How Could That Hurt My Family?

One point of view often repeated on the subject of homosexual marriage is that what others may do has no impact on our own marriages and families. Now if a person feels that homosexual marriage would be a good thing, as good as marriage between heterosexuals, then of course, that person wouldn’t consider that its acceptance could harm him; there’s no harm to impact anyone. If the person agrees with Church teachings that homosexuals should not pair with one another, however, then the view that homosexual marriage can’t affect him is a fairly insular one.

To some degree we need to be insular; there is adversity in the world that defeats many and will defeat us unless we can stand fast. Still, adversity is adverse. For a few years I had the privilege to live in a town in Michigan that ranked sixth in the 2000 census for the portion of households formed by married couples. I felt my family more sustained by that community than in others I’ve lived. For example, when our fourth child was born, there wasn’t anything a bit unusual about that. Cub scout day camp was run very well, and cost less than half what our current area council charges.

I also grew up in the part of Clark County, Nevada that would later rank fourth in for the portion of households that are formed by unmarried heterosexual partners. I liked my old neighborhood, but family stability wasn’t one of its defining features. We need to be immune to such things about us, but it’s a dangerous thing to presume too much about our own strength.

This entry was posted in General by John Mansfield. Bookmark the permalink.

About John Mansfield

Mansfield in the desertA third-generation southern Nevadan, I have lived in exile most of my life in such places as Los Alamos, Baltimore, Los Angeles, the western suburbs of Detroit, and currently the northern suburbs of Washington, D.C. I work as a fluid dynamics engineer. I was baptized at age twelve in the font of the Las Vegas Nevada Central Stake Center, and on my nineteenth birthday I received the endowment in the St. George Temple. I served as a missionary mostly in the Patagonia of Argentina from 1985 to 1987. My true calling in the Church seems to be working with Cub Scouts, whom I have served in different capacities in four states most years since 1992. (My oldest boy turned eight in 2004.) I also currently teach Sunday School to the thirteen-year-olds. I hold degrees from two universities named for men who died in the 1870s, the Brigham Young University and the Johns Hopkins University. My wife is Elizabeth Pack Mansfield, who comes from New Mexico's north central mountains and studied molecular biology at the same two schools I attended. We have four sons, whose care and admonition, along with care of my aged father, require much of Elizabeth's time. She currently serves the Church as Mia-Maid advisor, ward music chairman, and choir director, and plays violin whenever she can. One day, I would like to make shoes.

31 thoughts on “How Could That Hurt My Family?

  1. When same-sex couples seek California, Arizona, or Florida’s approval and all the benefits that the state reserves for married couples, they impose the law on everyone. According non-marital relationships the same status as marriage would mean that millions of people would be disenfranchised by their own governments. The state would be telling them that their beliefs are no longer valid, and would turn the civil rights laws into a battering ram against them, as has happened in Massachusetts, New Mexico, New Jersey, Alberta, and Sweden.

    Law is not a suggestion, as George Washington observed, “it is force”. An official state sanction of same-sex relationships as “marriage” would bring the full apparatus of the state against those who believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. Most law-abiding citizens view this as outlawing traditional morality.

  2. We cannot imagine the possible ways our opponents will use this law against us. I guess that is why we have prophets to direct us. Basing future returns on current results is a bad idea.

  3. SSM may hurt future generations in this way:

    When children start to enter school in a culture that has totally normalized homosexuality, (which will happen in California as soon as they rewrite the grade school curriculum to include SSM etc.) then homosexuality (both the attraction and homosexual acts) will be normalized, ie, not taboo as it is now.

    Then there will be some additional boys who don’t grow out of the normal girl-hating stage, because there will be no social pressure to do so, and some individuals need that social pressure, in addition to pure biology, to help that emotional growing-up to occur.

    There will be some boys and girls in high school, who are heterosexual, but are late bloomers, or awkward, or not popular. There will be some in high school who won’t be able to get dates with the opposite sex, just like has occurred since there have been high schools.

