You already know what most people will say.
Far right: Yes. It is a difficult choice, but can be overcome. There are bad things to being gay, but some people live with it the way geeks live with ridicule because of their strangeness that they could change.
Far left: No. You can't choose who you fall in love with. You're just born that way. Why would someone choose to be teased, rejected and alienated by society and their loved ones?
Well, to be fair to the right, some people, like geeks or weirdos, don't care about being teased or bullied or rejected because of the things they like. Even straight couples are willing to be teased or rejected because of their choice of a partner, but it's for love, right? Then again, is there really such a thing as true love at all?
Maybe it's just physical. Let's be honest, being gay or straight depends mostly on sex. If you fall in love with someone online then find out their not th gender you like, you probably wouldn't want to be with them the same way you did before.
For all we know, we do choose who we fall in love with. We make decisions about how to interperet our feelings, how to react to a person's actions or thoughts, when judging something they do or believe in, those are all little choices. Bu are they really what make us fall in love with people?
But it's true, if you want to love someone, why make it someone you're family or friends would reject you for? Why pick someone you can't have kids with or marry?(If that's what you want)
In Chrsitianity, the Bible says at least three times that being gay is wrong. But the only reason it would be wrong is if it's a choice, because sin is about disobeying God's will and rejecting the truth of his law and words. You can really only go against God's law by choosing to reject or go against it, like choosing to steal or choosing to ignore Jesus once you've heard the truth, or choosing not to even try to be a better person. So how can something be a sin if you don't choose to do it? (please no religious bashing from any sides in this discussion) Many christians who don't support being gay say that it's a hard thing to overcome but can be done, but how many gay people do they know that have actually stayed celibate or gone straight?
Main questions wiht this issue: Is it a choice? Can you choose who you fall in love with? Why or why not? If it is a choice, why would you choose to be gay at all?
EDIT: If you have anything directed specifically at me, the one posting this, I'm not going to read it. The discussion is mainly for other people who wanted to discuss it, and I lost track of the comments months ago anyway.
I agree 100%
I like to think about it this way: If being gay was really a choice, would we even need to have this debate? People like a simple answer to explain homosexuality, but it obviously isn't that simple, and when the simple is ruled out, we are left with only complicated solutions which many people don't like or want to accept.
Stupid truth, always resisting simplicity.
Indeed, people like simple answers when it isn't simple. Simple answers like "of course it isn't a choice". All evidence to suggest that homosexuality is determined at birth is so far partial and insubstantial. There are genetic elements, but it's clear that its not 100% genetic, and there are other chemical and many other potential causes. However, the possibility is still open that subconscious choices and actions are part of the equation. So please don't go suggesting that it's complicated and then produce a simple answer.
I think that being gay isn't a choice just like being straight isn't a choice. I know that I am a woman and have always had a sexual attraction toward men exclusively as well as romantic feelings toward men exclusively. I couldn't feel the same way about a woman if I tried. This same principle applies to people who are gay. Of the gay people I've met and spoken to about this topic, all have said that they didn't choose their sexual and romantic preferences - they felt as if they were born with these preferences. No one should change what they want in a partner just because a book written centuries ago says that it's a sin or because society considers it wrong.
Would you not think that it is possible, indeed probable, that given the fact that you are biologically predisposed towards hetrosexuality (evolutionarily speaking, since that is the primary means by which we reproduce) that if there is choice involved it may be a subconsious choice towards homosexuality, and if no choices are made, the human body defaults to hetrosexuality, hence why you feel you have not made a choice.
Short, simple, effective, and efficient response.
Your question in a way is extremely redundant. Why do I say this, you ask? Well, let me ask you this. Is being straight a choice? No. It's a social norm. Because the general majority of the society thinks that a boy will like a girl and the Human line will continue. It's the ONLY sensible thing to do. Continuation of the human line, that's something that people who are gay who can not do. So when it comes down to it. People just look down upon gay people. Ask them for their reasoning and all they say is, 'You know, it's against the religion' or 'it's wrong'. They never have a proper reasoning as to why being Gay is so wrong.
