My Husband Thinks Homosexuality Is A Choice

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

I don’t remember how the conversation started, exactly. It had something to do with the picture I chose to use in this post, although I’m not sure how the road turned from there to here.

We were lying beside each other in the darkness, a momentary silence resting between us that seemed to be weighted with doubts and assumptions and questions never asked because you thought you knew the answers.

“Did you vote against Proposition 2?”

“What? Of course not,” he assured me. And then, as if he needed to make clear his motives, “I believe in the separation of church and state.”

(Edited: he voted AGAINST Prop 2. This was a typo on my part. He voted to NOT take away the rights of gay couples.)

I sensed there was something more to that. Some ugly chasm between us that was just now flirting beneath the surface of our dialogue. “And?”

“And what? It’s none of my business what people do. It’s not my job to judge.” I felt him straining to escape the conversation.

“What is there to judge?”

“Britt, you know what I mean. Let’s not talk about it. It doesn’t matter if I think it’s wrong. I do things all the time that are wrong.”

“You think it’s wrong to be gay?”

“It’s not what I believe. You think Jews are wrong, right? I mean you don’t judge, but you think what they believe is wrong because of what you believe.”

“Actually, no. I don’t. It’s not what I believe, but I believe that fully aware that I could be very, very wrong. And who the hell am I to say what’s right or wrong? But that’s not the point. You can’t compare choosing a religious doctrine to being gay. You make a choice about what you believe.”

“Yeah, well…”

The conclusion to that sentence hung between us in the night, taunting us to come closer and confirm its existence. I sat up and leaned closer to it to get a better look. He got up and walked into the bathroom in an attempt to make it go away. I called into the darkness after him.

“Jared, do you think being gay is a choice?”

“Yeah, so what if I do?”

My faith in our sameness unraveled with the ferocity of a broken spring. The oxygen ran from my body as quickly as my confidence. I couldn’t understand how this could be.

He couldn’t understand why it mattered. Why I was so upset.

I made the comparison to racism.

His honor and sense of justice flared at the implication.

I tried not to cry.

He struggled to comprehend why I would be so angry and how I could paint him in such an ugly light.

I forced myself to breathe normally and lower my voice. I stopped using words like angry and focused on disappointed and confused. I reminded him that I loved him and we settled back into the pillows together.

We let the conversation dropped and pretended to sleep.

How can this be? How can my husband, the man I know and love, think being gay is some kind of sin? A bad choice that people make?

I was reminded of the people I grew up with who lived with raging prejudices against blacks. Good people. Kind people. Loving people who were crippled with bigotry simply because they didn’t know any better.

It had never occurred to me that my husband could be suffering from the same kind of ignorance.

Again, the answers danced just out of reach in the darkness. I knew where it was coming from, and I knew that acknowledging it would mean putting words to my own conflicts.

He’s trying to be a good Christian. You know what those passages in the Bible say.

I know. I know. But I remember Gary struggling to come out.. I’ve talked to Paul. I know Sharon and Deborah and – no. This is not something they “chose” anymore than I “chose” to be straight. And they are not wrong. Who they are is not wrong.

But the Bible says…

Then the Bible is wrong!

My heart stopped.

Although I only said the words inside the solitude of my own head, they rang so loudly that I could have sworn they echoed around the room. I braced myself. For what, I’m not sure. But nothing came. Nothing except a peace, a quiet relief that I had faced it and owned it and would no longer have to dance along the outskirts of it anymore.

Being gay is not a choice, no matter what the Bible said. I was prepared to deal with what that said about my faith.

I spoke with my mom the next morning and confessed my revelation to her. She comforted me with another simple truth. “I read the letters in red.” And that helped.

And still… my husband. My husband who would practice tolerance but still carried the philosophy of loving “in spite of”. A man who would practice his own brand of kindness by offering to simply look away.

And I realized that that is where our society is failing. This is why we have Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. This is why we “leave it up to the states”. Our decency tells us not to condemn, the basic goodness in us ensures that we won’t stand for violence. But our inability to wholly accept leaves us with the 21st century version of Jim Crow Laws.

Separate, but not equal.

Not openly condemning, but quietly looking away.

I guess, at least, I know now where to start.
—————————————————————-
Today’s contribution to The Guest Post Challenge can be found here: Why Angie & I Are Better Than You (A Whole Lotta Nothing)

I’m also talking about how to prevent daycare drop off meltdowns at Work It, Mom!

AND, Clearly, You’re Retarded is LIVE on TalkShoe at 9pm EST tonight discussing Internet Addiction. How much is too much? Click here for show details.

OK. That’s it. Feel free to comment about homosexuality not being a choice…. now.

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  1. avitable says:

    Having seen Jared in person when he gets into a conversation like that with you, it’s hilarious that he physically does strain to escape as he regrets what he said but then keeps digging the hole with a look of horror on his face like he can’t believe he’s continuing to talk.

  2. Ren says:

    This is why I chose to be a straight, white male. It just seemed easier.

  3. Karoli says:

    My husband voted for Prop 8 too. We have been married for 20 years, agree on nearly nothing political, and yet have managed to keep the peace. Until Prop 8. It was the most disappointed I have ever been with him. I don’t know if he thinks being gay is a choice or not. I know that he let himself be swayed by the fear-based lies that the Yes proponents threw out there, and my civil rights argument went straight past him into the darkness somewhere.

    It’s taken me the better part of a week to forgive my usually-smart husband for being so stupid. I totally empathize.

  4. whall says:

    I’m not intending to stir up a hornet’s nest, and I already know the hate that will spew towards me just for asking, but I ask honestly. You might think I ask ignorantly and I’ll grant that, because I’m probably too much like Jared for your tastes. But here goes.

    Are pedophiles making a choice, or are they born that way?

  5. Bonnie B. says:

    My husband and I have disagreed over many things over 26 years, and openly joke about cancelling each other’s vote at election time. It’s tough. But Jared is entitled to his opinion, just as you are entitled to yours. You feel yours is “the truth” but so does he. It will be a measure of your strength of character if you can continue to love and support this man and his differing opinion, rather than abandoning him because of it.

  6. Kelley says:

    We have come so far as a society, but we still have a long way to go. Those long held beliefs, although they hurt us to know that our loved ones hold them, will dissipate through the generations.

    Like a black guy as president.

    Lets hope it doesn’t take that long.

  7. Suebob says:

    Well, sometimes it IS a choice. I have a female friend who was raped twice during her teens and never felt comfortable having sex with men after that. But she found that having sex with women was fun and she has been living as a lesbian ever since. She WASN’T “born that way.” But so freaking what? It does not matter. Why should anyone get to take away her right to be happy in HER OWN PERSONAL PRIVATE SEX LIFE? What would the world gain by taking her happiness away from her?

    (I do agree that in 99.99 percent of cases, homosexuality is innate from birth. But I argue that, either way, it is no one else’s bidness).

  8. Amanda says:

    This is directed towards Wayne, I suppose. I think pedophiles are not generally born that way, considering most of them were molested or abused as children, so it’s a sick cycle. Even if they were, though, there’s a huge difference. Being gay does not harm anybody. At all. It is love between two consenting people. Pedophiles abuse children, which clearly is harmful.
    So I don’t find your comparison to be equal.

    I’m thankful my boyfriend and I agree on pretty much everything politically/morally.

  9. Ok, I’m putting on my asbestos suit before this one:

    Homosexuality may be a choice, it may not be. We’ll probably never know, and we definitely shouldn’t care.

    The only people who *DO* care are those invested in restricting the rights and free-will of others.

    The bible is an interesting collection of rules assembled when we were eight hairs away from baboons.

    Like any set of rules, they must be updated to keep with the times. I suspect this particular set of rules is ready for a re-write.

  10. Prop 8 passed here in California, in part due to my own conservative husband’s vote.

    The next day I saw a preview for the movie “MILK” and cried tears of vicarious pain when the Harvey Milk character yelled, “All men are created equal. No matter how hard you try, you can’t erase that. That is what America is.”

    We are all entitled to our opinion and for God’s sake, our vote. But that sure as hell doesn’t make it simple.

  11. whall says:

    Before too much is assumed, I am not making a comparison of homosexuality and pedophilia. I am only asking how far the “born that way” goes.

    So before someone posts on their blog “whall thinks homos are kiddie rapists!” or something, please just think about the question as it is without anything added to it.

    I’m glad Amanda responded so graciously and reminded me that I should’ve put the disclaimer out there.

  12. Patrick D. says:

    I’m speaking here just to Miss Britt, concerning your revelation about the Bible. You’ve just opened your mind to a bigger world. Congratulations. Keep going.

  13. when someone says they believe it was a choice, i always ask them when did they choose to not to be gay?

    I believe strongly god creates life and god created gays and non gays

    i am straight but never narrow!! BY CHOICE

    think it’s hard living in a straight world? try being straight living in a gay world~~it will change any homopho mind in a new york minute

  14. rebturtle says:

    Here’s an interesting and somewhat parallel thought, and I don’t mean to de-rail the conversation. Think of how difficult it is/would be to be *openly* Agnostic or Atheist in this Christian-dominated society. There is an immense amount of peer-pressure to conform (much like heterosexualism).

    The difference, IMO is that religion is a choice. At least it should be. It is one that should not be taken lightly, either. It is better to be honest with yourself and find the religion that you truly believe than to try to make the popular one fit you. Every Christian denomination tries to “interpret” the Bible differently in order to make it palpable. Focus on this, ignore that, etc.

    Homosexuality, however, is something that I wholeheartedly believe is involuntary. Some people are born with certain chemical/hormone imbalances, and others are severely traumatized. Either way, shunning them to the fringes of society is a ridiculous factor of allowing our fears and/or prejudices to overpower our rational thoughts.

    I truly respect those that stand proudly against the majority for what they believe in. It is the harder road to travel, but more rewarding. I think that as a nation we are making progress, but like racism this still has several generations to go as the more progressive and tolerant youths gradually displace their parents.

    Your husband would probably have agreed with you if he thought God wasn’t listening. ;)

  15. Watch Backpacking Dad roll all seminary-school style and do some Biblical interpretation without being anywhere near a bible….

