Controversy: Would discovery of so-called “gay gene” lead to women aborting “gay” babies?

AP writer Lindsay Tanner reports on a study being conducted on gay brothers to determine if there is a “gay gene” (via Private Pigg at Liberty Pundit):

CHICAGO – Julio and Mauricio Cabrera are gay brothers who are convinced their sexual orientation is as deeply rooted as their Mexican ancestry. They are among 1,000 pairs of gay brothers taking part in the largest study to date seeking genes that may influence whether people are gay.

The Cabreras hope the findings will help silence critics who say homosexuality is an immoral choice.

If fresh evidence is found suggesting genes are involved, perhaps homosexuality will be viewed as no different than other genetic traits like height and hair color, said Julio, a student at DePaul University in Chicago.

Adds his brother, “I think it would help a lot of folks understand us better.”

The federally funded study, led by Chicago-area researchers, will rely on blood or saliva samples to help scientists search for genetic clues to the origins of homosexuality. Parents and straight brothers also are being recruited.


Dr. Alan Sanders of Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Research Institute, the lead researcher of the new study, said he suspects there isn’t one so-called “gay gene.”

It is more likely there are several genes that interact with nongenetic factors, including psychological and social influences, to determine sexual orientation, said Sanders, a psychiatrist.

Still, he said, “If there’s one gene that makes a sizable contribution, we have a pretty good chance” of finding it.

Many gays fear that if gay genes are identified, it could result in discrimination, prenatal testing and even abortions to eliminate homosexuals, said Joel Ginsberg of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association.

I find this a very odd position for GLMA to take, considering that on their website they support abortion on demand for women who don’t want their babies:

GLMA Support for Full Reproductive Services for Women

05/19/2002 — Author: Joan Waitkevicz, MD

WHEREAS, due to harassment, intimidation and murder of abortion providers, reduced numbers of hospitals providing abortion, and reduced numbers of residency programs teaching abortion techniques, currently 80% of counties in the U.S. have no abortion provider; and

WHEREAS, gay and lesbian abortion providers have also been victims of such harassment, intimidation, and death threats; and

WHEREAS, in addition to being a legal right we should support, the right to choose an abortion personally affects the health and well-being of questioning lesbian youth, bisexual women, and women who are victims of rape; therefore be it

RESOLVED: that the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association supports the right of women to choose medical or surgical abortion, and be it further

RESOLVED: that the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association urges health care providers, in the context of a non judgmental sexual health history and when appropriate, to provide women with the full range of choices with regard to birth control so as to prevent unwanted pregnancy; and, if unwanted pregnancy occurs, with the full range of choices including abortion, and be it further

RESOLVED: that the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association affirms the right of all providers of reproductive health care to do their work free of harassment, intimidation, and danger.

ID Number: 122-02-102

This resolution was researched, discussed and approved by the full GLMA Board

Status: Active

So not only do they support abortions where the health of the mother is at risk, or where the baby is the result of a rape, but they support abortions for “unwanted pregnancy” as well. Yet apparently they don’t believe the ‘right’ for a woman to abort an “unwanted pregnancy” should be extended to a woman who would want to abort her baby if it’s discovered that the baby has the so-called “gay gene.”

I should point out that this isn’t the first time the GLMA has been involved in discussions about the “gay gene” and abortion. Back in 1998, a Chicago lawyer generated quite a stir when he suggested that – if it were ever discovered that a “gay gene” actually existed – that a woman should have the right to terminate her pregnancy on that basis:

CHICAGO – A Chicago lawyer who has published articles about the legal and ethical issues of sexual orientation research says that if a so-called gay gene is ever isolated, parents should have the right to abort a gay fetus or manipulate its genetic makeup.


In Chicago, attorney Aaron Greenberg is set to present his argument Thursday at the 16th annual symposium of the San Francisco-based Gay and Lesbian Medical Association.

“I’m pro-gay, but also pro-freedom,” Greenberg said Tuesday.

“All things being equal, I think a kid who is heterosexual would have an easier life, not for any good reason, but because people irrationally discriminate (against homosexuals),” he said, giving what he speculated would be the biggest reason parents would want a straight child.

He said parents who make such a decision also would probably relate better to a heterosexual child and might feel they would have a better chance of eventually becoming grandparents.

His position is, of course, deplorable, but at least it’s consistent, unlike liberal groups like the GLMA, who believe that a woman should have the right to abortion on demand – except when it involves the possibility of aborting a “gay” baby.

Here were some of the reactions to Greenburg’s advocacy:

His stand prompted a swift response in San Francisco, where Supervisor Tom Ammiano called the idea frightening, the proud parents of a lesbian found it very painful and a gay rights attorney called it “ludicrous from a scientific point of view.”

But – excepting any baby that have the “gay gene” -Ammiano apparently doesn’t consider “frightening” the right of a woman to have an abortion on demand for any other reason, as this 2005 article makes clear:

“People are a little shook up that their (abortion rights) are being questioned,” said San Francisco Supervisor Tom Ammiano, who is scheduled to speak at the counterprotest. “In many ways, this shows how the religious right is arrogant and secure with the messages they’re hearing that this federal government is behind them.”

Why does Tom Ammiano support abortion on demand in all other instances except those that would involve the discovery of a “gay gene”?

More from that 1998 piece on the controversial Chicago lawyer:

“It’s just pure evil,” said David Smith, spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, a Washington-based gay political group. “It stems from the whole notion that being gay or lesbian is not quite worthy of a parent’s love.”

But, again, Human Rights Campaign also has the same problem that both the GLMA and Ammiano do, in that they, too, advocate abortion on demand. In fact, their Managing Director Susanne Salkind was a regional field manager for the pro-choice NARAL:

Salkind has also been a regional field manager for the National Abortion Rights Action League, where she served as the primary liaison between the national pro-choice political organization and its state affiliates.

The 1999 Human Rights Campaign Annual Report proudly boasted (page 11) of HRC Youth College Graduates going on to work for organizations like NARAL:

Youth College ’98 HRC’s Youth College teaches young people campaign skills and places them in key campaigns across the country. It also helps them build careers: 1998 graduates are at work in offices ranging from the League of Conservation Voters, National Abortion Rights Action League and American Civil Liberties Union to Senator Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.

Wanna see a pro-abortion liberal’s head spin? Try suggesting this: By being against aborting a baby based on the possibility that that baby has a “gay gene” yet at the same time being in favor of a woman getting an abortion for convenience’s sake, they’re breaking their own “standards” on equality, because they’re saying that one type of baby is worth saving, while the other is not.

In closing, fear of a “gay” fetus genocide of sorts is completely understandable. But the inconsistency of the liberal position on this aspect of the issue is worth pointing out. If you don’t support abortions for women who would choose to terminate their pregnancy based solely on a “gay gene” then you shouldn’t support it just for convenience’s sake, either. After all, that innocent “gay” baby is no more a “parasite” on his/her mother than that innocent baby that a woman doesn’t want just because it would interfere with her social life.

Semi-related: Prepare for outrage: Contraception Foe Named to Contraception Post (via Memeorandum). Meanwhile, one middle school in Maine is considering prescribing birth control pills to kids as young as 11 years old without parental consent, which would expand on their condom program they started back in 2000.


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