Hate Group Leader Tony Perkins Admits That Same-Sex Attraction Is NOT A Choice

Journalists’ ‘fact-checking’ services can be just as prone to bias and factual error as the politicians they’re checking. PolitiFact analyzed former Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s statements on the origins of homosexuality. Meet the Press host David Gregory had asked: ‘Is being gay a choice?’ Pawlenty began his response by saying, ‘Well, the science in that regard is in dispute.’ PolitiFact rated that lone sentence as ‘false.’ But the ‘choice’ question is meaningless unless you also define what you mean by ‘gay.’ Same-sex attraction is not a choice, but homosexual conduct and homosexual self-identification are choices.

– Leader of America’s favorite Southern Poverty Law Center certified hate group, the Family Research Council, Tony Perkins, finally admitting what we have known for all these years. Way to finally see the light, brother.


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  • Lars Eighner

    The “choice” debate seriously undermines human rights. There is a right to be gay, a right to act gay, and a right to identify as gay. Whether there is a choice in how those rights are exercised and by whom is the most irrelevant thing in the world.

    It should not be “Born that Way,” but “Right to be that Way.” Gay is not a congenital birth defect. It is a fundamental human right.

  • gregger

    You really need to work on your headline skills. This headline was misleading.

  • Rainfish

    Being a pseudo-Christian bigot is undeniably a “choice”.

    Besides, freedom is about access to a whole palette of choices to which we are all entitled. As long as your freedom to live your life doesn’t interfere with other people’s freedom to live theirs, then we’re all good to go. It shouldn’t threaten your Catholic faith if a Jewish Synagogue opens down the road, and neither should one’s heterosexuality be, somehow, threatened by the peaceful co-existence of GLBT neighbors.

    Then again, some miscreants (such as Gallagher, Perkins, Santorum, et al) still rely on a warped rationalization tantamount to that of a slave-owner’s alleged freedom to own slaves trumps that of an enslaved individual’s right to be free. The Supreme Court in the mid-1800s sided with the slave-owner (ref: Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857)). In other words: “My freedom depends on you losing your freedom” — according to oppressors from time immemorial.

    A similar vile argument is being used against us concerning our freedom of intimate association — especially recognition of our own contractual legal relationships on par with our heterosexual counterparts in society. Instead of slavery, there are those today who believe they “own” marriage, and American citizens in the GLBT community are not entitled to it. So they pass hateful legislation in the form of anti-Marriage Equality State Constitutional Amendments built on a twisted logic that, if they burn down our homes it will somehow make their own homes fireproof.

    History will duly honor our human rights struggles and, at the same time, those more enlightened future generations will thoroughly denounce and revile our foes as the authentic threat to American civilization.

  • Steveo

    @Lars Eighner: Lars Eighner?! THE Lars Eighner?!? I read “On Dumpster Diving” a few years ago as a closeted homo in Catholic high school and loved it! What a coincidence that I should spot your name on a Queerty comment :)

  • jason

    Looks like Tony Perkins is starting to grow up. He’s beginning to understand that your sexual orientation is automatic. It doesn’t come by an act of choice but by an automatic, non-chosen process.

    Now, as for sexual behavior, yes, we can all control our sexual behavior. We can choose to engage in lots of sex, we can choose to engage in a little sex, or we can choose to engage in no sex.

    Everybody can make a choice regarding their behavior. My problem with the Religious Right crowd is that it expects us gays to deny that we have these feelings. It not only wants us to refrain completely from same-sex behavior, it also wants us to deny our automatic feelings.

  • Daez

    @Rainfish: I question rather Christianity is a choice for many. My argument would be that you are indoctrinated before you are old enough to even think clearly.

  • Patrick

    I hate to break it to you, queerty, but this isn’t new. All of these anti-gay and ex-gay groups have been admitting for some time now that same-sex attraction is not a choice. They just don’t think it justifies acting on those feelings. They’re fine with us being attracted to the same-sex, it’s having sex with the same sex that they take issue with.

    We really can’t begin to counter an argument until we know what the argument is. It’s like the evolution debate. Creationists agree that it happens NOW, but they disagree that it was how life started. Despite appearances, science has leaked into the debates some of these Christian groups are having. They just make arguments that accomodate that.

