In debates about gay marriage, some Mormons are quick to point out that the Church doesn’t discriminate between heterosexual and homosexual members because it requires all unmarried members to live the Law of Chastity. Some heterosexual members of the Church remain single – and therefore celibate – throughout their entire lives and so it is not unreasonable to require the same of homosexual members, it is argued. However, where dating and companionship are concerned, it seems that Church policy differs, depending on whether one is straight or gay.
Straight members, for instance, may remain single and chaste their entire lives, but they are free to date and engage is non-sexual behavior such as:
• Hand holding
• Innocent kissing
• Hugging and caressing
Unmarried couples can sit in church or attend school at BYU and engage in such non-sexual courting behavior without facing discipline. A chaste homosexual couple, on the other hand, would likely encounter trouble from their bishop or authorities at BYU for an open display of affection. It seems, therefore, that gay members are required not only to be celibate, but alone.
Question: Do you think heterosexual and homosexual members alike be permitted to engage in non-sexual displays of affection deemed acceptable outside of marriage without being subject to discipline from the Church? Why or why not?
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