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About Daniel2

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    Culturally-Mormon Gay Dad
  • Birthday 01/01/1973

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  1. I second this. I also reject the notion that I suggest that "sex is my most important need," nor do I "focus on protecting [my] own sexual behavior above all other considerations." I am fairly confident that none of my gay friends or acquaintances would characterize themselves as such, either. I was not "sexualized at an early age." I am not "addicted to sex." The idea that Kevin wants to throw "sex addition" at anything homosexual as if it is a root cause is entirely alien to me and entirely unsupported by science or any health findings. Additionally, my ongoing engagement on this board hasn't been about "protecting my sexual behaviors" at all, but about protecting my familial relationships through marriage and equal civil rights around equal access and service laws based on public accommodations, as well as building bridges of understanding and mutual respect between the LDS and LGBT communities, none of which have to do with "protecting my sexual behaviors," which already have been legally protected for the last 15 years since SCOTUS's 2003 ruling Lawrence v. Texas.
  2. I think all comments being made in this discussion itself around these points illustrates that the language used was anything but "plain, clear, unambiguous and unequivocal" stating that marriage is only to be pursued after a cure has been found.
  3. I think, for some like Kiwi, it sounds like it's really, really important to draw a distinction between what the highest LDS leadership (the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve) were saying, vs. what local leaders were saying. While that's understandable purely on an intellectual level, I'm not sure the distinction matters (speaking only for myself) on a practical level. In my experience, individual members usually never meet over individual issues with the Twelve; rather, individual members are directed to seek counsel with and guidance through their appropriate local leadership. Taught that the Lord's appointed Judges in Israel and the shepherds of their flocks, I believed that my bishops received revelation for me and all the members of our wards, and Latter-day Saints are taught to view their local leaders' counsel as revelation from the Lord (obviously, while being counseled to pray about things to receive a personal witness of the bishop's counsel, as well). Perhaps Kiwi and those like him find some relief in the belief that drawing the distinction between what local leaders are saying deflects accountability, fallibility, and blame from the FP and Twelve. But I'm well past trying to blame anyone for the ill-advised counsel I was receiving, because I've already made peace with the fact that everyone at every level had the best of intentions in mind; no one was offering that (unwise) counsel out of malice; they were doing so out of ignorance. I mean that term in the purest sense, not as an epithet; they simply didn't know better and believed they were doing the best thing, especially presuming most of them were likely straight and genuinely believed from their own personal experience that having relations with a woman was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and how could anyone not enjoy it...? I don't mean to be graphic there---but I've tried to put myself in their shoes. As much as I may have wanted to blame them at one point in my life, I alone am ultimately responsible for my choices and mistakes, even my own misguided ones that were none-the-less well-supported and advocated for by virtually all the personal authority figures I was taught to trust in my life. What I am grateful for is that today, it seems clear that the message not to marry as a step in overcoming one's homosexual attractions is now commonly understood by even local leaders.
  4. Thanks for sharing! That's good info. I suppose I see Oak's 1986 interview different than you do. I agree that marriage wasn't presented "as an act of repentance," even by my bishops and therapist, but It was presented as the NEXT step following repentance, as I mentioned in my last post. Oaks certainly doesn't deny that marriage is recommended; in fact, contrary to Kiwi's claims of knowing what church leaders were saying, Oak freely admits he doesn't know what was being said: ELDER OAKS: I don't know whether that has been recommended by individual bishops or priesthood leaders counseling persons in individual circumstances. I just don't know that... I don't know whether that has been recommended or not because the counseling sessions you refer to are very confidential counseling sessions and when the bishop comes out of that counseling session he doesn't report to anyone. When the person he's talking to comes out of that session they're free to talk to anyone and say anything without fear of contradiction. So I don't know. I just don't know what has been said in such sessions.[1] That being said, I'm actually shocked to see that the quote by Hinckley is from 1987... I appreciate you bringing those dates up, because I agree with you--it is actually much earlier than even I realized. I first heard that quotation in the early 2000's when I started doing some personal study on the internet about it, and I presumed it was a recent quote (from the early 2000's), given my experiences to the contrary. As I reflect on why that may have been the case, I suppose it's because of two things: in 1987, I was only 14 and whatever was going on that General Conference, I clearly missed that one... And additionally, we simply didn't have the power of internet search engines. I would presume that the lack of internet resources (and an aversion to avoiding talking about certain subjects with the intent of avoiding premature exposure and arousing curiosity, in my experience with LDS culture) may also have contributed to that quote taking a while to trickle down into practice with local bishoprics. I don't pretend to know what kind of counsel or training bishops received on this issue; I only know what I experienced and the testimony of other men like me who likewise received similar counsel well into the 1990's--I received the counsel to marry as a step to overcome my SSA from my two bishops and the LDS BYU-employed therapist between 1992-1995 before eventually marrying in 1997.
