Christian contemporary music singer Ray Boltz (pictured) recently emerged from decades of effort to be “heterosexual” and honestly declared that he is same-sex-attracted. His story of sexual and religious struggle was reported last week in The Washington Blade. In short order, New Jersey ex-gay activist Greg Quinlan and the American Family Association’s “OneNewsNow” lied about Boltz’s action.
The AFA falsely stated that Boltz “has publicly announced he’ living a homosexual lifestyle” and falsely characterized a person’s honesty about sexual attraction as a “decision to engage in homosexuality.”
Quinlan went further — misquoting established science regarding the biological impulses that define sexual attraction and the psychological impulses that define romantic attraction. In particular, Quinlan misquoted Francis Collins of the Human Genome Project:
When he says he’s born that way, we know now for a fact that that’s false. In fact, just last year in March, the director of the Human Genome Project, Dr. Francis Collins, said this: homosexuality is not hardwired. There is no gay gene. We mapped the human genome. We now know there is no genetic cause for homosexuality.
Quinlan’s fiction, however, was exposed as such sixteen months ago. After the ex-gay pseudoscience outfit NARTH also misquoted Collins, Collins told Ex-Gay Watch in May 2007:
It troubles me greatly to learn that anything I have written would cause anguish for you or others who are seeking answers to the basis of homosexuality. The words quoted by NARTH all come from the Appendix to my book “The Language of God” (pp. 260-263), but have been juxtaposed in a way that suggests a somewhat different conclusion that I intended. I would urge anyone who is concerned about the meaning to refer back to the original text.
The evidence we have at present strongly supports the proposition that there are hereditary factors in male homosexuality ‚Äî the observation that an identical twin of a male homosexual has approximately a 20% likelihood of also being gay points to this conclusion, since that is 10 times the population incidence. But the fact that the answer is not 100% also suggests that other factors besides DNA must be involved. That certainly doesn’t imply, however, that those other undefined factors are inherently alterable.
Your note indicated that your real interest is in the truth. And this is about all that we really know. No one has yet identified an actual gene that contributes to the hereditary component (the reports about a gene on the X chromosome from the 1990s have not held up), but it is likely that such genes will be found in the next few years.
Sidestepping any discussion of science, the Gospel Music Association mischaracterized Ray Boltz’s honesty, saying, “We do not comment on the lifestyle choices of people in our community.” (Emphasis is TWO’s.)
For more insight into the (mis)handling of sexual orientation by the Christian gospel music scene, check out averyfineline.
Addendum: Good As You notes that Francis Collins is — contrary to any forthcoming ex-gay smears — an evangelical Christian.