Friendship or Your Future Happiness

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 08, 2009 9:27 AM GMT
    Hey guys,

    I have a Mormon friend who I've known for 9 years is coming here to visit me in a few days to have an inevitable and heated discussion about the passing of Proposition 8. She knows I'm gay and I got a feeling she'll rebound her beliefs of marriage from the bible. She was very happy and approved of the Supreme Court's decision. She posted her remarks on Facebook that "We are in for the fight of our lives". Do you think I should tell her that I would like to be happy and married someday without any ramifications? What should I do to keep my friendship?
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    Jun 08, 2009 9:47 AM GMT
    One rule I have When I'm good friends with religious people is that I don't bring up the gay marriage stuff or any other things about being gay, or what you believe in.

    One of my best friends is Mormon and I decided to ask her what she thinks about gay marriage and she said " Its not right" and the convo lasted for about 2 hours.

    I asked another friend of mine(ex friend and shes not my ex friend because of the question) and she said no and warned me I wouldnt like her answer.. but I begged so she told me "being gay is not normal and I think you'll go to hell"icon_eek.gif was I shocked.

    stuff like that can ruin friendships.
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    Jun 08, 2009 11:18 AM GMT
    She's trying to get inside your head. They all do. Behind the smiles is a list of things she will do to save you from hell.
  • Bunjamon

    Posts: 3161

    Jun 08, 2009 12:39 PM GMT
    She's not really your friend if she doesn't want that happiness for you, too.
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    Jun 08, 2009 12:40 PM GMT
    Bunjamon saidShe's not really your friend if she doesn't want that happiness for you, too.


    QFT
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    Jun 08, 2009 12:41 PM GMT

    Take notes...

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jun 08, 2009 1:09 PM GMT
    Pretty tough situation... I think if you deal with it front and center in an honest way, you might have trouble with her as a friend. Too emotional.

    If you avoid talking about it, what kind of friendship is that?

    When you discuss it, I would try and remove emotion, but make sure to make the points that are important to you. After evaluating her approach,
    you will need to decide your comfort with keeping her as a friend.
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    Jun 08, 2009 2:35 PM GMT
    Hobbes saidHey guys,

    I have a Mormon friend who I've known for 9 years is coming here to visit me in a few days to have an inevitable and heated discussion about the passing of Proposition 8. She knows I'm gay and I got a feeling she'll rebound her beliefs of marriage from the bible. She was very happy and approved of the Supreme Court's decision. She posted her remarks on Facebook that "We are in for the fight of our lives". Do you think I should tell her that I would like to be happy and married someday without any ramifications? What should I do to keep my friendship?


    she's your friend. you should be able to discuss anything with your good friends.
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    Jun 08, 2009 3:02 PM GMT
    You could have it out with her and probably risk throwing your friendship to the rocks - so to speak. Or, you could just stick to subjects where you know you agree and have a peaceful visit with her. Your choice. If she is broadminded, she should listen to your points of view and try to find some common ground for agreement. I'm not sure that will happen. Use caution - think about it before she arrives - decide how far you will push your position / views. You could also follow the advise most of us received from our parents / grandparents: "Never discuss politics, religion, money or any controversial subject with friends." ........I'd add: "Unless you are sure they agree with you."
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    Jun 08, 2009 4:52 PM GMT
    I'm not sure that having a 'friend' who thinks denying gays the right to marry is the 'fight of their lives' is a very healthy thing to have. It's tantamount to saying "I'm your friend, but I don't really think you should be accepted by everyone else, hmk? So shuddup, stay in your closet, and let me pity you, you poor sinful creature."
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    Jun 08, 2009 5:10 PM GMT
    I'd recommend going over some nonviolent communication skills. Marshall Rosenberg has some great stuff.



    Four components of NVC:
    1. observation
    2. feeling
    3. needs
    4. request

    "First, we observe what is actually happening in a situation: what are we observing others saying or doing that is either enriching or not enriching our life? The trick is to be able to articulate this observation without introducing any judgment or evaluation—to simply say what people are doing that we either like or don’t like.

