Friday, August 04, 2006

living a lie?

The Salt Lake Tribune has an interesting article today about being openly gay, married and LDS. The first man profiled, Ben told a Jessie before proposal that he was gay: "They talked a lot about it. They prayed about it. They both felt it was what God wanted them to do.
Now Ben and Jessie have two children..."

There are also support groups for folks like Ben and Jessie, unofficial of course. These LDS folks who are gay "talk about trying to change, their temptations, addictions to pornography, guilt and denial as well as faith, their marriages and their notions of eternity." I think there is a big difference between discovering you are gay during a marriage and knowing well in advance then deciding to get married to someone of the opposite sex and have kids anyway.

A gay man marrying a heterosexual woman "is just wrong," says Craig Steiner, an activist who was married for 12 and 1/2 years and has two sons.
"You are not being true to who you are and it traps women in an unhealthy relationship," says Steiner
Idaho State University professor Ron Schow has studied LDS homosexuals. Of 136 he surveyed in 1994, 71 percent were returned missionaries and 36 had tried marriage. Only two of the 36 were still married.

That is a pretty small sample size, but still, I bet it is hard to find that many, especially those who are willing to participate in that study.

The article lists three blogs of such openly-gay LDS men Ben's blog is:,Landon's blog is:; "Jason"'s blog is: I have yet to read any of them, but if I think I will add them to my Utah section if they are from the Beehive state.

So far, Ben's attempts to be 'cured' have failed: "therapy before and after his two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That helped him resolve issues with his father and other men, but it didn't diminish the strong attractions he felt for other men. He doubted those would ever go away." Yet, he believes God wanted him to marry.

Remember "The LDS Church says it's not a sin to have same-sex attraction, only to act on it." Langdon "doesn't believe he chose to be gay, so he doesn't feel guilty about having same-sex attractions. He agrees with the LDS Church's distinction between desire and actions and is trying everything he can to resist those desires, or even overcome them." "Jason" says, "Contrary to common misconception, I was never attracted to my [male] companions, and there was very little risk of problems arising from my attractions. It was a wholesome, formative experience, and was a paramount time period in my development and manhood."

As Jason anticipated making love to his wife for the first time, the thought was repulsive. He had a gnawing anxiety that he wouldn't be able to do it. But he was.
"I am surprised at how fulfilling my sex life is with my wife," he says. "It definitely exceeded my expectations."

I am just going to leave that one alone, but an interesting quote nonetheless. "Jason" married the girl he confided his homosexuality to all those years before.

So are these guys in denial, are their wives? Religious belief and faith is a big thing, and so is societal pressure. Yet all of these men (and it says something I think that this seems to only happen to gay men and not lesbians) know on some level that they will never stop having homosexual desires and/or attractions. They are trying to rectify their faith their beliefs and their heritage with who they really are. It is sad that the LDS church and the culture of its members makes them feel compelled to do so.

On another level, I think this is deeply irresponsible. If you want to try out straight marriage and still be openly gay, that is your choice with the prospective spouse. But once you create children, you are putting them in a situation not of their choosing. Given that study quoted above, these family's are extremely likely to head to divorce, probably more so than any other demographic. Divorces can be very hard on children. That isn't to say that parents shouldn't get divorced, but that they shouldn't take the whole marriage thing so lightly before they decide to get married and definitely before they decide to have kids.

There are no easy answers for folks like Ben, Langdon, and "Jason." Either they leave The Church, or remain single, or marry someone who they may love but aren't sexually attracted to. All are fraught with difficult, negative outcomes.

Reading stories like these makes me feel lucky that I have found the love of my life (whom I am attracted to) and that society condones our marriage. I wish everyone the same blessings I enjoy.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Quote of the Day

Courtesy of Media Matters

RIVERA: You know, Comedy Central is now a big hit, Stewart and the Colbert guy.

O'REILLY: Yeah, they do OK. They do OK.

RIVERA: They make a living putting on video of old ladies slipping on ice and people laughing. That's their life. That's their life. They exist in a small little place where they count for nothing. The history will be made by those who have affirmative thoughts, who make, you know, innovative suggestions in life and are inclusive.

