Homosexuality may be caused by chemical modifications to DNA

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AP PHOTO/DARKO VOJINOVIC

By Michael Balter

“Baby, I was born this way,” Lady Gaga sang in a 2011 hit that quickly became a gay anthem. Indeed, over the past 2 decades, researchers have turned up considerable evidence that homosexuality isn’t a lifestyle choice, but is rooted in a person’s biology and at least in part determined by genetics. Yet actual “gay genes” have been elusive.

A new study of male twins, scheduled for presentation at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) in Baltimore, Maryland, today, could help explain that paradox. It finds that epigenetic effects, chemical modifications of the human genome that alter gene activity without changing the DNA sequence, may have a major influence on sexual orientation.

The new work, from Eric Vilain’s lab at the University of California (UC), Los Angeles, is “exciting” and “long overdue,” says William Rice, an evolutionary geneticist at UC Santa Barbara, who proposed in 2012 that epigenetics plays a role in sexual orientation. But Rice and others caution that the research is still preliminary and based on a small sample.

Researchers thought they were hot on the trail of “gay genes” in 1993, when a team led by geneticist Dean Hamer of the National Cancer Institute reported in Science that one or more genes for homosexuality had to reside on Xq28, a large region on the X chromosome. The discovery generated worldwide headlines, but some teams were unable to replicate the findings and the actual genes have not been found—not even by a team that vindicated Hamer’s identification of Xq28 in a sample size 10 times larger than his last year. Twin studies suggested, moreover, that gene sequences can’t be the full explanation. For example, the identical twin of a gay man, despite having the same genome, only has a 20% to 50% chance of being gay himself.

That’s why some have suggested that epigenetics—instead of or in addition to traditional genetics—might be involved. During development, chromosomes are subject to chemical changes that don’t affect the nucleotide sequence but can turn genes on or off; the best known example is methylation, in which a methyl group is attached to specific DNA regions. Such “epi-marks” can remain in place for a lifetime, but most are erased when eggs and sperm are produced, so that a fetus starts with a blank slate. Recent studies, however, have shown that some marks are passed on to the next generation.


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40 COMMENTS

  1. I think the fact that after all this time no one has been able to truly find a “gay gene” suggests that it doesn’t truly exist.

    I think it’s likely that there are genes which increase likelihood but I think that there will end up being some sort of environmental factor as well. Whether this factor comes into play at some point in utero, or following birth* is a question that I can’t answer.

    You’ve also got to deal with the problem that sexual attraction isn’t a strictly binary variable. Some may have attractions to both sexes but end up being slightly more attracted to a particular gender, a la the Kinsey scale. Or even be equally attracted to the two sexes but end up in a relationship with a person of the same gender and subsequently outwardly identify themselves as homosexual for that reason, or the opposite and then outwardly identify as heterosexual.

    *Please note that my suggestion here is not that it’s a matter of choice, but that there may be certain stimuli early in life which influence the developing brain in such a way that it can influence sexual attraction in adults, and that certain genes (or even certain modifications of genes) might make an individual more or less…I don’t know, I suppose “susceptible” is the only real word I can find to convey the idea… to these particular stimuli.

    Also note that I’m not placing any value judgements upon homosexuality, nor considering it a defect.

  2. Have a look on the Internet to see how many different types of ‘attraction’ there are, with gay being one of them. The word ‘choice’ here is being used as a dirty word when it comes to gay people. Of course they have a choice as any other person but attraction isn’t always able to accommodate that choice. We seem to imply that hetero choice is just man v woman but what type of woman/man are we attracted to? Every time we discuss this, most seem to seperate the gay from the straight and make it a simple ‘decision’. In the grand scheme of things of choice and attraction, ‘gay’ becomes a tiny part of the whole. It is only some residue of religious trauma that even takes us to that place. Looking for a gay gene? How about an attraction to blonds gene or big girls gene or shy men gene? On this forum, if anyone even attempts to suggest ‘correction’, they should be simply told to GFYS!!!

  3. I concur. This is not black and white. There are multiple factors in play here.

    But nothing, NOTHING justifies the religious claims that it is exclusively choice. And NOTHING justifies any discrimination on any grounds by any group, religious political or just plain right wing prudish, due to your sexual orientation.

    I don’t particular care. It is none of my business, your sexual predilections. But I CARE, the moment someone says you can’t have that because you are gay. We no longer do it for race. We should stop doing it on the basis of sexual preference.

