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November 27th, 2012
10:44 PM ET

Rick Warren on homosexuality: "Just because I have a feeling doesn't make it right...not everything natural is good for me"

On Tuesday evening, "Piers Morgan Tonight" rolled out it's red carpet, inviting Rick Warren to offer his perspective and context on everything from the "Fiscal Cliff" and same sex marriage, to politics and pop culture.

Welcoming his guest for a live, primetime interview, Piers Morgan asked the American evangelical Christian pastor and author his opinion on the nature of homosexuality:

"Do you personally believe that gay people are born gay? Or, do they become gay? Are they made gay?" wondered the host.

Admitting he doesn't posses all the answers, Warren answered honestly:

"You know what – I think the jury's still out on that. It wouldn't bother me if there was a 'gay gene' found," he said, before adding some additional commentary. "Here's what we know about life: I have all kinds of feelings in my life and it doesn't necessarily mean that I should act on every feeling ... Sometimes I feel attracted to women who are not my wife. I don't act on it. Just because I have a feeling doesn't make it right. Not everything natural is good for me."

While stressing that he himself has chosen the Bible as his personal authority, above all Warren preached decency and respect amongst all people and encouraged open dialogue:

"This is the very kind of discussions that we need to be having, that are saying, that treat everybody with love, but could disagree on certain issues, and still say 'You know what? I don't agree with that guy, but I think he has come to his position from his background and from his basis.'"

Watch the clip, and listen to the interview, as the senior pastor of Saddleback Church – currently the eighth-largest church in the United States – explains why he feels some actions are sins.
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  1. Ross

    Piers,
    In tonight’s interview with the RNC chairman you pushed the president’s plan that his press secretary announced today. Do you have a copy of this plan and if not will you get one? If the president has a plan has him email it to you.
    Nice show

    November 28, 2012 at 12:29 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Peter Jasper

    Piers: Stick to topics that you know something about and stop making a fool of yourself.

    November 28, 2012 at 12:50 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. timothy j clark

    I was born this way....I will not disclose what I have been through but I can tell you that I WAS BORN WITH A SICKNESS

    November 28, 2012 at 12:55 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • David Geffeney

      You're right, but it is a defect in your gene (if you are claiming born with it). Just like my alcoholism, neither of our defects are beneficial for propagating human life, and so natural selection would destroy us and our defects. However since Spiritualism not naturalism rules this universe, you and I have a moral decision to indulge our cravings and longings or to rise above them. Every parent in the world knows that we teach our kids everyday to rise above their natural instincts of not sharing, not crying and manipulating, not lying, and not eating junk food...... list goes on. If you battle the world against your defect, then like me, you have allowed yourself to believe you cannot control it. I have gay friends at church who have chosen to not let it rule them anymore, and I too have joined them and have sobriety for 7.5 years now. Life is so much more than what you want to lay with in bed.

      November 30, 2012 at 9:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • Larry Mccoy

        i love your commment could'nt said it better only if poeple would think that way we would be better off

        January 9, 2013 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Erik

      "You're right, but it is a defect in your gene"

      No, it's not. All major medical professional organizations concur that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and European Psychological, Psychiatric, and Medical Associations all agree with this, as does the World Health Organization and the medical organizations of Japan, China, and most recently, Thailand. Furthermore, attempts to change one's sexual orientation can be psychologically damaging, and cause great inner turmoil and depression, especially for Christian gays and lesbians.

      The scientific evidence of the innateness of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism is overwhelming, and more peer-reviewed studies which bolster this fact are being added all the time. Science has long regarded sexual orientation – and that's all sexual orientations, including heterosexuality – as a phenotype. Simply put, a phenotype is an observable set of properties that varies among individuals and is deeply rooted in biology. For the scientific community, the role of genetics in sexuality is about as "disputable" as the role of evolution in biology.

      On the second point, that there is no conclusion that there is a "gay gene," they are right. No so-called gay gene has been found, and it's highly unlikely that one ever will. This is where conservative Christians and Muslims quickly say "See, I told you so! There's no gay gene, so being gay is a choice!"

      Many of these reparative "therapists" are basing this concept on a random Bible verse or two. When you hold those up against the mountain of scientific research that has been conducted, peer-reviewed, and then peer-reviewed again, it absolutely holds no water. A person's sexuality – whether heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual – is a very deep biological piece of who that person is as an individual.

      The fact that a so-called "gay gene" has not been discovered does not mean that homosexuality is not genetic in its causation. This is understandably something that can seem a bit strange to those who have not been educated in fields of science and advanced biology, and it is also why people who are not scientists ought not try to explain the processes in simple black-and-white terms. There is no gay gene, but there is also no "height gene" or "skin tone gene" or "left-handed gene." These, like sexuality, have a heritable aspect, but no one dominant gene is responsible for them.

      Many genes, working in sync, contribute to the phenotype and therefore do have a role in sexual orientation. In many animal model systems, for example, the precise genes involved in sexual partner selection have been identified, and their neuro-biochemical pathways have been worked out in great detail. A great number of these mechanisms have been preserved evolutionarily in humans, just as they are for every other behavioral trait we know (including heterosexuality).

      There are many biologic traits which are not specifically genetic but are biologic nonetheless. These traits are rooted in hormonal influences, contributed especially during the early stages of fetal development. This too is indisputable and based on extensive peer-reviewed research the world over. Such prenatal hormonal influences are not genetic per se, but are inborn, natural, and biologic nevertheless.

      Whether or not something is a choice is not a suitable criterion for whether someone should have equal rights and protections. Religion is indisputably a choice, but that fact is a not a valid argument for discriminating against a particular religion.

      December 3, 2012 at 10:16 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • David Dean

        There's not a 'I love chocolate' gene. Again, we're talking about desires; psychology not biology.

        January 1, 2013 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      " If you battle the world against your defect, then like me, you have allowed yourself to believe you cannot control it"

      This person is not someone who understands what real loving relationships are about. The belief that sex is not important is a dangerous and intimacy-eroding myth. Sex provides an important time-out from the pressures of our daily lives and allows us to experience a quality level of closeness, vulnerability and sharing with our partners. If your sex life is unfulfilled, it becomes a gigantic issue. People like David are dangerous for our society and they don't understand the fundamental of human intimacy, gays or lesbians.

      December 3, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Craig Talbot

    Warren can believe whatever he likes and live according to his beliefs, but he and other theists should have no right to determine the choices and lives of others who do not share his beliefs. If he doesn't believe in gay marriage, nobody is forcing him to marry another man. It wan't very long ago that many americans were denied the right to marry people of other 'races', and many still share that belief. Even if 98% of Americans believed this, they should not have the right to dictate the lives of the remaining 2%. The laws of a fair and just nation must serve all it's citizens, straight and gay, theist and atheists, they should not be a tool for enforcing one group's religious beliefs.

