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Nine Moons » Blog Archive : Poll: How Do You Feel About Gay People? How Many Do You Know? » Poll: How Do You Feel About Gay People? How Many Do You Know?

Poll: How Do You Feel About Gay People? How Many Do You Know?

Rusty - April 14, 2008


I thought about this after reading the comments following this article.

63 Comments

  1. That first one’s a pretty loaded question. It really depends on the other person and their definition of tolerant. I don’t think the homosexual lifestyle is the one that is best for anyone’s eternal progression and to some, anyone who doesn’t whole-heartedly support gays is homophobic. On the other hand, while I’m clear about my feelings and thoughts when asked, I interact with gay people nicely and don’t get in their faces about how they’re damaging their children and going to hell. To other people, that would make me “going-to-hell-myself” tolerant.

    So how would someone else rate me? I have no idea.

    Comment by Proud Daugther of Eve — April 14, 2008 @ 10:17 am

  2. Dear Proud Daughter of Eve,

    I would have to say that by using the words “homosexual lifestyle” you would automatically be placed no higher than four. I say that will all due respect because it shows that you still believe it is something chosen instead of an innate characteristic. That opinion, in and of itself, is the PRIME issue upon which all other discussion of gay or lesbian issues resides. It is important because it totally changes how you approach the gay “issue”. If it is chosen, then the argument falls one way. If it is innate, then the argument goes in an entirely different direction.

    Comment by Michael — April 14, 2008 @ 10:33 am

  3. Yeah, #1 is impossible. Some people would consider me to be a hateful bigot and some would consider me overly tolerant. So I gave myself a 5.

    Michael: I would have to say that by using the words “homosexual lifestyle” you would automatically be placed no higher than four.

    By you and other people with the same sensibilities as you. Not by other people with different sensibilities. Which is pdoe’s point.

    Comment by Tom — April 14, 2008 @ 10:41 am

  4. To clarify; I don’t think that homosexual feelings are necessarily chosen. I do think that acting on them is a choice. Being attracted to women may not be Martha’s choice but dating and having sexual relations with them is still a choice. I just used “homosexual lifestyle” to try to cover all aspects, from relationships to the compromises inherent in a homosexual couple having a family. (By compromises I just mean the things they have to do to have children at all since they’re not going to be born to them the way they’d be born to a heterosexual couple.)

    And, just to be absolutely clear, I may think homosexuality isn’t God’s plan but I don’t think any gay person is going to hell (not that Mormons have a hell as others would understand it) simply for being gay. It’s not the right path but it’s not anywhere near as wrong as others.

    Comment by Proud Daughter of Eve — April 14, 2008 @ 10:42 am

  5. fwiw, the first question asks how the person would rate how the feel about the “gay lifestyle”.

    Comment by anon — April 14, 2008 @ 11:20 am

  6. What does that first question even mean?

    Comment by Geoff J — April 14, 2008 @ 11:44 am

  7. I hate to nit-pick, but “gay lifestyle” is really a meaningless term. What is the gay lifestyle? Those who know a variety of gay people will know that there is no gay “lifestyle” any more than there is a “heterosexual lifestyle.”

    Comment by Steven B — April 14, 2008 @ 12:09 pm

  8. Michael,

    “it shows that you still believe it is something chosen instead of an innate characteristic”

    I have some gay friends who freely admit their orientation is by choice and others who feel it is inate.

    How do you propose I “approach the gay issue”?

    Comment by JM — April 14, 2008 @ 12:21 pm

  9. Oh man. I don’t think it’s that complicated of a question. I didn’t ask how tolerant you are of gay people because everyone assumes they are much more tolerant than they likely are so I asked it in a way to try to be more objective. What I’m looking for is an objective answer to how tolerant you are toward gay people and the choices they make.

    Steven B. is probably right that “gay lifestyle” is probably a meaningless term, I probably should have found a better term. I understand the need to be explicitly nitpicky in these types of discussions and I apologize for not finding the exactly perfect phrase/term to communicate what I mean. I hope you can understand what I was trying to get at, notwithstanding my poor grasp of our contemporary understanding of the English language and the necessity of being politically correct. Sorry.

