What is it this year with anti-gay GOP presidential hopefuls openly declaring their love for very, very gay things? First it was Michele Bachmann queening out over Glee, possibly the gayest show on television. Now we have Tim Pawlenty offering, seemingly apropos of nothing, his opinions on which Lady Gaga songs are the best:
In an … interview, Pawlenty told the ladies of Glittarazzi (totally unprovoked, by the way) that he loves Mother Monster, despite her weirdness and her politics. Pawlenty even said he’d watched Gaga’s HBO concert special.
“I have a question for you guys, are you ready? What’s your favorite Lady Gaga song?” The ladies made their picks before Pawlenty egged them on, “How about ‘Born This Way,’ the new one, you like that?”
The former governor of Minnesota is apparently a fan.
“In terms of the beat, you know, I like ‘Bad Romance.’ I gotta say, even though she is a little unusual, ‘Born This Way’ has got some appeal.”
Okay, so he likes “Bad Romance.” I like that one too. And I like the “Born This Way” song. Unfortunately, Tim just doesn’t seem to understand that, though it is just a mere pop song, the lyrics to “Born This Way” are actually scientifically sound. David Gregory confronted him about it yesterday on Meet The Press,* and the exchange went like this:
GREGORY: Is being gay a choice?
PAWLENTY: Well, the science in that regard is in dispute. I mean, scientists work on that and try to figure out if it’s behavioral or if it’s partly genetic –
GREGORY: What do you think?
PAWLENTY: Well, I defer to the scientists in that regard.
GREGORY: So you think it’s not a choice? That you are, as Lady Gaga says, you’re born that way.
PAWLENTY: There’s no scientific conclusion that it’s genetic. We don’t know that.
And here is that video, if you want to watch it for some reason:
Okay so, of course, the science is not in dispute. Tim Pawlenty presumably either knows this and is pandering to bigots, or he needs to spend a little time with Google and learn about these things. Or he could just read what Zack Ford said on the subject yesterday:
In fact, there is no dispute among health professionals. All major medical professionalorganizations agree that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American Psychological Association, the world’s largest association of psychological professionals, describes sexual orientation as “a complex interaction of environmental, cognitive and biological factors.” There is considerable evidence to suggest that biology, “including genetic or inborn hormonal factors,” plays a significant role in a person’s sexuality.
So there you go. If you’re going to “defer to the scientists,” Tim, that’s what they say. When the Religious Right talks about how they haven’t found a “gay gene,” they are either being scientifically ignorant or willfully deceptive, or both.
*The fact that I am typing words right now about a conversation that happened on Meet the Press between a journalist and a presidential candidate on the subject of Lady Gaga is absolutely insane. Reminds me of the great 1992 Color Me Badd debate between Poppy Bush and Bubba.