01 January 2007

Gay Sheep "Rights"

Every once in a while, I see a headline that I can’t pass up. Example: “Science told: hands off gay sheep.” Some things just scream for attention, and this is one of them. What could these evil scientists be doing to these poor creatures?

Well, they’ve been tooling with hormone levels in sheep to try to change their sexual orientation; to make them heterosexual (whereas they preferred homosexual activity previously). Seeing as science messes with hormones in humans all the time, regardless of any side effects, this sheep experiment really doesn’t seem all that wicked to me. After all, doctors handed out hormones to menopausal women like candy…until they figured out that there was some rather profound cancer risk involved (oops!). Better to try something (experiment) on an animal before using humans as test subjects (which must happen at some point). PETA, I know, is appalled.

But the really bizarre thing about this article is the person who is making these demands and the rationale thereof. Martina Navratilova, who should have been consulted before commencing experimentation, says the experiments are “homophobic and cruel.” And, what’s more, the article said: “Navratilova defended the “right” of sheep to be gay.”

Sheep have a “right” to be gay? Where is that right enshrined? I don’t recall any mention of sheep or other livestock in the Constitution. I don’t recall any action in Washington to initiate or advance gay-sheep rights (would they also be allowed to marry, though other sheep don’t?). Wouldn’t it be more appropriate for Ms. Navratilova to push for a sheep’s “right” to life? (And, no, I’m not advocating that position.) Where does this end?

It ends in me laughing for a moment, and then thinking, “She really believes this, and that’s scary.”

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