The Washington Post

Herman Cain’s ‘choice’ stance on gays doesn’t ‘wash’

Herman Cain’s insistence that he be shown the science, the evidence that being gay is an inherent trait like eye color or skin color is well known. And it’s disgusting. So it should come as no surprise that the front-runner for the Republican nomination continued the offense last night during an interview with Piers Morgan.

Asked by the CNN anchor to confirm that he believes that homosexuality is a sin, Cain said, “I think it’s a sin because of my biblical beliefs and, although people don’t agree with me, I happen to think that it is a choice.” Challenged on his backward “choice” assertion, Cain asked, “What does science show? You show me evidence other than opinion and you might cause me to reconsider that.” He went on to say, “I respect their right to make that choice. You don’t see me bashing them. I respect their right to make that choice. I don’t have to agree with it. That’s all I’m saying.”

Then, Morgan went there.

Morgan: It would be like a gay person saying, Herman, you made a choice to be black.
Cain: You know that’s not the case. You know I was born black.
Morgan: Maybe if they say that, you would find that offensive.
Cain: Piers, Piers. This doesn’t wash off. I hate to burst your bubble.
Morgan: I don’t think being homosexual washes off.

Trust me, many black folks hate that analogy. Tough.

Just as Morgan argued in his questioning, a gay person no more wakes up in the morning saying, “I quite fancy being a homosexual today” than a black person chooses to be black.

Being black or being gay are immutable, God-given traits. And some of us — like me — are both. I had no choice in either matter. And yet I and millions of others have had to contend with the bigotry, hate or indifference from people who have a problem with one or both of my identities.

For Cain to insist that I can change my sexual orientation despite evidence to the contrary is further evidence that this man running for the privilege of sitting in the Oval Office should come nowhere near it. Ever.

Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.


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