    Comment by Rusty — April 14, 2008 @ 12:33 pm

  10. “I have some gay friends who freely admit their orientation is by choice . . . .”

    We should parade them on Oprah, as they are probably as rare as the Pregnant Man.

    Comment by Steven B — April 14, 2008 @ 12:35 pm

  11. “I hope you can understand what I was trying to get at, notwithstanding my poor grasp of our contemporary understanding of the English language and the necessity of being politically correct.”

    I really don’t understand what you were trying to say. Did you mean by “lifestyle” to really say “sexually active”? Or did you want to imply promiscuity or drug-fueled orgies or other typical stereotype?

    Perhaps the Affirmation meeting with church representatives will be the first step to put an end to such stereotypes and lazy, degrading descriptions of our homosexual brothers and sisters.

    Call it being politically correct if you choose. I call it progress.

    Comment by Steven B — April 14, 2008 @ 12:51 pm

  12. Not so long ago, at http://www.nine-moons.com/2007/11/14/what-makes-it-different/ , the author of this very post acknowledged my point about the problem with referring to “the gay lifestyle.”

    As I noted then, while I realize that even some homosexuals toss this phrase around, it really bothers me. My “gay lifestyle” includes working 40 hours (or more) a week in a government program to assist those who have become ill through radiation and toxic exposures in the nuclear defense industry. My “gay lifestyle” includes helping a friend with his resume. My “gay lifestyle” includes volunteering with, and donating to, community organizations which serve the disadvantaged. My “gay lifestyle” includes helping family members with their own personal crisis. My “gay lifestyle” included spending about a day and a half helping someone strip wallpaper. My “gay lifestyle” includes mostly things that everyone else in this discussion does on a day-to-day basis.

    Bigots invented the phrase, “gay lifestyle,” in order to condemn all gay men and lesbians as wild, sexually-deviant, drug-abusing, physically abusive, etc. By all means, refer to me as an openly gay man, but please—don’t use the language of bigots to label my “lifestyle” in their dark terms.

    Comment by Nick Literski — April 14, 2008 @ 1:23 pm

  13. Steven,
    Gay lifestyle means different things to different people. They can answer the question according to their understanding of the term. The homophobe will think it means drug-induced orgies and the more tolerant will think it either means sexually active or mean Nick’s definition. All will answer accordingly. I imagine that your definition gives insight into your answer.

    Perhaps the Affirmation meeting with church representatives will be the first step to put an end to such stereotypes and lazy, degrading descriptions of our homosexual brothers and sisters.

    You make some big assumptions with that statement, the first being that by using the phrase “gay lifestyle” I am using it in the most negative way that you have imagined. While I applaud your indignation at anyone who may possibly say something that doesn’t fit tightly inside of your prescribed method for talking about homosexuality, you’d probably be surprised to discover how similar our beliefs actually are.

    Call it being politically correct if you choose. I call it progress.

    Freaking out and assuming the worst of those around them isn’t progress. And platitudes like that are just dumb.

    Comment by Rusty — April 14, 2008 @ 1:43 pm

  14. Now that I’m thinking about this, perhaps the more interesting first question would be “What do you think of when you hear the phrase term ‘gay lifestyle?’” and then have a list of answers ranging from “drug-induced orgies” to “get up at 7am, have a coffee, go to work, etc.” Then ask the following two existing questions.

    I imagine that anyone who is actually friends with gay people would be more inclined to answer the latter (and see no need for the existence of such a phrase, like Steven and Nick).

    Comment by Rusty — April 14, 2008 @ 1:58 pm

  15. Being the English language nerd that I am, these claims about the word “lifestyle” piqued my curiosity because I had always been under the impression that “gay lifestyle” was a PC term. So I did some googling and discovered the following usages:

    “transit oriented lifestyle” is used to refer to people who prefer mass transit to cars
    “spa lifestyle” is used to refer to people who frequently go to spas
    “triathalon lifestyle” is used to refer to people who frequently engage in triathalons
    “beach lifestyle” is used to refer to people who live on or near the beach

    For any of the above uses of the word “lifestyle,” those who claim the given lifestyle could say similar things about their day to day schedule as does Nick Literski above. Clearly, the word “lifestyle” has little today with ones daily routine and appears almost always to deal with a single, but consistent, aspect of life.

