I suffer occasionally from a case of politics-induced heartburn.
It’s flaring up again. The catalyst this time is gay conversion therapy, which is being debated in the Texas Legislature. Some lawmakers want to make it illegal to force someone to undergo the quackery associated with trying to “convert” a gay person into a straight person. Most of them, though, seem satisfied with allowing individuals to endure such nonsense.
House Bill 517 gets scrutiny
A handful of states have made gay conversion therapy illegal. They recognize that a person’s sexual orientation is part of his or her DNA. It’s who they are. Therefore, it is impossible to “convert” someone from one orientation and guide them toward something else.
It’s a belief I have held for a long time, that one does not “choose” to become gay. Nor do they “choose” to become straight, for that matter.
I am nearly 70 years of age. My memory fails me at times, but so help me, I do not ever recall a moment when I was coming of age all those years ago when I gave any thought about whether I preferred to be intimate with women.
Thus, I find it impossible to believe that those who are gay make that choice consciously.
I am left to wonder two things: Why would anyone choose to be vilified by those around them? Why, too, is it often so difficult for those who are gay to “come out” to their loved ones?
Let me clear the air on one key point as well. Even discussing anyone’s sexuality makes me highly uncomfortable. It is a subject that I consider to be no one’s damn business. It is a part of one’s life that should remain utterly, completely and totally private.
Not everyone believes that, apparently. Some legislators in Texas and in many other states believe someone’s sexual orientation should become a matter of public policy.
That’s where this idiocy of “gay conversion therapy” comes into play.
I know I’m going to get grief for stating all this. That’s all right. I get that many Americans feel strongly about gay conversion and believe in their heart and soul that it’s a legitimate psychological therapy. I am not one of them.
Still, the heartburn I suffer from this discussion is real.
There is one constructive way to look at this, though. It is that we’re actually debating this issue in Texas. Maybe that’s a sign of progress.