In 1993, between congressional jobs, I briefly worked on Capitol Hill for a national pro-family lobby. I remember a conversation with a former colleague who thought that whether a person was “born gay” or not was irrelevant to the ongoing discussion about civil rights based on “sexual orientation.” He shared with me, adamant about the correctness of his position, that it doesn’t really matter which human weaknesses we’re born with, all that matters is how we choose to act when confronted with human weakness. A man with a weakness for gambling can choose not to gamble. Likewise, my colleague insisted, a person with same-sex attraction can choose not to have same-sex sexual relations.
He added, regardless of the innateness of any human weakness, society is justified, to the degree it feels it must, to frown upon bad behavior.
My colleague argued that just because a man has a sexual weakness for young children, for instance, doesn’t mean that society should condone pedophilia. A predatory act such as pedophilia is immoral, inherently wrong for human beings, in and of itself. His argument came at a time when all sorts of bad human behaviors were thought to have some genetic connection – smoking, alcoholism, drug abuse, pornography, etc. – and also at a time when we began seeing Hollywood make movies about “natural born killers” and other miscreants who seemingly could not control their bad behaviors, the poor souls. Continue reading