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Jeff Robinson on the LGBT issue at FairMormon

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6 hours ago, rockpond said:

Statistically that's true and ought to be understood by any church member or leader encouraging a gay or lesbian individual to consider a mixed-orientation marriage.

Not necessarily.  Have randomly chosen studies demonstrated this for everyone who has some significant level,of same sex attraction?

Remember Jeff is not talking just about the 2% or less of those who experience SSA who are exclusive in their attractions, but the entire spectrum of attraction and behaviours.

Edited by Calm
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6 hours ago, The Nehor said:

You can say the same thing about love of family, friendship, a feeling of being useful, a healthy sense of self-worth, and other things human crave. Being denied them will not kill you. Lacking them though can make death a preferable alternative to continued living.

However, Jeff's paradigm is about helping those with SSA that also experience some level of opposite attraction focus on strengthening those.  There is no expectation the SSA will disappear, but what happens with his clients is there is a shift in emphasis...instead of ignoring their opposite sex attractions because they believe those are false or anomalies because they identify as gay, they recognize those OSAs as valid as their SSAs and therefore they can choose to focus on either or both if they choose (think of being attracted to multiple women or men and making a decision based on other things besides physical attraction on which individual to pursue for a long term relationship or marriage, you focus on the positive attributes of that person while not dwelling on the attractiveness of others, you spend more time with them than others, you picture your life with them etc.)

The science shows a great majority of those with SSA also have OSA, though the amount varies.  Please see Lisa Diamond's Sexual Fluidity data if you doubt this.  She is not LDS, is a lesbian who is an activist.  She went into it thinking the data would be different.  Works at UofU.

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2 hours ago, ALarson said:

I'm wondering why this has turned into a thread about sex addiction as well.  That topic applies to heterosexuals as well as gays, of course.  I think maybe Kevin should start another thread for his discussion and keep this one on track with what the OP is addressing.  But maybe I missed something? 

I would appreciate that to avoid confusion with Jeff's paradigm.  I don't remember if I have talked to him about Kevin's paper, but at this point there is no obvious overlap.

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25 minutes ago, Calm said:

Not necessarily.  Has randomly chosen studies demonstrated this for everyone who has some significant level,of same sex attraction?

Remember Jeff is not talking about the 2% or less of those who experience SSA who are exclusive in their attractions, but the entire spectrum of attraction and behaviours.

Are you talking about 2% as in of the total population? or 2% of the already small (3-5%?) subset of total population that identifies as gay?

 

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6 minutes ago, Calm said:

I would appreciate that to avoid confusion with Jeff's paradigm.  I don't remember if I have talked to him about Kevin's paper, but at this point there is no obvious overlap.

Seems like it's an important component, because Jeff seems to identify general sexual addiction/compulsivity issues as the most common reason that a gay person couldn't be reformed, ie marry heterosexually and be successful at it. 

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Going into a mixed orientation marriage seems like slow torture.

Just to be clear, I expect if someone was exclusively SSA and was experiencing no OSA to anyone, I am guessing Jeff would be saying you shouldn't even be thinking about a mixed orientation marriage at this point (though he wouldn't insist the individual shut any doors, that is not his role though he would definitely work on them being realistic in expectations).  Marriage is not part of his therapy process.  He helps people who desire to be married to the opposite sex work towards being able to have that as an option.  I also assume he helps those already in such marriages to focus on attraction to their spouse and other ways of strengthening the relationship.

His paradigm works because SSAs are commonly not the only attractions those who experience SSA have.

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3 minutes ago, churchistrue said:

Seems like it's an important component, because Jeff seems to identify general sexual addiction/compulsivity issues as the most common reason that a gay person couldn't be reformed, ie marry heterosexually and be successful at it. 

If he said this in his talk, please quote him.  I don't think it is required by his paradigm depending on how compulsivity is defined.

Edited by Calm

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6 minutes ago, churchistrue said:

Are you talking about 2% as in of the total population? or 2% of the already small (3-5%?) subset of total population that identifies as gay?

 

Not identifies as gay, but has SSA.  There is a difference.

Numbers are available in Lisa Diamond's work.

