Within eight years or less, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will allow civil same-sex marriage to members. Another five years after that, the Church will allow same-sex temple marriage.
I’ve been making this prediction for a couple of years now. With Friday’s SCOTUS ruling, it’s time for me to go on record.
Seven years ago, I said that gay marriage would be legal in most US states within ten years. No one believed me. It wasn’t even a major political issue then, except in California, where they were actively trying to make it illegal. LGBT activists weren’t pushing hard for marriage at the time, but I saw that conservatives efforts to actively ban marriage equality would force the issue, and they would lose.
I’m using similar reasoning to explain why Mormon leaders will rapidly reverse their stance. In fact, Mormonism will lead other hyper-conservative, fundamentalist Christian sects on this issue. Evangelicals will take a couple more decades to come around.
This is a daring prediction to make. The LDS Church has doubled and tripled down on their position, leading the fight against marriage equality. They were 50% of the funding behind Prop 8 campaigning, and funded other nationwide efforts to suppress marriage rights. They fought in courts, all the way up to SCOTUS, to enforce the marriage ban. And even Friday, on this historic decision, they doubled-down yet again by issuing a statement, “The Supreme Court will not alter doctrine.”
So how can I be so sure they’ll do an about-face?
First, I need to briefly describe cognitive dissonance. This is a pressure or drive that motivates us to make all our thoughts congruent. In order to verify our own sanity, we need to feel integrated and consistent. Internal conflicts cause discomfort.
When these pressures build, our minds take the path of least resistance. This path in individuals will collectively chart the course of the entire organization.
Cognitive dissonance on marriage equality has already begun within the Mormon Church, and there is only one resolution. Many members have already taken the side of love and acceptance. They risk excommunication to actively fight for gay rights.
This groundswell division, between members who have resolved their dissonance and those who are only now starting to feel its tingle, is just beginning. The pressure won’t let up until the Church changes.
Mormons have one important doctrine that sets them apart from all other Christian groups: Marriage is required for salvation and exaltation. An unmarried Mormon cannot be saved.
Yep. It’s true. Marriage is considered one of the four ordinances, or covenants, required to gain entrance into the highest level of heaven. (These are baptism, confirmation, endowment, and marriage.)
These ordinances are so central to LDS doctrine, that they are mentioned (though not by name) in the Third Article of Faith: “We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.”
The LDS doctrine against gay marriage is the weakest link. It will break under the pressure of pro-marriage and pro-family doctrines.
In Sunday School, we were told that gay sex was a sin because fornication was a sin, and you can’t marry someone of your own gender. And why couldn’t you marry someone of your own gender? Because homosexuality is a sin.
Even as a kid, I noticed the flaw in this circular logic. Now that marriage equality is the law of the land? This line of thought breaks down completely.
Biblical prohibitions against homosexuality are also weak. Most passages against it are beside other passages that modern Mormons dismiss as “cultural” or “fulfilled by Christ,” like Mosaic Law and headcoverings for women.
Mormons have an extra-biblical doctrine, called The Family: A Proclamation to the World, issued by the Prophet in 1996, which stresses that marriage can only be between man and woman. This will not be enough to resolve dissonance for members, because it also reiterates the importance and blessings of marriage and family, which the Church is denying to gay couples.
Another doctrine is already crumbling: That homosexuality is a choice. That gay people have allowed Satan to corrupt their hearts through love of sin.
This vilification is failing within the Church, just as it has in the wider mainstream culture, thanks to the coming out movement. When everyone knows an LGBT person, it’s hard to perpetuate the lie that gay people are wicked perverts. When the “enemy” can no longer be dehumanized, it’s hard to deny them equal rights.
The coming out movement is arriving in LDS culture a little later than mainstream culture. But it’s happening. The results are already showing. In 2013, the Mormon Church quietly launched a website, MormonsAndGays.org, declaring that homosexuality is not a choice, though acting on same-sex attraction is still considered a sin.
