Are People Born Gay?

(Photo credit: Lee Chu.) Lady Gaga suggests that gay people are "born that way". But is homosexuality a choice?

Homosexuality was considered illegal behavior when I was a child. In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court finally ruled to invalidate the remaining laws that made sodomy a criminal act in the case Lawrence vs.Texas. Of course, "bans" on gay behavior date back to ancient times. The Mid-Assyrian Law Codes called for castration if a man was caught engaging in homosexual behavior.

In England, the Buggery Act passed in 1533 proscribed capital punishment for gay people until being repealed in 1861. In other words, if homosexuality is a choice, historically speaking it has been an extraordinarily difficult and dangerous choice to make. During the 1950s, the great mathematician Alan Turing was chemically castrated for being gay, which led to his suicide.

However, unlike the Old Testament prohibition on the consumption of pork and shrimp cocktails, the Bible suggests that God’s feelings toward homosexual acts appeared to carry over into the New Testament.

Leviticus 18:22 states,

Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin.

But the new covenant between God and man didn't change much in this specific regard, going from Old Testament to New Testament sources.

Similarly, 1 Timothy 1:10 reads:

The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders, liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching. (New Living Translation Bible)

So, what does that mean about the claims by people like Stefani Germanotta (a.k.a Lady Gaga)? Several years ago she released a song titled “Born This Way” that included this final verse:

No matter gay, straight, or bi, Lesbian, transgendered life, I’m on the right track baby, I was born this way.

The question remains: is homosexuality a choice? Is it perfectly normal and natural behavior? And what about other alternate lifestyles?

Politically correct popular opinion and "conventional wisdom" has suggested that our sexual orientation doesn't involve choice. Some scientists even went so far to claim that a "gay gene" is responsible for whether or not we grow up to become homosexual. More recent evidence appears to refute that claim.

Identical twins have identical DNA, and the exact same genetics. Thus, when a New York Post article reported that identical twin sisters have different sexual orientation, it apparently resolved the debate over whether or not homosexuality is a genetic condition -- obviously, people must not be "born that way" if identical DNA produced in the identical environment results in twins that have different sexual preferences.

The argument that people are born "bi-sexual" was already on shaky ground (how could bi-sexual behavior not involve choice?), and the argument that people are born "transgender" can be easily refuted with basic biology -- XX is female, and XY is male.

I don’t have the authority to absolve or mitigate sin. I can’t contradict God and say that being gay is perfectly normal and natural, and no different than being heterosexual. Nor can I say with any amount of conviction that my own sins haven't offended God much worse than some homosexual act ever could.

God loves the sinner, and only hates the sin.

We would all be wise to remember that all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God. Only a fool believes that his or her sins are somehow "better" than the sins of another, just as that person claiming that sinful behavior isn't really sin is also a fool.

No. 1-12

I would point out that some unfortunate statements are made in this article that are simply not true, and a little research into the science of same-sex attraction is warranted. (Incidentally, Christians are among the leading researchers in this field.) Science is rarely black and white; it's more a case of probabilities. The fact that there's no gay gene is irrelevant; there's no single gene that determines eye color either, but that doesn't mean we aren't born with colored eyes. On the other hand, fraternal birth order is a major factor in whether or not a male child will experience same-sex attraction.

If I'm allowed to reference a book/study that covers all aspects of this topic (including the science) from a Christian perspective, search for "A Thoroughly Christian Study of Homosexuality." In my opinion, it's our responsibility to use our God-given brains to learn the facts and seek the truth instead of just going with the flow.


@ Rowdyone You answered your own question. As sentient, free-willed beings we can choose to push ourselves into relationships unnatural to us, perhaps due to fear or simply fatigue. It might be "easier" for the man you mention to resign himself to a conventional heterosexual relationship rather than be who God created him to be. And that's the rub, isn't it? SteveD is partly right. There is a choice, though. Do you choose to be who God created you to be, whether gay or straight? Or do you deny and rebel against who you are to satisfy some inner perversity or societal pressure? Which means that it is just as great a sin and rebellion against God for a gay person to try to "become straight" as it as for a straight person to push themselves into being gay. We can view the transgendered through this lens as well. Perhaps they are people simply trying to become the gender God meant for them to be but biology's randomness thwarted.


Choice or born that way? Obviously neither, if you think through the logic carefully.

Alex Wilson
Alex Wilson

As I understand it, the most recent research points not to genetics, but rather to the type and level of hormones someone is exposed to in utero prior to birth as the most likely cause for being same-sex attracted.

I don't have a problem with someone saying that they were born gay/same-sex attracted. This fits perfectly with the Bible's claim that we are all born sinful. While I wasn't born attracted to other men, I was born with a propensity to be attracted to women other than my wife. I still have the choice of whether or not I act on those attractions, but the Bible is very clear that temptation is not sin, that even Christ faced temptation. For someone born with a same-sex attraction who wishes to also be a Christian, they'll face some hard choices. They'll have to choose to forsake the identity that they find in their sexuality in favor of their identity in Christ. As same-sex attracted pastor Sam Allberry (as quoted by Dr. Michael Brown here: put it:

""I am to deny myself, take up my cross and follow him. Every Christian is called to costly sacrifice. Denying yourself does not mean tweaking your behaviour here and there. It is saying 'No' to your deepest sense of who you are, for the sake of Christ. "


"The fact is that the gospel demands everything of all of us. If someone thinks the gospel has somehow slotted into their life quite easily, without causing any major adjustments to their lifestyle or aspirations, it is likely that they have not really started following Jesus at all.""


I can only judge this question by my own experience. I am a straight man. I have many gay friends. Those with whom I have discussed this issue all stated that they knew from early childhood that they were somehow different. Given the age that we grew up in, the 1950s-1960s, it was difficult for these individuals to consider gayness as an answer. Most suppressed this until they realized that they needed to admit to their sexual orientation, at least to themselves. Coming out of the closet, so to speak, was not easy to do at that time. Deciding to openly state their situation took courage, and it was certainly not a choice that they would have made had there actually been a choice for them. They did not decide to become gay, they just had to admit to themselves and the world that they were. This leads me to conclude that those with whom I have spoken, as I suspect is the case with almost all who live a gay lifestyle, do so because there is some inherent genetic component that pushes them in that direction. It might not seem "natural" to those who do not share their sexual orientation. I am profoundly saddened by the way that this has become a political issue. I am a committed political conservative, but on this issue, I must state that I differ from many who share my other political positions.