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Latest twist in the observant gay Mormon debate

Timothy Kincaid

June 24th, 2010

Last September we discussed an interesting debate taking place within the Mormon faith over the role and response of same-sex attracted Mormons.

Some, like NARTH past president Dean Byrd, argued that Mormons must strive for reorientation in order not to “limit the atonement.” But Ty Mansfield, a same-sex attracted observant Mormon, argued that orientation is unlikely to change and that he shouldn’t be expected to take up an impossible task.

But now there appears to be a new twist. Mansfield appears to have married on May 22 to a lovely young woman (that was the scheduled date, I assume it happened). And, in what must be a first, someone put up a website called “Danielle Don’t Do It” to try and change Danielle’s mind. It seems that they deduced from Mansfield’s writings that their love was lacking in romantic and sexual attraction.

I’m not sure what to think about this. Some men do find this sort of arrangement to be adequate and it certainly seems to be expected within Mormon circles. But last weekend I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Amity Pierce Buxton, founder of the Straight Spouse Network, who detailed the pain and trauma that can result from a straight woman marrying a gay man.

But I guess Danielle went into this marriage with her eyes open.

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Lindoro Almaviva
June 24th, 2010 | LINK

Why marry her when he could’ve married a hot puertorican Catholic?

Regan DuCasse
June 24th, 2010 | LINK

There are lots of things that break up even straight couples.

Two of them are thinking one can change the other, and unrealistic and unmet expectations.

So no, Ms. Danielle’s eyes aren’t wide open. She’s going along with two of the most tragic myths of marriage and paths to divorce… EVER.

Richard Rush
June 24th, 2010 | LINK

Rational people would understand that homos enticing (or more likely duping) straight people to marry them is not beneficial to society. The continued marginalization of gays promotes exactly that. Only religious loons could possibly believe these marriages are preferable to gay people pairing off with each other.

I don’t think the general public has been educated in how common these marriages have been, and how the maintaining of inequality continues to promote them. I have been stunned at the number of examples I personally know or know of where the marriages ended. And then there are the ones I know where one spouse is secretly out regularly looking for some homo-sex on the side. I imagine that the general public is really oblivious.

This is one area where full equality, including same-sex marriage benefits straights as well as gays. But I’ve never heard a word about this in the voter referendum campaigns.

One question I always want to ask a religious loon is, “Would you prefer that I marry my boyfriend or your daughter?”

Lynn David
June 25th, 2010 | LINK

Seems I read somewhere that Mansfield may be bisexual and had been associated with the Mankind Project and attended its New Warrior Training (http://www.mkp.org).

Good luck to them both, they are going to need it. Truth in reality often doesn’t mean as much for some religions as putting up a good front.

Priya Lynn
June 25th, 2010 | LINK

Timothy said “Some men do find this sort of arrangement to be adequate”.

You haven’t set the bar very high when your goal for a marriage partner is that they be “adequate”.

Ben in Oakland
June 25th, 2010 | LINK

Of course, lacking in this discussion is the point of view of danielle. I know this may be a sacrilege to some, but I suspect there are lots of women who would be happy in a marriage like this just so that their menfolk don’t bother them.

Ben in Oakland
June 25th, 2010 | LINK

And richard, as I have often said…

let us marry each other so that we don’t marry YOU.

Jason D
June 25th, 2010 | LINK

Ben, Richard, unfortunately a lot of those folks are under some foolish beliefs surrounding this:

-gay marrying straight might cure the gay!
-gay marrying straight will be a beneficial example for the kiddies!

So if they had a daughter(or son) unable to find a mate on their own, they’d be perfectly willing to settle for a well-behaved closeted homosexual. Grandkids don’t make themselves, after all!

The caveat, of course, being that you would have to at least appear to be a repentant ex-gay.

Kevin
June 25th, 2010 | LINK

I’ve known Ty for several years, although when I left Mormonism and moved in with my partner he quit talking to me. We’re still Facebook friends, so I checked and yes I can verify that they did get married.

In chatting with other friends that are still on speaking terms with him, I don’t get the impression that Danielle truly understands what she has just gotten herself into. She thinks she has. She nods her head when asked. But she hasn’t really considered everything.

For her sake, I hope the marriage works out splendidly and she gets everything that she has ever hoped for. Somehow I doubt that will happen.

Emily K
June 25th, 2010 | LINK

Something missing here is an understanding of just how important it is in Mormonism to be married. You can’t reach the highest post-life celestial level unless you’re bonded to another soul. marriage is HUGELY important and it surprises me not at all that a gay man – or bisexual, or at least openly attracted to other men – would marry despite internal feelings to the contrary. Although, if he IS bisexual, that wouldn’t be as big a problem as if he were 100% gay.