    November 28, 2012 at 12:56 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kevin

      The problem is, by your very logic, we should then allow pedophiles to practice what they feel openly as long as it's consensual, we should allow for multiple spouses, incest, we should allow bestiality or anything else that is unnatural. It's a slippery slope. If you say anything goes, it opens up everything. If you say we can't use our values to make laws, then what do you base laws upon? The problem today is, nobody wants to be told what to do ... to be held accountable to anything or anyone... and that is a slippery slope as that could affect laws, etc down the road. Even to things you may feel uncomfortable with now.

      November 28, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • YeahRight

      "The problem is, by your very logic, we should then allow pedophiles to practice what they feel openly as long as it's consensual, we should allow for multiple spouses, incest, we should allow bestiality or anything else that is unnatural. It's a slippery slope."

      This is a great example of what uneducated prejudice is all about. Children and animals can't consent and it's harmful to them which is why it's illegal, being gay is not. The experts in this country have stated heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

      November 28, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • douglas2013

        I share Kevin's view and that of Rick Warren. The infringement upon traditional marriage by gays and lesbians is a sign of the times, as Jesus said that in the last days evil men will become worse and worse. It's happening now. I think Jesus is at the door.

        November 28, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • Brent

        "The infringement upon traditional marriage'

        The term “traditional marriage” is a term employed by anti-gay religious groups and individuals to promote bigotry, prejudice, hostility and discrimination toward gay and lesbian citizens.

        The term is used to justify a social injustice both in terms of denying gay and lesbian individuals equal treatment guaranteed by our Constitution and also denying them human dignity. The use of the term is an action that promotes constitutional unfairness and human indignity and therefore one which is morally wrong.

        If a person of faith agrees that a practice that promotes looking upon a segment of society as inferior, unworthy and undeserving of that which we find as good in our lives, the use of the term “traditional marriage” therefore also must be sinful.

        Regardless of their particular faith, the person would be hard-pressed to say that love, compassion and wanting what is best in our lives for others around us are not the core principles of most religions. When a person of faith stands opposed to those principles, their attitude and actions stand opposed to the principles which they strive to uphold in the everyday interactions with those around them.

        There is also deceit involved in the use of the term “traditional marriage” because those who employ the term attempt to perpetrate an untruth and ulterior motives of hostility and prejudice.

        The untruth comes when “traditional marriage” is offered up as a term that defines a religious concept of a God-blessed union of a young man and woman who fall in love, get married with no prior sexual experience, have children and remain together into old age. They are implying that this is how God ordains marriage.

        If it is, it took him until just 50 years ago to arrive at that conclusion.

        The tradition of marriage in Old Testament times meant the man and his wife could have the same father.

        In the Bible, the patriarch of the Hebrew people, Abraham, and his wife, Sarah, couldn’t have children so Sarah put forth her slave Hagar for Abraham to have children by.

        In Old Testament times, it was normal, sometimes even required for a man to take multiple wives. A man having multiple wives was accepted by the church as late as the 5th Century, 500 years after the teachings set forth in the New Testament. The church for a very long time apparently did not interpret biblical teaching as an edict for one-man, one-woman marriage.

        The tradition of marital unions in the 1700s and 1800s in America doesn’t seem to measure up to God-ordained – especially from the female perspective.

        One third of brides were pregnant at the altar in Concord, Massachusetts during the 20 years prior to the American Revolution.

        In this quote from a wedding couple in 1855, we see that the church had no problem blessing a legal marriage that was considered by many – including this couple – as a violation of the woman’s dignity and civil rights:

        “We believe that personal independence and equal human rights can never be forfeited, except for crime; that marriage should be an equal and permanent partnership, and so recognized by law; that until it is so recognized, married partners should provide against the radical injustice of present laws, by every means in their power…”

        So we can look back and see that religious teachings which uphold the ideals of love, dignity, compassion and respect for each person within marital unions throughout history has taken a back seat.

        In other words, the definition of a God-ordained tradition of marriage has never been constant rather it has evolved.

        History shows us it’s the marital union that should be uplifted…not the evolving traditions of a social institution. In other words, it’s not about how we come together but why.

        Rev. Mark Gallagher, a Unitarian minister, in 2004 asked “what about a marriage could have that quality of spiritual beauty? What makes for sacredness in a marriage?” He names four things.

        “First and foremost, mutual love. A feeling of heightened affection, respect, concern, and appreciation between marital partners. It gives a certain sparkle to the time spent together, and potentially to the entire experience of life. The presence of love makes a marriage sacred.

        “Fidelity contributes to the sacredness of a marriage. Commitments fulfilled. Coming through. Hanging in. Placing the integrity of the relationship over personal preference and convenience. It builds a powerful trust. Fidelity makes a marriage sacred.

        “Intimacy brings sacredness in a marriage. When two people reveal themselves to one another over time, they cannot help but gain acquaintance with the deep regions of the human experience. They get to know one another, of course. But more importantly, they get to know themselves.

        Through relating intimately over time, deeper honesty and authenticity become possible. This is the spiritual journey to know and be known, behind the public charade, however subtle or crude that may be.

        “And forgiveness generates sacredness in a marriage. We all make mistakes and need forgiveness. Our spiritual liberation requires that we become masters of forgiveness letting go of resentment for slights and injuries. The prolonged togetherness of marriage will present myriad opportunities for the practice of forgiveness. When forgiveness flows freely, there is a palpable quality of gentleness and compassion.”

        Does the heterosexual couple uniting in marriage today lift up the union as characterized by love, fidelity, intimacy and forgiveness. We expect they do and we suspect those characteristics as Gallagher concluded in his sermon are what exude sacredness.

        We also know that gay and lesbian couples uphold those same characteristics for their unions. Why would they not? Why would a parent of a gay son or daughter not want their child to enjoy the happiness derived from a lifelong devotion to those characteristics? Why would a brother or sister with a gay sibling not want their brother or sister to enjoy the happiness derived from a lifelong devotion to those characteristics?

        Why would a person of faith not want the gay or lesbian individual to enjoy the happiness derived from the pursuit of marriage sanctity?

        Why would we as Americans not want our government and its laws to recognize that same marriage sanctity for gay and lesbian individuals in their pursuit of liberty and happiness?

        There can be only one reason and that is because many of us have been conditioned by years of misguided church teaching to look upon gay and lesbian individuals as morally inferior, unworthy and therefore undeserving of that which we uphold as good and sanctified in our lives.

        November 28, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • matt

        Our creator – the life giver has the right to set the standards for our behavior. We either choose to follow his principle he has set out or not, because he gave us free will, but having that free will does not excuse from the consequences of going against his standards.

        November 28, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • James

        "Our creator – the life giver has the right to set the standards for our behavior."

