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"Born That Way" Is A Poor Argument In Favor of Gay Rights Compared to Personal Liberty Arguments

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/9/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,371 times Debate No: 27080
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
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It's very easy for religious types who look at the science about homosexuality and actually accept it to then think "well, those poor dears can't help how they feel, but they can choose how to behave". Sometimes they liken the homosexuality to alcoholism.

They will just claim that just like alcoholism there are genetic factors to homosexuality, but that that's not an excuse to act on it.

Even if it were true it would be irrelevant.
Imagine if pedophilia was found to be just as genetic. Would we then conclude that it must be OK to act on pedophilia? No, we would require them to refuse their desires for the good of society.

The relevant point for validating gay rights isn't "born that way" it is "it harms none". Consenting homosexuality adults are not violating anybody's rights. When we try to argue from the standpoint of "it's not a choice" the whole argument will just go around in circles with both sides preaching to their choirs. We should address it from the standpoint of the right to do what you want as long as you don't infringe on other people's rights.

The only objection they can raise to this is Biblical. They can site a number of skewed studies to argue that homosexuality is a choice, and even when they admit it's not they still don't support gay rights. Gay rights activists should avoid getting involved in debates about "choice" and focus on personal liberty and that the state does not have the right to pass laws based solely on religion and people should not discriminate in the name of religious beliefs.


I am a libertarian by nature but I am under the impression that it is an inferior reason for gay rights. It might harm none (in cases where the penis happens to not be big enough to rip apart the guy's arse, or the girl's strap-on doing the same to another girl) but I would like to highlight why being born as something is a far deeper reason to stop something than mere libertarian ideology.

First of all, why did the blacks feel the need to fight oppression? Surely they didn't care as much about the freedom to be black as much as the understanding that they are merely human beings born with a few different chromosomes to Caucasians and other races. Surely it was the very understanding that both a white and black human are born that way and that neither could change the colour of their skin but only what they did with their body that drove Martin Luther King to persevere with the Civil Rights' Movement as well as Malcolm X with his more violent forms of protest. Surely the reason feminists began fighting oppression not because they wanted the freedom to be female but because they realised they were born that way and everyone should realise you can't help that. The very philosophy of feminism is that men and women are both equal beings but trapped into a body which makes one appear destined to be good at something they are not. Surely the motivation behind Gay Rights begins with the very idea that from the birth of that person, they were unable to prevent the homosexuality occurring and thus should be allowed to be who they are. Surely being born as something, or being born to do something, is the single most fundamental reason for protests throughout history. Thus, my point in short is that the fundamental cause to even fight for gay rights originates from the feeling (and now almost scientifically valid proof) that you are born into the world destined to love people of your own gender whilst others oppress you for who you are.

Secondly, I shall both rebut your point regarding paedophilia and alcoholism whilst raising a point regarding what a person should fight for in the first place. A paedophile might be born to find children more attractive than mature human beings, they might even take this up as a reason to fight for their right to molest children. However, the argument that the children were not born to be molested nor to find older people sexually attractive prior to puberty is a stronger argument, thus it renders it futile, it again comes down to what one is born to do. Alcoholism is something with which some people are born to resist better than others, however a person is not born with resistance or vulnerability to turn homosexual, instead they are born to eventually realise their sexuality as homosexual. A resistance gene cannot be compared to an unchangeable set of genes which completely reconfigure one's mind and sexuality. The point I would like to raise that whilst it's simplistic to see that one is born to be gay it's also a key point that their potential partner was also born to be gay and that unlike paedophilia, this is two people's birth right being fought for.

On a final note, You stated that the only objections I could raise are biblical, so I shall now raise some scientific facts. To begin with, a pair of scientists named Blanchard and Klassen (1997) reported that each older brother increases the odds of a man being gay by 33%.[1] A number of sections of the brain have been reported to be sexually dimorphic; that is, they vary between men and women. There have also been reports of variations in brain structure corresponding to sexual orientation. In 1990, Swaab and Hofman reported a difference in the size of the suprachiasmatic nucleus between homosexual and heterosexual men[2]. In 1992, Allen and Gorski reported a difference related to sexual orientation in the size of the anterior commissure[3]. Just a few thoughts about the science behind the claim not being biblical.

