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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 6, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 45
Peter Tatchell's article
Arts & Entertainment
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Peter Tatchell's article

Editor:

Your reproducing the (somewhat confused) article by Britain's Peter Tatchell headlined that 'Environment influences sexuality' continues to blur the basis for laws against gay discrimination. ['Gay gene' debunked? Environment influences sexuality: Biology alone doesn't cause homosexuality, suggests new epigenetic research. - Seattle Gay News, 10/23/15.]

Civil rights protections are based on there having been a history of discrimination, NOT ON BIOLOGY or any other supposed causative factor. Our laws protect against discriminating in public accommodations on the basis of religion, for example. I don't understand Catholicism to be hereditary, even though it does tend to run in families.

The Seattle anti-discrimination ordinance includes many non-biological factors - marital status, national origin (borders are not biological either), disability (many conditions are due to accidents, for example), breastfeeding in a public place, political ideology, military status or veteran status.

In the UK, his article appeared with the headline 'the latest 'gay gene' study gives no comfort to homophobes.'

Whether bigots like the conclusion or not is irrelevant to our political struggle for civil rights. Even though many of the court cases for gay rights have argued that gayness is an 'immutable' condition, the reality is that such a position has never rested on solid science, even though so many people swear to it anecdotally. (And what does this mean about bisexuals? That their genes are in constant flux?)

Attempts to prove that 'it isn't my fault' are evidence of internalized homophobia, not a rational basis for public policy.

Phil Bereano
Seattle

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Peter Tatchell's article
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