According to this woman, SSM hurts women and children

M* would like to bring to your attention the story of one woman, whose husband left her to form a same-sex partnership.

The woman concludes her article this way:

My children and I have suffered great losses because of my former husband’s decision to identify as a gay man and throw away his life with us. Time is revealing the depth of those wounds, but I will not allow them to destroy me and my children. I refuse to lose my faith and hope. I believe so much more passionately in the power of the marriage covenant between one man and one woman today than when I was married. There is another way for those with same-sex attractions. Destruction is not the only option—it cannot be. Our children deserve far better from us.

This type of devastation should never happen to another spouse or child. Please, I plead with you: defend marriage as being between one man and one woman. We must stand for marriage—and for the precious lives that marriage creates.

(M* would like to point out that divorces are extremely emotional for the people involved, and we are only hearing one side of the story in this article.)

The woman says she pleaded with her ex-husband to maintain their marriage for the good of the children.

Try as I might to save our marriage, there was no stopping my husband. Our divorce was not settled in mediation or with lawyers. No, it went all the way to trial. My husband wanted primary custody of our children. His entire case can be summed up in one sentence: “I am gay, and I deserve my rights.” It worked: the judge gave him practically everything he wanted. At one point, he even told my husband, “If you had asked for more, I would have given it to you.”

I truly believe that judge was legislating from the bench, disregarding the facts of our particular case and simply using us—using our children— to help influence future cases. In our society, LGBT citizens are seen as marginalized victims who must be protected at all costs, even if it means stripping rights from others. By ignoring the injustice committed against me and my children, the judge seemed to think that he was correcting a larger injustice.

The writer goes on to say:

At the time of the first ceremony, the marriage was not recognized by our state, our nation, or our church. And my ex-husband’s new marriage, like the majority of male-male relationships, is an “open,” non-exclusive relationship. This sends a clear message to our children: what you feel trumps all laws, promises, and higher authorities. You can do whatever you want, whenever you want—and it doesn’t matter who you hurt along the way.

After our children’s pictures were publicized, a flood of comments and posts appeared. Commenters exclaimed at how beautiful this gay family was and congratulated my ex-husband and his new partner on the family that they “created.” But there is a significant person missing from those pictures: the mother and abandoned wife. That “gay family” could not exist without me.

There is not one gay family that exists in this world that was created naturally.

Every same-sex family can only exist by manipulating nature. Behind the happy façade of many families headed by same-sex couples, we see relationships that are built from brokenness. They represent covenants broken, love abandoned, and responsibilities crushed. They are built on betrayal, lies, and deep wounds.

The woman says marriage is not just about feelings and passions:

If my husband had chosen to stay, I know that things wouldn’t have been easy. But that is what marriage is about: making a vow and choosing to live it out, day after day. In sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, spouses must choose to put the other person first, loving them even when it’s hard.

A good marriage doesn’t only depend on sexual desire, which can come and go and is often out of our control. It depends on choosing to love, honor, and be faithful to one person, forsaking all others. It is common for spouses to be attracted to other people—usually of the opposite sex, but sometimes of the same sex. Spouses who value their marriage do not act on those impulses. For those who find themselves attracted to people of the same sex, staying faithful to their opposite-sex spouse isn’t a betrayal of their true identity. Rather, it’s a decision not to let themselves be ruled by their passions. It shows depth and strength of character when such people remain true to their vows, consciously striving to remember, honor, and revive the love they had for their spouses when they first married.

The woman describes a horrific situation for her children:

Our two young children were willfully and intentionally thrust into a world of strife and combative beliefs, lifestyles, and values, all in the name of “gay rights.” Their father moved into his new partner’s condo, which is in a complex inhabited by sixteen gay men. One of the men has a 19-year-old male prostitute who comes to service him. Another man, who functions as the father figure of this community, is in his late sixties and has a boyfriend in his twenties. My children are brought to gay parties where they are the only children and where only alcoholic beverages are served. They are taken to transgender baseball games, gay rights fundraisers, and LGBT film festivals.

Both of my children face identity issues, just like other children. Yet there are certain deep and unique problems that they will face as a direct result of my former husband’s actions. My son is now a maturing teen, and he is very interested in girls. But how will he learn how to deal with that interest when he is surrounded by men who seek sexual gratification from other men? How will he learn to treat girls with care and respect when his father has rejected them and devalues them? How will he embrace his developing masculinity without seeing his father live out authentic manhood by treating his wife and family with love, honoring his marriage vows even when it’s hard?

