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Born gay

Published June 20, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

As a gay man, what I hope for and seek is equality — no more and no less. I am not asking to be a "protected class" of citizen, to use Ben Watkins' label in "Invasive acronym" (Forum, June 13).

Watkins has not paid attention to the ongoing discussion in the media about sexual orientation. Neither Watkins nor I (nor anyone) chose our sexual orientation any more than we choose our height, skin color or blood type. Investigators have evidence that genes, hormone fluctuation in the uterus during development and other environmental factors determine sexual orientation.

We are born with it, and it's immutable. It is not like a "strong desire to ride skateboards" or " women who want more than one husband."

My sexual orientation is a fundamental aspect of who I am, as it is for all of us. Reflect on your own sexual orientation. Can you really believe that you could live a full and happy life if someone dictated that you must change your sexual orientation in order to enjoy equal rights and acceptance?

Richard Teerlink

Salt Lake City