Purdue Professor Spews “An Economic Case Against Homosexuality”

Timothy Kincaid

November 6th, 2009

Purdue Professor of Library Science Bert Chapman wrote an article on his TownHall blogsite in which he sought to lay out an economic argument against the civil rights and liberties of gay men.

His premise is that AIDS is expensive so gay men should be denied any benefits, both from the government and from private employers. (He is all for “the biblical condemnation of the homosexual lifestyle”, but he seems unaware that Lesbians exist).

The money wasted on AIDS research could be returned to taxpayers or transferred to more worthwhile areas of public health research such as cancer, heart disease, and combating pandemic conditions like H1N1 flu.

Chapman’s rant is factually flawed, poorly contrived, based on false assumptions, and is void of exactly what he thinks an alternative might be (e.g. let sick people die in the street?).

Not only does he seem to think that all gay men have AIDS, the poor man also appears to think that US AIDS relief spending in Africa is somehow related to gay men. And in a leap of irrationality, Chapman suggests that gay people getting married would lead to increased rather than decreased sexual disease transmission.

Naturally, some Purdue students aren’t pleased. They expressed concerns about gay students and about the university’s commitment to non-discrimination policies.

But I think the bigger issue is that Purdue has a Professor of Library Science who seems incapable of researching even the most basic of facts. As an advocate for information access, Chapman has an obligation to use the information ready at his fingertips rather than rant on uninformed.

Which brings me to my favorite response. Kevin Casimer, a senior in the College of Liberal Arts, made a tongue in cheek economic case for getting rid of librarians. Frankly, of the two, his argument was stronger.

Getting rid of librarians makes economic sense. Walmart trusts people to check out their groceries, so surely we could implement self-checkout at our libraries. Replacing librarians with minimum wage workers to put books back on the shelf and assist people with self-checkout would save billions. This process could even generate new income if we allowed police to access these systems and fine those who don\’t return books. Of course, a degree of service would be lost without librarians. However, I think we\’ll manage locally as long as someone teaches the new workers to be as helpful as the last Purdue librarian I spoke to who offered to “help me do a search on ‘the Google.\'”


November 6th, 2009

Funny.. if he believes this so strongly, then he should be for criminalizing heterosexual adultery, pre-marital sex, etc. and stripping misbehaving heterosexuals of all their civil rights and health benefits. After all there are FAR MORE of them than gays! BIG SAVINGS!


November 6th, 2009

Kevin Casimer’s response was absolutely brilliant.

I’m amazed that someone whose half-logic is so outdated knows how to blog, to be honest.


November 6th, 2009

I will now lay out the course of this story over the next few months:
1. This guy gets canned for:
A. proving he’s a hateful bigot who embarrasses the school.
B.Proving he’s an idiot in general for not only writing something so stupid, but thinking their’d be no repercussions.

2.The professional bigots at focus on the family, NOM, et. pick up his story and kindly leave out the details of his idiotic rant, maybe even refuse to acknowledge the whole thing, and cry about how “this man was fired for his views on homosexuality!”, kindly forgetting to remind their hateful, moronic followers that he would have suffered the exact same fate if his rant were about blacks/jews/women.

3. This idiot’s FotF and NOM backed lawsuit fails, he makes a career telling his constantly refined story to give bigots the illusion they have some justification for their prejudice.

4.afew decades from now america is equal and he’s left performing for a handful of hate groups as he realizes what a pathetic prick he is.

Okay, that last step is hard to prove. But if the first 3 happen you must all acknowledge my prophetic powers.

Regan DuCasse

November 7th, 2009

His math is WAY off. I don’t know what math lessons he’s had, but his calculus that’s so against gay people doesn’t add up.

He hasn’t questioned how much tax payers are burdened by foster care and welfare roles, sometimes three generations of recipients which we end up paying for ALL OUR LIVES.

What about the fact that heteros get HIV/AIDS too. Again, the public health crisis regarding black women and their HIV born babies he doesn’t seem to question either.

Gay men and women without children are taxed and at heavier rate and those WITH children, cannot deduct them as efficiently or add them onto medical or federal benefits for lack of the option to marry.

To say nothing of hate crimes against productive gay citizens. The lost income, medical burden and tax funded criminal factors to bring to trial and incarcerate criminals is terribly expensive.

The war on gay people and the implementation of Prop 8, cost over 100 million dollars in CA alone.

I suppose he counts on some people not fact checking on his botched up math.
What a cynical ploy, and the worst math lesson EVER!

Christopher Waldrop

November 7th, 2009

Speaking as a librarian (that is, I work in a library, even though I don’t have an MLS)I still find more sense in Casimer’s argument than Chapman’s. And while I don’t know what Purdue’s policies are, the librarians where I work don’t just check out books and reshelve them. The librarians where I work take providing research assistance very seriously, and also teach classes in how to use sources other than just “the Google”.

