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Last modified: 11/23/2010 12:00:00 AM
Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson's retirement announcement has prompted the usual misunderstandings and outright falsehoods from those with a wholesale contempt for the 'gay agenda.'

Whatever rules religious communities prefer is their business, but when these spill into the community at large, just as with evolution and other areas in which the Bible is no scientific guide, incoherence ensues. For one thing, the popular cry 'there's no gay gene, therefore it's not genetic' introduces numerous misguided ideas. One, few behavioral or even physical traits with a heritable component are governed by 'a' gene; virtually all are polyallelic, such as height, skin tone, and general build. Accordingly, the American Psychological Association's statement is that 'genetic or inborn hormonal factors' are a major determinant of individual sexuality. This comports with the consensus among other medical scientists.

But worse than this errant claim itself is the underlying implication: that if gays can 'straighten out,' then they darned well should. Hogwash. Even were sexual orientation a matter of conscious choice - and the APA's position is that it unquestionably is not - it isn't up to any of us to decide what consenting adults do with their sex lives. What evidently drives the 'conscious choice' adherents is the revolting notion that it's only wrong to discriminate against people if they 'can't help it' - i.e., that we can tolerate racial and gender differences because they're immutable, but we can still try to fix those pesky gays.

If that's the kind of 'free' society we're living in, then we have some work to do.


Boulder, Colo.


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