News: Ice Breaker, Saddam, UFO, Gay Air Force

road.jpg Hero saves man’s life on New York subway tracks.

road.jpg Scientists attempt sick experiment to change sexuality of sheep through hormones: “It raises the prospect that pregnant women could one day be offered a treatment to reduce or eliminate the chance that their offspring will be homosexual. Experts say that, in theory, the ‘straightening’ procedure on humans could be as simple as a hormone supplement for mothers-to-be, worn on the skin like an anti-smoking nicotine patch.” Perhaps they should try feeding them soy milk.

road.jpg Hurried Saddam execution inflames Iraqi militants.

Ice_1road.jpg Ice shelf the size of Manhattan breaks free, posing risk to oil platforms. It’s the largest chunk to break off the Canadian arctic shelf in 30 years.

road.jpg UFO spotted over O’Hare airport by United Airlines employees: “The sighting occurred during daylight, about 4:30 p.m., just before sunset. All the witnesses said the object was dark gray and well defined in the overcast skies. They said the craft, estimated by different accounts to be 6 feet to 24 feet in diameter, did not display any lights. Some said it looked like a rotating Frisbee, while others said it did not appear to be spinning. All agreed the object made no noise and it was at a fixed position in the sky, just below the 1,900-foot cloud deck, until shooting off into the clouds.” Airline employees told to shut up about it.

road.jpg What’s ahead for filmmaker Todd Haynes? An experimental film about Bob Dylan in which the singer will be played by seven different actors.

road.jpg Royal Air Force turns to gay rights group for advice on how to overcome bad repuatation: “Many of the estimated 12,000 homosexual personnel in the Armed Forces have fought – and in some cases been killed – in Iraq and Afghanistan but, according to Stonewall, few if any serving gay troops feel confident enough to declare their sexuality publicly.”


  1. says

    I don’t get the sheep and hormones thing. If that worked, wouldn’t all our bodybuilders who use pharmaceutical assistance turn themselves straight by use of testosterone?

    What would look like then?

  2. mikeysyd says

    The sheep research is a very slippery slope. I’ve always been a supporter of research and knowledge for its own sake and let the ethicists and legislators sort it out. But something like this really shakes that position.

  3. jimmyboyo says

    Before anyone flips out on the sheep thing

    Take a deep breath and remain calm.

    The experiment is on currently living male rams (not pre born in the womb) It is analogous(spell check) to the same exact experiments done decades ago on gay humans to try to cure them with hormones. It didn’t work then it won’t work now on sheep.

    In the article it is stated that the experiment is publicly funded= tax payers money so it is just crazy bush and the wingnuts performing already proven impossible experiments.

    BUT the laugh is on them because it will fail just as the same exact experiments failed when they tried them on humans decades ago.

    The article is misleading with the whole “paving the way for….” They haven’t even succeded and won’t!!! on the already born and living sheep. The article like any news source wishes to scare people to read their stuff which generates advertising dollars.

    The AMA and the national psychiatric association did these crap experiments with hormones on gay humans and they failed and have since said they won’t work and shouldn’t be done.


    We can all breath calmly and be happy in our wonderful gayness. :-)

  4. Deschanel says


    Referencing any science from “decades ago” has nothing on the speed of science these days. When genetic testing of the unborn about the “gay gene”- the POSSibility of the child being gay- well, presenting the parents with such a possibility… depending on the parents, might not some terminate the pregnancy? It’s an awful scenario. And probably just bad science.

    I take issue with the whole point of these experiments. They seem to at core consider homosexuality a “problem”.

    Science from any ideology won’t ever stop two people of the same sex falling in love, obviously. I wonder when they’ll work on a vaccine against hetero experimentation, lol.

  5. jimmyboyo says


    I agree that the experiments suck

    My point was that these experiments will prove totaly empty due to them being tried decades ago and proven impossible to change sexual orientation.

    On the finding the “gay gene” never ever going to happen. There are no single genes for anything. geneticists are already showing that genes work together with other genes for everything. The genes for eye color also affect other genes ad infinitum ad nauseum. The human genetic code is so complicated that they will never be able to say 100% that this or that child will be gay due to this or that gene. That doesnt mean that people who hope for such so they can abort gay babies aren’t asses…..they are asses but their wishful thinking won’t change one bit of fact about the COMPLEX human genetic structure. Everything and anything depends on a multitude of genes interacting with each other.

