Pawlenty punts on homosexuality
July 10th, 2011
02:54 PM ET
3 years ago

Pawlenty punts on homosexuality

(CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty said Sunday he remained uncertain over whether homosexuality is biological or a choice.

“As I understand the science, there’s no current conclusion that it’s genetic,” Pawlenty said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Saying he preferred to “defer to the scientists” about the issue, the former Minnesota governor said it was unclear if being gay or lesbian was a lifestyle choice.

“There’s no scientific conclusion that it's genetic. We don't know that. So, we don't know to what extent it's behavioral,” Pawlenty said. “That's something that has been debated by scientists for a long time.”

He used the questioning as an opportunity to again describe his views opposing the legalization of gay marriage.

“I'm a supporter of traditional marriage between a man and a woman,” Pawlenty said. “I have not supported the issues of allowing gay couples to have the same benefits in public employment as traditional couples.”


Filed under: 2012 • Gay rights • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. vel

    It shouldn't matter either way. Homosexuality harms no one. We only have ignorant people who believe in a magical sky being that try to claim that this imaginary being thinks homosexuaity is wrong because they are uncomfortable with it. Nothing like trying to create some divine agreement to their personal preferences.

    July 10, 2011 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  2. robert MN

    Yes, it is so easy to be gay in US! You are buff, earn good money and spend it on clothes, houses, and furniture. You can chat and chat with all the girls that you want and NO MARRIAGE! Perfect! Everybody should choose to be gay: It's so easy. Stop liking girls, start liking men and have sex with them... any heterosexual man can do it, right? It's as easy as for gays to switch to heterosexual!

    July 10, 2011 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  3. Former Democrat, now an Independent

    "it's simply the way God wants it" Too funny to see a liberal invoking the "G" word. They do it when it suits them with one hand, and do everything to wipe out others religious beliefs with the other. Typical double standards. The guy has an opinion. So what? Tolerance is severely lacking with liberals. All they can do is hate, toss around names, and insult one's religious beliefs.

    July 10, 2011 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  4. Marie MD

    How pathetic! First he says that the MN flake has sex appeal then he blasts her.
    Now he is saying that being gay might not be genetic. I have a gay friend and we had this conversation years ago. His response was that why would anyone want to be put down constantly and harrassed if that was not the way he was born?
    He speaks of science. I thought rethugs didn't believe in science!
    BTW – if he wants to see gay against himself, tell him to go to bachman's house and have a chat with her husband.

    July 10, 2011 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  5. Al-NY,NY

    another miss by Paws when it comes to time to take a firm position. This "hedging" will not placate the zealots

    July 10, 2011 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  6. Winning

    Why does the media keep portraying this false dilemma. Has it ever occurred to anyone that homosexual is both genetic, and a choice, depending on the person and the circumstances? Why does every single conversation portray it as though it must be one or the other?

    July 10, 2011 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  7. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Why, oh, why, must Republicans insist on being superstitious nuts? It's so frustrating! They sing the right song, at least these days, about keeping the country from going over an economic cliff, but then they repudiate any respect for the rights of individuals.

    July 10, 2011 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  8. John Petty

    Who cares whether homosexuality is biologically or a choice individuals make? If it's biological, it's equatable to race, which is also determined by biological factors. We all agree that discrimination based on race is a bad thing, so if homosexuality is a result of genetics, it, too, should be protected. If, however, homosexuality is truly a choice, then it is equatable to religion, which is also a choice that people makes. We all agree that discrimination based on religion is a bad thing, so if homosexuality is a similar choice, it should also be protected.

    This stupid question of the origin of homosexuality is not only irrelevant, it is a smokescreen to allow bigots like Pawlenty, Bachmann, Santorum, etc., a chance to expound on their intolerant, hateful views. I'd like to see any of them rail against Catholicism, for example, the way they rail against homosexuality. Better yet, I'd really like to see at least one of them admit that a persons private behavior is none of their business and refuse to even have the discussion.

    July 10, 2011 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  9. Chris

    People like this shouldn't be allowed to run for office. If your to stupid to say whats already proven by science and basic observation. Is there really that big of a population that believes things science has proven/disproven?

    July 10, 2011 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  10. Tam

    About the 6,000-years-ago evolution?

    July 10, 2011 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  11. patcee

    Last I heard, gay is not an indecent word and doesn't need to be masqueraded.

    July 10, 2011 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  12. carly

    Another right wing republican idiot. "..he remained uncertain over whether homosexuality is biological or a choice". What a moron.

    July 10, 2011 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  13. Aaron

    Pawlenty is quite safe regardless. No self-respecting homosexual would hit on his homely self.

    July 10, 2011 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  14. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    my question is WHY this should even be an issue when running for POTUS? When we claim goverment should stay out of our personal lives that should mean not only a woman's choice but lifestyle choices as well. These right wing GOPers talk out fo both sides of their mouths all the time. They claim they want smaller government, BUT have no problem telling you how you should live your life. Can't have it both ways.:(

    July 10, 2011 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  15. Dr. Bob

    "Biological" does not necessarily mean "genetic". There are many hormonal and other events that can shape sexuality without involving genetic factors.

    July 10, 2011 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  16. William Pruett

    This article tells me all I need to know about Tim Pawlenty . He obviously doesn't read his bible. God hates sin. Homosexuality is a sin. God does not create sinfull beings he simply gives them the freedom to choose. Science has nothing to do with this! You can't ride the fence post to the whitehouse. Make a choice. Take a stand! Guess I will be voting for someone else.

    July 10, 2011 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  17. Eric

    Does it really matter if it's genetic or not? Marriage, in this country, is just a contract between two people and the state, that's all it really boils down to. Marriage existed before religion ever laid claim to it. Humans recognized the security that partnership generally affords. What does it matter if that partnership is same or opposite sex?

    July 10, 2011 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  18. Frank

    All of those sad, miserable, and irresponsible religious American politicians like Palin and Pawlenty still do not know, now in 2011, that the homosexuality is not a personal choice. One doesn't choose to be gay,... at the age of 12-13 or 14 years old, the person is attracted to another person of the same sex without knowing why....absolutely....nobody's able to choose his/her sexual orientation in the first place.....the same way a straight person do not to like the opposite sex because they chose to do so in the first place....the unknown cause comes as a normal and a natural reflex. They should ask the right people, a gay person.
    It's the perfect way for them to tell homosexuals:....you're gay because you decided to be gay !....you are gay because you wanted to be gay !..... you could have chosen otherwise ! , you are guilty !.....
    We swallow any lie that flatters us, but we sip only little by little at a truth we find bitter......

    July 10, 2011 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  19. Phred

    Then he obviously doesn't understand the science...

    July 10, 2011 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  20. Rick

    Ask yourselfs why is the gay argument so important, what do it have to do with our goverment,our constitution are laws for individual rights not group right, and the posts here label anyone who disagree as a bigot. Common sense tell me that
    anything that do not produce serve no purpose, every people that walk this earth came for the union of a man and a woman, and I hope we are not getting lust comfused with love. So we come back to the first question, why is this gay argument so important.

    July 10, 2011 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
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