    As for the phrase “gay lifestyle” itself, it does appear that there are a few voices challenging the term, however, the term is frequently used in neutral and positive lights, with many gays self-identifying as living a gay lifestyle. There are also a number of uses where the phrase is used negatively, but I find no evidence that its origins are pejorative in nature.

    Comment by Eric Russell — April 14, 2008 @ 2:24 pm

  16. I picked 10 for gay lifestyle because the few gay people I know have the same lifestyle I do. They eat out at the same restaurants, go to movies, take in art shows, go to work each day, hang out with friends. My most recent social interaction with a gay person, in fact, was attending a co-worker’s baby shower.

    Comment by Kim Siever — April 14, 2008 @ 2:43 pm

  17. Clearly, the word “lifestyle” has little today with ones daily routine and appears almost always to deal with a single, but consistent, aspect of life.

    That’s a fair observation, Eric, but it’s also fair to observe that particularly in religious discussion, the “gay lifestyle” is at the very least a euphamism for men having sexual relations with other men, and is quite often meant to embrace various vices, such as drug abuse, prostitution, etc. A week or two in the bloggernacle is sufficient to demonstrate this.

    Comment by Nick Literski — April 14, 2008 @ 2:50 pm

  18. Well, Nick, I agree that it’s definitely a euphemism for men who have sex with other men, which is what I understand active homosexuality to be.

    But I must say that I have never understood the term to include anything having to do with drugs or prostitution. If people have used it in such a way in the bloggernacle it certainly has not been explicit. Nor have I sensed it used in such a manner in other places. If it is indeed used to mean such things at all, it couldn’t be common.

    Comment by Eric Russell — April 14, 2008 @ 3:07 pm

  19. If we can’t use the word lifestyle, how should we differentiate between gay people who live as gay people and gay people who (try to) live as straight people? I guess you could say “openly gay” and “not-so-openly gay” and “totally secretly gay.”

    I think the first question raises a pretty high bar–how others would rate your tolerance based on your thoughts? Maybe the first question should be “Are you openly anti-gay or anti-openly gay?”

    Comment by madhousewife — April 14, 2008 @ 3:39 pm

  20. “how should we differentiate between gay people who live as gay people and gay people who (try to) live as straight people?”

    Those who choose to live a celibate life are certainly in the minority (in the general population if not the bloggernaccle). I would just use the term gay and only specify if they are celibate or living as heterosexuals.

    Comment by hawkgrrrl — April 14, 2008 @ 3:53 pm

  21. I imagine there are some who are tolerant of gays only so long as they’re living a particular lifestyle, i.e. working 40 hours a week and volunteering in their communities and not having sex with members of the same sex. (Is it okay to talk about lifestyle if you’re expliciting referring to non-orgy-based lifestyles?)

    Comment by madhousewife — April 14, 2008 @ 4:07 pm

  22. Rusty, Sorry if my early comment derailed this thread into a discussion of the term “gay lifestyle.” My experience has been that in religious use, it is indeed simply a euphemism for homosexual sex. I read recently somewhere that Elder Oak’s Ensign article was originally entitled Same-Sex-Attraction, but the editors insisted on “gender” instead of “sex.” There is clearly a tendency in mormonism to prefer a euphemism when referring to human intimacy.

    Getting back to the topic at hand, I noticed that most of the comments on the Deseret News article were quite condemnatory of gay relationships, and very resolute that the church would never change its position. Only those who mentioned that they had close friends or family who were gay, expressed hope that church leaders might help lighten the burden placed on homosexual individuals.

    Comment by Steven B — April 14, 2008 @ 5:08 pm

  23. Only those who mentioned that they had close friends or family who were gay, expressed hope that church leaders might help lighten the burden placed on homosexual individuals.

    That was my exact impression as well. Hence, this post. Of course I have no way of actually doing anything with these numbers, but I would imagine that in general, those who are actually friends with gay people are less inclined to be so condemning and sure that God would never change on that issue. While not the same, and I know this point has been made a million times, but these are the same swath of people who were writing letters to the editor that blacks would never have the priesthood.

    Comment by Rusty — April 14, 2008 @ 7:33 pm

  24. Steven B (#22), do you seriously think that the Ensign editors would tell Elder Oaks, of all people, what term to use?

