The theme for my next Public Speaking speech is Contemporary Issues, and I ended up choosing the topic of Gay Rights (not the marriage debate specifically, but overall). The approach I started out with for my speech was "If the law protects the rights of people with different religions and of different races, why shouldn't it guarantee the rights of those with a different sexual orientation?" I posed this question to the class, and this one guy said that the difference was that religion and race were born with you, but homosexuality was a choice.
This started a short heated debate between me and him, with my trying to explain that homosexuality is NOT a choice. Only afterwards did I do a double-take and think "WTF, religion is a choice!! O_o" And this really shocked me because he seemed like an intelligent, open-minded person. I also discussed my topic with the professor, and he said that it was a good topic to pursue and that he agreed with me, but that there would be difficulties in making my audience understand.
My conclusion is that religion is a factor in why people are opposed to homosexuality, but the main problem is a lack of understanding. I'm fortunate enough to be able to read your thoughts and opinions in your LJ posts, but there are people out there who aren't particularly religious, and simply don't understand the issue. If you've gone your whole life without knowing anyone who's gay, only being aware of the stereotypes and prejudice present in society, then when you meet someone who is, how would you react? (I'm not saying that this is an excuse, but it's an obstacle that must be cleared before there could be equality.)
And sure, when it comes to bisexuality, there may be a choice, but if being homosexual was a choice, then people could just as well choose to be heterosexual and won't have to be treated unfairly by society. The fact that they can't, and that people who try usually feel like they're living a lie, just proves that it's not a choice. Also, you can't force a heterosexual person to be gay either. Homosexuality has been around for all of human history and in cultures all around the world- it's not a fleeting thing like deciding to smoke or joining an occult religion.
So my question is: What do you think the problem is? Why do people oppose homosexuality, other than religious reasons? You're the experts here, so I'd like to know.