  4. David R Allen
    Oct 16, 2015 at 4:32 am

    I concur. This is not black and white. There are multiple factors in play here.

    The information on the basic biology is readily available to those who look for it.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prenatal_testosterone_transfer

    Testosterone is a steroid hormone; therefore it has the ability to diffuse through the amniotic fluid between fetuses.[6] In addition, hormones can transfer among fetuses through the mother’s bloodstream.

    .Prenatal Testosterone Transfer (also known as prenatal androgen transfer or prenatal hormone transfer) refers to the phenomenon in which testosterone synthesized by a developing male fetus transfers to one or more developing fetuses within the womb and influences development. This typically results in the partial masculinization of specific aspects of female behavior, cognition, and morphology,[1] though some studies have found that testosterone transfer can cause an exaggerated masculinization in males.[2] There is strong evidence supporting the occurrence of prenatal testosterone transfer in rodents and other litter-bearing species,[1] such as pigs.[3] When it comes to humans, studies comparing dizygotic opposite-sex and same-sex twins suggest the phenomenon may occur, though the results of these studies are often inconsistent.

  5. Could you elaborate on your stance? “It is only some residue of religious trauma that even takes us to that place.” People aren’t generally discriminated for their attraction to blondes and “big girls” finding a factor in DNA that may produce homosexuality, bisexuality etc. would further solidify the argument against those who are bigoted towards such things. They aren’t specifically looking for the ‘gay gene’ they’re looking for some physical evidence to disprove or prove their hypothesis. The best we could do at this time is to disprove the existence of such a thing, which we have yet to do, nor have we proven it. It is logical and right to search for an answer to this elusive question.

  6. Quite right David

    The only choice that is wrong is one in which logic and reality is ignored for some superstitious rubbish. Sure, it’s their right to a choice but disputing facts for ignorance doesn’t seem to be much of a choice. But then again, if facts were chosen then ignorance no longer exists and there would be no choice for them.

  7. Hi Roman’

    How many questions do you really think the gene would satisfy in a faith thinking mind?

    People are not discriminated for being blonde because faith does not. There is no trauma for us to bare. Maybe thousands of years ago there was, in some way but we have no more residues of it in our subconscious. There is no suspicion of the one who looks different, like David said about colour or group but we are constantly reminded about the ‘unaturalness’ of gay people by religious leaders.

  8. Olgun, it is wider than that! When one person attracted to another, sex is only one factor of many. A person is a personality of which sex/gender is a factor but not a definition. We all tend to think in stereotypes and to pigeon-hole strangers but people are not pigeons and don’t fit these little boxes. The main concern of all faith groups has been to disarm challengers for the power and superiority they seek for themselves, and labelling people as being ‘wrong’ (gay, bi, trans, etc.) is just part of the process of removing them from the challenge.

  9. My two cents….

    Atheist definition is : a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods.

    To me, an atheist is a person who leaves all fantasies behind and look at the world with critical mind.

    I believe, Majority of people denounce the “Last God”, but they remain living in some fantasy, which culture / humanity created for our survival.

    The Gay Issue is just one out of many Issues.

    I would love to see contributors views on the following topics… What is your position on the following:

    Bisexual??

    Prostitution??

    Incest??

  10. Hi Olgun,

    When the book “50 shades of grey” came out, I loved the title as I think it describes my position on all those topics, but I have not read the book or watched the movie, and I hear it has nothing to do with what I think….

    But my position is as follows: There isn’t just black or white in this world. People can’t be just Straight or Homosexual… People can’t be just Male or Female… etc etc.. I think we come in huge number of shades of grey.

    Lots of people think that being a doctor is honourable profession as it helps sick people get better, and doctors “rent” body and mind to heal people in return for money.

    I think people who provide sexual services to help quench people hunger for sex is not that different from people who provide “meals” to quench peoples hunger for food. They both “rent” their body and mind for money.

    I think you see were I am going with this… All topics listed are just different shades of grey.. We may not like it, but it is part of us.

  11. voiceofarabi
    Oct 16, 2015 at 7:51 am

    Bisexual??

    Prostitution??

    Both of these involve multiple partners, so have considerable medical implications for spreading sexually transmitted diseases. – Especially in cultures where opposition to managing safe-sex issues is rife, information and services are suppressed, or sexuality is driven underground.

