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What does it mean for gay rights if homosexuality can be a choice?

Cynthia Nixon attends the opening night after party for
Cynthia Nixon attends the opening night after party for "Wit" at the B.B. King Blues Club & Grill on January 26, 2012 in New York City. Nixon's recent statement on choosing to be homosexual has sparked an uproar in the gay community.
Craig Barritt/Getty Images

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Recently, former Sex and The City star, Cynthia Nixon greatly angered the gay community when she claimed that her own decision to be gay wasn’t a matter of biology…it was a choice. The statement came in a profile of Nixon in the New York Times earlier this month in which Nixon said that her gayness is no less legitimate because she chose it and wasn’t born with it. It didn’t take long for gay activist to come out strongly against Nixon, calling her words ‘irresponsible,” and saying she’d fallen into a “right-wing trap.”

According to Wayne Beson, the founder of Truth Wins Out, an organization dedicated to debunking “Conversion therapy,” says when you allow for the notion that gay can be a choice you’re condemning millions of gay teens in middle America to even more ridicule and violence. He says Nixon’s words will also be exploited by those that believe homosexuality is a sin. But Nixon doesn’t see it that way. She says to insist that homosexuality has to be an inborn trait is to cede the point to the bigots.


Who’s right? Is sexuality a rainbow with an infinite number of possibilities and flexibilities? Do people in the public eye have to choose their words carefully to avoid giving ammunition to certain groups? Or do they have a right to voice their experience as they see it? And, what does the gay rights movement have to lose if homosexuality can be seen as a personal choice and not an innate trait?


Wayne Beson, founder, Truth Wins Out -- an organization dedicated to debunking conversion or ex-gay therapy.

Rebekah Orr, spokesperson for Equality California