Monday, September 10, 2012

The Gay Recruitment Myth

Guncle Sam wants YOU...?
One of the many false claims that social conservatives lay on those fighting for LGBT equality is the allegation that gay people seek to recruit others into the “gay lifestyle.” Forgetting the fact that these people have no genuine concept of what this so-called “gay lifestyle” actually is, there are two main problems with this recruitment assertion that I want to address.

First, and foremost, it is categorically false.

In order to recruit someone into being gay, being gay would have to be a choice…which it certainly is not. Even if it were, who in their right mind would choose to be subject to the amount of discrimination to which the LGBT community is subject? It makes zero sense, and it is something that has never been adequately answered by the very people who repeatedly claim sexual orientation is a choice.

All of the empirical evidence that exists points to an as yet undetermined biological influence on sexuality. What other explanation would there be? What other commonality do all gay people share? It isn’t geography. People from all over the world - liberal places, conservative places, places that are more gay-friendly, places that are extremely homophobic - end up gay. It isn’t family. Again, people from single parent homes end up gay, people with a mom and a dad in their lives end up gay. It isn’t the Devil either. There are many devoutly religious people of various faiths that end up being gay. Every explanation for homosexuality that conservatives have attempted to pose has been soundly thrown down by simple logic, a concept that seems foreign to them.

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Second, it is categorically hypocritical on at least two fronts.

First, there are lots of private conservative educational institutions that seek to indoctrinate people into believing that all gay people have earned a one-way ticket to Hell just by being gay. One of them, Liberty University, is in my hometown (imagine my pride in that). It is not just their institutions of higher learning, there are also their private (mainly religious) grade schools. It was reported late last year that a Christian Academy in Tennessee will kick you out of school just for being gay. Part of this particular school’s policy reads:
"A staff member or student who promotes, engages in, or identifies himself/herself with such activity through any word or action shall be in violation of this policy. Should the administration determine a violation of this policy, the person involved will be subject to disciplinary action with the possibility of permanent dismissal. Any applicant who is not in compliance with this policy will not be admitted."

By that reading, even being openly gay-friendly may get you kicked out as a student or fired as a teacher, let alone being a gay student or teacher will get you booted. Freedom of speech, which social conservatives claim they are being robbed of, ceases to exist in these institutions because you would not be able to voice your support for a gay family member or friend. Since the institutions that have such policies are predominantly private, there is no recourse and the homophobic indoctrination which occurs there goes on unchecked.

Marcus & Michelle Bachmann
Second, while these people accuse the LGBT community of recruiting people into homosexuality, it is they who are trying to recruit gay people into heterosexuality. They prey on people who are conflicted about themselves at an exceedingly difficult time in their lives and make the promise that they can pray the gay away…which is simply untrue. Again, we come to the notion of choice which, in the case of sexual orientation, does not exist as has been said already. Former Republican presidential contender Michele Bachmann and her husband Marcus have a "Christian counseling center" that has been exposed as an organization which practices so-called "reparative" therapy, which is actually not reparative or therapeutic. Such organizations are at best incredibly ignorant about sexual orientation. At worst, they are complete scams that have been shown to be utterly ineffective. Their efforts to recruit people from one sexual orientation to another are unbelievably hypocritical...not to mention complete failures.

Our sexual orientation is what it is, and one can not be “recruited” into another sexual orientation. Whether you are heterosexual, homosexual, or wherever in between, that is who you are. Embrace it and do NOT let others make you ashamed of who you are.


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