February 27, 2005

Maine Congressman Bri Duprey: "Ban Abortions of Gay Fetuses"

Posted at February 27, 2005 6:51 PM

Who woulda thunk that formulating political policies through listening to Rush Limbaugh would make a politician look goofy?

(Augusta, Maine) State Rep. Brian Duprey has filed a bill that would forbid women from ending a pregnancy based on the projected sexual orientation of a fetus. Duprey says there is growing evidence that sexuality is genetically determined, and parents should not be allowed to tamper with it in the womb. The conservative Republican lawmaker emphasizes he is no supporter of gay rights. His bill is a reflection of his views on abortion.

Duprey says that the law is intended to take into account that someday scientists may find the gene that results in homosexuality. "I have heard from women who told me that if they found out that they were carrying a child with the gay gene, then they would abort. I think this is wrong," Duprey told the Press Herald newspaper.

He says that he got the idea while listening to The Rush Limbaugh Show. His bill is not getting much support from other lawmakers.

House Majority Leader Glenn Cummings, a Democrat, says that the bill, they say, is a way of forcing some lawmakers to choose between abortion rights and gay rights. "It will be seen as some kind of political gamesmanship," Cummings said.

Gov. John Baldacci, who is pushing an LGBT civil rights bill in the legislature this session, is also opposed to Duprey's legislation. There has been considerable speculation both within the gay community and the among scientists about the genetic background of sexuality.

The newest evidence comes from a University of Illinois at Chicago. UIC's Brian Mustanski, working with colleagues at the National Institutes of Health conducted the first-ever study combing the entire human genome for genetic determinants of male sexual orientation.

Mustanski found stretches of DNA that appeared to be linked to sexual orientation on three different chromosomes in the nucleus of cells of the human male.

Reporting last month on the research Mustanski said that "there is no one 'gay' gene." "Our best guess is that multiple genes, potentially interacting with environmental influences, explain differences in sexual orientation," said Mustanski, a psychologist in the UIC department of psychiatry.



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