25 February 2010

Why We Commemorate Stuart Matis

"Good morning," said the silver-haired gentleman with a smile as we shook hands while walking through the parking lot of the Los Altos Mormon chapel just after dawn today. "Why are the parking lot entrances coned off?" I asked. "We're expecting demonstrators," he replied. "And President Monson [president of the Mormon Church, like the pope for Catholics] instructed our stake president [like a Catholic archbishop] to have someone here throughout the day to keep an eye on the Lord's property just in case things get out of hand. We don't want to come here tomorrow and find that everything's been spray-painted."

Forced, secret electroshock therapy in BYU basements to "cure" homosexuality. Excommunications for simply saying you were gay. Then a shift to "as long as you don't act on it, you can go forward as all other worthy members of the church" because the church "loves and honors [you] as sons and daughters of God." Then a swing back again to massive organizational and financial muscle by America's original proponent of "alternative marriage models" to legally withhold from everyone regardless of religious belief any form of marriage which Mormon theology doesn't approve. Then back the other way, with publicly stated support for Salt Lake City ordinances that banned discrimination based on sexual orientation. Then back again, with speeches by prominent leaders claiming that marriage equality threatened religious freedom. And now instruction directly from the top in Salt Lake that the Los Altos chapel, where Stuart Matis took his own life ten years ago in despair over the Mormon Church's aggressive fight against marriage equality, should be safeguarded by "the priesthood" because the Church expected confrontation and vandalism from perhaps two dozen somber friends who gathered on the sidewalk to quietly remember Stuart.

This see-sawing presents the picture of a church that has no idea how to explain or what to do with homosexuality, after decades of wrestling with it. Theologically the Mormons have no more basis to denounce the gays than any other Christian denomination that relies solely on the Bible, because the uniquely LDS scriptures never mention the subject. Every statement by LDS leaders on the topic ultimately rests on the Bible, which ultimately rests on a single verse in Leviticus. In sum, the Mormon Church, whose bid for legitimacy resides entirely in its claim of new and continuing revelation for our day, fights furiously against acceptance of homosexuality based solely on a 4000 year old verse from a time when as far as we know, even the concept of homosexuality was unknown. This is like pointing to an ox-driven waterwheel in the Holy Land as evidence that God hates the Hubble Telescope.

More disappointing, though, was the smile and gentle manner with which my friend in the parking lot showed his no doubt innocent ignorance of what those shortly to arrive at the chapel to commemorate Stuart's passing were all about. Overt confrontation and shouted hostility are one thing. But how do you get inside and defuse the bigotry of someone so apparently well-intentioned and kindly, when they obviously don't even recognize it in themselves?

When I greeted those who'd walked quietly from a nearby park with flowers and candles in memory of Stuart, I told them of my conversation with the chapel sentinel. They smiled but were a bit incredulous, and understandably so. What threat could this couple of dozen people possibly present, with roses and candles in their hands? No cans of spray paint, no big signs with hateful slogans, nothing but reverence, smiles, hugs, solemn and quiet pondering over the tragedy that occurred on this day ten years ago. A table was set up to display a mounted photo of Stuart's gravestone, and behind it was a larger trade show type display with photos and biographies of other gay children of God who'd taken their own lives in despair that they could never reconcile what their Church taught them with what they knew themselves to be. There were flowers, notes of remembrance quietly placed on the table before Stuart's headstone. The group stood on the sidewalk (never venturing onto Church property) and visited quietly. The display remained throughout the day with someone there to watch it and answer questions from any passers by. I renewed acquaintances with some of the group, but couldn't stay as long as I wanted; office responsibilities wouldn't wait, and I was catching an earlier flight than usual that afternoon.

But I thought as I drove away about the silver-haired gentleman in the parking lot who believed himself to be God's sentinel, protecting the Lord's property against threatened vandalism. I thought of Stuart's parents, whom I've never met, and whose pain I can't imagine, publicly asking that nobody mark their son's death with any kind of public display or remembrance, that he not be made a "political cause," and stating that they firmly believe the Church to be correct on all counts as regards God's gay children.

