Thursday, April 30, 2009

An unsolicited encounter...

A couple of thoughts were swimming around and around in my head yesterday and I was finding it hard to concentrate on what I was supposed to be doing.

One was a thought that Moho Hawaii shared with me at the party on Saturday, that he "knew the type of guy I was interested in" ; i.e. the mentoring type with me playing the "professorial" role of mentor / advisor / teacher. And as I thought about it, I knew he was right.

The other thought was triggered by the recent dialogue on Forester's blog, particularly the discussion of his desire to kiss another man and not necessarily tell his wife about it, and the subsequent flow of advice that poured out, particularly from a NancyB who kind of slapped us married gay guys in the face - waking us up out of our selfish dreams of kissing men while remaining "faithful" to our wives, while not seeing the inappropriateness of such behavior (at least with regards to being married and kissing guys, not that kissing guys or desiring to kiss guys is inappropriate).

As these thoughts were swimming yesterday afternoon, who should walk into my office but Tim, my young married bromance friend who I haven't seen in months and sparingly have communicated with via email.

As I caught glimpse of him, my heart skipped and my breath escaped me, signals that though I'm "old", I'm still very much alive and the reaction of joy and excitement and twitterpation and infatuation are all still there for him. I asked him what he was doing. He said he was finished with the semester and had some time off and drove 90 minutes to come and see me, not his folks, but to see me!

After I caught my breath and started my heart beating more regularly, we settled down into a 2-1/2 hour heart-to-heart-getting-caught-up conversation. It was the good ol' days... and I so easily slipped into the mentor role and he into the mentee. I was the wise and wonderful. He was the taut and teachable. A couple of times during the visit, my wife walked through the office and at first was startled to see Tim here, but was cordial and nice (and afterward only asked if I knew he was coming, which I didn't).

At the end of the visit, we embraced affectionately for a good long time, he holding me and me him, and we whispered to each other how much we still loved one another. He told me that he didn't want to be that typical guy who, once married and gone forward in life, settled for the occasional "we got to get together sometime" chat on the street where both parties know that it will never happen. He wanted me to know that he was not that guy, that he could not forget me, that he loved me, and that we need to keep these close and intimate dialogues going.

In the end, I was going to kiss his neck, (which I really and truly wanted to do!) as has been my pattern, but the thoughts of NancyB and Sarah and my wife swimming in my head, kept me from doing so and I held back. As he turned to leave, I slapped his head more in a brotherly way than a romantic way. He laughed and snuggled me again and I hugged him from behind, and then slapped his butt and he was gone.

Later, I told my wife about our conversation and his desire to still keep in touch. She didn't press and was cool about it and non-defensive, which is a good step on her part. In the past, just seeing Tim with me made her uneasy, uptight and jealous. Maybe she's trusting me more? Maybe I'm trusting myself more? Maybe there is progress in this?

I didn't freak out and go into a tizzy over his visit afterward. It was good. It was warm. It was bromancy but not romancy. And I'm not freaked out. I love Tim. Had I not been married and he was more than just touchy-feely and something happened between us, it would have been an amazing cross-generational love story. But, the sequence of life didn't work that way, and so we have a different love story - one that still is very meaningful and profound to this old geezer that such a gorgeous, statuesque and genuine young man can still feel love and devotion and even some passion for someone like me.

So, is there anything inappropriate with this unsolicited encounter? Is there something inherently wrong with our continued relationship? Should I expect some "special compensation" for being a gay man in a marriage for having such relationships, or is this asking for some kind of unfair or selfish favor? Can this mentor/mentee bromance serve to help me to be okay inside? By not telling him that I'm all twitterpated just looking at his studliness, but yet not desiring anything more but a close friendship, am I being disingenuous with him? Or is this whole thing so innocuous and innocent that it's not even worth a blog post?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Guilty Party...

"We've got nothing to hide - we just need some time to get our story straight..."

It doesn't take long to have the angst return and reality set in on you, does it?

In my last post, I was really content with the last little while, and escapism is an amazing thing - leaving the realities of life and heading out into an adventure and worrying about how to pay for it later. There is always later.

But later comes and usually sooner than later reality hits you in the face.

