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Daniel2

Bishops: Gay Partnerships "have Merit"

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It's one thing to say that gays should not be denied hospital visitation rights, fair housing rights, probate rights, employment rights, et cetera as  human rights.  That is to say, they should be accorded these rights irrespective of sexual orientation.  I believe the Church of Jesus Christ holds this conviction, and I hold it as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ.  To its credit, the Church has been more forthright in putting forth this stance in recent years in an effort to clarify the line that the Church cannot and will not cross.  But saying that gays should not be denied these rights because they're human rights is a far cry from the Church of Jesus Christ abandoning the stance it has always held that (1) marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God; and (2) sex outside of marriage is wrong.

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It's one thing to say that gays should not be denied hospital visitation rights, fair housing rights, probate rights, employment rights, et cetera as human rights. That is to say, they should be accorded these rights irrespective of sexual orientation. I believe the Church of Jesus Christ holds this conviction, and I hold it as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. To its credit, the Church has been more forthright in putting forth this stance in recent years in an effort to clarify the line that the Church cannot and will not cross. But saying that gays should not be denied these rights because they're human rights is a far cry from the Church of Jesus Christ abandoning the stance it has always held that (1) marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God; and (2) sex outside of marriage is wrong.

I understand and agree with what you wrote here, Ken.

It was not my intention to suggest the church has changed any doctrines.

Yet. ;)

However, it's leaders HAVE made a tremendous shift in the rhetoric and tone of how they approach gays, lesbians, and even the civility, mutual respect, and civil recognition and legal rights that gay relationships warrent.

And I believe the church SHOULD get kudos for that tonal and civil shift.

Never in a million years would I have thought that my own mother, brother, sister-in-law, and aunt would attend my husband's and my wedding. I definitely credit www.mormonsandgays.com for helping to make that happen.

I am grateful that LDS culture is becoming more tolerant, and I will continue to be an embassador for and between both the LDS and the LGBT communities as we all try to navigate a peaceful, mutually-respectful existence.

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I understand and agree with what you wrote here, Ken.

It was not my intention to suggest the church has changed any doctrines.

Yet. ;)

However, it's leaders HAVE made a tremendous shift in the rhetoric and tone of how they approach gays, lesbians, and even the civility, mutual respect, and civil recognition and legal rights that gay relationships warrent.

And I believe the church SHOULD get kudos for that tonal and civil shift.

Never in a million years would I have thought that my own mother, brother, sister-in-law, and aunt would attend my husband's and my wedding. I definitely credit www.mormonsandgays.com for helping to make that happen.

I am grateful that LDS culture is becoming more tolerant, and I will continue to be an embassador for and between both the LDS and the LGBT communities as we all try to navigate a peaceful, mutually-respectful existence.

This is easy for me to say, since I'm not in a position in which I'm forced to "walk it like I talk it," and I realize acutely that if I were in that position, it would take an enormous amount of courage to actually follow through with this.  Still, I'd like to think that if I were gay, and if I held the same religious convictions I do now, I would opt for celibacy if I felt it was my best option for staying true to those convictions.  However, I am a never-married, confirmed bachelor and, while I'm always open to the possibility that she's still out there, I'm starting to think I might not find the future "Mrs. Go1969" on this side of the veil.  

 

We'll have to agree to disagree about the prospect that the Church of Jesus Christ will ever sanction gay marriage and will allow its members who enter into such unions to remain in good standing. (And I do worry about persecution of the Church of Jesus Christ becoming more widespread as more and more people think it's a good idea to allow the gay-marriage "tail" to wag the "marriage-between-a-man-and-a-woman-is-of-God" and "sex-outside-of-marriage-is-wrong" "dogs.")  In my view, people who see such a change in the future in the doctrine of the Church severely underestimate the extent to which opposite-sex marriage is fundamental to its doctrine.

 

All the same, I wish you well, and I'm glad you've found happiness. :)

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Ken and calmoriah are quite right. Favoring human rights for and civility toward a group even though one disapproves of their behavior is in no way tantamount to an admission that their behavior "has merit."

To draw an analogy, I can believe that shoplifters don't deserve to go to prison for their crimes, but that doesn't mean I believe shoplifting "has merit."

