The University of Cambridge recently announced that physicist Aron Wall will be joining its faculty in January 2019. When his hiring was announced, a 2015 blog post that he wrote was brought to light by indy100. The post in question, titled “Reflections on Gay Marriage,” includes criticism of the social implications of the US Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage.
Wall starts by stating that gay relationships are morally problematic.
“Those who seek to normalise gay relationships should start by taking a long and hard look at previous cultures in which it was culturally tolerated for many generations, and ask whether they would really want to live in a society like those,” Wall writes.
He goes on to specifically talk about the promiscuity of gay couples and how many of them are open — something that he deems detrimental to the concept of marriage. Lots of Wall’s arguments in his post carry a similar Christian theme. He says that if gay people want marriage equality, they should be held to the same standards of chastity as a straight couple.
indy100 received a statement from Cambridge upon request that included a portion from Wall himself:
“As a lecturer, I take my responsibility to share knowledge, encourage innovation and challenge, and foster new learning very seriously. I know well that this can only happen in an environment where people show one another mutual respect and can work and study without fear of discrimination.
I am privileged to join such a community and have never, nor will I ever in future, allow my personal views to adversely affect my working or teaching interactions. I am committed to upholding a culture where all members are valued and views respected.”
Although Dr. Wall is a physicist and probably wouldn’t discuss sexuality in his classes, multiple professors criticized the university’s decision to employ him. Specifically they worry about his role as mentor to young science students.
“As a member of staff, he will sit on committees, supervise PhD students, teach, mark exams, and write recommendation letters,” Dr. Alfredo Carpineti, chair of the Pride In STEM Trust, said. “What will the university do to guarantee that LGBT+ people that come in contact with Wall in their academic career are not discriminated against?”
Even if a professor’s opinions wouldn’t necessarily conflict with the content of the class, being in a teaching position while believing your students are in “morally problematic” relationships seems like a big conflict.