With the encouragement of some here, I took the step of coming out a bit more and I attended Scott and Sarah's party last night. For some, this may not be any big deal at all, but for me, it was a huge deal, and a huge step, and a huge reality call of where I am and where I am not.

First of all, I want to say that Scott and Sarah are amazing people and I am so glad to have finally met "Serendipity" who is such an incredible woman. Scott is truly blessed with such a sensitive and compassionate and sweet and loving wife. Their genuineness and empathy overwhelms me. I truly feel they are miracle workers.

Meeting everyone was such a kick. The mix of personalities, situations and circumstances - all different and varied - was amazing to observe. Yet, there was a commonality to it all as well, something that states that even though we are not on the same path, the journey is still the same for all of us. More on this and the amazing people of this community later in a follow-up post.

For now, I want to post about the burden I feel and the angst that it causes within me.

I really am not a social mingler. Talking to "strangers" in a group and becoming conversational and interesting is hard for me. Yet, get me one-on-one and I blossom and become an open book and feel more of the real me coming through. When I shroud it all in deceit and deception, it is hard for the real me to come through - I become nervous, uneasy, and reserved and observational. I hate it when this happens. For then, I start analyzing in my brain why I am doing this, why I am pulling back, why I don't show my true self - a self that can be very animated, clever, fun, passionate and compassionate.

I just hate it when this happens - and it happened last night at the party. I noted that most everyone there was pretty much "out" with nothing to hide. They were natural and open and sure of themselves in a way that spoke to honesty and authenticity and reality. I am still very closeted - though I'd like to feel that I've progressed and come out more than I really have - and as such, I am a facade, simply a facade of a person. I am not honest or authentic or real to anyone. These thoughts overwhelmed me, and the guilt I was feeling for being there under false pretenses with my family just exacerbated the whole emotional roller-coaster I was feeling inside. This guilt of deception pressed on my body and soul to the point of uneasiness that I had to leave early. I apologized to Scott and Sarah and said my quick goodbyes.

This guilt is tremendous. It is so stifling. I kept imaging what would happen if my family knew where I was and what I was doing (and what was I doing more than just reaching out to an astonishingly beautiful new family). Those thoughts lead to reflections of the state that I'm still in - one of deception. And as long as it remains in that state, I cannot escape these feelings of guilt, of dishonesty, and I cannot BE who I am inside and let others see the person that I really am inside.

This rips me apart. I realized last night that I haven't really progressed at all. It was like a cold, hard abrupt slap in the face. Despite the incredible love, the outreaching efforts to embrace and include, the bonding of blogging brotherhood and sisterhood in the flesh (which is a unique and fascinating concept in and of itself - I mean, the closeness that one can feel with a complete stranger that one knows only through this electronic media - it's mind-boggling!!) - I could not get past the idea that I am but a shadow of who I am, and I'm not progressing toward my authenticity at all as long as I continue this deceit and deception.

Both Scott and Kengo wondered how I was able to "get away". Knowing my situation, it was obvious that some disguise was used to get out of the house and sneak away... Convenient that my wife was out of town, and lying to my kids - yeah, those go down as great stepping stones for this delusional boy! They even joked that it would be good to see me again "next time your wife is out of town"... This just put me over the edge! It was innocent and real and natural and funny, but it also cut like a knife sharper than the one Scott so skillfully used in the kitchen.

It did so because it is true. I am a joke. I am nothing but a joke. This whole delusional fantasy world of being "Beck" is a joke. My marriage is a joke. My life is a joke...

And I'm sick of it...

I am not like you! I am not real. I am not honest. I am not authentic. I am not whole.

I can either back off and step back out of this "Beck" world and revert back to the "don't think about it" denial persona, or I need to step out and beyond this facade and face reality and be a complete and whole persona of who I really am. But this living a fine line between the two - it's just a facade... it's just a joke.

The gig is up. I can't do this anymore...

Friday, April 24, 2009

I'm back! Miss me?

I'm back! Miss me?

Of course you were missing me and wondering where I went, right? Of course you've been waiting to find out where I went on my decade-changing birthday junket, right? (Actually, you didn't even know I was gone did you... :( )

Well, let's just say that I was carried away to the other side of the pond, and I kissed the Blarney Stone on my birthday! Ever since, I feel different. It was a complete surprise. I was totally blown away! She pulled it off... she really, really loves me! Isn't that amazing? She loves me for who I am! (Now if I can only figure out who I am and love myself a bit more we'll be on a good footing to go forward...)
And it was wonderful, and I love her so much.

