This is the phrase the president of Exodus International used in a recent WORLD magazine article to describe his opinion of the recent cluster of victories for marriage equality. Who is being trapped? The gay men and women advocating for equal civil recognition of their loving partnerships:

“My major concern is that homosexuality is a counterfeit of what God intended us to experience in human sexuality,” said Chambers, president of Exodus International and a former homosexual who left the lifestyle 17 years ago. “There will be young people who are like I used to be, who will see homosexuality as their only option for happiness and relationship fulfillment. [Normalizing] gay marriage is a stumbling block for them. A lot of people look at this from a policy perspective. But I think of all of those hearts that are searching for something legitimate in a way that’s absolutely not able to meet their needs.”

These statements echo another recent interview in which Chambers said that he would not have had the strength to become “ex-gay” if gay marriage had been legal at that time, which is why he endorsed California’s Proposition 8.

Chambers is correct in one way. I’m sure that many young gay people, people like me, feel that embracing their sexuality honestly is indeed the only option for happiness and fulfillment. Some will be honest about their attractions but remain celibate to satisfy passionate religious convictions. But for those of us who seek a romantic partnership, many feel such fulfillment can really only fully be felt with another human being of the same sex. What Chambers misses, though, is the fact that embracing this option honestly feels freeing for us, not entrapping.

And in a nation built upon principals of personal freedom and the right to pursue happiness, all consenting adults, regardless of sex, should have the right to live a life with one another that grows a fulfilling human companionship. Those that choose to live a life rejecting their same sex attractions should also be able to pursue that path. But neither of those paths should actively seek to hinder the other.

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