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The Standard of Liberty Voice
For God,Religion,Family,Freedom
A publication of The Standard of Liberty Foundation
May 8, 2012, #58


Counterfeit Marriage: A Tangled Web of Deceit

We teach a standard of moral conduct that will protect us from Satan’s many substitutes or counterfeits for marriage. We must understand that any persuasion to enter into any relationship that is not in harmony with the principles of the gospel must be wrong. . . Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn temptations toward the impure and unnatural. Not so! President Boyd K. Packer, “Cleansing the Inner Vessel,” Oct. 2010 Gen. Conf.

You’ll have to come to your own conclusion why LDS Living Magazine, owned by Deseret Book and sold at Deseret Bookstores, has published an over-the-top cover article that is the antithesis of the above statement by President Packer, the second highest ranking leader in the LDS Church.

Our Story, Living with Same-sex Attraction by Ty and Danielle Mansfield, appearing in the May/June 2012 issue is a lengthy article illustrated with over a dozen photos, including a huge 2-page-spread close-up of the couple's faces (he is kissing her on the cheek). Written by the author of two gay-affirming books published by Deseret Book and his wife, the article is based on some serious new kookiness and some very false presumptions. What is presented as a happy, warm, fuzzy, and above all, highly spiritual article, is actually a tangled web of ignorance, delusion, and manipulation.

Please note that even more dangerous than the false representation of homosexuality as pure and noble, and the radical redefinition of some higher form of marriage that is supposedly nonsexual, is the presumptuous spiritual component in this article. The claim of personal revelation on sweeping topics that affect the very foundations of an entire people’s faith is this author's stock in trade. We quote from Ty Mansfield's book, In Quiet Desperation, in which he likens himself to Moses. "It was as if the Lord were saying to me, ' . . . Ancient Israel was called to build a tabernacle . . . You, my son, have likewise been called to a responsibility of great magnitude, for you have been called to build a kingdom'" (247). Please see Dr. A. Dean Byrd’s review of this book.

We apologize if the following intrudes on this couple's privacy. As always, we do not mean to attack individuals and most certainly wish only the best for this young couple and their innocent child. It is only because they have set themselves up as a light and voluntarily made their “mixed orientation marriage” an object of public concern by publicizing and defending what Pres. Packer called one of “Satan’s many substitutes or counterfeits for marriage” that we feel we must respond to this article. Sorry this is so long; there are just so many things wrong with the article.

Tangle #1
The article presumes people who experience SSA are doomed to have to live with it. Again, “Not so!” Many outgrow SSA or make a determined and successful effort to overcome and reorient their sexual feelings in the proper direction (PFOX, NARTH, Exodus International, JONAH, Standard of Liberty). You'd think this promising couple would seek to resolve this supposedly on-going problem, but there is no discussion of understanding where the feelings came from in the first place, or about getting help for rooting out the misguided thoughts and lawless lusts.

Tangle #2
But wait a minute. Is the husband in this article really same-sex attracted? How do we know this? After all, his most recent actions, which are glowingly described, are undoubtedly heterosexual. In his own words, he was "drawn to Danielle in multiple ways." (Notice he uses the word drawn instead of its synonym attracted.) He enjoyed a whirlwind romance, married this woman for time and forever, posed for many happy wedding pictures, and subsequently fathered a child. And Danielle says her husband’s SSA “isn’t noticeable in our marriage.”

What is same-sex attraction anyway? It seems Mansfield has convinced his wife that SSA, although it is his claim to fame, doesn’t mean anything of any importance. She says, “I don’t think much about my husband experiencing SSA unless something stereotypical comes up, like he’s a much better decorator than I am and he is a better listener than any other man I’ve ever dated.” What does she think gayness is – just some outward trappings she happens to consider unusual in men? Then she has drunk the gay Koolaid and doesn’t know much about the opposite sex. Just because a man is artistic or a good listener does not mean he is homosexual. In fact, all healthy men have everything it takes to be men in all the important ways no matter what their talents or hobbies.

