly and then get sealed in a temple separately thus ending a long standing religious practice of marrying in churches according to ones faith. The question is how far with the LGBT movement take this momentum to change other laws that severely restrict religious liberty? Will they use the SCOTUS decision to attack what’s being taught in our seminary buildings next? You may not wish this and endorse this but others do. The LGBT community is full of varying opinions and there are many out there that will and do advocate for the scilencing of “bigotry” even if it is from a religious organization, a business (like Hobby Lobby/ Chick Filet) or individuals expressing an opinion. The LGBT in Canada may be aggressivly attacking the other side but this isn’t Canada. The direction things are going, now that the laws are changing and homosexuality is becoming a “civil right” it will be protected by the federal government as such and it is possible that anyone speaking out against it, calling it immoral or a sin…. etc, will be guilty of a hate crime and subject to prosecution, this could include a bishop over the pulpit, or a general authority at conference. Will this happen? I hope not but with how agressivly and ruthlessly the LGBT activists are going after everyone who doesn’t agree with their lifestyle even pizza parlor owners and hobby stores, and fast food chains…. it appears inevitable. Yes religious liberties are being infringed upon now and now that SCOTUS has given the LGBT community more legal clout, more litigation and more attacks on institutions and individuals who express a different opinion, are sure to come. This is why the “traditional marriage” crowd is so alarmed and wants to push back. If someone from the LGBT community wants consiliation, speak to your own LGBT community and do whatever you can to limit “extremists” from these viscous attacks and work for understanding on both sides. Not just tolerance from “homophobes,” but tolerance from the marriage equality movement. In my opinion that would help your cause greatly. The LDS church has tried this by advocating equality in housing and employment…etc while bolstering religious liberties. If the LGBT community would do the same, everyone wins, fear would be removed from the conversation, and we can move forward protecting what’s most important to each of us, on both sides. – Ryan Fisher

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  22. I agree with most of what was said except for point 1. Most of the LGBT individuals that I know personally have no desire to harm religious liberty, but that is looking at the trees and not the forest. The movers and shakers of the LGBT movement (especially the lawyers, judges and politicians, most of whom aren’t even homosexual) are absolutely hell bent on restricting religious freedoms. If you truly believe what you said, then you need to follow your own advice and do a lot more studying and learning on the subject.

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  23. Every once in a while I forget about what Mormons are really like, and think it might be okay for me to come back to church even as a partnered queer person (crazy, right?)- then I read wonderful, thoughtful articles like this, and the comments bring that reality back to me in SUCH A BAD WAY.

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  24. So, I don’t typically don’t comment on posts or blogs about controversial topics like this, but I want to tonight. I don’t agree with everything this author says, but I do particularly love the suggestion to listen and seek to understand. I wish we were all just a little better at being gentle and with listening and trying to understand, and I think it’s ok to disagree, but for me, to learn to love my neighbor, I’m really trying to listen and seek to understand. And I hope that’s ok.

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  25. Oh my gosh…reading the article..and the posts… Makes the head swirl, and aha!..this is the point of it all..to make the spirit fade. Where- who among all the activist posters, ever, ever leans on the Apostles to humbly, earnestly be guided by their teachings? It’s all detractor, apostatizing confusion.

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