Gay Mormons are encouraged either to remain celibate their whole lives, or to enter into a straight marriage. For awhile, MormonsAndGays.org featured video interviews of hetero couples with one gay spouse. (These videos have since been removed.) They were meant to be faith-promoting, but they came across as heart-wrenching… individuals had placed themselves in damaging, painful, impossible situations just for the sake of obedience and social acceptance. This position will not reduce dissonance.
It’s clear the Church does not want to be seen as uncompassionate or hateful. Recently, the LDS Church has promoted non-discrimination in employment and housing within the state of Utah.
This will all lead to a cycle where more members come out of the closet, and more families will have to grapple with dissonance. Mormons are encouraged to have huge families, and there even may be more gay Mormons per capita, because the more children a mother has, the more likely one of them will be gay.
Before long, it will be impossible for any Mormon in the US to not know someone who is gay, to not have a gay child, sister, or cousin.
Here’s where the pendulum of dissonance tips: Mothers will have to look their gay daughters in the eye and say, “No, you can’t marry your companion. The blessings of family and exaltation are denied to you.”
They are trying to resolve the dissonance by saying that God will eventually provide, or that it’s is a test of faith to build strength. This reasoning will be dashed when parents witness firsthand their children’s sorrow. They will watch that daughter lead a lonely life, or worse – watch her struggle to make a family with someone she does not love.
Or still worse, they will experience the heartbreak of seeing their children excommunicated or fleeing the Church for acceptance elsewhere.
These empty answers will ring hollow, just as they did when LDS leaders fought against the Civil Rights movement. Apostle Mark E. Petersen said in 1954, “It isn’t that he [the Negro] just desires to go to the same theater as the white people. …it appears that the negro seeks absorption with the white race. He will not be satisfied until he achieves it by intermarriage… We must not allow our feeling to carry us away, nor must we feel so sorry for negroes that we will open our arms and embrace them with everything we have. Remember the little statement that we used to say about sin, ‘First we pity, then endure, then embrace.'”
Then, like now, doctrines against marriage will perish and be forgotten. This is already a movement. Now that gay marriage is legal, Mormons will not be able to reconcile love of family values with the denial of these same blessings to an entire class of people.
As time moves on, and Mormons see their excommunicated siblings and children in happy marriages, with well-adjusted children, the Church’s position will eventually topple.
Even now, this question is being tested. This year, a gay man, Taylor Knuth-Bishop, wrote an open letter to his bishop because he was up for excommunication for getting married. It went viral.
In my own city, Celeste Carolin has declared her intention to wed her girlfriend, and she will attempt to retain her Church membership. She attends an open and affirming ward that has unconditionally invited all LGBT Mormons to come back to Church. I’ve met her bishop. (He’s my bishop, too.) I find it unlikely that he would willingly excommunicate her, though he may be pressured by higher leaders.
This controversy is about to ignite. And it can only end one way: Acceptance.
CORRECTION 7/1/2015: The LDS Church did not directly contribute money to the Yes on Prop 8 campaign, but instead encouraged members to donate, and it was member donations that were 50% of the funding (plus 80-90% of volunteer time in canvassing). The LDS Church itself donated $190,000 of undisclosed “in kind” value to the campaign.
Your reasoning makes perfect sense. I REALLY hope you’re right! But I see it possibly going the opposite way. Gays and their families who love them will leave the church as the church attempts to tighten control. (All the talks about obedience to leaders are happening for a reason!) And as more information about church history is more widely read, people will feel less compelled to just go along with the leadership’s “We speak for God so we know what’s best for you” mantra- they/we will see how many times the leaders have just gotten it wrong.
But like I said, I hope you’re right! :D
The only thing LDS leaders want more than unquestioned obedience is further growth. On this particular issue, acceptance = growth, and unquestioned obedience/rigid doctrine on LGBT people will result in the opposite. That’s why, far fetched as it sounds, I agree with the author. Might take a little longer than he suggests, though…
Chances are both things will happen. Lots of people will leave first, and after leaving they will never come back. Either way, major changes of some kind are coming!
