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Friday, March 08, 2013

The Closet and Inappropriate Marriages

Part 3 of The Harmful Effects of the Closet

Preamble to each post: There is no doubt that "the closet" is the most harmful result of continuing to deny LGBTs a legitimate and equal place in society. By not acknowledging them, heterosexuals force them into hiding. The results are often catastrophic. What is also not in doubt is that the closet is of heterosexual making. Rather than wag our fingers and preach our condemning sermons, we should be doing all we can to eliminate this despicable situation. For a simple fact remains: if we eliminate the closet, we eliminate all those things that we negatively associate with gayness. Even better, LGBTs are freed from the inhumanity of closet life.

By making life miserable for LGBTs, many resort to the secrecy of the closet in order to protect themselves.  To do so, they must appear as normal sexually as everyone else seems to be.  Often, this involves getting married.  Often, at least two lives are ruined in the process.  If children are involved, the body count continues.  People being forced into unnatural marriages is one of the most horrific aspects of the closet.

You don't have to look too far to know of such marriages.  I know of many.  A dear friend of mine had his wife come to him in tears, sobbing out, "God made me wrong."  They ended up divorcing.  Thankfully, no children were involved.  

Another friend and pastoral colleague learned of his wife's lesbianism when an affair was uncovered.  This time, children were involved.

An elder in a church I served married and had a child.  He couldn't live what he termed "a lie," and eventually   ended his marriage.

These stories could be continued indefinitely because they are all around us.  Just reading them on the page doesn't come close to the heart wrenching trauma suffered by all involved. Broken hearts, ended dreams, lives turned upside down, and children bewildered.  These are but a few of the consequences of forcing people to live contrary to their nature.  If you want to get a real sense of the anguish that comes with this, watch the documentary, For the Bible Tells Me So. It's available on Netflix.

The truly stultifying aspect of this is that it is totally unnecessary.  If there were no closet, there would be no need for these marriages in the first place.  And if same-sex marriage were available and acceptable, first marriages would be starting out as they should.  More and more people are seeing the logic of this and are now supporting efforts for gay normalization.

Recall that the first "not good" following all that was good in the creation stories of Genesis, was that the creature was alone.  God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone."  It is also not good for a man or woman to be forced into a marriage that maintains this loneliness. For only that partner who truly is suitable can do this.  For nonheterosexuals, only a same-sex partner will do.  (For a more complete explanation, see http://clergyunited.blogspot.com/2013/01/loneliness-first-not-good-of-creation.html)

I don't want to indict the motives or the character of those who make the choice to try to live their lives as best they can by trying to conform to society's expectations.  Many actually start out believing that they will somehow change by getting married, only to realize, too late, that they cannot change.  Others feel they are in love with their marriage partner, but discover that it is the love of a friend, not a spouse.  Still others discover their true sexuality after marriage.  Many who are still married but unhappy (lonely) persevere because of religious scruples and live lives of quiet desperation. I don't wish to disparage any of them for the choices they make, for it is a situation forced upon them by a heterocentric society that offers no good alternatives.  If we truly regret this situation, we need to do all we can to make the closet no longer necessary.

In the video below, hear from husbands and wives of gay partners who moved on from their marriages and how it affects all parties involved.  Courageous men and women, heartbroken, yet supportive of their loved one.  True humanity observed.



MONDAY: Clandestine and anonymous sexual practices

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

As a bisexual man in a heterosexual marriage with the love of my life (we just celebrated our 50th anniversary) with the participation of two adult children, four grandchildren, friends and church members, I can attest that it IS possible -- with great efforts and dedicated love by both partners. I was fortunate to have the support of my pastor and another minister who led a 'married men's group' attended by those seeking help (usually in the transition related to divorce) and companionship of a like-minded group. Over a period of some ten years, I personally knew dozens of men who attended this Bay Area group. It was acknowledged by men in this group that they knew of many others and that the group surely represented the 'tip of the iceberg.' Members of churches can verify from their own experience the expectations and pressures for young men to marry and have a family. What a glorious benefit for these men and for the integrity of the church if they were allowed to marry other gay men in a loving and committed relationship -- with the blessing and support of the church community.

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Rev. Steven F. Kindle said...

Thank you for sharing, bisexual man, and lending your voice to the need for same-sex marriage. And God bless your pastor!

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