My stance on homosexuality, the Mormon Church, and Boyd K. Packer

I thought that I really needed to make this clear, as there has been so much in the news lately, both pro and con toward the rights of gays to marry and live together, just like heterosexuals.

I completely disagree with the stance taken by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Boyd K. Packer, who said:

Same-sex attraction can be overcome and any type of union other than marriage between a man and a woman is morally wrong, an LDS apostle told millions of Mormons on Sunday.

“There are those today who not only tolerate but advocate voting to change laws that would legalize immorality, as if a vote would somehow alter the designs of God’s laws and nature,” Boyd K. Packer, president of the church’s Quorum of Twelve Apostles, said in a strongly worded sermon about the dangers of pornography and same-sex marriage. “A law against nature would be impossible to enforce. Do you think a vote to repeal the law of gravity would do any good?”

Of course, when the firestorm erupted, Packer, the senior apostle and next in line to be president, “tweaked” his official speech, cited on the LDS.org Web site:

Perhaps the most controversial paragraph in Packer’s text that he read Sunday said, “Some suppose that they were pre-set and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and unnatural. Not so! Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone? Remember he is our father.”

Now the word “temptations” has replaced “tendencies” and the question about God’s motives has been removed entirely.

Ah, the spin. Perhaps God needs to speak UP a little, because apparently these older apostles are a little hard of hearing, and aren’t getting the complete gist of his message until it’s too late, and people are mightily pissed off.

That said, I must make it known that while I respect Packer’s right to believe as he does, I do not support his hatred and fear of homosexuals. Surely hate and civil injustice, including discrimination, are sins?

I love the sinner, but hate the sin.

Jesus said love everyone. This is an LDS Church teaching.

Jesus said love ev’ryone;
Treat them kindly, too.
When your heart is filled with love,
Others will love you.

Words and music: Moiselle Renstrom, 1889–1956

Matthew 5:43–46

Matthew 22:37–39

John 13:34–35

Let’s love, not hate.

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About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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18 Responses to My stance on homosexuality, the Mormon Church, and Boyd K. Packer

  1. Donna says:

    Some suppose that they were pre-set and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and unnatural. Not so! Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone? Remember he is our father

    That part of his speech really got to me. Why would he make anyone of us have a problem. Like deafness, or one too chromosomes, or cancer. Supposedly because it is “our test”. Well, we don’t shun others for their “pre-set” problems, why should we shun anyone that is gay. The church also “shunned” the blacks from getting the priesthood too. Oh, they were good enough to join the church, but not good enough to hold that high power.

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  2. Or how about the friend of mine whose six month old baby just choked to death? Surely God would not want that. Seeing that baby, lying in a bed, intubated, in a coma, until his heart and lungs could take it no more.

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  3. Birdman says:

    Humorous, that you can televise a conference around the world, and then change your offical website from the actual transcript…really, if you are a follower and someone does that wouldn’t you have to at least wonder???

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  4. Tania says:

    I love how the local Utah news keeps reporting how LGBT groups keep asking for a retraction. The need to be reporting how the Church has not officially come out and retracted, the sneakily do it on their online speech. There should have been a bigger emphasis on this. I wonder which speech the Ensign will print when they publish the conference edition.

    The Mormons do this so that way when people investigating joining the Church read it they thing what is the big deal. I bought into the spin once; I am glad for the experience but I am SOOOO much happier now that I don’t where the rose colored lenses or drink the funny kool-aid.

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  5. Uzza says:

    About two sentences into an Onion article you realize that nothing that follows can possibly be taken seriously. That happened with Packer’s speech as soon as this spokesman for the Mormons claimed God insisted on marriage between one man and one woman.

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  6. Monica says:

    You are right here and this thing with homosexuals has taken a big impact for a few years. 10 years ago nobody talked about homosexuality marriage or make such a big deal about it. Ok, I understand that they feel attraction, love for the same sex, but to get married in front of God is to much.

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  7. Todd D says:

    I don’t understand people like Monica who feel it is OK to say, “I understand they feel attraction” but why do they want to get married or why do they have to talk about it or hold hands or kiss or whatever. In other words, they don;t want to have to think about it or be faced with the actuality of two people of the same sex in love and wanting to show it.