    They also have considerable potential for jealousies, exploitation and conflicts.

    Incest??

    Incest is potentially very damaging both in terms of some family relationships, and in terms of the potential for bringing out inherited diseases and disabilities in the children.
    Even marriages between cousins, greatly increase the genetic risks, with risks escalating further if sexual partnerships between relatives are repeated through generations – as happens in some cultures where arranged marriages tend to be within extended family groupings to retain wealth and status.

    A well known example is Hemophilia in the interbred royal families of Europe.

    http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2009/10/case-closed-famous-royals-suffered-hemophilia
    Queen Victoria’s male descendants were cursed with poor health. The 19th century British monarch’s son Leopold, Duke of Albany, died from blood loss after he slipped and fell. Her grandson Friedrich bled out at age 2; her grandsons Leopold and Maurice, at ages 32 and 23, respectively. The affliction, commonly known as the “Royal disease,” spread as Victoria’s heirs married into royal families across Europe, decimating the thrones of Britain, Germany, Russia, and Spain. Based on the symptoms, modern researchers concluded that the royals suffered from hemophilia–a genetic disease that prevents blood from clotting–but there was never any concrete evidence. Now, new DNA analysis on the bones of the last Russian royal family, the Romanovs, indicates the Royal disease was indeed hemophilia, a rare subtype known as hemophilia B.

  12. Hi Alan4Discussion,

    And you are right when you say, all those items that I have listed, have proven to be “challenging” for our group survival, and hence, we made them “bad”, but they are not..

    for example, If we eat in restaurants that are not regulated and monitored for safety, many more people would die from virus and poor hygiene, but we recognize that it is a real need, and we protect for that…

    and when you say…

    They also have considerable potential for jealousies, exploitation and conflicts.

    so does football, so should we ban football also??

    finally… I agree with you when you say…

    Incest is potentially very damaging both in terms of some family relationships, and in terms of the potential for bringing out inherited diseases and disabilities in the children.

    Does that mean it is OK to have incest as long as you use protection??

    I think.. it is social stigma (wrong and unchallenged), that was created for our safety by denying the rights of the minorities…

    (and just to clarify.. I am heterosexual who is repulsed by the concept of incest…. but that’s just me…)

  13. voiceofarabi
    Oct 16, 2015 at 9:31 am

    They also have considerable potential for jealousies, exploitation and conflicts.

    so does football, so should we ban football also??

    Like football, it means there should be codes of conduct and some forms of regulation to give protection and redress to protect those who are vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. There is also the wider public health responsibility to avoid the spread of infections. (As with bleeding footballers being sent off for first aid and bandages)

    Incest is potentially very damaging both in terms of some family relationships, and in terms of the potential for bringing out inherited diseases and disabilities in the children.

    Does that mean it is OK to have incest as long as you use protection??

    I think the emotional damage to family relationships, and potential exploitation of the vulnerable, by abusive authority figures, would be contra-indications leading to discouraging this.

    Having said that, some cultures, like the ancient Egyptians had brother-sister pairings in their Pharaohs, but these, like the European royals, look wealth and power related, rather than more generally accepted.
    http://meeg-toomuchinformation.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/royal-inbreeding-in-ancient-egypt.html

    I think.. it is social stigma (wrong and unchallenged), that was created for our safety by denying the rights of the minorities…

    Quite a few social stigmas are based on real avoidable problems, even if they were not fully understood in earlier cultures.
    Avoiding “unclean” pork in ancient “pre-hygiene regulation” cultures for example, could arise from pigs carrying infection and parasites from rooting around in human faeces!
    Regulation based on agreed understandings, is however, much better than mindless than blanket prohibitions arbitrarily imposed by dictators or theocrats.

  14. Hi Alan4Discussion,

    I don’t think we disagree with each other, and in fact it is the opposite as I agree with you… Social Stigma works if the majority of the populous are ignorant, but it is better to have checks and balances instead of prohibitions….

  15. Going OT but I think a couple of things worth adding about that article on haemophilia. It wrongly plays down the effect on women, it has been known for many years that some carriers have a lower than normal factor VIII or IX level and at times of trauma, surgery, dental work etc Factor replacement is sometimes needed to stop bleeding. This can be a real problem as I am aware of incidents at A&E units where the staff have refused to accept a woman may be at risk of haemorrhaging because “women can’t have haemophilia”, in certain cases this can be life threatening.