  • Andrew

    I think it’s significant that we hear more anti-gay groups admitting that same-sex attraction isn’t a choice, because it obfuscates their argument and we can press them on the issue. More religious people will begin to wonder why their gods create homosexuals while religious texts condemn homosexuals. Alongside the human element ( the existence of gay people in the lives of anti-gay bigots), the revelation of possible sanctioning by a personal god makes people rethink their positions. Arguments against gays and marriage equality are purely religious in nature. All other things being as they are, if religious texts didn’t oppose gays, people wouldn’t. None of these “sanctity of marriage” arguments would hold. Religion is the core of this, and anything that undermines its position against us is good in my book (haha).

  • Daez

    @Andrew: I will never agree that you can blame religion for all homophobia. I’ve known plenty of people in my life that are not even remotely religious but are still very homophobic. I think the fact that most people see it as being different and therefore are not willing to embrace it is a much bigger factor than religion.

  • ewe

    Tony Perkins has a smelly crusty asshole.

  • Cam

    Their only defense for years was that gays were not born that way, as they are with a person’s race.

    Well now that they admit that gays are born that way, and they hate people for the way they are born, they have to admit that their sole reason for being is bigorty.

  • Daez

    @Cam: They still never said gays were born that way. They said they don’t chose to be that way. They are not the same at all.

    With the fact that we can almost completely map the human genome and still have never found any evidence that gays were born gay is almost evidence that they aren’t. It is probably a psychosocial construct that is deeply rooted. Either way its NOT a choice.

  • Lars Eighner

    @Steveo: So far as I know there is no other. Except for a few hater tubes falsely attributed to me.

  • Taliaferro

    We’ll remember that when HIS closet door is blown open!

  • Andrew

    Anecdotal evidence aside, we can argue the semantic differences between “all” and “most,” but I think it’s evident through common sense and factual precedent that institutions sponsoring the most egregious anti-gay rhetoric are religious (or run by those influenced by religion). It’s not naive to think so, either. Regardless of if general human misunderstanding of homosexuality led to its condemnation within religious texts or if religious texts led to a misunderstanding of homosexuality, the fact remains that contemporary religion is a major source of anti-gay sentiment. I realize that your point could be true, Daez, but who is to say that the talking points of religious homophobes doesn’t influence a majority of the atheist anti-gay bigots out there? Also, as over 90% of people in the U.S. say they’re religious (and I’m willing to bet that a lot of those atheists are liberal) how significant do you expect that flavor of bigot to be?

    I also don’t mean to imply that all religious people are anti-gay, just that most anti-gay people are religious and need religious reasoning to ever become truly pro-gay. When I wrote “Arguments against gays and marriage equality are purely religious in nature,” I meant that the ideas people create about gay people all molesting children, etc. are more inspired by their religious prejudices than fact.

  • Shannon1981

    @Andrew: Most anti- gay people are religious. This is a fact. People can scream bigotry at that statement all they like, it’s simply true. Religion often simply perpetuates ignorance.

  • GayGOP

    Quite honestly, even if it is a choice, so too is religion.

  • DannyB

    > homosexual conduct and self
    > identification are choices

    In other words being honest in your conduct and open about admitting it are choices.

    Choices Christians condemn you for. Its better to lie.

    But being gay is not a choice. Lying and living a lie is the best choice.

    Did I interpret what he said correctly?

  • todd

    OH F*cking Great! Now he’s given himself and other Bachman like people the idea that even if we are biologicaly predisposed to attraction to the same gender, we can stop acting on it because we “CHOOSE” to act on it. WTF does he want now? I am human, I WANT to act on it because if I did not, my mental need to be close to another human would not be satisfied. I would go ape sh*t crazy like someone who has not slept for weeks straight which is also clinicly harmful to both MENTAL and PHYSICAL health. We are predisposed with the need to be physicaly satiated period.

  • xander

    The usual arguments one hears against ‘homosexuality’ all stem from religious, moral doctrines. The only possible exception might be the (wildly unscientific) belief that IF everyone were gay or lesbian, our species would become extinct. Obviously that’s rubbish, because we’re never going to be the whole population, and OMG, yes, there are other ways to create babies than via intercourse!

    No matter how much pseudoscience they cling to, the Tony Perkins of the world are, at their core, just preaching odd bits of some ancient holy text and pretending that it’s scientific.

