Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty
has suggested that being is a choice.
The 50-year-old candidate for the 2012
GOP presidential nomination objects to gay marriage and giving gay
and lesbian couples the same benefits as married couples.
Earlier this year, Pawlenty created
controversy when he said as president he would work to reinstate
“Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the 1993 law that bans gay and bisexual
troops from serving openly.
And during last month's presidential
debate, he said he supports a federal amendment banning gay marriage.
But last week, Pawlenty shocked when he
praised Lady Gaga, telling
reporters that her gay anthem Born This Way was among his
favorites. The pop star has been criticized by social
conservatives for her strong support of gay rights.
During a Sunday appearance on Meet
the Press, host David Gregory asked Pawlenty if he believes
sexual orientation is a choice.
“Is being gay a choice?” Gregory
asked after referring to his earlier praise of Lady Gaga.
“Well, the science in that regard is
in dispute,” he responded. “I mean, scientists work on that and
try to figure out if it's behavior or if it's partly genetic …”
“What do you think?” Gregory
“Well, I defer to the scientists in
“So you think it's not a choice?
That you are, as Lady Gaga says, you're born that way,” Gregory
“There's no scientific conclusion
that it's genetic,” Pawlenty answered. “We don't know that.”
(The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)
Commenting on Pawlenty's remarks,
blog ThinkProgress.org wrote: “All major medical professional
organizations agree that sexual orientation is not a choice and
cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise.”
We would add that the only
organizations suggesting that the evidence is inconclusive are
Bachmann refuses to answer whether she believes being gay is a