    Next, we state how we feel when we observe this action: are we hurt, scared, joyful, amused, irritated, etc.? And thirdly, we say what needs of ours are connected to the feelings we have identified. An awareness of these three components is present when we use NVC to clearly and honestly express how we are.

    For example, a mother might express these three pieces to her teenage son by saying, “Felix, when I see two balls of soiled socks under the coffee table and another three next to the TV, I feel irritated because I am needing more order in the rooms which we share in common.”

    She would follow immediately with the fourth component—a very specific request: “Would you be willing to put your socks in your room or in the washing machine?” This fourth component addresses what we are wanting from the other person that would enrich our lives or make life more wonderful for us.

    Thus, part of NVC is to express these four pieces of information very clearly, whether verbally or by other means. The other aspect of this communication consists of receiving the same four pieces of information from others. We connect with them by first sensing what they are observing, feeling, and needing, and then discover what would enrich their lives by receiving the fourth piece, their request. As we keep our attention focused on the areas mentioned, and help others do likewise, we establish a flow of communication, back and forth, until compassion manifests naturally: what I am observing, feeling, and needing; what I am requesting to enrich my life; what you are observing, feeling, and needing; what you are requesting to enrich your life..." - Rosenberg
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Jun 08, 2009 5:26 PM GMT
    Hobbes,
    Go ahead and tell here that. Also tell here that gay marriage will be legal across the entire country, it's obviously going to happen, just as she is now able to vote and own land despite being a female, or even choose to be a Mormon and have it protected by the government despite the fact that Christians view her religious lifestyle as being immoral and of going to hell as well.

    Ask her if she agrees with 'judicial activists' that made it legal for an asian man to choose and marry a woman of a different race even if the majority was against. Such a marriage is a choice obviously, but many considered it wrong, even unnatural. Eventually it became legal though before all people were on board with it.

    In fact ask her if she would be in favor of repealing the government's protection of her freedom to choose and practice the religion of her own choice, like her Mormon faith.
    Tell her you don't believe she was born a Mormon but that she chose that lifestyle and since it's a choice and immoral to you, that she shouldn't have that lifestyle protected by the government or treated equally in regard to other religious lifestyle choices, like Christianity or Judaism.

    Actually, tell her traditionally she shouldn't even be speaking to you like this because she is a woman and you are a man. Make sure she knows that if she is on her period that she doesn't sit on anything or even stay with you because she will be defiling everything, and that she must perform the necessary rituals of purification.

    Ask her how she would feel if people could vote to make illegal the marriage she would like to have with the person she loved - religious arguments aside.

    Just be logical with here like that. Expose the flaws in her logic and reasoning by using her own flawed logic and reasoning against her. You don't even really have to make a 'case' for yourself as a gay person to prove anything to her if you show her how the basis for her case against you is, well, flawed all on it's own to begin with.

    Also keep in mind that being rational only works with people who are rational. I don't know how fanatical your friend is in her religion, but for many religious people, their faith means everything even if it means denying the truth or reality about something. So you have to keep that in mind, just do what she might do and tell her you'll pray for her if reasoning fails. That will heap coals and embers upon her head!


    "Do you think I should tell her that I would like to be happy and married someday without any ramifications?"

    Yes, just realize that will probably invite a debate about it.

    "What should I do to keep my friendship?"

    Be yourself. If she is your friend she will treat you as one.
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Jun 08, 2009 9:12 PM GMT
    There's an old saying that you should never discuss sex, politics or religion in polite company. If you want to keep the friendship, then it's probably a good idea to follow that rule.

    Good luck.
  • imperator

    Posts: 626

    Jun 08, 2009 9:42 PM GMT
    Hobbes saidHey guys,

    I have a Mormon friend who I've known for 9 years is coming here to visit me in a few days to have an inevitable and heated discussion about the passing of Proposition 8. She knows I'm gay and I got a feeling she'll rebound her beliefs of marriage from the bible. She was very happy and approved of the Supreme Court's decision. She posted her remarks on Facebook that "We are in for the fight of our lives". Do you think I should tell her that I would like to be happy and married someday without any ramifications? What should I do to keep my friendship?