I really don’t know what to think.
I feel like the “you won’t lose your temple recommend if you support gay marriage” thing was a soft landing. It’s showing support for publicly disagreeing with the church, which is kind of a big deal. Maybe a stop gap to prevent a mass exodus right now? Of course, it still leaves room for them to discipline troublemakers if they go beyond “support” to “teaching against the church’s teachings.” It’s kind of grey- can I change my facebook pic to a rainbow pic? Probably. Can I post on facebook about how the church is still behind the times by denying same sex couples the right to marry? Maybe, but that seems like thinner ice.
I suspect the church hasn’t decided which way they will go yet. They will carefully monitor social media, keep their ears open, but mostly- they will watch the money. That’s where it will be decided. If they start losing more members b/c they are too liberal, they will pull back. If they start losing members b/c they are too conservative, they will loosen up.
I also suspect we are a little further out from temple marriage (if that ever actually happens). We know it won’t happen under Monson, and I suspect it won’t happen under the next prophet, either. It might, but when you look at those next in line, it just doesn’t seem very likely regardless of who is calling the shots (despite who is the “face” of the org.)
I wonder how much of this lies with the baby boomers. If left to Gen X or the millennials I think it would be a much more open and shut deal, but the baby boomers still have enough time left that if they don’t get on board they could really slow down progress.
I can’t help but look at current temple marriage rules that give me little hope for actual change in the Mormon church. “Compassion” has never really been high on their list, as is shown by their turning a blind eye to all of the parents, siblings and other family members who have been stuck waiting outside temples or in waiting rooms for weddings. Again, it comes down to money, and I’m sure that the amount of people who continue to cough up for a recommend just so they could see their loved one marry has made their rules profitable for them.
The theory I have heard, and that I suspect has the most legs, is that eventually the church will get out of the business of temple weddings, or at least drastically reduce the pressure for one. Sealing will become just another temple ordinance. The faithful can participate, but at a lower emotional cost to their families. I think (hope) we will see a change in policy for the 1 year waiting period if you marry outside of the temple, and sealings will becoming a quieter ordeal than they currently are.
I just don’t see how same sex marriage fits in with Mormon doctrine overall. The core of everything is marriage and babies. While gay couples adopt, they don’t do so at the same rate that Mormons pop out babies, and we all know that members having kids are where the majority of any “growth” comes from. I don’t see how they can change doctrine enough to include SS marriage on a sealing level.
Plus, let’s be honest, you’ll never willingly get a gay man in garments on a regular basis.
Yes, money will be a huge motivator for the Church.
I think you’re right, that compassion doesn’t matter much to most of the Q15, but I think it does matter to some of them, and it also matters to many of those in the Seventies. Most importantly, though, is that compassion does matter to the rank and file. They’re the ones who will threaten the money. Not to mention how the rank and file really do affect culture, and the culture does affect the leaders.
Yeah, Rock Waterman has some good arguments for why Joseph Smith never wanted marriages to happen inside the temple. Just sealings. So I’d like to see that happen, too.
Gay couples can adopt, but they can also have babies via insemination (lesbians) and surrogates (gay men). Moreover, science is reaching a point where two women can have a baby that is genetically their own baby. This is going to happen sooner than people realize. They’ve been working on this since the early 2000s. (Here’s an article from 2013. http://www.thehealthsite.com/pregnancy/one-child-two-biological-mothers-its-possible/ ) Since Mormon doctrine is okay with fertility medicine, they’ll have a hard time being against this, since it’s not really all that different from in vitro fertilization and other technologies that LDS families use all the time. Mormonism is tech-friendly (“The glory of God is intelligence”), so they’ll just say it’s all a fulfillment of some prophecy and that it’s God’s will.
And lol about garmies. You can’t get me into them either! Ugh. :)
I’ll take your bet. I counter your prediction and say that won’t happen.
