Why Mormonism Can Abide Gay Marriage
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Why Mormonism Can Abide Gay Marriage

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I make a case for why the LDS Church could embrace gay marriage in harmony with it's pro-marriage, pro-family stance. The narrated presentation is on YouTube ...

I make a case for why the LDS Church could embrace gay marriage in harmony with it's pro-marriage, pro-family stance. The narrated presentation is on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1jDUcBKml0).

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  • By raise of hands- those six and above, those 5 and below. Note awareness of eventual audio audience.
  • Ambitious argument. This is a persuasive presentation. If successful, you will walk out of this room with a greater belief that gay marriage CAN fit into Mormonism, than you did when you entered the room.
  • Briefly, wasn’t informed about homosexuality issues until about two years ago. Started researching, quickly became convinced of the moral gravity of this issue in the Church. Note my book goes into greater depth than I have time for today- but you’re welcome to read it for more, 600 references, online and selling here.
  • I want to tell you about this couple. Their story will come in more later- for now, I want you to know that about a year and a half ago, Jessica and Taylor fell in love. They’re both members of the church. They’ve been dating since that time, and now they want to get married. The couple lives in Colorado.
  • Ambitious argument. This is a persuasive presentation. If successful, you will walk out of this room with a greater belief that gay marriage can fit into Mormonism than you did when you entered the room.
  • Foreshadow that we’ll talk about the reproduction argument later. (call attention to equation). This is where I got the idea for my title.
  • Okay, so we’re going to get into more detail later, I hope I’ve recognized fairly the steepness of the mountain I endeavor to climb with this presentation. Spoiler, I really do think Mormonism can abide gay marriage- and I’m not alone in that belief. (wayne schow, clay essig, and others) . Speak slowly, clearly, deliberately.
  • Peculiar People: Mormons and Same-sex Attraction , edited by Ron Schow, Wayne Schow, and Marybeth Raynes, pg. 125-126.
  • More healthy for the partners, better for children
  • Couples like this don’t have to “break the odds” as much: stability is more normal among married couples than it is cohabiting couples.
  • Describe the pictures for the audio audience
  • Talk about cheek swabs, genetic material for spermatogenesis and oogenesis. Males have all the genetic material needed to manufacture a human egg. I’ve confirmed this with several academics, but it doesn’t take much of a logical leap. First 22 chromosomes are the same, second X turned into a Barr body…
  • Because such families wouldn’t be formed- instead, spouses and children would be in compatible-orientation marriages.
  • And converts that don’t join
  • I know I do. I want my kids, gay or straight, to have a robust option of an authentic, stable marriage.
  • I know I do. I want my kids, gay or straight, to have a robust option of an authentic, stable marriage.
  • It’s up to you to decide, audience!
  • This topic, as could many others, could be an entire presentation on its own. I’m not going to provide all the support I could, because we have an ambitious schedule. Harold B. Lee, The First Area General Conference for Germany, Austria, Holland, Italy, Switzerland, France, Belgium, and Spain of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, held in Munich Germany, August 24–26, 1973, with Reports and Discourses , 69.
  • Some perhaps don’t find this reason satisfying. However, it is entirely possible that God could ordain both man-woman marriage, woman-woman, man-man, and man-women (plural).
  • SSM will likely be a minority phenomenon, since most are heterosexual.
  • Now stay with me. Some of my rehearsal audience has found this one a bit tough to wrap your head around. If the Family Proclamation is true, we are concerned with marrying female and male SPIRITS.
  • I’m used to these types of images because of my anatomy and biology training- but you may choose to avert your eyes.
  • This is Pat of SNL fame. You may be familiar with the sketch- the point is that you can’t tell if Pat is male or female by looking, and the voice doesn’t help you either. Share my SLC story – met a person that had a sex change operation, a woman that used to be a man, my brain had no space for just a person - only a male or a female.