And with all due respect, and no rancor, I completely disagreed with them both. I disagreed with the silver-haired gentleman's assumption that anybody who was going to publicly differ with the Church was likely to be a vandal bent on destruction of property. Once reality stared him in the face, I would hope he'd see those who were remembering Stuart on the sidewalk were anything but threatening, and he'd learn that maybe he didn't need to be frightened. And at the risk of offending the Matises (which I sincerely don't wish to do), I disagree with anyone who urges that Stuart not be remembered publicly or that his death not be the catalyst for the kind of change he himself urged us to pursue. I think the note he left behind pushes us to do just what was done today: speak truth to power, point out that the emperor has no clothes, inspire younger ones to be more confident, assertive, secure and proud of the way God made them. They--we--aren't broken and don't need fixing.

What needs fixing is the fear, the misunderstanding, the myths clung to like barnacles because they're familiar. What needs fixing is the innocent ignorance that keeps spreading the bigotry, the kind that my nephew apologized to me for helping perpetuate after I came out to him when on reflection he saw for the first time just how steeped in homophobia Mormon culture is. Stuart made himself a public figure for a reason. He didn't want us to be silent anymore. Squeaky wheels get grease. I believe we do his memory a disservice if we don't speak out. If we don't try to shove the Church out of its 4000 year old rut and forward to a point where it can stop see-sawing, learn something new about God's gay children, and find a consistent place for them at the table without driving them to suicide.

So on this 10th anniversary of the death of Henry Stuart Matis, I'm renewing my resolve to do what he asked. So that maybe next time a memorial is set up outside the Los Altos Mormon chapel, the sentinels will not stay barricaded inside, fearing violence, but will come out and talk, smile, join in the remembrance, and really walk the Church's talk of love and acceptance. And if I have to wear out the rest of my life fighting to get us all there, then so be it. Bring it on.

The Big Reveal

Bye-bye Alan, it was nice knowing you. You were mission critical for a while and you did your job well. But the job's basically done. So, life being dynamic as it is, the Man Behind The Curtain here has decided to pull that curtain back, that curtain with Alan's name on it.

So hello, world, my name's Rob. Your humble correspondent here at Scrum Central. Rob is no longer content to juggle a pseudonym and his real name. Did you ever try training yourself to respond as automatically to a name you know is fake as you do to your own real one? Doesn't work very well. With my unfortunately lingering sense of ethics, it also has a tinge of dishonesty, and I've grown tired of that. Not the ethics (although as a lawyer, they are a handicap in other ways too, imagine trying to make a profit as an honest lawyer).

Some of you already know my real name so now you can use it freely. Some of you know me only as Alan, so now you know the real me and can ditch the Alan bit. I know major platform shifts take time to implement (that's the tech wonk talking) so I'll still respond to Alan for a little while, I suppose. But eventually Alan will go the way of the dodo, the Edsel, the Clinton Health Care Plan.

In one sense, this is just a change of labels, like some supermarket product with bright packaging that hypes "New Look!" when inside you've got the same old overpriced crap but you're paying more for the extra box decorations. Don't worry, I'm not going to start charging admission here.

In another sense, though, this is emblematic of another step on the path. A year and a half ago I couldn't even admit to myself who I was. I still remember how my hands were literally shaking as I typed the first furtive e-mail to another MoHo blogger, I was still so afraid of actually telling someone else about myself. So when I started blogging, I created Alan as a mask behind which to hide as I worked out a lot of the issues and the struggles that Evergreen types seem to love to wallow in. Well, I'm past all that now. Babies grow up, and this one has rocketed out of the closet and no longer needs the online Halloween costume. On this 10th anniversary of the day that Stuart Matis left us while expressing hope that those who followed him would not fear to speak out, I thought it would be appropriate to fulfill his wish.

So hello world, my name is Rob.

