Gay, Mormon and Happily Married with Children

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"If anything were to happen to Josh, it would be really hard to find someone that would be able to fulfill me in the way that he does, because what we have is truly something that I cherish," Lolly said. "I feel I am truly the most beautiful woman in the world to him, and when he says 'I wouldn't want any other woman, he really means it-- that he gave up something so core to show his love for God and for me."

Josh admits he is sexually attracted to men and not to women, but he said his Mormon beliefs are more important than his physical desires.

"I feel like I am being true to myself and that I have looked at these two components of who I am and for me it was a matter of mutual exclusivity," Josh said. "I had to choose one path or another and I simply had to know myself and know what I wanted for me well enough to make the choice that would be best for my life and best for what I wanted for myself."

"Battering Ram" For Other Families

The Weeds' once-secret life is now an open book. Josh's blog post quickly went viral -- it currently has over 3,700 comments and has been re-posted by other blogs -- and set off a firestorm of debate within both the Mormon church and the gay community.

Because Josh has a private practice as a licensed marriage and family therapist associate, many critics of his lifestyle are concern that he is trying to "change" gay men and convince them that a "straight" lifestyle is possible.

Josh maintains he does not believe in trying to change someone's sexual orientation, and said he believes trying to do so can be very damaging. The Weeds also said they did not come forward so that their story could be used as an example of how others should live their lives.

"I'm very, very wary of the idea of other family members or other influential people in individual's lives using our story as a kind of battering ram against other people's behavior or choices." Josh said.

But John Dehlin, a fellow Mormon who studies and writes about members of his religion who are facing conflicts and questions about their faith, warns that the Weeds' story is harming others struggling with homosexuality.

"The church had made a very clear statement and everyone should know this, that straight marriage is not an answer to same-sex attraction," Dehlin said. "That people should not engage in marriages like this, in the hopes that their same-sex attractions will go away."

Dehlin, who produces a popular podcast that shares stories about Mormons struggling with issues of faith, said he has received emails from mothers who have asked their gay sons why they can't live like Josh.

"Using religion or spirituality as a way to manage your sexual orientation, by being extra righteous, or extra faithful, as a way to sort of suppress those feelings, or control yourself, is the most damaging way to cope with your same-sex attraction," he said.

Russ Gorringe said he is living proof that being gay and attempting to marry and live a heterosexual lifestyle leads to heartbreak. The Utah man said he was married for 25 years to a woman, raised four children, and was even a member of Evergreen International, a group that worked to "convert" Mormons who are gay.

Gorringe said he finally stopped living a lie 14 years ago when his struggle with homosexuality became too much to bear, and he attempted suicide during a family vacation.

Gorringe eventually divorced his wife, and is now openly gay. He said he thought he could overcome his homosexuality, but after decades of struggle, decided he wasn't being fair to himself or his wife.

"I believed that someday, if I was faithful, God would bless me," Gorringe said, "but I found that I had to live a life of integrity. I deserved to be happy, and so did she."

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