Today, most forms of discrimination in the developed world are on the way down. They are relics of the past. Overt forms of racial and gender discrimination are now heavily regulated both through legislation as well as societal norms, and religious discrimination has long been outlawed in constitutions and legislation. But one major aspect of discrimination remains largely acceptable: discrimination based on sexual orientation. Why I ask? Is it because many people still view sexual orientation as a choice, and therefore not something deserving of “special rights”?

Many people, my family included, argue against anti bullying legislation and gay marriage precisely for this reason. They see homosexuality as a choice, and therefore something not worthy of “special rights”. To be honest I find this view abhorrent. It should not matter whether it is a choice or not, people should have the freedom to do whatever they wish (as long as it does not negatively affect anyone else) unharmed and without discrimination. We should not only protect people, we should foster them doing what they wish in a safe manner.

But this is not the overall point. The point is that people for some reason believe that homosexuals “choose” to be homosexual. I have to ask, why? Why would someone choose to be homosexual? Homosexuals experience trials and tribulations on a scale most of us would not imagine. They can be cast out of their families, societies, religions, professions, schools and circle of friends. For much of human history, and still in some places today, “gay” and “fag” and other derivatives of the word have been considered insults. In most countries homosexuals cannot marry, cannot adopt, cannot enter de facto relationships, cannot be their loved ones emergency contact, cannot express their feelings in the open, cannot be readily elected politicians, cannot serve openly in the military, are victims of genocide and on and on. Why would anyone choose this?

Homosexuality has been around for millennia, perhaps since the dawn of civilization. It isn’t a fad, it’s not something people do to be different or rebellious, it isn’t new. Its not something that people grow out of, and it isn’t something that religions and governments have managed to stamp out. Again, why?

But, possibly the biggest proof that homosexuality isn’t a choice, to me anyway, is the sheer weight of highly successful and highly visible people that have had their lives/careers ruined when they were outed. The most recent (and funniest) example would be George Rekers, a man who founded one of the most powerful anti-gay lobbying groups in America, who was caught with a “rent boy”. If he could control his feelings, don’t you think he would? Another example is Ted Haggard, a pastor from Colorado Springs and leader of the National Association of Evangelicals, who had a three-year affair with a man that forced him to resign all his leadership positions. Again, if he had an option, wouldn’t he choose not to be gay? Another example is the tens (if not hundreds) of openly gay catholic priests such as Gene Robinson. Considering his church’s, his religion’s and his bible’s stance on his sexual orientation, if he had a choice in the matter do you really think he would be gay? All of these successful and visible people, as well as the countless others who have had their lives and careers ruined because they were gay, had undergone extreme hardships and shown extreme perseverance to get where they were. Why would they blow all of that hard work if being gay were just a lifestyle choice? Why would Bishop Robinson go through the daily harangues and hate mail? Why?

The only way someone could overcome so much diversity is through the power of love. If they genuinely were interested in people of the same sex. It isn’t something you could pretend. No one would go through this to act cool, or be different.

Setting aside the psychological tests, the examples of homosexuality in the natural world, and even the fact that most homosexuals state that they have no choice, it is quite easily proven that homosexuality isn’t a choice. Homosexuals have been discriminated against and mistreated for millennia. No one would choose for that to happen to him or her. Think about the thousands of people who have committed suicide because of the hardships they faced because they are gay. This is the reason the no hate campaign exists. So any of you out there who don’t believe that homosexuality isn’t a choice, next time there is a debate over anti discrimination laws or gay marriage, ask yourself: why would a homosexual put themselves through so much if it’s a choice? It is easier to be straight.

P.S: I don’t mean to say that being homosexual is horrible, or to denigrate or to put down being a homosexual. The point I am trying to make is that it is a tough life. And if someone genuinely did not feel attraction to their own sex, they would not choose to go through such hardships.  I am sorry if I offend anyone, please comment or contact me if that has happened and I will attempt to put it right.