1. qjersey says

    The republicans and right wingers MUST stake out this position. Their anti-gay diatribes have no moral or legal basis, if in fact homosexuality is genetic or in born in any way.

    Regardless, the republican tactic of disregarding science on a number of issues is completely disturbing.

  2. Bruno says

    I’m not sure I have a huge problem with him saying that science is inconclusive on the subject. What is a problem is that, if he’s unsure about it like science, he should err on the side of tolerance and acceptance. Yet he’s moved himself significantly right on LGBT issues recently, but tries to be as wishy-washy as possible. He’s such a poor candidate, and the polls are not lying about that.

  3. Matthew says

    And where exactly in the genome is the “straight” gene? Why do gays have to have some sort of scientific research done in order to get equal rights??

    (For the record, though, I believe there is more evidence suggesting the sexual orientation is affected by the hormones in the womb during gestation.)

  4. Steve says

    So does that mean that heterosexuality isn’t necessarily genetic either?

    I wonder where he gets his facts.

  5. shane says

    It doesn’t matter if science cannot figure out all the answers. Even if it is 100% a choice, just for the sake of goddamn argument, what does that matter?!
    These people don’t care what science says about evolution, climate change, or any other relevant topic anyway…now they’ll “defer to the scientists”?!

  6. Jay says

    Haha, a state governor and major candidate for President of the United States can go on national television and question whether or not homosexuality is a choice while calling himself a defender of “traditional marriage,” but it’s the Black athlete/rapper/comedian/entertainer who is the real enemy. Yep.

  7. says

    “… ‘a complex interaction of environmental, cognitive and biological factors.'”

    That’s way too nuanced for Republicans — or most anyone else, for that matter. This is the age of the photo-op and the sound bite — anything more complex than a “yes” or “no” is just too complicated to deal with for a newscaster or talk show host who doesn’t know what he or she is talking about anyway — much less a politician.

  8. Sam says

    One thing that’s not in dispute is the fact that Pawlenty is boring as hell and he’ll never be president.

  9. Nick says

    All the blather comes down to -if sexuality is a choice-can this man or any of the Republican Reich tell us when was their epiphany about choosing to be straight? If it is a conscious choice -then the same must be true of Heterosexuality.

  10. Frank says

    Governor Pawlenty,
    Science does understand why elevated roadways fall down in states with cold climates, like Minnesota. Only a scientific ignoramus of a governor would choose to cut the budget for road repair while vastly expanding other forms of spending, yet you did so and the result was a massive collapse of an occupied elevated roadway.

    You made a choice against indisputable science available to any third grader and it cost lives.

    Who are you to criticize much less legislate against other people’s _personal_ choices?

  11. Anthony-S says

    Why do Xtians continue with this irrelevant debate? Same-sex attraction may very well be a genetic “option” for the entire human species. Look at dolphins and bonobo chimpanzees. But apparently, Xtians are asking whether humans can do without same-sex attraction. All right, fine. That may not be a choice for one portion of the population and a choice for another portion of the population. But there’s a news flash from America’s founding: choices about how to live your life are constitutionally protected. The freedom to choose to believe in some stupid-ass religion is the ultimate choice, and that’s protected as freedom of religion. The last time I checked, this was a free country. “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (Declaration of Independence).

    Do Xtians have the nerve to suggest that same-sex love is only a right for that portion of the population for whom it’s not a choice? BS! What about a man who was married to a woman, liked it for a while, but then divorced and thought he might want to try living with another guy. THAT’S HIS CHOICE! And it’s just as constitutionally protected as the Xtian choice to follow their moronic religion. Will people please, please stop buying this Xtian lie about people not having the constitutional right to live their lives the way they choose? Read the goddamn U.S. Constitution!

  12. Connectme says

    This is a tired argument. I don’t believe it’s a choice, but even if it is, who cares? Why do they care about who I choose to love?

  13. Paul says

    It’s pathetic that this is even an issue for politicians on the right…. and as for Pawlenty he’s even wishy washy with his bigotry. At least with Bachman you know where you stand. We know she is just horrid because she just comes right out with it.