On a related note, if the church doesn’t follow your prediction, would that cause you to reevaluate your paradigm? Thoughts? Just curious. Cheers.
Well, I’m always reevaluating my paradigm. (Which makes it really super difficult for me to label my political or religious alignments.) When new information comes in, I check it against my old information, and I end up changing my mind more frequently than the average person.
Specifically? Depends on which paradigm you’re talking about. Obviously if it doesn’t happen on that timeline, I’ll look at the new facts (like what really did happen, and how), and see if there’s a new timeline, or if I completely revert, say I was wrong, and that the Church will never change on this. Or acknowledge whatever else happens (like if the Church splits in half or something really outrageous.)
Would I reevaluate my feelings about the Church? Well, probably. That’s always evolving anyhow. :) If they don’t do this, chances are my opinion of the Church will fall even lower.
I agree with the author’s premise that is will happen incrementally, but the time line is optimistic. The reason being is that the gay marriage question is inextricably tied up with the ordination of women. Resolving one without the other will leave some households with two priesthood holders and others with none. It will happen, but it will take a bit longer.
Jared, you might enjoy the Mormon Expressions episode that covered this issue, since John Larsen agrees with you. http://mormonexpression.com/2014/12/08/episode-282/
They may have to ordain women first. Maybe not. Here’s why I think it probably won’t matter, at least at first.. I think the way this will initially happen is that the 1st Presidency will order Stake Presidents and Bishops to stop excommunicating gay couples for getting married. They will try to make it quiet, just a letter, but it will leak, and get some media attention.
That’s how it will go down.. just stop excommunicating and disfellowshipping those who get married. Aside from the unintended media attention, there will be little fanfare. No doctrine changes, no pronouncements.. Along with this, they will stop promoting the Proclamation to the Family and it will fall into the memory hole.
They won’t have to address doctrine until the temple issue comes up. Which it will, because gay couples will get married and stay in the Church and other members of the ward will become used to this, and then in quiet conversations or comments in Sunday School, the issue will come up.. why can’t Brad and Brent get sealed? They have two little kids who also aren’t sealed.. why is this ok?
The more normal it gets, the less barring them from a sealing will make sense to most members in wards with gay couples (which before long will be most wards). That’s when the issue will require a revelation and major doctrinal changes.. Ordain women may have to be a part of that OR it may happen later.. when the cascade effect continues.. like 5 or 10 years after that, “Why do Lael and Trisha and their kids live under the covenant in a home without the Priesthood? Because the Sunday School lesson just said that all homes have the Priesthood,” etc.
Sad truth is, it’s easier to see the reason in discriminating against women than it is to see the reason in discriminating against black and now gay people. Sigh.
I guess you could describe me as a former Mormon, although I still attend maybe once a month. I’m gay and I have been out for a few years now, living the lifestyle, as it were. So, with that background in mind, I don’t think your bold statement will come to fruition.
One of your arguments, that marriage is required for exaltation, is absolutely true, but you ignore the doctrine that allows for that sacrament to come about after death. Therefore, homosexual Mormons who choose to live a celibate life, rely on the hope that after they die, they will find their one perfect match and all will be restored to them. (I’m not defending this point of view, as I think it can be damaging, I’m just saying, there’s room in the Mormon doctrine of exaltation for singles.)
Also, it must be stated, for accuracy if nothing else, that the LDS church didn’t donate one dime to Proposition 8. The leadership definitely influenced local members to “support ballot measures that will protect the sanctity of marriage” (wink wink), they didn’t actually spend one dime of church money in its support.
I’m not arguing with your hope for love and acceptance among all people (a hope which I see coming to fruition the farther away I get from Idaho and Utah), but I don’t know if it’ll quite go that far. Thanks for your words.
Brett, thank you for the correction! I’ve updated my post to reflect that, with links.
