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Senior WH Advisor Forced to Apologize for Calling Homosexuality a ‘Lifestyle Choice’

October 14, 2010

White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett issued a public apology Thursday for off-handed comments she made earlier in the week that many in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) community took offense to. In an interview Wednesday with the Washington Post, Jarrett referred to homosexuality as a “lifestyle choice.”

“I meant no disrespect to the LGBT community, and I apologize to any who have taken offense at my poor choice of words,” Jarrett said in a written statement.

In the interview, Jarrett was casually referencing a speech she delivered last week to the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group, about teens who’ve committed suicide after being bullied about their sexual orientation. In praising one teenager’s parents, Jarrett noted: “These are good people. They were aware that their son was gay. They embraced him, they loved him, they supported his lifestyle choice. But yet when he left the home and went to school, he was tortured by his classmates.”

WATCH VIDEO HERE

The LGBT blogosphere quickly condemned Jarrett’s remarks, calling her choice of words an “outrage.” Gay rights advocate Michael Petrelis, who believes a person’s homosexual behavior is not learned, derided the “obnoxious phrase.”

“Did she get her talking points from Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council? It’s doubly offensive that (WaPo reporter John) Capehart makes no effort to point out how dangerous Jarrett’s thinking is,” he wrote.

Similarly, at the liberal blog site Daily Kos, one blogger writes that Jarrett’s “lifestyle choice” comment “understandably angered” many in the LGBT community “because [being gay is] neither a lifestyle nor a choice.”

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