Though the couple remained together at first, several local Mormon leaders were not only unsympathetic, they also were openly hostile to the news.
Nicholson, who still was clinging to her LDS faith, wanted a place to share stories, cry, laugh and encourage. She turned to straightspouse.org, an umbrella organization for some 55 similar groups.
But she felt many of those posting there were bitter and just wanted to vent. So she launched straightspouses.org, which invites people to join a private Facebook support group.
Last fall, there were 14 members. Today there are 45, mostly Utah Mormons, but some in other states and other faiths.
Now the rest of the world is taking note of Mormon “mixed-orientation marriages,” as they have become known, thanks to a recent blog post in which Josh Weed and his wife, Lolly, told the story of their relationship.
Weed, a marriage and family therapist in the Northwest, has known he was gay since his teens, and Lolly was the first person he told. They’ve been married 10 years and have three daughters.
Weed’s post went viral, generating more than 3,000 comments, and he was inundated with media requests.
Yet if Josh and Lolly Weed have become the LDS’ best-known “mixed-orientation marriage,” the stories of other couples in similar circumstances show there is no single answer for every situation.
Just a few weeks before Weed’s revelation, a similar story was making the rounds in LDS circles when Ty Mansfield, a gay Mormon married to a woman, was featured on the May/June cover of LDS Living magazine.
In 2004, Mansfield wrote a section of the book “In Quiet Desperation: Understanding the Challenge of Same-Gender Attraction.” As a single man with same-sex attractions, he didn’t believe he would ever marry. Six years later, he met the woman who would become his wife.
“Sexuality is more fluid than we think,” Mansfield, a therapist in Texas, said in an interview. “Everything fell into place, and we took that step. It continues to feel like it’s the right move for me.”
Some Mormons are also becoming more open about their decisions.
When The Salt Lake Tribune profiled three mixed-orientation marriages in 2006, for example, the article included the Weeds. At the time, Josh Weed insisted on using a pseudonym.
“For 10 years, I felt strongly we needed to keep things quiet,” Weed said in an interview from his home in Auburn, Wash. “Then that changed. My wife voiced it first. We needed to be more authentic. It was time to tell our story.”
On the other hand, another gay man in The Tribune piece, who lives in the Midwest and used the pseudonym “Landon,” still guards his privacy.