Saturday, September 29, 2012

Straight Spouses: The Collateral Damage of the Ex-Gay Myth - Continued

I looked at this subject a little over a week ago and also posted a similar version of the piece on The Bilerico Project.  Some of the comments and messages I received were less than kind and accused me of, among other things, hatred towards Christians.  I also received a great deal of negativity from bisexuals who blamed the Straight Spouse Network ("SSN") for leading to unnecessary divorces of straight/bisexual couples.  Not being bisexual, I cannot fully grasp what equal attraction to both genders is like, but it would in theory certainly make remaining married far more workable than a gay/straight couple situation.  No two marriages are the same and the decision of remaining together ultimately comes down to what the spouses in each marriage are willing to accept.  If the straight spouse demands total denial of the other spouse's sexual orientation, I frankly do not see staying married as a viable option and this type of situation certainly sets the stage for help from SSN for the straight spouse facing divorce. 

That said, in my view it the situation boils down to this: gays and bisexuals continue to marry straights in their quest to conform to societal and religious tradition expectations and they enter into these marriages facing vastly a increased likelihood of failure because of the mismatch of the individuals' sexual orientation.  That's the current reality.  And most of the motivation for marrying straight individuals traces back to prevailing religious beliefs that remain extremely anti-LGBT.  (The same anti-LGBT religious beliefs continue to fuel the discrimination, stigmatization and bigotry LGBT individuals continue to face especially in regressive states like Virginia.)  There simply is no way to give religion and Christians a pass on responsibility for this circumstance.  Take away anti-LGBT religious dogma and bigotry and the number of these "mixed marriages" would plummet.

As for the accusation that I hate and bear animus towards Christians, here's what I posted in a reply on the Bilerico piece I wrote:

I do not bear hatred towards all Chrstians as some would suggest. In fact, I contuinue to consider myself to be a loyal member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America which I joined after I left the Roman Catholic Church after coming out 11 years ago. The ECLA has opposed anti-gay marriage initiatives in both Washington State and Minnesota. Sadly, many "good Christians" do nothing and allow the hate merchants like NOM and Family Reseach Council speak for them.

Yes, I DO have a problems with denominations and individuals who knowingly reject legitimate medical and mental health knowledge and cling to ignorance and who continue to demonize LGBT people. Too many lives are being needlessly damaged or destroyed.

Unlike Rio, my divorce was horrific - the divorce court judge who consideres himself an upstanding Christian crucified me for being gay - and my relationship with my former wife remains chilly. Since we have children together that will keep us forever connected, perhaps an uncomfortable truce might be an apt description of our relationship. If my post contained bitterness, its because I have experienced first hand what happens when a doomed gay/straight marriage falls apart. I've also seen first hand what happens to the children of such marriages. And all of this pain and misery derives from religious based bigotry. 
 Yes, some LGBT individuals "are devout Christians and have found embracing, fulfilling spiritual homes" to quote one commenter.  But that doesn't excuse religion and Christianity in particular for the damage still being done to LGBT people every single day.  I would further ask: where are these "embracing spiritual homes" when it comes to standing up to and openly condemning anti-gay denominations that continue to disseminate anti-gay hate and animus?   Most of the time they remain quiet and yield the field to the hate merchants. Oh, they may sign LGBT supportive letters that rarely see the light of day outside the LGBT media and blogosphere.  But we rarely see them on the network news and other outlets that have a massive viewership. 

I applaud the actions of the ELCA bishops in Minnesota and Washington State but the sade truth is that such actions are the exception to the rule.  Most LGBT embracing denominations contine to be afraid to speak out because they fear ruffling the feathers of the sizable minorities within their denominations who are not pleased with the national body's acceptance of LGBT church members and/or clergy.  And the result we see is equivalent to the "good Germans" who remained silent as the Nazis came to power and unleashed hatred on the world.  Silence ultimately renders one complicit in the evil done by others.

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