If Ben Carson thinks being gay is a choice, he should prove it by choosing to be gay himself.
If Ben Carson thinks being gay is a choice, he should prove it by choosing to be gay himself. Christopher Halloran/Shutterstock

Metro Weekly:

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During an interview with CNN that aired Wednesday, [Ben] Carson dismissed comparisons between the civil rights movement and gay rights movement, stating that people have no control over their race. Asked by CNN’s Chris Cuomo whether he believes being gay is a choice, Carson responded, “Absolutely.”

“Because a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight and when they come out, they’re gay. So, did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question,” Carson said. “If that is in fact the case, then it obviously thwarts” the notion that being gay is not a choice, he continued, despite a majority of the medical community in agreement that gay people have no control over their sexual orientation.


Religious conservatives argue that being gay is a choice—a choice that people can control—and therefore gay people are not entitled to civil rights protections, aren't covered by the 14th Amendment, shouldn't be allowed to marry or adopt, etc. Because being gay is choice and therefore no one has to be gay. Don't like being discriminated against? Want to legally marry? Want to adopt? You shouldn't change the law, you shouldn't argue for equal rights, you should just chose to be straight. And it's easy! Because, you see, gayness isn't an immutable characteristic. It' not like race. People can't change their race, right?

Religious conservatives go on TV to make this anti-gay argument while religious conservatives knock on doors, distribute pamphlets, proselytize, and evangelize all over the country in an effort to get people to do what? To change their religions. To choose a different faith. So faith—religious belief—is not an immutable characteristic. You can change your faith. And yet religious belief is covered by civil rights laws and anti-discrimination statutes. Two other examples of mutable characteristics covered by civil rights statutes: military service and marital status. But no one has to serve in the military and no one has to get married—people have control over whether they marry or enlist, right? And yet, like religious belief, both are covered by civil rights statutes and people like Ben Carson don't object. The only time you hear that a trait has to be immutable in order to qualify for civil rights protections is when they talk about the gay.

Lying liars, etc. Anyway, here's a link for Dr. Carson and a challenge:

Situational homosexuality:

Sexual contact between members of the same sex due to absence of the opposite sex (e.g., military, prison) rather than desire or predisposition.

Like truthers (9/11 was an inside job), birthers (Barack Obama was born in Kenya), and deathers (Osama bin Laden is alive and well and living in West Hollywood), choicers are another group deranged conspiracy theorists who can't be dissuaded by science or evidence or facts. They insist that being gay is a conscious choice that a person makes. I've challenged choicers in the past to prove it—to put up or shut up—and I'm going to issue that challenge again:

Dear Dr. Carson,

If being gay is a choice, prove it. Choose it. Choose to be gay yourself. Show America how that's done, Ben, show us how a man can choose to be gay. Suck my dick. Name the time and the place and I'll bring my dick and a camera crew and you can suck me off and win the argument.

Very sincerely yours,

Dan Savage