The Left and the libertarian right are all for “choice” in reproduction. Genetic enhancement? Check. Disability cleansing via eugenic abortion and IVF genetic engineering? Check. Choosing hair color and other physical attributes? Check. Even sex selection.

But what if a test is developed that can predict a predilection for homosexuality? Wait just a darn minute!

This is the scenario discussed in the left wing science/tech journal called Pacific Standard, based on an article in support of genetic engineering. From, “Should We Be Able to Choose the Sexual Orientation of Our Children?” by Alice Dreger:

Thus, while I think Greenberg and Bailey are right in generally defending would-be parents’ rights to choose reproductive technologies, I also can’t help but suspect that their vigorous defense of this option at some level feels like (apparently unwittingly) enabling homophobic bigotry. Certainly I defend Greenberg and Bailey’s right to say what they want, and to think what they want, but I think it is tough for them to claim they’re not potentially contributing to an undermining of queer rights.

All other eugenic reproductive choices are okay, but that one? Sorry, that’s now how human logic works. In for an inch, in for a mile.

But even here, it seems, choice trumps everything — including opposition to “anti-gay:”

I find I side with Simon LeVay, a gay sex researcher who has, like Bailey, long been studying the biological origins of sexual orientation, and who shared his views with me in an email: “I agree with Mike that we shouldn’t ban it. Because that would be allowing governments to make decisions about our reproductive choices, which isn’t a good idea . . . But I reserve the right to become hysterical about it.”

For too many on the political left, at the end of the day, it is all about, I want!

Human exceptionalism — in contrast to either the left or libertarianism — opposes eugenics in all its manifestations. Aborting Down fetuses is wrong. So too would be aborting gay (or straight) fetuses because of their potential orientation. Ditto using genetic engineering or testing to have a disabled baby — as has already been done — a straight baby, or a gay baby.

Our children should be accepted in unconditional love, not based on personal attributes parents might desire in their children. (Treating illnesses or disabilities in utero is not eugenics.) Eugenic abortion and other approaches to obtaining the baby I want should be discouraged at law and in culture.

Author Profile

Wesley J. Smith, J.D., Special Consultant to the CBC
Wesley J. Smith, J.D., Special Consultant to the CBC