    How the hell do you maintain-- do you want to maintain-- a friendship with someone who opposes your happiness, your full rights as a citizen, and your dignity based on superstitious gobbledygook? And a Mormon? Who the hell are Mormons to tell anybody about a shared social standard of marriage? I wouldn't want to be friends with someone who didn't grasp the irony of their own prejudice. But... if you want to try and make your case to her... without using the terms "stupid" or "bigot"... ugh... let's see.

    "You don't understand this: you're free to believe what ever you want-- you can believe in Mormonism if that's your choice, and religious belief is a choice, unlike my feelings for men-- but this country was founded so that people could be free from religious persocution. It was colonized by people who wanted to be free from the faith-based oppression back home, and when it fought for its independence the people who wrote its constitution enshrined the principle that a person or group's religious beliefs should not be the basis of the laws that everyone-- believers and non-believers alike-- have to live under; otherwise this would be a religious dictatorship or a theocracy like Iran.

    So when you and your ilk take your personal religious beliefs and you pressure the politicians who were elected to serve everybody, me included, to write into the law that I am not free to marry-- to form a legal contract with the person I love before the government-- because we're both men, you're destroying this country and you're hurting me. You're saying I'm less of a citizen and less of a human being. And you're saying that if tomorrow a 51 percent majority of people in this country (or state) decided Mormons shouldn't be allowed to get married, then that would be fair too because in a democracy 'anything goes' as long as more people agree than disagree.

    What you don't get is that our government is supposed to treat us just the same as citizens; if there aren't two different classes of tax-paying, law-abiding citizens-- "male citizens" and "female citizens"-- then it's unjust to say that I can't marry another consenting adult because we're both men; saying I can only marry a woman says that only a woman can 'complete' me and that's no one's call to make but my own.

    And finally, by supporting a law that bans me marrying the partner of my choice you're actually discriminating against other religions too, because there are faiths and churches that will marry two people of the same sex. So you've made the government a threat not just to non-believers but also to people who believe differently from you. You're attacking the values that are supposed to make this the 'greatest nation on Earth' all because you think you know how God feels about the way I have sex, which is immodest at best, you claiming to understand the mind of an all-powerful being.

    Whatever you want to believe, you can believe, but your faith is yours, it's private, between you and whatever god you believe in, that's your private life that you're entitled to while you deal with the government of this land. But in my private life, I want to marry another man; that doesn't effect you, it doesn't injure you, it doesn't have any effect whatsoever on you-- it's between me, and that man, and the government that we elect and pay our taxes to. When you intrude into my private life and my relationship with the government, you're being un-American, and you're being a bad friend, and I wish you would understand all of this and stop hurting me."

    You can parse and paraphrase and whatever, but that's the speech I'd give or the letter I'd write if for some bizarre reason I decided to try and discuss gay marriage and remain friends with someone who thought they had the right to attack my citizenship and my personhood with their pre-Enlightenment, Sun-revolves-around-the-Earth, special-underwear-protect-me-from-the-forces-of-evil, women-are-wives-and-mothers-and-all-but-property-of-their-fathers-or-husbands bullshit. But more likely, I'd tell such a person to get the hell out of my home and my life before I doused them with lighter fluid and lit them on fire.
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    Jun 09, 2009 7:03 AM GMT
    As I read each post and collected my thoughts on what you guys wrote, I came to a conclusion that I would go along with the plan in talking and teaching to her about gay marriage without any conflicting emotions. Since she's a Mormon faith, I'm sure she's going to side to what she has been taught from her church. As Bunjamon and Fable agreed upon if she doesn't want me to find happiness as a gay man, then I made a wrong friend.

    HndsmKansanPretty tough situation... I think if you deal with it front and center in an honest way, you might have trouble with her as a friend. Too emotional.

    If you avoid talking about it, what kind of friendship is that?