    But now, as those teenage sex hormones rage, those who can’t get dates (and those who are turned down for sex by the opposite sex) will have a new option for dating and a new option for a sexual outlet.

    If there’s “nothing wrong” with homosexual acts, and that’s the message that society gives when it blesses SSM, then many future teens will see homosexuality as a legitimate option to explore or even to choose.

    People say that homosexuality is not a choice. That may be true now (though personally, I do think some people choose it out of kink, or desperation, or hopelessness, or turn to it because of factors based on their relationships with parents).

    But in the future, after the taboo has been removed, teens who have never felt that taboo, will consider it (or see it presented to them by society) as a legitimate option for them as an experiment (to find out if they are hetero or homosexual), or as a legitimate sexual outlet.

    Teens who are unsure of themselves after not being able to get a date go through a lot of self-questioning, doubts, and wondering who they are. That can lead to questioning or seeking to find their sexual identity. And lots of teens just want to experiment and explore. That’s part and parcel of the teenage years.

    SSM isn’t likely going to affect your marraige, and your current teens. And the societal taboo may not be totally removed by the time your toddlers enter 1st grade.

    But enough of the taboo will be removed as soon as the school curriculums are rewritten, such that those entering kindergarten and 1st grade now, and then pass through all the formative years in that millieu of no taboo against homosexuality, then when those kids reach the dating and sexual-experimentation years (about 11 to 15 years from now), you’re going to see homosexual experimentation the likes of which is going to severely impact our society.

    Your heart is going to break.

    You LDS parents of young children now, you realize that your children might experiment with sex before they are married. You’re going to teach them about the law of chastity. But still, some of them are going to have sex before marriage, and some will have sex while in high school.

    When SSM and homosexuality are normalized, many of your future children are going to experiment with homosexual sex. How will you feel about that trite phrase “SSM can’t affect me” then?

    But it will then be too late to put the SSM genie back in the bottle.

    Okay, there’s always repentance. One can repent of homosexual unchastity just like one can repent of heterosexual unchastity.

    But there is another monkey wrench that will have a huge power to mess up the future children in talking about:

    First sexual encounters (at any age, child, teen, or adult) have a huge impact on defining one’s sexual identity and sexual response.

    If a teen’s first sexual experimentation is homosexual, and if an experienced slightly older partner knows the right buttons to push to make it physically pleasurable, then such a teen might conclude they are homosexual. That kind of experiment/assumption already happens, but it will increase many fold if societal taboos against such experimentation are removed.

  4. Geoff, I explained my take on extrapolating this issue to a friend who is in the Stake YW presidency. She has also worked a lot with the young women in her ward. She said “It’s already here” and cited the popular song “I Kissed a Girl” by Katy Perry. She cited some of her observations about her male gay friends who described childhood sexual abuse and seduction at a young age.

    There’s a lot being left unsaid in this debate. There are many little-known facts or at least trends about homosexuals and homosexuality that most heterosexuals don’t know, and are absent from the debate because it’s not politically correct or polite to discuss some things.

    I sort of feel sorry for some of the politically correct under 35-year old bloggernaclers who are so piously tolerant to the point of acceptance on the issue, who haven’t seen the societal trends on this which started going into the open in the 1970’s.

    With government approved SSM, it’s no longer about what two consenting adults do in private. It’s now about grade school text books which will be presenting homosexuality as normalized as heterosexuality.

    Even if, even if, homosexuality is currently only practiced when someone is a born-that-way homosexual, within a generation it will transform into something that will be perceived by an upcoming generation as a legitimate option to choose from.

    How many more teens will think “I can have sex with a boy or a girl, it makes no difference” ?

    Homosexual teens who have already discovered (or chosen) their sexual identity will openly hit on teens who are sexually immature (just like is done heterosexually now).

    You will not only have to strengthen your daughters to resist seduction from sexually aggressive heterosexual males, you’ll have to strengthen your daughters against sexually aggressive homosexual females.

    And if your daughter is not popular, and is crushed that no boy asked her to the junior prom, but her gay friend Susie asked her to be her date at the prom, what will you say?

