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Column: Homosexuality Is Not A Choice And Should Be Respected

By Chris Pace

A story that has garnered some attention over the past week has been Sen. Rob Portman’s change of heart for his belief on gay marriage.  His 21-year-old son came out to Sen. Portman and his wife and told them it was not a choice and that he has been gay as long as he could remember.

Gay marriage is a huge topic in both religion and politics. People hold different beliefs, such as that homosexuals choose to be gay, but in reality, they don’t. Homosexuals are born that way, just the same as heterosexuals. Homosexuals should be treated no differently than anyone else.

Religious zealots protest homosexuality because they believe it to be a sin.  If all you have is a book full of stories that teach you morals then you really do not have enough credibility to make a statement.  Leviticus 18:22 states,

“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”  This religious text, written centuries ago, is one of many scriptures that these people use to protest gay marriage and homosexuality.

Many believe that being gay is a choice, and some go as far as to say that with religious counseling their sexuality can change.  However, these people cannot prove homosexuality is a choice or that someone’s sexuality can be altered; they do not have enough evidence to make such an argument. Anyone can also make the argument that there is no evidence of the Ten Commandments, Noah’s Ark or any proof of there ever being a Jesus Christ.  I’m not bashing religion. I just think justifiable reason is important.

To those opposed to gay marriage: maybe instead of reaching out to your beloved politicians to vote on your belief of banning it, you should focus more on what your politicians are doing behind closed doors (remember Anthony Weiner?).

The separation of church and state is an important belief that all Americans should inherit. As proud as I am of Portman for supporting his son, his views should have concerned the people who elected him before he knew, not after a change of heart. Now, Portman has already proved that he ignored gay marriage supporters before he learned his son was gay.  He had voted against gay marriage and same-sex couples adopting in the past, but his son’s sexuality opened his eyes, a huge step towards gay marriage in the United States.

We all know someone who is gay.  We have gay family members, friends, teachers, co-workers, politicians and priests.  My older cousin came out ten years ago, and it has taken my family a long time to come to the realization that he is who he is and there is nothing anyone can do about it. But we all love him and accept that he is homosexual, not to mention the profound respect I have towards him for having the courage to come out to my family.

Gay marriage is important; it should get more attention and become legalized across the country.  There has been speculation that a gay couple can’t raise their own children in a “normal” household, but what a lot of people don’t think about, is that their seemingly “normal” heterosexual next-door neighbors hit their kids with belts for spilling a glass of water or cheat on their spouse.

Kudos to Sen. Portman for accepting his son, and thank you Will for coming out to your family and the rest of the country.  It’s nice to know that politicians are changing their views on gay marriage even if it takes a while; it’s still progressing.  So for the LGBTQ community, keep fighting for your right to marry.  And to everyone that opposes gay marriage, I ask you to rethink your belief and ask yourself “what if someone told me I couldn’t marry because I’m heterosexual?”  Then tell me your opinion.