On February 20, 2013 I published a blog post entitled, "Thoughts on Homosexuality from a Straight Mormon" A couple weeks later I left for my two year LDS mission. Upon returning, I found a comment left on that post asking for a follow up. In the post I say that we all need to love our homosexual brothers and sisters, but the question was raised, "HOW does a strong christian love their homosexual brothers and sisters?". It was a hard question and I have meditated a lot on the issue and I finally feel ready to respond, so here it goes.
My friend Julia Devera is engaged to the love of her life, Victoria Lopez. I thought there would be no better person than Julia to base this post on and she so gracefully granted me permission to talk about her. I would like to introduce her to everyone.
Julia is a beautiful young lady who comes from a great family. They are so fun a silly and can laugh together. For Halloween this year they all dressed up as different characters from Inisde Out. She recently graduated from CSULB. In high school she was a blast to be around. We had several classes together and she's super smart. She's also very talented! She plays basketball and she plays the piano! In fact we took piano lessons from the same teacher and we performed together three times! Playing the songs Angels We Have Heard on High, Baby it's Cold Outside, and C.S. Themes and Variations.
This is a brief, brief introduction into who Julia is, and based on that, I can introduce the three keys to why I am able to love her, and three keys to how every Christian can love any homosexual.
A CHRISTIAN'S GUIDE TO LOVING HOMOSEXUALS
1.) Get to know people entirely, not just their sexual orientation. Julia is not "my lesbian friend." She is a great friend who has likes and dislikes, who loves her family and shares many core values with me. She is a talented person who shares in my love for music and sports and someone who will understand my math jokes. And yes, she happens to be lesbian. It's part of who she is but it's not her only attribute
2.) Do not try to ignore the fact that homosexuals are homosexual. If you use step one to find all the attributes of someone and use those to cover up the fact that they are gay, then you will have a hard time loving them because it's not something you can or should avoid forever. I have seen Julia kiss her girlfriend several times. Had I been trying to ignore the fact that she is gay, it would have made for a very uncomfortable situation, but I don't pretend she is anything she's not, or that she's not anything that she is. I accept the fact that I don't choose who Julia loves nor does she choose who I love and I'm okay with that.
3.) You are not God. Commandments are for us to learn and apply to our lives so that we can be happy. I believe it is a commandment to not be in a homosexual relationship, but I also believe it is a commandment to not drink coffee! What do I do with this information? I don't get into a homosexual relationship, and I don't drink coffee. What do I NOT do with this information? I do not tell every gay person and every coffee drinker that they are going to hell. First of all that's just rude and second, I am not God. I will not be the one who decides Julia's eternal fate, so I shouldn't try to. Julia knows what I believe on the subject and she obviously disagrees. It will do me no good to bring it up to her constantly, it will only hurt a friendship.
There may be those Christians who feel like it is beneficial for them to distance themselves from "sinners" and they have that right, but they don't have the right to be rude, or cruel, or mocking. They can respectfully abstain from making friendships with people who differ from them.
As for me, I love Julia, and I love having her as a friend. I look back with great fondness on our piano recitals. I feel like I have gained a lot from my association with her and she has always been respectful of my beliefs.
I hope that this has been an adequate response to the question at hand. I welcome any more questions or feedback. May we all feel God's love for us, and in turn, show that love to ALL of our brothers and sisters.