GenePlaza is a direct-to-consumer genetic prediction service that allows customers to upload genotype data (e.g. from 23andMe) and receive polygenic score predictions for a variety of traits. Recently, GenePlaza published the "How Gay Are You?" app, based on a genome-wide association study from Ganna et al., published in Science with lead authors from the Broad Institute.
The study authors indicate that their results demonstrate a lack of utility and validity for polygenic score predictions of an individual's orientation. They and others caution about the dangers of misuse of the study. The "How Gay Are You" app invites concern on both of these fronts.
The app's lead, Joel Bellenson, notes on the app's description page that sexual orientation and identity are topics of interest where he lives in Uganda. GenePlaza's lead, Alain Coletta, is aware of the contentious state of LGBTQ+ rights in that country, with a death penalty similar to the one recently implemented in Brunei coming under governmental consideration.
A salient concern arising from these circumstances is the possibility that someone's genetic results, interpreted through GenePlaza, could become grounds or evidence for conviction in Uganda (regardless of the app's predictive power and regardless of that person's actual identity or behavior).
With these circumstances in mind, this petition requests that GenePlaza remove the "How Gay Are You" app from their services in order to protect vulnerable people in Uganda and worldwide.