    Comment by Rivkah — April 14, 2008 @ 9:19 pm

  25. “. . . do you seriously think that the Ensign editors would tell Elder Oaks, of all people, what term to use?”

    Good question. It may have been entirely hear-say information.

    Comment by Steven B — April 14, 2008 @ 10:30 pm

  26. Nick Literski is always welcome for dinner at my place.

    Comment by hannibal lecter — April 15, 2008 @ 8:13 am

  27. Nick Literski is always welcome for dinner at my place.

    Comment by hannibal lecter — April 15, 2008 @ 8:14 am

  28. I say, toss the euphemisms and ask the questions straight.

    How do you feel about those two lesbians who were kissing in the Marcy Avenue station of the J train last Sunday afternoon? Would your opinion change if they had been doing it in private instead?

    How do you feel about men holding hands or kissing in public? Does your opinion change if they are doing it in private?

    How do you feel about men having sexual relations with each other? (We could go graphic here, but this might be a family blog.) Does your opinion change if the men are in a long-term relationship or if they are engaging in anonymous sex at a bathhouse or in the men’s room at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport?

    Are you more tolerant of people who engage in those actions in private without advertisement or of those who talk about them incessantly and expect you to accept those actions as “right” and “normal”?

    If the person in the office next to yours engages in any of the actions described in the above paragraphs, would that change the way you interact with that person in business? Would it affect whether you engage in non-work social activities with that person? Would you invite that person to bring a “date” to such an activity? Would it matter whether that activity were at your home or some other place?

    We use euphemisms like “gay lifestyle,” because we are generally a prudish people and don’t like talking about sexual relations in public. But to suggest that going to work, wall-papering houses, serving in the community or watching Judy Garland movies is what anybody means by “gay lifestyle” is ridiculous. They mean men having sex with other men, or women having sex with other women.

    Comment by Mark B. — April 15, 2008 @ 9:50 am

  29. Yeah, I know what you mean, Mark. When I’m at the airport, and I see some guy get off a plane and kiss his waiting wife or girlfriend, publicly flaunting their heterosexuality, it sure gives me the creeps. When I see men and women holding hands as they walk around the lake, my sense of moral outrage nearly boils over! Better they should keep such things private. To think, they actually expect me think their behavior is normal! I mean, I certainly pride myself on being tolerant of straight people, but that doesn’t mean they should be able to act straight in public, among decent folks! (That was satirical social commentary, for those of you who are humor-impaired!)

    Comment by Nick Literski — April 15, 2008 @ 11:06 am

  30. Amen to what Nick and Mark said. It cuts to the core of the issue. How tolerant are you of regular, monogamous gay and lesbian relationships that act the same way a monogamous straight relationship acts at work, at home, at church, or in public? That question really determines how tolerant you are of the “gay lifestyle”? Forget the sexual deviants and those fixated on unconventional sexual activity and talk about those of us that live day-to-day in “normal” gay and lesbian relationship. How far would you incorporate us into your family’s life as neighbors or church members?

    Comment by Michael — April 15, 2008 @ 11:48 am

  31. What’s the answer, then? If one was to give their answers to these questions, what would happen? It seems that there’s a right and a wrong answer, and most people commenting here have already decided what the “right” answer should be. I find that very interesting, this pendelum that swings hard right and then hard left. Why can’t the answer be somewhere in the middle? Where morality crosses paths with charity and parallels mortality?

    Comment by cheryl — April 15, 2008 @ 12:22 pm

  32. Upon reading these posts I couldn’t help but chuckle at the realization I had…I, in fact, live a “gay lifestyle” according to a few of the above definitions and have for a many number of years!!
    My answers to the polls were in the higher numbered ones since, well, I’ve pretty much immersed myself amongst homosexuals and the activities/lifesytle sterotypes place upon them, since I was about 14 years old. Yes, I’m straight, and an active(as my job allows) member of our church; but during 4 years of High School I danced for a Dance Company and was deeply passionate about it. I was already into theater, and choir and had a great number of close friends come out every year during H.S. Fastforward a few years and here I am, a United Airlines Flight Attendant who is stationed in San Francisco. You wanna talk about gay sterotypes? Or gay lifestyles? I think I just hit the nail on the head!
    The thing is tho, if I was to walk around saying “I live a gay lifestyle.” To ANYone, gay or straight, wether it be a random stranger or one of my numerous gay coworkers, they would ALL take it as me having sexual relations with another man. End of story.