    When I am with someone I usually feel comfortable holding my partners hand or giving them a hug, but often I have to stop and think about where I am first and what the reaction of others might be. I know straight couples never have to worry about kissing in public and would not think twice about holding hands or showing other forms of affection.

    Gay couples are not asking for religious marriage, and I for one would never want to be married in a temple (again) or other church because I don’t care whether or not some god or gods bless my decision to marry the person I love. I do believe and will fight for the rights of civil marriage in this country so one day when I am ready, I will be able to have the same legal rights and benefits as other married couples.

    So Monica, try for one day to not talk about or pretend to be in love with your significant other if you are married or dating. Pretend to be nothing more than friends with them in front of family or co-workers. Don’t dare show affection or act in any way that might show attraction to the person you love. Try for just one day to explain your weekend without mentioning who you spent it with and use only gender neutral pronouns so as not to distinguish the sex of your weekend companion.

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  8. Believer says:

    The mormon church is not the only church who does not believe in homosexuality. Many christian churches are against it. Boyd K Packer was speaking at an LDS general conference. If you dont like the mormon church and what they stand for, why are you watching or reading about it? GET OVER IT. No one has ever said that we should not love homosexual people, we just do not believe in acting upon those feelings. I love everyone, do i love all their choices? no. I have gay friends, i love them. I dont love some of their choices. I have straight friends, i love them. I dont love some of their choices.

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  9. I love everyone, too. But I don’t think you really do, or you wouldn’t be trying to take away their rights.

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  10. Todd D says:

    Personally, I don’t care what the Mormon or any other church believes about homosexuality or gay people. They are free to believe that god hates it and gay people will not attain the celestial kingdom or heaven or wherever they believe they will go when they die.

    I do care when they try to take their beliefs and enshrine them into law and ensure I have second class status in society. As we see, people can and have taken their religious beliefs and created laws around them (Prop 8), but reality shows that these laws discriminate unfairly and are not based on rational reasons. So while fortunately these will be struck down and repealed by the courts and more just legislators, it will unfortunately take a long time.

    And no, you do not love your gay friends when you work to teach they are lesser than you because apparently you believe they “chose” to be gay. It isn’t changeable like religion or your wall color. You treat them differently so it isn’t love, it is barely tolerance…

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  11. Todd says:

    Todd D,

    I gather from your comment that you believe it’s okay for you to take your beliefs and enshrine them into law; but it’s not okay for me and others, who believe that redefining marriage is a bad idea, to do the same?

    Now that’s irrational, as is your childish “you won’t let me have my way, therefore you don’t love me” logic.

    Marriage is not an inalienable right. It’s a right granted when individuals meet certain conditions. Conditions that are defined by the people, for the people. Our laws are filled with these conditional rights (driving, drinking, running for elective office, etc.).

    These marriage laws don’t make those attracted to the same sex lesser, any more than the driving laws make blind people lesser. Those who choose to be blind deserve the restrictions placed on them. Those who don’t choose to be blind might not deserve the restrictions, but they’re required to abide by them anyway because most people agree it’s best for society as a whole.

    I certainly respect your right to express your views and do your best to influence those partial to your cause. I expect the same in return.

    With all my love,
    Todd

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  12. Todd D says:

    Todd D,

    I hardly think I am pouting when I want the same rights as others, were blacks just being childish when they wanted the right to be free, vote, or marry the person of their choosing? And as for “redefining” marriage, allowing me to marry the person I love and have the same protections as any other couple is hardly redefining.

    Fortunately, our supreme court disagrees with you and has stated several times that marriage is a fundamental right in this country. The majority can and has defined marriage law, however, we do not live in a majority rules country and the courts have again and again found those discriminatory laws to be without rational basis and unconstitutional. It is only a matter of time before I will be able to have those sames rights and I look forward to that day. I realize there will always be those like you who will complain and shake their heads and say “well it isn’t a real marriage” and I won’t care. Your life will not change and I will have gained the rights I deserve in this country.

