Before Proposition 8 there was the 2004 Presidential Campaign where marriage initiatives were proposed on many state ballots to define marriage as between one man and one woman. In the fall time leading up to the election I got into a debate with my college aged son over gay marriage. I was not kind in this debate. I gave him all the traditional arguments against it, i.e. it’s not how nature/god made us, it is an abomination in the Old Testament and the New Testament (when you include the Apostle Paul) and if we legalize gay marriage we’ll have to allow pedophiles to marry children and men to marry their animals. Yes, I made the comment about marrying and having sex with animals.
In winter of 2005 my wife and I got a phone call around 1:00 am telling us that our son was in the hospital after having attempted to commit suicide earlier in the evening and that when we got there we’d find that his gay partner was there with him. What a shock. His partner, whom we knew as his friend, was a returned missionary and we were glad that he was hanging around since we were hoping he could help reactivate our son. Fortunately for our son and for us, our son lived. I can’t imagine the pain of others who have not been so fortunate.
Since then I can say that I have truly repented (in Hebrew repentance is often associated with “change of mind”). I have literally read thousands of pages of information from all sides of the issues surrounding what it means to be gay and have come to see that gay’s are just people with romantic feelings pointed in a different direction than heterosexuals.
My son now knows that his father is not the same person he was in 2004. While he has never blamed me for his suicide attempt (he is too kind hearted to ever want to hurt anyone) and I know the pressure he felt came from more directions than just me, I still can’t help but feel partly responsible. I’m so thankful that I don’t have to live with his death. I wonder how many of our LDS leaders can sleep at night knowing the pain that they have caused. But I guess when you live in an Ivory Castle you are immune from the pain or simply see the pain you are causing as just a call to repentance.