    And remember, in your future daughter’s eyes, and in the eyes of society, there is nothing wrong with two girls going to the prom as dates.

    What if Susie is the only kid at school who has been nice to your daughter? How do you then advise your daughter? What if Susie wants, or offers a good-night kiss to your daughter after the prom? How do you advise your daughter of how far to go? Or how do you tell her she shouldn’t be dating Susie in the first place?

    How would you respond if you tell your daughter that she’s not gay, but she says “How do I know for sure, unless I try it out?” Remember, your daughter will have spent her formative years in a soceity with no taboo against homosexuality. So your insistence (no matter how accurate) that she isn’t homosexual will be seen as prejudice.

    And think through an analogous situation with a son who was turned down by all the girls he asked to the junior prom.

  5. Bookslinger, it sounds like we have only two options to ensure our children’s heterosexuality in the world you describe:

    1. We will have to rely on ourselves to teach our children that we disagree with the moral choices that some people make, like drinking coffee, regardless of the fact that there is no taboo against coffee drinkers in our corrupt society. We should of course later tell them that coffee drinkers are still people once they are old enough.

    2. We will have to get a lot of older, experienced heterosexuals to seduce our youth, especially the ugly ones, and normalize them into heterosexuality by pushing the right buttons.

  6. I like to use Immanuel Kant’s “categorical imperative” when encountering a sticky moral issue.

    “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.”

    In short, if everyone in the world were to join in, would it be good for the whole, or would it have adverse effects?

    In my opinion, it is a categorical imperative that “SSM” is immoral, because if everyone in the world practiced it, we would cease to exist as a species.

  7. TT, I don’t know how old you are, but let’s be sure to revisit this conversation when your grandkids turn 16. (Or when any of your future children/grandchildren who haven’t been born yet turn 16.)

    This is an issue that cannot be judged by static analysis. This is a dynamic of historical proportions that must be looked at from a generational viewpoint.

    The prophets and apostles see this, and other issues, from a generational viewpoint.

    I remember the changes in society’s attitudes towards homosexuals starting in the late 70’s. People started to come out of the closet. Gays started to be activists. The trendy more-tolerant-than-thou liberals would have mocked (and probably did) any conservatives who suggested that it would come to legalizing gay marriage.

    The main so-called “evidence” that people don’t or can’t choose homosexuality is the question: “Why would anyone choose to be homosexual in this homophobic society?”

    Ok, so let’s make society stop being homophobic. Which is what SSM is about. And if SSM becomes approved nationwide, then the next generation will be much less homophobic, and so on, and so on.

    So absent a homophobic society, what’s to stop a certain percentage of adventurers from choosing to experiment? What’s to stop a certain percentage of people who can’t get a date to expand their dating pool? (Not universally, but just enough to boost the percentage of homosexuals from, say 5% to 10% or 15% of the population.)

    Though a genetic link/cause of homoexuality may exist, it’s not proven, it’s mere assumption.

    And even if there is a genetic link/cause, then there’s no reason to assume such is the _sole_ link/cause of homosexuality or homosexual behavior.

    One doesn’t need to deal in absolute or sole causes and effects when dealing with a quarter billion people. Just a trend, or a percentage, is enough to affect the lives of millions of people.

    It’s about experimenting among societal approved options. Teens want to do what they see their role models do, such as smoke, drink, and have sex. Do you really think some _future_ teens won’t be adding homosexual sex to that when homophobia is totally absent from their generation and that of their role models?

  8. People commit gay acts because they can’t get a date with girls Bookslinger? That’s nuts.

    And if you think gay marriage being legalized will encourage gay teens, you should take a closer look at Utah. Gay marriage is far from legal here, but according to a sister and nephew in different high schools in this are, the gay teen population is skyrocketing. They have each had friends come out, and nobody blinks other than the teachers. No official statistics or anything, but these are kids that live 100 miles away from each other.

    There are too many issues and fallacies in your posts for me to address when I’m supposed to be going on a date with my wife.