    My main point “Don’t freak out, remain calm, they will never be able to change potentialy gay babies via hormone experiments (more than likely they will end up killing all the pre born nbabies exposed to said hormone cocktails and thus kill all all the hets as well and then non babies ever for anyone) It is a foolish experiment that will bear no fruit (no pun intended) and we should get mad at the bush regieme for funding such crap experiments with tax payer’s money

  6. _____ says

    The sheep experiments sounds like pretty interesting and legitimate scientific research into the biological origins of same-sex attraction. I certainly question any knee-jerk label of “sick”.
    Posted by: Lee | Jan 2, 2007 7:10:52 PM

    Um, I think scientists who see homosexuality as a problem and want to find ways of “curing” it sounds pretty fucking sick to me. Homophobes are the ones who need to be cured.

  7. says

    Anyone who read the outrageous book “Homosexuality” by Michael Ruse cannot forget that Gunter Doerner’s studies in the 1970s claimed steroidal hormones could cure homosexuality, an idea that seems to have had a renaissance. Where do these mad scientists hide when we’re not looking?

    Even more bizarre, Ruse does not think Doerner’s “advocates” of the use of steroidal hormones to cure homosexuality is analogous to “ought,” as if some mysterious ethical gap prevents the “leap” from an advocate to moralist is merely precluded by a rhetorical metaphysics that deconstructionists would find puzzling (but they are always puzzled).

    Just so we’re all on the same page: Hormones come in all sorts of different packages, from the “steroidal” to “neurotransmitters,” as well as others. Wouldn’t psychiatrists and Social Darwinists and Evangelicals have a blast in blasting people with all sorts of different hormones? All in the Name of God, Science, or Mental Health, or some Demiurge of some Faustian laboratory? Can God save us from our own insanities?

    Darwin, alas, was right (despite Creationists and their “unfit” mindsets). Humans are each uniquely wonderful individuals, that, while we may be a part of particular species, we are each a twig even leaf in the Tree of Life (how positively Christian), and in each branch is always a unique, wonderful, diverse, and adapting individual responding to nature in the struggle for existence, not some Deity or Mad Scientist gone bonkers, despite those who would alter nature for some Ubermench that would terrorize Nietzsche, however it may have pleased Hitler, Stalin, Doerner, Psycho-terrorists, and the Ruses of “modern” science (the scare quotes are deliberate).

    When science can heal evangelicals of superstition, myth, split-minds, and indoctrination, I may consider “options” that might improve my already wonderful existence, but never, never change the wonderfully unique person that Nature made me. There is, alas, no homosexual pathogen, so obviously there is no homosexual disease, so clearly there is nothing to “cure.”

    What needs remedy are these “freaks” that have been possessed of religion and overcome by false spirits that lead them to want others to join them in the darkness of their Hades. Unfortunately, Freud’s and Marx’s opiates are no better “cures” than theirs. But, alas, they enjoy the same company, which, if not obvious, is not welcome in my own sphere of hospitality.

    I may have been taught to respect those who “differ,” and I genuinely try, but they are trying even my most patient patience, because they are clueless, rude, obnoxious, incoherent, stupid, obscene, incompetent, ridiculous, absurd, pathetic — and apparently even they are without the hormones to cure them. Lesson ends here.

  8. jimmyboyo says


    The sheep experiments are crap…plain and simple crap

    They were tried already on humans decades ago along with shock therapy. hormonal “treatment” didn’t change one person from being gay to straight.

    Plain and simple crap.

  9. Anon says

    Designer babies are probably an inevitable if distant reality. It’s something over which we have no control, just as our distant ancestors have no control over us. Whether anyone would care to alter the sexuality of a fetus is dependent on so many factors that one can’t predict how it may turn out. It seems highly susceptible to fads. For now, the same conservatives who might be tempted to eliminate gayness are opposed to abortion and genetic engineering, so by their own rhetoric they are powerless on this issue. I’m sure that in 100 years our lives will seem quite primitive to those future cohorts. Our opinions will get no respect.

    I think the headline should have read “UFO spotted over O’Hare Airport by drunk United Airlines employees”.