Frankly, this seems so self-evident to me I'm amazed it is necessary to point it out.

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Ken and calmoriah are quite right. Favoring human rights for and civility toward a group even though one disapproves of their behavior is in no way tantamount to an admission that their behavior "has merit."

To draw an analogy, I can believe that shoplifters don't deserve to go to prison for their crimes, but that doesn't mean I believe shoplifting "has merit."

Frankly, this seems so self-evident to me I'm amazed it is necessary to point it out.

I also agree and that civil rights is a completely different issue and does not require anyone's "approval" of those rights.

 

But to direct you back to the OP, Scott, do you think gay couples have any merit at all?  Are you disagreeing with Catholic Bishops?  Can you look past your belief in the sin and see any goodness in a loving and caring relationship between two of the same gender? 

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Scott, do you think gay couples have any merit at all? Are you disagreeing with Catholic Bishops? Can you...see any goodness in a loving and caring relationship between two of the same gender?

I echo this same question back to Scott, as well.

Are you saying you (or your church leaders) cannot see ANY merit whatsoever in a committed relationship between two people who support, nurture, and care for one another, in sickness and in health, for richer or pooorer, who just happen to be the same gender...?

Frankly, this seems so self-evident to me I'm amazed it is necessary to point it out.

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For me the bottom line is to love the sinner, but hate the sin.

Kind of like how those of us are gay can love the Latter-day Saint, but hate the Mormonism.

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Ken and calmoriah are quite right. Favoring human rights for and civility toward a group even though one disapproves of their behavior is in no way tantamount to an admission that their behavior "has merit."

To draw an analogy, I can believe that shoplifters don't deserve to go to prison for their crimes, but that doesn't mean I believe shoplifting "has merit."

Your analogy falls entirely short, Scott. We are talking about similar privileges being granted for couples engaged in similarly-situated behaviors, not punishment equitable to different criminal acts.

The LDS church itself characterizes its behavior towards LGBT relationships as "advocating" for civil rights in certain respects.

However, the church does not advocate for civil rights for paedophilic relationships or incestuous relationships, even though both such relationships involve humans.

Clearly, there are things beyond merely being human in same-sex relationships that the church recognizes have some level of merit, enough to advocate for certain civil rights, that other equally-human relationships are not deserving of.

Puzzling that you are so resistive to admitting that this is the case.

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One can accept there is good in a relationship while also accepting there is bad. Since you used pedophilia, I will use that too...a pedophiliac may lovingly care for a child, raise, feed and clothe them but also abuse them. Happens unfortunately with parents and caregivers heartbreakingly too often.

I think "merit" has an overall connotation that the relationship in general is one that should be promoted as opposed to just having good parts in it as well as bad (very few relationships don't, especially long term).

I don't think the Church is suggesting that gay relationships should be promoted or encouraged to continue even if they don't believe those involved should have to endure certain hardships like lack of housing, etc.

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Hmm. The linguistic contortions going on here are fascinating.

The Church has advocated for rights for same-sex couples regarding “hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights..."

https://www.lds.org/...action?lang=eng

From the dictionary:

advocate

[v. ad-vuh-keyt; n. ad-vuh-kit, -keyt]

verb (used with object), advocated,advocating.

1.to speak or write in favor of; support or urgeby argument; recommend publicly

right

noun

: something that a person is or should be morally or legally allowed to have, get, or do

rights : the legal authority to reproduce, publish, broadcast, or sell something

1

:qualities (as adherence to duty or obedience to lawful authority) that together constitute the ideal of moral propriety or merit moral approval

2

:something to which one has a just claim: as

a :the power or privilege to which one is justly entitled <voting right> <his right to decide>

b (1) :the interest that one has in a piece of property —often used in plural<mineral right> (2) plural :the property interest possessed under law or custom and agreement in an intangible thing especially of a literary and artistic nature<film right of the novel>

3

:something that one may properly claim as due <knowing the truth is herright>

4

:the cause of truth or justice

cou·ple

\ˈkə-pəl; “couple of” is often ˌkə-plə(v)\noun

: two people who are married or who have a romantic or sexual relationship

: two people or things that are together

1

a :two persons married, engaged, or otherwise romantically paired

b :two persons paired together

mer·it

\ˈmer-ət, ˈme-rət\noun

: a good quality or feature that deserves to be praised

: the quality of being good, important, or useful : value or worth

1

a obsolete :reward or punishment due

b :the qualities or actions that constitute the basis of one's deserts

c :a praiseworthy quality :virtue

d :character or conduct deserving reward

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Right, because no one ever really looks at words in different ways; everyone understands them identically and never varies in usage. It must be contorting actual meaning.

