2010 LGBT issues in the Church: optimism or pessimism?
To summarize briefly, Duffy says that the Church’s movement toward accepting “sexual orientation” (a phrase it was not averse to using in 2010) due to scientific discourse and national dialogue means little if Mormons still think that God says “acting on your homosexual attractions” is wrong.
Brooks says that the wrangling of the grizzly bear known as Boyd Packer in October was a sign that the Church is moving away from its Prop 8 days and toward pluralist surrender that “sexual orientation” is here to stay — implying that the Church might be more open in the future to what others say about “sexual orientation.”
What I think is missing from this discussion, however, is the fact that the attraction/behavior distinction that the Church currently operates under intrinsically fails when people don’t accept sexual orientation, because without it, they’re liable to think of “attractions” (or same-sex thoughts) as “actions” that are sinful. Thus, the Church could be moving toward “sexual orientation” as normative as an internal anti-bullying mechanism, aside from scientific discourse and national dialogue.
The question for the coming years would be whether making a same-sex orientation normative would eventually render obvious the double-standard of no same-sex intimacy. I think the answer to this question is yes — regardless of all those gay Mormons willingly entering mixed-orientation marriages. But as I’ve said before, there will be more fine-tuning of the funnel before the funnel is discarded as broken. Personally, I think of the funnel as the “sexual orientation classification system,” but you can call it “heterosexuality only” if you want. Anyway, there’s the grizzly issue of “eternal gender” in the mix, too…