Monday, December 22, 2008

ABC Nightline Video: The Life Of Gay Mormons, First Aired In June 2006

I just discovered an Internet version of ABC News' Nightline program, which addressed the issue of gays in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The video, entitled "The Life of Gay Mormons", first aired back on June 7th, 2006, is approximately 10 minutes long, and appears to be biased in favor of gays, although it is strictly a quantitative bias and not a qualitative or contextual bias. Approximately three-fourths of the time is devoted to gay Mormons and ex-Mormons, while only one-fourth of the time is devoted to the LDS response, delivered by Marlin K. Jensen, who is a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy and the official Church Historian and Recorder.

The Nightline text story from June 7th, 2006 is posted HERE. The accompanying video is embedded below:

One of the gay Mormon couples in the video complains that the Church is trying to shut them out in heaven. This is because they are assuming that they will be gay in the next world. Since they believe they were born gay, and that it's natural, they assume they will always be gay. This is not necessarily a sound assumption; if homosexuality proves to be an emotional disability caused by, in effect, "crossed wires upstairs", then one would be free of the problem upon death, because one does not take their physical infirmities with them beyond the grave. Consequently, there would be no same-sex carnal desires in the next world.

Here's the official LDS Church position on homosexuality as posted on the website, put forth by President Gordon B. Hinckley in 1998:

"We believe that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God. We believe that marriage may be eternal through exercise of the power of the everlasting priesthood in the house of the Lord.

"People inquire about our position on those who consider themselves so-called gays and lesbians. My response is that we love them as sons and daughters of God. They may have certain inclinations which are powerful and which may be difficult to control. Most people have inclinations of one kind or another at various times. If they do not act upon these inclinations, then they can go forward as do all other members of the Church. If they violate the law of chastity and the moral standards of the Church, then they are subject to the discipline of the Church, just as others are.

"We want to help these people, to strengthen them, to assist them with their problems and to help them with their difficulties. But we cannot stand idle if they indulge in immoral activity, if they try to uphold and defend and live in a so-called same-sex marriage situation. To permit such would be to make light of the very serious and sacred foundation of God-sanctioned marriage and its very purpose, the rearing of families"
(Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, Nov. 1998, 71).

And here are some other Church pronunciations:

-- Summer 2006: Interview with Elder Dallin H. Oaks, of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, and Elder Lance Wickman, a member of the First Quorum of Seventy, on what causes homosexuality (they don't know), whether gays choose their attractions (not likely), change therapies (they don't endorse any of them), whether Mormon gays should marry women ("doesn't usually solve the problem"), the distinction between civil unions and marriage for gays, and why the church endorsed a constitutional marriage amendment.

-- July 2007: The LDS Church posted a new pamphlet on homosexuality on the church's Web site. The piece, titled "God Loveth His Children", was sent to all Mormon bishops and stake presidents.

-- Sept. 2007: LDS Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland reiterates the church's position that same-sex attraction is not a sin; only acting on it is immoral. He does not try to explain the causes of these attractions, but acknowledges they are real.

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