Megachurch pastor Rick Warren remains as ill-informed on gay identity as ever. Unfazed by the notion that there may be a biological cause for homosexuality, Warren told Piers Morgan on CNN this week that acting on same-sex attractions is no different from “punching a guy in the nose” or consuming arsenic:
WARREN: Here’s what we know about life. I have all kinds of natural feelings in my life and it doesn’t necessarily mean that I should act on every feeling. Sometimes I get angry and I feel like punching a guy in the nose. It doesn’t mean I act on it. Sometimes I feel attracted to women who are not my wife. I don’t act on it. Just because I have a feeling doesn’t make it right. Not everything natural is good for me. Arsenic is natural.
On CBS This Morning this week, Warren similarly defended his anti-gay positions by claiming that he can be “tolerant” and “accepting” without being “approving.” Though he may not act on his attractions to women who are not his wife, he seems to gloss over the fact that he did have the opportunity to act on his attractions to her by marrying her. By advocating against same-sex marriage, he works to prevent gays and lesbians from having the same security of a lasting partnership.
Warren has a long history of opposing marriage equality. Four years ago, he defended his support of California’s Proposition 8 by claiming that same-sex marriage is “equivalent” to incest, pedophilia, and polygamy. He also claimed that gays are “evil” and have “Christ-o-phobia.” Warren tries to offset his anti-gay beliefs by boasting his anti-AIDS work in Africa, but he has ties to conservative anti-gay leaders in Uganda who oppose using condoms to prevent transmission of HIV. The results of his particular efforts are unclear, but studies have shown that abstinence-only efforts have failed to lower HIV rates in Africa, and anti-gay stigma also contributes to the epidemic.