If SSA is just about innocuous outward characteristics, who cares about it? Why do we feel sorry for men who paint or sing? Why do they need special rights? Why do we care about this couple? It’s like any other couple. Danielle writes, “People sometimes want to know what it’s like to be married to someone who experiences same-sex attraction. My answer is, I don’t know.” So, LDS Living has published an article about nothing? It’s like an episode of Seinfeld.

This girl needs to know that if your husband is same-sex attracted it means he is sexually attracted to men, not women. He is turned on sexually by men, otherwise he is not same-sex attracted. To him the idea of thinking sexually of women is as distasteful as you thinking sexually of women.

It follows that either this couple has never consummated their marriage and instead used artificial insemination to get pregnant, or the SSA husband has prostituted himself who knows how many times in order to impregnate his wife and found it repulsive every time. On the other hand, if they have consummated and he didn’t find it repulsive, then he is heterosexual by any definition. That's right, if he is enjoying intimacy with this opposite sex person he says he loves “to spend time with,” he is heterosexual and is playing a horrible trick on his wife and everyone else by pretending to be homosexual. Yes, heterosexuality is very natural and common. In fact, it makes the world go 'round. We hear from Danielle herself that her husband "is a more loving and affectionate husband than I ever imagined."

Can it be that this couple has no understanding of either homosexuality or heterosexuality? Can it be that the publishers of this magazine don’t either? We can’t believe any intelligent adult could be that ignorant. Perhaps it’s more along the lines of denial, deception, or an agenda.

Tangle #3
If this young man is still same-sex attracted, as he claims, what does this obsession with sexualizing other men look like? Is he still in love with the man he mentions in the article? Can he not stop himself from going online and chatting with other SSA men? Does he have a same-sex pornography addiction? Does he have a never-ending trail of crushes on the other men at work, at the gym, in his neighborhood, in his ward? Does he check out every man he sees? Is he going to continue his "man-dates" and "buddy-moons" which he insists were chaste that he not so long ago wrote about on his blog before he was found out and it was removed? Does he constantly replay homosexual images and thoughts in his mind?

Isn't this called infidelity, no matter which genders are involved? If he isn’t having sexual fantasies about anyone in particular, what constitutes his SSA at this time? If he’s being faithful to his wife in his heart, he can’t be having attractions for anyone else of either gender. So, how is he experiencing SSA and remaining faithful? In our Church temple we covenant to keep our passions and desires within the Lord’s bounds. Yes, responsible adults have this choice and ability. Does his wife know he is breaking this covenant by “living with same-sex attraction?” Remember, same-sex attraction is sexual, otherwise it’s just friendship.

Tangle #4
This article and the events and feelings it describes are so unbelievable it kind of makes you wonder if the whole thing is a ruse. Maybe it's just for headlines. Or it's another twist to keep this man and his books in the limelight. Maybe he's what they call "bisexual," for all anybody knows. If he insists that he's continually experiencing SSA, but he's also happy acting heterosexually, it certainly sounds like anything goes. Mansfield writes, “The term ‘gay’ is not something that holds any weight in my own sense of identity, but neither does ‘straight.’” Of course there is no medical diagnosis for these things; we only have the word of the individual whose state of mental health is generally unknown.

We noticed that in the article Mansfield is very careful not to compliment his wife or show any interest in her appearance. The closest he gets is when he says he thinks she is a “high-caliber woman.” His compliments are strangely neutral, such as, “She always had cute and witty things to say.” Well, anyone can see that she is pretty, but it’s as if SSA has made this man totally blind, too. Does he never pay his wife any sort of compliment on her appearance, even just as a friend or relative would? Could it be that he goes out of his way to avoid mentioning her appearance because he’s afraid it might be construed as opposite-sex attraction? SSA or not, pretending that he doesn’t notice or care that his friend-wife is an attractive person with a strikingly nice smile strikes us as really sad, weird, and calculating, as if he is an actor deliberately playing a part he has constructed for himself.