    Comment by Bryce — April 15, 2008 @ 2:03 pm

  33. Bryce,

    You don’t LIVE a gay lifestyle! Sure, you’re in a gay environment but I highly doubt the stereotypical gay lifestyle includes untold hours playing Xbox and World of Warcraft or games of Dungeons and Dragons!>:)

    Comment by Bret — April 15, 2008 @ 2:43 pm

  34. Heh…you’d be amazed, Bret, at how many gay men I know who are HUGE World of Warcraft and/or Dungeons and Dragons junkies (dare I say addicts?)! My partners fit that bill!

    Comment by Nick Literski — April 15, 2008 @ 3:12 pm

  35. I dont know who just got pwnd there Bret, you or me….

    Comment by Bryce — April 15, 2008 @ 4:37 pm

  36. Gee, Nick, if a hug and a kiss at the airport troubles you, then it must just drive you up the wall to see a pregnant woman. Talking about flaunting their sexuality! Oh, the horror.

    It’s well that you put normal in quotation marks, Michael, since I believe that the doctrine of the church does not admit that a homosexual relationship can ever be normal. In that respect, one might as well speak of a “normal” extramarital sexual relationship. (As opposed to what? the Eliot Spitzer variety?)

    Comment by Mark B. — April 15, 2008 @ 8:57 pm

  37. So Mark, by your comment #36, it would seem that you would be very low on the tolerance scale for “normal” gay and lesbian relationships? If you find it difficult to incorporate your monogamous gay and lesbian neighbors into your life, do you take the same approach for your straight neighbors who were involved in extramarital affairs or those that were involved in divorces where adultery took place? Do you shun them the same way and not allow your children to interact with them or their children? What about your neighbors that were convicted of a felony? Do you also shun them? If you hold up the straight, monogamous model as the only acceptable way, how do you determine your interactions with others in our pluralistic society?

    You do make the common offending mistake of comparing a monogamous gay and lesbian relationship with an adulterous straight relationship. Why do you feel their is a comparison? It is beyond my understanding how you relate the two.

    Comment by Michael — April 16, 2008 @ 6:21 am

  38. Great questions in #37, Michael. As I’ve been following the bloggernacle discussions of the recent FLDS tragedy, I’ve really wanted to point out the hypocricy. So many of these people are protesting Texas’ brutal violation of the FLDS members’ civil rights. Yet some of these outspoken LDS are the same people who actively support laws which would deny equal civil rights to homosexuals. They want to protect the rights of the FLDS to form families of their choosing (not involving child marriages and abuse, of course), but they want to prevent gays and lesbians from forming families of their own choosing. Yes, some LDS are likely to see a kinship with the FLDS due to historical Mormon polygamy, but ultimately it all seems to come down to whether the sexual relationship is heterosexual or homosexual.

    Comment by Nick Literski — April 16, 2008 @ 7:39 am

  39. Since my last comment was so obviously ignored, I want to ask these questions:

    If I disagree and refuse to let a relative or friend do anything my Church leaders have deemed to be sinful in my presence or in my home, is that considered intolerant?

    My brother-in-law smoked. My SIL drinks alcolhol. Other relatives lived together without being married. One cousin liked to steal things and has been in and out of jail. A distant cousin married her wife recently. A friend was a drug user. A neighbor was a child molester.

    I don’t agree with any of these things. I don’t. I find them all to be sinful. But do I shun them? No! Why would I “shun” them? Am I careful around some? Heck, yeah. Do I think they need repentance in their lives?! For sure. But, then…SO DO I.

    Disagreeing with the idea that monogomous gay relationships are not sinful has been deemed bigotry. At least with many people commenting here. It’s not enough to have support or understanding, it seems–People have to embrace all aspects homosexuality as a perfectly wonderul and logical thing or else they are intolerant. Is that what’s being said?

