Side AAA - believes that recreational sex with multiple partners is OK.Like other attempts to classify sexual orientation, this system over simplifies things; for example, it is probably more of a continuum from Side-AAA to Side-X rather than four distinct classes, and it doesn't address a gay person involved in a heterosexual relationship. But, it helps me understand what my problem is with how the LDS church treats homosexuality.
Side A - believes sex is only OK in the eyes of God in a committed, monogamous, same-sex relationship
Side B - believes that God calls gay Christians to celibacy.
Side X - (for "ex-gay") believes that we need to try to change our sexual orientation.
GCN focuses only on Side A and Side B and eschews side-AAA and side-X. Most GCN members are Side-A; but, a significant minority are Side B.
I maintain that the LDS church focuses only on the extremes: Side-AAA and Side-X. Side-B is merely tolerated, but is not encouraged. If a member of the LDS church is involved in a same sex relationship then it doesn't matter if it is casual recreational sex with multiple partners or in a committed monogamous relationship. The result is the same - they are considered a lost sheep, and often as a lost cause. The church may even excommunicate the unrepentant thereby washing their hands of the sinner.
The ideal, in the eyes of the LDS church, is that we should all try to overcome our same sex attractions. The pamphlet God Loveth His Children states
While many Latter-day Saints, through individual effort, the exercise of faith, and reliance upon the enabling power of the Atonement, overcome same-gender attraction in mortality, others may not be free of this challenge in this life.Implicit in this statement is that we should all be exercising faith to overcome our same gender attraction, while recognizing that some will not be successful (suggesting that most will).
Some might argue that 'overcoming' doesn't mean changing our sexual orientation; but, to be free of the challenge of same gender attraction means I'm no longer attracted to the same gender - i.e. I'm no longer a homosexual. I just don't see how this could be interpreted any other way. And, that is certainly how the majority of LDS members reading this statement would interpret it.
The question is often asked "what would we have the LDS church do, with regards to homosexuality, that it isn't already doing?" For starters, recognize that homosexuality exists in the LDS church - and that for most of us, no matter how hard we pray, at the end of the day we're still going to be gay. If mixed orientation marriage and celibacy are the only two viable options then formally recognize those - and give us a little assistance in making it work.
Instead, it feels to me that the LDS church is simply sticking it's head in the sand - covering its ears, so to speak, singing "la-la-la, I can't hear you." The party line is that any sexual relationship outside of marriage (between one man and one woman) is unacceptable. We're told that is the criteria, so now just work it out on your own - but you'll be in big trouble if the way you decide to work it out doesn't fit into those two options (MOM or celibacy).
Seriously, is it really too much to ask for a little help here? If God is truly telling our church leaders that homosexual behavior is always wrong, with no exceptions - is it really so unreasonable to expect them to go back to God asking how to help the homosexual saints? I don't know about others - but a pamphlet isn't doing it for me, especially a pamphlet that essentially tells me that its OK to be gay as long as I pretend to be straight.
I don't know why I am gay - if I was born this way or if it is due to environmental factors while I was growing up. But, I do know that I did not choose to be this way. So, why should it be so shameful? Why am I made to feel like I should be ashamed of who I am?
Additionally, just as a bank president who embezzles millions of dollars is not the same as a man who steals food to feed his family - neither is a man who is engaged in promiscuous gay sex the same as a man in a committed monogamous homosexual relationship. The church will treat the bank president differently than it does the man who is simply trying to feed his family - so should the church treat a gay gigolo differently than a man in a faithful relationship with his loving husband.