    As for the final paragraph:

    People affected by the disease today should be excited to see hemophilia B step out from under the more common A-type’s shadow, says pediatric hematologist Paul Monahan of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. “Now it’s clear it’s had an enormous impact on Western history.”

    This is sensationalist bunk. Firstly, it has always been just as well known, unlike A, B actually has a name, Christmas Disease, after the first person known to have died as a result of the condition. Plus we are not all flag-waving royalists, the reaction of many of my fellow Haemophila A friends was: “At least that puts a bit more distance betwen us and that bunch of parasitic inbreds.”

  16. Stephen Mynett
    Oct 16, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    “Now it’s clear it’s had an enormous impact on Western history.”

    This is sensationalist bunk.

    I think the history aspects have some validity, in the effects the disease had on successions to thrones, and preoccupations of families with sick children rather than matters of state.

    Issues which could have had impacts on the Russian revolution and WW1!

    http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/files/hemo.pdf

    Hemophilia has played an important role in Europe’s history, for it suddenly cropped up in the children of Great Britain’s Queen Victoria. It became known as the “Royal disease” because it spread to the royal families of Europe through Victoria’s descendants.

  17. Alan, I was referring to the derogatory way he suggested sufferers should be excited and were stepping out of the shadows. I do not dispute the historical factors I just do not like his general attitude towards those of us who have the condition. The majority of us have always hated the “royal disease” tag, it is too often used in a way, perhaps unknowingly, that suggests we are privileged when the simple truth is we have an annoying, sometimes very painful and sometimes life-threatening condition.

  18. I’m not 100% certain how your comment follows from mine.

    Have a look on the Internet to see how many different types of ‘attraction’ there are, with gay being one of them.

    That was actually my point, sexual attraction is a continuum. I was also trying to elucidate that there is a problem even defining groups prior to looking at genetics/epigenetics. That is, there’s probably a methodological problem with the work prior to even gathering the data, and further that the hypothesis itself may be wrong headed.

    The word ‘choice’ here is being used as a dirty word when it comes to gay people. Of course they have a choice as any other person but attraction isn’t always able to accommodate that choice.

    I’m not certain what you’re trying to say nor how this relates to my comment. My point was that “One doesn’t really choose to whom they are attracted”. You seem to be saying that “people have a choice who they end up in relationships with, and that choice may not accompany attraction” and while that may be true, I fail to see how it relates to my point.

    Every time we discuss this, most seem to seperate the gay from the straight and make it a simple ‘decision’. In the grand scheme of things of choice and attraction, ‘gay’ becomes a tiny part of the whole.

    Again, that attraction is falsely framed as a binary outcome in these studies was one of my points.

    On this forum, if anyone even attempts to suggest ‘correction’, they should be simply told to GFYS!!!

    And did you get from my comment that I was suggesting correcting homosexual behavior? I was not.

    I don’t comment here a lot so perhaps there’s a lot of backstory that I don’t understand.

    I may be reading things into your post that you didn’t intend, but your response seems particularly angry at me even though we seem to mostly be on the same page.

  19. B33b13br0x
    Oct 16, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    Hi there, and welcome back!

    And did you get from my comment that I was suggesting correcting homosexual behavior? I was not.

    I don’t think Olgun was referring to your comment, but rather to fundamentalist articles and preachings suggesting that gay people should be “cured” so as to become hetrosexual.

    I don’t comment here a lot so perhaps there’s a lot of backstory that I don’t understand.

    There is a lot of theist pseudo-science around about gays, which is referred to here from time to time.
    Some theist posters have turned up here with this garbage they have copied from “Christian” websites.

    Hence:-

    On this forum, if anyone even attempts to suggest ‘correction’, [of homosexuality] they should be simply told to GFYS!!!

  20. Alan, apologies I did not mean to have a go at you, I enjoy reading your comments on all subjects and am in agreement with you on many things. Unfortunately a lifetime of seeing sub-standard and sensationalist writing about my condition does get me going. It is also unfortunate that there are poorly researched articles by people claiming to have a knowledge of the subject when, as with all rare conditions, there is not much of a chance to check their validity.

    The link you supplied highlights some of this. It was published in 1999 and updated in 2003 but is not a true appraisal of haemophilia as it was then.

