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Posted at 7:29 PM ET, 12/ 4/2009

Do straight people ‘choose,’ too?

By washingtonpost.com editors

By Les Brown
Washington

I’d like to address a quote attributed to Marshall Brown in the Dec. 2 Metro story, “In D.C., a rift over plights for civil rights, gay rights”: “I can choose to be gay or not. I can never choose to be black or not.”

Regardless of what personal characteristic one chooses as a basis for legal discrimination (skin color, sexual orientation, gender, language, nationality, weight ..... whatever), it remains discrimination. Therefore, equality under the law for same-gender couples is, indeed, a civil rights issue.

The theory of “choice” of sexual orientation has been around a long time. I suggest that this idea says more about the sexuality of those who promote it than it does about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. In my 61 years, I have never experienced a serious attraction to someone of the opposite sex. For me, “choosing” to establish and maintain a stable, same-gender relationship is to align my life experience with my personality and, therefore, with my nature. Any other choice would be “unnatural” for me. Let me just add that, if God appeared to me today and gave me the option today to “become” heterosexual, I would thank Him but politely decline.

The only conclusion that I can come to when I hear “I can choose to be gay or not” is that the speaker is bisexual and his or her own choice to enter into a heterosexual relationship is based on preference rather than personality. I challenge those who say that sexual orientation is a “choice” to tell us exactly when they made the choice to “become” heterosexual and what their reasoning was at that time.

But if entering a same-gender relationship was never a viable option for them, what makes them think that LGBT people’s experiences are so different?

By washingtonpost.com editors  | December 4, 2009; 7:29 PM ET
Categories:  D.C., same-sex marriage  
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