Alan Chambers, executive director of Exodus, appeared on MSNBC’s “Buchanan & Press,” co-hosted by Pat Buchanan and Bill Press, last Friday (May 16).
Read the full transcript. Here are edited excerpts.
I believe [gays] can choose to go straight if that’s what they choose to do. Homosexuality is a choice. The behavior is a choice. I didn’t choose to feel gay, but I did choose to behave that way, and for me what I live today is a choice. I chose to be heterosexual, and I am today, and that for me was a choice.
Bill Press, cohost:
Let me ask my question. Let’s say you’re right. So what? You choose to be straight. Others choose to be gay. Why don’t you just live with that? What do you want?
Well, you know what? I think that David and anyone who chooses to live a gay life — I’m not saying someone chooses their homosexual feelings, but someone who chooses to live a gay life to engage in gay behaviors, that is their choice, and, you know, who am I to say that they can’t do that. What I have a problem…
Well, then what do you want? You are up here in Washington this week lobbying for what?
Well, we’re lobbying for the fact that we have an alternative that is not often spoken about. In fact, one of the things that happens most often is that our message is silenced because it’s called hatred, hateful, and what I know as a gay teenager was that I was given one alternative, and that was you’re gay, live with it. Well, you know what that made me want to do? It made me want to kill myself. I wanted to die because I thought…
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because of anti gay prejudice.
CHAMBERS: Not because of anti-gay prejudice.
David Smith, Human Rights Campaign:
There’s a growing body of evidence to indicate there’s a biological basis for [homosexuality].
Well there’s a biological basis, they say, for alcoholism, but does that make it healthy and right? No, it doesn’t.
SMITH: That’s not the point and you know it.
CHAMBERS: Well it is the point.
Alan, here’s what I’m trying to get to. Can’t you just accept the fact that some people have a different lifestyle; whether they’re born that way…
You know what? We want the legislature-the legislators in Washington to know that there is an alternative. There’s a growing…
These folks are connected to political organizations with an anti-gay agenda and want to do harm legislatively to gay people.
And the funny thing is, David, that people like you promote tolerance and it doesn’t happen…
If they wanted to help people, why wouldn’t they just communicate their message? But they’re engaging in anti-gay political activity…