Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Creepy Anti-Choice/Anti-Gay Thought Experiment

[Content note: Homobigotry, eliminationist fantasies]

Recently, over at Family Scholars Blog, commenter Greg somewhat randomly opined:
"The pro-life movement may one day be responsible for the existence of homosexuals. After all, if homsexuality is, indeed, genetic, there will, one day, be a test for it. If that happens, the only people who will be having gay children are the pro-lifers. 
In that day, homosexuality will experience the same level of genocide currently reserved for Down’s Syndrome children."
When doing a little background research on this self-evident-to-Greg claim for which he provided absolutely no supporting evidence, I observed that more prominent men with *cough*... problematic views on homosexuality have also come to this conclusion. 

Rush Limbaugh.

What I want to point to today is how the conclusion only works if one believes that the vast majority of Americans (or, as Greg claims, everyone who is pro-choice) believes that homosexuality is a genetic flaw.  

Yet, that premise is not a self-evident given, right?

So, in a response to Greg, I invited him to check his unsupported premise, and provided some evidence of my own.
"I also conducted the following appalling google search 
'Would you abort a gay baby*, poll'
One poll found that more than 80% of respondents would not abort a fetus that had a 'gay gene' and that they would in fact support the resulting child. 
Another (bizarre) poll found a similar result of 83%. (Bizarre, because it asks whether the respondent would 'abort a baby if you knew it would grow up to be gay or Muslim.' 
Sure, my methods aren’t super-scientific and I did this all in a matter of like 3 minutes. But, it’s certainly more evidence than what Greg has provided. 
In fact, I think sweeping claims like his might say more about him than they do about 'most people.'”
Greg did not respond.

I wish he would have, because I'm curious what's going on here. 

In my opinion, this "thought experiment" is flawed by both self-centered fauxbjectivity and homobigotry.  People who make this assertion seem to mistakenly believe that just because they personally believe homosexuality is an obvious genetic flaw then almost everyone else does as well.  It's as though their own opinions and homobigotry are the sun around which all people's opinions revolve. It's like they think they Are Just Telling It Like It Is, Folks! and everyone openly agrees or secretly agrees but is just too "PC" to admit it.

I will also note that, as a gay person, I find this "thought experiment" to be incredibly creepy. 

Not only because of the weird convergence between anti-choice advocacy and anti-gay bigotry (and the attempt to drive a wedge between pro-choice and pro-gay causes), but because it kind of comes off as a sick fantasy.  Like, if the Westboro Baptist Church had the equivalent of a Penthouse Forum, this "thought experiment" would definitely be in the Top 5.

[*Yes, I realize fetuses in the uterus are not "babies." I conducted the search I did because, sadly, I know that many people don't make the distinction, even in polls.]

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