junk science

Washington Univ. ‘Proud Bigot’ Jonathan Katz Is Leading Obama’s BP Oil Clean Up

Does it matter that Jonathan I. Katz, one of the folks Obama appointed to figure out what to do with all that oil BP is giving away for free in the Gulf of Mexico, is a homophobe? What if he’s a out and proud homophobe? (Update: He’s been let go.)

Being a terrible human being doesn’t make you less qualified to fix an oil spill. But you don’t see Obama appointing even the most brilliant white supremacist to any old elite panel.

So here’s Katz, on his Washington University physics department page, in a piece titled “In Defense of Homophobia,” which rationalized hatred toward gays because they gave the heteros AIDS:

Homophobia is the moral judgement that homosexual behavior (most of the arguments in this essay refer specifically to male homosexual behavior) is wrong. Homophobia is not like ethnic, racial or religious prejudice, which deny the intrinsic moral rights and value of other people. Rather, it is a moral judgement upon acts engaged in by choice.

[…] What of those cursed with unnatural sexual desires? Must they forever suppress these desires? Yes, but this is hardly a unique fate. Almost everyone has desires which must be suppressed. Most men and women think adulterous thoughts fairly often, and find themselves attracted to members of the opposite sex to whom they are not married. Morality requires them to suppress these desires, and most do not commit adultery, though they feel lust in their hearts. Almost everyone, at one time or another, covets another’s property. They do not steal. Many people feel great anger or intense hatred at some time in their lives. They do not kill.

I am a homophobe, and proud.

(He goes on to defend the blanket ban on gay blood donations.)

More importantly, Katz is a self-proclaimed climate change denialist. So yeah, maybe that should be a disqualifier for a position that’s hinged on protecting the environment from man-made fuck-ups?

For what it’s worth, on college crank site RateMyProfessor.com, Katz is described as both “REALLY weird” and “Dopey, but knows his sh*t. Katz knows how things work. :)” And: “Pr Katz is the worst teacher I have ever had. I do not doubt his vast knowledge of the subject matter, but he is incapable of teaching in a understandable manner. He rambles and is often incomprehensible. His exams and grading are unreasonable. He is a bigot and self-pronounced homophobe, as evidenced by his inane article ‘In Defense of Homophobia.”

UPDATE: The Department of Energy says Katz is no longer part of the project. Internet win!

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28 Comments

  • Lucas

    Severe case of gay face.

  • SteamPunk

    “Does it matter that Jonathan I. Katz… is a homophobe? What if he’s a out and proud homophobe?”

    Is he working in any role where he could possibly affect civil rights? If not, then, it does not matter one bit to me. I’m less concerned about a bigot’s political leanings than I am about fixing this catastrophic oil spill. (And, I know no one asked, but I believe British Petrol should pay for the entire thing – even if it bankrupts them.)

  • Cam

    His claim dies right when he claims that religeous behavior is not a choice.

    As for whether or not his bigotry matters. Well would the administration continue to employee somebody who was found out to be a member of the KKK?

  • Coke Brown Jr.

    I am unsubscribing from Queerty’s feed, and won’t be reading the site anymore, nor will I be forwarding links from this site to Facebook or anywhere else. “A out and proud homophobe” is such a simple phrase to be fixed. This and the completely inappropriate inclusion of a reference to African lesbians in a recent George Rekers story has led me to this decision. The editorial staff at Queerty have no skillz whatsoever, and they have refused to respond to pleas for help from me through their support system concerning their RSS feed and other issues.

    Towleroad has many of the same stories that Queerty has, and Towleroad and Joe.My.God. have actual reporting and writing skillz.

    Abandon this site, dear reader.

  • Jhon

    The more you are against gay people the gayer you probably are. He’s a funny little man and Obama needs a good spanking for constantly being clueless about gay issues.

  • Devon

    “Does it matter that Jonathan I. Katz, one of the folks Obama appointed to figure out what to do with all that oil BP is giving away for free in the Gulf of Mexico, is a homophobe? What if he’s a out and proud homophobe?”

    Yes, it does. It matters a lot. I’m sure there’s a laundry list of people who don’t hate gay people that could be brought in to do this same job. But, for whatever reason, Obama decided to bring in a proud bigot for this position. I wish I could say I were surprised.

    That pile of shit shouldn’t be working at a university, let alone working for the U.S. government at the behest of an alleged ally.

  • christopher di spirito

    I’m starting to have a severe case of buyer’s remorse with this president.

  • fredo777

    Well, he’s already used to dealing with a lot of shit being spewed all over the place.

    Of course, it’s usually coming from his mouth…

  • Fitz

    I would expect nothing less from the Obama administration. Where are all the folks who kept yelling at us and insisting that he was our fierce advocate?

  • MickW

    Who cares, the man was hired to help with the oil problem not civil rights. If people’s opinions stopped them from getting a job there would be a-lot of unemployed readers of queerty based on what some of you write about other groups of people.

  • hephaestion

    How bizarre that he has the same name as one of our foremost gay historians, Jonathan Ned Katz.

  • randy

    “. He rambles and is often incomprehensible. ”

    Well then, I’m sure that he will play well with others.

  • Isaac

    Evidently, the Obama administration didn’t know about this crackpot’s social views. They’ve decided to dump him from their team of experts on the oil spill (see Towleroad for details). Sorry guys, this particular “dump on Obama bandwagon” has come to an end. I’m sure this won’t stop some of you from jumping off and continuing the parade.