  9. Bookslinger, I have no doubt that you are an “experienced slightly older partner [who] knows the right buttons to push,” but as a moral follower I Christ, I am going to resist your temptations.

  10. “Definitely politically incorrect, Bookslinger.”

    You think Geoff? Tell me, how many months would you have to go without a date to start wanting to have sex with a man? Now or as a teenager?

  11. “Gay marriage is far from legal here, but according to a sister and nephew in different high schools in this are, the gay teen population is skyrocketing.”

    Interesting, so you’re saying that the rate of teenage self-identified homosexuals is rising at the same time as the acceptance of homosexuality within our society?

    Remind me again why Bookslinger was wrong?

    The Roman’s and the Greek’s had no cultural aversion to homosexual practices, and their men swung both ways. What is the argument that explains why our society won’t follow that route?

  12. “Tell me, how many months would you have to go without a date to start wanting to have sex with a man?”

    Spoken by a man who apparently was raised to have an aversion to homosexuality. Because it would take a lot of time for you to get over the “yuck” factor, wouldn’t it?

    Teenagers these days are not being raised in the same fashion. So now the question becomes:

    “Tell me, how many months would you have to go without a date to start wanting to have sex with someone?”

    Bookslinger is right.

  13. It is fascinating to me how quickly liberals on this board (and just about everywhere) begin accusing people who make the simplest comments of somehow being secretly gay. Look at the successive comments from TT and Jjohnsen. The fascinating thing is that they are supposedly progressive and tolerant, but the thinking that lies behind their comments is of course the assumption that implied homosexuality is the worst and most offensive thing in the world. So, when they don’t have any real arguments to make they make the basest insult they can think of, ie accusing their opponents of being secretly gay. If I were gay, I would be more offended by their assumption that homosexuality is the most insulting thing in the world than by anything John M, Bookslinger or myself have dared to say.

    Personally, I have no problems with my sexuality and no need to start accusing my political opponents of being secretly gay. But of course I am much less tolerant than your average liberal.

  14. I did not accuse Bookslinger of being gay! I was poking fun at his claim to superior wisdom because he is old. I was also poking fun at his phrase “pushing buttons,” which of course also means saying obnoxious things. Apparently my metaphor of not wanting to be seduced into a pointless conversation with someone who has no clue what he is talking about by the old guy saying obnoxious things went over your head.

  15. jj:

    People commit gay acts because they can’t get a date with girls Bookslinger? That’s nuts.

    A small fraction do in today’s society, yes. (And I’m not talking just about prison inmates.)

    And a small fraction commit gay acts just as experimentation. A good number of college women have been open about their experimentation with lesbian sex in college. In other words, if there’s nothing wrong with homosexuality, why not check it out and see what you’re missing? If you’re unsure of your own sexuality, go explore. “Find yourself.” “Be your own person.” “Find what’s good for you.”

    The Big Lie (about premarital sex being okay, nothing bad about it) has been around since forever, but the last time it openly hit mainstream America was in the 1960’s with the Sexual Revolution.

    I predict that “The Big Lie” (free love, all sex is good, etc) will, and has even started to, encompass homosexuality as well as heterosexual sex. (example: “I Kissed a Girl” by Kate Perry.)

    When you think this through, if you’re only looking at today’s generally homophobic society, and people today, and kids today, then you’re engaging in static analysis.

    Look backward. What has been the trend for the last 30 to 40 years? What has changed in regards to societal attitudes towards sex (hetero and homo), and what are the results of those changes?

    Extrapolate forward. What will happen 11 to 15 to 20 years from now?

    The real question is what will happen after the following two things happen:

    1. The societal taboo against homosexuality is removed or greatly reduced. There will be much less “ick” factor in regards to homosexuality.

    2. Teens start coming of age sexually, after spending their entire preceeding life in a cultural millieu where there is no taboo against homosexuality (no “ick” no “yuck”).

    It’s that transformation, that dynamic, against which we should analyze the exploration, the experimenting, the angst, the heartbreak (all the normal growing up stuff) of the teenage years.