The workaround you pointed out (variants on “God will work it out later”) won’t stand for long. I heard that same crap as a divorced single mom who never found an eternal companion. As I’m sure you know, it’s a salve that doesn’t soothe much at all. The reason I don’t think it will continue to work is that there will be more out gay members in the average ward than there are older singles. ALSO, for older singles, their problem is that they can’t find a mate. What do you do with all the gay people who have in fact found a mate, but they’re being denied the temporal blessings of getting married on earth and having the joys of a family just like the Proclamation sings about?
The other issue is that you’ll have gay couples saying, “Screw this, let’s just get married and let the bishop come ex us if he wants.” Now each ward with a gay couple (which will be lots of wards) plus families of those gay members from OTHER wards, are going to see them getting exed, and wonder, “What? They’re good kids living a righteous life. They obeyed the Law of Chastity until the night they wed, just like everyone else does. So why is this okay? This can’t be God’s will.”
Other bishops will refuse to ex those couples, and the inconsistency will cause further confusion. The media will cover many of these incidents, and Mormons who read this coverage will also become confused.
Their easiest way out will simply be to stop excommunicating gay couples who get married. But of course, that will lead to other complications. (See my comment reply to Jared, above.)
First off I have to express how impressed I am. You mentioned to water boy that you reevaluate your paradigm all the time. The fact that this appears (both from your post and more especially from your replies to subsequent comments), to actually be true is what I find both impressive and rare. The fact that you take the time to thoughtfully reply to all of them is impressive from the start, but your ability to respond to a wide variety of viewpoints, (many of them very different from your own) while still treating everyone with dignity is just awesome. I would love to see more discussions like this one and less of the name-calling, hate spewing lot as this issue continues to unfold.
I believe that you are correct about the “salve that doesn’t soothe” when we talk about the issue of “God will work it out later” from the perspective of the marginalized (older singles, gays, divorced, what-have-you). However the dissonance in those around the marginalized (mothers, siblings bffs, etc) has been very strongly soothed by this exact doctrine for years now, and I don’t see anything necessitating a change in that now. In other words, armed with this doctrine, the mother is much more likely to encourage celibacy and eventual salvation than making a stand for temporal fulfment. What we are left with then is only internal anguish as the child leaves the church or is ex’d (as is quite likely due to the salve problem). Or even stays in the church but feels lonely, misrepresented, and unfulfilled. However, as I’m sure you are aware, internal anguish alone is quite a different thing all together from cognitive dissonance, and (at least from my perspective) is not nearly as likely to be powerful enough to form a catylist for membership-wide rejection of the doctrine that all homosexual behavior is sinful.
I also think that you are right that the act of the first presidency sending out a letter quietly asking local leaders not to ex married gay couples would set it on a course toward eventual acceptance of gay marriage within the church, and I could even see your timing from there out being about spot on. However, I don’t see the need for that first letter nearly as strongly as you do, so I guess we will have to see on that front.
Thank you so much, Isaac. I’ve been debating topics online since before I could access the internet (via BBSes in the early 90s) and thankfully have learned some good habits along the way.
It’s true. I was one of those divorced single mothers. The salve barely soothed. My discomfort with my position and the statements the Church made was one of the many things that went “on my shelf” before the shelf collapsed and I left the Church. So it does give some room on the self, but it DOES go on the shelf.
But things are different now, and here’s why – if there had been enough divorced single mothers that we could have gotten together and formed groups… and if 5% of the church was made up of divorced single mothers… we would have seen that something was wrong and been a force for change. Moreover, no one was telling me I COULDN’T get married. There were no direct artificial barriers to me getting married other than that a bunch of men were enculturated to have a distaste for divorced single moms.
In this case, you will have 5% of the LDS population, many of them having found the love of their life even without trying, wanting to get married, and the only reason they can’t is because the Church will ex them. That is a very different story. They are now a class of people, who already congregate in activist and support groups. Their ideas spread through their families, who will be convinced that those ideas are good.
