Griffith Observatory: Los Angeles, CA - Study of a potentially dangerous asteroid has been held at a standstill as an ethics committee reviews a case of equal rights.
On May the second, astronomers Benjamin Gay and Michael Man discovered a potentially dangerous asteroid that may be headed towards earth. The asteroid, nearly one-half mile in diameter, would have serious consequences if it impacts earth. Controversy began when the two scientists decided to name the asteroid after themselves.
"I don't understand why Americans are making such a big deal of this," says French scientist Michal Man. "It is an asteroid, nothing more. We just want to name it after ourselves. We merely followed form, and named it after our last names alphabetically."
Despite Man's objection that there is no problem with the name, many others find problems. "We just can't have a potentially disastrous asteroid, possibly one that would kill millions here on Earth, named Gay-Man. We would literally never hear the end of it from the Religious Right," said Chairperson Hugo Sheppard.
"It's a sign from God himself," comments Reverend Jeff Kepi. "I'm not sure how this could be any clearer." Reverend Kepi, an Evangelical priest, preaches strictly from the bible. "It's not about intolerance. It's about the rules that our God laid down for all humans, regardless of their religion."
Of course, his opinions have met with great opposition. Leslie Snow has commented repeatedly about this, and is leading the gay rights activist group that currently is placing pressure on Sheppard's group. "It's important that he make the right decision here. We've made so much progress towards rights for diversity. I'd hate to see someone bump us back 10 years or so based on this silly name for an asteroid."