An organization that claims it’s possible to choose (and change) one’s sexual orientation has put up a controversial billboard along a busy highway in Richmond, Virginia, claiming that the fact that there are cases of identical twins – one gay, one straight – proves that nobody is born gay.
The billboard bears the image of two men, one in a suit, one in a white T-shirt, who are presumably identical twins, according to Huffington Post.
“Identical Twins: One Gay. One Not. We believe twins research studies show nobody is born gay.”
The billboard is presented by Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX), a non-profit advocacy group that claims that a gay person chooses to be gay, and that homosexuality can be “overcome” through prayer and therapy.
“We believe that every person seeking positive life change needs and deserves the love and support of family, friends, the community, and the church. That’s why we offer a place for help, a place for truth, and a place for the ex-gay to participate in the conversation about same-sex attraction.”
According to WWBT (Richmond), the billboard cites scientific studies on identical twins in which one twin is gay, and the other straight, claiming that such studies prove that homosexuality is a decision. PFOX Executive Director Regina Griggs explains her group’s reasoning.
“Identical twins have the same genes or DNA. They are nurtured in equal prenatal conditions. If homosexuality is caused by genetics or prenatal conditions and one twin is gay, the co-twin should also be gay…Because identical twins are always genetically identical, homosexuality cannot be genetically dictated. No one is born gay.”
However, Huffington Post notes that in one of the studies the billboard cites, the interpretation that there is no so-called “gay gene” has been disputed by the study’s own author. Further, the American Psychological Association has condemned the notion of gay conversion therapy as “based on a view of homosexuality that has been rejected by all the major mental health professions.”
The billboard has caused some controversy in Richmond, with supporters and detractors alike taking to social media.
— NIkNIk (@spicycola) December 10, 2014
The anti-gay message will stay up through January 4, when the lease on the billboard space expires.
[Image courtesy of: WAOW]