Sunday, June 05, 2005
by Wayne Besen
(Nancy Heche, A Paragon of Family Values)
It turns out that Focus on the Family has been right all along, but in a way the group had not anticipated. This week marks the world's first documented success stories showing sexual orientation can be changed. But in a twist of sweet irony, the subjects did not go from gay to straight, but from heterosexual to homosexual.
Let me explain.
Scientists at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, turned female heterosexual fruit flies into winged lesbians, simply by splicing in a variant of a male gene.
"We have shown that a single gene in the fruit fly is sufficient to determine all aspects of the flies' sexual orientation and behavior," said the author of the paper, Dr. Barry Dickson, which appeared in the prestigious journal Cell
. "What this tells us is that instinctive behaviors can be specified by genetic programs, just like the morphologic development of an organ or a nose."
As the all-important and highly politicized nature vs. nurture debate reaches a fevered pitch, the implications of this study are already reverberating throughout America's culture war.
"Hopefully this will take the discussion about sexual preferences out of the realm of morality and put it into the realm of science," Dr. Michael Weiss, chairman of the department of biochemistry at Case Western University, told The New York Times
The right extremists, of course, will cling to Dr. Dickson's assertion that behavior may play a small role. He suggests the possibility that frequently rejected straight male fruit flies, over time, become less aggressive in their mating behavior. But, for the right to capitalize on this point in the debate over human sexuality, they would have to prove that people turn gay because they can't find opposite sex mates. Yeah right, Rock Hudson, actor Rupert Everett and former Mr. Universe Bob Paris turned out gay because they couldn't get dates.
This research comes on the heels of a new Swedish study that shows that the portion of the brain that helps regulate sexuality, the hypothalamus, reacted the same way in straight women and gay men when exposed to male pheromones, which are chemicals designed to provoke a behavior, such as sexual arousal. The same area of the brain only became stimulated in heterosexual men when introduced to female pheromones.
Tragically, not even the birth of this enlightening data has stopped Neo-Puritan groups from trying to trick people into believing that homosexuality is not inborn. Focus on The Family is shipping in Nancy Heche, mother of erstwhile lesbian actress Anne Heche, to speak at the group's June 25th Love Won Out conference in Seattle.
It is absolutely nuts that Focus on The Family is showcasing Nancy, a wretched mother, who Anne accused of literally driving her insane.
"My mother loves Jesus, so I wanted to become Jesus Christ," Anne once said. "I wanted to save the world to get her love."
It is ironic that Nancy is headlining a conference that encourages gay men to marry, when her own husband, Don Heche, was a closeted gay man who died of AIDS. Fortunately, her daughter understands that the closet is not a cure.
"I put a very high premium on honesty," Anne told Cosmopolitan Magazine
. "What I learned from [my father's] death is that if you don't accept your sexuality, it will kill you."
Anne also accused her father of repeatedly molesting her as a little girl. She eventually confronted her mother by phone about his alleged pedophilia. In the ultimate act of betrayal, Nancy hung up the receiver, and Anne says at that moment her personality split.
"Anne, this girl who had just confronted her mother, shrunk and out came Celestia [a future-telling space alien], where I was thrown to the ground...and heard the voice of God. I thought I was absolutely insane...I was existing as two people."
What a wonderful role model and stellar example of family values to present at Love Won Out! The dysfunctional Nancy and the diabolical Focus on the Family clearly deserve each other. But while they will attack us "fruits" in Seattle, the new research undeniably shows their outdated "nurture" theories simply don't fly. These studies have exposed Focus on the Family founder, James Dobson, for the Scripture-spitting, simple-minded, superstitious savage he truly is.
Bad parents, like Nancy, do not cause homosexuality, as Focus on the Family preaches, but they can produce tormented young women like Anne Heche. Similar to Anne's creation of Celestia, the fantastical notion that gays can go straight is imaginary hocus pocus from Focus. One can sense their desperation as science rapidly exposes their Love Won Out
scam as sanctimonious Science Fiction.
This is some of your best writing Wayne. Hilariously witty, and right on target. I like the hocus pocus focus part. Clever.
I heard about this story elsewhere, and my first thought was "well, Ann Heche had a history of mental illness and abuse, so that WOULD match up with practically every ex-gay out there."
I had to come here to see if you would say the same thing, and of course you did. We can always count on you.
Keep it up!
posted by , at
Excellent post Wayne. If there is such a thing as fate, some good data is finally coming to light about something all gays who accept themselves know, being gay is inate, instinctive, unchangable and their absolutely nothing wrong or shameful about it. Love the hocus pocus focus, that pretty well sums it up. Maybe soon, all of Dobson's "ex-gays" will come forward and expose this scam for what it is and apologize to all of the people whose lives they've ruined or to the families they have wrecked and to all of the people who have died as a result of their lies. Tim W.
posted by , at
I met Ms. Heche when she was still with Ellen. It was at a special screening on hate crimes and Anne talked about her father's behavior and her younger brother was so tortured and questioning about his sexuality, he killed himself at nineteen years old.
What a thing.
What a hell of a thing.
I cannot and don't believe for a minute that gay folk aren't a brilliant part of nature's plan for all of us.
I can look around and see that gay folks are everywhere in every culture and always have and God willing...always will be.
Simpler folks have accepted gay men and women all along as simply a third orientation.
Something acceptable, if not sacred.
Indeed, perhaps there is no organic or genetic differences to be detected because homosexuality is normal.
To all the anti gay factions out there that LOVE pointing out (ad nauseum) that there is no genetic connection to homosexuality I say....ponder that.
I think they'd get brain cramps.
Sometimes the truth is right under our noses and FOTF simply can't handle it.
posted by Regan, at
Wayne....I agree that for the most part, the Christian Right is neither.....but I would like to call your attention to the few beacons shining out it that vast wastleand of condemnation. One of them is the Rom Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Memphis Tennessee. Check out his recent short but very powerful letter about GLBT folks having a place at the table and being "at home" in the Church. It is one thing to point out incredible hipocracy, but even far nobler to bless the single lights shining in the darkenss.
posted by Tom, at
Terrific writing, Wayne.
I have a member of my family who was on Dobson's hit list at one time. An employee of his publically stated basically that there was nothing abnormal about being gay. This absolutely infuriated Dobson... apparently because of the impact this was going to have on college kids across the country.
Dobson got on his radio program and told his minions to bombard his company with letters, which they did. And these were some of the most vicious, vile, hateful, sickening, and disgusting things you've ever seen in your life. But they were coming from "good Christians" of FOTF, so they can justify their immoral and deplorable behavior because they're on the side of God.
What I wonder is just exactly whose God are they talking about? What they practice seems to come more from the Satanic Bible than the Holy Bible.
posted by , at
Nancy is a wonderful parent, you have no clue what their family has been through and triumphed through. Her insight comes from excellent place of wisdom and experience. If you don't agree fine, but don't bash the person. Some people do not agree with the Christian view of homosexuality. God still exists even if someone says he doesn't.
posted by , at
I am what you consider to be "right winged" in the fact that I don't support the homosexual lifestyle. However, by no means do I and several others like myself feel that we would treat someone of the homosexual community with disrespect and dishonor. Afterall, God created all of us in his like image and because God loves all of us he also expects for us to care about one another in that way. I hope that you will get an opportunity to experience the love of God in a way that is real, personal, and life-changing. I wish you the very best in the what God says is just a vapor in time.
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