  • Tell story I asked my dad once how to tell if a cat is a boy or girl. He said the same way you tell if a person’s a boy or girl. “But how do you tell that?” I pressed. “Well, pull your pants down and then you can tell,” he replied.
  • Dr. jeffery gave a sunstone presentation on this subject a decade ago- can listen to it if interested. I borrowed these slides from embryologist professors at BYU. I’m going to summarize what he did in 90 minutes in less than five.
  • You that are familiar with the biology will be familiar that sexual orientation determination is a subset of sex determination.
  • At week five, the embryo could turn into a male or a female. Sex is not determined at conception, like many people assume.
  • Fold a piece of paper. The same structure becomes either a penis or a clitoris. Another structure becomes either the labia majora, or the scrotum.
  • Hold up paper- every stage between clitoris and penis, between scrotum and labia majora: between male and female.
  • Stay at a basic level- reference details in my book or Dr. Jeffery’s lecture from a decade ago
  • This is the promised summary.
  • This is the promised summary.
  • There are examples of abnormalities for 2 and 3 as well
  • Remember, I’m asking you for SPIRITUAL gender, not physical gender!
  • Repeat the highlighted person.
  • Remember Jessica and Taylor, the couple in Colorado that fell in love and now want to get married? Now, Taylor is both a boy’s name and a girl’s name. I have a female and a male friend, both named Taylor. Did you think of…
  • Remember Jessica and Taylor, the couple in Colorado that fell in love and now want to get married? Now, Taylor is both a boy’s name and a girl’s name. I have a female and a male friend, both named Taylor. Did you think of…
  • Remember Jessica and Taylor, the couple in Colorado that fell in love and now want to get married? Now, Taylor is both a boy’s name and a girl’s name. I have a female and a male friend, both named Taylor. Did you think of…
  • Or this?
  • WE DON’T KNOW SPIRITUAL GENDER
  • False positives, false negatives. Picture a human making a decision based on bat echolocation. All gay couples are intersex in one important way- atypical orientation.
  • WE DON’T KNOW SPIRITUAL GENDER
  • Remember, we’re skimming since other scholars have developed these points. (SKIM) Just let them look at this for a few seconds
  • Brigham Young, J of D (emphasis added). August 17, 1949 FP statement. Possible, irrespective of likelihood.
  • Footnote 452 in my book. Lach, Homosexuality and Scripture from a Latter-day Saint Perspective , quoted in Rick Phillips, Conservative Christian Identity and Same-sex Orientation: The Case of Gay Mormons , 2005, pg. 98.
  • I think it’s disgusting and repulsive. Note I almost avoided this argument, since it struck me as weak.
  • Gross to me does not = immoral for another.
  • You’re married to one spouse? If God’s married to many, then you may have to take on more spouses yourself, or if you’re a woman, let your husband take on additional wives.
  • Give ‘em a minute to write this down. Say it out loud for the audio audience

Why Mormonism Can Abide Gay Marriage Why Mormonism Can Abide Gay Marriage Presentation Transcript

  • Why Mormonism Can Abide Gay Marriage
  • Audience awareness
    • Could give a fairly accurate definition for both “intersex” and “transgender”
    • Have read at least one article arguing for same-sex marriage within Mormonism
    • From 1-10, familiarity with the biology behind sexual orientation
  • Outline
    • 1. Evidence of the Church’s anti-gay marriage stance
    • 2. “By their fruits” arguments (e.g. the value of gay marriage to society)
    • 3. Doctrinal arguments (e.g. scriptures, Family Proclamation)
    • 4. Conclusions
  • Bio
    • -Biologist -Wrote a book
  • Taylor and Jessica Jessica Taylor
  • Outline
    • 1. Evidence of the Church’s anti-gay marriage stance
    • 2. “By their fruits” arguments (e.g. the value of gay marriage to society)
    • 3. Doctrinal arguments (e.g. scriptures, Family Proclamation)
    • 4. Conclusions
  • Mormonism ≠ gay marriage
    • “ As a doctrinal principle, based on the scriptures, the Church affirms that marriage between a man and a woman is essential to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children… the Church accordingly affirms defining marriage as the legal and lawful union between a man and a woman .”
