Sunday, August 27, 2006

"Gay" sheep researcher talks back

Joe Robertson, a scientist at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon, responded to my e-mail complaining about his team's research on "gay" sheep and how to "cure" them. In his response, note that while he states his research is not about "curing" homosexuality, he never tells me what it is meant to discover.

Dear friend,

I recently became aware of PETA's concerns about this research. Thank you for this chance to respond.

Let me start by saying the information you have received from PETA is incorrect. We have contacted PETA to let them know. I expect that their Web site will be corrected shortly. We also expect they will be contacting you with an email to correct their error.

The study that PETA urged you to write me about is indeed based in sheep. However, it is not being done to "cure homosexuality." Homosexuality is not a disease. I join you and our researchers in being personally offended by anyone who suggests that it is.

In fact, over the years, our researchers have been contacted by several gay and lesbian groups who appreciate our scientific results which support their beliefs that homosexuality is genetic and biological, not a choice.

As for the animals in this study we care deeply about them and they are treated ethically. All our research is conducted under the strict rules of the Animal Welfare Act and National Institutes of Health guidelines. It was funded by the federal government only after being reviewed by and approved top scientists in the field. In addition, panels of experts at both universities, which include members of the public and trained veterinarians, approved the research before it was allowed to commence and OHSU animal care is overseen by the US Department of Agriculture and AAALAC.

Thank you for the chance to respond. I also ask that you please join us in contacting PETA at and ask that they correct their information about this research.

Thank you,
Joe Robertson, M.D., OHSU

The e-mail I sent to Robertson and other scientists was basically a form letter created by the folks at PETA, and it likely was sent by thousands of other animal lovers and GLBT supporters.

Dr. Joseph Robertson, Jr.
Oregon Health and Science University
3181 S.W. Sam Jackson Park Rd.
Portland, OR 97239-3098

Dear Dr. Robertson, Jr.,

I find it appalling that experimenters Charles Roselli of OHSU
and Frederick Stormshak of OSU are cutting open and killing gay
sheep in an attempt to "cure" homosexual tendencies. Choosing a
same-sex partner is not a disease. I urge you to stop wasting
millions of taxpayer dollars on these ridiculous experiments. I
am sure that you want your university to be known for making
real medical advancements that actually benefit humans, not for
torturing animals and promoting homophobia.


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