John Cummins, the only candidate for the leadership position of the provincial Conservative party in British Columbia, has declared that being gay is a choice and that the Human Rights Code in the province should therefore exclude gay and lesbian citizens.
“In my view it was not necessary to add another category,” Cummins told the press last week. “I’m not a scientist, [but] some of the research tells me that there’s more of an indication that that’s a choice issue.”
Well, no credible research says that, actually. And while my M.Sc. would happily indicate that I am a scientist, I won’t presume—as does Mr. Cummins—that I have any authority to speak about this subject on an academic level since this isn’t my particular field of science.
That said, I have plenty of experience in research methodology and can recognize credible peer-reviewed studies when I see them. In the medical and psychological community, there is no controversy. The American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association (and so forth ad nauseam), have all concluded that sexual orientation is not a choice, and that it’s not changeable.
(Or, you know, Mr. Cummings could have just asked a gay person, like me, if they chose their sexual orientation. I didn’t, in case he’s wondering.)
Still, I’m curious about something…
In addition to prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, the B.C. Human Rights Code also prohibits discrimination based on religious affiliation. Since religious affiliation is clearly a choice, and since I’m sure Mr. Cummins uses consistent and sound logic in making important leadership decisions, why does he feel that religious protections should be stripped from all BC citizens?
I’m still awaiting his response, but will surely let you know when he gets back to me. (Chortle.)