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My Turn: Research differs on LGBT claims

The writer is responding to Donald Tracy’s letter, “Gender sometimes is not as clearcut as many think” published May 4.

By the Rev. John Kahl

Special to the Post

Granted, genetics is more complex than many think but to date no studies have confirmed a link between LGBT tendencies and genetics.

It used to be claimed that 10 percent of the population was homosexual. That number was freely distributed and included in many books. Even Ann Landers and the Charlotte Observer helped to perpetuate the myth. It seemed reasonable because it wasn’t too large to be absurd nor too small to ignore the issue of homosexuality. The number comes from a flawed study by Alfred Kinsey conducted in the 1940s. Among the numerous failings of the study was that it was conducted among a prison population. The figure has been discredited.

In 1991, neuroscientist Dr. Simon LeVay of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego claimed to have pinpointed a segment of the brain in the hypothalamus he suspected influenced a person’s sexual orientation. That news was hailed by many as vindication of their inclination. That study was discredited as utilizing subjective, not objective, criteria much like determining where leaves blown throughout a yard begin and end.

In July of 1993, two studies were released. The first was from Dean Hamer, which claimed a genetic link for homosexuality. George Neighbors, Jr., of the Federation of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays expressed his satisfaction that this “may help people look at this as a genetic issue, that it is natural and it involves no sort of choice at all.” However, he also lamented, “Is this going to lead people to look for a cure of homosexuality or lead people to manipulate the gene so that it doesn’t exist anymore?”

Three days later, another study was released announcing, “Alzheimer’s clue gene discovery excites researchers” which was conducted at Duke University. Early in the article there was optimism for a cure.

These two studies highlighted value judgments, morals and biases. Why is curing Alzheimer’s disease considered noble while “curing” homosexuality regarded as dangerous? Until recently, many homosexuals when sharing their story lamented that they could be no other way and would rather be heterosexual if possible. Now Pride is the virtue.

Another study by J. Michael Bailey and Richard Pillard pursued the genetic trail by considering both fraternal and identical twins. They concluded that 52 percent of identical twins were both homosexual if one was while only 22 percent of fraternal twins were. Apparently that validated the study. However, it contradicts their premise. Identical twins should have identical genetics meaning that nearly 100 percent should have the same orientation as their sibling.

A decade or so ago, the percentage of the population regarded as LGBT was proposed at 10 percent to legitimize the lifestyle. All reliable studies since have placed the number significantly lower. Isn’t it interesting that now the percent doesn’t seem to matter at all? Tracy claims 0.3 percent of the population is transgender. They feel discriminated against, abused and embarrassed by using a bathroom that conforms to the X and Y chromosomes as opposed to their identification. What about the rights of the overwhelming majority which prefer a restroom or locker room with their own gender. They also feel discriminated against, abused and embarrassed. Why does the rights of the 0.3 percent override the rights of the 90-plus percent?

One year ago, many assumed that the Supreme Court’s decision would settle the homosexual marriage issue. That was never the intention. One LBGT advocate boldly announced on TV following the ruling that it was just the beginning. Welcome to the next phase. Hardly had the ink dried on the court’s verdict than others began arguing for threesomes, group marriages, polygamy, and marrying inanimate objects. Why not? Apparently love is love and humans can define it.

You can identify with whatever you wish to identify with. A year ago, Rachel Dolezal, the former Spokane, Wash. NAACP chief, was chastised for identifying as black when she was born caucasian. If identifying as whatever gender you prefer gives you legal access to the bath/locker room of your choice, try identifying as a dog and pee on the fire hydrant in front of the local police station or courthouse – it will likely identify you with a visit to the judge.

The Rev. John Kahl is pastor of New Life Lutheran Church and principal of Christ the King Christian Academy, both in New London.

“My Turn” submissions should be 500-700 words. Send to elizabeth.cook@salisburypost.com with “My Turn” in the subject line. Include name, address, phone number and, if possible, a digital photo of yourself.

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