  14. ohplease says

    “Their anti-gay diatribes have no moral or legal basis, if in fact homosexuality is genetic or in born in any way.”

    Their anti-human rights stance has no moral or legal basis if, in fact, being gay is a choice. Being an idiotic lunatic fairy tale worshipper is a choice, but we protect people who are stupid or delusional enough to choose to believe that there’s a giant ghost in the sky who controls the weather and football games.

    If being gay were a choice, which clearly it is not — and sad, pathetic loser Tim Whoever knows it is not — people who chose to be gay would be still entitled to their human rights and full equality in the USA.

    More to the point, being gay isn’t a crime. You don’t have to prove yourself innocent of the gay to be a fully-enfranchised human being because you were born a fully-enfranchised human being.

    People like little Timmy just get more and more pathetic with every passing year.

  15. Mike in the Tundra says

    Let the wingnuts argue about it. I don’t care if it’s genetic, environment or a combination of both. I cannot remember a time that I didn’t feel attraction to men. I found a great man, and we made a good life for ourselves.

  16. Joe says

    Interesting that when asked about this he refers to science, but when asked about climate change he says scientist are wrong.

  17. Linguist says

    There’s a basic misunderstanding going on in discussions like this, and David Gregory didn’t help matters any.

    There is a great deal of debate about the extent to which sexual orientation is based in genetics, in general biology (including such things as hormone levels in utero) or environmental factors (particularly pre-birth or very early in life).

    There is virtually no scientific debate about whether or not people “choose” their sexuality because that isn’t a particularly scientific question and depends largely on definitions about sexual orientation and choice.

    Want to know whether I as a gay person “chose” to be gay? Ask me. I was “there” the entire time.

    I certainly didn’t “choose” to be gay. In fact, I “chose” NOT to be gay, but, apparently, it’s not something we really GET to “choose.” That didn’t stop me from trying to be straight for decades –I never so much as held the hand of another gay person that entire time.

    Eventually, I accepted myself as I am. And I went on to fall in love (not really a “choice” either) and spend the rest of my life with the person I loved (definitely a “choice”).

    It’s also a non-issue. Lots of things are choices, including religion and politics, but we as a free society accept that not everyone reaches the same conclusions about what is or isn’t a good choice.

  18. StillmarriedinCA says

    @Jay–calm down. You just posted on a thread that is full of criticism for a white politician and stated that white homophobes get a pass while we only go after black homophobes. Come back to reality. What is your problem?

  19. Jared says

    long time reader, first time poster.

    This is an issue I feel very very strongly about. It’s very dangerous to use the word genetic when discussing sexuality. No gene has yet been identified. It’s imperative that you be explicit and correct with facts when discussing this issue, lest you give the opposition a leg to stand on. I much prefer the phrase “born this way,” or “not by choice,” which can include environment in the womb and a whole host of other explanations over “genetic.”

    Pawlenty is absolutely right that there is no genetic evidence (yet). This is a stupid argument against gay rights anyway and is only validated by the fact that people argue that being gay is genetic. Pawlenty’s argument is best obviated by discontinuing arguing that homosexuality is genetic (which SHOULD be completely irrelevant anyway).

  20. Tim NC says

    @StillmarriedinCA and @Jay

    Jay also apparently missed the earlier post about the white athlete that just apologized for using “gay” in a negative way.

  21. Jay says

    I accepted his apology without questioning him or his motives, just like I did for DeSean Jackson, Tracy Morgan, etc…

    I can’t give a pass to Tim Pawlenty, however, no matter how remote his chances are of actually being elected are. His words are far more damaging to us and our community.

  22. Dexter says


    Jay is very transparent about his problem. He’s very angry about the color of his skin and wishes he were white.

  23. Jay says

    Ok Dexter, there’s no arguing with a fool I guess. Meanwhile, back to Tim Pawlenty…

  24. Danny says

    It’s all Bullsh*t. Who in their right mind would deliberately choose to be gay considering the high price paid for it in most households, religious groups, communities, countries? These guys have something bad wrong with them if they think somebody would deliberately choose to expose themselves to the kind of haters his party is rife with. Just insane.

