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    Gays in utero

    I understand what the issue here is supposed to be, but I don’t see the bind (which, pace Right Side of the Rainbow, would mostly be ethical and not exactly intellectual). The story was out a few weeks ago:

    Rep. Brian Duprey (R-Hampden) has submitted a bill to the State Legislature to shield potentially homosexual fetuses from discrimination. LD 908, “An Act to Protect Homosexuals from Discrimination,” attempts to protect homosexuals from death because they might carry the gene that could lead to homosexuality.

    This bill as drafted would make it a crime to abort an unborn child if that child is determined to be carrying the “homosexual gene.” Duprey said that no such genetic marker has yet been discovered. But considering rapid advancements in genetic mapping research, he wants legislation in place should such a breakthrough occur. “If the homosexual gene is ever determined to exist,” he said, “I want to ensure that a woman could not abort an unborn child simply because that child is determined to be carrying this gene.”

    Duprey received the idea for this bill when listening to the Rush Limbaugh radio show. “I heard Rush saying that the day the ‘gay gene’ is determined to be real, that overnight gays would become pro-life,” Duprey said.

    Not this gay, buddy. If anyone finds a way to argue that it’s okay for a woman to have an abortion because the child would interfere with her law-school plans but not okay because the child’s going to be gay, I hope he’s considerate enough to do it out of my earshot.

    I suspect that if I went around talking to women who’ve had abortions, I would find a lot of their reasons frivolous. But I don’t, because it’s none of my business. I can’t see abortion in the first trimester as murder, but I also can’t imagine how anyone could have one without a serious crisis of conscience. It’s not like going to the dermatologist to get a mole removed. If a woman decides to go through with it, for whatever reason, she has to deal with the consequences. That’s what pro-choice means. You can approve or disapprove of a woman’s choice, but she gets to make it.

    I don’t think the scenario depicted here is likely, though, in any case. What strikes me as far more probable is this: a set of genetic markers for a predisposition toward homosexuality is found. In 45% of known cases, the child grows into a homosexual adult; in the other 55%, the adult is heterosexual. Environmental factors must be involved, but no one has figured out exactly what they are or when sexuality gels. It’s probably different for different people, anyway. (It’s hard to get good stats on gays because psychologists tend not to know about those of us who don’t have messed-up lives.) So parents have the children–whom they spend the next 18 years driving berserk with their frantic efforts to make sure they don’t turn out queer.

    6 Responses to “Gays in utero”

    1. james says:

      The real truth about homosexuals and terrorism: http://blogs.ittoolbox.com/eai/leadership

    2. Kris says:

      So, I went to this blog, since I’m peversely curious as to what the heck this post could mean, but I’m none the wiser – I see nothing about gays and terrorism. Anyone see anything that makes more sense?

    3. caltechgirl says:

      If homosexuality turns out to be a result of two hits (that is a genetic presdisposition coupled with environmental fectors–similar to the prevailing theory of schizophrenia, BTW), I’m afraid that the consequences beyond childhood are going to be enormous as well. You just know that insurance companies would jump all over this…. As a scientist, I have mixed feelings about whether or not I want to know if there is a gay gene (or a group of gay genes). On one hand, I feel like knowledge is power, and on the other hand I wonder, for who?
      Great post.

    4. Sean Kinsell says:

      (Hmm. Kris, if I’m going to address caltechgirl as “caltechgirl,” it occurs to me that it’s only fair to call you “ricequeen.” I have this feeling that would be a great friendship-breaker, though, so I won’t.)
      Anyway, I’m pretty sure that one was spam. I let it go because at least there’s at least sort of something about gay marriage and stuff + stuff about who the real plunderers are that relates obliquely to the topic. It’s not from someone hawking on-line poker.
      caltechgirl, I have mixed feelings, too, trust me. If you’re going to investigate a question, you have to resign yourself to the possibility that you won’t like the answer (though I realize I can say that glibly because I’m a non-scientist). And just in practical terms, it’s weird that people talk about as if we were likely to discover the whole origin of homosexuality all at once. Unless I’ve been misreading all these years, things usually happen in stages, with sticky choices based on limited understanding to be made at each one.

    5. Kris says:

      I like ricequeen. It makes me sound very popular, like I might go around handing out basmati and making people happy with starches.
      Sorry to keep commenting semi-off-topic, but it’s so odd that someone would bother to post the whole ‘real truth about gays and terrorism’ without actually following up with that real truth. I’m thinking I may randomly start posting on other blogs with two words you use in your posts that are unrelated. Like ‘Want to hear the secret history behind firebombs, feminisim, and a gay crime of passion? Follow this link’.

    6. Sean Kinsell says:

      Well, you know, you get comment spam a lot. You don’t have to have a large number of readers, as my example proves; you just have to have been around long enough for spiders to have figured out where you are. The fact that this joker seems to have at least looked for a post on gay stuff to target shows more initiative than usual. If he’d plied me with starches, he might’ve gotten further, but who knows?