How does anyone know he isn’t making all this up, that it isn’t all a big hoax?

Tangle #5
The first question most people seem to be asking is, Why in the world would a girl marry such a man – are there no heterosexual fish in the sea, for heaven’s sake? More questions follow. How could she allow herself to be manipulated and used like this? Does she have feelings of low self-worth? Does she only care that her husband is "incredibly good-looking" instead of whether he finds her attractive (which he, by claiming same-sex attraction, claims he does not)? Did no one ever teach her that as a wife she is entitled to her man's undivided devotion and love? Does she not know that her husband is supposed to love her body as his own, that they are to be one flesh? Doesn't she know what marriage is, and that she has settled for something so much less as to be called by some other name?

Tangle #6
If this man really has been and still is same-sex attracted, and yet has gotten this apparently nice, innocent young woman to marry him, it's obvious how wrong and unfair the situation is, even incredibly narcissistic on his part. In effect he is saying to her, I am SSA, therefore of course I am not attracted to you the way a husband should be simply because you are a woman. Of course I can't be expected to care about or meet your expectations of sexual love. If I do have relations with you, I hide my disgust for reasons of my own. You must rise above all that because I have to.

To quote, before the author met his future wife he was “having frustration around some deep emotional connections I had developed with another guy, and it hurt that I couldn’t have what a part of me really wanted.” What he is saying is, he wanted a sexual relationship with this man to consummate their emotional connection. According to the article, he and his wife also have deep emotional connections, but now he has chosen to cause another person, his wife, who is heterosexual, this very frustration and pain because, if he really is same-sex attracted, she cannot have what a part of her really wants: being truly one with her husband in every way.

In fact, we heard of a “mixed-orientation couple” in which the wife has agreed to take libido-repressing medications. How is that fair? Why doesn’t the man take them too? Where are the feminists? Talk about counterfeit marriage! What a strange new way to use and abuse someone! You just can’t make this stuff up.

Tangle #7
So, the man claiming SSA gets to keep his SSA and yet be married to a woman in some sort of agreed-upon, loving but nonsexual relationship in which they still do the thing that makes babies which is called sex. At least that is what is gathered from the article. This means they have totally disconnected love and sex. Isn’t that what prostitutes do?

What about the wife’s sexuality? What is she allowed to do, romantically, aside from the fake lovemaking? Do they have some sort of system for that? Is she ever allowed to act like a lover, or even an affectionate wife, as in reaching out and taking his hand or running her hand through his hair? Does she surprise her husband, at least on their anniversary, by preparing a fancy dinner, lighting candles, playing their favorite song and taking a spin around the kitchen? Is there ever any hope for tender romance? Or is that a taboo subject? Shouldn’t he be repulsed and suspicious if she tries something a lover would do? Does he make all the rules? Does she care that he is pretending? What is she allowed to say? Has she promised never to tempt him? Does she believe it would be futile and she would be rejected so she doesn't even try? Wouldn't she be insulting, annoying, even homophobic if she attempted to use her womanly charms on him? If he is so affectionate, as she says, isn’t it confusing? Might she think he really loves her as regular married people do? Does he show any signs of having to resist her charms? Does she wonder why he doesn’t try resisting his same-sex attractions instead of resisting her? And what if, just what if, her womanly charms accidentally started working? (She’s got to be hoping they might.) Would they celebrate and write a big article telling the world that he is opposite-sex attracted now?

While the author, in a side bar called "Ty's Advice For Dealing With SSA," hands out his wisdom about loving yourself and feeling God's love so as “not to inhibit our growth,” he conveniently neglects to point out that we must also strive to overcome sins and weaknesses and strive to keep God's commandments inside and out so as not to inhibit our growth.

Tangle #9
It is so strange that these people think SSA is merely an identity and that it is chaste. SSA is sexual and it isn't chaste. To paraphrase the Lord, if you have out-of-bounds sexual desires, you have already committed sin in your heart. Apparently, if this man is "living with same-sex attraction," as he says, he is deeply involved in sin. As human beings, we are all susceptible to one sin or another and are invited to repent continually. But this is not a consideration in the article, or in any of this man’s writings.

