- The Washington Times - Friday, February 14, 2014

Researchers say they’ve found more DNA evidence that possibly shows gay men don’t have a choice — that their biological makeup drives them to homosexuality.

In a study at Chicago University, researchers looked at DNA chains of 400-plus pairs of gay brothers and found what they said were two distinct bits of genetic material that they claim are linked to homosexuality, The Daily Mail reported.

The gay brothers were identified and recruited to help with the study over the course of several years’ worth of Gay Pride festivals and marches.

The research was highlighted during the recent annual American Association for the Advancement of Science conference. Researchers don’t know which of the specific genes in the two links of DNA are key to the formation and development of sexual orientation, The Daily Mail reported. But they say their findings add to a 1993 study that identified a supposed “gay gene,” a widely contested announcement that was later mocked when other scientists said they could not find any genetic link that backed that claim.

Still, researchers are saying this latest DNA evidence is ground-breaking and significant.

Dr. Michael Bailey from Northwestern University in Illinois is already concluding, The Daily Mail reported: “Sexual orientation has nothing to do with choice. Our findings suggest there may be genes at play — we found evidence for two sets that affect whether a man is gay or straight.”

But he also added this caveat, The Daily Mail said: “Although this [finding] could one day lead to a prenatal test for male sexual orientation, it would not be very accurate, as there are other factors that can influence the outcome.”

Meanwhile, King’s College London psychologist Qazi Rhaman said that genes only account for 40 percent of a person’s sexual orientation. Moreover, he said, many genes — not just two — are involved in that determination process, and the development of any type of genetic test to predict sexual orientation would be difficult, The Daily Mail reported.

“There is no real risk of anyone finding a ‘genetic test’ for sexual orientation based on these or any of the scientific findings about the genetics of sexuality from the past 20 years,” he said, The Daily Mail reported. “The reason is that there is no gay gene. You are not going to be able to develop a test to find them all.”

Still, some gay-rights advocates insist most recent studies do show a biological link to homosexuality.

Richard Lane, of the gay group Stonewall, said in The Daily Mail: “The thing that’s consistent across all of [the studies] is that they all point to sexual orientation being something fundamental to a person rather than the lifestyle choice some opponents of equality repeatedly suggest.”