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Are People Born Gay?

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
—2 Corinthians 5:17

Another common myth about homosexuality says that science has proven that people are born gay. The argument goes like this: “How could God condemn me for the way He made me?” Such a myth deserves both a biological and a theological response.

Has science indeed proved that people are born gay? People who say that usually point to three studies that supposedly prove a genetic link to homosexuality but have been discredited. First, Dr. Simon LeVay supposedly found that the hypothalamus region of the brain was smaller among homosexual men than heterosexual men. There are a lot of problems with that study. It’s never been replicated, and there is no proof of causation. A second study is the Bailey and Pillard study. In this sampling of homosexual men who had identical twins, 52% had twin brothers who were also homosexual, therefore, supposedly showing a genetic link. The problem with that study is, it doesn’t account for the nearly 50% who weren’t homosexual. Also, all the twins had been raised in the same household, which brings up the question, was nature or nurture responsible? The third study is the supposed gay gene discovered by Dr. Dean Hammer. He discovered genetic markers on the X chromosome of some homosexual twin brothers, supposedly proving a link to homosexuality. But the study has never been replicated, and such a marker doesn’t prove causation. There is no scientific evidence right now to substantiate the argument that people are born gay.

But let’s suppose at some future date, a genetic link is proved. My response to that would be, so what? Studies have suggested a genetic link to alcoholism, to violence, and even to adultery. But are we willing to excuse those behaviors on the basis of “my genes made me do it”? I don’t think so. Actually, the Bible teaches that all sin is inherited. We got it from our parents who got it from their parents all the way back to Adam. Romans 5:12 says, “Through one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.” Every one of us has inherited the sin virus. Now that sin virus manifests itself in different ways in different people. For some people their genetic link to sin makes them inclined to alcoholism or to substance abuse or to violence or to adultery or alcoholism, and I believe quite possibly some people are inclined toward homosexuality. But the good news of the gospel is this: regardless of the sin tendency you inherited, Christ came to die for you so you don’t have to stay the same way you are. The Bible says “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Why Gay Is Not Okay” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.


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