Mormon leader calls same-sex parenting a ‘social experiment’

Shortly after decrying the bullying of gays and lesbians, Mormon Apostle Dallin Oaks called same-sex parenting a “social experiment” and said it left children at a disadvantage. Oaks was speaking earlier this month at the Mormon General Conference, a semiannual meeting broadcast to members of the church around the world.

“Children need others to speak for them,” Oaks said. “And they need decision-makers who put their well-being ahead of selfish adult interests… Children are also victimized by marriages that do not occur.”

His remarks were in stark contrast to his previous comments when he urged parents to use “loving understanding, not bullying or ostracism” with their children who have “same-sex attraction.”

In 2009, Oaks was under harsh criticism for remarks he made during a speech at Brigham Young University, Idaho, when he compared the Mormons’ struggles with those of the blacks during the civil rights movement.

After members of the Mormon Church from around the nation donated heavily to California’s efforts to ban gay marriage in the state, boycotts of Mormon-owned businesses and those who donated to the campaign were started by gay-rights supporters.

“In their effect,” Oaks said, “(the boycotts) are like the well-known and widely condemned voter-intimidation of blacks in the South that produced corrective federal civil-rights legislation.”

Oaks also condemns the use of the words “gay” and “lesbian” as nouns and said people are not gay, but only have gay relationships and sex.

“We should note that the words homosexual, lesbian, and gay are adjectives to describe particular thoughts, feelings, or behaviors. We should refrain from using these words as nouns to identify particular conditions or specific persons. Our religious doctrine dictates this usage. It is wrong to use these words to denote a condition, because this implies that a person is consigned by birth to a circumstance in which he or she has no choice in respect to the critically important matter of sexual behavior,” Oaks said.

Another Mormon authority urged gays and lesbians to maintain lifetime celibacy. Neil Anderson acknowledged the difficulty of never marrying, dating or being intimate, but said it is possible with the right amount of faith.

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  1. Comments like this are an absolute joke. This is why so many gay & lesbian people go through such a miserable life. Why should they be lonely & unentitled to the same type of love & companionship as straight people just because they are born differently? Would we rather they live a miserable & lonely life, or better yet kill themselves instead of leading happy, productive lives. Shame on you Dallin Oaks.

  2. Greatest accomplishment thus far – having my name removed from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints records. Same-Sex parenting – "A social experiment". "Gay, Lesbian – not a noun". Really… records will never be able to include me in dogmatic, homophobic statistics of ten million strong. If you would like help removing your name… email me.

  3. You know the "angel" Moroni? I'll bet you that Joseph Smith was making fun of anyone who would be stupid enough to believe and follow him. So he used the perjorative word "Moron" and added an "I" to it. As in "Moron I" of "I Moron". That was at the beginning before he came to believe his own con.

  4. I am very saddened to hear a man I used to think highly off make such ridiculous comments. Could I live celebate for my entire life, yes I suppose I could try…but who would want to do that? Ask Catholic Priest how well trying works out for them. It's un-natural to expect human being to be celebate. We, in part are sexual being and to pretend God himself didn't put those urges in us is ignorante to say the least! I don't apologize for how God created me and I'll be damned if celebacy is the answer.

  5. Elder Oaks never said his words came straight to God to enlighten us in the subject. I am gay (and yes it is a noun). It is still difficult for me to accept it. But this is who I am. For over 20 years I asked God to take my same sex attraction away from me. Nothing happened. I thought about taking my life because I thought I was an aberration of nature. I tried everything to change myself to the point that I married a beautiful girl who I love and to whom I feel very attracted to. I thought if I had enough faith I could overcome my same sex attraction. I did wrong because part of the reasons I'm divorce now is because of the experiment that some religious leaders made me believe that if I had enough faith I could overcome it. So I finally stopped asking God to take this away from me but asked if I should embrace it. When I asked Him that question I received a confirmation from the Holy Ghost that I was just fine. I felt such joy and happyness in my heart that started crying and felt that life came back to me. Since then I am not suicidal anymore. I served on a mission and on several callings before and after. I know I have served The Lord well. He loves me and He truly understands me because He created me. What I would ask people to do before giving opinions about gay or lesbian people is to try to understands us better. To put themselves in our shoes and try and really try to understands us. That's what The Lord would do. So my question is, have you done anything to understand gays or lesbians? What would you do when The Lord asks you if you tried to understand this or any other issue that involved people taking their life's because they didn't think they were good enough. Lets just say The Lord says gay people are just fine just like a prophet said that black people were okay to receive the priesthood. Now we probably think black people didn't receive the priesthood because it was not Gods will but men's. So I claim the same.

  6. Tami, have you ever sat down with a gay or lesbian mormon and tried to really listen and understand them…I doubt it!

  7. I am with you on this Lance. 100%. How are we to question God's creations when he made people with their own specific sexuality. We really need to make a distinction between Gods laws and Mans Laws. The Nature versus nurture conversation needs to be embraced and not ignored as it usually is in all churches. Hang in there hermano.

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