Monday, October 18, 2010

Bucking the Trend

Ken Buck, the Republican Senate candidate from Colorado, told NBC’s Meet the Press that he thinks being gay is a choice.

Host David Gregory noted to the GOP challenger, “In a debate last month, you expressed your support for Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell [and] you alluded to ‘lifestyle choices.’ Do you believe being gay say choice?”

Buck replied, “I do.” Gregory followed up, asking, “Based on what?” After initially pretending not to understand the question, Buck added, “I guess you can choose who your partner is.”


Before moving on, Gregory pressed further, asking, “You don’t think it’s something that’s determined at birth?” Buck replied, “I think that birth has an influence over it, like alcoholism and some other things, but I think that basically you have a choice.”

The surprise isn’t that Mr. Buck believes what he does. When you have someone with a record like he does in right-wing batshittery, you take it as a given that he’d believe that. It’s an old meme in their book; Pat Robertson and Trent Lott have used it before, too. It’s nothing new. The only surprise is that it took him this long to get it out. (Just curious; if you’re both gay and alcoholic, do you get a Double Word Score?)

Aside from the fact that it’s an argument that is so easily debunked — after all, if being gay is a choice, then isn’t being straight, and when exactly did Mr. Buck and all his manly hetero supporters choose to be so? — there’s absolutely no reliable evidence to indicate that being gay is a conscious choice any more than being left-handed is. Homosexuality shows up in every culture, in every socio-economic strata, and in every racial and ethnic grouping. And I get really tired of having to repeat the same old mantras every time that some wingnut comes up with the claim once again in order to curry favor with Teh Stoopids who will vote for him. (For what it’s worth, I used to live in Colorado. Not all the gays live in Boulder and LoDo; as Ted Haggard proved, there’s a fair number in places like Colorado Springs and other conservative bastions.)

Being gay is not a choice. Being ignorant is.