  10. Johnny says

    This experiment is not about “curing” homosexuality, as the researchers have clearly stated. It is research about CHANGING sexuality, and is absolutely valid. If it were indeed possible to change sexuality through hormones, then a biological “cause” would be proved, thereby allowing gay people to fight discrimination with a very powerful weapon – PROOF of the lack of choice.

    If we can change eye color in the womb, should we? Or metabolism? Or sex? Or sexuality? These are questions for ethicists, not scientists.

    Even if this change were possible, would all parents choose it? Could they afford the cost? Would it be worth the risks to the fetus?

    Let the scientists do their work. It is up to us as gay people to show the world that it is perfectly right and fine to be gay – be it a choice or not.

  11. Dex says

    As if I weren’t already enough of an Anglophile, here comes the Royal Air Force and their sexy gay openness. I am seriously considering a move across the pond.

    Same-sex attraction is so manifold that even altering someone’s DNA couldn’t erase it. Think about it. You find yourself sexually attracted to people you aren’t emotionally attatched to and emotionally attatched to people you aren’t sexually attracted to all the time. Any two men or any two women could fall in love without biological sexual predisposition ever factoring in at all. Straight people will always be drawn to their own gender, and Gay people will always drawn to the opposite gender. In order to erase same-sex attraction, you’d have to eliminate all forms of interpersonal bonding, which is utterly impossible.

  12. Leland says

    Johnny, your “logic” is so circular you must have a large bump on your forehead from running into yourself. There are any number of things that the majority of people accept as having a “biological ’cause'” that the majority would still prevent if they could, and rightly so, e.g., Downe Syndrome, sickle cell anemia, Jessica Simpson…. And none of those have the American Taliban stamp of God’s disapproval. Well, maybe Simpson…her Born Again “Show ’em your titties, Little Darlin'” daddy notwithstanding.

    “These are questions for ethicists, not scientists.” Uh, yeah, that’s what Andy and the rest of us, albeit amatures, are saying: It IS unethical and that’s why the scientists should be pressured into not pursing it. Anymore than they should how to change skin color or build better biological weapons.

    “It is up to us as gay people to show the world that it is perfectly right and fine to be gay – be it a choice or not.” Yep, that’s really been working well for us. Maestro: one more chorus of “Kumbaya,” if you please.

    This just in: I’ve extended my deadline for accepting proposals on how to scientifically prevent………………………………
    gay Republicans.

  13. jessejames says

    Hormones in the mother’s womb during a critical part of the pregnancy determine sexual orientation (as well as genetic components within the fetus).

    So, if it is possible to alter those hormone levels at the critical time the outcome of sexual orientation can be altered.

    If you can “cure” homosexuality you can also “cause” it.

    But this isn’t happening any time soon. We are a complex outcome of genes and hormones and interactions with the environment. By the time this level of genetic engineering is possible it probably won’t be relevant.

  14. Johnny says

    My basic point is that supposedly ethical concerns shouldn’t stop legitimate RESEARCH. Look at how religious zealots are trying to stop stem cell research, using basically the same arguments that the “anti-sheep” folks are using here. Namely, that it is unethical.

    The experiments are not unethical. Using the research to eradicate all homosexuality as if it were a disease would be unethical. Suppression of knowledge due to fear of how the knowledge will be used can only lead to greater ignorance.

    For the record, I don’t think that this kind of fetal manipulation will be possible for a very very long time, if ever. I agree with Jesse James’ point that it probably won’t be relevant by the time it is possible.

    (and Leland, homosexuality is not a disease and so should not be lumped in with Downe Syndrome, sickle cell anemia, or… well, Jessica Simpson is debatable. Homosexuality is a trait, not a disease.)

  15. Leland says

    Johnny, Johnny, Johnny. Or do you prefer to go by your professional name, Dr. Mengele? Please stop before you cause yourself permanent brain damage. Or is it too late?

  16. mark m says

    The governments of the world were quick to ban cloning when a certain sheep found herself… well, beside herself.

    I hope they show the same kind of judgment here. If not, it is hypocritical.

    It’s true that research and application are two different things, but no scientist lives in a vacuum. Any scientist must weigh the ethical points that could arise from his/her research. The old excuse that research only serves to advance knowledge is naive, and most scientists in these fields are anything but naive.

