Nature vs. Nurture?
It is a question I have agonized over for years and I am no closer to a resolution. I have read books, asked scientists and I have even prayed for answers, but for the life of me, I just do not understand what has compelled a small percentage of the population to dedicate their lives to the denial of rights and liberties to the gay community.
I am not talking about the typical conservative anti-gay hater who follows the Republican talking points, and I am not talking about the religious people who can’t see past Leviticus. Instead, my unending confusion is caused by the super gay haters. These are the people who have built careers around their anti-gay hatred and they measure their life's success by how many privileges are denied to others. Are they born with this hatred? Is deep detestation of LGBT people a learned trait? Or are they filled with so much internalized homophobia that they suppress their own same-sex attraction by lashing out against others?
A new super gay hater has risen to prominence this past week at the Conservative Political Action (CPAC) conference. A young man named Ryan Sorba took the stage to condemn CPAC for allowing a gay conservative group called GOProud to participate in the conference. Sorba was surprisingly booed off the stage by the conservative brass after pontificating on the evils of homosexuality.
Further Googling reveals that this was not the cause du jour for Sorba. In fact, he has built his entire young career on the idea that homosexuality is unnatural and changeable. He has spent years researching and writing a book called “The Born Gay Hoax,” he advocates ex-gay therapy on college campuses and he has started an anti-gay Facebook group that celebrates the work of another super gay hater, Dr. Scott Lively, who is one of the American evangelicals credited with planting the seed for Uganda’s kill the gays bill.
After Sorba’s crazy anti-gay tirade, a young gay conservative named Alex Knepper, engaged Sorba in an epic battle of the future of the Republican party. The exchange is a fascinating read that reveals how truly bizarre it is that Sorba cares so deeply about prohibiting gay rights.
It will be interesting to see where Sorba goes from here. My guess is that he will be adopted by the anti-gay industry as the bright new spokesperson. Perhaps that will be followed by a string of sex tapes like the anti-gay industry’s most recent bright young spokesperson, Carrie Prejean.
Photo credit: Media Matters for America