    Although the scripture is an injunction to “not do” something (lie with man as with woman) that is not, in itself, an assertion that homosexuality is (a) a choice or (b) wrong. There are very few places I can think of where an act of THOUGHT or something internal is prohibited; the only one I can think of off-hand is the prohibition against COVETING your neighbor’s wife. This section doesn’t need to be read as a prohibition against being attracted to the same sex. And it may not even be a prohibition for those who ARE attracted to the same sex; maybe it’s directed at heterosexual men and women, instructing them to not be something that they are not, or act in a way contrary to how they are. At the very least it is not a direct suggestion that homosexuality is a choice, and certainly not that it is a choice for everyone who would engage in homosexual behaviour.

    I guess all I’m saying is that you can have that passage and not be committed to the belief that homosexuality is a choice.

    And that’s why fundamentalists hate philosophers.

  16. Cris says:

    I made that mistake. Talking to an old friend of mine I said something about him making the homo-choice and I was all in favor of not stoning his ass. Of course I knew he lived in Texas and would be returning home once he was sober enough to drive… so you know… my kids were fairly safe.

    But my old buddy tells me in a very tired and pained voice that the correct term was sexual orientation. Being gay was not a choice. There was no way in hell he would choose to be shunned by his family and called a deviant. He lives with threats to physical harm, and different treatment in the workplace (did I mention he lived in Texas?) So, he was gay not by choice but was wired that way.

    Naturally, in all my my wisdom I stood by my friend, who had just poured out his fears and phobias before a room of old classmates. I slowly sipped my drink then said, “Nawww I don’t buy it. It’s gotta be a choice.”

    Yeah, I have relived that conversation in wincing memories and died the death of embarrassment 1,000 times. Once I had time to process it, to think it over and consider that people feel different things than I do, I realized I was wrong. He was right. I was a fool. I showed it quite well in that crowded little room of friends.

    Jared got off pretty freakin lucky if you ask me!! Only his wife realized his mistake and we all know what is said in the bedroom stays in the bedroom. Right?

  17. Robin says:

    Wow. I agree with Cris – he did get off lucky…but that’s between you and Mr. Britt. :)

    I find that every time I confront someone who has some sort of prejudice, whether it’s racial or sexual (i.e. sexism), it always stems from some sort of misplaced insecurity. In terms of the homosexual prejudice, I don’t know…either way, I am a firm believer that all that stuff starts at home. It’s up to us as parents (as I talk about my non-existent children…hee!) to teach our children tolerance…..and REAL tolerance. Not the tolerance that we think is acceptable.

    ::shrugs::

  18. Robin – Tolerance is the wrong word. To tolerate something is to put up with something you otherwise wouldn’t.

    We need to teach ACCEPTANCE. Everyone will be who they will be, and it’s just plain not our decision.

  19. In Jared’s defense, he said he thought it was a choice, not a sin or a bad choice. So there’s that. You are painting him in a bad light when you take something he said and make it worse. (Unless he actually did say those things, then I will eat my words)

    Secondly, I do believe the majority of gay people did not choose to be gay – that they ended up that way as Suebob described or it was innate. But some of them? Are totally just ‘trying it on,’ so to speak.

    This is really a huge fucking question for 3 a.m. I’m going back to bed.

  20. jester says:

    I don’t want to be “tolerated.” I don’t want to be “accepted.” Or coddled, or managed, or handled.

    I want everyone to leave me and my relationship the fuck alone.

    You choose what shirt you’re going to wear every morning.

    You choose the chicken or the fish at dinner.

    You do NOT choose the cowlick on your forehead, or the particular shade of green in your eyes.

    I did not choose to be gay. And for any of you out there who continue to insist that it is a choice, I want you to think for just a moment about the utter torture you put your secretly gay children through. Your nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers, sisters…

    Don’t you think if I could make a different choice, an easier choice, I would do that?

    Do you think I CHOOSE to align myself with a group that is discriminated against, deemed second-class, or beaten and left to die on a fence post in Wyoming?

    I want to respond to Whall, as well… I know you made a disclaimer, but part of the problem in this country is the automatic jump from the word “gay” to “pedophile.” If you check the statistics, a vast majority of pedophiles are actually heterosexual males who offend against both male and female children.

    The fact that homosexual traits are observable in very young children who are not yet aware of sexuality should be proof enough that being gay is determined before birth.

    Also observe the statistics on homosexual identical twins. It happens way more often than not.

    Nothing in your Bible can dispute that.

  21. Sarah says:

    I watched this awesome documentary about this hate-filled church in Kansas (called Fall From Grace) and one of the openly gay Pasters said something that I like.

    He said that the ‘homosexuality’ that is referred to in the Bible is not the homosexuality that is known today. It was the pedophilic homosexuality that is condemned in the Bible because the other kind didn’t exist because it was accepted that Men went to bath houses to do what they wanted and then went home at the end of the day.

    It’s much better explained in the documentary.

    Anyhoo..that’s what I believe the Bible is referring to when it’s referring to condemning homosexuality, because that kind? It’s wrong no matter what you believe.

  22. RW says:

    The right answer is that it shouldn’t matter.

  23. Miss Britt says:

    I want to clarify here that Jared is NOT a bad guy. He voted AGAINST taking away gay rights and his point was actually that that is all that should matter. That it didn’t matter WHAT he thought – it was none of his business.

    MY point was that that kind of thinking is the underlying problem that is preventing gay Americans from receiving full protection under the law and being recognized as true equals. I think it’s important to understand it’s not a choice in order to see the need for that equality (in much the same way skin color is not a choice).

    avitable: it was dark – but yes, I’m pretty sure there was that look.

    Ren: and that’s my argument.

    Karoli: it’s easy to think that it’s bigots and fundamentalists who carry those beliefs on. It gets more complicated when you realize good people hold some of those same fears.

    whall: I happen to have a lot of respect and admiration for Jared, so you’re good there. ;-)

    My answer to that is: a) a horrible comparison to draw as Amanda and Jester point out and b) in all honesty, I haven’t seen ANY science or personal experience with that at all so anything I would throw out here would be just personal opinion with obvious bias. The same can’t be said for homosexuality.

    Bonnie B.: I don’t think it’s a measure of my strength or character. I know him. I love him. He is my husband. I know who he is as a whole and I know he is a good person.

    I do, however, have every intention of “educating” him. ;-)

    Kelley: that’s my hope, too.

    Suebob: I think it does matter though. I think it’s important to understand that this isn’t some *bad choice* we have to accept. I think your friend’s case is very, very rare.

    Amanda: wow, very eloquently said.

    And? Jared and I agree on almost EVERYTHING politically/morally. That’s part of the reason this shocked me so much.

    ShredderFeeder: I responded up a few comments – but I think it does matter if we’re ever going to make true progress.

    SportsFan’s Daughter: I saw that trailer too!! OMG I almost weeped right there in the theater.

    whall: I hope you know you can always ask your questions and state your opinions here. It’s easy for us to think that only “bad” people disagree with each other on these issues. Just like it might be easy to say ony “bleeding hearts” or whatever feel one way. It’s more than that.

    You’re more than that. And I know that.

    Patrick D.: heh. One blasphemous revelation at a time.

    crazy charlene: that’s always my first thought too.

    rebturtle: we had a similar discussino about religion vs. homosexuality. And race, actually.

    Backpacking Dad: well look at you getting all theological. (And thank you.)

    Cris: heh. Yes. Um. Well. Yes. So.

    Robin: what am I going to do, ground him? lol

    ShredderFeeder: I agree that tolerance isn’t the right word.

    Karen Sugarpants: that was EXACTY his pont. And “that” is a big deal. I don’t mean at all to paint him in a bad light, I actually tried not to because I KNOW where his belief stems from. And also because he isn’t going to come here and “defend” himself – and that needs to be taken into consideration too.

    But I didn’t misquote him either.

    My point with this post was actually to illustrate how that belief lives in good people, even people who vote AGAINST taking away rights.

    jester: I know, babe. I know. And I am really, really sorry that who you are and your relationships are some “cause” for people like me to take up. It’s not right, and it’s not fair.

    But I also think it has to be done if you’re ever going to be allowed to live with the same kind of peace I am.

    Sarah: I’ve never heard that argument before.

    RW: it does though. In the same way that it mattered for people to understand that blacks weren’t naturally less intelligent – or whatever.

  24. SciFi Dad says:

    I am probably the last (or maybe the first) person you should talk to about the Bible (current agnostic, former Catholic, with 18 years of Catechism), but I’ll weigh in just the same.

    The Bible isn’t an absolute; there are inaccuracies and inconsistencies that can challenge even the strongest of faiths. It is up to you, as a Christian, to decide what you can and cannot accept from the Bible. Remember that even though the church doesn’t present it as such, it has been edited, revised, and controlled by the church elders for centuries. You don’t know if you’re reading the whole story, or just the part that made it out of the revision process.

    That part was for the “Britt and her crisis of Biblical faith” portion of the post. Now for the other.

    Some people are gay. Some people are not. Unless someone who is gay tries to assault someone who is straight, there really isn’t any reason for a straight person to even care about a gay person. What someone does, who someone loves, unless it directly impacts you, should not matter to you.

    Does it matter to people that I have dark hair and my wife is fair? Of course not. Neither of us chose to have those attributes, we just chose each other and fell in love. No one cares that she and I “mixed hair colours”, just the same as they wouldn’t care if I had married a nice Italian girl with dark hair (although admittedly if that dark hair was all over her arms like some Italian chicks, I’d probably care).

    Gender is no more under people’s control than that. Subsequently, the gender of the person they choose to be with, man or woman, is not under their control either.

    (Sorry if that was meandering; I had a preschooler who wants to discuss the merits of a Diego train set she just saw on tv chatting my ear off as I typed this.)

  25. Sometimes you have to agree to disagree. If not, it may be the infectious thorn in the thumb of your marriage. HHH and I did not agree on No. 2 down here, but I know that has something to do with his upbringing and his military background. I try to think of it as a handicap he has that I will eventually overcome with time, love, and patience.

  26. Zanthera says:

    When did something of an opinion stating between choice and inherent orientation became a sin? So I am taking it therefore if I make a choice to do something I am making a sin??

    The only reason why I see people believing it is a sin is because the society that one makes this choice in is not letting them make it. If the society was more accepting of being gay it would be a choice. As one proved me sooo right just before ( as I paraphrase)
    “You do not choose to make your family hate you”

    Bible thumpers.. hmph.

  27. RW says:

    Doesn’t equate to me. To me it is a private thing, and it shouldn’t matter if a person was born that way or decided they liked to play around with the idea on Thursdays when their wife wasn’t around – it simply isn’t anybody’s business and shouldn’t have anything to do with the way they are perceived or treated by the rest of the world.