P.S. This morning I attended the memorial for Stuart in Los Altos California. Watch this space for a report, pics, and impressions of the event and the issues it presents.

23 February 2010


Alan may be leaving. Watch this space for further details.

And meantime, check out this excellent LA Times article that summarizes the growing evidence that there's a genetic basis for being gay, evidence that those of us who say God made us this way are right. So if God don't make no junk, why do we need to be fixed, Mr. Nicolosi?

19 February 2010

See For Yourself

Highlights of last weekend's USA Rugby Sevens tournament will be broadcast Saturday 20 February on ABC, 5 pm EST, 2 pm PST. Anybody between is probably used to calculating their show time. If you want a look at why I am so passionate about this sport (despite being benched by an arm broken during practice and prevented temporarily from playing by business travel), have a look at the trailer below and then watch ABC tomorrow afternoon. If it doesn't get your blood pumping even just a little bit then you have no pulse at all. Find out why I am so hooked on this, God's Own Sport, which doesn't rely on sissy pads or helmets or downs between which everybody just stands around. This is a game that matches life. It's full force, head on, it doesn't stop. And it's exhilarating.

He Said She Said

Last night at dinner with the twins:

Boy Twin: "What do I want? I want you to die, that's what I want!"

Girl Twin: "I don't want you to die. I want you to die slowly and in pain."

Several months ago, when she was driving him nuts again:

Boy Twin: "You crazy little thing!"

Girl Twin: "You're the one with the little thing."

18 February 2010

I Gotta Be Less Serious

I'm back in San Diego for a few days and the kids will be here soon. It has been a particularly volatile couple of weeks at work, with a new department reorganization announced plus some new major programs launched. A friend sought my legal advice yesterday about the dissolution of his domestic partnership, which made me sad. I'm sitting in on meetings to lend my legal shield to discussions so they don't have to be turned over to the other side in litigation. More new program documents and contracts to draft and negotiate. So I am running out of steam a little bit early this week. This is not a good thing because much remains to do. But I'll force myself. Sometimes a sense of responsibility is really inconvenient.

Looking back over the last few weeks' worth of blog posts, I'm thinking again OMG I seem like some relentlessly serious somber depressing existential philosopher or something. Probably the result of not having any decent vacation to speak of in the last year. I've gotta change the mix. So I've got Mika going on iTunes and will probably take the kids out to dinner. Then IDK, go find the stupidest silliest movie we can to watch. Or maybe go get a bunch of rainbow flag stickers and plaster them all over the back door of the church? (don't worry, they peel off). I need another run on the beach is what I need. And a serious workout. And a vacation that's more than just a 3 day weekend. And a hand to hold. It'll happen sometime.

Something hysterically funny did actually happen a week or so ago. Anybody with no tolerance for slightly ribald humor had better stop reading here. And some of you saw this briefly on FB so forgive the re-run.

So I'm up in the city one evening and decide to stop in at Hot Cookie on Castro Street to buy a gag gift. Hot Cookie sells what I will diplomatically call "anatomically correct" coconut macaroons on a stick, coated in chocolate. You figure it out.

I don't want this thing to break on the flight home, so I put it in my computer bag to carry on. I go through security and wait for my shoes and bag and laptop to emerge from the x-ray machine. Now, some of these people recognize me on sight, I go through there so often. But this crew didn't. So I'm standing there, waiting. My shoes emerge from the machine. But the screener reverses the belt and sends my computer bag back for a second look. She stops. Her brow furrows in puzzlement. I know it's my bag she's looking at. She calls over a supervisor, a tall thin guy, probably 60-something. He looks at the screen. Uh oh, I think, what's wrong?

The guy grabs the grey bin with my computer bag and says "Sir, we're going to have to do a visual inspection, please follow me." Okay, whatever. He opens up the bag and starts to search. He sees the white paper bag with the cookie inside. I say "That's a cookie from a bakery." He says "Oh, okay." He feels it, can tell it's nothing dangerous. He continues to search the bag, obviously not finding his target.

