For some reason, I had the idea that only Mormons get caught up in mixed-orientation marriages and that only Mormons are backwards enough to not realize they are gay until after getting married. I stated rather strongly in a previous post that the Mormon church's stance on homosexuality created an environment in which I could not accept that I was gay. I still believe that is largely true, however, watching "Milk" last week helped me realize that a homophobic environment is not unique to Mormonism, but permeates much of society. Of course, growing up behind the Zion curtain, Mormonism and society were nearly synonymous, still that does not mean that homophobia doesn't thrive outside of Mormonism.
According to Wikipedia, homosexual acts have only been legal nationwide since 2003 and legally recognized same-sex unions can be formed in only twelve states and the District of Columbia. None of these relationships, however, are recognized under federal law. The federal government of the United States does not recognize the marriages of same-sex couples and is prohibited from doing so by the Defense of Marriage Act. Same-sex marriages are currently granted by only five of the 50 states. There are no federal protections for discrimination against people based on sexual orientation, although discrimination based on sexual orientation is banned in 20 states, and has recently been included in the federal hate crimes law (since 2009).
While I was seeking to learn more about MOMs, I stumbled across this site: http://www.marriedgay.org/. According to this non-LDS affiliated site, it is actually not that uncommon for a gay man to get married. Although the man often may have suspected he is gay, many married gay men have not been able to accept their full sexuality and do not consciously know they are gay. Often these men will have a mid-life crisis in the 40's or 50's when they finally accept their homosexuality. I probably shouldn't have been, but I was very surprised to learn that there are non-Mormon Mixed-Orientation Marriages. Many married gay men who aren't Mormons still want their marriages to work.
From the GLBTQ encyclopedia:
Many factors influence a couple's decision to stay together or separate: their ages; personalities; their level of sexual openness; the degree to which they are invested in eah other financially, emotionally, and psychologically; and their belief system or religious views.The www.marriedgay.org site also has a links page with support resources for married gay men. I was surprised at the vast number of resources to support married gay men. According to this New York Times article:
Many of the thousands of heterosexually married individuals who identify as homosexual do not want to lead what they think of (sometimes based on stereotypes) as a gay or lesbian lifestyle.
Moreover, many of them delight in the domestic pleasures of married life and the partnerships they have formed with their spouses, and cannot bear the thought of losing the companionship and nurturance of their partners.
Typically, gay spouses who want to remain in the marriage do so for one good reason: they love their straight spouses.
Of the 27 million American men currently married . . . 1.6 percent, or 436,000, identify themselves as gay or bisexual. Of the 75 million men who have ever been married, 1.8 percent, or 1.3 million, identify themselves that way. But, in both cases, when the men are asked about behavior if they have ever had sex with men, not what they consider their sexual orientation, the number of men who have ever been married doubles.I guess with so many of us, there should be resources out there. I knew about LDS affiliated sites, but not the non-LDS affiliated sites, like GAMMA (Gay & Married Men's Association) or the Straight Spouse Network.
So, LDS and non-LDS affiliated support sites for married homosexuals, have you found any of them to be particularly helpful (or unhelpful) on your journey and for your MOM? How?