    Today you’re right. Lack of dates doesn’t turn the average teen boy or teen girl gay. (Though it does cause some teens to question or “search for” their sexual identity and experiment.)

    But I put forth two things:

    1) we don’t need to focus on the average teen. I say focus on those who need society to set parameters, those whose parents don’t exercise their ability to be a greater influence than the culture at large (which includes most “non-churched” families), in addition to their parents and their own innate biology, and

    2) 11 to 15 years after SSM, it will be a whole new cultural millieu. The background against which this debate and analysis is done will have changed.

    Your “static analysis” ignores the trends that I’ve seen over the past 30 years. Extrapolate upon those trends, and then predict where this is going.

  16. Bookslinger, I believe that school curriculums will most definitely be rewritten to include an awareness of gay people and their families. But it will not depend on whether SSM is legal or not. Passage of Prop 8 will make no difference on way or another.

    What is really going on with school curriculums is the need to teach awareness and tolerance of diversity. Teaching about diversity helps prepare students to function in society. But more important, it creates a safer school environment for all those who are “different.” Bullying in schools is deadly and is epidemic.

    Reading King & King to school children is not about teaching SSM. It is to foster a respect for diversity.

    Earlier this month GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, released a comprehensive report on the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students, the 2007 National School Climate Survey. Among the findings are these statistics:

    86.2% of LGBT students reported being verbally harassed, 44.1% reported being physically harassed and 22.1% reported being physically assaulted at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation.

    73.6% heard derogatory remarks such as “faggot” or “dyke” frequently or often at school.

    More than half (60.8%) of students reported that they felt unsafe in school because of their sexual orientation, and more than a third (38.4%) felt unsafe because of their gender expression.

    31.7% of LGBT students missed a class and 32.7% missed a day of school in the past month because of feeling unsafe, compared to only 5.5% and 4.5%, respectively, of a national sample of secondary school students.

    The reported grade point average of students who were more frequently harassed because of their sexual orientation or gender expression was almost half a grade lower than for students who were less often harassed (2.8 versus 2.4).

    It is reports and statistics such as these that will bring a discussion of homosexuality and gay people into the open in our public schools. SSM does not demand it, rather, the safety of all our school children makes such curriculums imperative.

  17. John,

    I think you are correct to ask the question of whether the surrounding cultural milieu is conducive to LDS values. However, I’m not sure your underlying assumption is correct.

    If I understand you correctly, your position is that a society which is saturated with sexual immorality is inimical to the formation of families. Let’s stipulate that your position is correct. The next question then becomes, does SSM increase the amount of sexual immorality in the surrounding culture? It isn’t clear to me that that is true. Is it worse for teenagers to experiment with homosexuality that with heterosexual activity? Again, it may be, but it isn’t obvious to me that it is, and a case could be made that it isn’t as serious, since homosexual activity doesn’t produce unwed preganancies, abortions, etc.

    To put it another way, Clark county NV issues about 130,000 marriage licenses per year. My guess is that between 15-20% of those (or 20,000-25,000) are completely frivilous marriages, performed by a minister dressed as Elvis officiating for two drunken strangers in town for a two day quickie. Since SSM became legal in California, 11,000 gay marrriages have been performed. If we want to ban SSM, do we not need to argue that it is more harmful to marriages in general than Vegas weekend specials? I’m not sure that argument can be made.

    In other words, we heterosexual people have already done a very good job of running the institution of marriage right into the ground. It really is hard for me to imagine how gay people could make it any worse. But I appreciate your asking these questions, they are important.

  18. (Geoff B.: if I get too strident or too far afield, feel free to delete any of my comments, and/or send me a note via email.)

    Steven B: As I understand it, Church authorities basically teach “love the sinner, hate the sin”. That’s a difficult, if not impossible, message to get across in a secular setting.

    Hatred and violence towards individuals or even groups are never called for. Taunts, bullying and assaults are not acceptable in schools, and I support organized programs to eliminate such.

    But without religious education, will non-churched school children and teens understand concepts such as what our LDS leaders now preach concerning homosexuality, including the nuance between orientation/attraction and actions?

