A Republican lawmaker in Maine has introduced a bill to prohibit abortions based on the sexual orientation of the unborn baby.
State Rep. Brian Duprey wants the Legislature to forbid a woman from ending a pregnancy because the fetus is homosexual.
He said the bill looks into the future in case scientists find what he described as a “homosexual gene.”
“I have heard from women who told me that if they found out that they were carrying a child with the gay gene, then they would abort. I think this is wrong,” said Duprey, who got the idea while listening to the Rush Limbaugh Show.
But some lawmakers say Duprey is neither interested in creating new policy to protect gays and lesbians nor seriously discussing the issue of abortion. The bill, they say, is a way of forcing some lawmakers to choose between abortion rights and gay rights.
“It will be seen as some kind of political gamesmanship,” said House Majority Leader Glenn Cummings, D-Portland.
Last month, Duprey drew attention to the issue of gay rights when he proposed a bill to legalize same-sex marriages even though opposing it himself.
The Baldacci administration and homosexual activists questioned Duprey’s motivation. They said the bill disrespected the legislative process and prevented them from having time to build support for the issue.
Senate Minority Leader Paul Davis, R-Sangerville, questioned the bill’s premise. “You cannot test for it,” he said.
After seeing the proposed legislation, Senate President Beth Edmonds, D-Freeport, and Cummings called Duprey’s efforts disingenuous. They questioned why he has opposed gay rights legislation protecting adults while pushing for legislation protecting those not yet born.
“It is just something to get him press time. It is not a realistic proposal,” Edmonds said.
Duprey said: “Technology is changing every day. They could map the homosexual gene tomorrow.”
A spokesman for the governor’s office told the Portland Press Herald the administration will review Duprey’s bill but declined to comment on it.
Duprey, an opponent of abortion, said he believes support will grow for the measure, though he has no co-sponsors.