We All Have Agency and the Power to Choose, But You’re Missing the Point

gay-marriage

Most LDS church leaders will agree with the official church position that a homosexual orientation is not a choice or a sin, though there are far too many bishops and stake presidents in the church who won’t even agree with that. But even in official church teachings, they always follow on by saying that acting on those attractions IS a choice and a sin.

For instance, talking about homosexual orientation, Elder M. Russell Ballard stated: “Let us be clear: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes that the experience of same-sex attraction…itself is not a sin, but acting on it is. Even though individuals do not choose to have such attractions, they do choose how to respond to them.” (italics added)

While I agree that all members, straight and gay, have the God-given power of agency to choose how they respond to any situation, straight people are not qualified to make a judgement on this topic as it relates to gay members. It is hypocritical for any straight member to suggest that gay members should just exercise a little self control and be celibate… for the rest of their lives! Once there is a church leader who has chosen to be celibate for the rest of his life, then he will have a right to say something about it. It is the epitome of hypocrisy to condemn others for not choosing lifelong celibacy when they themselves are not willing to make the same choice.

Instead of condemning gay members and excluding same-sex couples, church leaders should be trying to empathize and extend their love and support, even though we don’t have all the answers on homosexual orientation in the eternal scheme of things. The current absence of further light and knowledge on this subject should not prevent leaders from loving and ministering to gay members in their wards and stakes. Support and acceptance should not be restricted to only single gay members striving to be celibate, but it should also be extended to members who are striving to live the law of chastity by committing to a loving and monogamous same-sex marriage. Church leaders should be applauding gay members who are in such marriages, not ostracizing them and labeling them as apostates.

The church prohibiting and condemning same-sex marriage does nothing but promote sexual promiscuity and a host of other destructive behaviors among gay members. Am I the only one who can see the link between the exclusion policy and depression, suicide attempts, and other dangers?

If the church really wants to support gay members in living the gospel and keeping temple covenants such as the law of chastity, then how can they justify denouncing marriage for same-sex couples? Marriage is the time-honored institution for combating sexual degenerateness in society throughout history. If the church really wants to defend the institution of marriage, then why isn’t it promoting same-sex marriage for gay members?

How different things would be if the church would instead support and encourage gay members to enter into a loving, committed, monogamous same-sex marriage. So many lives would be spared. So much grief and sorrow in members lives could be averted. So many members would stay in the church and continue to make tremendous contributions to the building up of the kingdom. So many opportunities are being lost because the church continues to enforce the exclusion policy and to condemn same-sex marriage.

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3 thoughts on “We All Have Agency and the Power to Choose, But You’re Missing the Point

  1. Are you aware that there are MANY straight women (and fewer men) who are “celibate for their entire lives”? People who long to be married in the temple but through no fault of their own are never given that opportunity. They choose to keep the law of chastity until they are one day able to be married in the temple. For many, that day doesn’t come in their lifetime. I know many of these people personally. Many of them share the same views as the church leaders you speak of. Being straight does not automatically disqualify a person from speaking on this topic. I believe that sort of mentality would close doors to open discourse on this topic.

  2. Rambikoff, I have to disagree with your statement, and I disagree emphatically. You are basically saying that when the church demands gay members to be single and celibate for life, it is no different than when the church requires single straight members to remain celibate. The truth is, it is very different.

    It is true that when any member is single, the church requires all (gay or straight) to abstain from sexual relations. I fully sustain church leaders in teaching this standard of chastity. However, that is the extent of the similarity, because when a straight member falls in love with someone and wants to marry that person, the church fully supports and encourages their marriage. But when a gay member falls in love with someone and wants to marry that person, the church denies them that opportunity and they are shamed, ostracized, and labeled apostates. Gay members are required to remain single and celibate for their entire lives, while straight members are supported in getting married should they have that opportunity. Very big difference!

    I hope you, and many other straight members of the church, can see the stark difference and will stop shaming gay members by saying it is no different for straight members. Not only is this a double-standard that is unfair, but it is discriminatory and oppressive toward gay members, and demonstrates a severe lack of Christlike empathy and compassion.

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