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About Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, & Intersex Communities & Human Biotechnology

New genetic and reproductive technologies affect LGBTQI communities in exceptional ways.

Some of these are beneficial. For example, advances in assisted reproductive technologies enable a growing number of gay men and lesbians to become parents of biologically related children.

However, some advocates of reproductive cloning assert that gays and lesbians in particular should support it, because it would allow same-sex couples to have children that are genetically related only to a member of the couple, free of "external" DNA. Of course, such techniques do nothing to address the underlying issues of inequality and homophobia that plague society.

Genetic theories play as strong a role in shaping our social and individual identities as they do in shaping our families. Recent years have seen a resurgence of assumptions that complex human behaviors, including sexual orientation, are simply products of our genes. Though scientists have yet to find a genetic marker for homosexuality, many continue to try. Such genetic determinism and reductionism open the door to new forms of discrimination.

Feminists, get ready: pregnancy and abortion are about to be disruptedby Eleanor RobertsonThe GuardianOctober 12th, 2015With news of clinical trial for uterine transplants coming soon, the ability for reproductive technologies to traverse the biological limitations of unassisted pregnancy could reshape our understandings of family, employment, and bodily autonomy.
No, Scientists Have Not Found the 'Gay Gene'by Ed YongThe AtlanticOctober 10th, 2015A widely hyped study purporting to find epigenetic marks associated with sexual orientation in men is an underpowered fishing expedition that used inappropriate statistics and that snagged results which may be false positives.
Gay or Straight? Saliva Test Can Predict Male Sexual Orientationby Jessica HamzelouNew ScientistOctober 8th, 2015“Suggestive” study results that link genetics and sexual orientation raise troubling questions and potential for abuse.
UK Womb Transplants: 5 Ethical Issuesby Rachael RettnerLive ScienceOctober 5th, 2015A new UK clinical trial would expose both patient and developing fetus to autoimmune suppressants, use uteruses from deceased donors, and require that clinical patients have a "long-term partner", even though alternatives to this radical new technology exist.
Womb transplants given UK go-aheadBBCSeptember 30th, 2015In 2016, 10 women will be chosen for an NHS-approved clinical trial to receive surgery to transplant a donated uterus, monitor organ acceptance for 1 year, and then initiate up to two IVF pregnancies before removing the transplant.
Political Notes: CA bill protecting same-sex parents advancesby Matthew S. BajkoBay Area ReporterAugust 27th, 2015Gay, lesbian and unmarried couples who use assisted reproduction and third party gametes would be recognized as parents from the moment their child is born.
Nepal Bans Surrogate Births — Worry for Gay Israelisby JTAThe ForwardAugust 27th, 2015Many gay Israelis now travel to Nepal for surrogacy because Israel bans surrogate pregnancies for same-sex couples.
Law Banning Commercial Surrogacy Takes Effect ThursdayBangkok PostJuly 29th, 2015Controversy continues to swirl around children born before Thailand's new law was passed this winter.
Sympathetic Sci-Fiby Joshua RothmanNew YorkerJuly 14th, 2015The new sci-fi series "Sense8" fantasizes about human "enhancement" via broadening empathy and social connection.
A BC Alum's New Site Links LGBT Couples With Egg Donors, Sperm Donors & Surrogatesby Rebecca StrongBostInnoJuly 13th, 2015Bird Meets Bee, an ART matchmaker website launching in October, would feature customizable user profiles and filter criteria such as "LGBT status, heritage, hair color, eye color, or height."
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