Can They Be That Different?

One thing that confuses me about the whole same-sex marriage debate is the supposition that homosexuals are so different than heterosexuals. I don’t mean from the point of view that their sexual preferences are different. Rather, it is the view that homosexuality is a choice and that is the reason it is so “bad” that I don’t understand.

(Let me say that I don’t think that homosexuality is wrong regardless of whether it is a choice or not. I think people should be able to do what they wish as long as they don’t infringe on my right and ability to do what I wish.)

What I mean is that to view homosexuals as having a choice in their orientation is to some how think that their brain works completely differently than heterosexuals. And I mean differently in the sense that, as a heterosexual, I don’t feel I have a choice as to what gender I am attracted to. I am attracted to women, plain and simple. I didn’t choose to be attracted to women. That’s just the way I’m “wired”. However, it seems that the anti-same-sex marriage people believe that homosexuals are completely different and do have a choice. They aren’t wired to be attracted to the same sex, they choose to be.

It is this double standard I find confusing. And I don’t quite see why the gay community doesn’t point this out. It might be that they feel that it shouldn’t matter if it is a choice or not, they should have the rights to live the way they wish. And I can respect that.

But, I think that most people who are “anti-gay” are that way mostly because they fear things they do not understand, things that don’t make sense to them. When couched in this way, that their preferences are hard wired to some extent (just like mine are), I think some people at least would drop their opposition. It might not be for the right reasons, in some sense, but it might make things a little bit easier.

I personally believe that it won’t be long until it is definitely demonstrated that sexual orientation is very strongly genetic and that we have little “choice” in the matter. But, I am also of the camp that most of our personality is determined by genetics. There was a very interesting article in the last Scientific American about how our level of happiness is at due in part (about 50%) to genetics. I think that we will find that much of who each of us is comes to a great extent from our genes.

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