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Gay couple in line for cloning, group says • Tuesday December 31, 2002

Las Vegas Sun, Dec. 30, 2002
By Dan Kulin

A homosexual couple from Las Vegas is among the next group of cloning customers for the company founded and run by members of a religious sect that believes extraterrestrials created people, company officials said.

Clonaid, the company that claimed to have produced the first cloned human, has 10 to 20 customers, including the Las Vegas couple, who are expected to begin the cloning process in January, Clonaid Vice President Thomas Kaenzig said Sunday.

The cloned babies from that group “should be born before the end of 2003,” he said.

Clonaid made headlines Friday when company CEO Brigitte Boisselier, a former Las Vegas resident, announced the company had produced the first human clone, a baby girl nicknamed “Eve.”

Four more human clone babies are expected to be born in early 2003 from Clonaid’s first group of cloning customers, Kaenzig said.

None of the first group of five clones are for people from Las Vegas, Kaenzig said. The other four babies are from North America, Europe and two from Asia.

The results of the independent analysis will be available early this week, Kaenzig said.

Except for the Las Vegas couple, Kaenzig would not say where any of the next group of cloning customers is from. Nor would he say exactly how many customers are in the next group.

None of the cloning customers are Raelians, and each pay $100,000 to $200,000 for the cloning procedure, he said.

Surrogate mothers are already lined up for the next “generation” of Clonaid’s cloned humans, he said.

But Kaenzig said due to security and privacy concerns he would not give any additional information about the Las Vegas couple or any of the other Clonaid customers.

He would not even say whether the Las Vegas couple are men or women, or whether their baby would be a girl or boy.

Kaenzig, a Raelian priest, said Clonaid is not financially tied to the Raelians.

Kaenzig said he and the company have been flooded with calls and e-mails since the Friday announcement of the first baby.

Some of the comments have been encouraging, but many were death threats, he said.

“Human cloning is so misunderstood,” he said. “People think we’re creating Frankenstein, but it’s the opposite. We’re giving life.”

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