When do you want that closet door opened?

Many people feel that homosexuality is a physical condition. Some do not, but for the sake of this discussion, let us assume it is, and it is initially set by genetics. Suppose a simple, and reliable test for the genetic determinants of homosexuality were developed. (Whether such determinants exist is a separate argument.)

Do you think the rights of a fetus include privacy on the matter of incipient sexual orientation? Does a potential parent have the right to know the orientation of their future offspring? Since genetically determined factors of humans are modified to some extent during gestation, could orientation be directed by medical intervention? If so, does that represent an intrusion upon the individual fetus as a potential human being, or a therapy, reasonably the responsibility of a parent, in the absence of consent by the patient?

In another aspect of human interaction are the very divisive differences of opinion on abortion and the rights of mothers, versus the rights of undeveloped fetuses. Complex issues, not easily subject to consensus. Does knowledge of sexual orientation have any bearing on your opinion on abortion?

I think it (genetic screening for homosexuality) is probably not a technology I would support in development. I see no ready benefit to it, and see multiple opportunities for inappropriate application of it. I suspect there are many unintended consequences for any decision about it, as well.

I am not really looking for a formal debate, so I guess IMHO is the best choice for venue, although the pit . . . well, a pit can’t loom, can it, but you get my point.


No. While I find homophobia contemptible, I find demanding women carry children they don’t want horrific. Horrific outweighs contemptible.

I see a child’s sexual orientation in the same category as the child’s sex–it shouldn’t be shameful or disappointing. It should just be a fact.

I agree with you. There’s no need for it that I can tell. Homosexuality is not a pathology, IMHO. Unintended consequences are a bitch. How do we know homosexuality doesn’t serve a vital purpose in the overall scheme of things? Maybe we’d overpopulate without it.

I think we should use genetic determinants to decide whether or not bringing a child into the world only to die of a horrible, painful disease is worth it, but I don’t want us to end up like Gattica, either.

We would certainly be less fabulous.

Reducing a person’s definition to one gene (or a bunch of) makes me angry.

Sexual orientation isn’t a black-and-white thing. Wouldn’t saying “oh, you have the gay gene, therefore you should look exclusively to your own gender for sex” (or, you don’t so don’t) be as bad as saying “you’re a girl so get into a girly field” or “you’re black so you have to get into the basket team”?

I have a general thing about putting people in little boxes. I find the cookie cutter is always smaller than the person.

The play/movie Twilight Of The Golds covered this scenario.

I’d say that it would be the same as allowing a potential parent to know what sex their child is. I forget how far along the fetus is before we can tell what sex it is, but for many people, the right to abort based on sex already exists, so I’d say the right to abort based on sexual orientation would also exist. The right to abort is primary; the reasons (how ever misguided) don’t really matter.

Very nicely put. I like it.

What she said.

You should try watching Gattaca if you haven’t.

I have a problem with the OPs supposition. I’m willing to accept that homosexuality can be pinned down to a genetic marker for the purposes of the thread, but even if that were proven to be fact it’s still simply a predisposition. Just like there’s a genetic predisposition to alcoholism, heart disease, athleticism and a whole host of positive and negative traits you must remember that they are simply predispositions. Not determinations.

That means that a given person could have the “gay gene” but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will become gay, other factors will certainly be involved. A person with a heart disease gene may or may not have heart trouble out of sheer luck or out of careful diet and exercise. A person with world class athlete parents isn’t going to be a physical specimen if he never sees the inside of a gym and lives at MickeyDs.

Are you hoping to create a hypothetical where gayness is 100% a genetic factor and that a person without the gene can’t be a gay and a person with the gene is irrevocably destined for a gay life? I suppose it makes for an interesting mental exercise but I’m not sure what that’d analogous to. You couldn’t compare it to race since that’s hereditary and more complex than just one gene. Setting aside the negative connotations, would it fall into the classifications of birth defects?

All I was “hoping” for was a dialog on just who, and when information on human sexual expression is important for others.

You see, the fact is I don’t think sexual orientation is caused by physical biological characteristics. But a lot of people think it is. So, when does it happen?

And a lot of people have very strong opinions on what qualifies as an acceptable reason to abort. I happen to favor restricting the government from any involvement in that decision, and in fact believe what happens inside one citizen should be protected from any intrusion by legal or social influence. That view, though is very unpopular.

In the hypothetical case of a woman with an identified homosexual fetus (if such a thing were possible) I would not decide what to advise her on the basis of policy. I would, if she asked, advise her on the basis of her life, and her choices, and the potential for life that was within her. But that is just me. So, I wonder about other people, and so I came to this forum to solicit other opinions.

That’s what I was hoping for.