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Biology Shouldn’t Matter

Steve Greenberg’s plea for gay rights (“A Place for Gays and Lesbians in Orthodoxy,” January 13) includes a quote from “a beloved leader of Modern Orthodoxy” who wrote, “How can we deny a human being the expression of his physical and psychic being? Is it not cruel to condemn an individual for doing that which his biological and genetic make-up demand that he do?”

A plea for gay rights should not be grounded in the genetic origins of homosexuality. There are genetic etiologies for many forms of behavior that are totally unacceptable and, in fact, criminal — such as pederasty, alcoholism, and perhaps even serial killing. The fact that these behavioral abnormalities and disorders have a genetic basis may explain them, but certainly not condone them.

Homosexual rights need not resort to a genetic etiology for acceptance. Whether congenital or acquired, how two consenting adults choose to live their private sexual lives is not society’s business; and should two adults of the same sex opt for a life together through marriage, there is no good reason to deny them this right, whether this behavior has a genetic basis or not!

Carl N. Steeg
New York, N.Y.

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