Celebrating behavior that leads to disease and an early death is closer to hate than love. According to the latest data from the Center for Disease Control, homosexual men comprise more than 80 percent of sexually transmitted HIV cases despite comprising less than 2 percent of the population. The FDA says that men who have sex with men have an HIV infection rate 60 times higher than the general population. Why should we be encouraging behavior that results in such tragic outcomes? If I have good reason to think you are on the road to destruction—if a truck is about to run over you—the only way to love you is to urge you to get out of the street. If I tell you to keep walking down that road—that I celebrate the road you’re on—how could I hate you more?
But isn’t homosexuality like race? No. Race has nothing to do with behavior, but homosexuality is a behavior! Skin color affects no one, but destructive behavior affects many. Moreover, sexual behavior is always a choice, race never is. You’ll find many former homosexuals, but you’ll never find a former African-American.
So if you don’t approve of a man because of his race, you are a bigot. But if you don’t approve of a man’s destructive behavior, you are wise.
The “born that way” argument doesn’t work either. Not only is the evidence for being “born that way” non-existent, even if it were true, it should have no impact on our marriage laws.
First, after many years of intense research, a genetic component to homosexual desires has not been discovered. Twin studies show that identical twins do not consistently have the same sexual orientation. In fact, genetics probably explains very little about homosexual desires. How would a homosexual “gene” be passed on? Homosexuals don’t pass on anything because homosexual unions don’t reproduce.
Second, while desires are not a choice, sexual behavior always is. So regardless of the source of sexual desires, people are certainly capable of controlling their sexual behavior. If you claim that they are not—that sexual behavior is somehow uncontrollable—then you have made the absurd contention that no one can be morally responsible for any sexual crime, including rape, incest, and pedophilia.
Third, the “born-that-way” claim is an argument from design— “since God designed me with these desires, I ought to act on them.” But the people who say this overlook something far more obvious and important— they were also born with a specific anatomy. We can’t know if our desires are inborn since we can’t remember anything from birth, but we are 100 percent certain that we were born with our anatomy. So why do homosexual activists choose to follow their desires rather than their anatomy? Ignoring your desires may be uncomfortable, but ignoring the natural design of your body is often fatal.
Fourth, being born a certain way is irrelevant to what the law should be. Laws are concerned with behaviors not desires, and we all have desires we ought not act on. In fact, all of us were born with an “orientation” to bad behavior, but those desires don’t justify the behaviors. If you are born with a genetic predisposition to alcohol, does that mean you should be an alcoholic? If you have a genetic attraction to children does that mean you should be a pedophile? What homosexual activist would say that a genetic predisposition to anger justifies gay-bashing? (Don’t blame me—I was born with the anti-gay gene!) Certainly, those that oppose alcoholism, pedophilia and gay bashing are not “bigots”—they are wise.
The bottom line is that the standard arguments for homosexuality and same-sex marriage don’t work. That’s why some homosexual activists will continue to smear conservatives as “bigots” in order to bully them out of the debate and even out of their jobs. In America today, it’s much easier to win with demagoguery than evidence. If you convince the majority that your opponents are “bigots,” then you automatically win even if you’re the bully actually practicing bigotry (read the bigotry and bullying by homosexual activists of conservative but suspended “Teacher of the Year,” Jerry Buell, here, and my own case here).
Will they get away with their bigotry and bullying? Not if Americans start thinking. Thinking people realize that equating homosexuality with race, though presently fashionable, is just as fallacious as calling marriage based in biology a form of bigotry. As G. K. Chesterton pointed out, “Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.”
Frank Turek is coauthor of I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, and the author of Stealing from God: Why atheists need God to make their case. See more of his work at CrossExamined.org.