Pawlenty: Science ‘In Dispute’ Over Whether Gays ‘Born This Way’

This morning on Meet The Press, David Gregory pressed GOP presidential candidate Gov. Tim Pawlenty about his recent remarks that he likes Lady Gaga’s song “Born This Way,” asking if he believes being gay is a choice. Pawlenty responded that he thinks the science is still “in dispute”:

GREGORY: Is being gay a choice?

PAWLENTY: Well, the science in that regard is in dispute. I mean, scientists work on that and try to figure out if it’s behavioral or if it’s partly genetic —

GREGORY: What do you think?

PAWLENTY: Well, I defer to the scientists in that regard.

GREGORY: So you think it’s not a choice? That you are, as Lady Gaga says, you’re born that way.

PAWLENTY: There’s no scientific conclusion that it’s genetic. We don’t know that.

Watch the full clip:

In fact, there is no dispute among health professionals. All major medical professional organizations agree that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American Psychological Association, the world’s largest association of psychological professionals, describes sexual orientation as “a complex interaction of environmental, cognitive and biological factors.” There is considerable evidence to suggest that biology, “including genetic or inborn hormonal factors,” plays a significant role in a person’s sexuality.


Pawlenty’s comments underscore the reality that promoting ex-gay therapy and the idea that homosexuality can be changed or denied (which it cannot) are at the root of all anti-gay perspectives. The broad consensus of scientists have condemned such notions — and the kinds of discrimination Pawlenty has protected — for decades.

Pawlenty has previously said that “the science is bad” on whether human activity has had any impact on global warming. When it comes to Pawlenty’s unfamiliarity with science, perhaps he was just “born this way.”