The Hill newspaper asked a dozen House members whether homosexuality “is a choice or something you’re born with.” Mississippi Democrat Bennie Thompson responded thusly:

“It’s a choice. Without benefit of any science to the contrary, you know?”

Among those quizzed, only Thompson and Houston-area Republican Ted Poe (who first vacillated and said “it could be either”) called it a choice. The genetic case is far from a scientific fact--but that doesn’t mean we should assume it’s a choice in the meantime. Something tells me Thompson--who is no back-bencher: he chairs the House Homeland Security Committee--doesn’t have multiple gay rights groups in his Mississippi Delta district. But I’m guessing his phone is ringing this morning. Maybe he can call Bill Richardson to comiserate. --Michael Crowley