    Comment by cheryl — April 16, 2008 @ 8:17 am

  40. Michael, you seem to have made an extraordinary leap that is not justified by anything that I have said.

    I said nothing about shunning homosexuals, and your comparisons to felons is inapposite–I don’t know the criminal history of my neighbors, but I have clients who have previous convictions, and I have absolutely no problem in associating with them or in advocating vigorously on their behalf. I don’t generally, however, hang out with felons while they are out committing their crimes, and I’ve encouraged my children to avoid that as well.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “incorporating” gay and lesbian neighbors into my life. I’m not an overly social animal, so there aren’t a lot of people constantly at the house for parties and dinners, etc. We did invite my daughter’s boss, a lesbian, to her wedding reception, and I had a great talk with her there (what’s not to like about someone who spends 20 minutes telling you how great your daughter is?). Her partner got invited too, but was out of town. Is that “incorporating”?

    Obviously I used “extramarital” when I should have used “nonmarital.” Chalk it up to shock at the size of the check I had to write to the IRS last evening. And, to answer your question about equivalence: what reason is there for not seeing equivalence? If all sexual relations outside marriage violate the laws of God (which the prophets have taught and which I believe), then I see no reason why homosexual relations should be priveleged over nonmarital heterosexual relations. If you think that my beliefs are mistaken, that’s fine.

    Nick, of course, has found his one string piano–the one that plays a note that almost nobody hears. A homosexual person may enter into a marriage, with all its benefits and responsibilities, just as a heterosexual person may. He simply needs to find someone of the opposite sex to marry. And, back to flaunting heterosexuality, it seems that the existence of any of us on this earth (with a few thousand IVF exceptions) is shocking, SHOCKING! evidence of people out having sex! Heterosexual sex. And they’ve been doing it for thousands of years! Reminds me of my favorite newsreel of all time: Oh, the humanity!

    Comment by Mark B. — April 16, 2008 @ 9:16 am

  41. Disagreeing with the idea that monogomous gay relationships are not sinful has been deemed bigotry. At least with many people commenting here. It’s not enough to have support or understanding, it seems–People have to embrace all aspects homosexuality as a perfectly wonderul and logical thing or else they are intolerant. Is that what’s being said?

    Speaking for myself, Cheryl, that’s not what’s being said. I really have no particular issue with a religious group defining certain behavior as unacceptable. They have every right to believe as they choose, and I will defend that right.

    Now, what I do object to is when a religious group seeks to impose their own definitions of acceptable behavior on a larger, pluralistic society. The LDS church spends millions of dollars in an effort to promote legislation which would deny equal civil rights to persons who disagree with its position on homosexuality. This goes beyond exercising their own rights of free speech, in the sense that it directly seeks to interfere with the rights of persons not subject to the LDS church. It’s the old “my right to extend my fist ends where your nose begins” sort of thing, Cheryl.

    Comment by Nick Literski — April 16, 2008 @ 9:22 am

  42. re: 24, yes the Ensign editorial staff sometimes changes the words of the apostles. In this case, they changed the title of the article — throughout the article, Elder Oaks refers to “same-sex” rather than “same-gender”. The editorial decision was to remove the word “sex” from the title of the article.

    In a similar vein, it seems that most subsequent mentions of this condition are referred to as “same-gender” in official publications. Maybe too many Mormons have a knee-jerk reaction to the word “sex”, or at least they are perceived to be offended by it.

    Comment by no-man — April 16, 2008 @ 9:23 am

  43. Chalk it up to shock at the size of the check I had to write to the IRS last evening.

    Just be thankful that, as a straight person, you get to pay lower taxes as a “married” couple than a gay or lesbian couple will. Also, be thankful that when your employer provides health insurance for your spouse, you don’t get taxed on that as additional income, as gay or lesbian couples do!

    Nick, of course, has found his one string piano…

    Exceeded only by those who’s one string piano seems to be one of ignoring the issues, and choosing to make ad hominem attacks, instead.

    And, back to flaunting heterosexuality…

    Good grief, Mark! Even with a blatant disclaimer that it was humor, you STILL want to freak out over that comment? Grow up, man!