        The scriptures actually say nothing about homosexuality as a psychosexual orientation. Our understandings of sexual orientation are distinctly modern ones that were not present in the minds of Scripture writers. A few passages of Scripture (seven at the most) object to certain types of same-sex expressions or acts. The particular acts in question, however, are sexual expressions which are exploitative, oppressive, commercialized, or offensive to ancient purity rituals. There is no Scriptural guidance for same-sex relationships which are loving and mutually respecting. Guidelines for these relationships should come from the same general Scriptural norms that apply to heterosexual relationships.

        November 29, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  5. kumar

    It is funny, anyone should verify if he plagiarized purpose driven life. As i remember there is another literary work from south of India in similar lines between 500 bc and 200 ad. A remarkable piece of work. It is known that a lots of christian missionaries took away the works of Bakthi movement of south india and converted a lots of stuff into Christianity more than couple of centuries ago. I did not read his books but it struck me that it might be plausible that the sources might lie somewhere outside.

    November 28, 2012 at 1:29 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. sonbums

    Any Christian coming on Piers: be prepared, the gay marriage question will be dealt from the top of the deck... a forced card trick...

    November 28, 2012 at 2:07 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. peter huston

    Piers let Pastor Rick get away with equating being forced to bear another's religion with tolerating gay marriage. All Piers had to say was, "But Pastor, no one is forcing you to be IN a gay marriage!"-but instead the entire show Mr. Warren is allowed to twist the meanings of concepts such as 'tolerance' just enough to sound somewhat righteous. Pathetic.It is ironic and sort of cathartic that much of the work pastor Rick does in the world will promote the kind of thinking that will eventually obviate his anachronistic interpretation of moral law and natural social order but it is a shame that he has any voice at all in forming political ideology.

    November 28, 2012 at 4:09 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Keith

      Christians are citizens, too, and should be allowed to have a voice in society; including political. They represent far more than the 3.4% gay population (Gallup). Pastor Warren, and other influencial Christians like T.D. Jakes have just as much right to express their viewpoint as anyone else on moral, social and political questions.

      November 28, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Diane Miller

      Rick Warren's explanation of tolerance, acceptance, approval and respect were quite evident. Tolerance does not mean one has to approve anothers opinion as thier own. It does not mean we are not accepting and showing disrespect. We need to show respect for the idividual no matter what. It is a personal issue and it is not necessary that we make an incideray issue over it. It is not illegal to have a gay relationship in America. One can have high views of what marriage is about with high views without making it political. We are in a democracy where nobody wins all the time.

      November 28, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Brent

      "Christians are citizens, too, and should be allowed to have a voice in society; including political."

      Most people know that, historically, religion has been used to justify discrimination against women, religious minorities and people of color. Putting anti-gay religious beliefs in this historical context can be a powerful tool in connecting discrimination that most Americans today accept as morally wrong and the discrimination faced by LGBT people. By citing historical instances of religion-based bigotry and prejudice, you allow people to be more comfortable with attitudinal change – they realize they are not stepping out alone against a commonly accepted viewpoint but rather following historical progress toward justice and equality.

      When talking about the misuse of religion to justify discrimination in the past, it is important not to say that the LGBT community’s struggle with discrimination is exactly the same as the Civil Rights Movement. Rather, the point is that religion-based bigotry has been a common denominator of injustice toward many groups in American society’s past. When given a chance, many people will see the underlying historical pattern of using religious teachings and beliefs to justify harmful discrimination.

      There is another benefit to citing other times in the past when religious teachings have been used to justify discrimination. Many times, when people of faith are challenged about their anti-gay views, they cite biblical verses or other religious texts as a safe haven when they are unable to articulate why they hold prejudiced attitudes toward LGBT people. Instead of telling people that their interpretation is wrong, you can remind them that other religious texts have been used in the past to justify attitudes and laws that are recognized today as morally wrong and unjust – such as discrimination against women, people of color and religious minorities.

      History provides the moral judgment, and we do not have to be theologians engaged in scriptural debates to point people to the judgment rendered by history.

      November 28, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Zandigra

        "Rather, the point is that religion-based bigotry has been a common denominator of injustice toward many groups in American society’s past."

        Hmmmm, and yet religion was the common denominator in the Civil Rights Movement led by Dr. King.

        November 29, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
      • nope

        "Hmmmm, and yet religion was the common denominator in the Civil Rights Movement led by Dr. King."

        And yet Christians stole land and killed mass amounts of Native Americans, burned witches at the stake, treated women like crap, and enslaved the African Americans to begin with. Sorry but your comment on Dr. King doesn't allow Christians a free pass on all of their bigotry and prejudice behaviors of the past and present. ;-)

        November 29, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Me

      No, but everywhere you turn OUR values, Christian Values, are not being upheld. We are expected daily to agree with this and allow gays to use our traditional standards to marry. Not so. I do not agree with it. And, if this is the lifestyle that they CHOOSE (and it is a choice), then they should accept partnership. Marriage was ordained by GOD, for MAN AND WOMAN. If you don't agree, don't do it. AND, enough with all of the nonsense about what Christians believe. We don't have to agree. So, don't attempt to persecute me either. AND, this is NOTHING like the Civil Rights Movement, people. I WISH, at times, that I had a "white closet" to climb into when things get tough; I don't. It DOES NOT compare. Thank you.

      November 29, 2012 at 9:42 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • Powers

        So why don't you move to change the law so that the fed/state statutes about marriage refer to "partnership" rather than "marriage" since the rights afforded by the federal government are not central to religious marriage, They you can maintain the word in your religious standing and government rights would be afforded equally to everyone. Otherwise you are claiming ownership of "marriage" by Christians only, in the form they hold and forcing everyone else to stay within those limits. I assume you would do the same legislating for living out of wedlock and other traditions you hold as Christian values? You seem content to force your traditions on others because you are annoyed when you have to put up with someone else living differently.

        November 29, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      "Marriage was ordained by GOD, for MAN AND WOMAN. "

      Some argue that since homosexual behavior is "unnatural" it is contrary to the order of creation. Behind this pronouncement are stereotypical definitions of masculinity and femininity that reflect rigid gender categories of patriarchal society. There is nothing unnatural about any shared love, even between two of the same gender, if that experience calls both partners to a fuller state of being. Contemporary research is uncovering new facts that are producing a rising conviction that homosexuality, far from being a sickness, sin, perversion or unnatural act, is a healthy, natural and affirming form of human sexuality for some people. Findings indicate that homosexuality is a given fact in the nature of a significant portion of people, and that it is unchangeable.

      Our prejudice rejects people or things outside our understanding. But the God of creation speaks and declares, "I have looked out on everything I have made and `behold it (is) very good'." . The word (Genesis 1:31) of God in Christ says that we are loved, valued, redeemed, and counted as precious no matter how we might be valued by a prejudiced world.