    • - 2010 Church Handbook of Instructions, Book 1, 17.3.10 (Same-Gender Marriages)
  • Mormonism ≠ gay marriage
    • “ Sexual relations are proper only between a man and a woman who are legally and lawfully wedded as husband and wife. Any other sexual relations, including those between persons of the same gender , are sinful and undermine the divinely created institution of the family.”
    • - 2010 Church Handbook of Instructions, Book 1, 17.3.10 (Same-Gender Marriages)
  • Mormonism ≠ gay marriage
  • Mormonism ≠ gay marriage
    • - Church’s opposition to SSM (same-sex marriage) in Alaska, California, and Hawaii
    • -Various scriptures
    • -Family Proclamation
    • -Condemnation of homosexual conduct by leaders
  • Outline
    • 1. Evidence of the Church’s anti-gay marriage stance
    • 2. “By their fruits” arguments (e.g. the value of gay marriage to society)
    • 3. Doctrinal arguments (e.g. scriptures, Family Proclamation)
    • 4. Conclusions
  • Ye shall know them by their fruits
    • “ He taught us to evaluate attitudes and actions not by their conformity to the letter of a generalized law but rather according to their compatibility with the spirit of love and the degree to which they promote self-development.”
  • Homosexual orientation isn’t just about lust
    • Homosexual orientation can be described as a constellation of romantic/sexual/emotional inclinations: in other words, valid human love . Thus, like heterosexual orientation, it can be applied to forge strong pair relationships, which can in turn found a stable marriage.
  • How does orientation buttress stability?
    • Sex!
      • Oxytocin
      • Dopamine
    • Romantic interest helps too
    • Don’t forget companionate love and emotional intimacy
  • Same-sex marriage is consensual
    • Unlike some sexual orientations, such as toward children or teenagers (e.g. ephebophilia), homosexual orientation is comparable to heterosexual orientation. Both orientations buttress the stability of the marital relationship through creating and maintaining consent by both adult partners.
  • Same-sex marriage: more stable than cohabitation
  • Less celibacy
    • If ever there were an anti-family institution, it’s celibacy . Many gay members cannot in good conscience marry a member of the opposite sex. Thus, they either stay celibate for life or risk their membership .
    • Gay marriage creates, rather than prevents, family.
  • Procreation argument
  • Procreation argument “ [S]exual relations within marriage are divinely approved not only for the purpose of procreation , but also as a way of expressing love and strengthening emotional and spiritual bonds between husband and wife.” -CHI 21.4.4 Same-sex couples, like any infertile married couple, stand to benefit from the bonding effect of sexual relations .
  • Procreation argument
    • Procreation is incident, not foundational to, marriage: witness infertile couples. They are no less married despite their inability to reproduce naturally. The same can be said of same-sex couples.
  • Procreation argument
    • Does this infertile couple misunderstand the purpose of marriage?
  • Procreation argument How about this infertile couple?
  • Procreation argument
    • Anyway, same-sex couples can reproduce.
  • Benefits of Marriage
    • Married people have longer life expectancies than unmarried peers.
    • Married people are more productive, have higher incomes, and enjoy more family time than the unmarried.
    • Married people experience less depression . Married people had considerably less depression and fewer problems with alcohol than did unmarried people.
    • Witherspoon Institute, Marriage and the Public Good: 10 Principles, 2006, p.20, www.princetonprinciples.org
    • L. Waite & E. Lehrer, The Benefits from Marriage & Religion in the U.S.: A Comparative Analysis, Population & Development Review , Vol 29, No. 2, June 2003, p. 264.
  • Same-sex couples can parent
    • Both raising and bearing a child are vital.
    • Same-sex couples can rear children, and, compared to cohabitation, same-sex families (children and parents) are likely to reap the same benefits from being married that opposite-sex families do.
