Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Turing, homosexuality, an app and irony

In 1952 Alan Turing, the father of the modern computer, was prosecuted for his homosexuality. He was given the choice: undergo treatment that would 'cure' him of his homosexuality or go to prison. He chose the first option. The hormonal treatment he received caused severe depression and one day in 1954 he was found dead. He had eaten an apple laced with cyanide. An inquest ruled it was suicide. A genius, worthy of the highest plaudits was mercilessly driven to death by anti-gay laws.

This week an app was pulled from the Apple app store that promised "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus". The app was initiated by Exodus, a group of Christians promoting the "ex-gay" movement. They claim they want to help people change their sexuality because they say many people are struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction.

How ironic is it that a device which was born from the ideas of Alan Turing should be used to promote the misconception that killed him?

The misconception lies in the fact that gays are not struggling with their sexuality, they are struggling with narrow minded people who use their religious beliefs as justification to force their views on others. They are struggling with people who make the lives of their fellow human beings a living hell by preaching doom and eternal suffering as punishment for something that can't be changed and is perfectly natural and should be a happy circumstance. They are struggling with people who presume too much and should be told to mind their own business and stop interfering with a person's most personal, most private affairs: one's love life.

There is no power in the world or outside it that can change who you love, whether the one you love is of the opposite sex or the same. Even Jesus, that super-hero of the Christian church is powerless in that matter. Trying to force sexuality into harshly defined and questionable morals results invariably in psychological pain, misery and eventually destruction. In effect the gay cure app promotes hurt and pain in a very real way. It is far more damaging than any porn-app that Steve Jobs tries so vigourously to keep out of the Apple app store. So it is only right that this app should be pulled. It is bad enough it had been approved in the first place.

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