      There are few biblical references to homosexuality. The first, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, is often quoted to prove that the Bible condemns homosexuality. But the real sin of Sodom was the unwillingness of the city's men to observe the laws of hospitality. The intention was to insult the stranger by forcing him to take the female role in the sex act. The biblical narrative approves Lot's offer of his virgin daughters to satisfy the sexual demands of the mob. How many would say, "This is the word of the Lord"? When the Bible is quoted literally, it might be well for the one quoting to read the text in its entirety.

      Leviticus, in the Hebrew Scriptures, condemns homosexual behaviour, at least for males. Yet, "abomination", the word Leviticus uses to describe homosexuality, is the same word used to describe a menstruating woman. Paul is the most quoted source in the battle to condemn homosexuality ( 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 and Romans 1: 26-27). But homosexual activity was regarded by Paul as a punishment visited upon idolaters by God because of their unfaithfulness. Homosexuality was not the sin but the punishment.

      1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Paul gave a list of those who would not inherit the Kingdom of God. That list included the immoral, idolaters, adulterers, sexual perverts, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, and robbers. Sexual perverts is a translation of two words; it is possible that the juxtaposition of malakos, the soft, effeminate word, with arsenokoitus, or male prostitute, was meant to refer to the passive and active males in a homosexual liaison.

      Thus, it appears that Paul would not approve of homosexual behavior. But was Paul's opinion about homosexuality accurate, or was it limited by the lack of scientific knowledge in his day and infected by prejudice born of ignorance? An examination of some of Paul's other assumptions and conclusions will help answer this question. Who today would share Paul's anti-Semitic attitude, his belief that the authority of the state was not to be challenged, or that all women ought to be veiled? In these attitudes Paul's thinking has been challenged and transcended even by the church! Is Paul's commentary on homosexuality more absolute than some of his other antiquated, culturally conditioned ideas?

      Three other references in the New Testament (in Timothy, Jude and 2 Peter) appear to be limited to condemnation of male sex slaves in the first instance, and to showing examples (Sodom and Gomorrah) of God's destruction of unbelievers and heretics (in Jude and 2 Peter respectively).

      That is all that Scripture has to say about homosexuality. Even if one is a biblical literalist, these references do not build an ironclad case for condemnation. If one is not a biblical literalist there is no case at all, nothing but prejudice born of ignorance, that attacks people whose only crime is to be born with an unchangeable sexual predisposition toward those of their own sex.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • YeahRight

      "And, if this is the lifestyle that they CHOOSE (and it is a choice)"

      Actually the hundred of thousands of experts in this country have proven you wrong. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

      November 29, 2012 at 10:16 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • YeahRight

      " this is NOTHING like the Civil Rights Movement,"

      That's why even the NAACP have said it's about civil rights. Marriage was defined by the US Supreme Court as a civil right. Recognized federal civil rights law in the United States is grounded in the U.S. Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court. By this standard, marriage has long been established as a civil right.

      The operative constitutional text is section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which was ratified in 1868. The relevant passages read as follows:

      No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws

      A federal appeals court on May 31st ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional because it denies equal rights for legally married same-sex couples, making it likely that the Supreme Court will consider the politically divisive issue for the first time in its next term. This most likely will be decided in the courts and since most courts keep ruling in gays favor they should be able to over turn all the unconstitutional laws prejudice bigots have been trying to pass.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. YeahRight

    The hundred of thousands of experts in this country have stated: heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

    Like their heterosexual counterparts, many gay and lesbian people want to form stable, long-lasting, committed relationships. Indeed, many of them do and that large proportions are currently involved in such a relationship and that a substantial number of those couples have been together 10 or more years.

    Research demonstrates that the psychological and social aspects of committed relationships between same-sex partners closely resemble those of heterosexual partnerships. Like heterosexual couples, same-sex couples form deep emotional attachments and commitments. Heterosexual and same-sex couples alike face similar issues concerning intimacy, love, equity, loyalty, and stability, and they go through similar processes to address those issues. Research examining the quality of intimate relationships also shows that gay and lesbian couples have levels of relationship satisfaction similar to or higher than those of heterosexual couples.

    A large number of gay and lesbian couples raise children. Children and teenagers whose parents provide loving guidance in the context of secure home environments are more likely to flourish – and this is just as true for children of same-sex parents as it is for children of opposite-sex parents. Based on research findings, mental health professionals have also reached a consensus that the quality of relationships among significant adults in a child’s or adolescent’s life is associated with adjustment. When relationships between parents are characterized by love, warmth, cooperation, security, and mutual support, children and adolescents are more likely to show positive adjustment. In contrast, when relationships between parents are conflict-ridden and acrimonious, the adjustment of children and adolescents is likely to be less favorable. These correlations are just as true for children of same-sex parents as for children of opposite-sex parents.

    Assertions that heterosexual couples are inherently better parents than same sex couples, or that the children of lesbian or gay parents fare worse than children of heterosexual parents, have no support in the scientific research literature. On the contrary, the scientific research that has directly compared outcomes for children with gay and lesbian parents with outcomes for children with heterosexual parents has consistently shown that the former are as fit and capable as the latter and that their children are as psychologically healthy and well adjusted as children reared by heterosexual parents.

    November 28, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rgeneration

      So is cannibalism. And incest. And being attracted to animals. so?

      November 28, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • YeahRight

      "So is cannibalism. And incest. And being attracted to animals. so?"

      All of those things are illegal and bring harm to people, this is a lame argument used by prejudice bigots who are to lazy to actually do their homework on this subject.

      November 29, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Erik

    "I was born this way"

    Being gay is not a choice science, in fact, is actually not in dispute on this matter.

    All major medical professional organizations concur that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and European Psychological, Psychiatric, and Medical Associations all agree with this, as does the World Health Organization and the medical organizations of Japan, China, and most recently, Thailand. Furthermore, attempts to change one's sexual orientation can be psychologically damaging, and cause great inner turmoil and depression, especially for Christian gays and lesbians.

    Reparative therapy, also called conversion therapy or reorientation therapy, "counsels" LGBT persons to pray fervently and study Bible verses, often utilizing 12-step techniques that are used to treat sexual addictions or trauma. Such Christian councilors are pathologizing homosexuality, which is not a pathology but is a sexual orientation. Psychologically, that's very dangerous territory to tread on. All of the above-mentioned medical professional organizations, in addition to the American and European Counseling Associations, stand strongly opposed to any form of reparative therapy.

    In my home country, Norway, reparative therapy is officially considered to be ethical malpractice. But there are many countries that do not regulate the practice, and many others that remain largely silent and even passively supportive of it (such as the Philippines). Groups that operate such "therapy" in the Philippines are the Evangelical Bagong Pag-asa, and the Catholic Courage Philippines.

