Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council takes a break from denying what scientists say about climate change in order to deny what scientists say about human sexuality. And what humans say about human sexuality:
Homosexual behavior is a choice. A person can choose to either participate in homosexual behavior or not to participate.
The widespread, vocal insistence of this "Just say no" theory of sexual orientation is part of why I find this chemistry.com ad so delightful:
The ad opens with a guy checking out a copy of Playboy. He ponders it a bit before concluding, somewhat cheerfully, "Nope. Still gay."
The joke works because, at first, we don't know the guy is gay. This is, to Perkins, why it's "outrageous" for homosexuals to complain about discrimination — because if they "choose" to, they can pass themselves off as straight. If they're really good at it, they can even get elected to office as Republicans. African Americans don't have that option, of course, which is, Perkins says, the difference between the discrimination faced by homosexuals and that faced by African Americans:
Homosexual behavior is a choice. A person can choose to either participate in homosexual behavior or not to participate. An African American cannot choose to participate in having black skin; they are born with it. [The] suggestion that homosexuals who want to marry are oppressed or victims of discrimination is simply outrageous. No person is being denied the right to marry. They are simply asked to meet the core requirement (since civilization began) that both genders be present.
I suppose this is technically true — homosexuals do have the right to marry, just not the right to marry someone they actually love. But what's love got to do with it?
It's a bit strange to hear this from someone in Perkins' position. He's the head of an allegedly pro-marriage, pro-family lobbying firm, but here he is calling for more loveless marriages. Let a million Ted Haggards bloom!
Perkins is preaching the gospel according to Burton Quim.
I can't help but wonder if he really believes this, if he really believes that sexual orientation is a "choice." How often, I wonder, does Perkins find himself confronted by this choice? I hope, for Mrs. Perkins' sake, that it is not too often, because I would not wish for her — or even for him — the kind of loveless, white-knuckled sham he is advocating for others.