    The moralist twits who are so curious about what consenting adults are doing with their genitals are out of line. They can obviously say and believe whatever they want; they are free to be whatever way they want on the issue. But the liberty to pick their “values” does not empower them with the authority to decide how other people re supposed to live. It shouldn’t matter if a homosexual wants to be a priest or a President. It simply isn’t ANYBODY ELSE’S business.

    I think you make as much a mistake as equating it to blacks and intelligence as whall does assuming he can ask the homosexual/pedophile shibboleth and think no one is going to notice the logical fallacy.

    That’s two aspects of the same mistake, in my opinion. The fact that we have to have a debate asking whether or not it is a native or chosen thing is demonstration enough that people still don’t get it. The real question is “what the fuck do you care – it isn’t any of your business anyway, and shouldn’t have an effect on anybody’s rights.”

    That’s where I’m coming from.

  28. Avitable says:

    I do want to make the one point that while I accept all homosexuals, I only tolerate Jester.

    Heh.

  29. Stephanie says:

    Speaking as a person “of choice.” I fell in love with my partner. My partner happened to have girl bits. It was my choice to be with her. If she had been male, I still would have fallen in love with her.

    She however, was born gay. It’s hardwired.

    Here is my thoughts on the Bible:

    The Bible was written by MAN. It is a living, breathing text that can be ever changing and ever expanding. It’s meant to guide us through life. Think of the bible like your very own expansive public library…..there are 66 books in this library, written by over 40 different authors. Scholars, doctors, craftsman, priests, farmers, etc. And it was written over more than one thousand years and in several different languages. It’s a living thing. It’s amazing and it’s all open for different interpertations. (from my post dated 02/14/08, Maybe I’m Not Cut Out for This “Marriage” Thing.)

    Jared’s a good guy…you both have great points made.

    Our differences make the world go ’round.

  30. Faiqa says:

    I think the issue of whether this is a choice or not is neither here nor there. What *if* they *are* choosing? My personal beliefs on the matter aside I do maintain that gay is biological), I think it’s incumbent upon us to protect our fellow citizen’s rights regardless of whether the issue that prompted discrimination is a choice or not. I mean, does this mean if someone is bisexual, now they’re a bad person and don’t deserve equal rights in case they decide to marry someone of the same sex? I, personally, don’t think so.

  31. Lisa says:

    Maybe it’s the way I was raised or it’s the part of the country I live in but I don’t know anything else other than to accept people for who they are. I’m proud to say I’m raising my children the same way.

    My husband has similar viewpoints to Jared’s viewpoints so I completely understand the conflict.

    Part of me wants to knock some sense into him (my husband, not Jared) and the other part of me wants to debate until I win. Like I’ve accepted everyone else’s diversity I’ve decided to accept my husbands.

  32. Lylah says:

    Maybe the people who translated the Bible into English were wrong. Or Greek. Or Arameic. Or Latin. Lots of room for error, what with all those languages.

    Maybe homosexuality is nature’s way of limiting reproduction when the population is growing too rapidly or beyond its resources.

    Maybe people are taught to believe that homosexuality is a choice because it’s overwhelmingly frightening to understand that such a powerful part of what makes us who we are is beyond our control.

    Or maybe it’s easier to believe that discrimination is a consequence of a choice rather than the choice itself. Because “bad” things happen to “bad” people, right, because of their “bad” choices? “Good” people would never choose to do something “bad” without provocation.

  33. kapgar says:

    My belief on this and several similar matters is not necessarily that the Bible was wrong in how it was originally conveyed, but how it was finally interpreted, translated, and committed to print. Remember playing the telephone game in grade school where you all line up in a row and pass a simple 10-word (or so) message down the line by whispering it in your neighbor’s ear and seeing how it comes out at the end of the line? Remember how mangled it would end up? Now try that with something the size of the Bible for 1000+ years and through several languages before it’s finally put in Gutenberg’s movable type press and committed to a more “reliable” media as opposed to oral tradition.

    Sometimes details are accidentally forgotten. Other times, the person holding onto the knowledge has a personal agenda and intentionally forgets stuff he/she doesn’t agree with.

    This is why I take the Bible with a grain of salt. I love the concept of it and the love and tolerance it’s supposed to foster. But the details? Nah. Hence, I never let the Bible dictate how I should feel about people who are gay or practice a different religion, et al, if it seems to be espousing anything other than love and acceptance.

  34. suze says:

    I have watched too many of my friends struggle with coming out to believe that it can be a choice. To have family members shun you or strangers on the street spit on you because you left a store flying a rainbow flag is not a choice one would make willingly. I had no more choice to be straight as my friends had to be gay. But, as others have pointed out, that really isn’t what matters – choice or not, no one should be discriminated against because of who they love.

    As for your biblical revelation: I grew up believing that the bible wasn’t to be taken literally. That it was allegorical, stories from which we could take guidance. Also, if we consider that most modern translations of the bible are based on the King James version, and King James basically told the translators what he wanted it to say, it’s not a far stretch to think that there might be some things in there that aren’t necessarily what was originally intended…

  35. Lylah – the monks who translated it from Latin to English had about a 2nd grade education in Latin.

    *LOTS* of room for error here. Remember the bible wasn’t translated to English until the late 1300′s. As late as the early 1500′s the Roman Catholic church was still burning people at the stake for the crime of possessing an English bible or saying the lord’s prayer in english. (It is interesting to note that in 1517 Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 Theses of Contention (a list of 95 issues of heretical theology and crimes of the Roman Catholic Church) into the church door at Wittenberg.

    In the 1490’s another Oxford professor, and the personal physician to King Henry the 7th and 8th, Thomas Linacre, decided to learn Greek. After reading the Gospels in Greek, and comparing it to the Latin Vulgate, he wrote in his diary, “Either this (the original Greek) is not the Gospel… or we are not Christians.” The Latin had become so corrupt that it no longer even preserved the message of the Gospel… yet the Church still threatened to kill anyone who read the scripture in any language other than Latin… though Latin was not an original language of the scriptures.

    Sorry, didn’t meant to go off on a tangent like that. Biblical history is kind of a hobby of mine.

    My point is this the bible has been translated through at least 5 languages and re-written dozens of times in the period from 1st century CE(AD) until today.

    Also remember that these re-writes were done by imperfect men, each and every one of them with their own agenda.

    Stepping down off my soap-box now.

  36. [...] you Miss Britt for providing the fodder for my latest work of [...]

  37. RW says:

    The Biblical “argument” against homosexuality is a manufactured one. You have to step around and ignore a lot of other things to form it. Some of my fellow Christians are better at it than others. They focus-in on the “lay with man” part and forget the stoning of people for doing this or that. They forget the part that says you should withhold judgment until all the “secrets of the heart” are revealed.

    Even when literalists tell you the Bible is the unalterable word of God they’ll hold some parts of it as metaphor, so it’s a “construct” that is used to reverse-justify their personal opinions. God formed in the image of man; because there are parts they can’t reconcile with other parts of what they believe. And, as others have astutely pointed out, the translations are questionable, Aspects of the King James were set up to make King James happy.

    It’s another subject, but I find it strange that some of my fellow Christians, operating on a text that has been altered many times through history, call their Book literal truth / and yet castigate Muslims for taking literally the Qu-ran – which hasn’t had so much as one jot changed ever.

  38. NYCWD says:

    Amanda said:Being gay does not harm anybody.

    That’s not true.

  39. Amber says:

    I’m torn on this issue for several reasons.

    But what I can’t get past is simply this:

    You’re talking about acceptance. The internet as a whole is talking about acceptance. Love. Etc.

    Why is it so hard then, for everyone who shares your point of view, to accept that there are others out there that don’t agree? That don’t accept *your* points of view on different things?

    I guess it just seems a bit hypocritical to me, for liberals to be condemning conservatives for their beliefs… while screaming that that is what we are doing to them.

    In any democracy, the majority rules. And the majority of people are not comfortable with changing the boundaries of what constitutes “marriage” — be it right, or be it wrong.

    You told Karl, on his post about how he has no candidate… but had decided to vote for Obama, despite how strongly he feels in regard to abortion… that now he has a cause to fight for.

    Why is this not the case here? People have redefined what is, and is not, legal, socially acceptable, etc. for YEARS. The Feminist Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, and so on…

    Change IS coming. America as a whole is doing a slow shift closer to the left side of the field. And electing Obama as president only proves that point.

    Personally, I will vote for gay rights every time. I have a lot of gay friends and it breaks my heart knowing that if something were to happen to their loved one, they would have no choice in the matter as to what happens to them. And that’s only one example.

    Yet, I also know a lot of people who love gay people and can’t bring themselves to vote for gays to have the right to marry because it goes against something that is deeply etched onto their own, personal, moral, convictions.

    They didn”t build Rome in a day, right?

    I sincerely hope that you (and Jared) find some way to reconcile your feelings, with your differing beliefs on this particular subject.

    Take care… and please don’t hate me now! I’m only expressing a small part of my own feelings. As a whole, the entire thing sucks and I truly feel for the men and women who are being told by voters that, in effect, they are second-class citizens.

    It pisses me off and breaks my heart and I’ve already stated how I’ll vote every time.

    Have you ever considered going to school to become a lawyer? Or a professional debater?

    Because you would kick ass at that!

    (Sorry if none of this makes sense. Respondning half-asleep at 5:30am).

  40. Maria says:

    I had a yet another screaming match with my mother over this a few days ago.

    No one chooses to be gay, and I don’t understand at all how people can believe that. I mean…WHY the fuck would someone *choose* to be that way?

    Blargh. Whatever. Even if you could, it’s none of our fucking business. Actions between two consenting adults that won’t harm anyone else should not be of any concern to society.

  41. I’m really not sure how I would handle being married to someone who thought so completely different that I do.

    Regarding knowledge and getting things changed, we have so much work to do, and a lot of us are learning it starts within our own families.

  42. bluepaintred says:

    “Jared got off pretty freakin lucky if you ask me!! Only his wife realized his mistake and we all know what is said in the bedroom stays in the bedroom. Right?”

    Pfft. Not on this blog…

  43. Miss Britt says:

    SciFi Dad: I’ve never been one to literally interpret the Bible anyway, but it’s hard to draw the line on what you “claim” and what you don’t without thinking yourself a raging hypocrite.

