Recently, the fact thatpeople are born with their has taken off in the media. It’s increased prominence can be seen in the popularity of the song “Born this Way” by the , , and the rise in the number of articles and blog-posts dealing with the subject. In many ways, this is a good thing. It can be seen as an affirmation of the fact that there’s nothing wrong with being gay and as a celebration of gay identity. However, as a defence against conservative attacks, I think that it is a rather weak .
Stating that gay people were born with their orientation seems like the perfect counter to the conservative argument that being gay is a choice, but this life-affirming rebuttal opens the door to other attacks. Following this exchangewill rightly point out, though rarely eloquently, that are most likely born with their “orientation”, but that being born so doesn’t make their behaviour justifiable. The most common response to this is that the the two orientations aren’t equatable. The problem is this: If you base your argument that being gay is perfectly acceptable on premise that gay people are born with their orientation, then these two orientations do become equatable. In fact, if you base your argument on such a premise, then heterosexuality and paedophilia also become equatable. After all, anyone of either orientation were born the way they are.
Fortunately, there is a simple way to eliminate this problem: Unlike paedophilia, neither being gay or being straight are intrinsically harmful. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with being either gay or straight as there is with engaging in paedophilia. I hope that this analogy will expand this line of thinking:
Both baseball and war involve tactics and strategy. However, unlike war, baseball is not intrinsically harmful. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with playing baseball.
The beauty of this argument is threefold. Firstly, it neatly side-steps any unfortunate comparisons. Secondly, it’s a rather libertarian argument, which conservatives purport to support in other matters. Thirdly, it eliminates the choice argument that conservatives put forward by making it irrelevant if being gay is a choice or not. It boils the whole think down into a debate about freedom. Something that conservatives, if they believe their own rhetoric, should support.
Frankly, I think that this is a far superior argument than simply stating that gay people are born that way.