Choosing Homosexuality

tim pawlenty

Tim Pawlenty

Is being gay something one chooses? Are we all capable of being gay or lesbian, but the better among us choose to be straight? Tim Pawlenty, former Minnesota governor and current candidate vying for the 2012 GOP nomination, was asked by David Gregory on NBC’s Meet the Press (since Pawlenty has shown himself to be so knowledgeable on Lady Gaga) if being gay is a choice, or if they’re “born this way.” Pawlenty’s answer was telling, “Well, the science in that regard is in dispute.”

And by “telling,” I mean it is now clear he has not read much on the science of homosexuality.

The American Psychiatric Association stopped classifying homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1973. Gay-cure or conversion therapy is condemned by the American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, and the American Counseling Association. Remember those gay penguins? The science is not still out on this one.

Republicans have a bad habit of deferring to science as an authority only when they wish to inject doubt (see: climate change, evolution, round Earth). This is a basic misunderstanding – if not misuse – of science. There are always more questions in science because that’s what science is: an intellectual systematic study – basically tons and tons of questions. So it will appear indecisive if your worldview demands certainty. There used to be unanswered questions about how bees could fly – but we still built legions of planes. On the other hand the “theory” of gravity is not controversial, but if you look hard enough there’s bound to be a crank somewhere disputing gravity on the basis of feeling that it’s wrong.

“Some reputable scientists are not 100 percent convinced gravity exists.”

We, as a culture, have decided we’re not going to practice the harems, plural marriages and incest the Christian Bible mentions and instead have opted for love-based non-arranged marriages as the ideal. Our mores are clearly flexible, but somehow the religious right has cherry-picked a hard line on homosexuality. Why? Pure politics.

In the same Meet the Press interview, Gregory described Pawlenty as a “boilerplate Republican.” Gay marriage was a boon to Republicans in the 2004 election. It gave George Bush the “political capital” to attempt social security privatization.

Now an Iowa group called Family Leader has a “marriage vow” pledge they’ve managed to get two GOP candidates (Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum) to sign. The pledge it’s a primer for plenty of proposed wedge issues: pornography, polygamy, adultery, women in combat, Sharia law and one we haven’t seen in more than 150 years – slavery.

Republicans embrace hot-button social issues as a way to get their disastrous economic policies passed. It’s like Three-Card Monte: while all eyes are on the two grooms – white-collar grand larceny gets decriminalized.

Why is it important for Republicans to insist homosexuality is a choice? Why even get into the logical snag of someone WANTING to WANT to be attracted to the same gender? Here’s why: If you can choose being gay, then homosexuality can be condemned as a moral shortcoming. And the immoral having the audacity to demand acceptance is the perfect rallying cry for the GOP base.

If you can’t choose to be gay, and it’s something you’re born with – then being against homosexual civil rights is just plan old-fashioned prejudice…something the rest of us choose to condemn as a moral shortcoming.

Tina DupuyThe easiest way to marginalize a group of people is to call their circumstances a “choice.” The poor? A choice. The under-paid? A choice. Drug addiction? A choice? Single motherhood? A choice. Each is arguably more complicated than this dismissive one-word declaration. However, if you disagree – you’re against personal responsibility! Yes, the GOP is the party of personal responsibility…unless it’s abortion rights or whom you wish to marry. Then the Government should save you from yourself.

The actual choice in this issue is choosing to deny science when it doesn’t fit your agenda. The actual choice is choosing to use a group of people who want to become a family as a political prop.

The choice is using “choice” as a way to parlay prejudice against a minority into ballot ink.

Tina Dupuy
Taking Eternal Vigilance Too Far

Comments

  1. Ryder says

    What is dishonest about this article is that it says that:

    “The American Psychiatric Association stopped classifying homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1973.”

    But it doesn’t say why…

    The reason why is that gays said that homosexuality is a choice… and argued “how can a lifestyle choice be a mental disorder?”

    If gays are changing their mind, and it’s not a choice… then I suppose we are stuck considering it a disorder again?

  2. Ryder says

    Let us not forget that it was gays that started the idea that homosexuality is a lifestyle choice… and in fact argued the point strenuously.

