Not a choice
As Episcopalian, I have followed the letters regarding the Episcopal church’s approval of same-sex marriage with interest. The main issue may be semantics, but the basic issue is homosexuality. Why don’t they change, and become, well, like us?
Here’s why: Homosexuality is not a choice, it is wired in from birth.
Matt Ridley (“Genome, The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters”) explains that genes are recipes that make proteins – the amino acids that run the human body. The sex chromosomes, X and Y, determine your gender: two Xs and you are female. A Y from your father and you are male.
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In 1993, Dean Hamer found a gene on the X chromosome that influenced sexual orientation. Labeled by the media as “the gay gene,” it was one of several studies concluding that homosexuality is “biological” not by choice.
Other males, previously in the womb, increase the probability of homosexuality, due to a set of three active genes on the Y chromosome called the H-Y minor histocompatibility antigens. These are vital to the masculinization of the body. An aberration on the X chromosome somehow influences sexual orientation..
Sam Wang, Ph.D., head of the Neuroscience Department at Princeton University, in “The Neuroscience of Everyday Life,” explains the part of the human brain that determines sexual orientation is the third interstitial nucleus. Its size seems to be determined by testosterone in the womb. It is half as large in women as it is in straight men. And here is the clincher – it is half as large in gay men as it is in straight men.
Here, finally is proof that homosexuality is not discretionary. It is set in the womb before birth. They don’t need our censure, they need our understanding and acceptance.
I welcome Molly and Travis to the fight for Chapel Hill's future (Building the Chapel Hill brand, nando.com/1nv). I share their concerns about the current council’s lack of direction and floundering on the promise of increasing the commercial tax base. I too am frustrated by our loss of identity. We are becoming Anytown, USA.
Today’s council has abandoned its responsibility to build on our strengths as home to UNC. Instead, the council has blessed economic director Bassett’s efforts to bring in outside money to build expensive housing and little else. The council’s actions in passing the Ephesus-Fordham Form-Based Code and the Obey Creek Development Agreement undermine our ordinances and don’t contribute to the greater good. Molly’s and Travis’ call for needed infrastructure and a more creative plan for economic development is unquestionably needed.
Chapel Hill is a company town and I agree that UNC’s status as economic powerhouse and driver is not acknowledged. Instead, the approval process is concentrating on only one leg of a three legged stool: luxury and student residential housing. The Edge, the town’s most appropriate site for commercial/industrial use, was approved for up to a 75 percent residential component. As developments sites dwindle, where will the opportunities exist for what De Marco and Clayton say we need?
Terri Buckner's column on the facing page (nando.com/1or) gives us answers. This fall’s election is a referendum on the future. We can choose more of the same – increasing economic disparity, high rise luxury apartments, environmental neglect, or we can vote for a future that reflects Chapel Hill’s reputation for diversity, environmental protection, fiscal responsibility, safe neighborhoods, good schools, and renewed respect for the insights of all residents of today and of tomorrow.
City of Medicine salutatorian of the Class of 2015 Lauryn Vickers will be having a fundraiser to raise money for tuition on Thursday, July 30, at the Pizza Inn, 3906 N. Duke St., Durham, from 4-8 p.m.
Lauryn was accepted to the University of Florida and is trying to cover the remaining cost of admission so that she may attend classes this fall. Despite receiving both grants and scholarships, Lauryn still needs $15,000 for her first year of college.
While attending high school, Lauryn worked full time to support herself while living with her grandmother. She took courses at Durham Technical Community College, and wants to become a nurse. Lauryn was inspired early to go into the medical field by the untimely death of her mother, who passed away after complications related to her younger sister’s stillbirth.
Unfortunately, Lauryn did not learn until late July, after committing to attend UF, that she had received the maximum amount of financial aid. The University of Florida, Lauryn’s dream school, has been touted as a “public ivy” by multiple news outlets. Only 2.2 percent of those accepted to the university are out-of-state applicants, a number which highlights Lauryn’s achievement.
Now, Lauryn needs your help. Come out, enjoy pizza, and support one of the brightest minds of our community by helping her to pursue her future.