Asking Politicians Whether Homosexuality Is a Choice

by Maggie Gallagher

Reporters are treating as a gaffe Ken Buck’s answer to a strange question popping up with increasing frequency: Do you think homosexuality is a choice? Okay, maybe it’s no more strange than asking politicians to weigh in on the theory of evolution. (I’m still waiting for presidential candidates to be asked whether they believe in string theory or not.)

There was nothing substantively wrong with Buck’s answer, which suggested that genetics and choice are interwoven (as he points out is true with alcoholism and many other things). The nature/nurture distinction is getting kind of blurry for those who are truly in the reality-based community.

But the alcoholism comparison gave the MSM a “hook” to inject homosexuality into the campaign, whether Buck likes it or not. I suggest the following answer to those who want to know a politician’s scientific theory on how sexual orientation develops:

“Do you think homosexuality is a choice?”

“I don’t think anyone knows for sure how an orientation develops. I do think we know how sex happens: People choose to do it, or not, according to their personal moral value systems. Twin studies are increasingly pointing away from genetics as the major explanation for same-sex attraction, and the answer to the question of how orientation develops may turn out to be different for different people, and for men and women. But we can safely leave the debate to scientists who are competent to conduct it. I hope we can all agree that we are all responsible for our own sexual behavior, whatever our orientation, and that in a free society under current conditions people are not going to all agree on the underlying moral values.”

Or something like that.