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Discovery Magazine 9/1/2006

Is Homosexuality Genetic?

You face it everywhere. In movies and TV. In the news. Maybe even in school. More and more people are talking about homosexuality-being “gay.” For most America’s history, almost everybody believed homosexuality to be sinful. It was even against the law. But more and more American have come to believe that homosexuality ought to be accepted as ok. Even though homosexuality is wrong, someone has probably told you that you are supposed to accept homosexuals as normal. You are probably being made to feel that if you do not accept homosexuality, then you are not compassionate or kind. You may even be called “homophobic,” which means you fear homosexuals.

You have probably also been told, or heard people say, that a person cannot help being “gay.’ Many people today say that homosexuals are “born that way.” They claim that homosexuals do not choose to be gay, in the same way that we do not choose our skin color or our nationality. In fact, many people today believe that homosexuality is genetic- that it is due to a person’s genes. They say homosexuality is hereditary, which means a person inherits it from his parents or grandparents.

But that is not true! The actual evidence shows that homosexuality is due to the decisions that a person makes. Did you know that scientists recently mapped out the whole human genome (GEE-nome)? That means that they identified every gene that is found in the cells of the human body. And guess what? They found no “gay gene.’ Think about it: if homosexuality is genetic, and homosexuals cannot produce children, then the “homosexual gene” would gradually die out. There is no scientific evidence that homosexuality is genetic.

We know from the Bible that homosexuality is not a matter of genetics. Here are three reasons: First, God would not condemn a person for something that he or she could not help (read 1 Corinthians 10:13). The Bible would not condemn an action over which a person has no control (like breathing or being born as a brown person or white person). Second, when Paul wrote Christians in Corinth, he mentioned that some of them had been homosexuals before they became Christians (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). But they had changed and given up that lifestyle. They no longer practiced homosexuality. So a person can choose to stop being a homosexuals. Third, many practicing homosexuals in America today have repented, and left the homosexual lifestyle. They are proof that homosexuality is not genetic.

The fact is that, like all sin, homosexuality is a behavior-an action-that a person can choose to do or choose not to do. It seems that some who like to engage in homosexuality do so because they were treated badly when they were children. Some homosexuals were molested when they were children, or they were abused in some other way. Others chose to experiment with sex when they were young and became trapped in evil lusts (read 2 Timothy 2:22 and 1 Peter 2:11).

The important thing to remember is that both science and the Bible show that homosexuality is not something that a person is “born with.” Everyone chooses how to live life. We all make our own decisions. Those who choose to practice homosexuality are sinning. They must repent of that sin if they want to be pleasing to God. Each one of us must be willing to forgive homosexuals who repent. We should hate the sin, but love the sinner-just as God loves us in spite of our own sins.

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