A Mormon couple from Utah insists they are happily married — even though she is straight and he is gay.
Skyler Sorensen, 25, and his wife Amanda, also 25, are in a ‘mixed-orientation’ relationship, but Skyler says that his sexual attraction to men isn’t really a big deal, and it’s not even the greatest struggle in their marriage.
His homosexuality doesn’t even stop the couple from having sex – although he admits that their sexual attraction was only achieved after plenty of ‘trial and error and a lot of practice’.
‘We have our struggles of course, like every marriage, but me being gay hasn’t been … the biggest issue in our marriage. It’s been communication, normal marriage things,’ he told the New York Post.
Skyler, a film student at Brigham Young University, and Amanda, who is on hiatus from Utah Valley University, met less than five years ago when they were assigned to the same congregation in Salt Lake City.
They were friends for six months first before getting romantically involved.
Skyler was up front about his sexuality from the beginning, but also made it clear that even though he was gay, he also wanted to marry a woman.
‘He grew up always knowing that he was never going to be with a guy,’ Amanda said. ‘That was always his conviction and his belief and his desire.’
‘I’ve always pictured this realization of family in my life: marrying a woman, having children, raising those children,’ Skyler added.
Starting a family has not been an easy road for the couple, who tragically lost their baby son Milo last year after he was born at just 24 weeks, and died less than a month later.
Mormons believe ‘celestial marriage’ — between a man and woman — is ‘essential to exaltation.’
‘In order to obtain the highest degree in the celestial kingdom, a man and a woman must enter into the new and everlasting covenant of marriage,’ the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints explains.
So to make sure their marriage would work — given their special circumstances —the couple enlisted the help of a counselor, Dr. Ty Mansfield, who specializes in mixed-orientation marriages.
Dr. Mansfield sees a lot of patients with same-sex attraction who are also Mormon, and said that while some do best to remain celibate, others can happily marry the opposite sex and achieve ‘authentic sexual expression’ by nurturing a ‘personal, spiritual bond.’
‘That sexual attraction came from, I mean, trial-and-error and a lot of practice,’ Skyler said.
He says it may even be more appropriate to call him a ‘demisexual,’ someone who feels sexual attraction after forming an emotional bond.
Amanda admitted that ‘sometimes’ she wishes her husband wasn’t gay, but she doesn’t want to be with anyone else.
She also recognizes that things are difficult for Mormons who are gay or lesbian, but she and Skyler want them to know that they can still marry someone of the opposite sex.
Skyler certainly seems to be happy with his lot, and made the case for mixed-orientation marriage on Twitter earlier this year.
‘Being in a mixed-orientation marriage is like going to Disneyland and having some people tell you you’d be better off at Six Flags,’ he said. ‘Six Flags may have more rollercoasters, but it’ll never beat the happiest place on earth.’