"What are you looking for," I ask. "The screener thought she saw a bottle of liquid in your bag." Oh boy, well, guess there's no way around this. So, starting to laugh, I said "Ah, that would be the cookie. Have a look. It's a gift, I didn't want it to get broken in my suitcase." He opens the bag and looks. A smile breaks across his face. "Yep, that's it! I'm going to have to re-screen this, please wait here."

So back he goes. And what does he do? He shows the bag to the young woman who thought she saw a bottle of liquid. Her eyes get very big very fast. He runs the bag through the machine again and brings the bin back as I stand there laughing out loud. Sotto voce, he volunteers that he "had to be very politically correct when [he] explained it to her." I'm still laughing out loud and clearly he was straining every rivet not to do the same. I thanked him for taking good care of my cookie, closed up the bag, and headed for the gate.

Maybe next time I'll get two and give one to the screener.

15 February 2010

Response to a Challenge

I recently shared with a friend a couple of poems previously posted here. He said they seemed like they were written from inside a bell jar, as if I'd already given up hope that the people who I wanted to read them most would ever get there. He was more perceptive than he realized, and while he may not have meant it that way, I felt prodded to write something new, to show how things have changed for me since I wrote Love Locked Out. This one is a more accurate and comprehensive picture, and said friend even graciously consented to let me steal and use a line from something he wrote. I hope I've done it justice. And thanks for the challenge.

Coming Out

Though the darkness groaned, oppressive,
And the clouds were threatening,
When I found my resolution
I could sense the coming spring.

True, the granite walls are towering
And the thunder rumbles low,
But above their jagged summits
Iridescence starts to grow.

Imperceptibly the blackness
Slowly fades to pearly grey,
And a lark song breaks the stillness
As the mists depart away.

Clouds no longer dark, but glowing
As the sunlight pierces through
To a newly wakened knowing
Of what God would have me do.

No more bleakness of deception
Or denial that corrupts.
Like a spotlight on a diamond,
Authenticity erupts.

It's a chorus growing stronger,
It's a peal of gorgeous bells.
Fearing who I am no longer,
Radiant courage surges, swells.

Now I call out to my brethren
Joyful on the path with me,
And to those still stuck, despairing:
Look ahead to what I see!

There the rocks and thorns have vanished,
The mirage of fear has flown.
In the fragrant fresh of morning
Love and truth embrace their own.

Doff your fear and hesitation!
Walk with me toward the light.
Help me pave the path for others;
Help me make that future bright.

14 February 2010

It's About Love

On this Valentine's Day, I wanted to re-visit and clarify something referenced in my last post. The reason will become clear in just a moment. I've decided one thing my correspondent mentioned needs more attention: the huge issue they had with the biomechanics, with "the fit" of genitalia as deciding the morality of being gay. So to that person I'd like to say this.

It's not about sex. Let me repeat. It's not about sex. Getting hung up on that issue puts the cart before the horse. Like I said before, deep down inside, everyone wants love, intimacy, security, appreciation, commitment. Optimally, sex should be a result of all that. True, some treat it like a casual playground activity, but it can and should be so much more: an expression, a manifestation of that love and care and appreciation and commitment. This is true whether a person is gay or straight. The sex is a consequence, at best a corollary. It is not a cause or catalyst.

Understanding this should help my correspondent get over the mental roadblock they have with what they imagine is misfit physiology. They need to understand that one of God's gay sons who truly loves another isn't just fixated on the other guy's equipment. He feels a spark, a connection, a pull like a magnet toward the spirit of the boy he loves. His heart will feel the same warm thrills and his tummy the same butterflies as any straight person would feel for their beloved. He will have hopes and dreams and longings when he thinks about that one special boy that are no different than what my straight correspondent would feel for their special one. He too will be unable to sleep or eat sometimes, preoccupied with thoughts and daydreams about them being together. Not about the sex, just about basking in the glow of the love they share. It is a connection of the heart, the mind, the soul, the spirit.