I don't have a problem with you reading "merit" that way.

Others may read "merit" differently.

Are you suggesting the Church's position is intended to promote gay relationships?

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Right, because no one ever really looks at words in different ways; everyone understands them identically and never varies in usage. It must be contorting actual meaning.

I don't have a problem with you reading "merit" that way.

Others may read "merit" differently.

Are you suggesting the Church's position is intended to promote gay relationships?

Fair enough, Cal... if you think the church is using those words differently than what I wrote above (which are the first, most commonly used definitions that pop up), what do you think the meanings are that the church intended to say?

Don't get me wrong; I don't believe the church has changed its doctrines, or is religiously endorsing gay unions, or is encouraging membership to enter into same-sex marriages. But I do believe in endorsing civil rights for same sex couples, the church ha demonstrated that it understands they ate different than incestuous or pedophilic couoles; that from a non-religious perspective, gay relationships are less objectionable than those other relationships, since gay couples' civil rights are worthy of advocating for, even as a church opposed to them, religiously speaking. I also believe the church understands it cannot endorse at least least certain types of civil discrimination against gay families.

Why do you think the church included that sentence about endorsing civil rights for gay couples on its website....? Because it believes gay couples DON'T have any merit...?

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I think the church would likewise endorse civil rights for other committed relationships, if the government saw fit to label them a "civil union". If two really good friends are committed to each other and even living with each other, at what point do we deny them hospital visitation rights, etc.? There are not good reasons to discriminate against any committed adults for things like visitation rights and housing.

I don't know if that is equivalent to saying they have "merit". I'm not sure how to describe it, especially in religious terms (which we have to take into account).

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Right, because no one ever really looks at words in different ways; everyone understands them identically and never varies in usage. ...

If that were true, we really could take Shakespeare's advice: "First thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers!" :D:rofl::D

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Kind of like how those of us are gay can love the Latter-day Saint, but hate the Mormonism.

 

Not really. It is entirely possible to love a Universalist Unitarian and still not agree with the religion.

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Not really. It is entirely possible to love a Universalist Unitarian and still not agree with the religion.

I'm not sure I see your point... what you typed seems to agree with what I wrote.

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I'm not sure I see your point... what you typed seems to agree with what I wrote.

 

Please don't equate any particular religion with sin. IE; I don't agree with the Catholics on a number of issues. But Catholicism isn't a sin.

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Please don't equate any particular religion with sin. IE; I don't agree with the Catholics on a number of issues. But Catholicism isn't a sin.

Please don't equate any particular same-sex marriage with sin.

IE; I don't agree with straight LDS people on a number of issues, but my relationship with my husband isn't a sin.

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Your analogy falls entirely short, Scott. We are talking about similar privileges being granted for couples engaged in similarly-situated behaviors, not punishment equitable to different criminal acts.

The LDS church itself characterizes its behavior towards LGBT relationships as "advocating" for civil rights in certain respects.

However, the church does not advocate for civil rights for paedophilic relationships or incestuous relationships, even though both such relationships involve humans.

Clearly, there are things beyond merely being human in same-sex relationships that the church recognizes have some level of merit, enough to advocate for certain civil rights, that other equally-human relationships are not deserving of.

Puzzling that you are so resistive to admitting that this is the case.

An analogy is a comparison drawn for illustrative purposes that applies only in limited and specific respects. In this instance, my analogy does apply in these respects: in both cases we are talking about behavior (shoplifting and the expression of homosexual urges) that is altogether disapproved (the opposite of being regarded as "having merit,") because it is illicit. In both cases there is a tolerant granting of certain entitlements despite one's total disapproval of the illicit behavior (advocating basic human or civil rights in the one instance and not insisting on prison incarceration in the other). Again, being tolerant enough to grant such allowances is in no way an admission that the behavior in question "has merit"; that notion is absurd.

