Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Slate Magazine wants to know “Why a religion, notorious in the gay community might be “evolving”

In a June article in Slate by Max Perry Mueller, Josh Weed is presented in a photo with his wife and three lovely children under the headline, "Can you be both Mormon and Gay?"

It's an age old question, and one that I have always felt warrants discussion.

Of course the answer people come to is "yes, and let me count the ways, names, faces of those gay and Mormon THAT HAVE COME OUT, let alone those who haven’t."

But that wasn’t what the story was about anyway, so I didn’t get all worked up. The focus was on whether the LDS church is, specifically, “evolving”. The implication: moving into a position of tolerance for homosexuals in full fellowship in the LDS church.

The quick answer is "No," the church is not evolving into a place where it will allow Homosexuals “full rights.”

I say this with important definitions in mind. Let’s run over them quickly…

If a homosexual is a man attracted to and has sex with his own sex, then no. The LDS Church will not evolve on this point. There is no sex before marriage in a stance of morality. Temple marriage privilege will never be allowed for same sex couples.

This is my opinion, though I don’t think it is much of an opinion. I think I was just stating fact.

If a homosexual is attracted to ones same sex, and does not have sex outside standard man/woman marriage (clearly), who remains chaste, morally clean as it were, he may have temple privileges. But, still no marriage of same sex couples. The only evolving here is that the guidelines have been clarified in the last fifteen years so that members and leaders understand that one can be sexually attracted to ones same sex and remain morally clean.

If this is categorized as evolving, then yes, the church has evolved in this regard.

However, this is not what Slate magazine has in mind.

As far as same sex marriage, the church is not in a position of authority (influence, yes) but they can control, and rightly so, temple marriages /sealings. And I think temple marriages /sealings will never be for same sex partners.

This from the article, “Last week, Josh Weed and his wife, Lolly, marked their 10-year anniversary by announcing together on Josh’s blog that he is gay. Josh works as a marriage and family therapist in Auburn, Wash. He and Lolly have three daughters, and claim to have a very successful marriage—one that includes, in their opinion, “a better sex life” than most heterosexual couples.

Weed says that this decision is an entirely satisfying one. “I am gay. I am Mormon. I am married to a woman. I am happy every single day.”

Since Josh had come out, several other men who have previously come out as gay and living their religious ideals have come our nodding their head in affirmation, such as blogger Andrew Sullivan, Catholic, and Ty Mansfield, a Mormon father and husband. His comments from LDS Living. Follow...

“After years of counseling focused on his depression and childhood insecurities—but not, Mansfield insists, on “reorientation” to heterosexuality—he “felt healthy and empowered enough that when I met my wife, it all came together.” Like Weed, Mansfield, who recently had his first child with his wife Danielle, does not identify as “straight.” “Why should I replace one socio-identity construct with another?” he asks. “My goal isn’t to be straight, but a man who is honoring my covenants and [has] a healthy relationship with my wife.” While Mansfield still experiences some attraction to other men, he says, “at some point you decide you’re going to commit to one person you love, just like mature straight men do. I don’t feel like I’m suppressing anything. I focus my energy into my marriage.”

Dear Mr. Mansfield. I have made the same decisions that the two of you -- Mr Weed -- have. Frankly, and I don’t want to put any pressure on you, but please keep your money where your mouth is. There are many LDS holding ya’ll up as an example -- me included.

Did I say, me included?

Thank you for sharing so publicly, and may your freak flag never wave.

Cal Thompson

1 comment:

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