    The scientific evidence of the innateness of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism is overwhelming, and more peer-reviewed studies which bolster this fact are being added all the time. Science has long regarded sexual orientation – and that's all sexual orientations, including heterosexuality – as a phenotype. Simply put, a phenotype is an observable set of properties that varies among individuals and is deeply rooted in biology. For the scientific community, the role of genetics in sexuality is about as "disputable" as the role of evolution in biology.

    On the second point, that there is no conclusion that there is a "gay gene," they are right. No so-called gay gene has been found, and it's highly unlikely that one ever will. This is where conservative Christians and Muslims quickly say "See, I told you so! There's no gay gene, so being gay is a choice!"

    Take this interesting paragraph I found on an Evangelical website: "The attempt to prove that homosexuality is determined biologically has been dealt a knockout punch. An American Psychological Association publication includes an admission that there's no homosexual "gene" – meaning it's not likely that homosexuals are 'born that way.'"

    But that's not at all what it means, and it seems Evangelicals are plucking out stand-alone phrases from scientific reports and removing them from their context. This is known in academia as the fallacy of suppressed evidence. Interestingly, this is also what they have a habit of doing with verses from the Bible.

    This idea of sexuality being a choice is such a bizarre notion to me as a man of science. Many of these reparative "therapists" are basing this concept on a random Bible verse or two. When you hold those up against the mountain of scientific research that has been conducted, peer-reviewed, and then peer-reviewed again, it absolutely holds no water. A person's sexuality – whether heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual – is a very deep biological piece of who that person is as an individual.

    The fact that a so-called "gay gene" has not been discovered does not mean that homosexuality is not genetic in its causation. This is understandably something that can seem a bit strange to those who have not been educated in fields of science and advanced biology, and it is also why people who are not scientists ought not try to explain the processes in simple black-and-white terms. There is no gay gene, but there is also no "height gene" or "skin tone gene" or "left-handed gene." These, like sexuality, have a heritable aspect, but no one dominant gene is responsible for them.

    Many genes, working in sync, contribute to the phenotype and therefore do have a role in sexual orientation. In many animal model systems, for example, the precise genes involved in sexual partner selection have been identified, and their neuro-biochemical pathways have been worked out in great detail. A great number of these mechanisms have been preserved evolutionarily in humans, just as they are for every other behavioral trait we know (including heterosexuality).

    Furthermore, there are many biologic traits which are not specifically genetic but are biologic nonetheless. These traits are rooted in hormonal influences, contributed especially during the early stages of fetal development. This too is indisputable and based on extensive peer-reviewed research the world over. Such prenatal hormonal influences are not genetic per se, but are inborn, natural, and biologic nevertheless.

    Having said that, in the realm of legal rights, partnership rights, and anti-discrimination protections, the gay gene vs. choice debate is actually quite irrelevant. Whether or not something is a choice is not a suitable criterion for whether someone should have equal rights and protections. Religion is indisputably a choice, but that fact is a not a valid argument for discriminating against a particular religion.

    November 28, 2012 at 8:59 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. rose macaskie

    It is so hard to keep ones wits around one when the religious talk. We forget they are not always talking for the good of all, they are human.
    Rick Warren said that there was no reason for violent disagreement with ones neighbors as all people want the same: Like they want an education for their children and such and as concerns the things he mentioned that is true enough that people want the same but there are on other themes there are people who want quite different things from other people, like there are people who want other peoples children to be all right and others who dont care about other peoplles children and who dont see why other peoples children are not perfectly alright with very little.
    There are people who forget that you need money to be free, if someone does not pay for the education of children whose parents cant afford education, then those children will always be less free than those of rich children. They will be less free if they dont have handouts, not less free if they do and only an idiot would say otherwise. Why dont the rich just find out how free their children are if they dont get bogged down by their parents material help while they are children?
    I would say it was very reasonable to get very argumentative with those who don't care about the fate of other peoples children.

    The religious tie people up into knots, they have been practicing tying people up in knots for two thousand years, they are past masters at it. As they say in Spain, they talk latin. Bill Mahers said that we have beaten the tobacco lobby, we can beat the petrol lobby, who pretend that global warming is not real and I dont remember which other lobby he mentioned but I think he should include the catholic and evangelist lobbies.

    Rick Warren said that it was better for people to pay charity than taxes as it involved them learning to be generous. I can promise him i remember that i am being generous. When I put my back into making sure those who will tax us more get into power I remember that i am being generous, that my husband wil have to pay more taxes if I am sucessful and also I think those who vote for the right are awfully mean, not to mention those who disregard that fact that some have very few opportunities and tha trather stops them beign able to find jobs and call the unfortunate lazy.
    This bit of his arguements had so much wrong with it. If you really mind about poverty and are shamed by it and it seems to me to be shameful to have a lot of poverty in your country, then you have to chose, not the way that will make the rich saintly and so likely to succed in the next world as well as well as fortunate in this world, but the way of acting that really helps the poor. You cant just prefer useless ways of helping for some really not so very important reason the religious are ever refusing to see the generosity of others they are so spiritually is there really so much necessity to make others generous, of course there are psychopaths but an awfull lot of people i have known are pretty generous.
    Historically the rich and the religious have had since, the dawn of time probably, certainly the last two thousand years to prove that charity helps and it does not. People have to be very ignorant about history to believe that it ever did.
    English kings used to ask the jews in to their countries when they wanted to better their economies and reduce unrest not the priests, though they were, I dare say, glad enough to have people in religious orders to feed those a disasterous economy left without even food. Here the religious claim to be great because they hand out food, a good welfare system gives houses and pensions and a good education, as well as food. a good wellfare system gives so much more and makes it so much easier, than religious regimes do, for the poor to shake of their lowly born tags.
    It was not till socialism, till factory acts, regulations on wages and hours chidren could work and such and untill trade unions could make sure that those with the wherewithall were directing their attention to how to cloth and feed the poor who worked for them, instead of using all their excedent influence and money and energies to expanding their businesses in other countries, to fight wars and such. It was not till the vote for all, universal suffrage and lastly a good education for all, that the poor stopped being so very shamefully poor, even in countries with big empires and it will not be till we export trade unions, rather than learning to read and write, and not people in holy orders, that the rest of the world will thrive.
    Charity has never worked, those who advocate it over government help dont really care and should not have a place on our stages.
    Wellfare must just take so much money out of the pocket of the religious or they must imagine it does and they mind so much about money that they are willng to do for the poor by advocating charity above the wellfare state in order to have more themselves. rose macaskie madrid

    November 28, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Zandigra

      You seem to think that by voting for tax and spend liberals that you are absolved from any responsibility to your fellow man since the government wil take care of everyone. You don't sound the least bit generous or charitabel to me.