  17. says

    NO NO NO

    You guys need to check out the links related to the experiment on Joe.My.God’s site. This experiment is not being done to eliminate gay people, and the scientists behind it are real scientests, not sham fundies. They will be determining, among other things, that being gay is not a “choice” but comes from a biological place. Christian Fundamentalists are already protesting this experiment. Are you really siding with them?

    Please, people, check the facts before you get all charged up. When we are the ones going on a witch hunt, then things have come to a very bad place.

  18. uhoh says

    David, why do I get the feeling that those same Christian Fundamentalists who are protesting the experiment would probably change their minds quickly if those experiments came out true and were able to change a gay person’s orientation. Those wacky religious nuts have a nasty habit of changing their arguments.

  19. Leland says

    David, David, David. Read carefully what “you guys” have written and you might save some time. I concede that SOME people who still have at least one closed window to their brains left unlocked might become more gay-friendly. But, sorry to disappoint you, the American Taliban quite some time ago came up with a response, read propaganda, to counter ANY evidence of genetic influence. One such propagandist, Joe Dallas, founder of “Genesis Counseling,” who charges troubled gay men $100 for fifty minutes of condemnation, er, therapy [$90 by phone; or $50 for four “consultations” by e-mail], bleats, “First, ‘inborn’ and ‘normal’ are not necessarily the same. Even if homosexuality is someday proven to be inborn, inborn does not necessarily mean normal. Any number of defects or handicaps, for example, may be inborn, but we’d hardly call them normal for that reason alone. Why should we be compelled to call homosexuality normal, just because it may be inborn?”

    Such poison has filtered down to their lowest ‘tard believers. Example: Nathan Marlow, the pretty young Okie who was in one of the seasons of the bilious “Big Brother,” when told on a Net “radio” show by a certain out gay fellow reality whore who also likes to take his shirt off that we’re born gay, replied something like, “Serial killers might be born that way, too, but that doesn’t mean they have to act upon it.” [He also said in a BBB live feed that if he had a son who was gay he would kick him out.]

    Homohysteria, like virulent racism, runs too deep for it to be neutralized by anything “academic,” or appeals to equality, fairness, etc. Sometimes it festers over even the religion that helped breed it in the first place. There is the story [from GLSEN founder Kevin Jennings???] of the devoutly religious, white Southern grandmother who, when faced with the passage and enforcement of civil rights laws, broke down and screamed, “If [Blacks] are equal I hate God!!!”

    Mark M is right. To make Science our god, assuming it is incapable of harm, is absurd…and dangerous.

  20. says

    Johnny, darling, please enroll yourself in a critical thinking or logic course, pronto. “Circular” is the most benign description of your “reasoning.” Computers, you know, are scripted in Boolean Logic, and you can be too.

    As a professional philosopher, ethicist, and biologist, you SCARE me. We all get that some people leave their minds behind when they enter the Temple. But I doubt Towleroad would or could be characterized this webite as a “temple.” Now, if you’re just praying to be praying, then, don’t posts with your spiritual confusions mixed with ethical and scientific confusions, and not have the rest of us suspect your getting the same “messages” as the Reverend Robertson!

    If you approve of “this” science, I have a DSM-IV for your consideration before they lock you away as “loony,” before any ethical considerations. While they fill YOU with psychotropics, you’ll no longer be able to pretend you’re a rational human being, and they’ll cart you off, because you’re not a “reverend.”

    Loonies with a “religious degree” get to make these absurd prognostications, because ONE of THEM is in the White House, and they think anything they think has to be true. (That’s why society regards them as “loonies.”)

    And WE KNOW he’s not “fit” for anything! How does that make YOU feel?

  21. Johnny says

    I find it interesting that people who disagree with my reasoning feel the need to personally attack me. For the record, I am a gay man with a HUGE aversion to organized religion of any kind.

    I have a lot of faith in science and logic, but I don’t treat it as a god, nor do I think that science is completely free of ethical concerns. I simply don’t feel that this research is unethical. It doesn’t scare me in the least. What does scare me is the idea of people basing their decisions on fear of what some religious zealots may do.

    The fact is, if science can prove a “cause” of homosexuality, then we can win far more legal battles. It would suck for that research to never happen because of our own fears.

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