My daughter suffers too. She needs a dad who will encourage her to embrace her femininity and beauty, but these qualities are parodied and distorted in her father’s world. Her dad wears make-up and sex bondage straps for Halloween. She is often exposed to men dressing as women. The walls in his condo are adorned with large framed pictures of women in provocative positions. What is my little girl to believe about her own femininity and beauty? Her father should be protecting her sexuality. Instead, he is warping it.

Needless to say, this story is an extremely emotional one for all of the people involved. Unfortunately, there is evidence that intolerant promoters of same-sex marriage have decided to publicly bully and vilify the woman involved. They have even tried to get her fired from her job, according to this followup story.

According to this woman, same-sex marriage has victims, and those victims include her and her children.

23 thoughts on “According to this woman, SSM hurts women and children

  1. My heart is breaking for this woman. I have been told by so many LDS friends, even, that gay marriage does not hurt anyone. I have a friend as well, whose husband left her for another man. We’ve talked about it in depth. It took her years to heal from that. We have to stand up for traditional marriage as Latter-day Saints.

  2. “The walls in his condo are adorned with large framed pictures of women in provocative positions. ”

    Wait … what? He identifies as gay, doesn’t he?

  3. This is a tragic story–tragic that a family was broken up, tragic that adults aren’t keeping commitments, tragic that children are involved.
    There are some things that need clarified though:
    1) This couple split in Washington before SSM was legal, so I don’t see how legalizing SSM and this story are connected. Isn’t the issue really just greater acceptance of SS relationships in general?
    2) This is just one side of the story. The husband, Leif Anderson, has responded and his story differs from his ex-wife’s in some significant details. You can find his response by searching for “leif anderson” and “janna darnelle”.
    3) It seems inappropriate to vilify an entire class of people based on the bad actions of one member. I know a lot of SSA individuals living in states where SSM is legal who stay in mixed orientation marriages and the legality of SSM gives them zero allowance to abandon their family. I also know many SSA individuals who choose not to enter into a mixed orientation marriage under false pretenses. Some of them remain celibate and exercise great self control. Others pursue SS relationships and show fidelity and commitment in those relationships. In other words, infidelity, divorce, selfishness, pride etc I believe are universal vices that may apply equally to all of us.

  4. Most of the pain I see expressed in this article is simply a product of divorce and discomfort with the ex-spouse’s new lifestyle.

    When someone has embraced same sex attraction, it can be difficult to separate that fact from the concomitant behaviors that would be objectionable no matter the sexual orientation of the individual.

    [Wondering what happened to my other comment, but as I can’t rule out operator error, I’m content to write another comment. Apologies if this shows up as a second comment from me.]

  5. Agreed that this women and her children are victims and casualties of both a larger war, and a very personal betrayal. In hindsight though the best defense against this is for people to understand their sexual identity and make certain life decisions long before they get around to getting married. It is also critically important to understand and really know who one is thinking of marrying. There are enough things that can go wrong in a marriage already; adding sexual identity issues to the mix is just like dumping gasoline (and possibly TNT) on a fire.

    It was irresponsible (likely spiritually “criminal”) for this man to have ever married a women, and even worse to have had children. He knew long before he proposed to her that he wasn’t heterosexual, His culture, family, etc. possibly pushed him to ignore that knowledge and conform to expectations. That is a very high risk approach to life and marriage. Or it is possible the path that led to this outcome was more cynical, that he just pretended to be straight until he was successful enough financially to run away. (The follow up article cited in the original post is very enlightening on that possibility.)

    One of the potential “benefits” to righteous men and women of the gay rights movement could be that deceptions of this type might become much more rare. In the final analysis heterosexual people should marry heterosexual people. It just works better that way.

    My concern with homosexual marriage springs squarely from the possibly detrimental effects on children potentially being raised in the environment the women describes. I think from a practical perspective the courts in the US are going to legalize some form of union regardless of what people opposed to the idea say. Therefore both the Church, and ourselves as individuals, will need to learn how to live in such a world (or get an amendment passed to the Federal Constitution – state constitutional amendments won’t have any effect if the Supreme Court rules in favor). The Church already has experience in the administrative aspects of such a culture change as such environments already exist in multiple counties around the world, and in several US states already. But the process of figuring the best ways to raise righteous children will need to be fine tuned and taught. The Proclamation to the World on the Family will be the foundation these efforts flow from.