      November 29, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Elizabeth

    I am amazed at just how much hatred the so called all-loving-liberals have for anyone theist, moral or traditional and yet use their teachings on morality to justify what the rest of the teachings condemn. I am amazed at how 'science and research' are used to justify any and everything that is anti-theist! I am a bilogical scientist and even basic evolutuionary science should tell you where this trend will take the US of A and its ilk. I am amazed at how the lgbt and friends push so hard for total acceptance (forcing us in Africa by any means possible) and any resistance, however lovingly put as with Rick, is treated with so much vitriol. People purport to base their arguments on the Bible and display how they have simply picked parts and out of context. I am subdued by the idea that a critical research point has to be reached with children (and therefore future adults, families and communities) being raised in 'different' families and in the meantime they are placed there indiscriminately. Plus unless you are ignorant, you know just how social research can be deliberately biased at all levels. As for the medical associations... they have been forced out of political expediency to condone so much It simply defies logic. WOW! I hope I do not live to see my nation come to this.

    November 29, 2012 at 2:55 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • YeahRight

      Religious people have used the bible to justify all kinds of prejudices towards minorities and they have been proven wrong over and over again. This is about civil rights for gays and lesbians. Marriage was defined by the US Supreme Court as a civil right. Recognized federal civil rights law in the United States is grounded in the U.S. Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court. By this standard, marriage has long been established as a civil right.

      The operative constitutional text is section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which was ratified in 1868. The relevant passages read as follows:

      No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws

      A federal appeals court on May 31st ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional because it denies equal rights for legally married same-sex couples, making it likely that the Supreme Court will consider the politically divisive issue for the first time in its next term. This most likely will be decided in the courts and since most courts keep ruling in gays favor they should be able to over turn all the unconstitutional laws prejudice bigots have been trying to pass.

      November 29, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • 2Cents

      The NAACP has passed a resolution endorsing same-sex marriage as a civil right, putting it stamp on an issue that has divided the black community.

      The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's board voted at a leadership retreat in Miami on Saturday to back a resolution supporting marriage equality, calling the position consistent with the equal protection provision of the US constitution.

      "The mission of the NAACP has always been to ensure political, social and economic equality of all people," board chairwoman Roslyn M Brock said in a statement. "We have and will oppose efforts to codify discrimination into law."

      Same-sex marriage is legal in six states and the District of Columbia, but 31 states have passed amendments to ban it.

      The NAACP vote came about two weeks after President Barack Obama announced his support for gay marriage, setting off a flurry of political activity in a number of states. Obama's announcement followed vice-president Joe Biden's declaration in a television interview that he was "absolutely comfortable" with gay couples marrying.

      "Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law. The NAACP's support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the fourteenth amendment of the United States constitution and equal protection of all people" said NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous, a strong backer of gay rights.

      Gay marriage has divided the black community, with many religious leaders opposing it. In California, exit polls showed about 70% of black people opposed same-sex marriage in 2008. In Maryland, black religious leaders helped derail a gay marriage bill last year. But state lawmakers passed a gay marriage bill this year.

      Pew Research Center polls have found that African Americans have become more supportive of same-sex marriage in recent years, but remain less supportive than other groups. A poll conducted in April showed 39% of African-Americans favor gay marriage, compared with 47% of white people. The poll showed 49% of black people and 43% of white people are opposed.

      The Human Rights Campaign, a leading gay rights advocacy group, applauded the NAACP's step.

      "We could not be more pleased with the NAACP's history-making vote – which is yet another example of the traction marriage equality continues to gain in every community," HRC president Joe Solmonese said in a statement.

      November 29, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • YeahRight

      "Plus unless you are ignorant, you know just how social research can be deliberately biased at all levels."

      This is how much you don't understand this issue, everything that was written in the past about gays and lesbians was done by bias and prejudice people who tainted their reports. It wasn't until recently that those reports where shown not to be true. This prejudice and bias includes the writers of the bible!

      November 29, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • TRH

      Elizabeth,

      Please imagine this. A world in which your religion was not the majority. A world in which a religion existed that said who you were was sinful, morally corrupt, and therefore unable to have the same rights as people who followed that majority belief.

      You wonder why people are upset? It's that simple. In matters of faith you are more than able to have whatever beliefs you have. But to assert that people not believing the same as you are hurting you in some way it just a faliscious argument.

      Please try to imagine. I know your family, your community, and your mind is probably pretty fixed on one religious set of beliefs...but that doesn't make them any more true to other people than any other beliefs (or lack of beliefs). They may be 100% true TO YOU. But that doesn't make them true for other people. And our country was founded on the idea that INDIVIDUALS can choose to worship how they see fit. Not how others tell them to.

      November 29, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. worldcares

    why didn't you print my comment? I said nothing offensive. Everything I said was true.

    November 29, 2012 at 5:31 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. worldcares

    half*ssed back sliding christians judging with ignorance and prejudice.

    November 29, 2012 at 5:36 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. worldcares

    See, that was the only thing I could have said that made you not print my comment.
    You printed it.
    Why didn't you print my comment?

    November 29, 2012 at 5:38 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Dan

    Piers Morgan
    Hypothetically you are found guilty for the phone hacking scandal and you are sentenced to 2 to 5 years in prison. And one night your cell mate wakes up and finds you going through his mail. He then beats the crap out of you and sodomizes you. Does that make you gay???????

    November 29, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • nope

      Nope it doesn't make you gay it makes you a victim of rape, but don't worry even Christians don't get that very concept in their bibles.

      November 29, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse | Reply
  16. rose macaskie

    People who care about their children and vote for those who only care about the one percent are stupid. Do they really think their children will make the one percent or dont they think they should think about what happens if their children dont make it. rose.

    November 29, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Zandigra

    "And yet Christians stole land and killed mass amounts of Native Americans, burned witches at the stake, treated women like crap, and enslaved the African Americans to begin with. Sorry but your comment on Dr. King doesn't allow Christians a free pass on all of their bigotry and prejudice behaviors of the past and present"

    LOL. Glad to see you aren't exhibting any prejudices and stereotyping there, Nope.

    November 29, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • nope

      Truth hurts doesn't it, nice deflection but you can't change the past Christian prejudice and bigotry in our history. I forgot Christians like you are too brainwashed to take a hard look at yourselves in the mirror.

      November 29, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • Zandigra

        The truth never hurts. The truth sets us free. I do however find your ignorance to be a bit amusing, if not typical for people like you. Though I do find your prejudice to be rather sad.

        November 29, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • Brenda

        Zandigra hows that log in your eye, it must be huge.

        November 29, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • Faith

        Brenda, if you are referencing Matthew 7 in your response to Zandigra, exactly what kind of hypocrisy has she/he displayed? Calling someone a hypocrite without evidence is a bit, oh I don't know, hypocritical, no?