    This is a big minefield of how to teach children and teens tolerance of “the other”, but still allow students and their parents (of all stripes, parties, beliefs, etc.) to hold and express their religious and moral beliefs about behaviors.

    My fear is that those who are teaching awareness and tolerance are also teaching, or at least implying, “gay is okay, it’s a valid thing.” For 30 years now, the unspoken societal message among progressives, until Jerry Sienfeld coined the actual phrase, has been “not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

    Now if society removes the taboo (the ick factor), then parents, churched and unchurched, will have to teach their children “Yes, there is something wrong with homosexual behavior. Don’t go there.” That message is or will likely be in conflict with most school-based tolerance-and-diversity programs.

    Starting in the 70’s, schools basically stopped teaching moral values in regards to sex and family. Now, under the guise of tolerance and awareness of diversity, (and I’m all for tolerance and awareness of diversity) “anti” moral values are being delivered.

    Schools can’t teach the “hate the sin” (of homosexual behavior) since schools can’t pass that moral judgement on homosexual behavior as a church can. And schools can’t teach the “hate the sin” (of homosexual behavior) because frankly, most of America probably thinks it’s not a sin anymore.

    Yet in order to stop the bullies from beating up the out-of-the-closet gay teens, the schools apparently have to teach the “love the…” part.

    TT and jj are mostly right in today’s context, not taking a historical perspective, but in a few more years they won’t be, because things don’t stay the same. Every change in a generation affects the next generation. Today we are reaping what happened in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.

    The prophets have warned us, and they continue to warn us with things like the Proclamation on the Family, and their instructions on California’s Prop 8.

  19. “Is it worse for teenagers to experiment with homosexuality that with heterosexual activity?”

    Yes. The current narrative that our society pushes is that if you’re attracted to your own gender then you are gay. There is no changing it, no way to get around it, you’re trapped.

    Teenage heterosexual activity is a sin, but it’s something that you will hopefully be able to correct and move on with your life. Teenage homosexual activity could result in the youth being stuck in the lifestyle for life. Even though they could just as easily have ended up happily heterosexual.

  20. As a former bishop, I can offer anecdotal evidence that being spurned by girls can lead a young man to question his sexuality. He was then venerable to a sexual predator. One case, but how many times has that been repeated elsewhere? And how much more prevalent would it be if homosexuality were acceptable by society in general?

    “Is it worse for teenagers to experiment with homosexuality that with heterosexual activity?” Current rules are that those who have had homosexual experiences are not allowed to serve missions. Evidently it is worse in the eyes of the brethren.

  21. The New York Times several years ago published statistics which showed that homosexual Catholic priests were responsible for 90% of the sexual abuse by Catholic clergy. Father Groeshal, the Catholic Church’s expert on abuse estimates that homosexual priests were 10% of the clergy. Doing the math, that indicates that homosexual priests were 81 times as likely to abuse as were heterosexsual priests. That is why the Catholic church has cleaned out the seminaries which were attracting homosexuals.

    What further data do we need to recognize the diabolical effect of homosexual “marriage”?

  22. Wow. Truly amazing stuff, Defend Marriage. But I can see why you don’t want to put your name on that comment. I think what you are trying to say iis that homosexual people are 81 times more likely to be abusers. Guess what? Almost 100% of Mormon priesthood leaders who take advantage of their office to violate the law of chastity are heterosexual. What further data do we need to recognize the diabolical effect of heterosexual “marriage”?

    Floyd, the current standard also prevents those who have engaged in heterosexual activity from serving missions. The explanation that has been given as to why chastity is important is because it involves the powers that create life. Based on that explanation, I think that adultery and fornication lead the list in terms of seriousness, with homosexual activity somewhere down the line.

    Aluwid, I have no idea what lifestyle you mean, but the homosexual people I know have a lifestyle that involves working, grocery shopping, paying bills, going to PTA meetings, and raising the children they have adopted out of the foster care system, children which were the result of heterosexual carelessness.