Tangle #10
If Mansfield does indeed have a problem with same-sex sexual attraction, and consequently does not feel physical attraction for his wife, this is called alienation of affection and it is grounds for divorce. Now we have couples agreeing to live like this. As such, this travesty they call mixed-orientation marriage is another nail in the coffin of the essential institution of marriage. If they love each other as they say, as friends, that's what they should have stayed, rather than pretending at marriage. Marriage is more than friendship. It’s much more than playing house. It is about mating, otherwise it isn't marriage. Friendship is great. You can be friends with all sorts of people. But the best marriages are that, and much more.

Tangle #11
Marriage is supposed to be the only human relationship that shares sexuality. But Ty Mansfield discounts this distinction. Indeed, he feels "sad for people who . . . have reduced love and marriage to a mere shadow of what it was intended to be and how beautiful it can be." Apparently, this couple believes their marriage is more precious and right than traditional marriages because it is based on spiritual things rather than physical intimacy. Going further, the (brainwashed ?) bride refers to "hormones and emotions" as things that actually enslave and diminish true love. Oh, so those of us who enjoy sexual intimacy in marriage are blinded by our hormones to what marriage could really be? As if they know anything about other people’s spirituality in their marriages, and as if you can only have one or the other, spirituality or sexuality! What a lot of nonsense. And by the way, isn’t sexual intimacy what Ty really wanted with his same-sex friend? Isn’t he, burdened by SSA, blinded by his hormones himself, big time? These kids need to get their story straight.

Before they were married, in response to some online criticism of their publicized engagement, this young woman wrote to her fiance that she felt he loved her "more now than many people ever love their partners or spouses." Twenty/thirty-something, never been married, and yet they presume to know all about married love. Man, are these kids clueless. They evidently do not know that the sexual relationship enhances marriage in a way nothing else can. It's what distinguishes marriage from every other kind of loving relationship.

Tangle #12
Does anybody note the trajectory we are witnessing? Since the beginning, only heterosexual couples could be married in the temple. Now, suddenly, mixed-orientation couples are being married in the temple. The way things are going, it seems to follow that the natural progression is for same-sex couples to be next. According to gay leaders in our state at a press conference in 2010, which SoL attended, same-sex marriage in LDS temples is definitely one of their primary goals. Is Ty Mansfield part of this? If the Church were to be forced to perform same-sex marriages, would Ty abandon his wife and family, as others have done, so he could have what he says he really wants? Maybe this is something he should have thought about. Has his wife thought about it?

In summary, the LDS Living article is very much a tangled web of deceit and delusion. What we are treated to is an embarrassing display of pseudo moral and spiritual superiority coming from a young, mixed- up, "mixed orientation" couple who pretend to know everything about themselves, God, marriage, sex, love, and family. The ignorance and presumption are astounding and the dangers and implications far-reaching for the couple and those whom they influence.

On a positive note, our prayer is that this author will think things through and get some help for the sake of his family and future. If we could communicate one thought to him, it would be this. It is from A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain. In this beautiful quote the main character is talking about his new wife, whom to his surprise he finds he has truly grown to love, body and soul.

“Now I didn’t know I was drawing a prize, yet that was what I did draw. Within the twelvemonth I became her worshiper; and ours was the dearest and perfectest comradeship that ever was. People talk about beautiful friendships between two persons of the same sex. What is the best of that sort, as compared with the friendship of man and wife, where the best impulses and highest ideals of both are the same? There is no place for comparison between the two friendships; the one is earthly, the other divine.”

Of course by man and wife he means they enjoy sexual attraction and intimacy as only man and wife can and should, yes, because of those God-given “emotions and hormones” made for that purpose, which tender sexual life silently strengthens, enriches, and distinguishes every other facet of their relationship: spiritual, intellectual, emotional.

–Stephen & Janice Graham



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