Are the cause(s) of sexual orientation due to nature or nurture?
Three proofs that homosexual & bisexual sexual
NOT have a genetic
Part 3: An effort by PFOX to use Proof #1: that
homosexuality is not genetic because sometimes
one identical twin will be gay & the other
gay, even though they have the same genes.
2014-DEC: An advertising campaign by Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays, (PFOX):
Identical twins always have have genes that are identical or almost totally identical. Thus, common sense would seem to require that if homosexuality has a genetic cause, then both twins will always have the same sexual orientation. Both may be straight, both may be gay or lesbian, both may be bisexual. But it appears to many people that it would be impossible for identical twins to have different sexual orientations. In fact, they believe that if one set of identical twins could be found somewhere in the world with different sexual orientations, that would prove that homosexuality is not genetically determined.
This is one of the messages that PFOX is trying to promote.
PFOX arranged to have a billboard message displayed in Richmond, VA beside Interstate I-95, starting in early 2014-DEC. The message reads:
IDENTICAL TWINS: ONE GAY, ONE NOT.
We believe twins research studies show
NOBODY IS BORN GAY
PAID FOR BY PFOX"
It implies, but does not explicitly state, that the two men shown on the billboard are identical twins, and that one is gay and the other is not gay. It is not clear which one is gay, which one is not gay, or whether the non-gay identical twin has a heterosexual, bisexual, or perhaps even asexual orientation.
The readers' comments on the article in the QUEERTY web site from which this image was copied are rather interesting. They cover a wide range. Some are:
- "Stache99:" "Identical twins ARE essentially clones. Particularly when it comes to genomic DNA.
Regardless, twin studies are some of the most powerful evidence FOR a biological basis for homosexuality."
- "Ladbrook" recommended criminal behavior -- arson. She/he said: Even if true, which it isn’t, who cares why someone is gay? Why we’re gay is irrelevant. We are fighting for equality, not for a spot in a biology textbook.
This billboard is hate speech. It might as well say “no one is born Jewish.” Burn it down. Seriously, BURN IT DOWN."
- "Dvlaries" "... One wonders whether the money would have been spent this way had marriage equality not come to Virginia last October 6."
- "Dr. Mo:" "The fact that concordance rates of sexuality for identical twins (clones) is 2X the rate of concordance for [fraternal] dizygotic twins is one of the most powerful pieces of evidence for a genetic, heritable component to sexuality. 1
A sponsored link.
Reactions to the billboard itself:
- Kyle Roux, who is openly gay, claims that two photographs of him are the ones shown on the billboard. He maintains that he does not have an identical twin brother. He talked via a Skype video link with persons at the NBC TV affiliate in Richmond, stating:
"I was obviously quite shocked, so that [is] why I decided to send you guys an email saying hey, I'm that guy in that billboard. ... It's actually quite a big thing that there is this kind of discrimination and borderline hate speech going on. ..."
He refers to himself as an "out and proud" gay man, and stated that his photographs were taken almost a decade ago in a stock photo shoot. He signed away the publishing rights to the images at that time.
- Chris Doyle is a licensed clinical professional counselor and former board member of PFOX. That organization believes that same-gender sexual behavior is a choice, not a genetic predisposition, and that homosexuals can choose to change through prayer, counseling, and a lot of effort.
"The issue isn't the photo on a the billboard, but the actual science. ...
PFOX supports the rights of everyone who wants to pursue that [change] for themselves. 2
- Beth Panilaitis is the Executive Director at Rosmy. They describe their mission on their web site as follows:
"For more than 17 years ROSMY has existed as source of support, education, advocacy and opportunities to ensure gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth an equal opportunity for success. Today, with the support of dedicated volunteer and paid staff, ROSMY provides three core services across Virginia in our on-going commitment to 'helping youth be themselves'." >3
"I am shocked and really disappointed that at the end of 2014, we have a billboard in the middle of our city that says that kind of hate."
- Regina Griggs is the Executive Director of PFOX. She issued a statement justifying the message on the billboard. She said:
"We find it interesting that the attacks against the billboard and ex-gay community have nothing to do with the facts.
Identical twins have the same genes or DNA. They are nurtured in equal prenatal conditions. If homosexuality is caused by genetics or prenatal conditions and one twin is gay, the co-twin should also be gay. ... Because identical twins are always genetically identical, [and because identical twins sometimes have different sexual orientations, then] homosexuality cannot be genetically dictated. No one is born gay."
This statement would be correct, if the penetrance factor of the allele (variety) of the gene that appears to cause a homosexual orientation were 100%. However, studies show that it is much less -- about 67% as described in the previous essay. Thus it is quite easy to find a set of identical twins who have different sexual orientations even though all identical twins have the same genes. This is because any allele that is less than 100% penetrant may either be activated or may remain dormant in a particular person's life.
Ms. Griggs continues:
"Every person seeking positive life change needs the love and support of family, friends, the community and the church. Thousands of individuals have made the decision to leave the homosexual life and will attest to the fact that change is possible. PFOX believes people deserve to know the truth and believes respecting the lives of those who have made a decision to seek change is part of building a tolerant society." 4
It is important to determine precisely what PFOX and its clients are trying to change, as well as:
- Their clients' success rate at changing their sexual orientation;
- Their clients' rate of clinical depression caused by the therapy; and
- Their clients' rate of suicide resulting from the therapy.
Bill Harrison of the Richmond Gay Community said:
"We do not know why people are heterosexual. Maybe when we figure that out, we can determine why some people are not. What we do know is that this type of therapy has caused many people to commit suicide." 5
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- Graham Gremore, titled: "Giant Billboard Reading “Nobody Is Born Gay” Pops Up In Richmond," QUEERTY, 2014-DEC-11, at http://www.queerty.com/ The image was taken from this essay, with thanks.
- Susan Bahorich, "Openly-gay model in 'Nobody is born gay' billboard reacts," NBC12, 2014-DEC-11, at: http://www.nbc12.com/
- "Rosmy," undated, 2014, at: http://rosmy.org/
- Sarah Bloom, " 'No one is born gay' billboard advertiser responds to controversy," NBC12, 2014-DEC-10, at: http://www.nbc12.com/
- "Model featured on 'ex-gay' virginia billboard is neither 'ex-gay' nor a twin," Towleroad, 2014-DEC-12, at: http://www.towleroad.com/
- Susan Bahorich, "Openly-gay model in 'Nobody is born gay'," NBC12 - Richmond, VA News, at: http://www.nbc12.com
Copyright © 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2014-DEC-13
Latest update: 2014-DEC-27
Author: B.A. Robinson