Yet another reason I can't wait to watch the Colbert Report and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart tonight. That's right I like the Colbert Report now. Oh and I will be adding Jack Carter on to my totally dead ActBlue page. Those latest polls, reading about the candidate and their strategy make me think that if this really is a tidal wave election, the son of the former president could be a Senator in January.

Reed's master stroke

The man from Searchlight, Nevada seems to have made another cunning move. Steve Clemens of The Washington Note has sources that say that Senator Harry Reed offered Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton the Maj./Min. Leader's desk in 2008, claiming to be ready to give it up. I bet having to deal with all those egos especially going into 2008 when something like 5-10 Democratic Senators think they will be president (none of them will be) will be aweful.

But this offer makes sense for both Reed and Clinton (and Democrats generally), that's why it is a master stroke. For Clinton, she gets to turn down running for president, something she personally isn't that interested in. Clemons explains: "Reports are that Senator Clinton herself knows this [that she has a high unpopularity rating which will make it difficult to win, especially against popular McCain] and that her own enthusiasm for running actually trails that of her husband, her advisors, and her staff -- whose enthusiasm for the race is ranked in that order with Hillary the least enthusiastic." That is the most believable part of the story-- that Bill is dying to run again, as is her staff. Hillary loves the Senate it seems, and gets along well with conservative Senators, a skill necessary for being an effective a Democratic Leader. She also must like the fact that she is doing well where he husband never did, in the legislative branch. Bill ran for Congress in the mid-70s and was trounced. After that, he decided to go the AG-Gov-Pres route.

Hillary is dying to prove that she is her own person, that she isn't just Bill's wife. And even if she was to run for president, how many stories or mentions would there be about the First Gentleman? Bill loves the spotlight and would steal it from the first woman president, before and after the election.

This deal also would be great for Reed. He gets to spend more time being a king maker in Nevada, a crucial early state now in the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primaries. Right now, Edwards has a big edge with his links to hotel unions in Las Vegas, but if Reed were to endorse someone else, things could change fast. Reed also would get credit from all 2008 condenders for getting rid of their toughest competition. By falling on his sword, Reed would become even more powerful in a strange way. All those Democratic Senators would owe him, even Dodd might let Reed sink into the Whip position and give up hopes of gaining the Leader's chair.

To quote CNN's Bill Schneider, "Our political play of the week" is Harry Reed's overture to Hillary Clinton. Another deft move from the old boxer.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Not impressed with Ned

I watched Lamont's hyped TV 'interview' with Stephen Colbert on the Colbert Report. As glad as I am that he listened to Al Franken's advice to not try to be funny (every politican should follow that advise for all talk shows), I don't think Ned helped himself all that much.

A vote for Lamont in my mind is still an anti-Lieberman vote rather than a pro-Lamont vote. He forcefully answered most questions, but Colbert served him up a softball, and he wiffed it. Specifically, Colbert asked Lamont what other issues he cares about, how he differs from Lieberman on anything besides the war. Instead, Lamont answered with a ad from 2004. That is, we could have spent more on education, health care, etc. were it not for the money going to fight the Iraq war. As true as this is, this could have been the time Ned talked about Joe's "short ride" comment on rape victims and Catholic hospitals, or Joe's vote for cloture on the terrible Bankrupcy Bill, or vote for cloture on Alito, or his vote for Condi, his Michael Brown confirmation hearings, or his lack of oversight as Government Reform Chairman in 2001-02.

Still, I would like to get rid of Lieberman because of his piss poor political calculus. Every decision he makes poltically is a disaster. And now that he is personally in charge of his reelection campaign, you can see how bad it has been. Creating a third party, making buttons without a union bug, failing to knock down rumors that he would accept the Republican nomination for several hours, screaming at local media, having no public events, tacitly accepting support from College Republicans, etc. I still think Ned will win the primary, but I am a bit sad that all he will be is a Democratic Rubber Stamp.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Putting your money where my mouth is

If you agree with my opinions on various races around the country, please contribute to the campaign I have listed here on My ActBlue page.