    Blondefabulous: “I try to think of it as a handicap he has that I will eventually overcome with time, love, and patience.”

    Me too. Although I don’t know that I could even go so far as to call it a handicap because I know where it comes from. I know what he’s been exposed to and what he hasn’t. It was just a wake up call for me – or something.

    Zanthera: well I think the distinction is that if it is NOT a choice, it can’t, by definition, be a sin.

    RW: it’s not private though. No more than MY marriage is. I rely on public acknowledgment of my relationship every single day – from insurance companies, employers, government, etc.

    That’s the point I was kind of trying to make with Jared – we can’t afford to just say “well as long as I say it’s none of my business there’s no harm” anymore.

    Avitable: thank you, as always, for your meaningful contribution to the discussion. :-P

    Stephanie: hmmmmmm – ok now I have to think about this more.

    Faiqa: that’s a good point, and from a legal standpoint it doesn’t matter.

    But I think that for us to really get to a place as a society where gays are treated as true equals, we HAVE to have these tough discussions with each other. I don’t care if they don’t happen in a court room or a lab – they need to at least take place in our living rooms.

    Lisa: and part of me wants to drag Jared to a gay bar. Heh.

    Lylah: that’s a lot of maybes. ;-)

    kapgar: “My belief on this and several similar matters is not necessarily that the Bible was wrong in how it was originally conveyed, but how it was finally interpreted, translated, and committed to print.” I love this. Love, love, love this.

    suze: see, and I’m the same – have seen it up close and personal too many times to ever question whether it’s a choice. And Jared hasn’t, which is something I always just took for granted.

    ShredderFeeder: in Catholicism we call that “fallible”

    RW: can I just start nodding my head now?

    NYCWD: please explain.

    Amber: because some things are not acceptable. We, as a society, understand that. We don’t accept murder. We don’t accept slavery. There are a lot of things we don’t just “accept” when it harms someone else.

    Maria: it is though – like I said earlier. It’s an easy answer that it’s “none of our business” that we’ve relied on for too long, which is why I think so many of us were so shocked at the passage of these recent amendments.

    A Whole Lot of Nothing: we have always, always agreed on the big stuff – so this surprised me. And luckily, we STILL agree on the final outcome – just not the underlying issue.

    bluepaintred: that’s pretty presumptuous. There’s a HELL of a lot that goes on in my marriage that never makes this blog. Of course, you don’t know that, because IT DOESN’T MAKE THE BLOG.

    Hell, there was a lot said IN THAT CONVERSATION that isn’t in this post.

    You obviously have a problem with the openness Jared and I BOTH are comfortable with here. I suggest you don’t be as open as we are on your own blog. But WE – my husband and I – will continue to follow the standards that work for US.

  44. Turnbaby says:

    I’ve erased three ‘book length’ comments and now I have a headache.

    The ex—he also thinks it is a choice. The difference is he voted for defining marriage as between a man and a woman when that bit of trash legislation was on the ballot here. The explanation is that is ho he was raised. It does not excuse it.

    I have no doubt that people are born straight, gay, transgendered, bi-sexual.

    I have seen on a first hand basis the damage that being compelled to ‘fit in’ to what the majority of society says is a ‘normal’ relationship does to those who are not wired that way. And my work day is FILLED with dealing with the detritus of heterosexual marriages that are not in any way ‘normal’. Yet they are ‘sanctified.’

    Take the fear—take the religion out of it–and what do you have? What is the issue with same sex couples marrying?

    And @ Whall–you can put up all of the disclaimers you like but that doesn’t change the fallacy in or the nature of your comparison.

    For the record–my experience with serial killers, rapists and pedophiles and the mental health professionals who treat them tells me they are not ‘fixable’–they will always have their compulsion. The source of the compulsion has not been determined. It may be inherent, some may be physiological, some may be damage done to them as they grew up or a combination of the above. They don’t know for sure.

    And it does not matter because you are comparing apples to oranges.

    Homosexuality is not something that needs to be ‘fixed’. Practicing homosexuality is not something that needs to be ‘fixed’. Being a homosexual is not sociopathic behavior so I Whall I don’t get the point other than to link pedophiles with homosexuals in that thought. Why not say ‘left handed people’? Hmmm?

    What is wrong with recognizing the value in all of us?

  45. Finn says:

    Britt, I think you’re right. One of the biggest obstacles to getting gays the same rights as the rest of us is the choice vs. born-that-way question. As to why, it’s simple: We can make bad choices, but we can’t help how we’re born. It shouldn’t matter one way or the other, but it does.

    Just to add some fuel to the fire, sexuality is not black and white. There are many shades of gray in between. All of us have the capcity to respond sexually (in some way) to the same sex. And I think that scares the shit out of some people.

  46. RW says:

    Well the only reason the state should even be involved in approving or disapproving marriages is in matters of coercion. But you know what…? The more I think about this the more sometimes the whole thing looks like one of those test case scenarios in the wider culture war. It’s one thing to say someone’s homosexuality is none of anybody’s business, yet gay activists invite the debate to bring the issue to the front.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that (no pun intended), but there’s an aspect on both sides of the issue that seem to be trying to “force” the other side to accept something.

    That’s why “civil unions” or contracts are probably going to be the answer after all the posturing, sturm und drang. I just wish we could cut to the chase and skip by some of the bullshit.

  47. Dawn says:

    This is off-topic: Britt, I’ve already done the primer in one of the rooms. It’s almost dry and will be ready for the first coat of paint very soon. I’ll pick you up at the airport if you’ll just tell me what time your flight arrives. I’ll be happy to wait so that I can stop painting at this point. The rest of the work is yours. Thanks!

    OK, I feel bad that I totally hijacked this post so… my husband is at work and can’t help me paint, and my lesbian friend told me that she would help me but she’s bogged down with work too. I chose to be straight, but I also chose to have a lesbian as one of my closest friends. I don’t know, though, if she “chose” to be a lesbian, and I don’t care. I love her. Even if she won’t help me paint. At least YOU will, though… :)

  48. Faiqa says:

    “sturm und drang?” See, this is why I’m proudly RW’s unabashed sycophant. Who quotes Goethe on a blog comment?? OK, sorry, Britt, but I had to say something.

  49. sizzle says:

    This is a really, really great post.

  50. k says:

    My moms and I thank you for writing this.

  51. *pixie* says:

    Some days I wish I was fearless enough to put my life out there as openly as you do. Then again, my husband reads my blog and would super pissed if I posted about this sort of private conversation. If only because it may falsely reflect him in a poor light.

    Of course, you already mentioned that you are not 1. painting Jared in a bad light, 2. not fully disclosing your entire life. And I’m not JUDGING you, I’m actually ADMIRING you for being so vunerable. All the time.

    Amazing.

  52. shiny says:

    I think everything that needs to be said has already been posted in the comments section here.

    However, none of it has yet been said by me, so I’m going to post how I feel anyway…

    As I’ve posted in the comments section of a different blog recently, I’m Jewish, and an active member on many levels in the denomination of “Conservative Judaism.” I would describe it, in broad strokes, as a form of Judaism which conserves the original traditions of belief and ritual observance while applying Jewish thought and practice in today’s world. Some would find Conservative Judaism to be a “middle ground” between the more stringent Orthodox and more interpretive Reform strands of Judaism.

    While Conservative Judaism has accepted members into the community regardless of sexual orientation and has allowed full ritual participation to those who are not heterosexual, there had been quite a few limitations that had been set: Conservative Judaism did not have a mechanism in place for same-sex marriages, and did not recognize them within the movement. Furthermore, clergy in the movement could not be ordained if they openly identified as gay or lesbian or were in public, same-sex relationships. (Although I must add that the movement made it abundantly clear that there should be no “witch-hunts” to expose clergy or clergy students who may not be out.)

    There was a lot of heated debate for many years about this. Commissions met at many lengths to determine if this type of discrimination should continue. Proponents and opponents wrote up papers discussing Biblical and rabbinic texts throughout the millennia which supported and contradicted what was already in place. And finally, in late 2006, the movement ratified that it was a legitimate position to accept openly gay clergy, and that clergy in the movement could perform same-sex marriages.

    It was quite the controversial decision: how does one wrestle with statements in Leviticus which expressly prohibit a certain action and apply that to modern-day society where far more has been learned about diversity in relationships? Can one truly live his/her life adhering to Jewish law as an openly gay person? It was a time for rejoicing for some in the movement (including myself); and it also sparked quite a few resignations of Conservative rabbis from the movement’s committee on Laws and Standards.

    My long-winded point being this: there is still no way that anyone can look at this as a cut and dry issue simply from looking at the Bible or any dogmatic documents in a vacuum. If there can be this much disagreement within a small subset of a denomination of a small religion, then surely there won’t be a consensus amongst the population of the world! Is there a biological basis to homosexuality? Is it a learned set of behaviors? Is it a combination? Is there a similar or different value system in play when compared to heterosexual relationships? These are questions which will never be answered as an absolute in a diverse society.

    Which is why I respect Jared’s opinion. And yours. It’s also why I can understand why there are those who voted for an against Prop 2 in Florida and Prop 8 in California (as well as the many other ballot initiatives which have hit the voting population recently).

    What I don’t tolerate, however, is misinformation campaigns — which have been spreading blatant untruths about child education and lawsuits against churches — simply out there to scare people into voting a certain way. I think this really clouded the issue for many who, although they might not approve of gay marriage, realize that this isn’t an issue which would adversely affect them.

    Oh, and by the way: I’m sure you don’t think that all the Jews are wrong all of the time. Just because Adam Sandler tanked with “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan” shouldn’t reflect on all of us… :)

  53. NYCWD says:

    Amanda said: Being gay does not harm anybody.

    I said: That’s not true.

    Britt said: please explain.

    To use a very public example, the case of former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey. He married, not once but twice, and fathered two children. Then he decides to go public with the fact that he is in fact gay, admits to an extramarital affair with a man who has threatened him with a sexual harassment lawsuit, and resigns his governorship. Needless to say, the woman he WAS MARRIED to when this admission occurred, Dina McGreevey filed for divorce.

    To say that being gay does not harm anybody is a fallacy. Dina McGreevey, along with an unknown number of spouses who were duped by people they loved, has been harmed emotionally, psychologically, and possibly even physically by someone being gay.