  • Same-sex couples can parent
    • Some research indicates they parent as or more effectively than opposite-sex couples
  • Providing reliable caregivers If marriage means anything, it is that you’re there for each other “in sickness and in health,” in the ups and the downs. Compared to celibacy, this means lifetimes of caretaking which would otherwise be neglected or picked up by the state.
  • Providing Reliable Caregivers “ A husband or wife is the social worker of first resort, the psychiatrist of first resort, the cop and counselor and insurer and nurse and 911 operator of first resort.” Jonathan Rauch, Gay Marriage: Why it is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America , 2004, pg. 23.j In my view, this is the #1 reason to support gay marriage in Mormonism.
  • Settling young men Unmarried men between 24 and 35 are three times as likely to murder another male, and are more likely to rape and rob, among other risks, than their married counterparts. Some gay men, rather than celibacy, would instead choose marriage were it encouraged and available.
  • Gain points with the public
    • Trend is toward acceptance of gay relationships.
    • Lose points for consistency in the short term.
    • However, the longer the Church waits, the worse they look (think 1978 lifting the ban). Best strategy long term? Change now .
  • Relieved church members
    • Many men who sit on disciplinary councils are anguished when faithful members enter same-sex relationships. Wounding delicate souls by excommunication is a very serious act .
    • This damaging practice would cease.
  • Relieved gay members
    • Don’t have to hide who they are- fewer distressed, duplicitous lives bereft of integrity.
  • Relieved gay members
    • Less despair about:
      • Their future
      • Belonging
      • Self-worth
      • Church discipline
      • Family and church rejection
  • Relieved family members
    • Fewer straight spouses in the closet or suffering from the difficulties of being married to a gay spouse .
    • Fewer children of divorced or conflicted marriages resulting from mixed orientation.
  • More sheep in the fold
    • More gay people will stay within the nurturing LDS community- as will those who support them .
    • (Think of the missionaries that refuse to serve, and the members that leave, because they disagree with LDS homosexuality policy)
  • More sheep in the fold
    • The children of gay and lesbian families will grow up in the church instead of outside it .
    • Converts who
    • wouldn’t otherwise
    • join, will.
  • Parents will have hope for their gay children
    • Parents generally do not want their gay children to: - enter risky mixed orientation marriages
    • - stay celibate for life (think lifetime of lonely dinners)
    Parents generally do want their gay children to: -Have a robust opportunity for stable marriage
  • Gay children will hope for themselves
    • Gay people generally do not want to: - enter risky mixed orientation marriages
    • - stay celibate for life (lifetime of lonely dinners)
    Gay people generally do want to: -Have a robust opportunity for stable marriage
  • Ye shall know them by their fruits
    • We’ve discussed over a dozen of the “fruits” (consequences) of gay marriage.
    • Are the fruits good, or bad?
  • Outline
    • 1. Evidence of the Church’s anti-gay marriage stance
    • 2. “By their fruits” arguments (e.g. the value of gay marriage to society)
    • 3. Doctrinal arguments (e.g. scriptures, Family Proclamation)
    • 4. Conclusions
  • Family Proclamation
    • Does it forbid SSM?
    • “ Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God”
    • There are at least four possible reasons why the Family Proc does not forbid SSM in Mormonism.
  • Family Proclamation
    • Reason #1: It’s not doctrine
    • “ The only one authorized to bring forth any new doctrine is the President of the Church, who, when he does, will declare it as revelation from God, and it will be so accepted by the Council of the Twelve and sustained by the body of the Church .”
    • (Polygamy) Manifesto, yes. 1978 Official Declaration lifting priesthood ban, yes. Family Proc, no.
  • Family Proclamation
    • Reason #2: On it’s face, there is no prohibition of SSM
    • “ Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God .”
    • “ A square is a quadrilateral.” That doesn’t preclude a rectangle from also being a quadrilateral.
    • Linguistically, the statement is not a limitation. Marriage can still be between a man and a woman, even with SSM.
