The Burning Question: What Do Mormon Homosexualists Want?
Before reading this please note the great distinction we make between those who believe people should privately strive to overcome homosexual tendencies, and those who have decided to publicly embrace and advocate for the SSA identity. By Mormon homosexualists we mean the latter.
Mormon homosexualists, SSA/gay or not, want something or they wouldn't be going public. These are those who have swallowed the totally unproven notion that people are born gay and the totally irreligious and false notion that people can't or shouldn't try to school their sexual feelings, and who are therefore caught up in the worldly pro-gay hype. We are seeing Mormon homosexualists marching in gay pride parades, being interviewed on radio and TV, writing books, appearing in newspaper and magazine articles, being invited to speak at LDS-related conferences, and blogging on the internet.
The latest twist in Mormon homosexulism is: Look at me, I'm same-sex attracted, I'm active LDS, I'm not acting out on my homosexuality, I'm even married to an opposite-sex person. I just want to advocate for Mormons with SSA. This may sound reasonable to many people. It may sound like a positive step. But once a person states his allegiance to homosexuality, everything else he says is not to be trusted. Such a stance is incongruent with LDS covenants to keep even one's desires within God's boundaries. It is incongruent with faithfulness in marriage, incongruent with respect for God's gift of the power of procreation, and incongruent with protecting the innocence of, and modeling proper sexuality to, one's children. This stance also obfuscates the definition of acting out and what same-sex lust really is. (See The Family: A Proclamation to the World.)
It's a curious development. Seeing as how they appear to be following all the outward rules and seem to promise they always will, seeing as how they are getting married in the temple, procreating, and serving in the Church, what makes these Mormon homosexualists different from anybody else? The only difference is that they publicly identify themselves by and advocate their temptation. Do the rest of us become apologists for whatever particular temptations toward sin we happen to be experiencing? What would we hope to accomplish? Aren't we all supposed to be turning to Christ, seeking to know what needs correcting in our souls, and overcoming this or that temptation continually? Obviously, this is not what these Mormon homosexualists have in mind. They certainly aren't asking for help in overcoming their homosexual lusts. So, what are they hoping to accomplish? What is it they want?
1. These Mormon homosexualists may want to become popular within the Church. Perhaps they crave the same special acceptance and attention gays are now getting in the world. Society now increasingly accommodates and celebrates all things LGBT and a portion of the Mormon conmmunity seems to be following suit. Now it's looking more and more like publishing your alternative sexuality-but not acting out (whatever that means)-is the way to have everything: stay in the Church mainstream, maintain your lusts, and even become popular. One such Mormon homosexualist is speaking at the annual LDS apologetics FAIR conference in August, advocating for same-sex sexual attraction. (We checked and there is to be no voice for reorientation therapy or LDS ex-gays at this conference as there has been in the past.)
2. These Mormon homosexualists may crave justification. Sexual lust is a mental exercise that is pleasurable and addictive. They know it's wrong and may feel some degree of guilt but still want to hold on to the exciting thought patterns they have developed and the corresponding sexual feelings they produce. Another Mormon homosexualist in a "mixed orientation marriage" came out recently on the internet and has attracted much attention. Among other things he blogs that if he walked into a room in which both men and women took off their clothes, he'd be turned on by the men rather than the women. Think about this bizarre scenario and his reaction; it is sick and wrong to instantly turn random human beings into pornography. And yet this blogger is getting all sorts of compassion, validation, and encouragement from effusive, unthinking Mormon readers who have now shown themselves to be a stripe of Mormon homosexualist as well.
3. These Mormon homosexualists may have a certain agenda, that is to normalize and elevate homosexuality as equal with heterosexuality within the Church as in the world. So far, activism for the "identity" within the Church has pretty much been accomplished despite President Packer's recent warnings. In step with developments at BYU, we at SoL are now hearing that bishops and stake presidents are deciding that openly gay is okay in their congregations as long as there is no acting out (whatever that means). Add this to mixed orientation temple marriage being lauded. The next step (by no means the last) may be to get widespread Mormon acceptance, at least societally, of some form of same-sex marriage, no matter what the official Church stance is. If it's the behavior they ultimately want legitimized, pretending at matrimony seems to be one way to get it. Even among those of us essentially against gay marriage, it could be that committed, monogamous same-sex unions, or the appearance of, will be thought the lesser of several other evils. And there are more travesties ahead. Could this really happen in the LDS community? Prominent Mormon, U. S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, recently announced his support of gay marriage to the entire nation, which is in essence an announcement of his support of homosexual behavior by another name.
Mormon homosexualists are boldly stepping forward. What do they want? It's a burning question that needs to be asked.
-Stephen & Janice Graham
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