When it comes to the debate on human sexuality, typically it is traditionalists who are painted as enemies of freedom. After all, they are the ones who insist that extra-marital sex is wrong and should be discouraged. However, the central argument used by many gay rights advocates also opposes freedom but in a much more fundamental sense than traditionalism.
Let me explain. Consider the popular gay rights slogan “biology is destiny” and the argument which often accompanies this phrase. The idea is that some people are “born” homosexuals, due either to certain genetic factors or neurological hard-wiring which strongly predispose them to have a sexual attraction to members of the same sex. For this reason, the argument goes, the traditionalist view that homosexual relations are immoral is wrongheaded, not to mention insensitive. For how can people be blamed for what they cannot control? As Immanuel Kant said (paraphrasing Pelagius a millennium before him), “ought implies can.” If homosexuals cannot choose to be other than what they are, then there is no sense in telling them they ought to act otherwise.
Notice that the “biology is destiny” argument really amounts to the claim that homosexuals cannot help themselves regarding both their sexual preference and their choice as to whether to have sex at all. The implication (or at least suggestion) in both cases is that their desires are irresistible. That is, given their biological (and psychological) make-up, they cannot act otherwise than they do. Now there is a general name for views such as this: determinism. Determinists believe that all phenomena, including human behavior and choices, are caused. Among determinists there is disagreement as to whether we are, nonetheless, free and responsible for our behavior. Those determinists who affirm the logical compatibility of determinism and freedom are called compatibilists (or, alternatively, soft determinists). In contrast, those who maintain that determinism rules out human freedom and responsibility are called hard determinists.
So here’s the point. In using the “biology is destiny” argument, gay rights advocates tacitly endorse hard determinism, at least as far as human sexuality goes. That is, they deny that human beings are free when it comes to their sexual choices and behavior. More than this, they deny we are morally responsible in these matters. Ironically, then, proponents of the biological argument are enemies of human freedom and in a much more profound sense than their traditionalist opponents. They deny freedom both morally (in the sense of responsibility) and metaphysically (in the sense of the ability to choose).
Of course, not all gay rights advocates believe, strictly speaking, that “biology is destiny,” that there is a “gay gene” or some other entirely biological determinant of homosexual orientation. But even the skeptical gay rights folks almost always accept some sort of determinism in the matter, whether it is psychological, social, or some combination of factors including biology. How ironic it is that traditionalists are routinely criticized for being anti-freedom when it is gay rights advocates who implicitly deny freedom in a much more radical way.