        November 29, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Powers

      I dont hear any stereotypes of bigotry in the comment above. Simply stated its true that many Christians including major denominations supported slavery using scripture, as they did denying woman and blacks the vote, mixed marriage, killing and cheating land from American Indian tribes since they were sinful heathen. Some Christians and denominations fought these awful practices, some changed direction later when it was clear that the tide had changed or the self-reflection of a new generation saw more light on the subject. No bigotry there, just fact that religion can be used to back prejudice and hate as easily as it does freedom and justice. Christianity is not inoculated from being used for hate, even if you believe its THE truth it still gets twisted and used in hateful ways.

      November 29, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  18. 250 Ministers Proclamation

    As Christian clergy we proclaim the Good News concerning Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) persons and publicly apologize where we have been silent. As disciples of Jesus, who assures us that the truth sets us free, we recognize that the debate is over. The verdict is in. Homosexuality is not a sickness, not a choice, and not a sin. We find no rational biblical or theological basis to condemn or deny the rights of any person based on sexual orientation. Silence by many has allowed political and religious rhetoric to monopolize public perception, creating the impression that there is only one Christian perspective on this issue. Yet we recognize and celebrate that we are far from alone, as Christians, in affirming that LGBT persons are distinctive, holy, and precious gifts to all who struggle to become the family of God.

    In repentance and obedience to the Holy Spirit, we stand in solidarity as those who are committed to work and pray for full acceptance and inclusion of LGBT persons in our churches and in our world. We lament that LGBT persons are condemned and excluded by individuals and institutions, political and religious, who claim to be speaking the truth of Christian teaching. This leads directly and indirectly to intolerance, discrimination, suffering, and even death. The Holy Spirit compels us:

    -to affirm that the essence of Christian life is not focused on sexual orientation, but how one lives by grace in relationship with God, with compassion toward humanity;

    –to embrace the full inclusion of our LGBT brothers and sisters in all areas of church life, including leadership;

    –to declare that the violence must stop. Christ’s love moves us to work for the healing of wounded souls who are victims of abuse often propagated in the name of Christ;

    –to celebrate the prophetic witness of all people who have refused to let the voice of intolerance and violence speak for Christianity, especially LGBT persons, who have met hatred with love;

    Therefore we call for an end to all religious and civil discrimination against any person based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. All laws must include and protect the freedoms, rights, and equal legal standing of all persons, in and outside the church.

    November 29, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  19. JLP

    Dude, when you are dropping your show and going back to UK? You have no business over here. Your ratings are dismal and I can see why. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/usa/9361012/Piers-Morgan-brings-worst-ratings-to-CNN-prime-time-slot-in-21-years.html

    November 29, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Mein Austin

    The amount of gnashing of teeth and predicting end times from those delusional enough to believe in the screed that is the bible here is astounding. Sad to see how slowly our society has progressed and been retarded by the insane.

    November 29, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  21. john

    We are all born sinners.....Some people act on their feelings; others don't.

    November 29, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  22. stac123

    people are not Born that way it is a behavior influenced by the devil and demons -I will tell everyone one thing please live and act according that there is a God and judgment instead of saying there is none and be left to a real consequence the moment ur flesh dies and ur life in the spirit to either descends to the father in heaven or your father in helll –I love all people I wish none to perish but have everlasting life-dont let a moment of pleasure send u too a eternity of HELLLL

    November 30, 2012 at 9:30 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Erik

      "people are not Born that way '

      Being gay is not a choice science, in fact, is actually not in dispute on this matter.

      All major medical professional organizations concur that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and European Psychological, Psychiatric, and Medical Associations all agree with this, as does the World Health Organization and the medical organizations of Japan, China, and most recently, Thailand. Furthermore, attempts to change one's sexual orientation can be psychologically damaging, and cause great inner turmoil and depression, especially for Christian gays and lesbians.

      Reparative therapy, also called conversion therapy or reorientation therapy, "counsels" LGBT persons to pray fervently and study Bible verses, often utilizing 12-step techniques that are used to treat sexual addictions or trauma. Such Christian councilors are pathologizing homosexuality, which is not a pathology but is a sexual orientation. Psychologically, that's very dangerous territory to tread on. All of the above-mentioned medical professional organizations, in addition to the American and European Counseling Associations, stand strongly opposed to any form of reparative therapy.

      In my home country, Norway, reparative therapy is officially considered to be ethical malpractice. But there are many countries that do not regulate the practice, and many others that remain largely silent and even passively supportive of it (such as the Philippines). Groups that operate such "therapy" in the Philippines are the Evangelical Bagong Pag-asa, and the Catholic Courage Philippines.

      The scientific evidence of the innateness of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism is overwhelming, and more peer-reviewed studies which bolster this fact are being added all the time. Science has long regarded sexual orientation – and that's all sexual orientations, including heterosexuality – as a phenotype. Simply put, a phenotype is an observable set of properties that varies among individuals and is deeply rooted in biology. For the scientific community, the role of genetics in sexuality is about as "disputable" as the role of evolution in biology.

      On the second point, that there is no conclusion that there is a "gay gene," they are right. No so-called gay gene has been found, and it's highly unlikely that one ever will. This is where conservative Christians and Muslims quickly say "See, I told you so! There's no gay gene, so being gay is a choice!"

      Take this interesting paragraph I found on an Evangelical website: "The attempt to prove that homosexuality is determined biologically has been dealt a knockout punch. An American Psychological Association publication includes an admission that there's no homosexual "gene" – meaning it's not likely that homosexuals are 'born that way.'"

      But that's not at all what it means, and it seems Evangelicals are plucking out stand-alone phrases from scientific reports and removing them from their context. This is known in academia as the fallacy of suppressed evidence. Interestingly, this is also what they have a habit of doing with verses from the Bible.

      This idea of sexuality being a choice is such a bizarre notion to me as a man of science. Many of these reparative "therapists" are basing this concept on a random Bible verse or two. When you hold those up against the mountain of scientific research that has been conducted, peer-reviewed, and then peer-reviewed again, it absolutely holds no water. A person's sexuality – whether heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual – is a very deep biological piece of who that person is as an individual.

      The fact that a so-called "gay gene" has not been discovered does not mean that homosexuality is not genetic in its causation. This is understandably something that can seem a bit strange to those who have not been educated in fields of science and advanced biology, and it is also why people who are not scientists ought not try to explain the processes in simple black-and-white terms. There is no gay gene, but there is also no "height gene" or "skin tone gene" or "left-handed gene." These, like sexuality, have a heritable aspect, but no one dominant gene is responsible for them.