  • Rainfish

    @Daez: Actually, what I said was: “Being a pseudo-Christian bigot is undeniably a “choice”. ”

    I get that children are inculcated into their various family religions and may even be brainwashed into intolerant and even hateful behavior towards others who do not share those twisted beliefs. But at some point, even as a child, it becomes a choice as to whether or not act to on those prejudices in an anti-social manner. If we can put children on trial as adults for adult crimes we certainly can hold them accountable for acts of bullying and other forms of intimidation against their GLBT classmates. The current trial regarding the murder of Larry King bears that premise out.

  • Rainfish

    @Daez: who wrote: “With the fact that we can almost completely map the human genome and still have never found any evidence that gays were born gay is almost evidence that they aren’t.”


    Uh, no. Geneticists have not found the gene for artistic brilliance either, but it is found in a small percentage of our population. Artistically gifted children many times are raised in homes where art appreciation is…well…how do I put it…uh, not appreciated.

    Yet, many of these children are driven to excel, on their own, to great heights of artistic achievements guided only by some inborn trait that has no direct connection to how they were nurtured. They seek out knowledge on their own, and may find inspiration outside of their homes through education and individual experience.

    So, where is the gene marker for art…for music…for mathematical genius?
    Perhaps, a complex combination of many genes create the propensity for artistic genius. Perhaps, the same is true with homosexuality. But similar genes often contribute to dissimilar functions. For example: several years ago the gene for left-handedness was being researched as a link to schizophrenia.


    Gene for Left-Handed Trait Discovered
    Kate Ravilious
    for National Geographic News
    August 1, 2007

    “The gene most closely linked to left-handedness has been found, experts announced this week.

    The gene, called LRRTM1, is also associated with a slight increase in developing certain mental illnesses such as schizophrenia.”

    …read more here:


    So, in other words, one brick does not make a building and, more often than not, a multiplicity of genes are most likely responsible for complex expressions of human intelligence and behavior, as well as exceptional abilities — perhaps these genes my be activated or even inhibited by environmental factors, or perhaps their expression may lay outside of environment influences all together.

    …Something to ponder.

  • xander

    @Rainfish : Correct! The ‘map’ just shows where the genes are, in essence. It cannot yet show how those genes work, singly or together, to lead to individual characteristics. Still lacking also is a detailed understanding of how the genetic templates are expressed (or ‘activated,’ as you said).

    Even relatively simple traits such as handedness are not fully understood.

    The Daez statements about the lack of a “gay gene” are very standard right-wing bulletpoints, written by people with a vested interest in seeing homosexulity as a choice, and in denying LGBT rights to marriage, employment protection, and so forth.

    Imagine a city map which showed only buildings instead of streets, highways, trains, buses, etc. That’s a decent analogy to where the human genome project is currently.

  • Rainfish

    @xander: Thank you for your elaboration on the subject. It was very much appreciated.

  • MikenStL

    @Daez: Any complex trait, whether it’s heart disease, personality traits, Alzheimer’s, Diabetes, Autism etc, etc are most likely the influence of 10’s or even 100’s of genes and their various alleles (different versions of the same gene). Just knowing the basic sequence of a few 100 people or even a few 10’s of thousands of people in no way provides enough information for one to be able to pick out what genes are doing what when combined with these other these specific gene alleles.

    Right now, we basically only can identify diseases/conditions that are due to 1 specific gene being defective or different. And then if you combine in the fact that effects of many genes depend on environmental conditions to show/hide their effects, I think that we very will possibly never be able to develop a genetic screening test and say with a 100% (or even 80%) accuracy that this baby is going to be gay or that one will be straight. Especially if you figure in things like the Kinsey scale that show people are spread across a continuum.

    We are our genes, but we are also our environment. And which causes what is of little matter because We are who we are regardless.

  • Rainfish

    @MikenStL: I believe, like Freud, that bisexuality is a potential in probably every human being. It is also a cultural phenomena — it can be encouraged or discouraged, but it doesn’t stop it from existing in some form or another. Witness the ancient Greeks where bisexuality was the accepted norm.

  • Rainfish

    @MikenStL: Also, if bisexuality is generally the norm at birth without the contaminating external influence of religious inculcation and cultural indoctrination towards a “preferred” sexual orientation imposed on the developing child, then homosexuality and heterosexuality are equally valid as sexual preferences that may evolve naturally later in adolescence. Or, perhaps, an initial bisexual orientation may be retained.

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