Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Homosexuality is a Choice and Other Logical Fallacies

It's finals week soon! You know what that means? Doing everything in my power to avoid studying. xD

This includes thinking about some deeply intimate subjects including why Mormons can't come to terms with gay people.

This is a lot larger of a question than you think. So, let me tackle something simpler for the post and something that I feel very strongly about: why do at least two of my siblings tell me that being gay is a choice? One of these siblings will be graduating in psychology with a masters in April. He has been studying it for six years. You would think that someone who has been a field where "gay" is a common topic would have seen the research that states gay is not a choice. And he has. So why does he deny the truth?

So, let me start with some basics. Assuming that being gay is a choice, a gay Mormon has four choices:

1) Leave the church.

2) Live a heterosexual lifestyle.

3) Live a life of celibacy.

4) Live a gay lifestyle while staying in the church.

So, let me look at this from my brother's perspective when trying to decide which is the best option. Obviously, he doesn't think leaving the church is an option. Clearly not in line with church teachings. Similar to option four, living a gay lifestyle while staying in the church. Obviously, that is wrong.  People can't be committing sin all the time, especially serious, sexual sin, and stay in the church. In fact, that lifestyle, if reported to the Mormon church, will result in excommunication, essentially option one. So, from my brother's perspective, one and four are not even real options.

Option two would seem the most appealing at first. Someone lives a heterosexual lifestyle, gets married, makes babies, shows up at family events with a significant other of the opposite gender. But my brother isn't that superficial. He is smart and would see the problems with this. This lifestyle isn't fair to the woman. She would not be getting the love she deserves. Sex is not just a physical thing. It is emotional, spiritual as well as intimate. A gay man simply cannot provide all these to a woman he married to fit into Mormon social norms. Besides, these marriages don't last. There aren't any stats and numbers out there about how many of these result in divorce, but there have been case studies done. And these indicate that the couple can be happy at first. Sometimes as long as two or three years. But things fall apart.

If being gay is a choice, this leaves us with option three; to live a life of celibacy. Which, according to my brother, just isn't fair to ask of someone. Mainly because celibacy just isn't lack of sex, but lack of dating, kissing, holding hands, flirting (something I see couples around BYU do on a daily basis). Asking gay Mormons to live a life without love, to wait until life ends to begin to find love, is just not fair. He knows he can't ask this. So he doesn't.

Instead, he chooses to deny data, deny truth, and say that being gay is a choice. Because, with that decision, it isn't God who is condemning us to this celibate, miserable lifestyle, it is ourselves.

So, this is why Mormons believe that being gay is a choice. Because to believe otherwise is to believe that God doesn't want us to find love until death. According to my brother, it has to be our choice because God only makes perfect beings, not gay people.

And now I'm angry again. I tried to understand my "masters in psychology" brother and it only leads to a spiraling argument that makes no sense; that being gay is a choice simply because is the best way to deal with homosexuality and the church.

I'm a scientist. I believe in truth. And this sort of thinking makes me angry. Take logic. Build on it. Emotions do matter. Don't factor them out. But don't disregard truth so your world, your emotions about the church, make a little more sense.

Anyways, hope I didn't rant too much.


  1. My goodness... I think you're right :(. That's kind of depressing.

  2. The thing is, I can't think of anyone in the Mormon church who would choose to be gay. It's not about how if they chose to be gay then they'd have these other hard choices to make. It's that if they choose to be gay they are essentially choosing to ostracize themselves from an entire community. Choosing to be gay will change the way your family and friends and neighbors view you and likely not in a good way.

    What I'd like to know is why your brother thinks that someone would choose to be gay when it would make them outcast in their own society and when they'd have to endure people telling them that they are morally wrong and choosing sin over righteousness? The simple answer would be to just choose to be straight, wouldn't it? Does your brother choose to be straight?

  3. Good post - I think you are right, too. This thought process is not limited to Mormons. I see it all the time among my Baptist friends.

  4. I don't think the church believes that being gay is a choice. At least not anymore. They recently came out with a new website that specifically says they don't. ( ) Which means, in my opinion, that they really do just expect gay people to live celibate lives and find happiness and "fullness of joy" somewhere else, i.e. serving others and whatnot. I just don't get how they can teach that love and family are so important and vital to attaining happiness, and then say to people that, by no fault or CHOICE of their own, they have to suffer through a miserable life with no possibility of finding love. On top of that they say that once you're dead, you'll be essentially "fixed" (how God meant you to be... straight) and can finally find love... with a woman. No wonder a young person struggling with being gay and just wanting to be "normal" can think suicide is a pretty good option. Supposedly once you're dead, everything will be all right. This is so wrong. All of it. On so many levels.

    1. Sorry to have just seen this now, but DAMN. Never even thought about sucide like that. I have never been sucidial, but I feel like that just puts a whole new perspective on things. And, no, the church came out with that website literally one day after a posted this. So, they have changed their stance. And are now begging people to come to them and be celibate. le sigh