Here’s another issue.. while I was waiting for my eventual increase “later” I could always picture a man. (I’m bisexual so this was easy for me.) Whether I’d eventually meet a man in this life, or in the eternities, I was waiting for a man. If I had been gay, I would have tried to imagine eternities next to a man, and a woman would keep appearing there. I’d be told that I’d eventually be “fixed” so I’d want a man, so I’d keep trying to stick a man amongst those clouds and planets, and he’s just not going to ever fit there. The idea that I needed to be “fixed” would start to become insulting, especially when exposed to the ideas of other LGBT people I go to for support, both in and out of the Church.
This is an entire class of people being discriminated against, and that’s the dissonance. It’s less of saying, “All family-like people and we’ll ignore the ones who, for many reasons, don’t fit this picture,” and more of saying, “You there, you entire class of people don’t fit this picture and never will.” That’s a lot more difficult of a salve to sell. It’s obviously snake oil at that point.
I just have one question. Do you think the church is going to change its stance on it because of man has changed his stance? Cause I’m still waiting on the Church to change their stance on drinking. I have a lot of family and friends that have left the church because they can’t drink coffee tea and alcohol and world looks at those things with no problem at all. But yet the church still hasn’t changed their stance. I am not saying I’m against homosexuality at all just your rationalization makes no sense…
Things like WoW won’t be issues because you aren’t required to drink coffee to enter the Celestial Kingdom. You DO have to be married. And the Church loves to sing the praises of the joys of marriage and family, the wholesome clean wonderful right to raise children, so even those temporal blessings are denied to gay people. It will become clear and cruel in it’s clarity that the Church is discriminating, in nearly every possible way, against one class of people. And people in that class will have supportive family members churchwide, who will be asking why it’s fair. Unlike with coffee-drinkers, it’s not just the person who is gay who will be complaining. It will be their entire families.
Nah, you are completely wrong Linds! All the laws, commandments and doctrines in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon) are principal and are part of requirement to entering the Celestial Kingdom. Highlighting particularly on your comment that “no drinking coffee” is not what fails one to enter celestial kingdom is entirely wrong as all these laws in church are intertwine. Words of Wisdom is pre-requisite to anyone wish to obtain temple recommend and thus able to partake in Temple Ordinances. Shifting to your main focus on this article, I firmly believe Church will stand with traditional marriage between Man and Woman. Those who desire other than this traditional value is their agency to do so, and just like how much church respects individual’s agency, individual too must respect Church’s law. I know for sure that this traditional marriage value will stand as it is, the rest are just self-convincing views and trying to force particular view into LDS Church to accepting it (something like a propaganda). LDS Church is not just in the USA, it’s worldwide church. Think about church in the country like Indonesia where Civil Law will never ever recognize marriage other than between Man and Woman (you may argue with me on this, I know you will and that is because you may not come to understand country like Indonesia yet). And one last thing I would say to you is that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints IS NOT man established church, it is God’s restored church…He will preserve it to meet the purpose of His happiness plan for all his children, including you :) Remember, no one, not even Satan could destroy God’s works. Cheers
Hey Lopo Loo.
Do you live in Indonesia?
I agree that not all countries allow gay marriage. In fact, at this stage, most don’t, tho that is changing rapidly. The LDS Church, though, is USA-centric. It always has been. They try to put on a global face when it suits them, but they are still run 100% by Americans (except for Uchtdorf who is from Germany I think), and therefore have an American mindset. (If the Church was run by God, it would likely have a more global mindset. But it is not.)
I do not believe in God, so I will not be easily persuaded by arguments that the Church is run by a God that does not exist. (Actually, I think there might be one or more Gods, but I absolutely do not believe such gods notice or care about humanity enough to dabble in our affairs.) To persuade me of this, you will need to persuade me in a personal God who gives revelations to man, and that will be very difficult to do.
