Gay & Married    So-Called “Reparative” Therapy   

Ty Mansfield and Danielle Palmer

Website Asks LDS Woman to Reassess Plan to Marry Gay Man
“Marriage is hard enough without trying to make it work when one of you is straight and one of you is gay”

Jason Clark
May 2010

What are the chances of having a successful Mormon marriage when a straight woman decides to marry an openly gay man? Using quotes from LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, a new website urges an LDS woman to think twice before marrying her fiancé, who is an out gay man. DanielleDontDoit.com warns Danielle Palmer that if she goes forward with her plan to marry her gay fiancé on May 22, she might be “gambl[ing] on some kind of ‘holy experiment’ that is almost certain to fail.”

Palmer is engaged to Ty Mansfield, a Mormon man who came out in 2004 when he co-authored the faith-promoting book In Quiet Desperation. Mansfield, who admits to having been involved in relationships with other men, writes that “when I finally decided to give my life to the Lord, I accepted in my heart that I would probably never marry, and I was okay with that” (In Quiet Desperation, 211).

That was in 2004. In recent essays, Mansfield promotes a vision of marriage without romantic love and sex, claiming that these are an almost insignificant part of married life. “To some, perhaps especially men, love isn’t love unless it’s sexual or romantic. And yet, that's The Great Lie,” Mansfield wrote in a recent essay. “Sexual or romantic love, as I see it, are only a *tiny tiny* piece of the Love that God calls us to,” he added in a blog entry.

Mansfield says that he is now a family therapist—a statement which is leading some bloggers to wonder what kind of advice he would give to gay clients, and whether he believes people can change their orientation.

A long list of Mormon women attest to the heartache and dissolution of family bonds that almost inevitably occurs when straight women marry gay men. From Ruth Pingree Smith, who was married to the secretly gay church Patriarch and followed him into exile in Hawaii, to Emily Pearson, who repeated the pattern of her mother Carol Lynn Pearson by first marrying and then divorcing a gay man, these stories suggest that rarely do women who marry gay men lead happy lives.

“Danielle, marriage is hard enough without trying to make it work when one of you is straight and one of you is gay,” the new website begs. “Please don’t sabotage yourself by sacrificing your life, your future, and your happiness for a marriage that has no credible assurance of surviving.”



© 2010 Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons
www.affirmation.org