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Ruben Canlas Jr

Comelec, computers, and homosexuality

November 13, 2009 8:20pm
If you're homophobic and you learned that a homosexual co-invented the modern computer, would you still use a PC?

Would right-wing priests and preachers still use laptops if they learned that a homosexual was behind their creation?

I was just thinking about this last week when Newsbreak recently reported that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) denied accreditation to a gay party list.

Comelec’s reason was that it “tolerates immorality, which offends religious beliefs”

Unknown to many, sexuality and computers have had a history of controversy before.

Let me tell the story very quickly.

All computers that we use today – PCs, laptops, even PSPs and iPhones – owe their design to John von Neumann and Alan Turing, geniuses who lived during the Second World War.

Before them, computers were mechanical contraptions like adding machines and cash registers that could not really be programmed to accept a more "universal" set of tasks.

In the 1930s, Turing was first to describe a practical way to program computers. He called it the Universal Computer.

His concepts helped create early computers that were used by Allies to break encrypted Nazi messages. Turing was a top-notch mathematician. He was also homosexual.

Despite helping Britain win the war, and despite his contribution to modern computing, the government prosecuted Turing for his "indecent" sexual inclination.

Turing took poison and died in 1957.

Guess when the UK government apologized for its persecution of Turing? Only this year, in September, according to a British Broadcasting Corp. report.

Now we have Comelec.

It has never been our favorite government agency.

For years Comelec has botched its role in government.

It is one of the most incredible offices; it has repeatedly botched the implementation of computerized elections.

And now this.
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