  • Cassandra

    “Who cares, the man was hired to help with the oil problem not civil rights.”

    It matters for a number of reasons.

    Though the tactic endorsement of bigotry is important, there are other reasons as well.

    Katz’s remarks about homosexuality and AIDS are completely at odds with the actual facts of both matters, indicating that Mr. Katz is someone who will discard accuracy for expediency. It is reasonable to conclude that he could be swayed by interests other than science and the public welfare when handling the oil spill. Essentially, his remarks indicate a lack of ethics and integrity in his thought processes, and a strong risk that he would fabricate or distort data to the benefit of BP.

    His remarks show considerable inability to reason accurately, and a tendency to scape-goat the people harmed by a devastating situation, rather than those truly responsible. Since evidence is already coming out that BP did not do due diligence in maintaining and inspecting the rig that exploded. One might reasonably expect Mr. Katz to blame the people of the gulf states for the rig explosion, or the wildlife, and enable BP to avoid experiencing full culpability for the disaster.

    Further, his judgment is questionable, since posting such derogatory and abusive claims on the university’s website exposes the university to both ridicule and liability.

    His climate change denialist status also indicates that he is far too cozy with big oil, and too likely to distort, falsify or fabricate data that would allow BP to avoid responsibility for the spill.

    With any luck, this will cost him his tenure as the university as well.

  • Bill Perdue

    @Isaac: Or maybe they did know and just didn’t care.

    That’s just as likely as your Obot defense.

    And it makes sense given the WH policy of bigotry and contempt for the GLBT communities.

    Obama is the christer Bigot in Chief who sabotaged same sex marriage in California with his ‘gawd’s in the mix’ bombshell.

  • jeffree

    His role is to deal with the massive oil spill off the Louisiana coast. Any remarks he makes/ made re: “social issues” detract from the primary function of his appointment in the BP oil mess.
    If he feels obliged to make irrelevant comments on glbt rights, then he is NOT focusing on the primary taskk at hand & should be removed from his post so that the US can deal wth the “objective” (huge oil spill) vs, the unrelated matters of HIV transmission — a subjject he is VERY uninformed about !!

  • Queert is obsessed with Jarret Barrios. ZZZ. (John From England)

    Wells said Cassandra.

    All his arguments on the site are unreasonable and lack facual accuracy but some people are happy with this guy handling an oil spill and not distorting his findings for whatever agenda he is desp to grind?

    Oookay.

  • WalkderDC

    No. 13 ยท Isaac

    Evidently, the Obama administration didn’t know about this crackpot’s social views. They’ve decided to dump him from their team of experts on the oil spill (see Towleroad for details). Sorry guys, this particular “dump on Obama bandwagon” has come to an end. I’m sure this won’t stop some of you from jumping off and continuing the parade.
    ___________________

    Isaac, have you ever seen the investigations and background checks for higher up jobs in the govt.? To say that they were not aware of public comments by this guy either says that they are lying or that they are not even bothering to background check employees, and either one is unacceptable.

  • Fitz

    @WalkderDC: Exactly. When you hire someone for any kind of job you do some kind of background check. 20 seconds on Google would give you a heads-up on this dude. So the only question is if this decision reflected the administration’s homophobia or their failure of due diligence.

  • Mike

    As nice as it is to say that the gay community got this guy canned because of his homophobia, it isn’t true. He was canned because he denies that global warming exists. The green bloggers made a bigger fuss than we did.

  • delurker again

    @Mike: Yup. That was much more troubling than his statements on homosexuality. He is not a medical doctor/pyschologist/or an expert on human behavior so I couldn’t give fluck leap over those opinions.

  • delurker again

    @WalkderDC: Well under normal circumstances like vetting for a cabinet position, extensive checks are done and the record is gone over with a fine tooth comb because there is ample time to do so.

    But these circumstances, where he was tapped to help clean up an on-going, massive spill, are a bit more exigent, no?

    I know let’s not let pesky facts get in the way of Obama bashing. So bash away even as new facts come to light.

  • Fitz

    @delurker again: A 20 second internet search was all that was needed.

  • romeo

    AIDS existed in Africa for years as a primarily straight disease before it was imported to America, probably in the seventies, and hit the gay community. STRAIGHTS GAVE IT TO US!

  • delurker again

    @Cam: Maybe they focused on his work and scholarship in astrophysics? If the admin dropped the ball anywhere, it’s in his climate change views/denial. That is unforgivable since it pertains somewhat to his work on fixing the leak.

  • Queerty is obsessed with Jarret Barrios. ZZZ. (John from England)

    @Fitz:

    I can’t be bothered to put the link here but if you go to AmericanBLOG who broke this story and had a petition of 2,500 people sign in 24 hours asking to oust Katz, you will see the link from Bloomberg that reported this super team.

    Bloomberg itself, sans gay hysteria or input psent 3 paragraphs talking about this guys opinions on ‘gays’, ‘the climate’ and ‘another crazy story had.

    So Bloomberg thought something was off.

    Now if I’m not mistaken what came next was that I think they may have put it to Hu the scientist OR someone on the admin team and they said “this is sciene you get a broad church of people”.

    So this isn’t about being gay, or a libertarian, this is about having someone with REASON.

    So ironic all the people who said he should just be allowed the job, well look what bloomberg thought as well before the protest?

  • Sexy Rexy

    @Lucas: More like horseface. What an ugly motherfucker.

Comments are closed.