    Comment by Nick Literski — April 16, 2008 @ 9:30 am

  44. But Nick, that’s not what this thread was about. I see no questions asking if the Church should or should not do what it wants. I only see questions of a personal nature –judging for ourselves how others may or may not perceive founded or unfounded intolerance. What does that have to do with your arguments? Besides trying to persuade others to believe as you do? Wouldn’t that put you in the same place as the Church?

    Comment by cheryl — April 16, 2008 @ 10:05 am

  45. Cheryl, I was adressing your questions in the sense that the LDS church is made up of persons, and its “corporate” actions are indeed the actions of persons.

    Ultimately, I think it’s more important what one does than what one thinks on this issue. As I suggested, you have every right to believe whatever you will regarding what is, or is not, a “sin.” You can believe that Munchkinland is the Celestial Kingdom, for all I care. You also have every right, if you wish, to communicate those views in an effort to convince others that Munchkinland is the Celestial Kingdom. It’s called persuasion, and it’s recommended in D&C 121 as a proper agent for change (whether in an individual or a society).

    If I disagree and refuse to let a relative or friend do anything my Church leaders have deemed to be sinful in my presence or in my home, is that considered intolerant?

    Well, of course it is, since “intolerant” means unwilling to tolerate something. The relevant question is how far you wish to take this. It is reasonable for you to prohibit certain behavior in your own home, and those who don’t like that can leave your home (though one might wonder how you live in your home, since you very likely commit “sins” there, which you say you won’t tolerate). It is not reasonable for you to prohibit “anything [your] church leaders have deemed to be sinful” just because they are “in your presence.” For example, if my partner and I choose to walk down the same street as you, you have no right to prohibit us from holding hands, or even kissing one another.

    People have to embrace all aspects homosexuality as a perfectly wonderul and logical thing or else they are intolerant. Is that what’s being said?

    Of course not. In fact, one would hope that you’re smart enough not to embrace “all aspects of” heterosexuality “as a perfectly wonderful and logical thing,” since many heterosexual relationships involve some very destructive behavior.

    Comment by Nick Literski — April 16, 2008 @ 10:58 am

  46. Thank you. This makes more sense.

    And now, I can boldly state that I am intolerant of certain actions, to be sure, but not of a person’s worth.

    Comment by cheryl — April 16, 2008 @ 11:30 am

  47. Oh, Nick, I was just trying to be as funny as you are. I’ll be like Avis, and try harder.

    Comment by Mark B. — April 16, 2008 @ 11:30 am

  48. Sarcasm will get you everywhere, eh Mark? Why not just admit that in your “righteous indignation,” you were actually foolish enough to believe I took offense at the existence of straight couples?

    Comment by Nick Literski — April 16, 2008 @ 11:44 am

  49. Nick,
    Not that this has much to do with anything, but there are certain tax advantages to being part of an unmarried couple, too, especially if you both earn roughly the same amount. I don’t know whether, on a net basis, you are better off from a tax perspective than you would be if the federal government recognized your relationship as marriage for tax purposes; the answer is fact-specific.

    I don’t really throw that out to argue for or against gay marriage; I just thought that this article was really interesting, if you’re interested in tax policy and practice at all.

    Comment by Sam B. — April 16, 2008 @ 12:01 pm

  50. I don’t think that a contest to decide who is more foolish , Nick, is likely to be productive. So, we’ll just have to agree to disagree about that.

    Actually, disagreeing with you may be one of the few things about which I could actually agree with you.

    Comment by Mark B. — April 16, 2008 @ 12:19 pm

  51. (Sigh…) Yes, Mark, I know…I’m just one of those foolish sinners, who’s eventually going to get “what’s coming to him” from your vindictive, insecure LDS deity, who’s “glory” depends on angry scare tactics. You go with that, if it gives you solace.

    Comment by Nick Literski — April 16, 2008 @ 2:37 pm

  52. Nick,
    Not that this has anything to do with the original thread, but to categorize the LDS deity as a being who is “vindictive, insecure and who’s glory depends on angry scare tactics” shows that either 1) your understanding of the LDS God is and always was incredibly, ludicrously shallow or 2) you are just being a jackass. I hope it’s not the former and ask you to please in the future avoid it being the latter.