    As my Daddy used to say, If being gay were a choice it wouldn’t take you long to make a different one.

  25. says

    I have to give Pawlenty a pass on this one. Yes, he’s said some anti-gay stuff in the past, but in this case he obviously had no idea what to think and came clean about it.

    And he didn’t sign that awful pledge!

  26. Codswallop says

    Perhaps the best way for the gay community to argue for our rights is to concede, for the sake of argument, that homosexuality IS in fact a choice. So what? That doesn’t actually change the debate at all because either we have Freedom or we don’t, the right to pursue happiness as we define it, and neither religion nor majority opinion should have any say in it. I certainly don’t remember Tim Pawlenty or any other Republican or Religious Right figure (the same thing these days) offering up their life choices for debate, so why should I or anyone else?

    Personally I’m more in favor of gestational factors, hormones and such, but the looking for the “cause” is both offensive and quixotic. Looking for “causes” inherently carries a negative judgement and in any cases it’s unlikely there’s only one. And even if you could “fix” it, what would humanity lose in the process?

    In the past studies seem to show that male homosexuality ran along matrilineal lines, so it’s kind of entertaining to think that if there IS a “gay male gene” it’s actually expressed in women. Both my brother and I are gay and I know of many other families with more than one gay son, including one family where all 3 sons are gay. What if the “gay male gene” isn’t a male gene at all but an XX-linked trait that effects hormone levels during pregnancy, making females of a certain lineage more likely to produce gay male children?

    Not that it matters, just an entertaining (to me at least) thought.

  27. Tyrone says

    Hey Jayz,
    It’s pretty comical you calling anyone a fool after the comments you’ve made on various posts throughout this site. Irony is funny.

  28. Jay says

    I think that part of what makes the LGBT civil rights struggle separate and unique from other movements is that we have first had to establish ourselves as legitimate beings. There’s usually little doubt of a person’s gender or skin color; however, sexual orientation has been seen as a bit nebulous by our opponents.

    It’s easy to deny a person equal rights if they are what they are because of a choice. Should the law accommodate people’s choices? I don’t know the answer to that, but I think it’s much more difficult morally and ethically to deny a person’s rights if what they are is undeniable and unquestioned. That’s why I think Pawlenty’s words this morning about choice are so damaging to our community.

  29. Sean says

    This is ridiculous! An idiotic Republican demagogue, who rejects the theory of evolution, if going to “defer to scientists” on this matter. Is a little bit of consistency too much to expect from people like Pawlenty? I’m not overly familiar with scientific research into homosexuality; I’ve heard the “Gay gene” claims, the “Exotic becomes erotic” stuff, but at the end of it all what does it matter? People should be allowed to have sex with whoever they want as long as there’s consent. Sadly that’s a concept that’s alien to the fundamentalist and the clowns that pander to them. That is all!

  30. Randy says

    While there is almost certainly a genetic component, the American Psychological Association’s statement about biological factors does not, in fact, suggest genetic factors. There’s more to biology than genes.

  31. AedanCRoberts says

    @Jay- what exactly do you think this post is about? Patting Paw-yawn-ty on the back for his obviously stupid statements? No, it’s calling him out on it- the same way it’s done to everyone regardless of skin-tone.

    Homophobia isn’t a blacks-only issue. It’s a religious issue, an ignorance issue, and a fear issue.

    If there simply seems to be a disproportionate number of black celebrities/public figures getting called out on homophobic actions/statements perhaps it’s more an issue with the community itself and the strong religious ties it has to evangelical christianity.

    It’s just silly to come into a post deriding a white politician over his ridiculous statements and try to argue that we only call out black people for it, though. I hope you understand that.

  32. David C. says

    Disregarding his traditional marriage and traditional couple thing, he really isn’t saying anything I don’t agree with when it related to whole “is it a choice?” argument. The simple fact is that we don’t know.

    Hell, I might have been born gay. Or maybe genes had nothing to do with and it was my environment when I was young. Or maybe my genes made me predisposed to being homosexual. Or maybe it has to do with hormones in the womb.

