Don Lemon invited a group of political commentators onto his show to weigh in on newly revived debate over whether or not being gay is a choice sparked by 2016 Republican presidential
hopeless hopeful Ben Carson earlier this week.
Just in case you need a refresher: Carson told CNN he had hard evidence to support the claim that being gay is a choice. Said the retired neurosurgeon: “A lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight, and when they come out they’re gay.” He later apologized for the remarks.
Lemon’s panel consisted of reporters Ben Ferguson, Sally Kohn and Marc Lamont Hill. When asked whether being gay was, indeed, a matter of free will, both Kohn and Hill said the scientifically-supported answer: No. Obviously.
But Ferguson begged to differ. He insisted that a person’s sexual orientation is, indeed, a choice: “I think people choose to do different things every day, including if they choose to be gay or bisexual or transgendered [sic] or whatever it may be.”
“There are a lot of people that choose different things,” he continued. “I don’t think that’s some shocking new revelation.”
When pressed by Lemon to explain himself further, Ferguson said: “I’m not gay, that’s pretty obvious. I’m heterosexual.” To which Hill shot back: “It’s not obvious.”
That’s when Kohn jumped in to shoot Ferguson and any of his fellow naysayers down.
“What Dr. Carson is referring to is an argument that comes out of a right wing anti-gay mentality,” she said, “that if you choose to be gay you can therefore, and should therefore, choose not to be gay. And the fact that sexual identity is a fungible choice is an argument for denying equal rights and fair treatment.”
“So the choice thing isn’t the issue here,” she continued. “The issue is why don’t we treat people equally regardless of their identity, however they come to it.”
Watch the discussion below.