  • Family Proclamation
    • Reason #3: The Proc allows for circumstance-based adaptation
    • “ Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. ”
    • A persistent, predominant homosexual orientation is an “other circumstance necessitating individual adaptation” if ever there was one.
  • Family Proclamation
    • Reason #4: The Family Proc’s construction of gender is not physical; instead, it is necessarily spiritual.
    • “ Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose .”
    • Premortal = no physical body. Thus, spiritual gender is what matters in regard to marriage.
  • You can’t measure shoe size with a thermometer
    • Or, how do you discern spiritual gender ?
  • Disclaimer
    • Some of the following images are graphic.
  • Boy or girl?
    • We judge by physical appearance, do we not?
  • Boy or girl?
    • What about when appearance doesn’t give it away?
  • Discerning physical sex
    • “ Pull your pants down” test- look at the genitals
    • Genetic test (XX is female, XY male)
    • Gametes test- whichever gametes (eggs or sperm) a person makes defines the person’s gender
  • Sex determination in a nutshell
    • In next few slides, focus on big picture
    • Summary will be provided afterward
  • Sex Determination
    • Sexual genotype (XY or XX) is responsible for directing gonadal development which directs external genitalia development
    • The various phases of sexual development are controlled not only by sex chromosomal genes but by hormones as well
  • Early Genital System Development Ends in a Bipotential Phase
    • Gonad formation and differentiation begins with the arrival of primordial germ cells from the yolk sac in the intermediate mesoderm in the 5 th week
    • PGCs then move into the area that will become the genital ridge
    • In the 6 th week somatic support cells form and invest the germ cells
      • These cells are essential for germ cell development within the gonad
    • From the 7 th week on development of the male and female systems diverges
  • Male Development
    • The SRY gene seems to control the cascade of events leading to male development
      • Activated only from days 41 to 52 postovulation
      • Likely upregulates testis-specific genes and/or represses ovarian genes
    • SRY is first expressed in the somatic support cells of the XY gonad
    • Support cells begin to differentiate into Sertoli cells and envelop the germ cells
    • 7 th week Sertoli cells along with interstitial cells of the gonad organize to form testis cords enclosing the germ cells
      • At puberty the testis cords differentiate into the seminiferous tubules
      • Rete testis is formed by Sertoli cells which have not surrounded germ cells
    • Mesonephric ducts will form the epididymis, spermatic ducts, vas deferens, and seminal vesicle
    • Tunica albuginea forms as connective tissue separating the coelomic epithelium from the testis cords
  • Divergence of Male and Female Development
    • Male
      • In 6 th week a urethral groove forms along the ventral surface of the genital tubercle
      • Initially the groove only extends part-way down the shaft of the phallus
      • The urethral groove becomes the penile urethra when the urethral folds fuse in the midline
      • Urethra forms in the glans by canalization of the urethral plate
      • Perineal region lengthens and the labioscrotal folds fuse to form the scrotum
    • Female
      • Perineum does not lengthen and the labioscrotal folds and urethra folds do not fuse along the midline
      • Urethral folds become labia minora
      • Labioscrotal folds become labia majora
      • Phallus bends inferiorly to become the clitoris
      • Phallic portion of urogenital sinus becomes the vestibule of the vagina
  • Hypospadias
    • Common manifestation of (but not limited to) male pseudohermaphrodism
    • Urethra opens to the ventral surface of the penis
    • Hypospadias result from failure of formation or fusion of the urethra folds (penile shaft)
  • Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (Testicular Feminization Syndrome)
    • Genetically male; looks female
  • Sex determination in a nutshell
    • Summary:
    • SRY gene on the Y chromosome causes a bipotential embryo to develop male-type characteristics
    • Results from abnormal processes? Individuals with male genes but female genitalia and vice versa; individuals with male genes and both male and female genitalia; individuals with male and female genes; and everything in between .
  • Sex determination in a nutshell
    • “ Nature doesn’t draw any lines on us: we draw lines on nature.”
