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Friday, February 25, 2005

Conservative Wants to Enslave Women to Make More Gay Babies

[via the Magic City Morning Star]

Republican Representative Brian Duprey has submitted a bill to the Maine State Legislature that would make it a crime to abort a fetus if the unborn "child" is determined to be carrying the as-yet-undiscovered and possibly-fantastical "homosexual gene."

Duprey calls this an "Act to Protect Homosexuals from Discrimination." One hopes that Duprey devotes comparable energies to protecting queer people from discrimination who have actually managed to be born. But I suspect that true to conservative form Duprey can smugly love the fetus and hate the child, protecting wee dykes and fags only so long as they are more or less wads of gum in Mama-incubator's womb, but always knowing full well that they can be bullied subsequently into suicide or clubbed to death by some Christian soldier in a full-froth of "gay panic" or forcibly therapized in an ex-gay ministry once they have actually burst fabulously upon the scene to find themselves in Bush's America or its devoted, deluded aftermath.

If you thought the vile "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy of the American military was nonsensical, Duprey's proposal pretzels the paranoid conservative discernment of queerness into unprecedented convolutions. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" has the effect of turning the declaration "I am gay" into the quintessential "act" of homosexuality itself, an act for which a soldier is queered and expelled dishonorably even if they haven't had a chance yet to engage in such key homosexual acts (to my mind) as buttfucking, giving a blowjob, or even watching an episode of Strangers With Candy and getting the jokes. But in this latest efflorescence from the conservative mindset a fetus can already manage to "come out" in the womb by exhibiting a genetic marker that predisposes it to develop into a homosexual should it be lucky enough to grow to such an age as to get dishonorably discharged for saying "I am gay" to the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Duprey reputedly got the idea for his bill from conservative fountainhead Rush Limbaugh. "I heard Rush saying that the day the 'gay gene' is determined to be real, that overnight gays would become pro-life," said Duprey. I can only hope Rush is as wrong in thinking such a thing as he usually is.

Setting aside reasonable suspicions that actual queer desires, acts, identities, and communities stand in a considerably more complex relation to genetic markers and dispositions than is conjured up in the weirdly stainless-steel technocratic fantasies of genetic determinists, I have to think lesbian and gay people know better in any case than to imagine a queer child would be better off being raised in a household so homophobic that a marker for a mere disposition to queerness would otherwise inspire their parents to annihilate them.

If a "gay gene" is indeed some day found and the genocidal energies of homophobic eugenicists are bodied forth by its discovery I can only hope that they will be a benighted minority too small to diminish through their sad shortsighted impoverishment of imagination the beautiful complexity and richness and diversity of the human family. But as far as I am concerned a woman's body is her own, and she is always absolutely right to end an unwanted pregnancy if she wants to -- even if she were my own mother and wrongly imagined she would have been happier to give birth to a straight child rather than to me.

The way to protect queers, people with disabilities (so-called), or other variously vulnerable humans from the fumigatorial fantasies of future eugenic moralists is to celebrate queer and differently-enabled lives today, to display their joys and ennobling struggles, and to document their many contributions to us all here and now. Only a Bush-era conservative would pretend that the way to protect some vulnerable people from harm is to violate and enslave other vulnerable people.

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