  23. Mark,

    I’m sure every one of them also spends all their free time nursing injured sparrows back to health, volunteering at the homeless shelter, picking up garbage from the side of the highway, and otherwise proving that they are angels walking amongst us. But what does that have to do with your original question?

    You asked why homosexual experimentation was worse than heterosexual experimentation, I answered you. Heterosexual relationships and heterosexual intimacy are only sins when they fall outside the laws that God has set. Homosexual intimacy is always a sin. Kids that mess around with the opposite sex as teenagers are making a big mistake but they can repent and restrict their intimacy to the limits that God has set. Kids that mess around with their own sex can repent as well but they carry the added burden of having to deal with same-sex-attraction issues for the rest of their life.

    If you disagree that homosexual intimacy is a sin then I guess it makes no difference to you.

  24. Aluwid,

    You gave an answer that doesn’t make sense to me. Can you craft an answer that engages the church’s doctrine about the sanctity of the powers that create life? I would be interested to see an argument that says immorality that might create babies is not as bad as immorality that has no chance of creating life.

    I don’t believe your assertion that it is easier to repent from teenage hetero- violations of the LoC that homo- ones is self-evidently true. I allow for the possibility that it may be. On the other hand, why couldn’t it be easier? We already know that young men raised by lesbian women delay sexual activity of any kind for over a year longer than their peers. Nobody disputes that.

    John’s original question tried to get at the degree to which SSM might tend to inhibit the formation of stable, child-bearing families in the future. You have argued that societal acceptance of SSM will make it harder for teenagers to repent, and that homosexual sin is worse that heterosexual sin. Neither assertion can be supported by either A)church doctrine, or B)empirical evidence.

  25. Mark,
    You didn’t give the whole story about heterosexual unchastity disqualifying a young man from a mission. It is not a permanent disqualification. This is a common misunderstanding of what the new rules after ‘raise the bar’ are.

    After at least a year, and sufficient repentance/change/growth in the eyes of his bishop and stake president, such a young man can still go on a mission through the age of 25. (25 at the start of his mission, not at the end of the mission.) The overall principle is that a young man must be at or near the end of the repentance process for such a transgression. Whereas previously, they used to allow young men to go on a mission shortly after the start of such a repentance process.

    However, for homosexual activity, it is a permanent disqualification if it occurred after the age of 15. Homosexual experimentation prior to the age of 15 does not permanently bar one from missionary service.

    Mark again:

    The lifestyle of most of the homosexual people I’ve known also included various combinations of: high incidence of domestic violence, high incidence of drug use, high incidence of alcoholism, much promiscuity, and shorter life expectancy.

    A friend of mine noted that among the male
    homosexuals she knows, most were homosexually sexually abused as children. Unlike a rapist, a serial molester of children usually wants it to be a physically pleasurable experience and wants to create a “physical narcotic” so that the victim becomes a repeat and willing accomplice. Not only shame, but the guilt from having experienced any sensations of physical pleasure from the act also tends to keep the victims from telling anyone of the molestation.

    The guilt of having any sexual pleasure works towards keeping victims of both heterosexual as well as homosexual sex abuse silent. If you talk to those who counsel child abuse victims, it is a common thing.

    And as Aluwid pointed out, the current narrative is if you enjoyed it, you must be gay, and if you’re gay, it’s because you were born that way, and if you’re born that way, there’s no way to change.

    I think it almost meaningless to argue whether most child abusers are homosexual or heterosexual.
    Slightly more meaningful would be to compare the percent of homosexuals who molest versus the percent of heterosexuals who molest. Since homosexuals make up approximately 4% to 5% of the population, then one might expect 4% to 5% of child molesters to be homosexual.

    Floyd: Thanks for joining in. And how many more teens had those thoughts, but were too embarassed to voice them?

  26. You [Aluwid] have argued that societal acceptance of SSM will make it harder for teenagers to repent, and that homosexual sin is worse that heterosexual sin. Neither assertion can be supported by either A)church doctrine, or B)empirical evidence.