If you've seen "Marley and Me" and you know where they went to get closer??? Well, whether that was her inspiration or not, it worked...

No angst to report... sorry to disappoint.
I know I get more feedback from angsty posts while more upbeat ones go silent (which is only natural)... The angstiest I can feel is angsting over how to get myself to Scott and Sarah's party tomorrow... and what I might find on the other side of their lovely home's threshold... now that is angst for you!

But don't worry, I'm sure it will return very quickly - Isn't that the nature of life's journey?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Three years old!

It's anniversary time again! "Beck" is now three years old...

Two years ago at this time, I wrote:

I don't pretend to think that this blog is more important than it really is - just a loose collection of angsty ramblings, often whining and complaining. But the strength comes with common and unique bonding of voices. I add my voice, one of the "smallest" in this community...

And then last year at this time, I wrote:

At times lately, I've been too consumed in other things to really put my heart into my blog. I miss that. I know when I have used my blog for the purpose of writing and sharing personal and heart-pounding feelings, I find my view on life becoming clearer. When I don't, I fall into traps of the past or indulging...

And here I am another year older as a blogger, and hopefully another year wiser, but doubting that I'm making any real or serious progress. At times like these, I reflect on why I do this - why I blog - why I allow Beck to be so Beckful... When things are going well, I feel anchored and happy with where my life is going, I feel the purpose of the blog has fulfilled its mission and there is nothing more to say. And then, at other times, I slip into a gay Pon Farr of sorts, desiring a crush or bromance in the worst way, or I find my beliefs challenged, my faith shaken and cynicism increased, as I come to terms with personal authenticity.

I've witnessed many changes in this community. Many bloggers that were here at the beginning are no longer with us and have moved on. Others have come and have filled their places. And many, many others have joined that I do not, nor cannot know as it grows and grows. And I reflect on why I'm still here.

What's the point of continuing to blog? Is there really anything more to say? Haven't I hashed and rehashed my angst as a gay married Mormon man enough? Is there any meaningful purpose to keep this going? Is there any good coming from these words I jot down on this computer screen? If I'm not doing that much good for myself, and making any serious progress besides the baby-steps I'm taking, is there any good for anyone else to keep this up? What reasons are there to keep this going?

The ups and downs of life cycle on. It is its nature. I guess because of that, "Beck" will continue to blog (and you, my few readers, will continue to endure) until the roller coaster ride of emotions of my gay angst comes to an end.

Happy birthday, Beck...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Count me as one of the believers...

And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? And the one of them... answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?

And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.

Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.

Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.

And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.

And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

-- Luke 24:17-32

I love this little story on the road to Emmaus. It is my most favorite part of the Easter story. And I love Caravaggio's image of Christ teaching at that home and the intense intrigue of each disciple around that dinner table.
Think of all the things that just happened prior to this scene (the tomb, the resurrection, ascending to his Father, organizing the teaching in the Spirit World, etc.) and everything that happens after(meeting with the apostles, last instructions, off to the Americas, etc). And here he is taking time to walk and teach and touch this little insignificant family group. This one-on-one approach, and the subsequent one-on-one touching that follows is so meaningful to me. Though I fall short in so many ways, it is what has always been my goal to live my life touching those around me. And in so many ways, you have touched me.


I know that I've been feeling more cynical about many things lately, particularly about things that were always held sacred and unquestioned previously. Even during the recent conference, it was hard to not feel cynicism rising within me. Where faith and conviction have had residency within my heart, fear and doubt now reside... Much of this has come about as I've faced my newly discovered reality in accepting my homosexuality.
Can I still open my eyes and see, or has my cynicism blinded me? Can I still open my heart and feel the burning within me or have I forgotten how to feel? When I contemplate this little story, and when I "liken it unto me", I can't help but be reminded that my eyes have been opened, and my heart has burned within me, and I simply need to remember what I've seen and felt to realize I'm still not past feeling... and I do know, and I still believe, and there is still hope.

There is always hope...