Aaron
June 25th, 2010 | LINK

Emily’s right, he almost certainly did this for theological reasons.

Jason D
June 25th, 2010 | LINK

Emily brings up a good point. Marriage is a big thing, they practically raise mormons to go out and find their mate ASAP. And also, that if this man is indeed honestly bisexual, then this isn’t really much of an issue.
All of the bisexuals I’ve met are either in opposite-sex relationships or married to the opposite sex. The numbers game just tends to work in that direction.

cowboy (on vacation)
June 25th, 2010 | LINK

Emily is right. What else is missing is an understanding of how much peer pressure and acceptance in Mormon culture is a factor.

My family used several examples of gays getting married as a possible option for me and others of my ilk. In every case, the “marrieds”: 1. Get divorced. 2. Live a hellish life with torments and guilt when they have eventual trysts. All the while the children are the causalites.

Though, I personally know gay Mormon fathers who live the hetero-way because the ramifications of leaving the world of conformity is too great.

Ty might be a future candidate for Mr. Congengiality at some Gamofite rally/function. He is that cute. (Gams are a group of gay Mormon fathers.)

Life is an education.

Priya Lynn
June 25th, 2010 | LINK

Jason said “All of the bisexuals I’ve met are either in opposite-sex relationships or married to the opposite sex. The numbers game just tends to work in that direction.”.

I’ve been married to a person of each gender.

Richard Rush
June 25th, 2010 | LINK

Jason wrote, “All of the bisexuals I’ve met are either in opposite-sex relationships or married to the opposite sex. The numbers game just tends to work in that direction.”

While I certainly believe that true bisexuals exist, my anecdotal observations tell me that there are not nearly as many as would check the bi-box on a poll. For many people I think it’s a transitional identity on the journey from a hetero to a homo identity. The bi identity is a first step toward acceptance of reality, as it is more palatable than homo.

It seems to me that when so-called bi married guys go looking for sex on the side, they are looking for guys. One guy I know got divorced after many years of marriage with several children. He still claims he’s bi-sexual, but jumped into the man-on-man scene with both feet, and shows no interest in women whatsoever.

Jason D
June 25th, 2010 | LINK

Richard I was guilty of the “Bi Now, Gay Later” phase. I’m still embarassed by that. I was all militantly bisexual and everything.

I wouldn’t know for sure if any/all of my bi friends are “truly” bisexual. As I’ve learned, there’s a lot of different types.

Only time will tell if your friend’s “men only” situation will change or not.

Priya Lynn
June 25th, 2010 | LINK

Well, I’m 49 and I am still attracted to both sexes, so its definitely not a transitional phase.

Richard Rush
June 25th, 2010 | LINK

Cowboy wrote, “My family used several examples of gays getting married as a possible option for me and others of my ilk. In every case, the “marrieds”: 1. Get divorced. 2. Live a hellish life with torments and guilt when they have eventual trysts. All the while the children are the causalites.

So, while the Mormons (and many other churches) force a one-size-fits-all idyllic marriage fantasy on everyone, the objective reality is often what Cowboy described. It’s an all-too-typical example of how religions reject objective reality and choose fantasy as the preferred option. But really, in their minds objective reality is irrelevant. Pretending and going through the motions of conforming to their fantasy is all that’s required. For example, if their doctrine says “we are called to love the homosexual,” then they claim to “love the homosexual,” but it’s just a performance. Things become reality by magic. It’s Magic Reality and Magic Truth.

Emily K
June 25th, 2010 | LINK

there’s no need to be “embarrassed” by a “bi phase.” People go through all kinds of phases all the time. I was bisexual in high school because i was still confused and growing. Even somewhat in college i was still bisexual, for the same reasons. now i guess i’m all gay, but i prefer ‘queer’ because hell, i’m a complicated person. but i see myself with a woman permanently.

Jason D
June 26th, 2010 | LINK

Emily my embarrassment was more in the self-righteous fire in which I declared and maintained my bisexuality despite obvious evidence to the contrary. ;)

Richard Rush
June 26th, 2010 | LINK

Jason D,

BTW, I enjoyed your “Bi Now, Gay Later” phrase.

Timothy Kincaid
June 26th, 2010 | LINK

I once asked a young “bi” friend, if you are so bisexual then why did you just notice that guy but not the hot girl he was with?

Donny D.
August 24th, 2011 | LINK

Priya Lynn wrote:

Well, I’m 49 and I am still attracted to both sexes, so its definitely not a transitional phase.

Add a few years and that’s my situation as well.

The reason so many L & G people think there are so few B people is probably because most of us choose to blend in with one monosexual identity or another just to avoid trouble.

Maybe that needs to change.

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