  5. With all due respect, Kiwi, there is no way you can claim to know "what was being said" vs. what was not being said, or what local Church leaders were saying or what they weren't saying. You weren't there. You're appealing to your interpretation of the words of a 36-year-old packet and asserting that you know what local leadership were saying about that packet, while rejecting the testimony of hundreds of men--including CaliforniaBoy AND myself--who are telling you exactly what we were told: to get married and once we started having relations, our same-sex attractions would 'go away.' It was VERY much described as THE step we needed to take to 'overcome' our problem. WE, and the hundreds of other men and women like us--were there. WE lived it. WE can testify what was said. YOU cannot. YOU were not there. YOU did not live it. You may have been told something different by your own church leaders, and that's fine--you can testify of YOUR truth. But you cannot presume to speak of or even know what WE experienced or did not experience.
  6. For all Kiwi's blustering about whether or not it was "policy," I personally experienced two different bishops in two different stakes in the early 1990's (as well as a straight, LDS graduate student at BYU who ran the local Evergreen group and had an on-campus office where he met with and specialized in helping male BYU students 'overcome their SSA') who advised me to marry a woman--knowing full well I still experienced 'same-sex attraction'--and promised, "in the name of the Lord," that He would then bless me with 'natural' heterosexual affection for my wife once (as in after) I started "having relations" (their words) with her. Further, I was told by both bishops not to tell my wife of my attractions, because a) I had already confessed and repented of it through the proper Priesthood channels and the Lord remembered it no more, and b) that it would only cause my future fiancé "to question her own femininity and worth as a woman," and that it would "only damage our relationship." These were not isolated incidents in which I may have 'misunderstood' what the bishops and therapist were saying... they occurred over years' worth of meetings with both bishops and the therapist. Several years ago, when I helped found The Utah Gay Father's Association in Pleasant Grove, Utah, our first meeting consisted of 19 formerly LDS men, all RMs, 3/4 BYU grads, all formerly married in the temple, and all of whom were told the exact same thing I was. Call it policy, practice, ill-founded advice, or whatever you want... but LDS bishops from the 70's to the 90's were advising gay men to get married with the promise ("in the name of the Lord," no less) that we would be cured. Trying to argue over semantics of whether it was advice/policy/practice/counsel minimizes the very real damage that many of us personally endured from following well-intentioned, but tragically ill-advised, counsel. The pain of everyone involved--straight spouses, gay spouses, children, etc.--in many of these ill-advised mixed orientation marriages (the vast majority of which ended in suffering, pain, and divorce for most of us involved, gay or straight, adult or child) is reason enough to condemn recommending the practice of marriage as a step in becoming straight, and especially when concealing it from one's straight fiancé. Thankfully, in recent years, Church leaders have said that heterosexual marriage should NOT be considered as a step to overcome 'SSA,' even though it's (unfortunately, IMO) still strongly considered to be a goal to aim towards for most devout gay LDS men.
