I must confess, I’m a homophobe. I would be creeped out if another guy fell in love with me (though to keep things in perspective, there’s a lot of people who would creep me out—male or female—if they got the hots for me). And I want to say that I don’t think there’s anything unnatural about being the way I am. But here’s the point: a lot of things are natural. It’s natural to want to take food and eat it when you’re hungry. It’s natural to want to punch someone when they make you really angry. It’s natural for members of almost any species to want to immediately mate with any attractive others they may encounter.
But the difference between civilized humanity and what we call the “lower forms” of life is that we don’t just let ourselves be ruled by instinctive, animalistic lusts and passions. We strive to be ruled by higher principles, by reason and morals and justice. If someone is eating a sandwich and we happen to be hungry, we don’t just grab their sandwich and start eating it ourselves. We don’t just punch people when we’re mad (or at least we recognize that it’s a failure on our part if we do lose our temper). We don’t just rape strangers we get the hots for. We’re not brutes.
Homophobia is an unreasoning, instinctive, sexual passion, the flip side of erotic desire. That’s why anti-gay laws are so immoral. They promote widespread indulgence in bestial impulses and carnal lusts, to the detriment of others who have done us no harm. Yes, homophobic feelings are instinctive and natural, just like rage and lust and unrestrained appetite. And that’s fine; you’re not an evil person for just having such feelings. But what makes us moral and ethical creatures—what makes us human—is our ability to rise above such harmful and selfish instincts, to work together to promote the tolerance and harmony that are the lifeblood of every healthy society.
So I am and shall ever be a homophobe. But I don’t need to act like one. As a civilized, reasonable and ethical person, I have that choice. And I choose to behave morally, for the benefit of those around me.