    Until recently, hemophilia was untreatable, and only a few hemophiliacs survived to reproductive age because any small cut or internal hemorrhaging after even a minor bruise were fatal. Now hemophilia is treated with blood transfusions and infusions of a blood derived substance known as antihemophilic factor. However, the treatment is very expensive and occasional problems can arise because of a patient’s allergic reactions or other transfer complications.

    Recently is a pointless word, what timescale does it mean? By 1999 there had been treatment for more than 30 years. Initially in the 1960s it was Plasma, not brilliant by today’s standards but still a breakthrough that made some surgeries more likely to succeed and helped stem bleeding to a small extent. By 1970 a refined form of plasma, cryoprecipitate was in use and this was a major step. Plasma would only increase the factor VIII level a few percent and it needed a pint or two pints to do this, half the volume of cryo would have been 10 times as effective, or more.
    By the early 1970s, the first “concentrates” were available, a dose of about 100-150mls of which could raise the factor VIII level to 30%. This made all forms of surgery possible and, most importantly, the smaller amount needed, in terms of volume, allowed haemophiliacs to keep Factor at home or carry it (in a cool bag) with them. This not only made employment easier, if we had problems we injected and then went to work, rather than being unemployable, but also made travel, including overseas travel possible.
    Suggestions that all haemophilliacs died young were incorrect from the 1960s onward. The bit about allergic reactions is close. It is actually known as an inhibitor, this means the sufferer will reject the Factor and a dosage that would raise the Factor level in a “normal” haemophilliac 30-40% would only raise it two or three in an inhibitors sufferer. Factor VIII has an approximate 12-hour half life, with inhibitors it is “burned up” very much quicker.

    As for the small cut/minor bruise, that is just garbage. Yes, we do bleed longer from a shaving cut but not normally to any serious extent. Unless a cut needed stitching it was not a problem and that is the same for normal people. Likewise bruises, they are spectacular on us but it does not need much blood to colour up a large area and the skin is very elastic, so little damage is done. The bruises which cannot be seen, inside a joint or deep into muscle or other tissue are the worries but Factor replacement has looked after that for a long time now.

    The second paragraph states: “An early death is likely.” When was this early death likely, certainly not in 1999 when this piece was thrown together. I accept I am lucky living in a country with a health service but the writers should have based their “research” on areas where there was treatment, not the third world where there was none or, at least highlighted the difference between societies where we had access to treatment and where we did not.

    I dealt with carriers also having some reduced factor levels in the last post, so wont bother again, although this was known when the article was written, so again it highlights the very poor nature of this piece.

  21. Stephen Mynett
    Oct 16, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    Alan, apologies I did not mean to have a go at you, I enjoy reading your comments on all subjects and am in agreement with you on many things. Unfortunately a lifetime of seeing sub-standard and sensationalist writing about my condition does get me going.

    No apology needed! I clarified the historical effects on royals and political implications, while you made some perfectly valid points about the other issues.

  22. As hetro-sexual reproduction evolved after a-sexual and the other one (whose name I forget), would it not be more accurate to say hetrosexuality is caused by modifications to homosexual DNA? (Just saying)

  23. I think all sorts of things can influence sexual traits, many of which are serendipitous.

    When I was about ten I was told by an older boy that there’s this “stuff” which comes out of penises and it’s green!

    I was soon to learn that that wasn’t true; a friend and I used to go to a hill from which model aircraft were flown, and get pocket money for bringing them back to the owners, and on one occasion we were confronted by a stark naked guy of about twenty, and as we stood rooted to the spot he pleasured himself with his left hand, and ejaculated; I remember it was his left hand because he then brought his right hand out from behind his back, held out a ten bob note, and asked us if we’d like to join him.

    We ran like hell, but to this day I wish we’d grabbed the money first!

    Shortly after that I started engaging in mutual masturbation with other boys, and even with a male cousin; I also had a relationship with female cousin, but it was restricted to oral sex.

    In my early twenties I had sex with two transsexuals, but it turned out that these were just phases I was going through, and I ended up as a bog standard heterosexual!

    I used to find approaches from gay men very annoying and frightening, but now, I think of them as compliments.

