Sexual orientation is innate....
Jonathan Kay has a terrific op-ed in the National Post today on being gay....
It's worth pointing out, at this point, that no one knows for sure what causes homosexuality. There is no known "gay gene." According to the American Psychological Association (APA), rather, "most scientists today agree that sexual orientation is most likely the result of a complex interaction of environmental, cognitive and biological factors." But whatever the cause, sexual orientation becomes part of one's identity no less than skin colour or sex. (The APA has declared that sexual orientation is "not changeable.") Not surprisingly, the "ex-gay" men who find Christ and declare themselves "cured" of homosexuality usually wind up not so "ex" in the long run. As others have noted, the truest test of a person's claimed belief that a gay man can be turned straight is whether he would let such a convert marry his own daughter. (If there's a reader out there who can pass that test, I'd like to hear from him. I'm talking to you, Dexter38.)I totally agree. I knew early on that I was 'different'. High school was a torment since my friends just couldn't stop talking about girls, and I just had no interest. It was a very lonely time since I had no one to talk to. And, there was no support structure back in the 70s for gay people. A gay society only started at Concordia University in my last year there.
All this should be fairly obvious to anyone who grew up with even a few gay acquaintances. I did have one university friend who, after a bad breakup with a lothario boyfriend, tried to turn lesbian as a political statement. (Surprise, surprise: It's didn't last.) But the gay men I know typically acknowledged their homosexuality reluctantly, and only after years of guilt, confusion and social terror in their high-school years. The idea that these specimens "turned gay" voluntarily -- or that they could reverse their God-given lust thrusters 180 degrees as a matter of conscious will--is laughable.
I say all this not to make fun of religious types. But speaking selfishly as a secularized conservative, I do find their line of free-will argumentation slightly embarrassing. It furthers the unfortunate stereotype of conservatives as being out-of-touch with anyone outside society's mainstream (narrowly defined). It also bespeaks a mindset that privileges dogma above empirical observation, an accusation usually reserved for the left.
In some cases, culture wars have clear winners. That's what's happened with homosexuality: The love that dared not speak its name a half-century ago has now been normalized to the point of banality. Conservatives should concede liberals this victory and move on. Advancing dubious theories of homosexuality's origins may help Christians keep their faith in God's existence. But on the political stage, the tactic merely undermines the right's credibility.
Homosexuality is innate and it cannot be changed. I hope more social conservatives will hear Jonathan Kay's message.