      Many genes, working in sync, contribute to the phenotype and therefore do have a role in sexual orientation. In many animal model systems, for example, the precise genes involved in sexual partner selection have been identified, and their neuro-biochemical pathways have been worked out in great detail. A great number of these mechanisms have been preserved evolutionarily in humans, just as they are for every other behavioral trait we know (including heterosexuality).

      Furthermore, there are many biologic traits which are not specifically genetic but are biologic nonetheless. These traits are rooted in hormonal influences, contributed especially during the early stages of fetal development. This too is indisputable and based on extensive peer-reviewed research the world over. Such prenatal hormonal influences are not genetic per se, but are inborn, natural, and biologic nevertheless.

      Having said that, in the realm of legal rights, partnership rights, and anti-discrimination protections, the gay gene vs. choice debate is actually quite irrelevant. Whether or not something is a choice is not a suitable criterion for whether someone should have equal rights and protections. Religion is indisputably a choice, but that fact is a not a valid argument for discriminating against a particular religion.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Librty

    Just yesterday, I joined 30 others in our community to discuss bullying in our schools. The group is made of teachers, counselors, police officers, business professionals, parents, students and administrators. This is the idea: 1) Love one another.....That does NOT mean we all agree on everything! That does not mean that if you think differently than me that I am wrong nor that you are wrong. My "truth" may not be your "truth", but it's called TOLERANCE. If your beliefs are different than mine, I still accept you and will not dislike you because you don't believe like me. There are controversial topics where many vote their soul....gay marriage, abortion, death penalty. I am not Catholic, but I respect them for their belief against birth control. I am not Hindi, but I respect them to not eat cows. I am not Jewish, but I understand that Jesus is not their savior and that is their belief. I am not atheist, but I respect them to not chose a religion. I am not gay, but I love my gay friends and support them spending their lives together. I am not 7th day Adventist, but I respect them to not work on Saturdays. I am not Muslin, but I respect them to wear whatever their faith directs them. I am not a Mormon, but I respect them to not consume caffeine. I am not Baptist, but I respect their doctrine to abstain from alcohol...that's their choice. I am not Presbyterian so if they choose to sprinkle instead of immurse, that is their belief. WE DON'T ALL AGREE AND WE DON'T ALL SHARE ALL OUR BELIEFS.....IT IS TIME TO TOLERATE EVERYONE!

    November 30, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Philo

    Why did God creat Adam and Eve not two Adams or two Eves

    November 30, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • John

      "Why did God creat Adam and Eve not two Adams or two Eves"

      Some argue that since homosexual behavior is "unnatural" it is contrary to the order of creation. Behind this pronouncement are stereotypical definitions of masculinity and femininity that reflect rigid gender categories of patriarchal society. There is nothing unnatural about any shared love, even between two of the same gender, if that experience calls both partners to a fuller state of being. Contemporary research is uncovering new facts that are producing a rising conviction that homosexuality, far from being a sickness, sin, perversion or unnatural act, is a healthy, natural and affirming form of human sexuality for some people. Findings indicate that homosexuality is a given fact in the nature of a significant portion of people, and that it is unchangeable.

      Our prejudice rejects people or things outside our understanding. But the God of creation speaks and declares, "I have looked out on everything I have made and `behold it (is) very good'." . The word (Genesis 1:31) of God in Christ says that we are loved, valued, redeemed, and counted as precious no matter how we might be valued by a prejudiced world.

      There are few biblical references to homosexuality. The first, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, is often quoted to prove that the Bible condemns homosexuality. But the real sin of Sodom was the unwillingness of the city's men to observe the laws of hospitality. The intention was to insult the stranger by forcing him to take the female role in the sex act. The biblical narrative approves Lot's offer of his virgin daughters to satisfy the sexual demands of the mob. How many would say, "This is the word of the Lord"? When the Bible is quoted literally, it might be well for the one quoting to read the text in its entirety.

      Leviticus, in the Hebrew Scriptures, condemns homosexual behaviour, at least for males. Yet, "abomination", the word Leviticus uses to describe homosexuality, is the same word used to describe a menstruating woman. Paul is the most quoted source in the battle to condemn homosexuality ( 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 and Romans 1: 26-27). But homosexual activity was regarded by Paul as a punishment visited upon idolaters by God because of their unfaithfulness. Homosexuality was not the sin but the punishment.

      1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Paul gave a list of those who would not inherit the Kingdom of God. That list included the immoral, idolaters, adulterers, sexual perverts, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, and robbers. Sexual perverts is a translation of two words; it is possible that the juxtaposition of malakos, the soft, effeminate word, with arsenokoitus, or male prostitute, was meant to refer to the passive and active males in a homosexual liaison.

      Thus, it appears that Paul would not approve of homosexual behavior. But was Paul's opinion about homosexuality accurate, or was it limited by the lack of scientific knowledge in his day and infected by prejudice born of ignorance? An examination of some of Paul's other assumptions and conclusions will help answer this question. Who today would share Paul's anti-Semitic attitude, his belief that the authority of the state was not to be challenged, or that all women ought to be veiled? In these attitudes Paul's thinking has been challenged and transcended even by the church! Is Paul's commentary on homosexuality more absolute than some of his other antiquated, culturally conditioned ideas?

      Three other references in the New Testament (in Timothy, Jude and 2 Peter) appear to be limited to condemnation of male sex slaves in the first instance, and to showing examples (Sodom and Gomorrah) of God's destruction of unbelievers and heretics (in Jude and 2 Peter respectively).

      That is all that Scripture has to say about homosexuality. Even if one is a biblical literalist, these references do not build an ironclad case for condemnation. If one is not a biblical literalist there is no case at all, nothing but prejudice born of ignorance, that attacks people whose only crime is to be born with an unchangeable sexual predisposition toward those of their own sex.

      December 2, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Gay Christian

    Rick Warren is simply eager to profit by preaching/ publishing / speaking from a right wing- ultra conservative platform.
    Sadly many people would rather sit and be brained washed in this man's agenda. Thankfully there are afew christian pastors willing to break tradition and teach diversity .... Pastor Phil Snider @ Brentwood Christian Church, Sprinfield, MO.
    Would Piers Morgan be bold enough to explore this?

    December 29, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Nikki Ankerson

    How about letting the Universe or God be the judge of mankind. Sick of people forcing their opinion on others.

    January 11, 2013 at 9:15 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kain

      If you believe in such a thing... then perhaps you also believe that it works both ways. No one person or organization should use politics to enforce the ideologies of a political movement. That goes for religion and the western controlled social movements.

      July 5, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  27. The North Face Hombre Chaquetas

    ¡Descubra aquí todo el catálogo de productos de The North Face España y cómo comprar a buen precio!}
    The North Face Hombre Chaquetas http://northfacemarca.blogspot.com

    October 22, 2014 at 7:41 am | Report abuse | Reply

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