  7. Bob, I NEVER made the point that blacks overwhelmingly support gay rights. Not once, ever. You’re jousting at a windmill in trying to refute an argument that was never made. Additionally, I haven't made any appeals to social science regarding Dr. King's dream and my adoption of his verbiage, so I'm not sure what you mean when you say "Daniel's...gut-feel approach to social science." CFR on that if you believe otherwise, please. You started throwing out all your stuff about black voters' support of Prop 8 in some sort of incoherent response objecting to my signature line invoking Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's dream. The whole Prop 8 thing is a giant red herring to the topic of this thread. Yes, back in 2008, a majority of black voters supported Prop 8–a point I’ve never denied. At this point, Prop 8 is water under the bridge and I'm personally not particularly interested in discussing it anymore (though I'm happy to respect others' desire to continue to do so, which is why I haven't asked for you all to stop, despite it being off-topic). My point ever since has been to try to clarify that it doesn't matter to me one bit that a majority of blacks voted against Prop 8--that has nothing to do with my invocation of Dr. King's verbiage. Blacks don't "own" Dr. King's vision or dream, nor can they control who invokes similar language. No one does. We're all free to form and voice our opinions objecting to or agreeing with someone's use or application of it, but none of us are free to forbid someone else from doing so. And my point in my justification in using it was that if Dr. King's widow felt justified in invoking her husband's dream to the gay and lesbian community and our struggle for equal civil rights, then I feel equally justified in doing so, whether or not you agree, whether or not that young black woman you met agrees, whether or not the majority of black voters in Prop 8 agreed, etc.
  8. Last Movie You Watched

    Glad you loved it, too! I've been four times, some of which included some of our kids, another our grandkids, and one was MY 75-year-old mom. Everyone loved it--including our 16-year-old grandson!
  9. Good grief. Would it REALLY have been so hard to simply post the link?!! For those interested, here it is:
  10. Bob, I’ve asked before, and haven’t seen an answer yet. Can you please post a link to where we can read/purchase your article?
  11. Hi, Calm, As I mentioned yesterday, my intention was to get a better personal response to your post when I had a bit more time. I understand and appreciate that you're trying to give some context and maybe read between the lines of what Bob was saying in the above, and I think there are many points that I understand and don't dispute, namely: some/many people (regardless of their own race) are uncomfortable with and don't agree with comparisons between the struggle for racial equality to the struggle for LGBT equality some/many people see some clear differences between 'race as an observable physical trait' vs. 'sexuality as a behavioral trait' the majority of black voters in California voted in support of Prop 8 in 2008 your point that prop 8 was 10 years ago, and isn't a good measure of today's general opinion Dr. King wasn't the determiner of black opinion, nor was he forced to accept the majority of black opinion as his own Each of us (including, but not Dr. King, you, me, and every other person in the world) should first be taken as our own views without them being automatically applied to any general demographic group which we may or may not be a part of but if there's evidence from multiple activists/polls/sources, that at least provides further context to how to interpret unknowable questions such as "How would Dr. King feel about invoking his metaphors/verbiage/tactics with regards to the struggle for gay rights today?" And I agree with Gray's succinct comments just prior to yours, as well. Further, I understand that it will always be debatable about whether or not Dr. King would have agreed with the extension of his dream to include equality for same-sex couples and their families. With all of that said (and again, I think it's almost always helpful to clarify context), my point really had very little to do with how black voters felt about marriage for same-sex couples, or even how the majority of blacks feel about people like me using King's words to draw parallels to the LGBT civil rights movement. My point was far simpler: regardless of how many blacks may object to same-sex supporters' use of the metaphor, if Dr. King's wife could invoke it (as she did forcefully and on numerous occasions), then I don't think it's Bob's place to tell me NOT to use the same verbiage Dr. King's wife used. Further, the implication that if a black person/group of people (in Bob's words, the young black woman, and in subsequent posts, the entire black voting population that voted 'yes' to Prop 8 ) might object to my use of the verbiage of King's dream, that then, because of the color of their skin, black people have a higher moral claim/authority to the invocation of King's dream than a white gay man like me--that is, to control how King's verbiage is used--is, I believe, contrary to the color-blind vision that King himself sought to promote--where people aren't judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character (whether black, or in the case of blacks objection to whites adoption of King's values, because they are white--and gay). You mentioned that if there's input from multiple activists/polls/sources, that greater credence would be given. The article that I posted mentions that one of Kings' daughters (today, the Rev. Bernice King ) and I'm aware of one of King's extended family members, a niece--both of who's religious beliefs don't sound particularly gay-affirmative--object to the words of their father/uncle by