    While it can be argued that these gay husbands/wives were “in the closet” due to non-acceptance and the general attitude of society towards the lifestyle they would have preferred which is surely damaging, well then what they did through deception and pretending to be straight should also be recognized for what it was.

    Harmful.

  54. RW says:

    Is the direct cause of Dina McGreevey’s pain homosexuality or the deception of a spouse that was having an affair? How would it be different if he was having an affair with a woman? Would we then say that heterosexuality caused her pain? No. It was the deception itself that did that. I think this stretches a point, speaking of fallacies.

  55. Okay – where do I start?

    Obviously, you already know that I support a gay person’s right to marriage. Also, you know that I am one of those Right Wing Conservative Christians. Worse yet, I’m a Baptist ::shudder:: And yet, my whole life, as soon as I knew what “gay” was, I knew that my brother was gay. Long before my sister finally wrote him a letter and asked him, long before he finally told my parents. It’s just who he has always been. I get that.

    BUT (c’mon – you had to have know this was coming!) I will also say that while there are certainly many, many homosexuals that would never, in a million years, choose to be gay (my brother is most definitely one of those), there are also many, many homosexuals that are in it just for the “thrill” I guess you could say. They are wanting to be different in a world that still isn’t sure how it feels about the openly gay community; they want to be part of the club. I know this because I’ve met quite a few that have openly admitted that they weren’t sure if they were gay, they just liked to experiment and since their families were A-OK with it, they went ahead and kept on with it.

    That all being said, to keep on beating the dead horse, in the end, it doesn’t matter whether you were born that way, made that way or chose that way, it’s nobody’s damned business.

    For all of the people that are huge on the “bible beater” aspect of this conversation, this wonderful lady, Deb @
    http://dtrant.blogspot.com/ can explain things much better than I ever could about homosexuality and Christianity. She’s a Lesbian AND a Christian and she has made many, many great points over the years about this topic.

  56. Willie G says:

    Staying clear of the religious and political implications I submit this quote from the American Psychological Association:

    What causes a person to have a particular sexual orientation?

    “There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.”

    And in response to Jester’s comment regarding twins, their is no conclusive evidence to give credence to bioligical sexual orientation based on studies done on identical twins. For your consideration I will quote Bearman and Bruckner (2002):

    “Among [identical] twins, 6.7% are concordant [that is, both express same-sex romantic attraction]. [Fraternal] twin pairs are 7.2% concordant. Full-siblings are 5.5% concordant. Clearly, the observed concordance rates do not correspond to degrees of genetic similarity. None of the comparisons between [identical] twins and others … are even remotely significant.”

    None of what I am saying here is intended to speak to the rights of individuals, only to say that we should not pretend that how we “feel” about a certain subject proves us to be correct. Neither “choice” or “non-choice” has been scientifically proven.

  57. NYCWD says:

    There is definitely an aspect of harm that can be attributed to the homosexual twist in it.

    There is no fallacy in that nor is it a point.

  58. RW says:

    Then heterosexuality is equally as harmful. All there is to it.

  59. shiny says:

    @NYCWD … but is there an aspect of harm to the wife that can be attributed to the person Governor McGreevey chose to have the affair with was of Israeli descent? Or that this person was of a different religion?

  60. NYCWD says:

    @Shiny I think in the above highlighted situation religion did not play a part. I didn’t even mention religion. However, I do imagine that if Dina McGreevey was a Palestinian instead of Peruvian… then yes there would be harm associated with that as well. Or do you disagree?

    You of all people should know though that just because you’re of Israeli descent does not necessarily mean you are not a Muslim or a Christian.

  61. Elizabeth says:

    The early Romans practiced homosexuality, and they were married sometimes. Younger Roman men had military mentors and they would sometimes have sexual relationships with these army mentors.

    Being gay is not a choice. If it were, as Jester said above, we would obviously all make the easier choice and avoid being discriminated against.

    I am I guess what you’d call bisexual, since I don’t think someone’s gender matters at all. I’ve been in love with other women and if my boyfriend were a woman I’d still love him. I don’t really have a preference. (Some would call me greedy.) I remember telling someone close to me once and she told me there is no such thing as being bisexual. You’re either gay or straight, as if there’s a choice to be made.

    So no, I don’t think it’s a choice.

    It pisses me off that some in our country are trying to ban the rights of people. Marriage is a civil issue; even people getting married in a church have to get a marriage license. So why is this a religion issue at all? Why is it even an issue?

    Homosexuality has been around since the dawn of time. How else do you think our planet keeps from being overpopulated? It’s a natural thing, and it’s a beautiful thing, that two people can look beyond what’s on the surface and can see the person inside.

  62. Elizabeth says:

    Edit: You’re either gay or straight, as if there’s a choice to be made, according to her.

  63. Honeybell says:

    I think many of the people who believe homosexuality is a choice is in direct relation to the fear that they, themselves could have been born that way. For men especially, to face the thought that they have no control over something that is so heavily associated with who they are must be terrifying.

  64. shiny says:

    @NYCWD Yes. I acknowledge that not all Israelis are Jewish. Golan Cipel, however, is Jewish. But that’s not the point.

    You define an “aspect of harm” in Gov. McGreevey’s infidelity due to the sex of the other partner with whom he was cheating. At least one other commenter suggested that, perhaps, his wife was scarred not by the homosexual nature of the affair, but by the infidelity itself. You countered saying that the homoseuxality was “definitely an aspect of harm.”

    I can’t put myself in his wife’s shoes; I don’t know what was running through her mind when her husband confronted her. But I think it’s likely that she would have also been upset if the affair was with woman rather than a man. Was it more of a severe blow because it was a man in this case? Perhaps, perhaps not. Was it more of a severe blow because he happened to be Israeli? Perhaps, perhaps not.

    The point being — I don’t feel that causality of her grief can be defined as being affected specifically by the “homosexual twist.”

    (Which, by the way, sounds like a really brightly colored mixed drink! :) )

  65. My older sister was born gay in the Utahiest location in Utah. The pressure to “unchoose” being gay could have killed her…it’s led to the death of so many others in that culture.

    I am so angry about the money that came out of Utah to campaign for these votes outside of their juristiction. In these economic times there were more christlike ways to use millions of dollars.

  66. Jess says:

    As a fairly liberal Christian, I can empathize with both parts of this blog. It almost brought me to tears, because that’s how much I struggled with making a decision over Prop 8. I don’t have any answers, but I think if God had given us all the answers we’d have no need for him. You make fantastic points, Britt, but it’s probably just as hard on Jared’s side as well.

    Can we at least focus on love for the next couple of years? In that lies so many answers.

  67. Hilly says:

    Since there have been some very eloquent thoughts put how there both that do and do not mirror my own, I’d like to say a few random things if I can.

    1.) I agree wholeheartedly with RW that it should not matter.

    2.) I don’t believe homosexuality to be a choice nor do I believe that anyone should be tolerated no matter what their sexual orientation…just like it is with race, gender, etc. Also? Basing homophobia (not that I think that is what Jared is doing at all) on religious reasons makes no sense to me. God is love. If you believe in God, you should believe in acceptance and also believe that the ONLY judge is God himself.

    3.) I think it would be hard for me to learn that my spouse thought and believed something completely different than I did…no doubt. However, I am glad that Jared feels comfortable enough to talk to you about this stuff and to be honest rather than just blindly agree.

    4.) People who don’t know what your and Jared’s understanding is about what gets blogged and what doesn’t need to shut the fuck up and stay away if they only come here when they have negative things to say. How ugly.

    5.) Dawg – I love you but I do not think homosexuality was to blame for McGreevy’s problems and the hurt he caused. It is the fact that he is a cheater and a liar. It doesn’t…no it *shouldn’t* matter if he cheated with a man or woman. The hurt will be the same and so will the betrayal. I don’t understand how you are saying that homosexuality is to blame for this?

  68. Miss Britt says:

    Turnbaby: re: pedophiles, etc. – that’s so hard for me because I don’t want to think that someone could be born “bad”.

    Finn: the fact that it is so complicated – grey area like you said – makes it even harder. I think most people – myself included at times – are really, really uncomfortable with things that don’t have clear cut answers.

    RW: I absolutely agree that civil unions are the answer. I think ALL “legal marriages” should be called civil unions when they are recognized by the government for the purpose of LEGAL rights.

    Dawn: you really feel like you chose to be straight?

    Faiqa: oh and RW LOVES sychophants. Lots!

    sizzle: thank you

    k: you’re welcome.

    *pixie*: aw, thanks. Truth be told – I have boundaries too. They’re just different boundaries.

    For example – you’ll never see me discuss my inlaws or my actual sex life (unless it’s a random funny story or something).

    shiny:

    1) This really makes me want to be a “Conservative Jew”. That is so damn impressive.

    2) *sigh* so I have to concede it may not be black and white then?

    3) Don’t forget “Little Nicky”

    NYCWD: it wasn’t homosexual that was harmful. It was lying and betrayal and adultery that was harmful.

    Does it make it “worse” because he was gay? Sure – because of the ADDITIONAL LIE that exposed. But homosexuality in and of itself was not the culprit there.

    RW: agreed

    Sheila (Charm School Reject): I think that, as many people have pointed out here, there is definitely something to do that. DAMN YOU PEOPLE!!

    (Oh, and Jared will just looooove that I’m going to bring this up again tonight. LOL)

    Willie G: I get what you’re saying. BUT – I do think that you have to take into account the personal testimonies of people who have lived that reality, also.

    Elizabeth: “even people getting married in a church have to get a marriage license.”

    Exactly.

    Honeybell: that’s actually a pretty interesting point. My fear is, what if one of our kids were gay? Would he try to convince him/her to CHOOSE differently?

    shiny: let’s say she WAS offended because it was someone of a different religion. Does that mean the religion is harmful? Of course not.

    Becky: I think that is another very real consequence of this nature vs. nurture debate.

    Jess: you’re absolutely right that it is just as hard on Jared. I could feel how uncomfortable the whole thing was for him.

  69. NYCWD says:

    @Shiny

    I understand what you’re saying about it being a “perhaps, perhaps not” conundrum. I would suggest that the number of support groups, both online and off, that specifically deal with this type of situation for both the gay spouse ( such as GAMMA) and the straight spouse ( such as The Straight Spouse Network) suggests that there is indeed harm done due to the homosexual aspect of the infidelity.