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31 minutes ago, Calm said:

However, Jeff's paradigm is about helping those with SSA that also experience some level of opposite attraction focus on strengthening those.  There is no expectation the SSA will disappear, but what happens with his clients is there is a shift in emphasis...instead of ignoring their opposite sex attractions because they believe those are false or anomalies because they identify as gay, they recognize those OSAs as valid as their SSAs and therefore they can choose to focus on either or both if they choose (think of being attracted to multiple women or men and making a decision based on other things besides physical attraction on which individual to pursue for a long term relationship or marriage, you focus on the positive attributes of that person while not dwelling on the attractiveness of others, you spend more time with them than others, you picture your life with them etc.)

The science shows a great majority of those with SSA also have OSA, though the amount varies.  Please see Lisa Diamond's Sexual Fluidity data if you doubt this.  She is not LDS, is a lesbian who is an activist.  Works at UofU.

This idea has been around for a long tme.  It was the mantra at most of the Evergreen Conferences held annually in SLC that I attended around 20 years ago.  I get the concept, but the reality is more like you are married to a friend or a sister.  I in fact did that very thing., married someone who I was good friends with first who happened to be a woman.  But in the end, it isn't really a marriage.  More like room mates.  Over time, that never changed.  Perhaps that works for some people.  But for me it felt like a farce.  A charade that was just for show.  A ceremony just to satisfy the demands church leaders were asking for.  For me it even felt immoral.  Fortunately we are still good friends.  That doesn't always happen.

But that is my experience.  I totally acknowledge that others might have a completely different experience.  I am probably at the far end of the scale.  Never saw much movement towards opposite sex attraction.

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But that is my experience.  I totally acknowledge that others might have a completely different experience.  I am probably at the far end of the scale.  Never saw much movement towards opposite sex attraction.

It makes sense that would be the experience for exclusive or very close to exclusive SSA.  It would actually be kind of shocking to me if it was different.

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get the concept, but the reality is more like you are married to a friend or a sister.  

I assume you mean here 'the reality for those like myself at the far end'.  I recognize that many are debating the numbers, though I am pretty convinced by Diamond's analysis of major studies and her own research....always open if I find better done science though.  The only thing I am invested in is helping people become the type of person they want to be and one needs to be very realistic in one's expectations for that to happen, imo.

Jeff's paradigm has always been grounded in the people he has encountered and the science.  (Iirc, he was on his mission when I married his brother, so I have been talking to him about this for as long as he has been doing it, though there was a decade or more where it was very limited because we only saw each other at family reunions).  Back when starting his dissertation, he was told his study subjects would be former homosexuals (no SSA...I need to review how he got his subjects, vague on details by now), but he quickly adjusted to the reality that none who he talked with had lost their SSA.  So there hadn't been a huge change in his approach over the years in that sense.  What I think has changed is there is much better science in which to place the experiences and I believe he has shifted from speaking about causes....if I understand him correctly because speaking about cause doesn't help that much and can hinder.

I haven't read his dissertation in years. If I can concentrate enough, I may go review it to see what his lit review section covers and what data sets he references so I can detail science changes...but no promises (got to throw in another vent....there is major Mom stuff that keeps growing as I try to think of everything we need to do to get her moved into and adjusted to assisted living, I keep telling myself thousands have managed before so it can be done...on top up some unexpected doctor visits...don't even feel like googling these days, thus the lack of Diamond links here, I want to talk, not think, lol).

I think Dean Byrd dominated the LDS discussion of homosexuality as he was the go to guy for the Church for so long as well as The Authority at BYU (my personal view, Jeff undoubtedly has more insight and may see things differently, he doesn't gossip so I have little inside knowledge on politics, but am aware from others there was and is quite a bit) and therefore it is possible that a lot of the stuff being presented at Evergreen and other LDS venues went through that filter.  Hopefully there is a wider range of exploration in research and ideas now (assuming my view it was somewhat narrow before is correct).

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7 hours ago, ALarson said:

I personally know of several instances over the years where parents asked their kid to leave if they were going to even date the same sex.  But are you referring to just kicking them out when they came out as being gay?  I only know of one that fits that criteria and the parents were over the top staunch, letter of the law, LDS.

kllindley said:

I actually would love that information. I have still yet to hear such an experience aside from general rumors and claims that it happens all the time. 

Take for example, a recently viral story about a young high school student who received thousands of dollars of scholarship after publicly stating that his parents kicked him out for being gay. He later admitted in an interview that his parents had been more than happy to have him in their home for several years, knowing he was gay. They asked that he still follow family Rules, including attending their church on Sunday. What he was no longer willing to do this, he moved it with a friend. I don't consider this being kicked out for being gay.

