What choice did you really have? (When our straight LDS friends betray us)

By Scot, (a father, husband and gay Utahn)

L, took an active step in hoping to exclude gay and lesbian couples from legal marriage. He explained why, and there’s nothing really to be said about the explanation. We went over it already, and it goes nowhere, as the reasons are, by their purposeful construction, unassailable. There’s no proof to be worked out or information to be imparted. He even agrees, and it’s done anyway, a pill irretrievably dissolved into the blood. I feel sold out, betrayed by that traitorous cad. How dare he?! After all our many years of friendshi…Oh. Yeah. :-)Such is the queer world of the internet; you get so much personal information from strangers that it feels personal. It’s also too easy to let an online personality take on the role as spokes person for some group or another. And I have felt betrayed by LDS friends and family at times.To mind now comes the first friend I ever told I was gay. Sad, I had almost forgotten him. It was a friendship built on a history prior to such things, but we easily stuck together through his adventures with drugs. The only night I ever broke curfew was the night we were up above the capitol, talking through his suicide threat. We clearly had our differences, but he was my friend and, for the greatest part, a good friend.

He eventually got married and moved away. He later came back to visit, now a divorced father, now a faithful LDS. It hit me that I had to know where he stood on my family, an itch I couldn’t ignore. Did he now think it was evil? What would he do to my family if the church told him to? Are we still friends? His silence and evasiveness said a lot. I was braced for him to make some horrible comparison to his drug use, ready to pounce, ready with examples from our history. All I could get out of him was “I’d even socialize with a thief”. But that was enough. That was the end. I knew it the moment he said it, and I think he knew it the moment he saw me register the words. He had new territory (ironically my past territory) giving him a pleasure he’d never found in drugs (though he still oddly used them), and my friendship could not compete.

We ended the conversation friendly and quickly, and he never called me and I never called him again. I suppose I could have maintained the friendship. I was confrontational in pressing him on his faith, and I could have just put up with his political stance, and his magnanimous toleration of prostitutes and tax collectors :-). But I did not; R and I were about to become parents and I was particularly defensive of our home at the time. Still, I do miss him today.

Anyway, what am I left with now? No anger, no betrayal, just trying to solve the same old, centuries-old puzzle. We are at the feet of the masses, greatly outnumbered. They and their politics may as well be inclement weather. To be angry with, to shout at, or to feel betrayed by a storm would be just as reasonable, effective. Each drop of rain and break in the clouds has it’s own set of reasons. And we do too.

For now, we’ll continue reacting to it all as best we can, as a family. I will work to pay over our fair share, for other’s health insurance, for other’s government, and so on. I will try to think of our family as an American family and a Utah family, instead of being outcasts in a stranger’s land. I will make sure our lawyers are up to date on our estate (and well paid :-)), and cross my fingers that I don’t die before taxes would take up what R would need to remain a stay-at-home dad until our twins are grown. If I see death coming, I will die in another state or country, if that’s what’s best for my family. I will keep hopeful that the “single family” zoning law on our current home isn’t enforced and we’re evicted. But if it is, we’ll move. Is it sad? Deserved? Does it matter? We’re really pretty simple in our reactions.

We’ll also brace ourselves for what could come, and try to remain calm, pragmatic, and thankful for what we have. Will they go farther? Will their followers follow if they do? Just how far? Do you know, L?

History is packed with horror stories of good folks doing the atrocious, faith over moral judgment, and we can’t ignore that. A climax is building as more and more gays build homes and become parents. It’s not our kids now, but the LDS leadership has their eye on them. The fact that coordinated threats can come, suddenly and en masse, from one man’s decree is something of which we must be wary. We must keep in mind that in one single Utah legislative session they may go after our parental standing, and we may have to up and move, away from our security and family.

The fact that such harm can come from individuals either filled with hate or just following orders and otherwise on our side… What does that matter? Did it matter to any minority throughout history, in far worse shape than us?

It’s the practical facts of actions that matter; the sort of asphalt on the road to hell is inconsequential. As L wrote, people are responsible for their choices. We will be judged in our afterlife, by God, or our children, or history. I think I’m right; he thinks he’s right and we’ll just live our lives and someday the verdict will come in. It’s tought for me to swallow, but so what?

For my part, on this blog, I’ll keep pleading our case, appealing, and hoping to be granted the attention of those now on the fence.

What other choice do I really have?

Aw, but I’m off to the fair, at this very moment. I’ll not let it get me down when there’s a butter sculpture begging to be admired.

Still, I’ll hang onto this one overnight, I never regret more than what I write in frustration. Right now I don’t feel it, but have been surprised with what can hide under the surface, in the past.

It’s the morning, I’m fine. See:


For the record, I still can’t help but like you L. Darn you all to heck. 😉

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