Bob McDermott | Dean Hamer | Gay Marriage | Hawaii

Geneticist Destroys Wingnut Hawaii Lawmaker and His Crackpot Questions on Homosexuality: VIDEO


Hawaii Rep. Bob McDermott, an anti-gay wingnut who as you may recall has filed suit to stop the state's marriage equality bill, was eviscerated this week by geneticist, author and filmmaker Dean Hamer, who was arguing before the House panel in support of the marriage equality bill.

Hamer, who has a PhD from Harvard in molecular biology and is an expert in biotechnology, AIDS prevention, and the genetics of human behavior including sexual orientation and spirituality, told the panel that the scientific community has concluded that sexual orientation is "a deeply ingrained innate trait with strong genetic and biological roots."

"So gay people no more choose their sexual orientation than do heterosexual people," Hamer explained, "It's part of all of our makeup."

A lawmaker then asked Hamer to put his testimony in layman's terms.

"Being gay isn't a choice," Hamer replied.

Wingnut McDermott then picks up the microphone and tries to challenge Hamer's credentials, finally demanding an explanation for the "rampant homosexuality" in the time of the Spartans, Roman Empire, and Alexander the Great.

"Did they all have a genetic deviation?" McDermott asked

Sassed Hamer, prompting gales of laughter from the room: "Oh dear, you're confusing molecular science with ancient history. Those are different fields, actually."



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  1. This whole inquisition is straight out of the Middle Ages. One lunatic idiot Republican crazy after another, sounding completely, totally and utterly insane. Of course, why should Hawaii be any different from the rest of the country?

    Posted by: oncemorewithfeeling | Nov 6, 2013 1:35:08 PM

  2. This video has no sound. Other videos on UTube are playing fine.

    Posted by: AdamK | Nov 6, 2013 1:36:15 PM

  3. McDermott is a pig. His contempt for a far superior intellect was funny to watch, though. Bob made a huge fool of himself and I hope he's trounced in his next election. Mouth-breathing superstitious imbecile.

    Posted by: Jon | Nov 6, 2013 1:38:23 PM

  4. "Wingnut McDermott then picks up the microphone and tries to challenge Hamer's credentials, finally demanding an explanation for the 'rampant homosexuality' in the time of the Spartans, Roman Empire, and Alexander the Great."

    In Sparta, soldiers were not allowed to get married until after they had completed military training. Homosexuality was permitted for men and women, but never particularly encourage.

    During the Republic and early Empire, male homosexuality was permitted, but only when the receptive partner was a slave or servant. Male homosexuality between social equals was considered a scandal. Homosexual acts between men was illegal by 250. Female homosexuality was not, to my knowledge, acknowledged in any way by the Romans.

    As for Alexander the Great, there is more evidence supporting that he was bisexual. Aside from which, one person does not make for a social trend in "rampant homosexuality."

    Posted by: Gregory In Seattle | Nov 6, 2013 1:52:19 PM

  5. He's digging his own grave. The real answer to his question is that, given that homosexual behavior was not looked down upon at that time, more people admitted they were gay (as the man testifying tried to say).

    What that means is not that something changed genetically, but that homosexuality is in fact more pervasive today than it appears. Millions of men who would've identified as bisexual or gay in Ancient Rome will never do so today, due to homophobia and anti-gay animus.

    In result, these ancient cultures show that laws like the Hawaiian marriage bill are even more important, because they will help greater numbers of the population than projected, and could even go a long way to helping these closeted men and women open up and identify publicly as how they feel.

    Posted by: Mike8787 | Nov 6, 2013 1:54:51 PM

  6. The idiot McDermott is trying to get social science/anthropology answers from modern molecular science. It's like trying to explain why ancients tried to cast demons out of epileptics when we know MOST of us know that epilepsy is most often a genetic/biological condition or brought on by brain damage from disease or trauma and not a result of demon possession. Of course some of those who believe that homosexuality is evil still believe that epilepsy is caused by demons.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Nov 6, 2013 2:04:16 PM

  7. What I can't get over is how resentful the elected officials are to someone of obvious intellect. I don't think anything he said was offensive in anyway. Both of them mentioned that they did not have a 'Harvard' education, though. Hearing the way both men ask questions, it's obvious to all that they are undereducated and intent on proving their superiority as 'elected officials, who are in charge'. God, I feel sorry for Hawaiians.

    Posted by: edmcan | Nov 6, 2013 2:15:58 PM

  8. LOL omg what a moron! mcdermott is a fool.

    Posted by: EO | Nov 6, 2013 2:30:09 PM

  9. It was hard not to cringe at the content and phrasing of the questions but the good doctor's testimony made every minute worth it!

