From the article, concerning two identical twin boys:
"What makes the case of Patrick and Thomas so fascinating is that it calls into question both of the dominant theories in the long-running debate over what makes people gay: nature or nurture, genes or learned behavior. As identical twins, Patrick and Thomas began as genetic clones. From the moment they came out of their mother's womb, their environment was about as close to identical as possible - being fed, changed, and plopped into their car seats the same way, having similar relationships with the same nurturing father and mother. Yet before either boy could talk, one showed highly feminine traits while the other appeared to be "all boy," as the moms at the playgrounds say with apologetic shrugs."
Why is this important?
"Proving people are born gay would give them wider social acceptance and better protection against discrimination, many gay rights advocates argue."
But, here's the caveat:
"And that's exactly what has groups opposed to homosexuality so concerned. The Family Research Council, a conservative Christian think tank in Washington, D.C., argues in its book Getting It Straight that finding people are born gay 'would advance the idea that sexual orientation is an innate characteristic, like race; that homosexuals, like African-Americans, should be legally protected against 'discrimination;' and that disapproval of homosexuality should be as socially stigmatized as racism. However, it is not true.'"
The issue here, as I see it, is two fold:
First, there is a sizeable chunk of the Conservative Christian community in the United States that is never going to be accepting of homosexuality, regardless of how much scientific proof is presented. I have copies of articles from various scientific journals, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, that clearly show homosexuality has no negative effects on relationship stability or the welfare of children. In fact, a study released in 2001 by the AAP shows that children having homosexual parents:
"...fare as well in emotional, cognitive, social, and sexual functioning as do children whose parents are heterosexual. Children's optimal development seems to be influenced more by the nature of the relationships and interactions within the family unit than by the particular structural form it takes." (2002 American academy of Pediatrics, Technical Report: Coparent or Second-Parent Adoption by Same-Sex Parents.)
Clearly, Conservative Christian organizations like the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family, are not going to relax their stance on homosexuality in the face of scientific evidence. After all, their belief in the "wrongness" of homosexuality is rooted in faith not in science; in the Bible (though likely mistranslated and misunderstood) than in any medical journal. Moreover, any proof of biology will just shift the sin from "homosexuality" to "homosexual behavior". Thus, any debate with them on the cultural effects of homosexuality is likely to be labeled "moral relativism" and ignored.
The second issue I have with the "naturalness" of homosexuality is that, from a cultural, moral and legal perspective, it should not matter whether homosexuality is inborn or learned behavior. It's really not relevant to the argument. Homosexuals should have the same rights to marry, have children and pursue happiness as heterosexuals regardless of why they are homosexual. Whether by choice or by birth, homosexuals in this country are created just as equal as heterosexuals and our laws should reflect that.
(More on this at AMERICAblog)