Gay, Mormon and Happily Married with Children
Father says he is sexually attracted to men, but Mormon faith more important.
SEATTLE, July 19, 2012— -- Josh and Laurel "Lolly" Weed seem to have it all -- three beautiful kids, a wonderful home and a deep and unflinching devotion to their Mormon faith.
But on their tenth wedding anniversary this summer, they decided it was time to unleash a secret so sensitive, so personal, they weren't sure what the church's reaction would be.
"I just thought, 'he is wanting to be more authentic about this part of his life,'" Lolly said, and remembered telling her husband, "I think you need--you want, to be more open about this."
So in a 6,000-word posting on Josh's website, a blog written mostly for friends and family, the Weeds announced to the world that Josh was gay.
"I am gay, I am Mormon, I am married to a woman. I am happy every single day. My life is filled with joy. I have wonderful sex life. All of these things are true whether your mind allows you to believe them or not," Josh wrote.
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This is where a seemingly normal family turns into a social experiment that challenges what it means to be a faithful member of the Mormon church, what it means to be gay and live in a heterosexual marriage.
Weed's announcement has also touched off a debate among other gay Mormons, who see The Church Of Latter Day Saints slowly evolving on the issue of homosexuality. Some worry that this unorthodox couple is sending a dangerous message to other families dealing with gay loved ones that living a "straight" lifestyle is possible.
Josh and Laurel have known each other since they were 4 years old. Josh said he also knew something else at an early age -- that he is gay.
Josh said he first came out to his parents when he was 13 years old and that both parents were supportive and promised to love him, no matter what decision he made for himself. Three years later, he revealed his sexuality to Lolly.
As they grew up, Josh and Lolly said they realized they were the best friends who couldn't stand to be apart. They decided that Josh being gay wouldn't be an obstacle in their relationship and the couple began dating in high school. They said they then began discussing the possibility of spending the rest of their lives together.
"It was just like a progression to where I started thinking that I didn't want anybody else," Lolly said, "The thought of marrying somebody else and having it not be Josh was painful to me."
In 2002, after both had returned from two-year-long Mormon missions, Josh and Lolly were married in a private wedding inside the Church of Latter Day Saints Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah.
A wedding inside a Mormon temple is a religious ceremony considered so sacred, only close family members in good standing in the Mormon church are allowed to attend.
By now several members of both families knew Josh's secret. Lolly said some of her relatives and friends approached her, concerned over what would happen on their wedding night. Lolly said she even became physically ill during the wedding reception.
"Some of them were confused because they were like, 'did you go into this thinking you were just going to have a platonic relationship?'" she said.
But after a decade of marriage, the Weeds said their sex life is "great."
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