    I appreciate your comparison of me to a drunk driver or someone who in your mind “chooses to be blind” and therefore should bot be allowed to drive. We allow blind and even drunk people to marry in this country. Heck, even prisoners do not lose this right. I have not certainly not chosen anything that should restrict my rights in this country. And even if somehow, being gay were a choice, we still have freedom in this country and my choice is no better or worse in this case than anyone else’s. My being a responsible gay adult does not hurt others and as my choices do not put others at any sort of risk. Believe it or not, I agree the law does have a right to restrict when necessary. Drunk driving s irresponsible as it potentially puts others at risk for death, injury, destruction of property, etc. My marrying the person I love might make you uncomfortable, but we don’t make laws in this country to protect people from being uncomfortable. Nor do I think you would want that.

    You clearly do not respect my views, your “love” is that of someone who believes they know what is better for me than I do. So while I truly believe that you have the right to your beliefs and and even the right to vote accordingly, laws based only on religious reasons will be struck down and equality will come. So go ahead and vote your conscious and financially support those laws that will keep myself and those I love from the same protections any drunken couple in Vegas can gain after meeting a few hours before. But I know that while the arc of history is long, it does bend towards justice.

    I have many friends who are still legally married and enjoy those protections today here in California. There are over 18,000 couples that the majority were unable to forcibly divorce, and someday I hope to have that for myself as well. Because I deserve it and your “love” will not keep me from the real love I hope to find for myself.

    Todd D

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  13. Birdman says:

    Todd W…you are right, the marriage laws don’t make gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender individuals lesser. It is the stance of foolish bigoted people believing that they made a choice and can change and become “normal”…same sex attraction is NORMAL…whether you and your church care to believe it or not.
    You are 35 years behind the times…catch up with the rest of the world!!

    BKP statement was done during a time when the country as a whole was mourning several teens that had committed suicide because they were not accepted or bullied for who they are and the same sex attraction that they feel.
    You can not love someone, if you want them to hide what they are and not act upon it. you need to go back and read the history of same sex attraction as written by UC Davis:

    http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/military_history.html

    Any one that still feels this is something someone wants, chooses and puts on is a fool and a bigot…no one wants to be persecuted for who they are and what they believe…Hell, Mormons should understand that better than anyone…or is it okay for you to cry about injustice for your religious believes, but not to say there is injustice in our friends civil rights being with held? You show yourself as a true hypocrite when you espouse such nonsense.
    Live and let live…you will find out in the next life…if there is one! If you are right! Or if you are wrong, but let our friends experience the happiness they deserve in this life!

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  14. Todd says:

    Todd D,

    Show me where the Supreme Court has ruled that marriage without conditions is a fundamental right in this country. If that were true, then ANY law restricting marriage would be unconstitutional. You can’t be serious. Marriage licenses are routinely and legally denied for a whole host of reasons unrelated to the applicants being the same sex.

    As long as drunk, blind, or imprisoned people (or those people attracted to the same sex) meet the conditions to receive a marriage license they should be allowed to marry. ANYBODY who meets the conditions should have the right to marry.

    I disagree, respectfully, with your premise that redefining marriage does no harm. Just because the harm isn’t immediate and drastic, as is the potential when driving drunk or blind, doesn’t mean that the harm is non-existent. I’m okay with you or anyone being a “responsible gay adult” as long as a distinction between “domestic partnership” and “marriage” is maintained.

    It is childish logic that you have to get your way in order to be loved, or not thought of as “second-class” or “lesser.” I don’t know you personally, so I have no basis to love or hate you. Your attempts to frame the debate as a condescending one of hatred or animosity simply won’t work.

    And, hurray for the 18,000 in California who got what they wanted. I’m not concerned about them, and hope they have happy, productive lives. I hope the same for you and your partner.

    Respectfully,
    Todd W

    Like

  15. Birdman says:

    Ok, Todd W…explain:

    “I disagree, respectfully, with your premise that redefining marriage does no harm. Just because the harm isn’t immediate and drastic, as is the potential when driving drunk or blind, doesn’t mean that the harm is non-existent. I’m okay with you or anyone being a “responsible gay adult” as long as a distinction between “domestic partnership” and “marriage” is maintained.”

    What harm is done or will be done calling a union between two people of the same sex “marriage”…explain that comment…don’t dance around it…show us emperically what harm will be done…what harm has been done by the 18,000 in California?