    I’m sure they would hope that people forget this fact… even better, they probably hope to blame it on someone else…

  3. Gregg A. Gold says

    @Joe,

    It might just be useful to cut through the smokescreen of “human rights” tied in with homosexual behaviour, and examine the hisotry of homosexual activism.

    First off, queers regularly disrupted APA meetings & conferences with intimidating and even threatening behaviour. The threats continued until the APA caved in in 1973 and removed homosexuality from their list of mental illnesses – not as a result of careful research and thoughtful deliberation of the facts – but because of queers making threats against individual APA members. Next came the fall of the AMA who suffered at the hands of the same militants. Then we had the birth of “pride” parades, with the participants taking the bedroom and putting it on the streets along with their demands for “equal rights.” Then we saw the upsurge of parks and other public places being used for queer sex after dark. After this we saw the appearance of AIDS and the beginning of a mounting death toll due to unprotected anal sex and the rapid spread of the viruses through homosexual bath houses. Bisexual men then transferred the virus to women who then passed it onto straight men. Pretty soon nobody was safe from a disease that started with deviant sexual practises almost exclusively among homosexual men.

    By the 1980s, homosexuals were the biggest ‘contributers” of AIDS, STDs and intestinal parasites in many major US cities, in spite of their small numbers. By the 1990s, homosexuals and lesbians were less healthy, lived shorter lives and suffered from more mental disorders and addiction problems than any other identifiable group. Even in countries such as Denmark & the Netherlands, perhaps the most tolerant nations on earth towards same-sex couples, mental illnesses, addition problems and high suicide rates were prevalent among queers.

    By the 1990s, “gay pride” became nothing more than a a freakshow, AIDS and STDs were still spreading among the GBLT “community” at a brisk pace, and if queers had enough political power to destroy your life if you dared to even disagree with them in public.

    Today, queers, trash churches, throw used condoms at catholic priests (pedophiles attacking pedophiles, go figure) “out” celebrities that they think are gay, drag their critics into “human rights” courts (Canada), demand access to our childrens classrooms, put same-sex ‘stories books” into school libraries, demand the deconstruction of marriage to include same-sex couples, and generally make complete asses of themselves at every gay “pride” freakshow.

    If you want an end to “homophobia,” then stop the heterophobia first.

    • Jack Black says

      …stop the heterophobia…

      Oh, that’s rich, Gregg. “Heterophobia.” I’m not afraid of heterosexuals, but I sure and sick of straight people like you trying to oppress gays.

      Just for the record, the APA removed homosexuality from their list of mental illnesses because, ready for this…? Homosexuality is NOT a mental illness! If it weren’t for bigots like you, it wouldn’t have taken so long to get the APA to admit it. These “militant” gays are fighting for their rights. That’s an all-American thing to do, as exhibited by our founders, women’s suffragists, and those who fought for civil rights.

      Having been squashed, insulted, attacked and oppressed for years, it’s not surprising that LGBT citizens exhibit outrageous behavior at their gay pride parades. So what? You don’t have to watch. Take your nosy and intrusive opinions somewhere else. Better yet, why not just look around at your workplace, church, neighborhood and family and you might notice a whole bunch of boring lesbians and gays who are just living their lives, working, raising kids, going to school, you know, living their regular old all American lives, just like the rest of us. You think gays are the only ones who have sex in public places? Do you think straight men as a whole have safe, responsible sex lives? Pffttt. Grow up. Child abuse and prostitution is mostly involves heterosexual men. It’s the straight men in Africa who initially spread HIV around. And they continue to spread it. The fastest increase of HIV infection in Africa is in girls under the age of 13. That means adult men with AIDS are raping young girls and transferring the virus. But people like you think it’s gays who act inappropriately. BTW, lesbians have the lowest incidence of HIV in this country. And in case you count as poorly as you think about politics, half of the homosexuals in country are lesbians, or maybe more. If lesbians have poorer health than straight women, it’s probably because bigots like you keep them from having equal rights and the respect they deserve in society.

      Almost everything we read or hear about in today’s society is about heterosexuals. Movies, books, news, history lessons, you name it, the stories revolve around straight people. Why shouldn’t gays have a pride parade to celebrate their lives? Perhaps another big eye opener for you is that gay pride attendees are a small subset of the LGBT community. As I said above, you may want to look around you to see if you notice that many of your colleagues, relatives and community members are lesbian or gay but you wouldn’t notice because they’re not going wild at a celebration.