    As for Dina McGreevey herself, she wrote in her book that had she known Jim McGreevey was gay, she would not have married him or allowed him to father her child. Of course there is the usual betrayal aspect of his infidelity… but does infidelity automatically result in divorce from a political family? Hillary Clinton remains with Bill Clinton and Silda Spitzer has entered couples counseling with Elliot Spitzer… yet Dina basically left the press conference for her divorce lawyers office. Perhaps it had something to do with the homosexual nature of the infidelity, perhaps it didn’t. Her actions imply it did… but who can really be sure?

    Possibly all the members of those support groups… who will tell you that it does in fact matter.

    (I do agree though that “Homosexual Twist” sounds like a good drink… with one of those twirly umbrellas.)

  70. NYCWD says:

    No Britt, it isn’t the additional lie… because really at that point, what’s one more lie?

    It is the nature of what the lie concealed.

    Of this, I can assure you.

  71. Miss Britt says:

    Hilly: Jared’s response to that I think would be that he isn’t JUDGING because he isn’t acting on that belief – in fact he ACTED (and does) with love, protection, acceptance, etc.

    RE: Jared being able to not agree with me – and can we add to that, Hello? ME?!?! I mean, I am a bitch to disagree with! LOL So yeah, props to him for that.

    Don’t tell him I said that though.

    RE: McGreevy – I think that if my husband cheated on me with a man that would add another dimension of hurt and betrayal. Not ONLY did he cheat, but I would feel like he’d been lying to me for years about who he was. But again, it’s the additional LIE that is at fault there.

  72. Miss Britt says:

    Dawg: I understand that at this point this is me talking principles and you talking personal. I get that.

    But I would encourage you to be careful misplacing your hurt onto someone or something that doesn’t deserve it.

  73. RW says:

    Well, SOME of us wouldn’t feel betrayed or hurt if our spouses wanted to cheat on us with someone of their sex. It might even… nevermind…

  74. Dawn says:

    Uhhh. Actually, I just typed that without even thinking. No, I suppose not. I didn’t choose to be straight. Nor did Sandy choose to be a lesbian, I’d guess.

    I didn’t give my orientation any thought. I just am who I am. And Sandy is who she is. So, no, nobody made a choice.

    BUT, I do CHOOSE for you to come help me paint, dammit!!!!

  75. Ren says:

    One thing that I think sometimes gets muddied in this discussion of “being born gay” versus “choosing to be gay” is the difference between what you are and how you behave. While I would agree that being gay is probably not a choice for most people, it is self-evidently true that being a practicing homosexual *is* a choice. And it’s a choice that one should be free to make.

    In contrast, and going back to @whall’s topic, it may also be the case that being a pedophile is not a choice, but being a practicing pedophile is a choice (well, modulo the whole “inability to control one’s impulses” issue, which is another topic entirely). And it’s a choice that one is definitely *not* free to make.

    I expect the difference is obvious, but I’ll spell it out just in case: “consenting adults”

    The whole argument about whether or not being gay is a choice is only relevant if there something wrong with it. Arguing that it isn’t a choice is only useful in a “hate the sin not the sinner” way, and certainly opens the door to return arguments of the “needs to be fixed” variety.

    I do have a question about one thing that seems to be brought up occasionally, and that is the lack of power a homosexual partner has at times of medical emergency or death. Cannot these easily be resolved by establishing a durable medical power of attorney and a will, respectively? Heck, I’d be in favor of eliminating the legal benefits of marriage entirely in favor of individual couples (or even larger groups) explicitly codifying their rights and responsibilities in a binding contract. Note that this would not apply to parental rights and responsibilities, which should be automatic.

  76. Way too many comments to read, so I apologise if I’m redundant.
    Re: the Bible being wrong.

    The way I was always taught (not 100% on Catholic doctrine) is that the Bible was not thrown down from Heaven by God. It was written by a bunch of MEN in a committee. There were a lot of things that were considered and tossed out. What if one member of the committee voted another way? Maybe the Bible would say something different on homosexuality.

    Just saying that I know it would be hard to come to the revelation that something as fundamental as the Bible is incorrect, but you have to look at it’s source and be flexible in the interpretations…

    xoxo

  77. NYCWD says:

    Just so that we aren’t forgetting where my comment segment has come from:

    Amanda said: Being gay does not harm anybody.

    I said: That’s not true.

    Britt said: please explain.

    @Hilly- I agree with you entirely about homosexuality not being to blame for McGreevey and his situation… because ultimately he was really a scumbag. I also agree that it *SHOULDN’T* matter who you cheat with… but it does. Would it be different if it was a complete stranger or your best friend? Many people will say that yes, it is more hurtful when it is a friend… including myself for that matter. So why can’t the sex of the other person cause a different hurt as well? I’m not saying what *SHOULD* be… but rather what is.

    @Britt- I think the matter of whether hurt/harm is misplaced or accurately placed upon is a matter of perspective. I still disagree with the initial statement because I find it untrue. I’m leaving it at that.

    @RW- That’s what we all say… until it happens to you. Once it does let me know… I got a great shrink. He’s done a bangup job with me… can’t you tell?

    8)

  78. gramps says:

    Just wanted to say that I read all the comments and I have learned a lot.
    Thanks to all of you
    gramps

    PS—I voted against Prop 8

  79. Heterogenous says:

    My only question is why must you torture the man with such an inflammatory argument right before he tries to get some rest. Of course he was straining to escape the conversation, only moments ago he had visions of getting a peaceful nap before waking up to break more rocks in the morning. Now he’s being pinned into a corner in what should be the most conflict-free spot in the house. You guys need a “no politics in bed” decree. That’s a sure way to kill a sex life, among other things.

    Oh, and the other thing. Cut him some slack, only a couple years ago I held similar beliefs. It wasn’t because I was stupid, or a hateful racist bigot. Just up until then I hadn’t really sat down sorted out what I believed in regard to this issue. It wasn’t even something I could make a rational decision about, because I had never even had a conversation with a gay person. I never had a reason to question my beliefs on the matter, so I concentrated on issues that were a little more relevant to me. That, and I never really was a politically inclined person to begin with. That said, you seem to be extremely offended by the reasoning behind it, and glossing over the fact that he made the right decision. Ask your gay friends, would they rather have the minority voting for this propostion for all the “right reasons”, or the majority voting for this with some slightly misguided reasons. The ones I’ve talked to seem to be of a more “means to an end” bent.

  80. Sybil Law says:

    Holy cow!
    I don’t think it’s a choice for 99.9% of people. Maybe for that tiny percentage.
    I don’t really care if it’s a choice or not. They are still human beings and deserving of respect and love.
    I understand the shock from you at what Jared expressed, but regardless of what he thinks, he still knows everyone deserves respect and love. That’s better than most people who think the same way.

  81. Miss Britt says:

    RW: oh and now we’re gonna go THERE..

    Dawn: oh, yes, um, my flight gets in at – LOOK! SHINY! *scurries away*

    Ren: “The whole argument about whether or not being gay is a choice is only relevant if there something wrong with it. Arguing that it isn’t a choice is only useful in a “hate the sin not the sinner” way, and certainly opens the door to return arguments of the “needs to be fixed” variety.”

    That was wonderfully said and a good point. I think my asking him that was my way of trying to find out if he really accepted homosexuality.

    And maybe that’s not fair.

    Princess of the Universe: yeah, I’ve always known that on some level – but I think this is the first time I’ve made a concious choice to choose MY conclusions even IF they contradicted the Bible. And I’m not saying it necessarily does. But that’s still a big deal to me.

    NYCWD: I’m gonna go ahead and let this go now…

    gramps: me too

    Heterogenous: in answer to your “only” question, it was actually HIM that started the conversation when we were going to sleep. He’d just finished reading another post here and mentioned it. So. Ha! Or something.

    Also, we have two small kids – unfortunately alone in our bed is sometimes the only place where we can have deep discussions.

    I think I am “cutting him some slack”. I was honest with him about being disappointed – that’s a natural reaction too – but I also told him there is a difference between that and anger.

    And I would never, ever, call him stupid, hateful, racist or bigoted. And I’m well aware of how limited his exposure has been. It just hadn’t occurred to me before that conversation to consider that, or to consider the fact that we might feel so differently about it.

    As for why it matters – we have kids. Kids who are too young to have discovered anything about their own sexual orientation. I want to know if either of them came to him that he wouldn’t try to convince them to simply “change their minds”.

    Sybil: “I understand the shock from you at what Jared expressed, but regardless of what he thinks, he still knows everyone deserves respect and love. That’s better than most people who think the same way.”

    And thank you for reading and hearing ALL parts of this post I was trying to reflect.

  82. jester says:

    Avitable – Thanks, dude. I merely have a general mild dislike for you. Sort of like the taste of soy sauce.

    Dawg – Being gay or straight doesn’t absolve anyone from being a supreme asshole. It also doesn’t facilitate it. Being gay doesn’t harm anyone. Making choices about marrying a woman and having children and having affairs, despite who they may be with, does indeed.

    Heterogenous – Your marriage must be so much better than everyone else’s. You don’t feel the need to judge… oh wait…

  83. Britt, Ty and I have had this same discussion over and over again. I don’t know if this is mainly a problem that heterosexual males have or what, but it seems to be rampant among those I know that feel threatened with the idea of same-sex marriages. Ty-man tries to argue that it will erode the sanctity of marriage, blah, blah. And when I throw at him that marriage, in this country, has technically been a legal arrangement, not a religious contract, in this country for quite some time and that being homosexual is not a choice, he has no answers.

    Honestly? I think this country has so many prejudices about homosexuality because we as a country are sexually repressed. Sex, like death, is a topic best left to whispered discussions in the locker room and to parents handing brochures to their kids, hoping to not have to talk about it. And until sex, sexual proclivities, and sexual preferences can be discussed without blushing or grasping our “Good Books” then, I think, homosexuality will be treated with kid gloves. And with prejudice. How can we be fair to those who practice a different kind of sex when we, as repressed Christian heterosexuals, can’t even talk about what we do in the bedroom. It’s ridiculous.

    And maybe? That a juvenile way of looking at it. But, that’s how I see it.

    And for the record. I don’t believe a homosexual person had any choice in who they love or are attracted to any more than I had a choice in loving Ty or wanting to lick Sean Connery. And? If a homosexual couple wants a marriage certificate on file in Cherokee County, Georgia? Or anywhere else? I’m all for it. Love makes the world go ’round, baby.

