Does this photo really show an anti-gay protester holding a printed sign denouncing the computer as a “homo devil machine”?
For a number of years, the following photo has been circulating the Internet that appears to show an anti-gay protester holding a printed sign that reads –
DESTROY THE COMPUTER!!!
A HOMOSEXUAL INVENTION BY ALAN TURING. WHO CARES IF HE CRACKED THE GERMAN ENIGMA CODE AND WON WORLD WAR 11.
IT’S A HOMO’S DEVIL MACHINE
Alan Turing was an engineer generally regarded as the “father of computer science”. He was also gay.
Of course, if such a sign were real and genuinely protesting against gay rights (and computers,) many have pointed out the irony and stupidity of holding a sign printed using a computer that also calls for computers to be destroyed.
However, it appears many who have viewed the photo have missed some vital clues as to address the true nature of what is happening here.
Firstly, what some who have viewed the photo may not have realised (possibly because some versions of this photo have been cropped) is that the protester in the photo is holding a rainbow flag, a symbol synonymous with promoting gay rights, not protesting against them.
Secondly, a closer inspection on the placard also reveals two interesting points – the first is the printed web address myage.us. This address did lead to a (now defunct) group called the Massachusetts Youth Activist Group For Equality which promoted a number of issues, but first and foremost, civil rights and equality. Again this would suggest the promoter is protesting for – not against – the rights for gay people.
The second, and perhaps most importantly, the sticker on the placard reads “I agree with the SJC“. Given the context, this almost certain refers to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that, in 2003, ruled on a landmark case that would redefine the definition of marriage in the state and allow same sex couples to marry. In which case, those who were adorned with “I agree with the SJC” stickers would presumably be in favour of same sex marriage and the ruling by the SJC to allow them in the state of Massachusetts.
With all these points combined, it is clear that the protester in the photo is supporting gay rights, and the printed message on the placard is meant to be read satirically, not literally. The sign is pointing out that homosexual people have played important and pivotal roles in our history, and their achievements should not be ignored or dismissed because of something as arbitrary and irrelevant as their sexual persuasion.