Through his career, Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) has thrown his support behind measures that would make life materially worse for members of the LGBTQ community, including legislation against marriage equality and restrictions on federal protections for LGBTQ workers.
He’s finally found a segment of the LGBTQ community he’s willing to support and defend: gay fetuses.
Although Duffy is on his way out of office — citing the need to spend more time caring for his family since he’s expecting a child, his ninth, with a congenital heart defect — one of his last acts is the introduction of a bill banning the termination of a pregnancy if the fetus is gay.
The bill hinges on the idea that genetic testing can (or will soon be able to) discover a “gay gene” in utero. While a recent study suggests that genetic components may be a minor contributing factor in homosexuality, it ultimately concluded that many factors influence sexual orientation; there is no way to predict whether someone will be gay based solely on their genetic markers.
But that didn’t stop Duffy from hand-wringing about the possibility in a press release:
As science advances and genetic markers for sexual orientation are discovered, I believe it is vital we begin now to set ethical standards to protect the lives of unborn gay children… I believe all children are entitled to love, acceptance, and most importantly, a right to life, regardless of their sexual orientation. This legislation would send a powerful early signal regarding the serious repercussions of genetic testing for sexual orientation and will be the first line of defense against the termination of unborn babies based on the discovery of said traits.
Leila Abolfazli, director of federal reproductive rights at the National Women’s Law Center, succinctly pointed out the hypocrisy of the bill:
I think the premise of the bill basically acknowledges that there’s discrimination against LBGTQ people… but [Republicans] are doing nothing to protect LGBTQ individuals from discrimination on an everyday basis. It’s offensive that this is the way he’s approaching it.
Duffy is apparently fine with that gay fetus growing up into a person who experiences society-wide hate and discrimination, even at the government level. As we’ve seen so often from the “pro-life” side, once the fetus is born, its quality of life becomes irrelevant.
Duffy doesn’t care about LGBTQ people. He’s just using LGBTQ issues as a smokescreen to normalize restrictions on reproductive freedom. He’s pretending to be concerned about gay fetuses while continuing his attacks on gay people.
(Screenshot via YouTube)