That’s what really frightens me about Chapman’s ignorance. It’s not just that his argument is flawed, and it’s not just that he couldn’t do a little bit of research. It’s that he’s trained to do research, and it’s probably part of his job to assist others with their research. If Chapman is this stupid and bigoted I think it’s fair to ask whether he’s really capable of doing his job.

Also librarians are supposed to be impartial. Since Chapman is so blatant about his prejudice, I wonder if he purposely withholds information from patrons if it doesn’t fit his worldview.


November 7th, 2009

Thank you Kevin for your response. It was brilliant.


November 7th, 2009

Well, if he really wants to save Americans money he should also ban french fries (the most commonly eaten vegetable here), roads (tens of thousands of people die or are injured in car accidents), and birth (children are very expensive).

Christopher Waldrop

November 7th, 2009

By the way, Casimer’s full argument points out that research is not “wasteful” since it employs people. It just shows how ignorant Chapman is that he apparently thinks unemployment would put money back into the economy.


November 7th, 2009

Casimer’s idea isn’t a new one. My local library (in Tucson) is self-checkout.


November 7th, 2009

As a gay male librarian I just have to say one thing. There is perhaps no profession more progressive than librarians. We are the first profession, in the world, to have an LGBT professional association (in the early 1970s). We were the first professional association to support marriage equality and we continue to fully support full equality for all regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression.

This library science professor has likely just destroyed any relationships he had with the larger librarian community.

As for Kevin Casimer’s comment, librarians provide an invaluable service to their patrons. Librarians do research on the pedagogy of information literacy, teach courses, do collection development, and create services using the latest in information technology. The explosion in information technology requires more technology instruction by librarians, not less.


November 7th, 2009

I remember a few months ago RNC Chairman Michael Steele made the argument that same sex marriage would be bad for small businesses because they would have to provide benefits for their spouses.

And the counter argument was then we should ban all marriages since they’re bad for small businesses!

Ya know, we need people like Chapman to remind the rest of the world how insane homophobia is.


November 7th, 2009

@ David: I agree with you, but I think Casimer was trying to hit Bert Chapman where he lived, that’s all.


November 7th, 2009

Why does a ‘professor’ still believe hiv is a ‘gay’ disease?

Note to self never attend Purdue for an education, at least the academic sort.

Emily K

November 7th, 2009

Nothing grinds my gay gears more than the erasing of lesbians (ME) from the queer rainbow.

The most homophobic (usually male) screamers will become red in the face over TWO PENISES DOING SEXUAL THINGS TOGETHER OMFG THATS SO GROSS and yet forget that a huge chunk heterosexual male porn includes “girl-girl action.”

They would never get obsessed with lesbians and their loves and sex lives the way they do with the male gays.

We exist. and our HIV rate is the lowest of all the couplings, heterosexual included.

Regan DuCasse

November 7th, 2009

SPEAK sister Emily!

You are SO right! But then, women aren’t so threatening to men in quite the same way a man might be. Or at least, so they think.

Which is why I keep believing that Creation has gay and transfolks in it as an EQUALIZING factor.
Straight men with a brain can observe and understand that they can be in a woman’s skin, and gain a modicum of empathy. And vice versa.

Women, whether lesbian or not, should not be underestimated. Behind every great man, is a woman who should have been in front of that man running things in the first place!

Excellent point as always.
By the way, thank you for the Facebook invite. First time I’ve ever seen your picture.
You are lovely.



November 8th, 2009

This man makes me ashamed that Purdue is my alma mater. Money “wasted” on AIDS research? AIDS research is research on the immune system. We ALL have an immune system, and it plays a role in every disease. I thought Purdue had improved since the time of President Beering who invited Playboy to campus to recruit female students while at the same time expelling male students who participated in the longstanding tradition of the Cary Quad Olympics (run around a parking lot nude on the coldest day of the year), but I guess not. I think I will continue to whithhold my alumni dollars.


November 8th, 2009

Does he (Chapman) forget about women who contract AIDS from a man who carries the disease? Not everyone who is HIV positive looks sick or is a homeless junkie (etc. etc.) Does he also forget about blood transfusions and doctors/nurses that contract HIV trying to save patients lives? Or the children born to infected mothers? How can anyone claim scientific research for a cure for any disease is a waste of money?

Ignorant pompous jerk!

My aunt was hit by a drunk driver back in 1981 or 82. She recieved a blood transfusion, and contracted HIV from the contaminated blood. They started testing blood donations just months after she had her accident. It took her 9 years to show symptoms, but once she started declining, it took her over two years to die. And this guy thinks research is a waste?

Wayne Besen

November 8th, 2009

I suggest this professor make a case for redirecting medical funds for those who have heart attacks due to overeating at suburban fast food joints. While he’s at it, he can make a case for not helping those who accidentally shoot themselves with guns. Or, those who smoke cigarettes or chew smelly cigars and soak their liver in beer. And, let’s not forget those who get into car wrecks, when they could save the system a fortune by walking, as I do. Also, those who have tans are cancer risks, which it seems the librarian would support with research dollars.