      … queers, trash churches, throw used condoms at catholic priests (pedophiles attacking pedophiles, go figure) “out” celebrities that they think are gay, drag their critics into “human rights” courts (Canada), demand access to our childrens (sic) classrooms, put same-sex ‘stories books” into school libraries, demand the deconstruction of marriage to include same-sex couples…

      Where should I start with your scatterbrained scattershot complaints?

      Churches insult gays and use religion, especially misinterpretations of the Bible, to bash gays. Some churches encourage their members to denigrate gays and fight against their equal rights. No wonder gays and lesbians are fighting back.

      “Pedophiles attacking pedophiles” – lesbians and gays are not pedophiles. Some are, but not any higher percentage than heterosexual pedophiles. The vast majority of child sexual abuse crimes are committed by heterosexual men. You want to fix the world? Work on the abysmal problem of fathers raping their own daughters.
      “…demand access to our childrens (sic) classrooms…” Some of the kids in those classrooms are gays. They are citizens of this great country, their parents pay taxes just like you and me. Why shouldn’t they be allowed to have role models who are gay and lesbian? Why do bigots like you insist on forcing lesbians and gays into hiding? Are you afraid that if kids see they’re pretty much just like you and me that those kids might grow up accepting gays in society? Gee, if today’s kids don’t grow into bigots like you, won’t you feel like a jerk spending the rest of your life hating gays. Guess what, it’s too late.

      “…put same-sex ‘stories books” into school libraries…” Yeah, it’s just terrible that kids who have same sex parents might have one or two books about families like theirs in the school library. And straight kids might read about families like that, and maybe not tease kids of gay parents. That’s a bad thing? To stop oppression and bullying? Once again, people like you hope to hide reality from kids so that your obsession with hurting your fellow citizens won’t be exposed as the rampant bigotry that it is.

      “…demand the deconstruction of marriage to include same-sex couples…”
      Wow, “deconstruction of marriage.” That’s almost as silly as “heterophobia.” If marriage is falling apart, it’s because of the actions of straight people, not gays or lesbians. You should educate yourself on what traditional marriage really is. If God ordains marriage as blessed union of a man and woman who fall in love, get married with no prior sexual experience, have children and remain together into old age, then it took Him until about 50 years ago to arrive at that definition. In fact, traditional marriage was nothing like it is today. The tradition of marriage in the time of the Old Testament meant the man and his wife could have the same father. In the Bible, the patriarch of the Hebrew people, Abraham, and his wife, Sarah, couldn’t have children so Abraham had sex (and children) with the slave Hagar instead. Back then it was normal, sometimes even required for a man to take multiple wives. Polygamy was accepted by the church as late as the 5th Century, 500 years after the teachings set forth in the New Testament. The church for a very long time didn’t interpret biblical teaching as an edict for one-man, one-woman marriage. The Mormon Church encouraged polygamy until very recently, and only changed because our country’s laws governing marriage forced them to. Marriages through the 19th century were more like a form of slavery of women. Girls were transferred from their father’s ownership to their husband, without having the right to own property and make decisions about their own lives. Prior to the late 1950’s in this country, people of different races couldn’t even get married. The concept of marriage, and the civil side of marriage, have all evolved. Why can’t you? Divorce and welfare are both huge detractors from committed marriage, but the right wing isn’t doing anything to encourage men to marry and stay married to the mothers of their children. Instead, bigots are pretending to support marriage by preventing same sex couples from making civil, legal commitments. What a hoax. You and other homophobes are simply using the law to hurt people you don’t feel comfortable with.

      Personally, I don’t care if you hate gays, but this is my country too, and people like you will no longer be allowed to oppress lesbian and gay citizens with laws that bar them from full equality.

  4. Joe says

    Those who have homosexual preference or practice have the same human right as anyone else to engage in their preferred practice with other consenting adults and, if they wish, get their association recognized in law.

    Questions about whether homosexuality is a choice or not, or is sometimes a choice, or is a mix of the two, aren’t relevant to the basic human right shared by everyone.

    Joe Maizlish
    Los Angeles

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