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Researcher to discuss biology of homosexuality and the LDS Church

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Scientific researcher and historian Gregory Prince will deliver a lecture about Mormonism and homosexuality titled “Science vs. Dogma: Biology Challenges the LDS Paradigm.” Part of the University of Utah Tanner Humanities Center’s Sterling M. McMurrin Lecture on Religion and Culture, the event will take place Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. at the Salt Lake City Public Library Nancy Tessman Auditorium, 210 E. 400 South. It is open to the public and no tickets are required.

Prince earned his doctoral degrees in dentistry and pathology at UCLA. He then pursued a four-decade career in pediatric infectious disease research. His love of history led him to write three books, including the award-winning David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism. Most recently, he published Leonard Arrington and the Writing of Mormon History.

“Until the late 1960s, when the Stonewall Riots in New York City brought LGBT issues into the public square, the consensus among clinicians, scientists, legislators and religious leaders was that homosexuality was either an unfortunate choice that could be unchosen, or a disease that could—and must—be cured,” Prince explains. “As the field of molecular biology matured, there was a spirited hunt for a genetic explanation for homosexuality — the ‘gay gene.'”

“In the short term, failure to find such a gene reinforced the ‘choice paradigm’ of homosexuality,” he continued. “However, recent research has shown that a combination of genetic and (mostly) epigenetic factors act during fetal development to imprint sexual preference and gender identity indelibly within the brain.  As I will argue, the ‘biology paradigm’ calls for a reassessment of Latter-day Saint doctrines, policies, and attitudes towards homosexuality, all of which were built on a foundation of the ‘choice paradigm.'”

Prince’s lecture will be followed by a brief Q&A and a book signing hosted by The King’s English Bookshop.

More information is available at http://thc.utah.edu/lectures-programs/mcmurrin-lecture/index.php

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