So back to Indonesia… If the Church allowed gay marriage, that wouldn’t supplant local laws. No one is forcing anyone to gay marry. The Church wouldn’t say, “Ok now everyone must gay marry!” So it wouldn’t violate Indonesia’s laws one bit. They are just saying that the Church will not excommunicate gay couples who marry. If no one in Indonesia gets gay married, then no one there is affected.
My argument about coffee was making a different point than the one you read. Brent was saying that, even though many Mormons are leaving the Church because they want to drink coffee, the Church hasn’t changed on that. I was saying that coffee is different from marriage, because the doctrine says that a Celestial marriage is required for exaltation. To deny some members this blessing is different than denying all members coffee. That was my point.
My article is not trying to force the Church into anything. For one thing, the Church will never read my article. For another, it doesn’t argue for why the Church SHOULD accept gay marriage.. It’s arguing for why they will have to. It is a descriptive article, not a proscriptive one.
Thanks for interacting, Lopo!
Just to let you know this is not endorsed by the lds church. Gods laws will never change nor will his doctrine. Marriage is clearly defined as man and wife. People would like for God to change his doctrine. But gay marriage will never be performed by any LDS leaders. A clear statement was made on the churches stance on gay marriage. It is not happening. Sorry have a good night
Don’t be sorry. You have your opinion and that’s great! And I personally won’t be hurt if the Church doesn’t allow gay marriage – I’m no longer a member, so they can’t excommunicate me.
Marriage is not clearly defined as a man and a wife. Did you watch that video I linked in my article? Biblically, marriage is also defined as a man and the woman he captures in battle. And a man and his wife’s slave. And a man and his concubines. And a man and as many wives as he can fit into his palace. At other eras of history, women were considered her husband’s property (United States up until just a few decades ago). Or when the prophet of the LDS Church could have as many as 50 wives. In the Catholic Church, it’s defined as between a nun and Christ. There have been times when monks could have “special” committed relationships with one another. And when we leave Western culture, we find many, many other examples of “marriage,” including societies that don’t have marriage at all, and no one knows or cares who the father of a child is. (In one tribe in South America, they believe the baby is built from the sperm of all the men who have sex with that woman. So they are all the child’s father.)
The definition of marriage is not timeless. It has always been culturally defined. It has changed before and it will continue to change.
Can we agree on one thing, please? This whole “the Bible is clear” thing is BS.
The Bible demonstrates MANY different types of marriage throughout its pages, and has been “redefining” marriage long before we ever got involved in it. Unless, of course, your wedding arrangements included the transfer of livestock and clauses about concubines and whatnot.
But this “one man, one woman” thing was first dictated as a requirement for church leaders.
And, let’s not ignore the fact that according to the SAME book you are talking about, remarriage after divorce is adultery in God’s eyes and as such, should be avoided, and if participated in, the parties involved should be stoned to death.
Yep. The parts of the bible currently followed today are the pieces cherry-picked from those other things that were merely “cultural.” We don’t stone people today because that’s “cultural.” We allow women to pray in Church because Paul was being informed by his Roman culture, NOT by God. The same shift will happen regarding gay marriage. Latter-day saints will see homophobia as “cultural,” wording in the bible about men and women will be seen as filtered through the language of the time (the same way all the “he’s” and “man” and “mankind” are supposed to apply equally to both men and women), and it will be perfectly normal for two women to get married and have six children.
I genuinely think that the important part of that paragraph is “and have six children.”
Nothing on earth will bring the downfall of Mormonism faster than a slow birth rate. It will be an interesting battle to see what happens- I think the two factors the church will watch closely is tithing revenue and birth rate. Conversion rates in the LDS church are shockingly low, retention is even lower, and members having babies is the #1 reason for growth. (And it probably takes the #2 and #3 spots, too.)
So if the LGBT Mormon community continues to bring babies in, this will work heavily to their favor.
I think faithful Mormon LGBT will be strongly family-oriented. It is in the Church’s best interest to keep those LGBTs faithful. (And they can’t do that without allowing gay marriage.)