Self-Proclaimed ‘Homophobe’ Out of Energy Dept. Gulf Spill Team
May 18, 2010 10:18 am EDT: UPDATED with additional background
The U.S. Department of Energy has removed a member of the five-person panel set up to find solutions to last month’s gulf oil spill – after complaints from gay rights supporters and progressives about some of his ideas.
The team was described by the DOE as “our best scientific minds” – and was tasked with assisting BP engineers in trying to control the flow of oil and contain the spill, which is still ongoing. One of the scientists on the team was Dr. Jonathan I. Katz, a professor of physics at Washington University who, as part of the JASON group, has consulted with the Defense Department.
He’s also a self-proclaimed “proud” homophobe, and the author of articles like “Why Terrorism is Important,” “Don’t Become a Scientist,” and “In Defense of Homophobia.” In that piece, Katz writes that “homosexuals and intravenous drug abusers” “poisoned the blood supply” and that victims of AIDS died “so the sodomites could feel good about themselves.” He has also referred to Al Gore as “an over-the-hill politician who wants to remain in the public eye” for his warnings about climate change
On Monday, gay bloggers led by John Aravosis from Americablog petitioned the White House to remove Katz from the team. Monday night, the Department of Energy told OutQ News it had done just that. Spokesperson Stephanie Mueller wrote, “Some of Professor Katz’s controversial writings have become a distraction from the critical work of addressing the oil spill. Professor Katz will no longer be involved in the Department’s efforts.”