President Barack Obama’s gay allies are ignoring his endorsement of the long-standing claim that sexual orientation is a matter of choice.
“I think people know that treating folks unfairly, even if you disagree with their lifestyle choice… Let them live their lives and under the law they should be treated equally,” he said 25 minutes into his Wednesday interview with GloZell Green, a YouTube personality.
Obama’s statement violates progressives’ demand that Americans believe there’s no choice in sexual orientation.
But Obama’s statement reflects mainstream views.
A May 2014 poll by Gallup showed that only 42 percent of Americans believe all gay people are “born that way,” regardless of choice. Thirty-seven percent of Americans believe that homosexuality is linked to upbringing and environment.
That’s a shift from 2013, when 47 percent said gays are born that way.
Gay advocates fiercely dispute the lifestyle choice argument, partly because they want to elevate the status of homosexuality and homosexuals in American society.
Instead of arguing that homosexuals’ choices and actions are good for society, gay advocates argue that they have no control over their sexual preferences.
However, heterosexuality has high status not because heterosexuals lack choice, but because they freely spend much of their lives selflessly raising the next generation of Americans from infancy to adulthood, at great risk to their bank account, social standing and mental health.
But progressives’ silence about Obama’s comment is likely rational.
By remaining silent, they minimize the political impact of Obama’s endorsement of a commonly-held view.
Also, progressives know they can quietly push Obama to reverse his statement in the next few weeks.
After all, they already pushed Obama to change his 2008 campaign-trail statements on the definition and purpose of marriage.
In fact, Obama used the same interview to announce his endorsement of the progressive demand that the Supreme Court use its power to redefine marriage for the benefit of gays and lesbians.
They want the court to force states to award marriage licenses to single-sex couples, even if the states have constitutional amendments prohibiting same-sex marriage.
“My hope is that they go ahead and recognize what I think the majority of people in America now recognize, which is two people who love each other and are treating each other with respect, and aren’t bothering anybody else, why would the law treat them differently?” Obama said.