Happy Easter!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Lucky 13...

It was a good weekend. Family gathered around. Good conference (not great, but good / not expecting a lot, but received enough). Felt the spirit. Touched by the music. Comforted by my wife.

It started well on Friday afternoon with a face-to-face chat with MOHO no. 13. Lucky 13! He was incredible. He is intelligent and articulate and good looking. He is close to my age, married with kids, and still faithful. He is in a very similar place that I am in. He can relate with so much of what I have experienced. I felt like he knew me as I shared parts of me I don't share very often. That is such a great feeling for a closet-dweller. We ended with a warm embrace and swapped cards with hope of another meeting.

He said something interesting. From studying my blog, he concluded that I portray my persona of "Beck" as a lot younger than I am or at least that I seemed to be more immature / less serious than I really am. This was a revelation of sorts to me. Again, it emphasized that "Beck" is only a part of me, a conglomeration of adolescent and boyish thoughts that I've never outgrown or passed through... and that's probably why I have such a hard time with getting older, with realizing my life has been full of regrets and missed opportunities, and a longing for what could have been instead of what is and will be.

I compartmentalize myself. I am very good at it. We closet-dwellers are pros at this. We are very good at wearing hats! We can wear the good Mormon boy hat. We can wear the faithful husband hat. We can wear the committed card-carrying church-going testimony-believing hat. We can also wear the trying-to-figure-out-wear-we-fit-in-this-gay-thing-that-won't-go-away-even-though-we-now-don't-want-it-to-go-away hat.

Someday, I hope to be able to put all of these hats on (in an appropriately color-coordinated / fashion-sense way) and finally be a complete person for someone to know - no adolescent angst, no fear of doubt, no confusion of self. Just me.

Anyway, thank you no. 13!!! You certainly are what makes this baker's dozen complete.

Friday, April 03, 2009

A final response...

As an update to my saga with my neighbor...

I had prepared a much lengthier response, but decided to scale it back and be less inflammatory and more direct and to the point. In that spirit, I sent what I consider to be the final response...


Your opinions are firm and I again admire the passion behind your words. I have no intentions of debating, but I do feel the need to respond to a couple of points:

Regarding “self-selection”, the Church itself has come to realize that this is not an issue of choice regarding one’s attractions. It is a choice regarding what one does with these attractions. You may want to read the Church’s pamphlet “God Loveth His Children” so that you understand these are not my words, but the Church’s.

Not wanting to presume to speak for the Church, I stated that the Church had already made statements to the fact of not being opposed to the “rights” that are being sought by the Common Ground initiatives, as they have posted in the Divine Institution of Marriage document the following:

The Church does not object to rights (already established in California) regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the family or the constitutional rights of churches and their adherents to administer and practice their religion free from government interference.

Governor Huntsman has the same “no objection to rights” and has expressed this same commitment and support. Discrimination has occurred and these cohabitation rights will apply to heterosexuals as much as homosexuals, including brother / sister / grandparents, etc. that may benefit greatly from these initiatives.

I have not seen that homosexuals have desires to force themselves into our temples. With the 1st Amendment, religion has the right to establish their own rules, and none of these initiatives infringe on those religious rights. Canada has had legal gay marriage for several years now, and there are, I believe, seven temples in Canada, and I could be mistaken, but I am not familiar with any slippery-slope cases of gays forcing themselves through the courts to force entry into the LDS temples (not to mention those in Europe).

You may think me na├»ve and deceived, but I do not see them as “burglars” in my home, but as families seeking equal treatment. At this point, I guess we “agree to disagree” in our perspectives and we should go back to discussing the finer points of compost and gardening techniques.

Regards, (Beck)

Again, my intent was not to convince, but to let him know that there are others in his quorum and neighborhood who feel differently about his "talking points" and yet remain faithful in their testimonies of the Gospel.

I know that the bottom line is that in his eyes I have been deceived and fallen to the wrong side of this argument being sucked into "their immorality": in the last days, even the "elite will be among the deceived".

Oh well... I'm ending it here and we'll go back to our gardening - but hopefully he'll at least think twice the next time he feels inclined to spout off in priesthood meeting.

