As expected, the anti-gay marriage folks are in full force as of late as a result of the recent Supreme
Court rulings on California's Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). If I were to believe what I read, then I should be stocking up on guns, ammunition, and food soon, because allowing homosexuals to marry is apparently the first sign of the end-times.
There has been some fairly fierce debate, and in my opinion, the anti-gay marriage crowd appears to be on-the-ropes most of the time. What do I mean by that? Well, the debate usually goes like this:
Dude: Gay marriage should be legalized everywhere.
Bro: No it shouldn't, gay marriage is immoral because it says so in the bible. That's the word of God.
Dude: Don't you think that's a bit harsh for a God that's supposedly all about love and mercy? I mean, should homosexuals feel like they are permanently screwed because their very nature is "sinful"?
Bro: That's their fault for being gay. Homosexuality is a choice.
Bro: Yeah man, like, sometimes I have the urge to steal stuff, but I don't steal stuff because it's wrong.
Dude: So, you're in love with your wife, right?
Dude: Could you stop loving her, like, right now? Could you just stop being physically attracted to her for no reason?
Bro: Of course not! I could never stop loving her! I fell in love with her the moment I saw her. She's my soulmate.
Dude: But when a man is attracted to another man, that's a choice . . . right?
Bro: Yes! Didn't I already say that?
Hopefully you get the picture. Here is the deal, friends. Physical attraction is not a choice. I know that some hard core religious people like to think that homosexuality is a choice, but being attracted to someone of the same sex is no more a choice than being attracted to someone of the opposite sex. I hate to break it to the fundamentalist Christian crowd, but physical attraction is based on brain chemistry that simply cannot be altered.
No one simply "makes a choice" whether to be gay or straight. I don't seem to recall a time in my life where I woke up one morning and said to myself, "well, it's time to decide whether I like dudes or chicks!" If you think being gay is a choice, and if you think that what I just said sounds ridiculous, well guess what: it is ridiculous.
If sexual orientation is a choice, then that would mean that every single person can, at any moment, choose whether to be straight or gay. So all of you straight Christian men out there: this means that you all have the potential to choose to be attracted to other men.
If you responded "no way, Jack! That's gross," then you just proved my point. Because of your brain chemistry, there is probably nothing on this earth that will ever cause you to be sexually attracted to other men. And if you responded "I would never be gay, because being gay is a sin," well then that answer is much more fun because it means that if you wanted, you could totally be gay. But you don't want to because God says its wrong. So either sexual orientation is a part of brain chemistry that you can't overcome, or every one of us has the potential to be gay given that we don't give a shit about what the bible says.
Honestly, it's no different than any preference you may have. For example, I love chicks with tattoos and some piercings, but I don't like a chick that's completely covered in ugly tattoos, and I don't like chicks who look like pincushions. I am totally into red heads. I prefer pale skin to tanned. And I find that, for me, well-shaped breasts proportional to a woman's body are more important than the actual size. I didn't decide on any of that. All I know is what gets me going, and that has to do with how my brain chemistry reacts to particular stimuli.
So no, being gay is not a choice. Two gay men can love each other and be just as dedicated to each other as a man and a woman. So why would we want to deny them the chance to spend their lives together? Why do some people want to deny them happiness and status? Just because I'm not attracted to 600 lb. women doesn't mean that there should be a law against marrying them (sorry if any of my readers are that big).
A professor of mine, devoutly Catholic, once said that marriage is God's way of demonstrating the magnitude of his love for us. He asked "do you really think that God only meant for married heterosexual couples to experience his love?"
Well, do you?