    The thing is, we don’t know, and it doesn’t, or shouldn’t really pertain to the gay-rights movement. Both sides of the issue should just leave this whole debate behind, it’s pretty irrelevant in the larger scheme of things.

  33. David C. says

    And I do hope the writer of this blog is aware that there has been no conclusive evidence on the origins of homosexuality… there have been hints, even strong ones. But we don’t have a definitive answer.

    Sure, it’s PROBABLY a mixture of complex causes, that’s not that hard to figure out. In fact, by PROBABLY I mean EXTREMELY LIKELY.

    In the end, there has been no study that has given a definitive answer, and anyone that says otherwise is just fooling themselves.

  34. Tony says

    I didn’t think these guys believed in science. You know…according to them in gets in the way of that creation thing.

  35. jamal49 says

    Um, Timmy, you’re awfully cute. So, um, if I can choose to be gay, then so can you. So, um, if you’re not, like, real busy next Saturday night, how about a “presto-change-o” from straight to gay and we can, like, go out or something or maybe we can just, um, hang around and watch a movie and you can spend the night and I’ll, like, cook breakfast in the morning and then, you can, um, change back to straight? Really. You won’t be disappointed. Um, maybe you might decide to just, you know, choose to stay gay. I mean, like, we can go to Niagara Falls and, you know, get married. So, um, good idea or what?

  36. frank says

    It’s kind of sad that today we are still having to justify our very existence, instead of debating specific issues related to the community. Am I the only one who is insulted by these questions?

  37. anon says

    The reason we don’t hear anything from Romney is that all his money is going to come from corporate donors while Pawlenty, Bachmann and Santorum pick up the scraps among the social conservatives and evangelicals hoping somehow to gain traction.

  38. Mark says

    Alright, somebody help me out here because I’m confused. When republicans say homosexuality is a choice, what exactly does that mean? Does it mean that gays are not really attracted to people of the same sex but choose to have gay sex anyway? Why would they do that? What kind of sex is sex with someone have no feelings for?

    Let’s refine the question. It’s not hard to see why heterosexual young people would have one or two same-sex sexual encounters for the purpose of experimentation (sort of a discovering of their own identity). But at the end of the day, if you experience no attraction toward people of the same sex, then long-term gay sex and relationships are not for you. In that case that’s the end of experimentation and you go back to what you’re truly attracted to.

    So the “choice” theory of homosexuality might explain the first one or two (ok a few more) same-sex encounters. It does NOT explain why same-sex committed couples would shack up with each other for years. So when these teabaggers get fed the usual bs in church about homosexuality being a choice, they need to ask themselves if they would get into a 20-year relationship with someone they’re not really attracted to.

    This is not an issue that needs science. This is an issue that needs commons sense and some critical thinking, both of which are nowhere to be found among teabaggers.

  39. shadow_man says

    We need to get the word out to religious communities that anti-gay people are twisting God’s words to condone their hate.

    Homosexuality is not a sin. The Bible is constantly being taken out of context to support anti-gay views. Scholars who have studied the Bible in context of the times and in relation to other passages have shown those passages (Leviticus, Corinthians, Romans, etc) have nothing to do with homosexuality. These passages often cherry-picked while ignoring the rest of the Bible. The sins theses passages are referring to are idolatry, Greek temple sex worship, prostitution, pederasty with teen boys, and rape, not homosexuality or two loving consenting adults.

  40. shadow_man says

    This is the perfect example of how anti-gay people change the bible’s words for their anti-gay agenda.

    Corinthians 6:9-11
    Let us examine that very closely.

    Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate [malakoi], nor homosexual offenders [arsenokoites], nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God.

    First of all, before we address this line, let us consider one thing. Supposedly taken from a 2000+ year old book, understand that the word “homosexual” was not coined until 1869 by Austrian-born novelist Karl-Maria Kertbeny. So how it happens to be included in a true reading of the particular biblical passage should make you ponder how accurate the interpretation actually is. So man changing the words of the Bible to conveniently spread hate?