Friday, October 10, 2008

Past Time

Nathaniel Frank, in Los Angeles Times, says that the argument over whether or not being gay is a choice doesn’t really matter.

It is past time to retire the question of whether being gay is a choice — not because it’s been settled but because it never made sense in the first place. Indeed, when it comes to other aspects of our identity and behavior, we generally don’t dwell on the question of choice. To ask whether a practicing Catholic or a professional dancer has “chosen” to be a Catholic or a dancer seems bizarre, not because we entirely deny that an element of choice is involved but because we recognize that the lives we lead are the layered products of our experiences and passions, our convictions and longings, our judgments and follies.


How one responds to these stirrings may be largely a matter of choice, just as one may choose whether to act on a belief or whether to practice a faith. But American institutions properly protect our right to practice the religion that speaks to our soul. Why not champion a homosexual’s right to honor erotic, romantic and emotional callings in the same way, so long as doing so doesn’t harm others? The concept of choice should be no more — and no less — applied to sexual orientation than to our religious, political or vocational identities.