(Story broken by Zack at Think Progress)


Contact: Wayne Besen, Executive Director
Phone: 917-691-5118
Email: wbesen@truthwinsout.org

Truth Wins Out Slams Herman Cain For Calling Homosexuality a ‘Choice’

Cain Panders to Extremists with Ignorance and Misinformation about Sexual Orientation, Says TWO

BURLINGTON, Vt – Truth Wins Out slammed GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain today for making anti-gay statements on ABC’s The View. Cain confirmed to View co-host Joy Behar that as president, he would roll back the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and that he believes homosexuality to be a choice. Said Cain to Behar: “You show me the science that says that it’s not [a choice], and I could be persuaded. Right now it’s my opinion against the opinion of others who feel differently. That’s just a difference of opinion.”

“Herman Cain ought to apologize for his misinformed remarks, which show that he harbors dangerously outdated beliefs about gay and lesbian Americans,” said Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out. “The lie that homosexuality is a choice is directly responsible for the suffering of tens of thousands of LGBT people around the world who are falsely told that they can ‘pray away the gay.’”

“Cain’s statement is demonstrably false,” added John Becker, Truth Wins Out’s Director of Communications and Development. “Years of research in the mainstream medical and mental health communities show that while the exact causes of sexual orientation are still unknown, an individual’s orientation cannot be chosen or changed. Herman Cain’s willingness to disregard reality in order to justify his anti-LGBT bigotry makes him unfit for the office of the presidency.”

Aside from the fact that many of the Religious Right’s leading “ex-gay” poster boys such as John Paulk, Michael Johnston and George Rekers have failed to live as advertised, there actually is a growing body of evidence that shows biological factors to sexual orientation:

  • In 1993, research from the National Institute of Health’s Dean Hamer showed that homosexuality might be inherited from the mother by her sons through a specific region of the X chromosome (Xq28). Hamer demonstrated this by noting that 33 out of 40 pairs of homosexual brothers whom he studied showed the same variation in the tip of the chromosome.
  • A June 2006 Canadian study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences said that nature, not nurture, explains the origins of homosexuality. The study’s author, Prof. Anthony F. Bogaert of Brock University in Ontario, explored the causes behind what is known as the fraternal birth order. The research showed a correlation between the number of biological older brothers a man has and his sexual orientation. Dividing his sample of more than 900 heterosexual and homosexual men into four groups, Bogaert examined the impact of all types of older brothers, including step and adopted siblings, and the amount of time brothers spent together while growing up. His research found that only the number of biological brothers had an impact on sexuality, regardless of whether the boys were raised together.
  • A study released in May 2006 by Swedish scientists demonstrated that biology plays a key role in determining a person’ sexuality. The research showed that the portion of the brain that helps regulate sexuality — the hypothalamus – reacted the exact 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.
  • In 2005, Dr. Brian Mustanski of the University of Illinois at Chicago published a study in the esteemed biomedical journal Human Genetics claiming that he identified three chromosomal regions linked to sexual orientation in men: 7q36, 8p12 and 10q26.
  • In 2003, University of Texas psychoacoustics specialist Dennis McFadden found that when measuring the way the brain reacts to sound, lesbians fell in between heterosexual men and straight women, suggesting they might be exposed to higher than normal levels of male hormones in utero.
  • In 2003, University of Liverpool biologist John T. Manning found that the lesbians whom he studied have a hand pattern that resembles a man’s hand “more than a straight female.” Manning concluded from his study that this “strongly tells us that female homosexuals have had higher levels of exposure to testosterone before birth.
  • A 1991 study by Dr. Simon LeVay found that a specific region of the hypothalamus is twice as large in heterosexual men as it is in women or gay men. This strongly points to the role of biology in sexual orientation.
  • Another 1991 study by scientists Richard Pillard and John M. Bailey examined homosexuality among brothers and found that 53 percent of identical twins were both gay. In adoptive brothers, 11 percent were both homosexual. Of non-twin biological siblings, 9 percent were gay. Again, this points to solid evidence that homosexuality is a matter of nature.
  • The June/July 2006 issue of Seed Magazine points out that at least 450 vertebrate species engage in homosexual behavior.

In recent years, the main proponents of “ex-gay” therapy have also had their studies and spokespeople debunked and discredited:

  • Irving Bieber’s outdated 1962 study, Homosexuality: A Psychoanalytic Study of Male Homosexuals, tried to prove that gay men had overbearing mothers, distant fathers, and “fit the sissy stereotype.” The study was rendered invalid by the psychiatric establishment because of his deeply flawed research sample. Out of 106 gay male subjects, 28 were schizophrenic, 31 neurotic, and 42 were diagnosed with character disorders
  • Masters & Johnson’s 1979 book, Homosexuality in Perspective, claimed to cure homosexuality. In his groundbreaking new book, Masters of Sex, author Thomas Maier recently discovered through investigative reporting that the results of Masters & Johnson’s study were entirely fabricated. Virginia Johnson acknowledged that the results were fake.
  • A 1970 study by UCLA’s Gender Identity Clinic, led by Dr. George Rekers, claimed that the doctor cured the homosexuality of a boy named Kirk. Earlier this year, blogger Jim Burroway discovered that the Rekers study was a fraud. In fact, Kirk remained gay and his family believes that he committed suicide as a result of the trauma caused in this study. Last year, George Rekers resigned from the board of the so-called “National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality” after he was discovered vacationing with a male escort he hired from RentBoy.com. The incident was covered in a three-part series on CNN’s AC360.
  • The Family Research Institute’s Paul Cameron was expelled from the American Psychological Association and the Nebraska Psychological Association for fabricating research against LGBT people.
  • The International Healing Foundation’s Richard Cohen was expelled from the American Counseling Association for multiple ethics violations.

Truth Wins Out is a non-profit organization that fights anti-LGBT religious extremism. TWO specializes in turning information into action by organizing, advocating and fighting for LGBT equality.

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