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Being gay is a choice, but religion is in your genes!

No, I didn’t suddenly make a big discovery while working in my genetics lab – you can thank House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) for the insight:

In an email, Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith said Boehner “supports existing federal protections (based on race, religion, gender, etc) based on immutable characteristics.” …”He does not support adding sexual orientation to the list of protected classes,” Smith continued.

What the hell, really? How many scientific studies do we need to throw at you ignorant bigots before you’ll accept that homosexuality has a genetic basis?! This is not a matter of opinion – homosexuality is not a choice. That assertion is usually enough to make me want to bash my head against a wall, but coupled with the ludicrous claim that religion is immutable? Yes, because people never ever change religions, and adopted children always grow up to be the faith of their biological parents. Thanks for submitting that Christian gene sequence to GenBank, really interesting to know a single point mutation can make someone phenotypically Muslim!

Yes, I know – sexuality is fluid. There are definitely cases of people who once identified as straight as later identifying as gay and vice versa. There are bisexuals whose attractions skew back and forth over time. But immutability shouldn’t be the sole deciding factor for what becomes a protected class. Even if people change their religion, gender, and sexual orientation, they shouldn’t be discriminated for it. Regardless, it’s obvious this man isn’t talking about fluid sexuality – he’s talking about homosexuality being a “choice,” and that what annoys me so much.

It terrifies me that people like this get elected to public office.

(Via Pandagon)

Comments

  1. mcbender says

    It scares me too. I’m reminded of a scene from Bill Maher’s “Religulous” that frightened me; Maher was talking to a Republican senator who eventually said something along the lines of “You don’t need a high IQ to be in the Senate, though.” Whatever you think of Maher, I think that scene speaks for itself, and highlights a major problem in this country.I don’t know which is scarier, that such people exist as these senators or that enough people agree with them to win them elections.And on another note… religion is immutable? Please, point me to the nearest wall so I can commence pounding my head against it. No. No. Bloody hell no. I’d like to see him try to argue that point with somebody like Dan Barker.

  2. mcbender says

    It scares me too. I'm reminded of a scene from Bill Maher's "Religulous" that frightened me; Maher was talking to a Republican senator who eventually said something along the lines of "You don't need a high IQ to be in the Senate, though." Whatever you think of Maher, I think that scene speaks for itself, and highlights a major problem in this country.

    I don't know which is scarier, that such people exist as these senators or that enough people agree with them to win them elections.

    And on another note… religion is immutable? Please, point me to the nearest wall so I can commence pounding my head against it. No. No. Bloody hell no. I'd like to see him try to argue that point with somebody like Dan Barker.

  3. says

    From the London Review of Books http://www.lrb.co.uk/v31/n20/b…“[The Republican Party] has become the party of wars and jails, and its moral physiognomy is captured by the faces of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, faces hard to match outside Cruikshank’s drawings of Dickens’s villains, hard as nails and mean as dirt”John Boehner know his place, a highly placed political hack in a party of gay-bashing, lying, demagoguery.

  4. says

    From the London Review of Books http://www.lrb.co.uk/v31/n20/brom01_.html:"The Republican Party] has become the party of wars and jails, and its moral physiognomy is captured by the faces of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, faces hard to match outside Cruikshank’s drawings of Dickens’s villains, hard as nails and mean as dirt"John Boehner know his place, a highly placed political hack in a party of gay-bashing, lying, demagoguery.

  5. Nick says

    Mwahahaha! Now we can begin the work to to alter children’s genetics to make them all atheists! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  6. Nick says

    Mwahahaha! Now we can begin the work to to alter children's genetics to make them all atheists! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  7. says

    Do you mean “innate” rather than “genetic”. I’m not sure it has been shown the orientation is genetic alone; a lot might have to do with very early environment (e.g., womb, infancy).

  8. says

    Do you mean "innate" rather than "genetic". I'm not sure it has been shown the orientation is genetic alone; a lot might have to do with very early environment (e.g., womb, infancy).

  9. mcbender says

    It just occurred to me that there’s a certain amount of irony in a man named “Boehner” condemning homosexuality…(ah, lousy puns, don’t you love them?)

  10. mcbender says

    It just occurred to me that there's a certain amount of irony in a man named "Boehner" condemning homosexuality…

    (ah, lousy puns, don't you love them?)

  11. says

    I remember thinking the same thing at Purdue’s discrimination and equal opportunity training for staff. The instructor insisted that the protected characteristics (including religion) were all immutable. Hmm.IIRC, the same talk included audience evaluation of discriminatory behavior in hypothetical scenarios. In one where a professor assigns Brokeback Mountain, the ‘correct’ answer was that discrimination (or maybe it was sexual harassment) occurred (against a traumatized prude in the class, no less).

  12. says

    I remember thinking the same thing at Purdue's discrimination and equal opportunity training for staff. The instructor insisted that the protected characteristics (including religion) were all immutable. Hmm.

    IIRC, the same talk included audience evaluation of discriminatory behavior in hypothetical scenarios. In one where a professor assigns Brokeback Mountain, the 'correct' answer was that discrimination (or maybe it was sexual harassment) occurred (against a traumatized prude in the class, no less).

  13. Arctic Ape says

    I don’t understand why it should be legal to discriminate anyone on the basis of personal dislike. On the other hand, in spesific cases there might be rational excuses for discrimination. It’s quite reasonable, for example, that non-catholics can’t be Catholic priests. It might even be considered acceptable, for the sake of religious tradition, that women or openly sexual people can’t be Catholic priests. However, there is no reasonable excuse for discrimination against dog-allergic people, if such thing ever happened in RCC. On the other hand, a veterinary practice could reasonably avoid hiring dog-allergics, but they should be fine with us god-allergics.

  14. Arctic Ape says

    I don't understand why it should be legal to discriminate anyone on the basis of personal dislike. On the other hand, in spesific cases there might be rational excuses for discrimination. It's quite reasonable, for example, that non-catholics can't be Catholic priests. It might even be considered acceptable, for the sake of religious tradition, that women or openly sexual people can't be Catholic priests. However, there is no reasonable excuse for discrimination against dog-allergic people, if such thing ever happened in RCC. On the other hand, a veterinary practice could reasonably avoid hiring dog-allergics, but they should be fine with us god-allergics.

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