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Sleepless in Fulham: Rambling and gambling by David Young
Tuesday, 27 June 2006
Contradictions in liberal causes.
Topic: Misc.
I found an interesting science story on the BBC news site today.

Womb environment 'makes men gay'

A professor at Brock University in Ontario is claiming that being gay may be genetically predetermined. I can't comment on the accuracy of the findings. What interests me is the consequence of this. Suppose for a moment that a simple test could be devised to determine whether a male foetus is 'gay'? Should it be allowed? Would parents have a right to know? And if yes, then should they be allowed to demand an abortion if they don't want a gay son?

I don't know the answer to these questions. But I'm sure that some parents would abort a son on those grounds. The dilemma is interesting because abortion is often considered a 'liberal' cause, along with gay rights. But if such a test were to exist, then this natural alliance would cease to make sense, because abortion could then be used to make 'gayness' a thing of the past.

This isn't the only contradiction among liberal causes. While I quite admire Peter Tatchell for his attacks on Robert Mugabe's homophobia, I was rather surprised by his naivety in complaining about homophobic remarks made by Sir Iqbal Sacranie, head of the Muslim Council of Britain. Tatchell said that it was "tragic for one minority to attack another minority ... both the Muslim and gay communities suffer prejudice and discrimination" and "we should stand together to fight Islamophobia and homophobia."

That's not going to happen ever. Perhaps this is the high point of 'gay culture'?

_ DY at 5:12 PM BST
Updated: Tuesday, 27 June 2006 5:22 PM BST
Post Comment | View Comments (4) | Permalink

Tuesday, 27 June 2006 - 11:43 PM BST

Name: "anonymous"

Statistically more likely to be gay.

Still, if it helps reduce the number of people afflicted by the disease then so much the better.

Wednesday, 28 June 2006 - 11:35 AM BST

Name: "Commie Boy"

Hi David

Mrs Commie was talking to me last night about this. She came up with a slightly different problem to you, but similar in its effect. If it's is possible to determine whether a child was gay when it's in the womb (personally my opinion is that the conclusions will show that it isn't possible-sticking my neck out there), would the situation arise where people attempted to find a "cure" for this "illness". Yes, we watched the new X-men week :-), but it’s a definite possibility for nutters who think this way.



Wednesday, 28 June 2006 - 5:12 PM BST

Name: "juliette"

I don't see it's very different than people aborting girls because they want sons. I don't think there's anything special about this case, it's just a case of a more general problem, for what reasons a woman should be allowed an abortion. There are reasons that are clear-cut that she should and reasons where personally I feel a woman shouldn't. The problem is that you can't know definitely what a woman's reasons are because we're not telepathic. 

Thursday, 29 June 2006 - 8:53 PM BST

Name: "David Young"

I don't know what your reference to X-men is about. I haven't seen any of the films. As far as thinking of gayness as something to be 'cured', the irony here works the other way: that the people who would most want to 'cure' gayness are also the people most opposed to abortion and embyro research. So they'll just have to live with it!

Funny old world.


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