  84. Hilly says:

    Dawg – I totally agree that there are more hurtful cheating partners than others, so yes that part matters. But still, the homosexuality is not the main cause of the hurt.

    Geesh, semantics make my head hurt. ;)

  85. B.E. Earl says:

    Well I don’t know what to say about this argument in general or some of the specifics that have been brought up in the comments. Sounds like some stuff was getting personal.

    I just will never be able to bring myself to believe that being gay is a choice or harmful.

  86. Stephanie says:

    Okay.
    What does it say about me that I am so fucking confused that I don’t know which way to turn my head? Since my new decision to be “real” and not try to just entertain and “follow the heard” so to speak, I am going to unlock all the thoughts rambling around in my head after reading this post, and the subsequent comments.
    1. I am a Christian.
    2. I am Heterosexual.
    3. I TRY (notice the emphasis on TRY) to live my life based on MY interpretation of the Bible. I work in a Christian office. One of my dearest friends is a devout Christian lady. One of the kindest people I know. I have learned a lot, and grown as a Christian due to this.
    4. My Bible, as I read it, condemns homosexuality. It also condemns murder, adultery, lying, stealing, using the Lords name in vain, etc.
    5. I have lied, I have stolen, I have blasphemed. So how do we draw the line as to which thing the Bible condemns more? I totally believe that our God is a loving, kind, wonderful Father. Having said that, I never truly had a father growing up that loved me, so the concept as a whole is new, fascinating and terrifying at the same time.
    I think it was Amber who said, “Yet, I also know a lot of people who love gay people and can’t bring themselves to vote for gays to have the right to marry because it goes against something that is deeply etched onto their own, personal, moral, convictions.” Here is my struggle. It seems like I am almost afraid to think differently, does that make sense? I struggle with my beliefs…I don’t want to go against my religion, yet my heart and mind tell me that homosexuality is NOT a choice. So how’s that for conflicted?
    Religion is such a PERSONAL thing….I vacillate between my innate, deep-seated belief that I MUST BELIEVE IT IS A SIN, and my hopefully intelligent, thinking mind and my open heart that first and foremost, it’s none of my damn business, and secondly, that God made us. All of us, gay/straight/black/white/fat/thin/pretty/
    ugly/Democrat/Republican/and all the gray areas between. Who cares if Jester likes boys? Who cares if Deb likes girls? I like boys…what’s the difference?
    This is a horribly convulated post, full of indecision, rambling, and probably horrible spelling.

    I have probably isolated myself from a group of people by saying all of these things. But I am trying to grow, trying to learn, and trying to stretch my mind beyond the bubble of conservatism I am living in, and trying to think for myself.

    Which is proving to be horrifying and exciting at the same time.

  87. Jer says:

    I don’t think you can compare pedophiles to gays, because to prey on a child is about as twisted as it gets, but I digress.

    As a lesbian, I do think it’s a combination of born this way and nuture. Because I can assure you, I didn’t CHOOSE to have to worry about getting beat-up or killed, just for being who I am. I didn’t CHOOSE to make it difficult for me to gain employment in many industries (thankfully I’m in advertising where gay outweighs straight). I didn’t CHOOSE to love someone that I may never be allowed to legally marry. I didn’t CHOOSE to have to worry about ‘should I bring my partner to this function or risk losing my job, family, friends, or even my partner!”.

    So no, it’s not 100% choice, because trust me, this life isn’t easy and anyone who thinks it is, is sorely mistaken.

  88. Stephanie says:

    Edited to add:

    I am going to state my position, since I’m not quite sure I did it in that epic post above.

    I do NOT think homosexuality is a choice.

    Flame away.

  89. Mattie says:

    I read your post and a few of the comments about 2 am today. I started to comment and got about halfway through and decided leave what I had to say out of the conversation. That it did not matter.

    I’ve changed my mind.

    As the proud parent of a gay adult daughter, I know for a fact that in my daughter’s case that she consciously chose to be gay because she was sexually molested as a 4-year old child for several months by a 13 year-old male cousin.

    When she entered high school, and mingled with the masses, she dated a bit. But every time the boy wanted to get a little bit closer she’d drop him like a hot potato.

    We had already had her in counseling for being sexually abused pretty much since the discovery of the molestation.

    We had an “open door” policy with the kids. We talked openly about everything. No topic was ever taboo.

    When she was in her junior year of high school, she came to us and told us that she no longer wanted to date guys. She told us that emotionally she could no longer deal with the “psychological backlash trying to have a normal heterosexual relationship.”

    That’s a direct quote.

    She told us the terror she would experience every time she went on that first date and there was the goodnight kiss at the front door.

    For her, it was like reliving the nightmare of what happened to her when she was four.

    We tried more counseling. It was her idea. She said she wanted to be able to get past her fears of being with a guy.

    By the time she graduated from high school and went off to college she had made her choice to stop trying to date guys. She told us that she had decided to be a lesbian.

    In our hearts, we were devastated. NOT because she wanted to “be a lesbian,” truly. We were devastated because she made the choice to give up working on the trauma she has suffered from the age of 4 and decided she could never get past it and it was easier for her just to not have to deal with it at all.

    That was 5 years ago. She tells us she’s still okay with that decision. She tells us she’s never been happier and would chose to live her life as a gay person all over again.

    My heart aches for her. We want her to be happy. We don’t know if she truly is happy or not.

    So, that’s my 2 cents about the .1% of the gay population who have chosen. There are extenuating circumstances and can’t be ignored.

  90. Allyson says:

    whew! there sure are a lot of comments to this post. I haven’t read them all, because I have a limited time on the computer during the day, and I am a loud obnoxious girl who wants to say her piece.

    So here goes; I think government should get out of the marriage business altogether. I think we keep alive civil union which allows for all the tax breaks, health insurance, and death benefits that marriage does. (and if it doesn’t, it can be ammended through legal process, whereas the religious aspects of marriage cannot) Also, it is open to gay, straight, blood relatives, many, few, ANYBODY. I think marriage should be left to religion. This does actually exclude me from getting married since I’m agnostic, and my man is athiest. However, we would be free to civil union just like anybody else. And since there are certainly churches (if not whole religions) who accept gay members, those who are gay, and feel the need to have the married title, could go through those churches to get married.

    I understand that the point of this post was more that we as a society (that word means I inclde the whole world, not just USA) need to move beyond tolerance, or politely looking the other way to true acceptance or *in my opinion* the more important not even noticing someone’s sexual orientation except when thinking, “I find that person attractive, I wonder if s/he finds me attractive, too.” And, for myself I think I’m there. I have family members and friends who are gay. I have been in a girl/girl relationship. I have even lied about the girl/girl relationship so I didn’t offend those I was talking to. Not because I was ashamed, but more because I prefer to be accepted than ostricized. So maybe I’m not there. But I do not feel as though the gay community is one that needs to be put up on a pedestal, nor do I want it down in the sewage. In my dream, no one would blink to find out that I now have two children, and I once was in love and in bed with another woman. I could tell my boss, my in-laws, the bloggosphere, anybody I chose, and they wouldn’t have anything to say about it (other than possibly, I’m sorry that relationship didn’t work out for you… which is what I wish people would say about the other relationships I’ve had that ended.)

    I think we need to stop voting on, blogging about, arguing over MARRIAGE, and start attacking WORKPLACES, MILITARY, and HOW WE RAISE OUR CHILDREN so we have fewer hate crimes.

    And one last thing – I did read whall’s comment about pedophiles. They are born that way, too. They are not necessarily gay or straight. His point, I think, was more that pedophiles are born with the attraction to children, the way that gay people are born with the attraction to people of the same sex as themselves. The problem with his bringing up this point in this discussion is that gay love has no victim. Pedophile love does. I think that pedophiles should not be allowed out of captivity ever, because they cannot change who they are any more than a gay person can stop being gay. I think this would be a good blog post. Stop by my blog tomorrow and see if I choose to use it.

  91. Shash says:

    Ooof…there’s a lot of comments here and some are spot on (Kapgar, Avitable, Hilly, etc) and some, not so much.

    However, that being said, the only thing *I* took from the post was when Jared said you felt “Jews were wrong.”

    Say what? Seriously?

    Explain, please. Because I’m awful confused…

    Shash

  92. Anonymous says:

    hmmmm. grounds for divorce?

  93. Miss Britt says:

    jester: do I have to respond if you weren’t talking to me?

    Coal Miner’s Granddaughter: I don’t think that’s juvenille, I think you make some valid points.

    B.E. Earl: me too

    Stephanie: you described a lot of the same confusions that I think a lot of people go through. And I think you did a good job of demonstrating that that can come from a genuine place of love.

    Mattie: today was the first time I’d ever heard of stories like yours. I appreciate you adding it. It does matter. The conversation is meaningless if we’re just all regurgitating the same perspectives to one another.

    Allyson: and I think that’s definitely a start

    Shash: heh – OK, let me try to explain what he meant.

    As a Christian, I’m saying that I believe that Jesus is the Messiah and the New Covenant, making the old Covenant null and void – basically. Jesus is the “way, the Truth and the Light” and all that.

    As a Jew, you don’t. Your belief system is totally different.

    Jared was trying to say that a Christian might not “judge” a Jew (or vice versa) but in the process of thinking they are “right”, that means the other person must be “wrong”. The point he was trying to make is that while that would technically be true, it doesn’t matter if we both “tolerate” and “accept” each other.

    Does that make sense?

    Anonymous: uh, no.

  94. Lin says:

    I sort of feel sorry for Jared. It’s as if he’s this simple guy — not simple minded, just more simple. I am probably wrong, but it seems sometimes that you look for reasons to find a difference with him. There doesn’t always have to be agreement — even on big issues. Even if he thinks homosexuality is a choice, he voted AGAINST taking away rights. He is entitled to an opinion. And it can differ from yours. And you can still love and respect each other for those differences.

  95. Miss Britt says:

    Lin: I actually did say, specifically, that I love and respect him. Several times.

    I think it’s a testament to our relationship that we can discuss things that we disagree on.

  96. Maureen says:

    I’m grateful that my husband and I felt the same way about prop 8 here in California. I’m so sad that more people didn’t feel the same way we do. I have some family members and neighbors who are wonderful people, yet they voted yes. At first, I was confused about how to feel — how to look at them the same way. I decided to give them my opinion and that’s all I could do.

    Anyway, my feeling is should it matter if someone believes it is a choice or not? As long as they do not try to take the rights away from their fellow citizens, and they treat their fellow man with respect, should it matter that they believe people make a choice in being homosexual?

