I’m getting really tired of this nature vs. nurture debate when discussing homosexual rights. It’s always interesting to investigate the origins of human behavior, and occasionally something is found to be purely genetic, but I suspect that sexuality, like many human attributes, has a complex mix of biological and non-biological causes. That doesn’t piss me off. What pisses me off is the insistence by right wing religious cults on “proving” that homosexuality is a choice.
Sexuality phenotype is a tough concept if you really think about it. The harder you try to nail down the difference between “gay” and “straight” phenotypes, the slipperier the concept becomes.
When we try to judge people by whom they love, or by whom they choose to have sex with, there are some problems other than the obvious one of “IT’S NONE OF YOUR GOD DAMNED BUSINESS.” Sure, there are some people who appear to be really, really gay, or really, really straight, but what does that really, really mean?
If someone identifies themselves as “gay”, and only has sexual relationships with people of the same gender, they may still love people of the other gender. What makes each type of love different? There are plenty of intimate partner relationships that are sexless—does that make the relationship more or less gay or straight? On which relationships do we judge someone’s sexuality phenotype?
This is where religious cultists such as evangelical Christians (the most prominent and influential cult in the U.S.) are poisoned by their own ideology. Cultists are “splitters”—you’re one of us, or you’re one of them, but you must pick sides. Subtlety is scornful, perhaps even sinful. So everyone must be a particular religion, have a particular belief about abortion, and have a specific type of sexuality. You can’t be “kinda sometimes gay” or “anti-abortion, but sort of pro-choice too”. You also can’t be a proper cult member and accept the scientific view of biology.
This is where the science becomes less important. The origins of human sexuality are interesting, but completely irrelevant when discussing civil rights. It doesn’t matter whether someone is born gay or straight—each of us is equally deserving of civil and human rights, independent of the specifics of our race, gender, sexuality. People who are focused on the “choice” of homosexuality are about to “choose” to deprive others of their rights. If science were to identify the “gay” gene on the short arm of chromosome 4, they would simply start to oppress homosexuals before they are born. (Imagine the debate behind the closed doors of the churches regarding abortion and a “gay” gene that can be identified in utero.)
The “biology of gay” debate is, and has always been a steaming bucket of crap designed to allow people to be bigots. No matter the ultimate answer (and I don’t think there is one), the people asking the question have only one conscious desire—to control others and deprive them of basic human rights.