A new TLC special may give “Sister Wives” some competition. In January, the network will air “My Husband’s Not Gay,” which shows a different kind of Mormon marriage: men who are attracted to other men yet marry women because of their faith.
A sneak peek at the reality special aired this week. The 90-second clip showed three married couples and one single man. The men do not refer to themselves as gay or homosexual. Instead they say they have “same-sex attraction,” or SSA. The special takes place in Salt Lake City. It airs Jan. 11 at 10 p.m. EST.
“I’m attracted to my wife for sure,” one man says in the clip, “and I’m definitely attracted to men too.” The special is anchored on the premise that as long as the men do not act on their inclinations, they remain faithful to the church's tenets.
According to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, homosexuality is a sin that goes against God’s law. Marriage is between a man and a woman. It is an eternal bond that exists on Earth and in heaven. This relationship is how Mormons reach the highest levels of heaven.
“We are not anti-gay. We are pro-family,” Gordon B. Hinckley, the late president of the LDS Church, said in a 2008 interview about the church’s stance on gay marriage. The church was one of the major religious organizations that fought for Proposition 8 in California to eliminate same-sex marriage.
In a separate statement, Hinckley, who died in 2008, said the church loves “so-called gays and lesbians” like “sons and daughters of God.” However, they have “certain inclinations” that if acted upon violate church doctrine and will be “subject to discipline.”
LGBT Mormons who want to remain aligned with church teachings refer to their feelings as same-sex attraction. This term is not exclusive to the Mormon Church; the Catholic Church and evangelical denominations use it as well.
Ahead of the special’s Jan. 11 premiere, meet the cast of “My Husband’s Not Gay”:
Jeff and Tanya
Jeff, a Salt Lake City native, and Tanya, who grew up in Wyoming, met on a blind date 13 years ago. They have been married for 10 years and have a 6-year-old son. According to their bio, they are “committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ” and believe a happy marriage is achieved through “honest communication, experiencing new things together and working together on fun projects.”
Pret and Megan
Lifelong Mormons Pret and Megan met in Sunday school nearly two decades ago. They have been married for almost nine years. They have two daughters: a 3-year-old and a newborn.
Curtis and Tera
High school sweethearts Curtis and Tera have been married for 20 years and have four children. Born and raised in the Mormon Church, they say faith and family are priorities.
Tom is the sole cast member who is single. The 35-year-old Idaho native and lifelong member of the LDS Church is looking to marry a woman. According to TLC, the special will show him on a blind date where he faces the decision to tell the woman about his same-sex attraction.