Saturday, September 29, 2012

I am entitled to fairness and equality

An interesting post from Misty may be found here:

My response:

Thank you, Misty, for addressing the issue of homosexuality. It takes courage to venture into a topic that most people prefer to ignore. It is my belief that discussion and the light that proceeds from it will one day eradicate the stigma and bigotry endured by gay and Lesbian people, especially in the LDS Church.

I am truly glad that you have gay friends. I’m sure they have helped to open your eyes somewhat to our lives and challenges. It is obvious, however, that you have never ridden the emotional and spiritual roller-coaster that comes with having a homosexual person central in your life. And so I would like to offer another view and opinion.

While I wish I had the time and space to discuss your post in depth, there are two key points I would like to address.

First, as a gay man, I honestly do not want compassion or special treatment. I do not want to be an object of pity. I love who I am and count my homosexuality a gift from Heavenly Father. I, like most gay Latter-day Saints whether active or not, recognize that I am a noun, not an adjective.

And I am a man. Regardless of what some might teach, neither I nor most of my gay male friends have the desire or interest in being anything but men.

As men, we are entitled to be treated fairly and equally.

You imply that you have the right to believe that homosexuality is aberrant and only heterosexuality is ordained of God.

I, along with most of my gay and Lesbian brothers and sisters, agree. You have that right.

But I, like you, also have the right to believe and I believe that God generously grants his grace to homosexuals and heterosexuals alike. And because of God’s grace and my divine nature, I have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, just like you. 

While I would never attempt to deprive you the rights to happiness despite our differing views and perspectives, you demand that I accept your belief as definitive. You force me under law to comply with a belief I find repugnant and contrary to moral and empirical evidence.

Yet I do not ask you to give up your belief. I only demand that I be allowed the same respect and privilege.

Second point, your comments regarding homosexual sex are misleading at best and utterly fail to deal with the core issues cited in the study. As a result, you do a great disservice to truth and understanding.

The truth is that homosexual sex is no more risky than heterosexual sex. Promiscuity, not sex, leads to disease.

If, as a homosexual man, I live in a committed monogamous relationship (like...marriage) my odds of contracting HIV, gonorrhea, syphilis, or any other STI are no greater than  yours...nearly zero. My life expectancy, when involved in a committed monogamous relationship is no different from that of heterosexual men.

The real problem is that the Latter-day Saint community forces gays and Lesbians to choose between celibacy, a state that every missionary teaches to be unnatural and unhealthy, a state that even the Endowment condemns ("It is not good for man to be alone.") and promiscuity.

How much more reasonable and effective to recognize and promote the core principle of chastity and fidelity rather than to leave homosexuals with the impossible choice of a life of loneliness and isolation or unnatural celibacy.

My greatest sadness is that when nearly all homosexual Latter-day Saints recognize and accept who they are, they reject not only the church, but religion in general. And why do they reject the church and God? It is not because of an uncontrolled sexual appetite. It is because the church’s truth forces them to believe what they know from experience is not true and gives them no alternative on which to nurture faith.

Again, I appreciate the opportunity to provide another view, an alternate opinion. I hope that with meditation and prayer you will come through the Spirit to grasp the real complexity of this issue and understand that the traditional member view of black and white neither furthers truth nor pleases God.

While my response above addressed two factual issues in Misty's post, there is a much larger issue that I need to tackle at some point. That issue involves the power for one party to rob another party of its civil rights and justify the act under the guise of religious freedom. While civility and compassion are good and noble ideals, there comes a time when tyranny must be confronted and exorcised from society.  At those times civility and compassion may be required to take a back seat to truth.


  1. thank you for your courage and perspective.

  2. Thank you. Misty's post frankly made me sick.

  3. An alternative for us would be great.