So, what do you think? How did I do as a first-time activist? (I'm begging for atta-boys as I still feel insecure in stepping out like this). I'm sure that Scot, and Alan, and Scott, among others, may be disappointed in my not being more forceful, but at least I spoke up instead of continuing to suffer from the dreaded chronic disease called BTD ("bitten tongue disorder")...

Thursday, April 02, 2009

A compassionate plea...

Over the course of the last three years, I have seen, felt, and personally witnessed numerous multiple examples of great strength and love and sustaining influence from this community of fellow bloggers in this corner of the queerosphere.

I have recently been overwhelmed by the spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood and the passion and compassion for me in dealing with my marriage, my adolescent crushes, and most recently dealing with my over-zealous neighbor.

In that spirit, I ask and pray that each of you take a quiet moment today and in the spirit of meditation, offer a sincere prayer of support and strength for our brother "Silver". He needs, today, our combined spiritual strength and power of love to be with him...

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Am I being deceived?

Well, it may be April 1st but this is no April Fool's joke...

I received the following response from my neighbor and I feel the battle is just beginning:


Thanks for your reply. I don't agree that homosexuals are being treated unfairly. There are legal mechanisms already in place to address each of the issues that were the subjects of proposed laws during the last legislative session. Can they have hospital visitation rights? Certainly they can! Homosexuals have the same rights as the rest of us have with respect to jobs and housing. As far as I understand, there have been no instances of loss of a job or an apartment based on sexual orientation, so the proposals for these 'rights' are proposals to fix problems that don't exist. What they wanted to do was to have special protected status and inequality, not equality. The laws they proposed implied that they were being denied rights that other people had. This was dishonest and manipulative on their part. Deception is part and parcel of their approach.

Regarding the Church position on the Utah legislation, there has been nothing said so I can't comment. I am surprised, however, that you presume to speak for the Church on this matter when they have chosen not to.

We have attended three meetings on the homosexual legislative agenda sponsored by Sutherland (SI) and we did not hear one derogatory or insulting comment. We heard love and concern for individuals, both homosexual and heterosexual. We also heard frank statements of the views of the speakers, but straightforward, clear, and to-the-point comments are a refreshing change from the mushiness of much of the discussion on this subject. There has been nothing unfair or unloving in any of the presentations we have attended.

I am confident that, if this type of legislation is passed and anyone who considers himself 'gay' can claim protected status (how else do you establish their status but self-selection, there is no physical test), as these laws would allow, it would not stop there. In fact, when the previous California law prohibiting homosexual marriage - passed by popular referendum - was nullified by the California Supreme Court, one of the bases for overturning the law and allowing homosexual marriage in California was the fact that California had the types of laws that were later proposed here in Utah.

This is an issue that should be carefully considered. Passage of such laws in Utah gives leverage for further 'protections', including homosexual marriage, as happened in California. And then it is just a small step from homosexual marriage to the requirement for all churches that accept tax exempt contributions to perform homosexual marriages - or loose their tax exempt status. If you think this is absurd, just investigate the coercion that has already taken place. Churches and private individuals have been required to comply with the requests of homosexual couples when identical alternative services were available. There was a Christian photographer in Arizona who, when he found out that it was a homosexual couple that had requested his services, referred them to another photographer but found himself reported to the Arizona civil rights commission. E-Harmony (founded by a Christian) was required by a civil rights commission in New Jersey to establish a separate business for homosexual matches as well as pay compensation and provide some significant number of free memberships to kick it off even though there were numerous homosexual matching sites, all because E-Harmony didn't provide matches for homosexuals on their site. An LDS OBGYN who provides fertility services referred a same-sex couple to another provider in his office when he found out their status, but that was not good enough for the couple, who sued him. This is not all, but it is enough to demonstrate that, even though there were alternatives to the services offered by these companies and individuals, the homosexual couples insisted to the point of getting the government involved and forcing them to comply with their wishes.

I recognize that much of this is pushed by radicals and activists but that doesn't change the situation because they are the ones we have to deal with.

I don't think opposing a group's attempts to get preferential treatment is treating that group 'unfairly'. To eject (or worse) a burglar from my house wouldn't be 'unfair', would it? Perhaps you have a more loving alternative to opposing the burglar. And I wouldn't suggest you accuse anyone who disagrees with you of being unloving or behaving contrary to what the Savior would do. Such an accusation doesn't show love and understanding and is certainly not what the Savior would do. Is it?