    Mark, A) I am amazed you have that viewpoint. I thought it was self-evident. However, please talk to your bishop or stake pres about the issue if you really want to learn more. Or, even talk to people who professionally counsel survivors of child sex abuse.

    B) I think you either don’t know enough survivors of homosexual child abuse, or homosexuals in general. Or you haven’t known many homosexuals well enough to find out many of the things (skeletons, dirty secrets, etc) that are being left unsaid in the public debate. Sure, homosexuals cover the whole spectrum of all dimensions of humanity. But the popular media’s picture of the average homosexual being a well-adjusted contributor to society, just like everyone else except who they are sexually attracted to, is incorrect.

  27. With respect, Bookslinger, you know nothing about me or the callings I have had or currently have. You are simply misinformed about whether teenage heterosexual young men who violate the law of chastity and then repent can serve missions. (Hint: I have in my posession a letter from SLC stating that if a 15 year old violates the LoC and repents fully and immdediately , he still is unable to serve at age 19.)

    I’ve counselled more survivors of child sexual abuse than I can count. 95% of them are female victims of married, priesthood holding men. Those young women will carry that burden for the rest of their lives, and it will affect their mental health, their marriages, and their future children. Sometimes it will make it impossible for them to sustain any kind of relationship with a man at all. It boggles my mind to hear people single out gay men as bogeymen.

    I am also amazed. I am amazed that so many of us think so many things are self-evidently true and don’t warrant further inquiry, when my own experience tells me we are mistaken.

    Gentlemen, I’m going to bow out of this conversation. I hope we can engage one another on other topics at some future time.

  28. You are simply misinformed about whether teenage heterosexual young men who violate the law of chastity and then repent can serve missions. (Hint: I have in my posession a letter from SLC stating that if a 15 year old violates the LoC and repents fully and immdediately , he still is unable to serve at age 19.)

    Well, I am confused now. That was not the case in a ward I was in about 2 years ago.

    I’ve counselled more survivors of child sexual abuse than I can count. 95% of them are female victims of married, priesthood holding men.

    And in an LDS setting or community that ratio does make sense. Most homosexual adult men are not going to stick around the church very long. So the ratio you observed would not logically extrapolate to the American population at large.

    Those young women will carry that burden for the rest of their lives, and it will affect their mental health, their marriages, and their future children. Sometimes it will make it impossible for them to sustain any kind of relationship with a man at all.

    Amen, and amen. I agree to all that. I’ve seen it too in my circle of associations as people are now more open to discuss such things.

    It boggles my mind to hear people single out gay men as bogeymen.

    Um, gay men (and lesbian women) are being singled out here because SSM and societal acceptance of homosexual behavior is the topic of this disucssion/debate.

    I am also amazed. I am amazed that so many of us think so many things are self-evidently true and don’t warrant further inquiry, when my own experience tells me we are mistaken.

    Yeah. And it works both ways. But if anything we’re illustrating how observations and associations can greatly vary.

  29. It seems we have a direct conflict of info here on homosexual acts vs. heterosexual acts and worthiness. Given that I work with the Young Men’s organization, I can probably find out the straight scoop (or at least our bishop’s perception of it). I wonder if the bishop’s handbook directly addresses this issue.

  30. I appreciate all those who have forcefully yet civily but forth their thoughts on this matter. I will close comments later tonight.

    Mark Brown raised the issue of why homosexual activity should be any more of a concern than other things that damage our ability to form and maintain marriages; since heterosexuals vastly outnumber homosexuals, why is it so important what that little group does? My view is that the advocacy each way is over a token more than about a particular matter. Among advocates of marriage between homosexuals, I would guess over 80% of them are heterosexual. Many are motivated by concerns for liberty and equality, but I think the movement is propelled by people who seek to end any capacity for society to disapprove their improper behavior. A big example of who I mean is New York’s governor, David Paterson, who has been working for marriage between homosexuals since he took office, and who right away let everyone know that since his adultery was not funded by taxpayers, then it’s no one’s business how the governor conducts his marriage.

Comments are closed.