My correspondent may not be able to comprehend that this is possible between two guys, but I assure you it's true. One can accept that gravity, or relativity, or black holes, do exist and work--obviously--without comprehending just how. I have seen this kind of love, happiness, commitment in many gay couples myself. The love and commitment are obviously there. I've included with this post some pics of two wonderful, delightful friends of mine who will be married later this year. I defy anyone who doesn't have a heart of stone to look in their eyes and not see the delight and happiness and love they have for each other. Only the most sordid minds would look at them and still insist it's just about physical gratification.

So to my correspondent, let me say again on this Valentine's Day. It's not about sex. It's about love.

13 February 2010

Chat Follow-up

Recently I had a private chat with a blog reader who asked lots of questions. I couldn't answer them all during the chat, so I will follow up here. I know this person reads the blog and I thought it'd be valuable for others to comment on the questions too.

Why is it that homosexuals think that if they aren't acting on their homosexual feelings that the only alternative is misery and often, suicide? There are lots of individuals that live celibate lives of meaning and worth....are they lonely? sure. do they long to have the blessing of family life? sure.

I think you've got the cart before the horse here. An "alternative" is not the same as a result. I don't know any gay person who says to themselves "Well, if I can't act on my feelings then my only other choice is a miserable self-inflicted death."

Every gay person I know wants exactly the same things you do: love, acceptance, companionship, intimacy, security, the happiness of caring for someone who cares for them. Misery and suicide are not exclusively a gay person's "alternative" to this, they're just a more likely natural consequence when any person regardless of sexual orientation is denied those basic needs by their society or culture--or their religion. I submit to you that it's all the more perverse when that denial is inflicted by a religion in the name of preserving those very virtues which the gay person seeks for their own life just like everyone else, and inflicted solely because of a characteristic that person did not choose and can't change.

If homosexuality were acceptable to the Lord he would have made it clear to us or to His prophet.

With respect, this is basically the "if man were meant to fly God would have given him wings" argument. It assumes that God has already told us everything about everything. It's the same belief Nephi goes after with such vehemence when denouncing those who say "We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough! "(2 Ne. 28:29) The 9th Article of Faith says we believe God will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom. So how can we possibly say he's already told us everything that is and isn't "acceptable"?

For a century prophets and apostles preached the most awful racist tripe as eternal gospel. Why didn't God correct them immediately? Why did we have to wait till 1978 for Him to tell us just how wrong those prophets and apostles were? Maybe it was because prophets up to that point and the Church in general just weren't ready to hear anything that contradicted their prejudices, but at that point society and the Church had progressed to a point where the Church could accept the new instruction? And maybe we're seeing the same pattern now play out with God's gay children? You can't say flat out that that isn't true. The best you could say is you're not sure. Personally I think any social trend that favors equality of treatment under the law and understanding & tolerance of all of God's children is good and I can't imagine why God wouldn't look with favor on it.

My big issue is that the genitals of two men do not function like the genitals of a man with a woman...and that to have a family...you need a man and a woman. two men can't make a baby or have sex in a manner that seems like the method we were created for.

This assumes that genitalia alone determine what is theologically or psychologically "correct" or "acceptable," that physiology is the sole criterion for what makes a family. In short, it's only a "real" family when the couple can have their own natural children.

A closer examination of history belies that. For centuries marriages were all about property and inheritance. Infertile couples are not legally barred from marrying. Adoptions make families all the time; indeed, by Mormonism's own doctrine, many of its members are "adopted" into one of the 12 Tribes of Israel. Do you question the legitimacy there because the adopted children may not be literal biological progeny?

All relevant American professional associations who deal with homosexuality in a professional or clinical setting agree that it is a "normal variant of human sexuality" and there's plenty of evidence that gay marriages can be just as happy and stable as straight ones, with just as many benefits for the kids--of which there are thousands. So with due respect, to cling to the idea that genitalia alone are what make a "real family" or "real marriage" is to ignore much of the real world and its rapidly accumulating experience.

