Bryan Fischer, mouthpiece for the anti-gay American Family Association, is not thrilled about Jason Collins coming out. On his radio show Monday, Fischer urged NBA teams not to sign Collins because he will be “eyeballing” them in the shower. In a new post published today, Fischer tried to appropriate his coming out as evidence that gay people are not “born that way,” because Collins’ twin is not gay:
One other significant, significant piece of this story is that Jason Collins is absolute proof that homosexuals aren’t “born that way,” despite the bloviations of that noted geneticist Lady Gaga.
Jason Collins has an identical twin, Jaron, who was “astounded” to discover that his brother had entered into the homosexual lifestyle. He, despite sharing Jason’s identical DNA, is as straight as a laser beam. Identical twins share straits that are genetically determined: height, skin color, eye color, hair color and so forth. If homosexuality is a genetically-caused sexual preference, Jaron Collins should be as gay as his brother. He’s not.
It’s true that twin studies suggest that sexual orientation is not hard-wired into DNA, but of course this has always been obvious because sexual orientation is not inherited — a remarkable number of gay people have straight parents. But just because homosexuality is a bit more complex than a particular gene prescription doesn’t mean Fischer’s point has any validity.
The latest research suggests that variations in sexual orientation can be influenced — not by the genes themselves, but by how certain markers (“epi-marks”) on the genes interact with hormones inside the womb. These epigenetic markers act as switches that can be activated during fetal development, affecting how DNA expresses itself. The end result is the same: an individual’s orientation is determined before birth and cannot be changed. This actually jibes with some recent twin studies, which suggest that even identical twins who share a hormonal environment in the womb can still experience different levels of blood during development. Thus, even twins with identical DNA can have differences in how that DNA is expressed.
Fischer can continue to claim that gay people have “entered into the homosexual lifestyle,” but it’s his word against millions of people like Collins who know that their orientations are innate, not chosen.