    In the end my opinion (and it is just my opinion) is that taking steps to avoid marriages between heterosexual people and homosexual people in the first place would be a very wise thing.

  6. My sister was left with 3 young kids when her first husband told her he was gay and left her. In later years, especially after my sister died and her second husband became a jerk to the kids, the 1st husband came back into their lives and has tried to be a supportive parent and friend. He personally is a product of a very evil father, and it has affected him throughout his life. Sadly, the kids missed out on a lot of years because my wife’s ex did not keep his marriage vows.
    When we make a covenant, and especially when kids are involved, we are obligated to be there for them and provide for them in a selfless manner. Imposing non-traditional lifestyles on our children, when we made promises to raise them in a traditional manner, is destructive to society and the future generations. We know what makes for a strong family and society. Tinkering with that successful formula in any manner, especially in a selfish manner, is to court disaster.

  7. I wonder if this kind of hysteria is common in these situations. Most similar situations I’ve seen, the wife and children eventually rally around the husband, becoming some of the strongest advocates for gay rights and SSM.

  8. “In the end my opinion (and it is just my opinion) is that taking steps to avoid marriages between heterosexual people and homosexual people in the first place would be a very wise thing.”

    JSH, I see comments like this all the time, and I really must take issue with this. All relevant studies have shown that sexuality is a continuum, not a light switch. Studies have also shown that sexual preference can change over time. It is not uncommon for people to “dabble” with homosexuality in college and then never do it again. Do all men who have sex in prison remain gay the rest of their lives?

    So, on one side of the scale we have people who are only attracted to the opposite sex, and on the other side of the scale we have people who are only attracted to people of the same sex. But there are a lot of people in between. The man involved had two children with this woman — it is completely believable that perhaps he was once attracted to her and lost interest. Therefore, he was capable of having sexual interest in women. The truth is that nobody really knows.

    The woman says she wanted to remain married to him. Perhaps they still had some kind of sexual relationship? (Again, nobody really knows).

    People who think that all people are either “gay” or “straight” need to do a bit of reading on the subject. They might want to start with the story of Joshua Johanson, who has same sex attraction but was attracted to one woman, his wife, to whom he is now happily married.

    http://www.millennialstar.org/fair-conference-talk-number-one-joshua-johanson-navigating-the-labryrinth-surrounding-homosexual-desire/

    I take issue with the modern tendency to box people in to certain sexual categories. As Johanson points out (read the link) 60 percent of men with same-sex attraction never act on it. We are more than our sexual preferences.

    It is simply not true that all people with same-sex attraction should never marry people of the opposite sex. A great many of them — perhaps the majority — are capable of maintaining happy, fulfilling marriages with people of the opposite sex. But they are less like to have happy, fulfilling marriages if we keep on saying that all people are nothing more than their (often changing) sexual desires.

  9. My thoughts were along the lines of Tiago’s comment. I suspect this particular case is not a good basis/example on which to argue against SSM.

    Judges don’t make custody decisions in a vacuum. Both sides get to present evidence, call expert/outside witnesses/consultants, and the state’s family/child welfare agency might get involved.

    Judges tend to award primary custody to the mother. The fact that she did not get primary custody raises a big red flag, and says that there are some pretty important facts that are not being presented here.

    There are three sides to every divorce; four when kids are involved.

    I’m against SSM. There are plenty of socio-cultural and socio-psychological reasons to be against it that have not been dealt with in the media, or been commented upon publicly by psychologists. But this kind of messy and personalized he-said-she-said situation is not good evidence.

    This situation is too personal and Jerrry-Springer-ish, and is just publicizing one family’s dirty laundry. Her public accusations against her ex, even if true, merely invite/prompt him to go public with the reasons that the judge used to deny her primary custody.

    Giving space to her side here at M* also effectively invites him to come here and give his side, at least in the comments if not in a post itself. And then M* becomes a stage for Jerry Srpinger-like theatrics.

    My opinion: I say delete the post and the comments.