 

I am ashamed to admit that the first scenario you mention applies to myself.  Thankfully, my wife and I have changed our attitudes towards our, now married, gay son, and he and his husband are welcome in our home anytime.

As far as “kicking them out when they come out as gay” …well, there’s always two sides to every story, but my brother’s family has just such a teen living in his basement.  He was asked to leave if he wouldn’t stop acting and/or dressing gay.  He’s never had a boyfriend as far as I know.

Edited by Rock_N_Roll

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I want to say it must be hard to hear your parents draw a line for you that your siblings don't have, especially as a youth.  And that it is tied to morality...massive.

I know it hurt when one of my siblings got help she even fought against when I would have loved the same and needed it bigtime but never got because I was accommodating and quiet for the most part.  And I was crushed and furious the one time I called my mom and begged her to come and help because I felt life was collapsing (when my daughter was diagnosed as diabetic and all of us went into major depression over it and other stuff) when she told me she couldn't do it because of other commitments and then finished off by telling me I needed to call one of my sisters because she was having a hard time right then (even though she had lots of other family all around her and I was up in Canada with no family).  I realized she had a perception of me that all my protests wasn't going to correct.

My dad's autobiography is a fairy tale as far as I am concerned. All these things portrayed as my dreams and ambitions when it was him telling me what I had to do in the face of my telling him otherwise and he was completely clueless on health issues even though it is his genetic disorder that sucker punched me (pretty much a hypochondriac who won't leave her comfort zone in his view).  Not terribly accurate on anyone else, but I think it was the worst for me from what others have said...though .I wouldn't be surprised if my elder brother took first place.  I have no clue how he saw me as that type of person except perhaps because it made it easier for him.  I actually want to burn the book and probably only the connotations of book burning stops me.

But I have never been told I can't bring my own family into my parents' home or told anything but they wanted to meet him as soon as possible and later were so happy I married who I did.  I cannot imagine the level of pain that would come with that type of rejection.

So even if LDS family rejection doesn't go to the level of kicking kids out very often, that doesn't mean it isn't very hard at the levels it does occur.  Sheesh, it took my daughter three years to tell me she was bisexual because she knew I would hurt even if I would accept it without hesitation.  It is hard to be happy about yet another thing in her life that adds difficulty seeing as how we live in Utah and anytime the subject of homosexuality comes up, she gets to dread someone is going to say something that hits her to her core.  She avoids family reunions to some extent because of that.  And we will never tell my mom she is bisexual because Mom will go into protective mode because she will see it as something that needs to be fixed (not necessarily the bisexuality...though she is strangely conservative now, so she might...but she will start giving advice on how my daughter can better interact with the world as a bisexual, just as she does now with the diabetes and depression and playing piano and schooling and work).

I just wanted to be sure it doesn't appear that I am dismissive of the issues that are common in LDS families for those with SSA, whether they identify as gay or not.

Jeff is much more aware of the difficulties.  He brings up the mostly faulty perception because it creates obstacles rather than helps.

Edited by Calm
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6 hours ago, kllindley said:

YES! Clarity about the challenge as well as the possibility and potential for success.  

 

Are you considering success to be just staying married?  I bet Josh and Lilly Weed could have done that if staying married was the only goal. 

IOW, I think we ought to consider how we measure success and then get solid data to support what you are suggesting before we offer it as a recommended course of action. 

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7 minutes ago, rockpond said:

Are you considering success to be just staying married?  I bet Josh and Lilly Weed could have done that if staying married was the only goal. 

IOW, I think we ought to consider how we measure success and then get solid data to support what you are suggesting before we offer it as a recommended course of action. 

No, I am not considering just staying married a success. That's not really a fair accusation. 

How do you measure success in any other relationship? 

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14 minutes ago, rockpond said:

 

IOW, I think we ought to consider how we measure success and then get solid data to support what you are suggesting before we offer it as a recommended course of action. 

Is that how you approached the question of whether gay couples should get married? What data did you really in there?

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5 hours ago, california boy said:

You know me well enough that I don't judge choices people make.  It is their life.  Of course mixed marriages can work.  And I am all for supporting dialogue that makes that a possible choice.  But I do think that extra care needs to go into that decision and all parties involved need to know the risk of such marriages.  The success of those types of marriages are not really very high.  I read an article a number of years ago in SunStone written by a BYU professor/therapist.  He was dealing with 300 gay men married to someone of the opposite sex.  He reported that of the 300 cases he dealt with, after 3 years, only 5 survived.  I wish I had a link to the article.  I have tried to find it since, but have been unable to.  So take that for what it is worth.