    When you discuss it, I would try and remove emotion, but make sure to make the points that are important to you. After evaluating her approach,
    you will need to decide your comfort with keeping her as a friend.


    Jockbod48You could have it out with her and probably risk throwing your friendship to the rocks - so to speak. Or, you could just stick to subjects where you know you agree and have a peaceful visit with her. Your choice. If she is broadminded, she should listen to your points of view and try to find some common ground for agreement. I'm not sure that will happen. Use caution - think about it before she arrives - decide how far you will push your position / views. You could also follow the advise most of us received from our parents / grandparents: "Never discuss politics, religion, money or any controversial subject with friends." ........I'd add: "Unless you are sure they agree with you."


    If I avoid talking about who I am and what I believe in, it would be like going back to the closet. I rather not go back into the closet. This is tough and I ain't saying this would be easy for me to walk into the plank. I'm sure I'll have to warn her when we do discuss any confrontational issues that will stand her ground. I know the advices Jockbod that everyone from their families received about "Never discuss politics, religion, money or any controversial subject with friends. Unless you are sure they agree with you" A lot of people would like to keep their friends they share. I learned this the hard way since I lost a close friend of mine a while back. I do understand that people in this world have certain limits you don't want to overstep.

    Though I would like to say if we can change and teach to those who disagree upon same sex marriages now, I'm sure they can turn their mind around that it's okay for being who you are. But who knows, not many are open-minded sadly... Time will tell and eventually this nation of ours will pass and accept gay marriage as a law...
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    Jun 09, 2009 7:33 AM GMT
    BradySF, Anto, and Imperator, thanks for your posts, I'm considering in teaching and telling her the aspects of what I believe in what is right and probably limit my criticism about what she learned from her church. Her faith as a Mormon and going to church events gives her strength, and confidence what she needs to believe in. Her belief is rather strong and I'm sure I'm going to receive some opposition and not believe of what I would have to say that is viewed wrong in the eyes of her church.

    "It's not acceptable nor tolerated to have two people of the same sex marry each other." Though, I'm sure there is got to be a limit to her beliefs. I would probably need to ask of her opinion only and not of what she believes coming from the church, but if it comes to the case, I'll ask her this question which I'm sure she wouldn't do such a thing. If the church requests of her to jump off a cliff, I wonder if she'll do it. To me, hell no!!! I wouldn't do such a thing. To my understanding, I would ask of her own opinion, would you be acceptable and be happy for who I am and the way my life will be headed if I were to marry a man?? Would you crush my life by opposing gay marriage to happen? We all have lives and like to make the best of it, why crush it and ruin our happiness??

    I'll be seeing her soon since she called and wanted to meet up. So, wish me luck and hopefully something good comes out of it...

    Caslon11000Take notes...




    lol icon_lol.gif Though, I hope this video below doesn't come to fruition for gays to
    get married... icon_mad.gif

    icon_eek.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 09, 2009 7:37 AM GMT
    If someone I knew was against same-sex marriage and they knew I was gay, I would have a few questions to ask them: "Do you think a same-sex relationship is inferior to a straight one? Do you think my love for another man is inferior to your love for another man (or woman if it was a guy)?"

    If they answered Yes, then I would know in my heart that person was a bigot and it would certainly change my relationship with them. I don't think it is possible that a person can love you and think that you are inferior to them. I might consider them an acquaintance but not a real friend. I would probably hope they would change and tell them how I felt and not hold back anything. You can't be a friend and lock a part of yourself away in a dungeon to satisfy their ignorance.
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    Jun 09, 2009 7:38 AM GMT
    Sedative saidShe's trying to get inside your head. They all do. Behind the smiles is a list of things she will do to save you from hell.


    Amen
  • TallGWMvballe...

    Posts: 1925

    Jun 09, 2009 7:40 AM GMT
    As I suggested on the phone, ask her if she thinks it is right to legally prevent YOU, her friend, from marrying the person you love and have the same rights as she does NOW but women did NOT always have in this country.
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    Jun 09, 2009 7:48 AM GMT
    TallGWMvballerAs I suggested on the phone, ask her if she thinks it is right to legally prevent YOU, her friend, from marrying the person you love and have the same rights as she does NOW but women did NOT always have in this country.