    • “ Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord a seeth not as b man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance” 1 Sam. 16:7
  • Discerning physical gender
    • “ Pull your pants down” test- look at the genitals
    • Genetic test (XX is female, XY male)
    • Gametes test- whichever gametes (eggs or sperm) a person makes defines the person’s gender
  • “ Pull your pants down” test- look at the genitals
  • True Hermaphrodites
    • Have sex chromosomes, genitalia, and/or secondary sex characteristics that are a mixture of both male and female
    • Can be chromosomal males, chromosomal females, or mosaics
    • Gonads are usually streak-like and contain both seminiferous tubules and follicles
      • In 20% of cases the individual will have an ovary or ovotestis on one side and a testis on the other
    • Mosaics (and female mosaics where the X chromosome in some cells has the SRY gene attached) can be explained since cells with SRY will form testicular tissue while those without will form ovarian tissue
  • True Hermaphrodites
  • Girl or boy?
    • Caster Semenya, Santhi Soundarajan
  • The stats
  • Discerning physical sex
    • “ Pull your pants down” test- look at the genitals
    • Genetic test (XX is female, XY male)
    • Gametes test- whichever gametes (eggs or sperm) a person makes defines the person’s gender
    • Bottom line: all people don’t fit neatly into “boy” and “girl” categories
  • So what? Why does this matter?
    • Most people aren’t “fringe” cases- they’re clearly male or female, right?
  • Voting to alter nature?
    • “ Years ago I visited a school in Albuquerque. The teacher told me about a youngster who brought a kitten to class. As you can imagine, that disrupted everything. She had him hold the kitten up in front of the children.
    • It went well until one of the children asked, “ Is it a boy kitty or a girl kitty? ”
    • Not wanting to get into that lesson, the teacher said, “It doesn’t matter. It’s just a kitty.”
    • But they persisted. Finally, one boy raised his hand and said, “I know how you can tell.”
    • Resigned to face it, the teacher said, “How can you tell?”
  • Voting to alter nature?
    • And the student answered, “You can vote on it!”
    • You may laugh at this story, but if we are not alert, 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 . A law against nature would be impossible to enforce. For instance, what good would a vote against the law of gravity do?”
    • -President Packer, October 2010, Cleansing the Inner Vessel
  • So, let’s vote!
  • Bottom Line: We don’t know a person’s spiritual sex
    • -What is the height of
    • this person’s spirit?
    • -If physical sex is ambiguous , it cannot serve as the basis for a judgment of unambiguous (remember- gender is an “essential” characteristic) spiritual sex.
    - How about the shoe size of this person’s spirit?
  • You can’t measure shoe size with a thermometer
    • Neither can you measure spiritual gender by physical appearance.
  • Bishop’s dilemma Jessica Taylor Perform the marriage or not?
  • Jessica Taylor
  • Jessica Taylor
  • Jessica Taylor
  • Jessica Taylor Excommunication Exaltation Jessica Taylor If physical appearance cannot ground the bishop’s decision, the criterion of appearance must be rejected, not just the “fringe” cases .
  • Jessica Taylor Conclusion from uncertainty : perform both marriages, or perform neither; choosing only one couple is irrational. Jessica Taylor Spiritual sex of each?
  • Jessica Taylor Excommunication Exaltation Jessica Taylor At the judgment bar, shouldn’t these couples’ fate be determined by their behavior toward each other, rather than on the level of a hormone present in the womb ?
    • 34 Wherefore, verily I say unto you that all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal; neither any man, nor the children of men; neither Adam, your father, whom I created.
    •   35 Behold, I gave unto him that he should be an agent unto himself; and I gave unto him commandment, but no temporal commandment gave I unto him, for my commandments are spiritual; they are not natural nor temporal, neither carnal nor sensual .
