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9:03 a.m. - October 21, 2003
A quick thought, half-formed like most
The local media - maybe in your neck of the woods, too? - have seized on the recent report out of UCLA regarding 54 genes that (theoretically) determine sexual orientation. I suppose it comes with the territory - I mean after all, this is the Gay Mecca (and if this claim holds water, what must the rest of the country be like?) - and such things are celebrated as a sign of the times, of progress, of validation. Perhaps it is, but there's a flip side to the evidence piling up in favor of genetically-determined orientation over "choice" and that is the possibility these "gay genes" can be screened in utero or even beforehand, and thus allow parents the option of terminating pregnancy, not to mention the designer-baby options quickly gaining ground.

It's simply a matter of time before parents are informed, your child will be gay or lesbian based on these specific gene sequences [holds up visual] and I wonder how many parents would want these sequences "fixed" or eliminated the same way would-be's already take a pass on embryos with cystic fibrosis or deafness. I’m not wholly convinced of the biological argument but it makes me think about the irony of genetic research undermining the gay community’s celebration of difference being good on one hand, and proclaiming “we’re just like you so give us marriage rights” on the other. Maybe we’ll see the rise of gay parents designing gay children (ethics debate?) to be the Teutonic, chiseled-ab, hairless (already done on rats, cats, and hamsters), with perfect eight-inch penises never needing Viagra, or maybe it’ll be a PBS documentary on the Last of the Gays featuring clips of parades as the expression of a doomed culture.

The slippery slope: Give an inch, fall a mile. Yes, yes, genetic testing and research can vastly improve the quality of life for billions, but when has humanity ever stopped short of what can be done?

 

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