    Comment by Rusty — April 16, 2008 @ 3:06 pm

  53. Rusty,
    Actually, my characterization was of Mark’s concept of the LDS deity (note the use of “your”), and not the concept of deity that most LDS hold. Mark comes across as one of those very angry religious types who, like Jonah, are sitting on a hillside waiting for their deity to wipe out everyone else. Jonah was wrong on that count, for a variety of reasons. Most LDS I know recognize Jonah’s folly, and don’t think that way.

    Comment by Nick Literski — April 16, 2008 @ 3:10 pm

  54. I just want to point out that Nick and all his opinions and view points dont represent the vast majority of gay people, and if you take what he says as “words of the gay population” instead of “words from one gay man” then you should stop reading these threads.

    Nick (@47) my job actually has a number more benefits that cater to homosexuals than to straights and singles. You can have a live-in boyfriend of 3 months and get full access to flight/travel benefits, dental, vision, and full medical coverage for as little as $15 a month. I on the other hand have to mail the airlines a copy of a marriage certificate and tax info backing up that I have a civil union etc. My parents are having to go through the hoops right now just to proove that they are in fact my parents, while my gay flying partner today was telling me about how he just changed from his old boyfriend of 6 months to his new one of 4 months at the drop of a hat and didn’t have to proove jack.

    Comment by Bryce — April 17, 2008 @ 12:34 am

  55. All sorts of retorts to Nick’s comment (53) come to mind, but I’ll refrain.

    I would suggest, however, that he re-read what I have written and try to find any hint that supports his characterization of my comments.

    If Nick, who has complained that I have made ad hominem attacks against him, can somehow justify his calling me a fool or vindictive, then I will retract my comments and apologize. Otherwise, I’ll see him in Weehawken at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow. Pistols at 20 paces.

    Comment by Mark B. — April 17, 2008 @ 5:52 am

  56. Forget the “gay lifestyle”, it’s the snark lifestyle that I can’t stand.

    Comment by Silus Grok — April 17, 2008 @ 7:48 am

  57. Hmmm…

    #48:
    you were actually foolish enough to believe I took offense at the existence of straight couples

    #51:
    from your vindictive, insecure LDS deity, who’s “glory” depends on angry scare tactics.

    Yet you claim in #55 that I was calling [you] a fool or vindictive. You’ve just born false witness, Mark, notwithstanding your pretentions of righteousness. I stated that you acted foolishly in making a particular conclusion. That’s not the same as calling you a fool. I referred to your concept of deity as vindictive. That has nothing at all to do with calling you vindictive.

    Feel free to quickly repent, by withdrawing your falsehoods and asking forgiveness.

    Comment by Nick Literski — April 17, 2008 @ 8:15 am

  58. #54:
    I don’t believe I ever claimed to speak for “the vast majority of gay individuals,” or “the gay population.” I don’t know anyone who does, including yourself. Likewise, I don’t take any of the other commentators on these blogs as speaking for “the vast majority of LDS individuals,” or the “vast majority” of any other group.

    You point regarding the easy switching of beneficiaries is well taken. Some companies are more demanding than yours, of course. Of course, unless they were married in Massachussetts or outside the USA, no gay couple would be capable of providing a marriage certificate as documentation of their union, so I’m sure most companies are doing their best to be fair in the situation.

    If it were up to me (speaking as an indivual gay man, of course, and not for “the vast majority” of anyone at all), every worker would be entitled to assign their “family” employment benefits to the person of their choosing, simply as a matter of contract. As it currently stands, a married person is essentially paid more for the same work, than a single person. I don’t think that’s fair, regardless of the sexual orientations of those involved.

    Comment by Nick Literski — April 17, 2008 @ 8:38 am

  59. All the good responses to that last one, Nick, are violations of the comment policy.

    Comment by Mark B. — April 17, 2008 @ 11:20 am

  60. That would seem to be your weakness of expression, Mark, not mine.

    Comment by Nick Literski — April 17, 2008 @ 11:44 am

  61. I guess I’m just not a sensitive guy.

    Comment by Mark B. — April 17, 2008 @ 11:59 am

  62. Children, children. Now I have to shut you down.

    Comment by Rusty — April 17, 2008 @ 1:00 pm

  63. [...] on Rusty’s poll How do you feel about gay people? How many do you know? at Nine [...]

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