I don't think every person with homosexual feelings should remain celibate...nor do I believe that all of them should marry...but I do think that there are probably mixed orientation marriages that make it work....is it difficult? I imagine it would be...but many, if not most heterosexual marriages are difficult at times if not more...does it mean it isn't worthwhile?

Your first two sentences seem to contradict the popular LDS line that gays should remain solitary and celibate their whole lives. And I agree, in this area where we simply don't know the full picture, I think everyone must seek their own inspiration and answers.

As to mixed orientation marriages, well, I'm qualified to answer this because I've been in one. And the answer is that there is no one right answer. Some MOM couples make it work, and I have tremendous admiration for their dedication and commitment. But I have yet to see one that makes it work without significant and in some cases almost insurmountable challenges and difficulties, which I believe outrank virtually every other challenge a marriage could face. And like I said, I've been in one and faced all those "normal" challenges. I can't speak for others, but for me, the factor that made it so difficult, and the factor you're ignoring, is that there was always a gnawing knowledge deep down inside that I didn't belong there. I couldn't give myself completely. Just by being there I was fundamentally dishonest with her. She deserved better. Dishonesty can kill a marriage. I'm sure this was one of the reasons why the Church finally stopped telling its gay members to just get married and the gay would go away.

I can also tell you that for me, just the thought of being married to the guy of my dreams is in many ways more deeply satisfying and makes me happier than the reality of the straight marriage ever did. That's a very strong indicator of what is right for me, at least. Others' mileage will vary, and I will respect their choices just as I expect them to respect mine.

Hope this helps.

12 February 2010

Bullseye Series, Part Five

From comments to the story in the (reliably pro-LDS) Deseret News about Lance Wickman of the LDS Quorum of the Seventy saying marriage equality threatens religious liberty. I don't agree for a moment that any religious liberty is actually threatened, but the rest of the analysis is compelling:

We Latter-day Saints ought not to forget who put Prop 8 on the ballot. (Not to mention setting the stage with Prop 22 eight years earlier.) The (continuing) fallout was not altogether unforeseen. Further, when Prop 8 is overturned (as I suspect it will be within the next decade), it will probably take the form of language in the CA constitution *explicitly protecting gay marriage*. Thus, what the CA Supreme Court judged to be only an *implied* right will, because Prop 8 upped the ante, become an *explicit* right——like freedoms of religion and expression——complicating and compromising the possibility of the Church (and any other religion) to be involved in the political process. If there is indeed a battle looming, why did we choose to create a situation that increases the potential for the acquisition of civil rights to conflict with our religious rights? We have ensured that our battlefield is peppered with landmines, and when casualties begin to roll in we will have no one to blame but ourselves. If there is indeed "an arrow" pointing "directly at the heart ... of religion and religious views in the political" sphere, *we* strung the bow!

06 February 2010

05 February 2010

A Visit From Mr. Bigelow #7 and #8

His first statements in italics, then my questions, then his responses in italics.

7. "I've never heard your quote about gayness being a "core characteristic"—do you have a reference for that?"

In an interview with two members of the Church's Public Affairs staff in August 2006 about homosexuality and which has since been published on the Church's Web site, Elder Lance Wickman of the Seventy, speaking on behalf of the Church with Dallin Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve next to him, stated that one's gender (euphemism for sexual) orientation was a "core characteristic".

Even the way you just worded it, I don't see how you can say that. Gender is male or female. People who choose to live gay are still male. So no, gender and sexual orientation are not the same thing. You're wrong on that one, for sure.

8. "It is absolutely possible for one gay person to try to "recruit" or seduce someone else into gayness and be successful doing so, especially in a person's younger years when sexual identity and orientation are still fluid. I have heard many people say that they became gay through trying out the sex and enjoying it, not because they felt attracted exclusively to their same gender prior to experiencing gay sex."

