Newt, It’s Not a Choice
If Newt Gingrich really thinks that being gay is a choice – like celibacy, as he compared it to recently – then he’s got a lot of explaining to do. During an interview this week in Iowa, the GOP presidential contender – who seems to be curiously gaining in the polls – went out on a limb (a big, dumb limb) and compared being gay to being celibate.
“People have many ranges of choices,” he said, comparing being gay to being a priest who chooses to be celibate (and what a comparison that is given the Vatican’s stance on homosexuality these days). He also added that being gay or lesbian is probably “caused” by “a combination of genetics and environment.”
Not sure about you, but it’s more than a little disconcerting when a political candidate starts playing the role of scientist. Plus, this little theory of his – which has yet to actually be proven by medical science – hardly explains away just how many gay kids grow up in straight households much to many a parent’s chagrin.
How do you explain the many opposite-sex couples leading ordinary heterosexual lives who manage to raise gay and lesbian children? Are they really turning their kids gay without even knowing it? Because if one’s to believe Gingrich’s goofy theory, then percentage-wise, it’s the straight parents who are to blame for making all these gosh-darn-crazy gay kids.
And while ordinarily we wouldn’t dredge up someone’s personal life to make a point, he leaves us no choice. Because if Gingrich – as a candidate – chooses to make moral judgments about other people’s personal lives, then we need to take a hard look at this guy’s own personal life. With a couple of ex-wives and extra-marital affairs tucked under his belt, we hardly think he’s in any position to talk about relationships – gay or straight. And while his marriages (and divorces) should most certainly be his business – he’s made it ours when he crawled atop this moral high horse (to get the evangelical vote, perhaps?).
Trouble is, Mr. Gingrich, the religious right doesn’t easily forgive transgressions, for which you have a few. So before you condemn gay folks to a life of celibacy, try asking this question: If being gay really is a choice, then did you also choose to be straight?