Guest post today! I have to share this thoughtfull and well-written post by my wonderful husband, I love you Nugget!
Being gay is not a lifestyle choice, it is not a sin, and it is not a religious issue. Gay people are born that way. Gay marriage is an issue of human rights, civil rights, and basic human dignity. I’ve been in way too many discussions on FB this weekend because of a chicken sandwich maker, yet her I am starting my own post … again.
This should not even a legal issue except that some folks want to make it one. Marriage, in addition to being a religous covenant, is a legal union that offers specific legal rights. Marriage is also a social construct where two people who love each other go before friends and family to profess their love, and join their two lives into one.
Everybody loves science, right? Well, I do, and just a touch is necessary here. Let’s start with the fact that about 1 in 100 people are born intersex, meaning ambiguous sexual organs, or born with a combination of both male and female sexual organs. This covers over a dozen known medical conditions that affect a person’s physical sexual orientation. Two examples, one common, one rare: One in 66 people are born with late onset adrenal hyperplasia, meaning their adrenal system does not produce an enzyme that allows the body to produce the hormones cortisol and aldosterone. This causes a wide range of physical characteristics that can be very atypical to their born gender identity. One in 150,000 people are born with complete gonadal dysgenesis, or extremely hypoplastic (underdeveloped) and dysfunctional gonads.
So, why all this science? I would like to think that no one out there reading this thinks these people are less than equal, or not fully deserving the same rights as any other person. This one percent of the population are not sinners, or deviants, or an affront to God. They were born that way.
When two zygotes join during fertilization, the DNA in both combine into a one of a kind unique person. Short or tall, blue eyes or green, male or female. Sometimes all those genes and chromosomes mixing together produce different variations and combinations; some people are medium height, some have blue-green eyes, and some are not 100% male or female, but some other combination.
If one percent of the population is born with plainly visible physical characteristics that can cause their sexual identity to be ambiguous, it stands to reason that some genes can express in ways not visible, but equally able to cause some different combinations of sexual orientation.
Nine million Americans, about 3.5% of the adult population, identify themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. An estimated 19 million Americans (8.2%) report that they have engaged in same-sex sexual behavior and nearly 25.6 million Americans (11%) acknowledge at least some same-sex sexual attraction.
This study seems to be the most widely referenced and thorough one I could find. It covers a wide variety of sexual orientation. Some people say that GLBT folks have chosen that lifestyle. I acknowledge that some of the people in this study probably did choose a certain lifestyle. But the science says that perhaps their anatomy forced them to have to make a choice. Not everyone is born 100% male or female. Not everyone is born with all the parts perfectly matched. Not everyone’s outside appearance matches up with what their horomones are telling them on the inside. What is on the inside is just as much, and perhaps even more, important than what is on the outside. Every one of us is unique and different, not wrong or not one of us, just different. We are all born the way we are.
GLBT folks are the way they are from birth. They did not choose to be that way, they just are. If you choose to deny this basic fact, I am not attacking you, or your religion, or your beliefs; I am telling you that you are wrong, plain and simple.