Please explain your basis for this belief and identify, as much as you can without breaching confidentiality or privacy, the "many people" you've heard say this and what they actually said. Please explain why it is not possible that these people enjoyed it because they were innately gay already but perhaps didn't realize it, rather than that the experience "converted" them.

Gay sex is a vice, which I define as pleasure without any potentially useful or redeeming quality, such as nourishment, rest, or procreation. I'm sure it feels good on the genitals. It would also feel good on the genitals if a Martian of unknown gender did something the right way to them, or an animal, or even a device. And a lot of people will become addicted to that source of pleasure, if they don't feel a lot of innate abhorrence of it. I remember when I was very young, pre-baptism, there was a news show on TV about gays. This would have been in the early 1970s. They were interviewing people about why they were gay. One guy said, "My roommate and I had to share a bed for some reason one night, and when I woke up in the morning, his leg was over mine, and it felt good, so we just took it from there." If they had not experienced that, then they would not have entered into a gay relationship together. A few people may feel a strong desire for exclusively gay sex/romance from an early age, but others may just get into it because of circumstances. Personally, I believe the carnal man is basically bisexual, if you take away religious and societal influence and dull the conscience. I think the natural man likes whatever feels good on the genitals and has the least amount of unwanted baggage associated with it.

We all have the potential to respond to a vice, if it is presented to us in the right way. People who have already entered into the gay vice can seduce others to try it, and many of them will like it. It feels good; how could it not? In some ways, because it's new, it may even be more exciting than what they're used to, just as a new sexual position can be exciting for a hetero couple. For many kids, it's their first sexual experience. Some experiment and move on, others get stuck in it because their natural carnal attractions are stronger that way or because they don't want to go the conventional hetero route. Being gay can be trendy and fashionable, in some subgroups of kids (I saw a ton of gayness in the punk/new wave scene in the mid-1980s, had friends die of AIDS and go to prison for gay-pedo molestation, etc.). If a person doesn't have an innate gross-out factor about same-gender sex, or not a very strong one, then why not run with it, at least for a time. Whether they acknowledge it to themselves or not, I suspect that many people prefer gayness in part because they don't want to enter into conventional family life, answer to a wife, be saddled by kids, financial obligations of a parent, etc. So if they're able to enjoy or even prefer gay sex, it all adds up to an easier route in life. And yes, some people really are naturally mostly or even completely homo oriented, for life; but I suspect such pure homos are relatively rare. Most of us are a mix, and most gay people are a mix deep down, and that mix can evolve over a lifetime; a person can feel very different sexually at 40 than they did at 20. But the bottom line is that all desires need to be channeled and kept within the bounds the Lord has set, otherwise the natural man is just all over the place sexually.

03 February 2010

A Visit From Mr. Bigelow #6

Mr. Bigelow in italics. Then my question, then him in italics again.

6. "The phrase 'God's gay sons' makes it sound like you think God purposely created them that way. I don't think he created someone to be gay anymore than he created someone to be an alcoholic or a pedophile or a shoplifter or any other mortal weakness/compulsion. Mortal life includes flaws for us to overcome through the atonement, and we're not meant to celebrate our flaws and embrace them as our identity."

Please explain why the condition of homosexuality is a "flaw", how it can be "overcome through the atonement," and why it is equivalent to alcoholism or pedophilia.

It's a weakness of the flesh. It shares many characteristics in common with addiction. Gay sex is bad sex, and bad sex operates like a vice, addicting and enslaving the partaker, same as how porn of any orientation does. Through the atonement, all our weaknesses of the flesh are taken away in the resurrection, and if we repent of our sins, those are taken away too. I don't see homosexuality as outright equal to alcoholism or pedophilia, but I see some similarities in some areas. Using Mormon logic, there's simply no place for homosexuality in our theology, because we're all created in God's image and expected to mature to become like him, and he certainly isn't gay. He didn't create a certain class of his children to take a detour into same-gender relationships. Homosexuality is a human weakness that is made worse and more confusing by the devil's active temptation, just as with all other kinds of attempts to meet valid needs through invalid means.