The Salt Lake City Tribune has published evidence that it says shows that people are not genetically born gay.

“When you assert that individuals are born gay and cannot change, people naturally jump to the conclusion that same-sex marriage is the only rational choice for same-sex attracted individuals,” the paper admits.

Since the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons), which is the largest religious organisation in Salt Lake City, does not approve of gay marriages, it is lucky that the paper is able to come up with some “proof” to the contrary.

“The innate-immutable theory of homosexuality has no basis in science,” it heralds, continuing with the astonishing news that “the simplistic biological theory has been dismissed by all of the researchers whose studies have been cited to support the notion that homosexuality is so deeply compelled by biology that it cannot change.”

The scientist Simon LeVay weighs in to the debate. Apparently his work has often been mis interpreted as suggesting people can be born gay. The scientist is at pains to correct this interpretation; “It is important to stress what I didn’t find. I did not prove that homosexuality was genetic, or find a cause for being gay. I didn’t show that gay men were born that way, the most common mistake people make in interpreting my work.”

If there is no genetic cause of homosexuality, the paper suggests that psychological factors must be crucial.

It details an experiment that another scientist, Mr Robert Spitzer has done, which involves using “re-orientation therapy” to turn gay people straight.

Apparently his study managed to persuade 44% of the gay women and 66% of the gay men involved in the experiment to have “good heterosexual functioning”.

89 percent of the men and 95 percent of the women studied reported that they were bothered “slightly or not at all by unwanted homosexual feelings.”

The writer, David Clarke Pruden concluded, “This is not to say that anyone chooses homosexual attractions nor do most of us choose many of the other challenges we face in life, but we do choose how we respond.”

He is the executive director of Evergreen International, a non profit Latter Day Saint organisation that provides resources and educational services for members of the church who are attracted to partners of the same sex.