Having same-sex attraction as a part of my life has meant, for me, that I honestly care for others who have same-sex attraction as much as everyone else... and maybe even more. I feel a kinship to them. I think that's normal - I feel connected to people who have lived lives similar to mine and faced the same mountains to climb.

I also know that acting on that attraction, like every other action, is a controllable, personal choice. Homosexual activity is not an inborn trait. 

I have no problems with laws that forbid discrimination based on inherent attraction. It actually shocked me when I first realized that situations like that existed - where I could lose opportunities simply because I feel an attraction to other men, regardless of my choices or actions in relation to that attraction. 

And there is definitely still work that needs to be done in that respect. Even with laws, discrimination still happens on a far more personal level... a level that doesn't ever really see the light of day in the modern debates and protests.

I overheard a conversation between a few women who were talking about guys they knew... and one remarked that a guy she had dated was really into fashion. The response to her comment made me catch my breath: "You have to be really careful. Some of those guys are gay... and you definitely don't want that!" The conversation then drifted to stories of family members who had been abandoned by unfaithful gay husbands or fathers, and the frustration and betrayal they had seen.

I've heard those stories before. I know some of them personally. But, perhaps naively, I had never turned them back on my own circumstance. Each of the women in the group made a clear assertion that she didn't want to marry a man who was gay; and, from the tone of their conversation, it was apparent that gay meant not only those who acted on their attractions, but all of those who only had the attractions in the first place.

That would mean that I, by simple nature, would have already been cut from their dating pool... without ever having a chance.

I wonder how widespread that kind of feeling is in the world. 

I definitely don't want to marry an alcoholic, or a drug addict, or someone who doesn't keep their covenants. But would I be willing to marry someone with major trials and baggage, even if they matched me, I was in love, and they had done everything they could to choose the right? Are there things that I would never want in a marriage that, in reality, are just prejudices without substance?

I think the error there comes from the assumption that having same-sex attraction is the same thing as acting on same-sex attraction. But there is a big difference between discrimination based on inherent traits and discrimination based on action. Choices based on action are the core of what I see as society. I choose employees based on their past actions. I choose to serve customers or not based on past actions. I choose which employers to pursue, which restaurants to frequent, which candidate to elect, which church to attend, which people to befriend, and every other social and relational choice based on actions. 

I believe what is outlined in the family proclamation: that the sacred powers of procreation are reserved only for expression between husband and wife, legally and lawfully wedded. Anything outside of that - adultery, homosexual behavior, whatever - is a violation of the law of chastity, and I don't support, condone, or endorse sin.

Some of the laws and rulings on gay marriage include protections for religious institutions. But none of them include protections for me... and on that count, society fails to make a major distinction. If I'm a photographer and refuse to photograph a same-sex wedding because I believe same-sex marriage is inherently wrong and do not wish to support it with my time, creative effort, and indirect stamp of approval, today's judges will tell me I'm discriminating against people with homosexual attractions when, in reality, I'm discriminating against homosexual behavior. 

There are plenty of other things that I can legitimately refuse to photograph, but this one is somehow different in their eyes. The same if I won't open a party room to a commitment ceremony in my restaurant, or a guest home for the same reason. Along the same line, I could be relieved of my license to place children through adoption if I refuse to consider homosexuals... and the list goes on. 

I'd be happy to photograph men or women with same-sex attraction. I take pictures of myself already. But not in a circumstance that endorses or condones immoral behavior. I'm happy opening up a restaurant to anyone who supports actions I support, men and women with same-sex attraction included. I'll even place a child for adoption with a husband and wife if they both had same-sex attraction, as long as they were good parents. But I will not condone or endorse immoral behavior, and that has nothing to do with attraction. If asked to place my approval on anything that I don't agree with, I treat everyone and everything exactly the same, regardless of sex, race, gender, religion, or any other trait - because I would not be willing to endorse their actions.

Today's debates gloss over that. Ultimately, they're not talking about the issues that I see as central - the relational discrimination that is still happening, against people regardless of their actions, and the impact of laws on gay marriage. And, if it keeps moving the way it's moving, people will still discriminate against others in their personal relationships, and I'll be the next target of discrimination - the guy with same-sex attraction, who, unlike churches with legal protections, will be barred from practicing or asserting my beliefs about same-sex attraction... because of my faith.
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