  97. Loralee says:

    I think WWIII was started in our house regarding proposition 8. I’m so pissed it passed.

  98. Poppy says:

    I thought about this post on the subway this morning and I couldn’t think of anything to say.

    But I just read my boyfriend’s comment and would like to state my opinion:

    Being gay is not harmful.

    Choosing how you present yourself to friends, family, and the world can be harmful.

    Choosing how you react to a family member, friend, or other member of society can be harmful.

    Sexual preference is not a choice. Allowing yourself to live your authentic life rather than living a lie is a choice. I could tell everyone I’m a lesbian. I could live my life as if I were a lesbian. But… that would not be living my authentic life because I am not one.

    We love who we love. The harm comes in perception.

  99. Ren says:

    Yes, what Poppy said. :-)

  100. martymankins says:

    Shame on Jared, even though I’m sure he’s tired of the lynch mob attacking him. We are not really attacking him, but there’s got to be more than just a single bible verse for anyone to have an opinion of being gay.

    Plain and simple, it’s not a choice. There’s so many arguments here and in other places that have been said already.

    Jared will come around someday. Most reasonable thinking people usually do.

  101. onetallmomma says:

    As I found out last year, talking the talk and walking the walk are very different. My eldest 15 year old daughter fell in love for the first time with a 15 year old girl who identifies as a male. “He” dresses as a male, walks like a male and except for his anatomy, is male. It took me months to wrap my mind around the concepts involved. My beloved daughter and I were in conflict when I ended her sleepovers once her friendship changed into a romance. It took me many more months just to change my pronouns from “she” to “he” in an effort to be respectful. They are about to celebrate their 1st anniversary as a couple on Monday and all I feel is blessed. Blessed that my daughter’s first love is kind, respectful and worships that ground she walk on. Blessed that with patience and love we came through it all with our relationship stronger then ever. Blessed with the wisdom that when I had to live my liberal values, really live them, that I was up to the challenge.

    You might remind Jared that he will not get to choose who his children love.

    Be well.

  102. Clayton says:

    My wife and I are both pretty committed to the believe that Homosexuality is natural adn that you are born with. My wife had pulled scientific scholarship on this in college, I don’t have it in front of me right now.

    Since religion was involved, if anyone’s interested, below is a link that outlines the changes of the Reform Jewish Movement’s official statements and beliefs on Homosexuality:

    http://urj.org/ask/homosexuality/index.cfm?

  103. Debra says:

    I am glad that Jared stood his ground with you. Yes, homosexuality is both a sin and a choice. According to the Bible, in Romans 1, God says it was a choice that led to man’s ruin, and therefore, gays are judged by God already, and many of them have been truned over to what the Bible calls a “Reprobate” mind!

    For the record, there has always been so-called sicientific “evidence” of people being born gay, but it has never surface to the level of reality! People choose to be gay, plain and simple! You go Jared, stand your ground!

  104. Debra says:

    The comments by this guy Jester makes him sound just like a She-man. Yes, he made the choice to be gay! Nobody forced him to be gay, he chose to pretend that he is a woman; it was not some gene that made him gay.

  105. rebturtle says:

    Thank you for coming Debra, and bringing the little black cloud you call righteousness with you.

  106. Courtney says:

    Oh Britt, that’s hard. It’s hard to be so opposed in viewpoints with someone so close. For what it’s worth, I agree with you. Being gay is not a choice. Who would choice to be so vehemently hated and opposed by so many people?

  107. Debra says:

    Yes, being Gay is clearly a CHOICE! The more I think about it and study it, I’m convinced that people choose to be gay. In fact, there is a local High School that now boast over 75% of the relationships are between gay people.

    Interestingly, the Principal and other staff members did a survey because they were concerned. When asked if the gay lifestyle was a choice or was it something that people were were born with, over 88% of the entire student body said it was a choice!

    Even more interestingly, one young woman said, “in today’s society, it is politically correct to be gay!” Wow! I can assure you that if the men on this site wanted to stop being poked in the Butt, they could do it at the drop of a hat!

  108. jester says:

    Debra/The Doctor – Please peddle your bottle of batshit crazy somewhere else. No one’s buying it.

    Britt – I can give you a list of ip addresses to ban if you need it.

  109. Debra says:

    Hey Britt:

    I’m just curious why are you so friendly with people who’s lives are antithetical to your supposedly “Christian” values? As I’ve read through many of your posts, I don’t see any “Christ-like” characteristics.

    For example, you curse as much as non-believers do! Jesus says that we’re to be both “Light & Salt”, but it appears that you prefer to “Fit In” with the unbelieving crowd. Here is a word from the Book of James that you probably need to heed:

    “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James4:4)

    I hope you won’t become defensive, but that, you will give this verse every consideration. Just as an observer, I would not believe that you are a “genuine” and “authentic” Christian due to your associations and approval of that which God deplores, namely, homosexuality!

  110. Miss Britt says:

    Dear God,

    Please do not put Debra in charge at the Pearly Gates. Or I am screwed.

    Also – what the hell? I thought we banned her IP address?!? Is this about me praying for lottery numbers again?

    Talk to you later,

    Britt

  111. Ginger says:

    I am days behind on much of my blog reading, so I apologize for chiming in so late on this thread.

    Most of you in this network of bloggers may not be aware of my history, but I was married for 6 years to the man of my dreams when I discovered that he had been struggling for years with trying to reconcile who he truly was with who he was told he was supposed to be by the ultra-conservative church he grew up in. As a result of repressing his orientation (something he says he was aware of since he was 5-years-old), he ended up going completely going off the deep end and committing very irresponsible behavior — just like Gov. McGreevey and others who sneak around, putting the health & well-being of their wives and themselves in danger.

    So yes, I do believe that in the case of men who have homosexual extra-marital affairs, there is a difference, for the exact reason Dawg said: if these guys would have been truthful about their homosexuality in the first place, chances are the women would have never married them in the first place.

    However, I place much of the responsibility for mine and many others’ situations on the way that the church has handled this issue. It is my hope is that somehow the “850-lb gorilla in the room” will FINALLY be addressed in the church in such a way that men will stop feeling like they have to live a lie. I can’t even begin to tell you how many women I know like me whose lives and families have been devastated because these guys have been taught they had to repress their sexuality and follow the “acceptable” path of marrying a woman, bringing children into the world, etc., only for those repressed feelings to come boiling back up at a most inopportune time with deceptive, promiscuous behavior that endangered not only his life but mine, as well as him being to the point of suicide once I found out) 6 years and 1 child later.

    As for if it was a choice, there is no way he would have chosen the hell we both went through during that time, nor would he have chosen to hurt me and lose his family for a “choice”.

  112. Ren says:

    I didn’t think I’d come back to this topic, and as I mentioned before, I do not think whether or not homosexuality is a choice even matters.

    However, the debate rages on and people keep bringing up the negatives of a homosexual lifestyle — particularly one coupled with dishonesty or self-denial (even if church-inspired) as evidence that it is not a choice. While I do believe that it is true that it is not a choice for most, this negativity is not evidence of that. People make choices they know will have negative impacts all the time. Saying, “no one would chose this life” is not a valid argument.

  113. Ginger says:

    I beg your pardon, Ren, but first of all, my comment was not meant to be an argument; rather, it was my intent to share my story with a lot of new friends who probably have not heard it before.

    Secondly, it isn’t your place to judge whether or not another person’s viewpoint is a “valid argument” or not. Who died and made you the Supreme Court Justice of this thread?

  114. Ren says:

    Ginger, I know it doesn’t seem this way, but I was not specifically referring to your comment, though it was a catalyst, and I really do appreciate you sharing your story here. I should have taken more care in my comment to make it clear that I wasn’t trying to argue with you. In fact, I have no issue with most of you said. It was only your last sentence that triggered me to post what I did.

    I’m not trying to judge your viewpoint. I hesitated with the “valid argument” wording, but didn’t find something that fit better. I’m just trying to point out that the argument (and it is an argument, even though your comment itself was not meant to be an argument) that the hardship faced by homosexuals, either open or closeted, is a life no one would chose does not seem very compelling to me. (Is that better than “not valid”?)

  115. Ginger says:

    Oh alright, Ren…thanks for clarifying. I definitely get where you’re coming from. And fwiw, yeah, saying that a viewpoint isn’t compelling to you was a bit more palatable–lol You certainly know how to turn a phrase! :)

  116. Ren says:

    Whew, I’m glad we got that cleared up! :-)

    You didn’t mention how long ago this occurred — I hope your life has taken a less stressful turn since then….

  117. Ginger says:

    It all went down 5 years ago. To say my life is less stressful is somewhat debatable these days, but I guess it’s all relative. :-)

  118. whall says:

    I think we’ve all learned something from this open and honest exchange.

    I personally learned that if I were gay, I’d wanna marry Ren.

  119. Ren says:

    whall, that may be the nicest thing… wait… hmm… maybe you were making a threat….

    Oddly, my fortune for today was “You have a strong appeal for members of your own sex.”

  120. Blake says:

    Anyone that thinks being a homosexual is a choice is obvously a homosexual or bisexual. As a heterosexual man, there is no way I could choose to be gay…I’m just not sexually attracted to men.

    Any man that thinks homosexuality is a choice is obviously sexually attracted to men. If they weren’t sexually attracted to men, there is no way that they would think that they could choose to be gay.

  121. Hannah says:

    Sexuality was definitely a choice for me. I am attracted to men, but I was much more attracted to women when I considered being gay. Eventually I decided not to become a lesbian and married a man five or so years later.

    Further, perhaps this last man is telling the truth, that he could not have made such a choice. However, CNN posted an article in the last week about women and pornography that may offer some enlightenment. They found that although heterosexual men only find heterosexual pornography arousing, and likewise homosexual men with male homosexual porn, women are aroused by all of it.

    So perhaps women are more flexible on this issue, but I wouldn’t come down hard on your husband simply because he believes that being gay is a choice. The science behind the idea that gender preference is genetic is sketchy at best.

  122. Rick says:

    Tens of thousands who thought they were born gay are now straight, married and living those lives with little or no thoughts of their previous lives. Of course, sex is progressive and all kinds of desires can be developed. It’s not a civil rights issue; it’s a religous issue. Why should the religous beliefs of a few dominate the religous beliefs of the rest? One belief or the other will be accepted in society, including public schools.

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