  10. There are definitely some unrealistic expectations and sour grapes in the OP, but there is also useful grain of truth here: the picture-perfect “families” gay rights activists are fond of trotting out for PR purposes are not photos of the children’s complete families; for those pics would necessarily contain both biological parents (assuming the child has contact with both, which I dare say most do).

    The pictures the gay rights activists are showing us, for the most part, are not pictures of whole “families’. They are pictures of couples which also happen to contain, by design, a few underaged props.

  11. Building on what a couple of commenters have said above, I have half a dozen friends and family members who have gotten divorced because their spouse one day told them that they were homosexual and wanted out. All six have much more in common with the original post than any story I have ever read in the mainstream media. Granted, my sample is small but it’s striking in it’s uniformity.

  12. Perhaps it would be more accurate to frame the story, “According to this woman, betrayal, disloyalty, lack of commitment, sin, and selfishness hurts women and children” as indeed the prophets have taught for millennia and as beautifully illustrated in the Family Proclamation.

  13. garbledrunt, thanks for linking that article, which is also linked in the OP. I would like to quote a bit from that article. I am really surprised that more women are not alarmed by these developments, which have created an entire industry by promoting misogyny.

    “The “unfit mother” trope is very important to men like Hooper and Rose, because it helps justify taking women’s children, eggs, or the use of their uteri. Darnelle is right. Many families headed by gay male couples are built upon exploitation of women. Practically speaking, Jeremy Hooper, Scott Rose, and their compatriots have formed a men’s rights group that seeks to use women as breeders. These egg donors and surrogate mothers supply infants for a bustling market full of same-sex couples, for whom reproduction is naturally and biologically impossible.

    In the name of equality, groups such as GLAAD (which employs Jeremy Hooper) have pushed through gender identity laws that have legally erased women. The term “woman” now legally can refer to the way that a man chooses to identify himself. Once women have been erased legally as a group and as individuals, it is not hard to erase “mothers.” This lends support to the practice of using one woman’s eggs and another woman’s womb to supply children for gay male couples, obscuring the concept of motherhood and making it seem dispensable.”

  14. GeoffB, I think that analysis is only part right.

    BCC currently has an active thread that many commentators are basically reading as suggesting that the breakdown of the family is all capitalism’s fault and that only a welfare state (guaranteeing jobs for both parents) can save it. A couple of participants there are unabashedly arguing, in the context of dual-income families, that surrogate care is just as good as parental care.

    THAT is the true assault on the family–making one parent replaceable. The next logical step is making both parents replaceable. Once “the science has been settled”, look for the rise of arguments in favor of redistribution of children (why not? We already redistribute wealth) along political/religious lines.

    For an example of how the legal processes would play out, look at what Judge Barbara Walther did to the FLDS children in the YFZ raid–removal of the children was appropriate because the parents’ religious belief in polygamy meant the children might someday grow up to be polygamists. Replace “polygamist” with “racist” or “bigot”, stoke public opinion with (admittedly tragic) stories about gay kids who put a pistol in their mouths, pack an appellate court or two–and presto! All your Mormon children are belong to the State.

  15. Bookslinger wants to delete the post. I’m opposed to that because people should be aware of this. I think the sentiment the woman expresses, how to deal with bringing up children in this situation, applies to every parent. We need to talk to our kids about these things, and it’s useful to hear a variety of narratives. Thepublicdiscourse.com in particular is very good on these issues. The fact is that all our children at this period of history are going to need some good information and fearless discussion if we are going to have any claim on having tried to steer them toward truth. In the Book of Mormon, Jacob takes on the hard issues. Mothers need to be paying attention to these issues and talk about stuff with their kids. For me personally, the article had the effect of turning me more seriously toward my own husband and children. And I think that’s good.

    VH Cassler makes some great feminist points against SSM over at http://squaretwo.org/Sq2ArticleCasslerMarriage.html.

  16. Deleting this post ain’t gonna happen. People who don’t like the post have a marvelous, huge internet open to themselves of other things they can read. So vote with your eyes and fingers and go find another post you like better. True tolerance is recognizing that other people may have opinions different than yours. They should be allowed to express these opinions, even if you disagree.

  17. JimD, agreed with your comment at 11:50 a.m. But there are a lot of assaults on the family coming from all directions. I think too many people do not consider the full consequences of making women dispensable to the family and how gay marriage plays a role in that. (Of course, the same thing happens to men in lesbian marriages).

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