Gay Rights Activists Send Death Threats to Scientists – Yikes!

From that bastion of conservatism The Washington Post comes reports of gay rights activists sending death threats to scientists at Stanford:

The backlash against the study wasn’t limited to GLAAD and HRC. Kosinski wrote that he received emails telling him to kill himself and comparing his work to the Holocaust. Others on social media were no more charitable.

A reader on Twitter, for example, writes:

I consider myself peaceful but think researchers @michalkosinski & @simonywang should be burned alive for this. https://t.co/F2hDXXwLpJ

In addition to showing the extremist violence of a certain portion of the gay rights community, it shows a bizarre failure to read and understand a scientific study.  Specifically, let’s talk about the abstract.  The study authors write:

Consistent with the prenatal hormone theory of sexual orientation, gay men and women tended to have gender-atypical facial morphology, expression, and grooming styles.

We can disregard the “grooming styles” as a cultural artifact, perhaps.  In contrast, features such as the width of your jaw are more often by caused by biology than sociology.  They conclude:

Additionally, given that companies and governments are increasingly using computer vision algorithms to detect people’s intimate traits, our findings expose a threat to the privacy and safety of gay men and women.

 

The abstract, of course, does not tell us whether the study was good science, nor does it even tell us what the results of the study did or did not prove.  The abstract does one thing: It tells you what the authors would like you to believe.  It appears the authors would like you to be concerned about the privacy and safety of gay persons.  And for this they should be burned alive?

What does this study mean for Catholics?

Let us assume for a moment that the results of the study are entirely valid, and the authors’ assertions are entirely correct.  That’s something we won’t know until further research is completed,  but we can go ahead and consider the potential implications right now.  If it’s true, we have two issues for Catholics to consider.

Sexual orientation has a biological basis.  Affect on Catholic teaching: Zero.  Catholic doctrine already prohibits unjust discrimination against persons with same-sex attraction.  Catholic doctrine already takes into account the question of free will when considering culpability.  Catholic doctrine will continue to require chastity for everybody, including all those who are not married for whatever reason. There will be no change in the Catholic understanding of marriage based on this information.

The privacy and safety of gay men and women is threatened.  We have already been concerned about this for other reasons: We know that as soon as it becomes possible to do so, it is likely that some parents (privately) and governments (as a matter of policy) will begin aborting children diagnosed prenatally as being gay.  They will do this for the same reason children with Down Syndrome are aborted at such astounding rates: People want to get rid of the “problem” by getting rid of the person with the problem.

Catholics believe in the sanctity of life from conception to natural death.  (And after death as well, but that’s the province of a different sort of public policy.)  Therefore, any practice that targets persons with (or without) same-sex attraction for persecution is reprehensible.

 


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