In conclusion, the theory that people are born gay is definitely based on more than just biblical reference, even atheist gays state it from their own experience. Also, the fundamental motivational factor behind most revolutionary protests has often been due to people being born a certain way or to be a certain type of person. Also, the liberty argument regarding harmful sexualities and alcoholism are irrelevant to the debate for paedophilia involves a party that wasn't born to be that way and alcoholism relates to resistance, not to an entire reconfiguring of one's sexuality.

[2] <-- note that you probably have to pay for it.
[3] <-- best source in my opinion
Debate Round No. 1


"The only objection they can raise to this is Biblical."
Con misunderstood.
"They" in this sentence does not refer to Con or to people making the born that way argument it refers to the anti-gay people. I am saying that once you make it about personal liberty there are no sound scientific arguments to be placed against homosexual behavior. Using "personal liberty" as the argument lays bare that the anti-gay side's entire argument against homosexuality relies on the Bible.

For clarification this debate has nothing to do with whether or not homosexuality is a choice, this debate is about which line of argumentation should be preferred when arguing for gay rights.

Have you ever seen someone raise the "Born that way" argument in a debate with an anti-gay conservative? They always argue "No, they're not." "No the evidence doesn't prove it." There a number of 'sources' such as NARTH where people can look and claim legitimacy it.

No matter what you use to try to convince them it is easy for them to deny it and continue preaching that it's a choice.

It would be better to reframe the issue, to not get stuck in debates about choice that will end with both sides remaining the same and anti-gay people who get convinced it's not a choice won't magically turn pro-gay they will demand gay people be celibate. Your arguments about why pedophilia and alcoholism are different are sound. However, the extreme anti-gay people who think the Bible should be the law won't care.

If we don't waste our time debating choice (which is what antis expect and prepare for) and instantly catch them off guard by saying "The issue is not whether or not it is a choice. Religion is a choice but it is protected by laws against discrimination. The issue is that we are consenting adults who are harming no one."

All they have then to make their argument is appeals to religion. Some people who were against gay rights on the grounds "it's gross" but also believe that laws based solely on religion shouldn't be enforced will finally put two and two together. Realizing the entire anti-gay rights argument hinges on the Bible they become pro-gay.

And even for those not convinced the rest of the debate should delve into the other sins in the Bible such as why "mixed fabric clothing" is not considered a "moral law" in spite of those words not being found the Bible. Anti-gay preachers will say "it's not a moral law" in reference to that one and say that all the sexual-related ones are moral laws. This is based off of no distinction recorded in the Bible and you can point that out. Get your opponent to admit they think masturbation, straight married couples having anal or oral sex, and premarital sex will all get you sent to hell if you don't repent. At that point many people who may have been thinking of gays as being the "different" ones will think of the religious fanatics as the "different" ones pointing their fingers at the mainstream that enjoys a lot of things the religious right doesn't approve of.

That way you can point out not only how anti-gay stances ultimately rest entirely on the Bible but that it is based on a selective interpretation of the Bible.


I agree that liberty is a strong argument for gay rights. However, a government isn't meant to put liberty before morality and gay rights is a purely legal matter in the end. If they believed in liberty, incest where no baby is produced wouldn't be illegal, but it is. If they valued liberty over morality, they wouldn't ban marijuana yet allow alcohol and tobacco. The truth is law is a fishy subject if you think you can rely purely on liberty when discussing one's rights.

Liberty is nice, I like liberal people. However liberalism only works when there is not a huge conflict to solve. In this scenario we have a huge conflict between the moral code of pro-gay rights activists and the moral code of the anti-gay rights activists. Technically it's neither liberal to allow gays to marry and engage in public displays of affection if a huge proportion of the populations are both disgusted by it and think it sends you to a place of eternal punishment. On the other hand, we have the issue that to not allow gays to be open about their relationships, we are impeding their beliefs being met. So either way a significant amount of people are not experience liberty, thus I do not see how liberty is anywhere near as strong as the 'born to be gay' argument.