But how do you know what the Savior would do in this situation? Apparently He wouldn't let an unrepentant homosexual into the Kingdom of Heaven; nor would He allow a same-sex couple to marry or be sealed in the temple, nor even allow them in the temple; nor does He allow them to have Church membership, or allow them to take the sacrament or offer prayer in public meetings. So, I don't think it's a stretch that He would reject special and preferred treatment for homosexuals, especially when that treatment would almost certainly lead to challenges to Church practices in the future. By the way, where would you draw the line? Why not same-sex marriage? Why not temple attendance? Why not Church membership or taking the sacrament or prayer in public meetings? Where would you draw the line? And wherever you draw it, someone could challenged you by saying "I feel that we need to use a much more loving approach, as the Savior would use, toward our brothers and sisters (gay or otherwise). Don't you?" Why, after all, did the Church oppose same-sex marriage in California? In what way did it hurt the Church?

And this brings me to my last point. The response of the homosexuals to the Proposition 8 vote in California was very telling. It reminded me of Satan's response to Moses in Moses 1. When Moses cast Satan out of his presence, "Satan cried with a loud voice, and ranted upon the earth, and commanded, saying" approve of my sexual behavior and accept me as equal to heterosexuals. (That last part was mine.) The people who are making these demands have lost the Spirit and are enraged, literally enraged, because they can't have what they can never have: not guaranteed jobs or apartments, not hospital visiting rights, not even marriage; they want approval of their actions and acceptance of their behavior. They seem to know in their heart-of-hearts that what they are doing is wrong and they're desperately seeking validation in an impossible effort to get from others what they can't even get from themselves. Somehow they must feel that our acceptance and approval will make their behavior right, or at least livable for them. And they will do anything they have to do to gain that acceptance, even if it means forcing us, through government power, to accept them and their behavior. If you think those 5 propositions they presented to the legislature are the end, you are sadly mistaken. There were originally 6 propositions, the sixth one being a modification of the marriage amendment to the state constitution. They dropped that one, probably because it prematurely tipped their hand. But that's still on their agenda and they think they are making great progress in convincing the citizens of Utah to support their cause. That's why a grassroots effort such as the one (SI) is pursuing is so important.

The position (SI) is taking is to challenge all propositions that would give homosexuals 'protected' status and preferential treatment, because it is always harder to get things back into the bottle than it is to keep the lid on in the first place. I agree with this approach. Homosexuals should have no more rights than any of the rest of us have. Avenues are open to them, and everyone, to secure the provisions they wanted passed into law for homosexuals alone. These proposals were only the beginning and just a means to hidden ends.

Edmund Burke said: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." I'm afraid that the Rodney King plea of "can't we all just get along" will not cut it when the other side is at war with basic American values and is enlisting our government in the fight on their side. Please join us in opposition to the homosexual agenda, which, if enacted into law, will ultimately lead to legal challenges to LDS Church practices and to further loss of our freedom.

Regards, (Neighbor)

So, now what? I don't want a debate. I just want him to know that others (within the Church and neighborhood) have an alternate viewpoint. I want him to understand this isn't a self-proclaimed selection (a nice word for "choice"). I want him to think about if his son came to him revealing the same-sex attractions that have always been part of him - that he didn't choose them - what then would be his reaction and stance?

But, I need your help. I need to be factual. I haven't been as diligent in this debate as I should have and I feel negligent in not having quick references and backup to statements at my fingertips. I need to find the official quote / source that gives the Church's stance on civil unions and their approval / no opposition of legal "gay rights" that were already in place in California, where they stated they were fighting for the definition of "marriage" and not the intent of taking away "rights" already in place... which comments led to the Common Ground Initiatives. I can't have it be hearsay or implied. Can anyone help?

Any other thoughts or approaches you'd recommend? Or should I duck and hide and get my gun locked and loaded before those gay-burglars enter my house and destroy my temple marriage? You know, maybe I'm just being deceived by all of you, and I am self-selected, and you want to do nothing more than destroy my marriage, my family, my religion, my faith so that I can be equally miserable like you!