Article Title:Genetic Discrimination: The Backdoor Route?
Author or Credit:Craig Young
Published on:5th March 2009 - 11:16 am
Internet Archive link:
NDHA link:
Note that the National Library of New Zealand (NDHA) website uses both cookies and frames. The first time you click on a link it first may take you to the archived front page of Close the window and try again. This is because the NDHA website uses cookies and you cannot access an indiviual page without visiting the front page first
Story ID:7167
Text:To many disability rights activists, genetic discrimination is classified as unfinished business for their communities. What about us? The Human Rights Act 1993 is now almost sixteen years old. It is high time that other antidiscrimination measures were added to it, such as definitive inclusion of gender identity or clarification that the Key administration considers Solicitor General Cullen's earlier legal opinion that read gender identity discrimination into gender discrimination to be viable. Some disability rights activists also want genetic status added to their section of the HRA. If someone's DNA is used to locate possible causal genetic sequences of physiological anomalies, whether present at birth, or latent until puberty or later in life, then, they argue, this constitutes disability discrimination if it is used to deny employment, accommodation, goods or services to others- notwithstanding Bill of Rights protections against forced medical treatment. At present, the HRA bans discrimination on the basis of physical, psychological, intellectual or other disability, with the exception of insurance policies. However, insurance policies should be based on valid actuarial or statistical data. I support this move, although whenever I discuss it with friends in the disability rights movement, they bring up the issue of 'gay genes.' If gay genes exist, then is it possible that unregulated genetic screening could be used to reintroduce covert antigay discrimination? Disability rights activists want explicit and stronger safeguards on privacy of medical genetic data, and there's merit to that argument as well, given that privacy and confidentiality provisions are included in the Code of Health and Disability Consumers Rights. Granted, the Human Genome Project only mapped the human genome recently, and we're still some decades away from precise identification of whether or not there's a semi-causal group of gay genes that partially determine our future sexuality. As with the development of sentient artificial intelligence however, this is one issue that future LGBT communities will probably have to face. Craig Young - 5th March 2009    
Disclaimer:This page displays a version of the article with all formatting and images removed. It was harvested automatically and some text content may not have been fully captured correctly: access this content at your own risk. A copy of the full article is available (off-line) at the Lesbian and Gay Archives of New Zealand. This online version is provided for personal research and review and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of If you have queries or concerns about this article please email us
Reproduction note:Just before closed in May 2017, the website owners wrote this article about reproducing content from the website: "our work has always been available for glbti people to use and all we ask is that you not plagiarise it... if you use it anywhere please attribute it to and where there is an authors name attached please acknowledge that writer."