    Thanks, I'll keep that in mind...
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    Jun 09, 2009 7:55 AM GMT
    Bunjamon saidShe's not really your friend if she doesn't want that happiness for you, too.


    I agree with this statement. A true friend accepts (not just tolerates) who you are. Yes there are always aspects of all of our friends that we might not love, but this is more than just an annoying friend behavior like talking on your cell phone during dinner or showing up to parties late- this is part of who you are that you can't change and she should accept.

    I would tell her how you feel in the most non-confrontational manner you can (she can argue beliefs, but she can't argue or dispute how you feel). If she can't respect your feelings, is this someone you want to call a friend?
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jun 09, 2009 11:08 AM GMT
    Wow ... that to me is a betrayal of a friend

    But if you value her As your friend I wouldn't bring it up
    But ... on the otherhand if SHE does I'd go at her with both barrels

    That's just me icon_wink.gif
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    Jun 12, 2009 3:57 AM GMT
    Well, I met up with my friend and I talked with her about the issues of Proposition 8 and gay marriage. I even warned her beforehand that this conversation could get ugly. She was happy for the people who got married before Proposition 8 was declared a law. She didn't put much an effort to the arguments I presented to her. While I tried not to be too confrontational with her, I chose my words carefully. It was a hard topic to discuss for her and myself. She told me she love gay people and she even have gay people among her church. If that is the case, why she and her fellow church members oppose gay guys from marrying each other. Her answer was God was here millions of years ago who wrote the Bible and stated "marriage is between a man and a woman." To have two of the same sex couple married will defy their religious act which is why she stated "We're in the fight of our lives." She understood where I was coming from all of this. She believed the gay community should fight for having more rights for civil unions to share the same benefits and social standing as married couples do. "A marriage license is just a piece of paper, why is it so important to gay people?" She stumbled upon the fact when I told her "you would disregard my happiness by fighting against gay people in becoming married and make my life miserable?" She replied after few minutes that I am God's children and of course he wouldn't want me to be miserable. I wonder if that's the case.... both parties stood quiet and no words spoken.

    In the end, she understood at both sides of the situation and I told her one day this country will accept gay marriages whether she likes it or not. She replied, "Do I have a choice? I would most likely have to accept it." As for my friendship with her, I believe it was pretty much the same before, not changed. She got a headache after we talked about this subject for an hour. I believe she'll keep with her religious beliefs that marriages are to be with a man and a woman. I'm uncertain as to whether she would have thought of me and my happiness when she opposes gay marriages. For now, she knows we'll be fighting for our beliefs. It will be a struggle fight to the finish line...
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    Jun 12, 2009 4:23 AM GMT
    Hobbes said"A marriage license is just a piece of paper, why is it so important to gay people?"
    You know, if she just thought the license was a piece of paper, you could ask her why it is so important for her religious group to keep it from gays if that is the case. But when it gets down to it, there is no real reason for people like that to deny marriage, it is just irrational fear and because their religion tells them so! More importantly, as much as they will deny it and say they love gay people, quite simply they think/feel that gay relationships are wrong and sinful and therefore gay relationships are inferior to straight ones. That simple.

    I don't think there is really much you can do to change people's minds if they are religiously inclined .. there is however a good website maybe you can refer Mormons to which is run by Mormons that are Pro same-sex marriage:

    http://mormonsformarriage.com/
  • SFTraveler

    Posts: 171

    Jun 12, 2009 4:28 AM GMT
    I'm too late to give you advice, but I believe you did the right thing in talking to her and explaining your position. Eventually, she may come around and truly accept your beliefs and fundamental desire to marry just like everyone else.
    In the meantime, teach her by example - let her know about your efforts to find a life partner so she can see your desires are universal to all people.
    As an openly gay, practicing Catholic, I have found that teaching by example is very effective. Good luck!