    Benefits…well, off the top of my head, your health insurance premium should go down…more people will be paying for that premium for their spouse. Right now, as a federal employee, I can get insurance for my great dane, but if I were living with a same sex partner, I can’t provide them with the same security I can for my dog…how the hell is that equal…or right.

    Your (not you individually, but all homophobic persons not wanting same sex marriage) fear is groundless…they aren’t interested in your narcissistic person…they want someone who can and will appreciate them for who and what they are. So please explain to all of us exactly why you are so deathly afraid of same sex marriage? Why should they be called “domestic partnership”?? Why are they not entitled to the same things for their loved ones that you have for your wife?? Your ideas are archic and unrealistic in a modern society. You didn’t even respond to the bible quotations by Natalie…but I know the standard apologistic response, you will pick and choose the scripture as you please.

    Your fear is as unreasonable and factless as the book of Abraham and Jo Smith’s translation…you just make us laugh with this trite idea that you should be above someone who wants to love the person they choose, just because they are the same sex. Get over it, and get over your self-rightous self…

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  16. Todd D says:

    Todd,

    Of course we will always have conditions for marriage in this county, but those conditions needs to be able to stand up to constitutional scrutiny. There needs to be at least a rational basis for those conditions, and the majority does not get to decide based on religious belief unless it also meets the constitutional scrutiny test. Because civil marriage is not a religious ceremony. You can have one if you want, but it is not required that some deity bless a marriage before the State recognizes it. What are your conditions for marriage that you feel should be met?

    And if you are unaware or unfamiliar with Loving v Virginia and the courts findings that “Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man”” and how it has been used by several courts since to apply to gay relationships, then I will suggest a quick Google search. I have followed the court cases here in California because it pertains o me. I have read the decisions and the findings in both the previous and most recent cases and the legal logic that applied. I am fairly confident you have not because in reality, it does not affect you in any way.

    I note that you failed to describe what this insidious long-term harm is that loving gay couples bring into society when they chose to wed. Or how that harm is averted by calling their relationship “domestic partnership”. The 18,000 couples as well as others legally married during that time who move to California honestly should not concern you as again, their marriages do not affect you in any way. Why is it that their relationships being called marriage do not concern you but others would? If gay marriages cause harm why do these marriages not? Is there some magic number of gay marriages that once reached will cause a tipping point and harm begins? Currently Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Washington DC allow gay couples to legally wed. New York, Rhode Island, and Maryland recognize same sex marriages performed elsewhere. The 18,000 couples in California remain a legal sticking point as there now exist several different classes of people and marriages in the State and that in an issue that will need to be resolved legally. With arguments in the appeal of the recent federal decision that may be answered sooner rather than later. That is just here in the States of course, more and more countries have already allowed full marriage equality for many years.

    And I truly LOL’d about your comment about me needing to get my way in order to be loved. I don’t need your love, approval, or acceptance, nor do I care if I get it. Whether you hate or love gay couples is irrelevant to the debate. But your need to call my relationship a domestic partnership instead of marriage is telling. It has been found time and again that it does create a second class status and couples are treated differently. I have read several horrible stories of gay couples being denied visitation and other rights even when all the legal documentation was on hand to show their status. When was the last time a straight couple had to say anything more than “I am her husband” to be treated as such. Was a marriage certificate required for proof first? No, of course not. People understand what marriage is and what rights are entailed. The same is not true with Civil Unions or DP’s. Just because you do not see a difference does not mean it is therefore without differences. If anything it is you logic of you can’t call your relationship what I call mine that is childish. Why don’t we call all relationships civil unions and those who want marriage can go to a church and get married. The government will only recognize civil unions and marriage will have no legal significance. That way you can be married and I will be civil unioned and we will be equal. My guess is that will not satisfy you either, but perhaps then I can put myself in your place and say you are just being childish until you get what you want.

    Like

  17. Todd D says:

    Thanks Birdman! I was crafting my response but alas, work takes precedence! 🙂

    Like

  18. Donna says:

    I don’t under stand all the fuss about marriage, gay or not.. why would you want to get married, it’s just a peice of paper and a huge cut in your budget for a party it’s not worth it, just let your life be.. ( another Donna)

    Like

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