Can someone really be “born gay”? Is there a “gay gene”? Is it God’s plan? A rhetorical question to ponder.
Clearly, the controversy over this issue is huge in our environment. While pro-gay activists and their allies want us to believe people are “born gay” and that sexual orientation is an unchangeable characteristic, a closer examination of the scientific evidence reveals that the “nature vs. nurture” debate over homosexuality is far from settled.
In sum, there is no scientific or DNA test to tell us if a person is homosexual, bisexual or even heterosexual for that matter. And since nobody is “born gay,” it’s clear that sexual orientation is, at its core, a matter of how one defines oneself – not a matter of biology or genes.
But what about the studies I’ve heard about in the media that say people are born gay? And from the 1991 Twins Study, Richard Pillard – also a gay man – admits: “Although male and female homosexuality appears to be at least somewhat heritable, environment must also be of considerable importance in their origins.”
Clearly, the case for a “gay gene” has not been made. So, do all gay people believe that sexual orientation is “fixed” and unchangeable? Not by a long shot. While it’s true that many homosexuals and their allies believe that people are “born gay” and cannot change. There exists a surprising – and not insignificant – minority of gays and lesbians who recognize that sexual orientation is, in fact, flexible. Thus, while no one knows for sure what causes a homosexual identity to develop, recent research confirms that permanent change is, indeed, possible. Even in the secular cultural arena we see evidence of well-known people who have clearly changed their sexual orientation.
Clearly, pro-homosexual advocates and their allies aren’t dealing with all the evidence in their insistence that people are “born gay” and cannot change. More than 20 years later, a great deal of research has been done, and despite the hype from different news outlets:
• There is no “gay gene”.
• Twin studies show homosexuality is primarily environmental; and,
• Homosexuality is not caused by a “gay brain.”
So, we can say with a great deal of confidence: People are not “born gay.” As the Psalmist says, God’s works are wonderful, and we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:4, ESV). Most scientists who study genetics know that only a portion of how we behave is affected by genes. Other determining factors include our environment the family and culture we are born into—and our decisions, the choices we make with our will.
Research has not demonstrated that homosexuality is inborn or genetic. Scientists have not found a gene or brain wiring that leads, in some predetermined way, to homosexuality. I knew what the Bible said about God’s design for marriage and about mankind being made in His image, male and female. Homosexuality is mostly driven by unique responses in an individual to environmental circumstances. Sin is a reality in this fallen world, and the result of sin is that some of us will struggle with homosexual temptations, lust and behavior.
I urge you to pursue the life and renovation of the heart that the Father offers us through Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit. I invite you to pursue Christ. Whether or not those same-sex desires ever completely leave you. The wages of sin is death. And if you have a loved one with same-sex attractions, I plead with you to continue praying for them, even as you pursue a closer relationship with God. In prayer there is great power, and we believe that God is drawing homosexual-identified men and women to Himself, just as He has for thousands of years:
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” –1 Corinthians 6:9-11, ESV It’s inaccurate to say that a single gene causes a certain behavior.
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