JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford has shot down the suggestion that being gay is something that can be chosen or ever changed, insisting that sexual orientation is a product of "nature" rather than "nurture."
The science of human sexuality is complex and there have been no definitive answers as to the exact biological reasons why individuals can be sexually attracted to people of the same sex as themselves, to persons of the other sex, or to people regardless of their sex.
Halford, who came out as a homosexual during an MTV interview in 1998 and has long since been an outspoken advocate for gay rights, addressed the controversial issue of choice in sexuality during a recent interview with KNAC.COM. Asked what he has to say to people that say that being gay is a choice and not something that you are born with, Halford said: "Absolutely rubbish. You are born with it. Different people like me get murdered in front of buildings. Why would I choose to be that kind of a person? It's ridiculous.
"It's great to be gay," he continued. "It's wonderful to be gay because there are so many conflicting views about this particular thing that we have today. But I can say categorically that it's not a choice. It's a fact. It's in your DNA. It's something that you're born and blessed with, and I'll say God made me this way. Thank you."
A recent poll showed that a quarter of Americans identify as something other than straight. In the U.K., meanwhile, one in five young people identify as somewhere between straight and gay.
In his new autobiography, "Confess", Halford revealed that he knew he was gay since age 10 during a time when gay men were "full-on persecuted" in his native United Kingdom. He came out to his parents three years later.
"God made me this way," he told People. "This was placed inside of me. This is who I am."
Although a 2019 study claimed to dispel the notion that a single gene or handful of genes make a person prone to same-sex behavior, it reinforced the understanding that same-sex sexual behavior is simply "a natural part of our diversity as a species."
Zeke Stokes of GLAAD, the world's largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, told Forbes this new research "provides even more evidence that being gay or lesbian is a natural part of human life, a conclusion that has been drawn by researchers and scientists time and again. The identities of LGBTQ people are not up for debate. This new research also reconfirms the long-established understanding that there is no conclusive degree to which nature or nurture influence how a gay or lesbian person behaves."