  24. v of a,

    Does that mean it is OK to have incest as long as you use protection??
    I am heterosexual who is repulsed by the concept of incest…. but that’s just me…)

    It’s not just you. We have laws in this society against incest but it’s not necessarily the law that prevents this behavior. What if the law against incest was wiped off the books? Would the general population then freely engage in incestuous sex? I think that feeling of disgust you feel at the thought of having sex with a close relative is universal for a reason.

    There is a much more universal effect that is in general, causing us to look outside the immediate family for attractive sexual partners. Consider the Westermarck effect as explained in this Wiki article:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westermarck_effect

    As far as morality goes, I would say that our laws against incest serve to protect children from the adults in close proximity who would like to engage in sexual behavior with them but aside from that, if there are two consenting, closely related adults who choose to engage in sexual behavior, can we really apply the law to that situation? There may be a personal disgust reaction to this but I don’t think it’s the business of the law here.

  25. v of a

    “50 shades of grey”

    I have not read the book

    Advice: Waste neither your time nor your money on this piece of literary shit. Instead, read the story Cinderella and anything about the Marquise de Sade, and combine both of these in your mind and you will have a better reading experience all around. The sexual response of the female character in 50 Shades is a pathetic fiction from start to (faked) finish.

  26. Hi LaurieB,

    I think when it comes to sexual preference, then the “Consenting Adults Law” is all we need…..

    I mean if two adults consent to having sex with each other, why would it make a difference to you or I, if they were two men, or women, or brother and sister, etc etc..

    Why should we dictate to other adults what they should and should not enjoy??

  27. VoA

    If it can be proven that enough damage will be done by certain acts then we have a duty to impose and create laws even if two adults are involved. In the case of incest the evidence is that problems occur. My nephew has married his first cousin but not without the proper blood tests. Prostitution is harder to define because it is an individual right and does not neccessaryily involve bringing a child into the world or a long term relationship (although sex for money has never interested me) Bisexuality usualy ends with a couple getting married although the act can still carry on.

    LaurieB’s Westermarck effect is certainly an interesting one for me as I have always picked girls/women that are as far from looking or behaving anything like my sisters or mother that I could. I have seen many girls that I think look amazing only to find they remind me of a sister and I can no longer have any sexual feeling towards them.

  28. Hi Olgun.

    I think you might be looking at this from the wrong angle….

    Just because I say other adults should be allowed to do what they consent to, it does not mean it will change us… you and I will continue to find incest repulsive, so it does not make any difference to us…

    And to adults who enjoy this kind of thing, they will do it anyway, but making it illegal will drive it underground and under the “radar” so to speak creating all kind of problems, just like the drug war…

    Plus.. if we say “don’t do this because we believe it is bad for you, even though you are a grown up adult” is so similar to what ISIS says,… in fact, they have a whole department dedicated to this called “religious police”.

  29. VoA’

    The whole point is that it is NOT religious but a conscious collective, thought out, evidenced decision. No religious scare tactics. These are reasons why I also don’t think we should have euthanasia or legalise drugs. My eldest brother has destroyed himself with drugs and caused untold distress to the family at large. I understand the argument for control but the only thing I have left to tell my children, after explaining the dangers, is that it is illegal. Seeing what alcohol does in the UK to our youth, then drugs can only make it worse. Euthanasia…..I say this although it sounds harsh…it is the duty of the strong to last it out for the sake of the weak…. By that I mean there is still a way for those that are determined but when I think about the families I have seen who care little for their elderly and how the line will eventually be moved to cater for those who just want to die so they can help their family pay depts, or are indeed pressured or feel obliged to, takes me to a world that I don’t want. To have it advertised on TV or bill boards turns my stomach. To think the business world will make it into a money making enterprise does not sit well with me.

  30. Hi Olgun,

    I understand and respect your point, but completely disagree with it. The reason I disagree is, we are taking the “rights” of the few for the “comfort” of the majority. The problem is, it is a slippery slop… today we start with not allowing people to determine when to check out from this world, tomorrow we might decided “gay” people offend the majority heterosexuals and might make them join the other team… You see were I am going with this…

    I think this way of thinking is the gateway to religion… in fact, there is a wonderful movie called “The Invention of Lying (2009)” by Ricky Gervais that suggest how religion might have started.. very similar story line.. check it out.. oh.. it is also very funny movie.. (or at least it appealed to my sense of humour…)

    p.s. That said, we still need checks and balances that ensures no one gets screwed….)

