So over the summer I'm working at the Brown library. Some of the tasks they give us student employees involve sorting through the various gifts the Brown library is constantly receiving. Brown's collection is, of course, vast, so the gifts usually consist of things they already have, and in the rare cases where they don't have something, there's usually a reason (it's the second edition of a textbook that's in it's ninth edition, it's a tourist guide to 1927 Vienna). So they have lots of stuff that they have to get rid of. They've got a large gift of largely gay and lesbian connected stuff which I've been looking through. It's mostly novels with gay and lesbian characters, but also some biographies or autobiographies of gays and lesbians, poetry collections by gays and lesbians, and occasional essays of various kinds. I presume it was a gift from some deceased gender studies professor or something.
Anyway, one of the books was by one of those self-proclaimed ex-gays, which brought to mind the endlessly, and to my mind tediously, debated topic of whether homosexuality is biologically determined or whether it is a choice. To my mind, this is an absurd dichotomy anyway, but that won't be my major pressure point today. I wish instead to press an analogy.
Historically, many people have believed it is wrong to date or marry outside one's race. There were laws against it all over the U.S., and some of them have only been repealed very recently. There are surely still more people than one would like to think who still think that racial mixing is a bad thing.
Now, my present (long-term serious) girlfriend is asian. I certainly don't think that I choose to be attracted to asians, or that I follow any guy-who-dates-asians lifestyle (most of the women I've dated have been white, probably because whites have been a majority everywhere I've lived), but I certainly could have chosen not to pursue Shelly, even if I couldn't have chosen not to be attracted to her. I could have followed the rules advocated by the old-fashioned racists and only pursued white women, and in my case it wouldn't even have been a great hardship; again, most of my girlfriends have been white, and there are plenty of white women I find attractive. However, I'm sure all of my readers agree with me that no matter how easy it would have been for me to pursue a life of exclusively involving myself romantically with other whites, it would be wrong and offensive for anybody to tell me that that's what I ought to do.
I see straight vs. gay as a similar issue. Thus, I don't see that it matters whether homosexuality is a choice or not. It seems to me to be a matter that's nobody else's business; to the extent that someone can choose it, it should up to them whether to choose it, just as I think it's nobody else's business what other features those people pursue romantically have (assuming the object of the pursuit is a person able to make their own choices and that the pursuit doesn't involve objectionable methods, of course).
Now, it seems obvious to me that attraction is heavily biologically based. It's possible that I have a mild preference for asians over whites, and if I do it's likely that this is because people are biologically programmed to find the exotic attractive, since mixing races is in fact biologically desirable; mixed-race children tend to be healthier. It's likely that my strong preference for women over men is also biologically programmed, and it seems equally likely to me that the strong preference homosexuals have for others of their own sex is similarly biologically programmed. But whether that's true or not (and ex-gays, even if any were genuine, wouldn't be proof that it's not; even strong biologically determined preferences can be overridden, as straight men in prison frequently overcome their strong preference for women when none are available) seems to me to be beside the point; the point is that who one chooses to sleep with, or become romantically involved with, or form a lifetime partnership with is just not the business of anybody else apart from the other person involved.