The truth is this, the fundamental reasoning behind the religious view that being homosexual is wrong is that they believe everyone is born to be heterosexual. However, if you asked a heterosexual to try to be gay, you would see that they were clearly born to be straight. Equally, it's just as logical to understand that if you ask a homosexual to try to be straight, they clearly will not be able to change their sexuality. You don't even need a single scientific fact to prove the logic behind it. The essential issue comes with the valid argument from their side that clearly we would not have reproduced if being gay was not a choice. This is where another level of logic (what I call abstract logic, as opposed to standard logic) has to be applied to fully understand the reason that we have reproduced over time. The first clear concept is that more people have always been straight than gay in any population because any bisexual individual would be bound to have tried out the opposite gender if their friends did, leaving the minority of pure homosexuals to not understand why they stay soft with a woman and the lesbians to not understand why they never were able to get wet or create a lubricant when a guy tried to engage in sex with them. Another layer of logic makes us realise that when humans began to talk and reason, they must have realised clearly that males having sex with females was the clear, indisputable cause for pregnancy (although this understanding seems not so apparent in some tribal regions of Africa). So what I think happened was this, humans began to experiment their sexuality the moment they were able to reason with language and understand what sex was (his is far before civilisation began and religion was even a concept). Thus, I am sure many group sex orgies were arranged. In an orgy it would have been extremely easy for gays to check out all the guys around them and get aroused by that as they pummelled away at a female partner, it's simple logic that if they went anal on a female and looked at all the guy's around them it would ultimately feel no different than if they were pummelling a guy. thus, during this time of huge population growth and variation everyone was able to have sex because we realised it was more fun to share each other than possess one another, probably why we no longer worried about evolving stronger and instead only the ones able to reason and work in teams survived (in answer to the commonly raised question by creationists as to why we are weaker than chimpanzees yet smarter). Over time religion came into play and the realisation that gay sex was a waste of whatever mysterious white liquid came from a man which could be used to reproduce in stead, I believe this to be the fundamental reason that even in ancient scripture homosexuality begun to be frowned upon and heterosexuality, especially the form where one man hunts down several females, was far more acceptable. This s also why lesbians probably have always been more acceptable than male gays, and why society is far more accepting of lesbians than women are of gays. The reason is this, the woman became the more beautiful gender, designed to attract a powerful and dominant mate, their duty was to attract anyone and anything that would choose to reproduce with them, even other females, especially if doing so entertained men. The man became the less beautiful but more aggressive gender, a man's duty became clearly to hunt down the finest women and to engage in sex with them. Men needn't care if a woman was a lesbian as long as they could overpower her, but the issue with a woman trying to hit on a gay is, no matter how hard they try, how nice they get, how flirty they acted or how much cleavage they showed, the guy wasn't interested, thus an instinctive repugnance to male gays evolved in most human beings.

I know what I wrote is just a theory (although I regard it as fact) but what I have tried to show is a rather unfalsifiable method of explaining that in history there were gays and that gays were born that way by simple logical reasoning, so if they choose to deny evidence with the unfalsifiable concept of God we could refute that with the unfalsifiable logical progression of the human race by what really does make perfect sense.

You can either rebut my points or explain your own in a clearer light if I have failed to address them correctly.
Debate Round No. 2


MasturDbtor forfeited this round.


Thank you, vote con.

Gays are okay,
Not much more to say,
Apart from the truth from which we shall not sway,
They were born that way!

Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by DakotaKrafick 3 years ago
I would take this if it wasn't for the fact that Pro is the obviously correct position here.
Posted by yuiru 3 years ago
who in their right mind would con this?
Posted by TheElderScroll 3 years ago
Alcoholism is not something that you cannot cure. In the case of sexual preference, however, if a person is truly "born in this way", a painful alternation of one's sexual preference may post a serious danger in one's mental and physical health.
In the case of pedophilia, since law forbids underage sex, so that is not be a problem.
Bible plays a definitive role in this debate. Eventually what really matters is what you choose to believe.
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