As a New Yorker who doesn’t drive, rarely drinks, doesn’t smoke, avoids sun overexposure, doesn’t own a gun, goes to the gym and almost never eats fast food – perhaps I shouldn’t have my taxpayer dollars going for research to support the decadent and unhealthy lifestyles of many of the homophobes I have met.

I think if we decoupled medical science from “lifestyle” consideration, very few people in America would receive medical care.

Of course, maybe the Mormons, but they are harming themselves too, because by denying themselves dark chocolate (caffeine) and red wine, they are increasing their risk of heart attacks.

Regan DuCasse

November 8th, 2009

For a year, I lost my mind and got into windy debates on TownHall comment threads.
I noticed that compared to the anti gay people there: I was the only one that had spent YEARS volunteering for a well known AIDS organization AIDS Project LA. My initial activism was prompted by reports from the CDC that black women were the fastest growing population of new infections.

I never hear THEM talking about actually doing any work that is directed at HIV/AIDS prevention through funding research and development or education. I never hear that they donated money to medical research or sponsored a rider or runner who does so towards a cure.

I don’t even hear that they pray that a cure or vaccine can be found.
I certainly do. I pray that AIDS goes the way of syphillis and now HPV.

We can correctly say that their concern doesn’t reach as far as JOINING THE EFFORT to eradicate the disease.

Did anyone read the NYTimes article from Friday about the effect that gay parents have on their children?
One part of the result is that many of these children become doctors and lawyers and enter social justice careers.

I know that some of these kids have adopted siblings with special needs or are disabled. I know that their sense of fairness and understanding of the laws would be more acute because of experiencing discrimination or bigotry first hand.

I remember telling one of the TownHall attackers that the children I knew personally who had gay parents tended to not have racist(because of adopting children of differing colors) attitudes, sexism or lack of compassion for the disabled in their homes, so therefore didn’t have those issues against their peers or others in the street. A future without racism and so on. I thought that would be a wonderful future. Apparently there are some who don’t think so.

Her answer was: it still was an indicator that gay parents had loose morals.

Do our detractors have ANY idea how stupid they sound?

Christopher Waldrop

November 9th, 2009

Apparently the detractors don’t care how stupid they sound. Take Chapman as a prime example. He’s a professional librarian at a major university, and yet he admits in his rant that he didn’t know how to do the research necessary to back up his position. At least he claims that; as a professional librarian he should know how to do research. If he doesn’t know he should be fired because he’s not qualified, and if he does know then he should stop citing his credentials as though they mean anything and add that it’s all just his opinion and not based on any actual facts.

paul j stein

November 9th, 2009

He will quit and a RIGHT-WING think tank will pick him up as an adviser and he can spew his crap on FOX news as an EXPERT…BLAH BLAH BLAH….


November 9th, 2009

So odd… have you ever met Bert? Seriously, I always thought he was gay. His poor wife has my sympathy and pity.

Christopher Waldrop

November 11th, 2009

Looking back at this “case” I find that Prof. Chapman is being completely dishonest in claiming that it’s an “economic case”. If you read his blog post, you’ll find that he’s not really making an economic case. His case is based on his religious beliefs, but he apparently lacks the courage of his convictions.


November 12th, 2009

Mr. Chapman may be incorrect in his assumptions and facts, but his right to state these on a private (not Purdue-funded-by-state-funds) website is free speech and protected by the same Constitution that allowed Bill Ayers to speak on campus about his theories and beliefs.

Christopher Waldrop

November 12th, 2009

Archie, no one’s questioning Mr. Chapman’s right to say or believe whatever he wishes, although on that private website his bio specifically states that he is a librarian at Purdue.
That and the way he stated his beliefs–if you read what he wrote you’ll find that he claims his opinions are facts–raise serious concerns about his professionalism.
Besides, criticism of Chapman’s opinions is also protected by the Constitution.


November 23rd, 2009

having ‘googled’ kevin casimer i found myself checking out this bit of space on the internet.

you folks want chapmans hide in an awful way!! no longer are gays to be sissys, eh? they really are militant, emboldened by protection (i.e. ‘hate crimes, political correctness…)

and all so they can indulge in a carnal, perverse coupling.

it could be mine too, if i were a lil bit more enlightened.

sadly, i’m simpletony


November 23rd, 2009

Who’s asking for his hide here?

You need a little more reading comprehension first, then we can work on your enlightenment.

Christopher Waldrop

November 23rd, 2009

Tony, no one’s calling for Prof. Chapman’s hide. While there are those who have called for his dismissal, they have reasons for doing so, and it hardly qualifies as calling for his hide. In fact, to use “hide” in a different way, Prof. Chapman has chosen to hide by refusing to address the matter. He’s made up his mind and doesn’t want to be challenged, which sets a pretty poor example.

All some of us would really like to see is Professor Chapman being held responsible for the obvious misstatements he’s made, including his assertion that his argument is “economic”, when in fact it’s not based on economics at all.

And enlightened or not, I doubt anyone here is going to call for your hide, although you should work on both your reading comprehension and your knowledge.

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