    D&C 29
  • Outline
    • 1. Evidence of the Church’s anti-gay marriage stance
    • 2. “By their fruits” arguments (e.g. the value of gay marriage to society)
    • 3. Doctrinal arguments (e.g. scriptures, Family Proclamation)
    • 4. Conclusions
  • Scriptures
    • Restoration scriptures (Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, Doctrine and Covenants) are silent about SSM and homosexuality : a rather significant omission.
    • “ The Bible condemns homosexuality.” None of the five bible verses commonly cited to condemn homosexual behavior unequivocally support that proposition .
  • Scriptures
    • Genesis 19: Inhospitality /lack of charity is more likely the sin of Sodom
    • Leviticus 18: More likely condemns a foreign practice than a sinful one
    • Paul (Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6, 1 Timothy 1): more likely condemned heterosexuals engaging in homosexual acts, and relied on the no-longer-binding Levitical prohibition
  • Law of chastity
    • “ The Lord’s law of chastity… legally and lawfully wedded as husband and wife.” -CHI 2010, 21.4.5
    • The law of chastity is one
    • of very few church moral
    • standards tied to an external legal concept . Arguably, married same-sex couples are already living this law.
  • 1 st Polygamy; 2 nd blacks/ priesthood; 3 rd gay marriage
    • “ The only men who become Gods, even the sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy .”
    • “ The attitude of the Church with reference to Negroes remains as it has always stood. It is not a matter of the declaration of a policy but of direct commandment from the Lord, on which is founded the doctrine of the Church…”
  • Bottom line
    • Doctrinal positions can be reinterpreted or changed.
    • Like (1) necessary-to-salvation polygamy and (2) racial priesthood positions, the current anti-gay marriage position may be reinterpreted or reversed .
  • Church Handbook, Church Leaders
    • “ Not even statements from the First Presidency which have appeared in various editions of the bishop’s handbook can make the claim of [being revelation] since they represent an arbitration of policy, not doctrine .”
  • Chris Bigelow
    • “ God has a penis. Created in his image, his male children also have penises, and they are commanded to use them only in Godlike ways… “When I hear liberal Mormons romanticize the notion of gay marriage, I think they are glossing over the cold reality that the physical aspects of such unions are simply unacceptable in Mormon theology, period.”
  • Bill Bradshaw
    • Unable to imagine themselves engaging in such activity, they (heterosexuals) may perceive it to be unnatural, a perversion… since this is deemed a private matter, the mechanics of love-making are neither prescribed nor proscribed , thoughtfulness and sensitivity to the feelings of one’s mate being the most important consideration.
    • Gay sex is not unnatural or gross: to gay people .
  • There might be same-sex couples in heaven
    • If there are only polygamous or monogamous male-female marriages in heaven, one or the other group has a long way to go (i.e. there is likely at least some level of marital diversity ).
    • We have no affirmative evidence that same-sex couples are absent from heaven.
  • Godhead analogy
    • The best example in the universe that we have of the intersection of love, commitment, and unity is not of a marriage between a man and a woman. It is instead a
    • union of three males :
    • the Father, the Son,
    • and the Holy Ghost.
  • We do not know the mechanism(s) of spiritual reproduction
    • If it’s by sexual intercourse, God has an obscene amount of sex.
    • We do know male spirit(s) breathed life into Adam’s nostrils, and formed his body from the dust of the earth. This seems closer to reproduction in the lab that it does to male-female intercourse.
    • Omnipotent same-sex couples might be able to reproduce spiritually.
  • Analogy to Widow Remarriage
    • First marriage
    • Second marriage
  • Outline
    • 1. Evidence of the Church’s anti-gay marriage stance
    • 2. “By their fruits” arguments (e.g. the value of gay marriage to society)
    • 3. Doctrinal arguments (e.g. scriptures, Family Proclamation)
    • 4. Conclusions
  • Conclusions
    • Mormonism can abide gay marriage.
    • For more, read my book. Available:
      • YouTube ( bradcarmack.blogspot.com )
      • Purchase (at this conference)
      • Pdf (bradcarmack.blogspot.com)
    • [email_address]
  • Why Mormonism Can Abide Gay Marriage