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I echo this same question back to Scott, as well.

Are you saying you (or your church leaders) cannot see ANY merit whatsoever in a committed relationship between two people who support, nurture, and care for one another, in sickness and in health, for richer or pooorer, who just happen to be the same gender...?

Frankly, this seems so self-evident to me I'm amazed it is necessary to point it out.

I could see merit in it only insofar as it is not connected in any way shape or form with the indulgence of homosexual urges.

But that might be a moot point, as my observation is that most gay people would be unwilling to accept such a severing of their relationship from the sexual identity they have taken on.

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Howso?

 

Church leaders recognize the nuanced complexity of gender identity, strongly advocating for inclusion and KINDNESS TOWARD PEOPLE of all gender-orientations, and contending that there is room for compassion and common ground among people who disagree.

The unaltered Church doctrine on marriage being between a man and a woman has generated considerable headlines in recent years as the definition for marriage unfolds state by state. Gay men and women want the financial, legal, and cultural protections of formal marriage. The Church, in turn, wants to retain religious freedom and not be compelled by new federal laws to perform same-sex marriages or to otherwise defy sacred doctrine relating to the nature of marriage and the law of chastity. For all Church members, the law of chastity requires abstinence from sex before and outside of marriage.

Church leaders recognize the existence and difficulty of same gender attraction and acknowledge the difference between having same-sex attraction and acting on it. They censure only the latter, and leaders strongly advocate for understanding, inclusion, and kindness toward people of all gender orientations. The Church websitemormonsandgays.org details sincere outreach by the Church within the gay community, including support in Salt Lake City in 2009 for nondiscrimination protections of employment and housing.

There is room for compassion, common ground, and shared humanity among people who disagree, and Church leaders eagerly pursue these ideals, both inside and outside the Church.

Bravo!

 

I too say bravo.

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Another interesting Opinion Piece authored by a Catholic Bishop in Florida:

Church needs patience, humility in light of same-sex marriage

http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/columns/column-church-needs-patience-humility-in-light-of-same-sex-marriage/2212639

By Bishop Robert N. Lynch, special to the Tampa Bay Times

Tuesday, January 6, 2015 2:42pm

In light of the judicial decision that legalized same-sex marriage in Florida as of Tuesday, I wish to lend an additional voice to the discussion regarding the challenges we in the Catholic Church face as we strive to preserve the traditional sacramental understanding of marriage even as the law now accommodates couples of the same sex.

The Catholic Church upholds marriage, one of our seven sacraments, as an indissoluble relationship between a man and a woman committed to mutual consolation and open to procreation. Such a view is rooted not only in the church's long-standing theological understanding of married life, but in the church's understanding of Christian anthropology as well, which views the conjugal and complementary relationship between a man and a woman as part of God's providential design whereby human beings are able to be co-creators of life with God.

Therefore, any dialogue which reaffirms such a view of marriage and which seeks to ensure that such a view continues to be respected and enabled to serve and edify both the church and the wider society is to be commended and supported.

However, together with Pope Francis and in light of the discussions at the recent Extraordinary Synod on the Family held in Rome, I also recognize that the reality of the family today, in all its complexities, presents the church with pastoral challenges as the church strives to accept people in the specific circumstances of their lives and support and encourage them in their search for God and their desire to be members of the church.

Therefore, I do not wish to lend our voice to notions which might suggest that same-sex couples are a threat incapable of sharing relationships marked by love and holiness and, thus, incapable of contributing to the edification of both the church and the wider society.

In the midst of changing societal definitions and understandings of marriage, there may no doubt be some confusion. However, with patience and humility, our church must continuously strive to discover what the spirit is saying and respond to the Synod Fathers' suggestion to discern what pastoral response faithful to church teaching and marked by respect and sensitivity might be appropriate for same-sex couples, even as God's creative designs for and the church's sacramental understanding of marriage are affirmed.

Bishop Robert N. Lynch leads the Diocese of St. Petersburg, which includes the 432,000 Catholics in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties.

I think the above definitely resonates as the same issues face the LDS community.

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