  31. And I obviously have to disagree with you VoA. Many slippery slopes exist. It is a copout to say that we must leave everything because we cannot be bothered to think it through. Each problem needs its own thought. We have to be brave and make the decisions that count. You cannot say one will be negatively effected by the other and drop everything. Gay has its age limits and quite right too, as has sex in general. It harms no one but the small minded. Incest has far greater problems that must be addressed. Euthanasia has the potential agism, another film portraying that is ‘Logans Run”.

    Religion is a dirty word but it doesn’t have to be if it follows fact not the sky gods. The gateway to religion is leaving the hard decisions to something that doesn’t exist and passing on the guilt.

  32. Hi Olgun,

    All religions followed facts at some stage, but to “sell” it to the ignorant and gullible, they blamed it on the man from the Sky (or the law)….

    Eating pigs in warm climate that did not have hygienic storage system can kill you, and that’s why it was “haram” to eat, or not Kosher… but the scientific reason behind it is sound.

    I guess, we will agree to disagree…

  33. We live in the age of information VoA. If we can dream of a religious free world then why not one of informed decision making not relying on travelling salesmen to skew stories in order to get fed. you are sitting to close to the tennis court. You will get a neck ache trying to watch the ball. Move back and see the whole court at once 😉

  34. If you read sex at dawn you may come to the conclusion, like I have, that our ancestors were bisexual and our cousins the Bonobo’s are certainly bisexual, so being gay is more natural and a heck of a lot older than religion, marriage and monogamy. What a waste of resources looking for something that doesn’t exist. Next thing they will probably look for is a religion gene or a monogamy gene.

  35. Meanwhile in the UK:-

    More than 15,000 same-sex marriages have taken place since it became legal in England and Wales, the first official statistics have revealed.

    The Office for National Statistics (ONS) confirmed a total of 15,098 couples had legally married since 2014.

    Of those, 7,366 were marriages while 7,732 accounted for conversions from civil partnerships.

    The number of couples opting for civil partnerships fell by 70% between 2013 and 2014 it found.

    Same-sex marriage became legal just after midnight on 29 March 2014, with several couples opting to tie the knot moments afterwards.

  36. And this week, while he awaited his fate at his crimes against humanity trial, Lively told Trunews that homosexuality should be considered “more offensive” than mass killings, because gay people caused the Great Flood that wiped out the human race (technically, God did, and technically there is no evidence of that actually occurring, but who’s counting?).

    Steven Lively, a fundamentalist American pastor and achitected of the Uganda Kill Gays Act of parliament is being prosecuted in America for crimes against Humanity.

    Unfortunately for Lively, orchestrating genocide in another country is kind of frowned upon, and in 2012 a lawsuit was filed against Lively in federal court in Massachusetts for crimes against humanity. This week, the First Circuit Court of Appeals denied Lively’s final request to have it dismissed because, well, the whole genocide thing.

    \http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/12/08/american-pastor-who-helped-uganda-create-kill-the-gays-law-will-be-tried-for-crimes-against-humanity/

  37. The Catholic Church, is still full of double-talk on homosexuality!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-34585100

    Synod sows confusion among Pope’s faithful

    The issue of homosexuality was brought vividly into focus by the “coming out” of the Polish priest Krzysztof Charamsa on the eve of the Synod by a priest who had worked within the Vatican department responsible for doctrine and who called the Church’s current attitude towards gay Catholics “backwards”.

    But ultimately, there was little change on the issue, with the final document reiterating current Church teaching that gay Catholics must be respected and not discriminated against, while re-emphasising that there was “no basis for any comparison, however remote, between homosexual unions and God’s design for marriage and the family”.

    However, traditionalists did not quite manage to head off attempts – led by the German church – to open a pathway towards offering communion to the divorced and civilly remarried.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-34654581

    Gay priest decries ‘inhuman’ treatment of homosexual Catholics

    A senior Vatican priest, stripped of his post after admitting being in a gay relationship, has launched a scathing attack on the Roman Catholic Church.

    In a letter to Pope Francis this month, Krzysztof Charamsa accused the Church of making the lives of millions of gay Catholics globally “a hell”.

    He criticised what he called the Vatican’s hypocrisy in banning gay priests, even though he said the clergy was “full of homosexuals”.

    It seems that stripping a priest of his post on the grounds of homosexuality, is not “discrimination” -at least in the eyes of the Vatican!

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