I need to start with a critical disclaimer:
I have no problem with the LDS Church's position opposing gay marriage, even if I might approach it differently. This post is not about that issue; it is about what I see as a more fundamental issue. Please, if anyone comments on this post, do NOT try to make it about anything but the point of the post.
With that out of the way:
My most fundamental, foundational issue when it comes to the way homosexuality is addressed in the Church is that there really is a double standard in place right now - NOT the one that many people assume, but a real and important one, nonetheless.
First, based on the way that the Church addresses "fornication" in all its forms, I think it is a HUGE stretch for the leadership to accept homosexual sexual intercourse and the other old terms they use when talking about "things like unto it". (petting, necking, etc.) I don't want that traditional standard changed - although I wouldn't cry if "necking" disappeared from the published works. Frankly, if they are asking unmarried heterosexual members to abstain from that type of activity, I have no problem with them asking unmarried homosexual members to do likewise.
The issue for me is that the Church's current position, while MUCH better than it has been in the past (especially since it openly admits that sexual orientation often is not a choice but rather is biological and strong), still contains a double standard. Single, heterosexual members are allowed to develop an intimate relationship with someone of the opposite sex in many ways - as long as specific lines are not crossed. Those lines are drawn so narrowly for homosexual members, however, that developing an intimate relationship with a member of the same sex is next to impossible - even if the "heterosexual lines" are never crossed. (I know that it is not a bright line, obvious standard that is published and enforced everywhere, but it is the common view in most units of the Church, imo.)
For example, I was able to hold hands with my girlfriend, kiss her, sit arm in arm, gaze into her eyes, etc. - all in public AND privately, without any fear of punishment. Iow, I was able to show my affection and love for her in various ways without ever crossing into any inappropriate activity. That simply is not true for homosexual members. They are asked to avoid that type of loving, intimate bond - even if they never cross the lines that would be considered inappropriate for single, heterosexual members.
I believe that it is this discrepancy that lies at the heart of the issue for the Church - and that if we simply eliminated that double standard, the discussion would change in fundamental and important ways.
Advent: Unto the Least — (Part 1 of 2)
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