It's finals week soon! You know what that means? Doing everything in my power to avoid studying. xD
This includes thinking about some deeply intimate subjects including why Mormons can't come to terms with gay people.
This is a lot larger of a question than you think. So, let me tackle something simpler for the post and something that I feel very strongly about: why do at least two of my siblings tell me that being gay is a choice? One of these siblings will be graduating in psychology with a masters in April. He has been studying it for six years. You would think that someone who has been a field where "gay" is a common topic would have seen the research that states gay is not a choice. And he has. So why does he deny the truth?
So, let me start with some basics. Assuming that being gay is a choice, a gay Mormon has four choices:
1) Leave the church.
2) Live a heterosexual lifestyle.
3) Live a life of celibacy.
4) Live a gay lifestyle while staying in the church.
So, let me look at this from my brother's perspective when trying to decide which is the best option. Obviously, he doesn't think leaving the church is an option. Clearly not in line with church teachings. Similar to option four, living a gay lifestyle while staying in the church. Obviously, that is wrong. People can't be committing sin all the time, especially serious, sexual sin, and stay in the church. In fact, that lifestyle, if reported to the Mormon church, will result in excommunication, essentially option one. So, from my brother's perspective, one and four are not even real options.
Option two would seem the most appealing at first. Someone lives a heterosexual lifestyle, gets married, makes babies, shows up at family events with a significant other of the opposite gender. But my brother isn't that superficial. He is smart and would see the problems with this. This lifestyle isn't fair to the woman. She would not be getting the love she deserves. Sex is not just a physical thing. It is emotional, spiritual as well as intimate. A gay man simply cannot provide all these to a woman he married to fit into Mormon social norms. Besides, these marriages don't last. There aren't any stats and numbers out there about how many of these result in divorce, but there have been case studies done. And these indicate that the couple can be happy at first. Sometimes as long as two or three years. But things fall apart.
If being gay is a choice, this leaves us with option three; to live a life of celibacy. Which, according to my brother, just isn't fair to ask of someone. Mainly because celibacy just isn't lack of sex, but lack of dating, kissing, holding hands, flirting (something I see couples around BYU do on a daily basis). Asking gay Mormons to live a life without love, to wait until life ends to begin to find love, is just not fair. He knows he can't ask this. So he doesn't.
Instead, he chooses to deny data, deny truth, and say that being gay is a choice. Because, with that decision, it isn't God who is condemning us to this celibate, miserable lifestyle, it is ourselves.
So, this is why Mormons believe that being gay is a choice. Because to believe otherwise is to believe that God doesn't want us to find love until death. According to my brother, it has to be our choice because God only makes perfect beings, not gay people.
And now I'm angry again. I tried to understand my "masters in psychology" brother and it only leads to a spiraling argument that makes no sense; that being gay is a choice simply because is the best way to deal with homosexuality and the church.
I'm a scientist. I believe in truth. And this sort of thinking makes me angry. Take logic. Build on it. Emotions do matter. Don't factor them out. But don't disregard truth so your world, your emotions about the church, make a little more sense.
Anyways, hope I didn't rant too much.