I also think that those numbers go up significantly if the person is bisexual.  I would think that changes the paramaters quite significantly. I know you are very happy in your marriage.  That is really all that matters and any study is not going to change your view, nor should it.

A confounding issue here is that the Church still puts gay people in a category that is something less than straight people.  So if you are sitting down with a young gay single adult who wants to remain a member in full fellowship and you present any evidence that they can live a straight lifestyle, Church culture will push them to ignore the evidence to the contrary so that they can achieve full acceptance.  

Better education of the risks is a step in the right direction but as long as the only options given to gay members are celibacy or mixed orientation marriage we’ll continue to gay members entering into mixed orientation marriages without telling their spouses and with the risks being ignored. 

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35 minutes ago, Calm said:

I want to say it must be hard to hear your parents draw a line for you that your siblings don't have, especially as a youth.  And that it is tied to morality...massive.

I know it hurt when one of my siblings got help she even fought against when I would have loved the same and needed it bigtime but never got because I was accommodating and quiet for the most part.  And I was crushed and furious the one time I called my mom and begged her to come and help because I felt life was collapsing (when my daughter was diagnosed as diabetic and all of us went into major depression over it and other stuff) when she told me she couldn't do it because of other commitments and then finished off by telling me I needed to call one of my sisters because she was having a hard time right then (even though she had lots of other family all around her and I was up in Canada with no family).  I realized she had a perception of me that all my protests wasn't going to correct.

My dad's autobiography is a fairy tale as far as I am concerned. All these things portrayed as my dreams and ambitions when it was him telling me what I had to do in the face of my telling him otherwise and he was completely clueless on health issues even though it is his genetic disorder that sucker punched me (pretty much a hypochondriac who won't leave her comfort zone in his view).  Not terribly accurate on anyone else, but I think it was the worst for me from what others have said...though .I wouldn't be surprised if my elder brother took first place.  I have no clue how he saw me as that type of person except perhaps because it made it easier for him.  I actually want to burn the book and probably only the connotations of book burning stops me.

But I have never been told I can't bring my own family into my parents' home or told anything but they wanted to meet him as soon as possible and later were so happy I married who I did.  I cannot imagine the level of pain that would come with that type of rejection.

So even if LDS family rejection doesn't go to the level of kicking kids out very often, that doesn't mean it isn't very hard at the levels it does occur.  Sheesh, it took my daughter three years to tell me she was bisexual because she knew I would be hurt even if I would accept it without hesitation.  It is hard to be happy about yet another thing in her life that adds difficulty seeing as how we live in Utah and anytime the subject of homosexuality comes up, she gets to dread someone is going to say something that hits her to her core.  She avoids family reunions to some extent because of that.  And we will never tell my mom she is bisexual because Mom will go into protective mode because she will see it as something that needs to be fixed (not necessarily the bisexuality...though she is strangely conservative now, so she might...but she will start giving advice on how my daughter can better interact with the world as a bisexual, just as she does now with the diabetes and depression and playing piano and schooling and work).

I just wanted to be sure it doesn't appear that I am dismissive of the issues that are common in LDS families for those with SSA, whether they identify as gay or not.

Jeff is much more aware of the difficulties.  He brings up the mostly faulty perception because it creates obstacles rather than helps.

I was an adult when I came out to my family. so I wasn't living at home any longer.  But that didn't make it easy to come to grips with the fact that no one except one sister wanted any contact with me.  There was one point where I honestly believed that I may never speak to my father again.

Fortunately in just these past couple of years, my family has made a complete 180. My partner is now even welcome at family events.  I won't kid anyone, the scars are still there, but life goes on.  Oddly enough, one of the things that seemed to bring my family around is when a few family members had the old faith crisis thing and have completely left the church.  One nephew has dropped out of sight completely and no one knows where he is living.  Having a gay brother all the sudden seemed less of an issue.  I actually had one of my sister-in-laws formally apologize to me about how she treated me.  She never did anything mean, just the shunning issue.  I was actually very touched that she would do that and i really appreciated the gesture.  It is never too late to make amends.

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1 minute ago, rockpond said:

A confounding issue here is that the Church still puts gay people in a category that is something less than straight people.  So if you are sitting down with a young gay single adult who wants to remain a member in full fellowship and you present any evidence that they can live a straight lifestyle, Church culture will push them to ignore the evidence to the contrary so that they can achieve full acceptance.  