gay activists. In my mind, the fact that they were children during their fathers' most active efforts in the civil rights movement is noteworthy. Whereas the following adult contemporaries hold the opposite view: Coretta Scott King, Dr. King's widow, who (as you said) likely knew him best forcefully and on many occasions drew the parallels and called for the extension of her husbands' dream to include our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. Reverent C.T. Vivian, a contemporary of King and co-director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference 'Brother Bayard' Rustin, one of Kings' closest allies, confidants, friends, and co-leaders with whom he closely worked was also openly-gay Lynn Cothren, Mrs. Kings' assistant and one of her closest aids was also openly gay. Besides those contemporaries of the Kings, the article does a good job detailing the lack of any personal or public condemnations or negative sermons about gays and lesbians by King himself, despite extensive (and intrusive) government wire-tapping. Additionally, religious contemporaries of Dr. King, themselves say King would have championed gay rights today, and gives content as to why King felt he couldn't publically call for gay-inclusion, as it would have destroyed the civil rights movement in 1958 at a time when homosexuality was classified as a clinical disorder. Finally, given all of the above, several political historians and authors close to King, his contemporaries, and the details of their lives, work, and efforts all assert that King would likely have been supportive of gay inclusion and equality, including: Ravi Perry, a political science professor at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts Jerald Podair, a history professor at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin and author of “Bayard Rustin: American Dreamer" Michael Long, author of, “I Must Resist: Bayard Rustin’s Life in Letters" and “Keeping it straight? Martin Luther King, Jr., Homosexuality, and Gay Rights.” Saladin Ambar, a political scientist at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania Now.... if all of these people can invoke Dr. King's dream, vision, verbiage, and legacy, then I don't understand how Bob can feel justified in telling me to stop doing so, even if he disagrees. Additionally, he told me, instead, to use the words of a British playwright--someone I'd never even heard of and who, in my experience, has absolutely no philosophical connection that I'm aware of to the modern LGBT civil rights movement other than merely being gay himself, while according to Wikipedia, not even openly so during his lifetime. THAT attitude is what I objected to... that merely because some other black people disagree, and because Bob himself finds it inappropriate, that Bob felt a moral superiority to tell me to stop doing something. Initially, I had expected him to respond to my quotation of Ms. Kings' words with something along the lines of "Oh... I hadn't realized that King's widow likewise used Kings' vision and verbiage in describing the struggle for equality by gays and lesbians... While I still personally disagree that the comparison is apt, I suppose it's at least understandable that you might do the same." Instead, Bob responded with "well, let's focus on facts, not who said what about who." And that's where I was expecting a bit more good faith. In the end, it's not really about Bob or me or anyone else, I suppose. And in all honesty, I've learned a lot myself about Dr. King, his legacy, and those that were around him and knew him best. So whether or not I got what I was expecting from Bob, I'm still grateful for the conversation and for all the participation, as well all continue to learn together. Best, D
  12. A little bit of new info on the upcoming documentary was discussed in this week's issue of Billboard Magazine. I note that this article again invokes Reynolds's previous verbiage (that "being gay is a sin") that many members here found to be misleading and objectionable, insisting that that phrase (that "to be gay is a sin") doesn't represent LDS belief/doctrine/policy, since the church has recently clarified it's views that 'acting' on the attractions is a sin, while 'being' gay is not. I imagine the objections to his use of that phrase will continue with regards to it's use again this short article; it will be interesting to see how the documentary tackles the topic, what verbiage is used, and whether or not that distinction is made or clarified; I hope it will, because being anything less than completely transparent about the issue isn't helpful to anyone.
  13. Hey, Calm, Thanks for your thoughts, as well. I don't have time to respond in full to your post, and even though I don't think the following article articulates everything I'd like to say in response, I'll share it today as food for thought until I find some time tomorrow to respond properly. Thanks! D
  14. I'm not offended. Just surprised--I was under the impression we were engaged in a conversation in good faith. In this case, what you call "focusing on the facts" strikes me merely as avoidance on your part to admitting that if Coretta Scott King can speak to the two movements similarities, it's certainly not inappropriate for me to do so. Yet after having had it pointed out to you in several posts from multiple posters, it appears you won't. We now know what to expect in regards to good faith efforts from you going forward.
  15. Hm. It's disappointing to see that you were the one that called me out for invoking the words of Dr. King, both personally and your account of the young African-American woman 's objections, and then when we've shown through numerous quotes by his late widow that that's entirely acceptable, your response is 'let's not argue over who said what' and to then talk about Prop 8--which wasn't the topic at all.