The members of the Icelandic LGBT organization Samtokin’78 refused to participate in the research aimed at finding the so-called “gay gene”. In the course of the work it was planned to study the influence of heredity on the sexual orientation of a person.
The Icelandic biopharmaceutical company DeCode Genetics intended to conduct the study. In the late 1990s, it lobbied for the adoption of a law establishing in Iceland a database containing information on the health status of all residents of the island. DeCode Genetics makes a major contribution to the filling and maintenance of this database.
LGBT activist María Guðmundsdottir, head of Samtokin’78, stated that Icelandic homosexuals refused to participate in the study, as its results “can be used to discriminate and even exterminate gays in some countries”.
“There are still 74 nations in the world where being gay or lesbian is against the law, and in some countries punishable by death. Making it possible to group people genetically based on sexual orientation would create knowledge which is indeed an instrument of power, potentially usable against the LGTB community”.
María is sure that the authorities of some countries and individual parents would use the results of the DeCode Genetics research to identify the “predisposition to homosexuality” even at the stage of pregnancy, and tests for the “gay gene” can be used by the organizers of homophobic campaigns.