    Posted by: Ar B | Nov 6, 2013 2:30:41 PM

  10. Of course more visible doesn't mean it is prevalent. As Gregory said, Philip the Arab (244-249 AD) banned male prostitution and rumored to be a closet Christian. Under the Christian empire, homosexual acts were punishable by burning. Bob McDermott's objection probably not due to genetics but some voice in his head. He just pretended to be rational,

    Posted by: simon | Nov 6, 2013 2:32:11 PM

  11. My younger gay brother and I were participants in one of Dr. Hamer's "gay gene" sibling studies at the NIH in the early 1990s. It was a really interesting experience to be interviewed by Dr. Hamer during this process. It was quite evident to me that he was a most learned professional in his field.

    On the other hand, it's indeed cringe-worthy seeing GOPer homophobe McDermott try to challenge Dr. Hamer's credentials. That NOMbie is a typical bigoted idiot who believes whatever BS he pulls out of his unintelligent ass!

    Yet, Dr. Hamer held his own quite well. Bravo, sir, bravo.

    Posted by: HadenoughBS | Nov 6, 2013 2:34:28 PM

  12. So what? Religious preference is a choice.

    Posted by: elwoodl | Nov 6, 2013 2:37:46 PM

  13. The Hawaii hearings are undoubtedly the greatest display of the cray-cray in the history of the world. The video should be worth its weight in gold in discrediting the Christian hate machine.

    Posted by: TomTallis | Nov 6, 2013 2:40:03 PM

  14. ​Bob's Idiocy and it's like, is always greeted with a standing ovation until it's the only one left frothing in an empty auditorium. It's the blessing of this country that everyone has a voice, it's the wisdom and experience of our humanity that grants the freedom to ignore it and move on.

    Posted by: spg | Nov 6, 2013 2:42:03 PM

  15. Lovely moderation.

    Posted by: Chuckles | Nov 6, 2013 2:45:53 PM

  16. Thank you Dr Hamer! Mahalo!

    Posted by: Aloha | Nov 6, 2013 3:38:18 PM

  17. Hold on Gregory, Alexander was NOT bisexual???

    Give me a flipping break. You had me going right up to that statement.

    Posted by: Michael | Nov 6, 2013 3:51:46 PM

  18. @Gregory In Seattle: in ancient Rome, the taboo was not against male homosexuality but in sexual roles not following social standing. If you were at the top strata of Roman society, you could not be a bottom.

    In addition, slandering political opponents was the norm, which makes some of the historical evidence misleading. There are, for example, claims the Julius Caesar was gay or bisexual, but what he was actually accused of was being a bottom. Early in his career, he was sent to Bithynia for some diplomatic function and stayed longer than anticipated. Caesar's enemies suggested that he stayed that long because he was Nicomedes lover (Nicomedes was the king of Bithynia) - i.e., Caesar was a bottom. People who disliked Caesar would refer to him as the queen of Bithynia. Whether that claim is true or not is hard to determine because there was so much lying going on. We do know that Caesar denied it.

    Regardless, with all the lying, the Republicans would feel right at home.

    Posted by: Bill | Nov 6, 2013 5:28:44 PM

  19. Seriously now what does dragging up tired ancient history had anything to do with marriage equality in the 21st century?

    Posted by: jarago | Nov 6, 2013 5:35:39 PM

  20. I listened to most of Hamer's tape and he did a fantastic job against McDermott, who sounded like the idiot he is......

    Posted by: Bernie | Nov 6, 2013 6:23:31 PM

  21. This really shows that:

    You can still be a lawmaker even if you are stupid and ignorant.

    Posted by: gayalltheway | Nov 6, 2013 6:44:43 PM

  22. @Michael - I thought I was pretty clear that evidence supports Alexander being bisexual rather than gay. My apologies if that wasn't evident.

    @Bill - As I said, male homosexuality between social equals was considered scandalous. And around the middle of the 3rd century, as the Empire began to contract under the onslaught of the barbarians, Roman society started to become more conservative and less flexible. Provincial governors began to pass laws making male homosexuality a crime, with penalties including fines or public punishment such as flogging. By the middle of the 4th century, as Christianity was becoming the dominant religion of the Empire, this process accelerated. Even the attempted reforms by Emperor Julian, who became sole Augustus in 361 CE, kept those laws in place.

    Posted by: Gregory in Seattle | Nov 6, 2013 7:50:54 PM

  23. I love this man. Dean is my new hero.

    Posted by: NotSafeForWork | Nov 6, 2013 9:21:04 PM

  24. @Gregory in Seattle: the problem with your explanation is that sex between a higher and lower status individual (e.g., an upper class Roman male and a male slave) was acceptable only if the the upper class male was the active partner, not the passive one. It's a bit complicated - the Romans did not even have a word that could be translated as "homosexuality" because of the emphasis on active versus passive roles.

    BTW, at least one historian thinks that the Christians' claims about the Romans were exaggerated, particularly the level of persecution.

    Posted by: Bill | Nov 6, 2013 10:02:55 PM

  25. I love how he was like "I'm asking the questions!" Yet, the doctor was merely answering the questions and not asking any of his own. It reminds me of push polling, the question has become the answer, the accusation is the testimony.

    Posted by: Austin | Nov 7, 2013 12:28:12 AM

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