In a recent post I discussed the morality of homosexuality from a Mormon point of view. It is my view. But I don’t begrudge those who believe otherwise. I consider other views to be not only legitimate but often based on wonderful ideals as well.
I see the value and beauty of finding another person to love. Knowing that person and feeling his pain as your own. Feeling his successes as your own. Making him happy… and having that reciprocated. Reaching this ideal of having someone as an intimate partner makes life so much better. Having recently gone from no intimate partner to having someone who is on my side no matter what, the contrast is fresh and stark in my mind. It is truly amazing.
And why not? As I explained in the other post, the central objection I have is based on my view of the afterlife and my understanding of God’s commandments and the reasons behind them. In my belief, the reason we are living at all is to become divine, and this process ultimately excludes gay relationships for logistical reasons (and presumably broader reasons known only to God). But, putting that aside and viewing the matter from the perspective of someone who doesn’t know about God’s plan (or doesn’t believe), I see gay love as just as high an ideal to achieve during this life as straight love. At least they have equal potential to be moral when the love is unselfish and pure.
Whether or how gay relationships will last and ultimately bring long term happiness or disappointment, I think is irrelevant. For the same reason I claim the privilege to marry my straight wife and work out our own unconventional happiness in the best way possible, I believe in extending that privilege to everyone.
Unfortunately, Mormons are so zealous and full of love for their fellowmen, that they at times fall prey to the notion that compulsory obedience to God’s commandments is better than disobedience. This is not born out by scripture—at least, it is contradicted in many cases. The articles of faith make it clear that we ought to tolerate those who believe differently than ourselves. It’s part of the Golden Rule. It’s part of Jesus’ teachings. And for those to whom the veracity of the church is unknown, there should be freedom to pursue virtuous ideals such as love, support, fidelity, and contented partnership in whatever way is mutually satisfactory and does not detract from the rights of others.
There are terrible problems with communicating religious ideas, and I’ve posted on this before. So let me clarify that there are multiple meanings to words like sin, evil, and damnation—and they’re not all frankly pejorative. Sin in one sense is acting against the will of God, but in another sense is knowingly acting against the will of God. One obviously brings far more culpability than the other, but both kinds of sin will keep us from achieving the goals God would have us reach. To what level a person must know his behavior is sin, I can not say. Hence my emphasis on listening to conscience and vigilantly pursuing spiritual communication.
So, although I hold the view that gay love will ultimately damn a person (that is, keep them from achieving the potential God intends), I also believe that gay love can be a virtuous aim for those whose belief system accepts it. It is, in a word, moral. And at the same time, evil. Understanding how that is possible requires sophistication unachievable for some. And understanding how such a view is based on love and faith rather than fear and hate may be equally impossible for those whose own belief system is a scaffolding of dogmatic coping mechanisms.
Most immediately, I believe in religious and social tolerance, and that compels me to support my gay friends as they pursue the happiness they desire.