Better education of the risks is a step in the right direction but as long as the only options given to gay members are celibacy or mixed orientation marriage we’ll continue to gay members entering into mixed orientation marriages without telling their spouses and with the risks being ignored. 

A couple of days ago, I read a comment one of the posters wrote who no longer attends church much.  He made the comment that even though he didn't believe any longer, it was still nice to hold his wife's hand and sit in church.  I immediately thought that simple gesture would become the subject of a thread here if someone saw a gay couple holding hands in church.  Of course first you have to find a gay couple attending an LDS church in order for something like that to happen.  

Yeah I am keenly aware that the church draws a sharp distinction when it comes to being gay in the church.  I had such a bad experience lsst time I attended with my family about 2 years ago, I haven't been back.  It is not a good place for me to be.

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4 hours ago, Calm said:

Not necessarily.  Have randomly chosen studies demonstrated this for everyone who has some significant level,of same sex attraction?

Remember Jeff is not talking just about the 2% or less of those who experience SSA who are exclusive in their attractions, but the entire spectrum of attraction and behaviours.

If you want to start separating out the risks by varying levels of sexual orientation than you’ve even more education to do among members and leaders.  I would argue that we haven’t even reached the point where all members have accepted that homosexual orientation isn’t a choice (for most).  If you want a young gay man along with his bishop and parents to analyze where he may land along some sort of Kinsey scale AND then attach a risk level to whether or not he and his future spouse can find happiness in a mixed orientation marriage... we’ve got a TON of work to do and progress to be made. 

And we’d still be left with the problem of members being forced to choose between the acceptable option and celibacy which is going to cloud their judgment. 

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3 hours ago, Calm said:

Just to be clear, I expect if someone was exclusively SSA and was experiencing no OSA to anyone, I am guessing Jeff would be saying you shouldn't even be thinking about a mixed orientation marriage at this point (though he wouldn't insist the individual shut any doors, that is not his role though he would definitely work on them being realistic in expectations).  Marriage is not part of his therapy process.  He helps people who desire to be married to the opposite sex work towards being able to have that as an option.  I also assume he helps those already in such marriages to focus on attraction to their spouse and other ways of strengthening the relationship.

His paradigm works because SSAs are commonly not the only attractions those who experience SSA have.

I think the problem here is when we put it into practice.  Let’s say you’ve got an RM at BYU who is gay but desperately wants stay in the faith that he has committed his life to.  And while in that singles ward environment, living a chaste life, he dates girls.  At 22 he is convinced that he’s got enough “OSA” in him and faith that he’ll decide he can make it work.  Doesn’t tell his bishop.  Doesn’t tell his fiancé. 

At 32 with three kids he realizes that faith and a desire for acceptability weren’t enough.  And now you’ve got a broken family. 

These are the stories that we’ve heard over and over again.  Not only do we have years of incorrect teachings to overcome and education regarding sexual orientation to do but... we have a doctrinal problem that will continue to push people into mixed-orientation marriages with the risks and heartbreak being ignored.

I know it works for some.  So does celibacy.  But I thank God every time I see a gay person walk away from the church because it’s too harmful a place for them.  

I wish we could fix that. 

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36 minutes ago, rockpond said:

A confounding issue here is that the Church still puts gay people in a category that is something less than straight people.  So if you are sitting down with a young gay single adult who wants to remain a member in full fellowship and you present any evidence that they can live a straight lifestyle, Church culture will push them to ignore the evidence to the contrary so that they can achieve full acceptance.  

 

This is pure propaganda, that (intentionally?) Ignores the entire substance of this discussion. Congratulations. 

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1 hour ago, kllindley said:

No, I am not considering just staying married a success. That's not really a fair accusation. 

How do you measure success in any other relationship? 

It wasn’t an accusation - note the question mark at the end. 

I think a happy relationship and family is the measure of success. 

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Just now, kllindley said:

This is pure propaganda, that (intentionally?) Ignores the entire substance of this discussion. Congratulations. 

I thought it spoke directly to the substance of the discussion. 

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Just now, rockpond said:

It wasn’t an accusation - note the question mark at the end. 

I think a happy relationship and family is the measure of success. 

How happy? For how long? 

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Just now, kllindley said:

How happy? For how long? 

Eternity.  And you know there isn’t a measure of “how happy”.  This is where empirical data hits its limits. 

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