What does it mean when you fall for someone? That person makes you happy. You like to make that person happy. You want to be that particular person because you wouldn't be happier with anyone else. Weather it's a girl or a guy. Weather you're a girl or a guy. It shouldn't matter.
So there's no definite answer to your question, because it's very vague and it's subjective. that is, it differs from person to person.
I'm not sure if anyone has brought this up yet in previous comments, but I would simply like to add that scientists have studied animal species in the wild exhibiting homosexual behaviors and mating with animals of the same sex. Due to the fact that animals don't have the brain capacity to choose to commit homosexual acts, it seems obvious to me that homosexuality is not a choice. This is simply the conclusion I've drawn from the evidence presented, whether or not you agree is up to you :)
I'm not sure if anyone has brought this up yet in previous comments, but I would simply like to add that scientists have studied animal species in the wild exhibiting homosexual behaviors and mating with animals of the same sex. Due to the fact that animals don't have the brain capacity to choose to commit homosexual acts, it seems obvious to me that homosexuality is not a choice.
Your argument is fundamentally flawed. The problem being that we also see animals in the wild killing rivals over food sources/sexual partners etc. Given their low brain capacity to "choose" these actions, are we to infer then that when humans kill each other over similar things, that is not a choice either.
Personally, I believe your sexual orientation is not a choice. I also believe that you cannot define people as "gay," "straight," or "lesbian." I think that the orientation of a person is not just black and white, but the multitude of gray sitting between the two.
Personally, I am bisexual. I find guys more physically attractive, yet I cannot fathom a permanent sexual relationship (or any kind of sexual relationship) with a man. A few years ago, I would've described myself as straight, but I always escaped the topic of my sexual orientation narrowly. With my parents, they would ask which gender I would prefer my first date, first kiss, etc., to be with. My answer would always be I don't know, because I don't.
I think sexuality is more fluid than people seem to think it is, like I lean further towards women than men when I think in the long term. No one is entirely towards men or women or sitting exactly on the line between the two, or so I like to think. (I'm open to people proving me wrong, by the way.) I think of sexuality as a scale, heterosexual people at the 10 on one side, and homosexual people at the 10 on the other. I think of myself as about a five leaning towards homosexuality, yet that may change as I grow. This is just how I choose to think of it, not what is right or wrong or whatever. I like to think of it more on a scale and less like the black and white labels they are given. And that's all I have to say.
Personally, I am bisexual. I find guys more physically attractive, yet I cannot fathom a permanent sexual relationship (or any kind of sexual relationship) with a man.
Is it not possible that there are other reasons for that? Sexual orientation seems a very complex answer to that question for what could be a very simple issue.
I say I'm gay as a kind of shorthand. I think of myself as a 'chap who prefers other chaps,' as I do (hippy bit coming in here) view sexuality as a spectrum, not a linear distinction between absolutes.
Now, when it comes to whether or not I chose to be gay I answer: yes but no.
What I did not choose; sexual and romantic attraction towards other men.
What I did and do choose; to accept and act on the attraction.
Why did I choose this? Because I wanted to be happy, and could see no rational reason why I shouldn't act on this attraction that I feel. It harms no one, it brings me pleasure. Therefore, I can see no reason why I should not.
That isn't to say that I have been wholly happy with who I am, but, then again, who is?
I used to want to be straight, I even prayed to that effect before I lost faith in organised religion. These days I realise that wanting to be straight when one is not is, essentially, wrong because one is therefore tacitly implying that it is wrong to be homosexual, and furthermore one is falling into 'despair' as Kierkegaard defines it: not wanting to be yourself.
If I could pick my attractions, I'd probably pick bisexuality for the increase of options.
I am not happy, I rarely am happy, but the important thing is I am being authentic (of a sort!) and that I am not unhappy either.