So much antipathy toward same-sex marriage, and Gay people in general, seems to me to stem from the fact that in many people's minds Gay=Sex, and that the emotional component akin to that held by heterosexuals is lacking. That is, many people and religious institutions falsely see Gay people as disordered heterosexuals and, hence, much of the discriminatory rhetoric and actions taken against Gay people, as well as the assertions of so-called "ex-gay" people and "ministries!"
The following is a very slightly edited version of the article I wrote in November 2007:
My friend, Don Charles sent me an article entitled, "EXCLUSIVE: An Interview with Donnie McClurkin's Ex-Lover."
This is a revealing interview, not merely because of the obvious, but because I truly believe that McClurkin, on the basis of this interview, thinks that being Gay by "his definition" is a choice. He seems to solely identify one's choosing to be Gay as one's choosing to have sex!
According to this article, McClurkin said, as reported in "...The New York Times in 2002: 'Love is pulling you one way and lust is pulling you another and your relationship with Jesus is tearing you, tearing you,' said Mr. McClurkin, who now counsels adolescent boys that homosexuality is a choice they can overcome."
To him, and to so many other homophobic people, both Straight and Gay, whether or not to have sex is a choice, and so, since they seem to equate being Gay solely with having sex, McClurkin and those who think like him can with a straight (pardon the pun) face say that being Gay is a choice.
So many are unable to see that having sex is usually a manifestation, or a culmination, of a more or less loving relationship, and emotional sensibility, or affectional desire, and McClurkin seems convinced that same-sex loving relationships (the idea of which may well scare the hell out of him, and of which he might very well be incapable at this point in his life) is also antithetical to being a Christian, so his "relationship with Jesus is tearing you, tearing you."
He sees the choice to be not only between being Gay (as he seems to define the term) and being a Christian, but sees, in his case, that "love is pulling you one way and lust is pulling you another."
He has, according to his reported statement, divested "sex" from "love," and so, since he equates being Gay with sex, and he sees "sex" as distinct from "love," he can believe that being Gay (which he equates with lust and sex) is a choice by his definition of what "Gay" means. And if he's incapable and/or fearful of same-sex "love," which I believe may very well be the case, he doesn't see, and certainly doesn't want to see, being Gay as embracing one's whole being, including feelings as well as actions.
It is not only many, if not most, Straight people who can only see one's being Gay in terms of one's sexual activities; many Gay people themselves define the term "Gay" in this way, so that rather than one's seeing their being Gay as encompassing the whole person, body, mind, and soul, they see the term "Gay" the way that they have been taught in or by churches, and other instutions, largely, if not solely, run by homophobes.
Hence, many Gay people themselves don't realize that they are Gay until they have had one or more satisfying same-sex sexual encounters and retrospectively understand that they were Gay long before they engaged in sexual activity. It's only when a Gay (or Straight) person is able to integrate love and affection with those encounters, that they then are better able to become emotionally and spiritually intact as human beings. But to be given institutional, interpersonal, and psychological permission to integrate the emotional and sexual parts of one's nature is made very difficult in a rabidly homophobic society, largely aided and abeted by those who have yet to healthfully integrate these two facets of their humanity.
So, in this context, a Donny McClurkin and other "ex-gay" spokespeople can actually believe that he/she is not, or is no longer, Gay because he/she no longer has sex (at least on a regular basis) with another person of the same sex or is celibate, despite his/her emotional and affectional desires for intimacy with a member of the same sex.
And when that desire for such intimacy, although frequently consciously suppressed by the homophobic Gay person, builds to such a crecendo that it can no longer be suppressed, and then that person is likely to act out that desire in surreptitious, sometimes illegal, ways that can lead to profound embarrassment and the risk of losing one's very family, reputation, and career.
The tension brought by that crescendo brings a demanding, overwhelming, need for release and that will bring a brief respite from their conflict, their inner turmoil, between "who they really are" and "what they desperately desire to do," yet usually bring a profound guilt upon them that frequently impels them to condemn "homosexuality" both as a denial to themselves and/or to others like whom they really are, and as a way of expiating their guilt and trying to believe that they are no longer or really not like "those people."
So, according to the person interviewed in this article, McClurkin sees conflict between love and lust, and between same-sex love and being a Christian, and between sex and being a Christian. So, he seems to have at least three manifestations of inner turmoil. And people are seeking out his advice?
Being Gay is as much about solely being about "sex" as is being Straight solely about sex! Sexual activity represents relatively few hours a week or month of our lives, be we Gay or Straight! Moreover, even if one never engages in sexual activity, he/she is still Gay or Straight!
The status of being Gay, just as the status of being Straight, has mainly to do with one's affectional and emotional sensibilities and feelings, encompassing the whole human being in all of his/her complexity and humanity. Indeed, these sensibilities and feelings and their romantic/sexual manifestations are largely representative of our very souls!
There is no "on" and "off" switch on our souls! When one seeks to deny a good portion of one's very soul, under any conditions, let alone by the condition of misinformation so as to be duped into believing a lie, he/she is not only committing a grievous offense against him/herself, but is committing a grievous offense against God!
God made our souls and how dare anyone throw that wonderful gift, or any part of that gift, back in God's face! And to do so because he/she chooses to believe the lie that being Gay is solely about sex, that same-sex sexual expression is unGodly, and that homosexuality is anything lesser in value to oneself, another human being, and to God than is heterosexuality, places the judgments of frequently ignorant and tortured human beings over the will of God!
To sell one's soul, or any part of one's soul, on the word of ignorant and tortured people, or on the word of anyone else for that matter, is a grievous sin!
One can only imagine the turmoil infusing the lives of virtually all "ex-gay" gurus and spokespeople, and those whom they have duped into believing that God condemns same-sex love and its expression; that being Gay is a "choice." If they weren't so destructive of others' lives by their often using the defense mechanism of Reaction Formation, and venting their inner turmoil and conflicts through their strident homophobia, I'd have even more pity for them than I, in fact, do.
But, most of all, I have pity for those who are gullible and/or desperate enough, having been duped into believing the lie that being Gay is not moral and Godly, to trust these "counselors" and "therapists" and "spokespeople" who seek to re-define their reality and the very nature of their lives and loves, having the result of further consigning those who take them seriously to the outer darkness of believing and living a lie and, thereby, renouncing a good deal of their souls!
And to give ignorant, confused, and twisted people, be they clergy, entertainers, counselors, therapists, or politicians, a platform and a credibility they do not deserve, through and by which they can spew their frequently ignorant and hateful rhetoric that has the effect of "recruiting" others into their warped views of love and sex, of righteousness and morality, of Christianity, and of God, further aids and abets the self-loathing and the hatred that so many Gay people suffer and confront every day of their lives.
And in the twisted mind set that reflects the "ex-gay" industry and its spokespeople, their advocacy of the suppression of one's God-given affectional/sexual orientation, much of the essence of one's very soul, is equated with "morality," with "Godliness," and with mental health!
Lewis Carol's "Alice in Wonderland" has nothing on this surreal farce, save that this surreal farce is tremendously destructive to Gay people, their psyches, their mental health, their families, and to Straight people who, along with many Gay people, have all too often come to believe the lies that one can be best intact by throwing God's gift of one's affectional/sexual orientation, part of the very essence of his/her soul, back in God's face and call that "morality," "mental health," and "Christianity."
And that's just a damn lie!