The cool thing about ActBlue is that anyone can raise money for the Democratic canidate of their choice without it costing them a cent. Some online tools take a percentage.

Contrary to what some might think, I do read your comments very carefully. This week, I got one comment (or rant) about illegal immigrants and one asking me to explain my views on Gov. Huntsman.

For those who are unitiated in the ways of the internets, let me just point out that comments other than by DaveB are not my own and I take no responsibility for them. Afterall, I can't take them down even if I hate them (that would require me to pay for my Haloscan account, and to remember my login information)

Anyway, even if illegal immigrants are the root cause of everything that my commenter opines about, his math is wrong. I doubt 50% of the Hispanic population in Utah is illegal. It is probabbly a much smaller (but still sigificant) percentage. Crime, amoung other social ills, has gone up in Utah because the population has increased as has poverty. He also claims illegals "believe they should have more rights than the Legal ones. They fill our Community Health Centers, our Welfare Offices, our Emergency Rooms, and any other Assistance meant for Citizens of Our nation."

The march was about getting the SAME rights as those who were legal, not more. Currently, illegal immigrants cannot receive federal or state funded welfare (you need a valid SSN for that), but they can and do use emergency rooms and other health care centers as ERISA requires hospitals to not turn them (or other poor human beings) away. If there were not so many uninsured, this drain would be much less.

Preventative medicine is much cheeper than ER medicine. Just ask every other industrialized nation that has universial health care. It is hard to tell just how much of a drain illegals are on the health care system, but I doubt they make up much of the tens of millions (40-50) of uninsured in this country.

As to Derek's question about why I consider Gov. Huntsman a political hack. Let's see: he is supporting frontrunner McCain over fellow LDSer Romney, he was a political appointee as Bush's Singapore Ambassador (which means he has given lots of money and sucked up to the right people in the GOP establishment, since he isn't a personal friend of Bush) and he is pushing for making the Utah tax code even more regressive. A flat tax is Steve Forbes' and Dick Armey's (ex-House Maj. Leader) wet dream.

Granted, Huntsman is much better than almost any of the other possibilities offered by the Utah Republican party (save maybe Oleen), and the fact that he passed up on Enid Greene Waldholz says much good about him. He also ran a dignified campaign against Scott Matheson. But then again, he could afford to. Johnny Jr was the annointed one like George W. Bush was in 2000. The son of a rich man, the insiders tried to clear the field for him, even shooing aside an acting governor, and it nearly failed. Scott was only tied in one Democratic poll, and was consistantly 10 points back in most the others. Scott never went negative; so why would Huntsman have had to?

Huntsman is the most popular governor in the country, but he seems aleady to be thinking of pulling a Leavitt and asking President McCain for a plum cabinet post so he can be as partisan and unaccountable as he wants. Why else would you endorse a guy who hasn't even announced they are running for president now?

topsy turvy

Remember way back, back in 2002, when members of Congress (Republicans and moderate Democrats) were dying to air campaign ads with footage of Bush supporting them? What a difference four years makes.

Now Iraq war Vet and Democratic candidate Patrick Murphy is running against George W. Bush while actually campaigning against Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA). Here's the Ad. Here's the text (courtesty of Hotline On Call)

BUSH: "I'm the decider and I decide what is best. And what's best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain the Secretary of Defense" [on screen: Decided on Rumsfeld]. BUSH: "And Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job" [on screen: Heckuva Job Brownie]. BUSH: "Jim Gerlach and Mike Fitzpatrick are really talented congressmen" [on screen: Endorsed Fitzpatrick. Bush decided on Fitzpatrick. Have you?]

Not only does Murphy take advantage of some of the many dumb things Bush has said (watch the Daily Show's "The Decider" faux-comic book series) but he also has a picture of Bush at a fundraiser for two of the three endangered GOP congressmen from the Philly Burbs (Curt Weldon is the other), and shaking their hands. The ad even asks a fair question: "Bush decided on Fitzpatrick. Have you?"

All in all a great ad (and great campaign), and one that is emblematic of the GOP's inherant disadvantage this fall.