Bryan Fischer, the director of issues analysis of the conservative fundamentalist American Family Association (AFA), on Wednesday examined a recent study about the biological origins of same sex attraction and incorrectly misinterpreted it to mean that “homosexuality is the result of a birth defect.”
In the study published earlier this week by The Quarterly Review of Biology, scientists speculated that homosexuality was influence by “epi-marks” passed from parents, instead of a genetic link.
“Sex-specific epi-marks stop girl fetuses from being masculinized when they experience atypically high testosterone, and vice versa for boy fetuses,” National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) explained in a statement on Tuesday. “However, when these epi-marks are transmitted across generations from fathers to daughters or mothers to sons, they may cause reversed effects, such as the feminization of some traits in sons, such as sexual preference, and similarly a partial masculinization of daughters.”
In his AFA column on Wednesday, Fischer speculated that scientists were focusing on “epi-marks” instead of a “gay gene” because “activists rationally fear that preborn children who are detected with this gene will be aborted before they even have the chance to be born.”
“In other words, read from one angle, these same scientists are saying that homosexuality is the result of a birth defect,” Fischer wrote. “All this in an effort to maintain some ever thinner thread of connection between biology and homosexuality.”
He continued: “Now these researchers are quite at pains to avoid saying anything like this, but the logic to me seems inescapable: Homosexual children, on this theory, are born evolutionarily and genetically disadvantaged. They have been overexposed or underexposed to testosterone because something has gone wrong in the process of genetic transmission. In other words, they are the product of a genetic abnormality at best, a birth defect at worst.”
The Christian radio host predicted that this type of research would eventually lead to “legislation from the homoexual [sic] lobby prohibiting ‘sex-selection’ abortions on any child carrying this epi-marker. They’ll be happy to let you abort anyone else, but these children will be as protected in the womb as unhatched bald eagles.”
In the end, Fischer said, it does not matter if there is a biological link to homosexuality because “self-destructive impulses must be resisted at all costs” and “there is power in Christ to resist dark impulses.”
“I do not for one moment believe that homosexuality is pre-determined, either genetically or epigenetically,” he concluded. “But even were it true, it would make no ultimate difference. We are still back to the simple truth that homosexual behavior, regardless of the source of the impulse, is always a matter of choice. And by God’s grace, everyone is capable of making better choices, starting today.”
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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