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04/24/2008

Rather than tackle Pandora, Pete shames men who don't wanna schtup her

by Jeremy Hooper

Peter LabarberaIn a new piece in which he encourages "an official government investigation of the health risks of homosexual practices," Peter LaBarbera offers up the following challenge:

I challenge all those who make the dubious case that there is no disproportionately high health risk for males practicing homosexual behavior (compared to heterosexuality) to read this FDA policy explanation on banning blood donations from homosexual men and then continue to make that argument. Those taking up my challenge can write AFTAH at americansfortruth@comcast.net. I extend my challenge especially to vocal pro-homosexual activists.

For everyone else living in the real world — where those practicing deviant sex put themselves potentially at great risk — I suggest you study this FDA policy and then send it far and wide to your network of contacts. Young people especially — such as those supporting the homosexual-activist “Day of Silence” — need to read this because they have been inundated with pro-homosexual propaganda, including the sort that pretends that homosexuality is no big deal and not inherently more dangerous than normal sex.

So, never a site to be intimidated by professional 'mo foes, we gladly accept Pete's request:

Well first off, the dubious comment is Pete's when he suggests that we on the pro-gay side are all saying that "there is no disproportionately high health risk for males practicing homosexual behavior (compared to heterosexuality)." We absolutely recognize that there are particular health matters with which we must contend. And we realize that certain diseases, while prevalent throughout the entire populace, have spread at more rapid rates within our community. The issue we take is in blaming and shaming gay people and gay sex for disease rather than blaming and shaming DISEASE ITSELF!

Without the outside introduction of disease, there is not a real heightened health risk for gay sex. Two virgins who fall in love and enter into a lifetime monogamous commitment are not going to experience sexually transmitted disease, be they gay or straight. It takes an outside element to lead to illness. And just as some nasties within Pandora's box have hit certain other communities harder than others, certain diseases like Hepatitis and HIV/AIDS have, for whatever reason, entered into the gay community and, due to its more insular nature, spread swiftly. We don't deny this. We are just saying that we should be encouraging information, education, and materials that could prevent these diseases, not telling gay people that they are perverted, immoral, sick bastards of God!

Why was AIDS introduced into the gay community first in this country? Well, we'll leave that speculation to scientists, religious extremists, and conspiracy theorists. But when you factor in the unique, somewhat segregated, sometimes ghettoized nature of the community (especially in NYC and SF, where HIV/AIDS first hit); the fact that nobody was aware the disease even existed for years after it hit; the mishandling of the crisis when it was first realized; the government ignorance for years thereafter; and the shaming that began in '81 and has yet to let up to this very day, it doesn't take a brain trust to understand why it spread the way it did. Had the circumstances been different here (as they were in Africa), we would have a very different AIDS picture in this country. Would Peter and his ilk be shaming other possible scenarios in the way that they are the current one? You be the judge.

So why are STDs still spreading years later? Well, in terms of the gay community, when you consider the marginalization and stigmatization that still plagues LGBT life in general, it's quite easy to understand why confused queer kids are entering their sexual years with a dangerous lack of information/ abundance of misinformation. The "bees and the bees" and the "birds and the birds" is not seen as the same sort of cute little sitcom plot as it is opposite-sex cousin. And so "the talk," at least in a way that would benefit them, is not typically offered to gay kids in great detail by their parents or their sex-ed programs (especially those dangerous "abstinence-only ones). So when these teens eventually come into their own and engage in lovin' (because they're tired of coming into their own), they are often more likely to make a risky mistake. This MUST be remedied! We have to arm our young folks with the power that comes through knowledge. And we should nurture the good choices that tend to come through sound mental health. Telling them they are "broken" and "doomed" is certainly not the way to go.

Also, you have to consider the way gay relationships are treated in general. Are we told that we can have a cute little crush, eventually "go steady," date through high school, and then marry after college? Well, not with the person with whom we'd like to share these life experiences, we aren't! We aren't provided with the same easy, non-controversial, happiness-seeking life plan as our straight peers. Many of us are given the message that we will not find love, and even if we do, that love will never be anything close to the hetero variety. Gee, we can't imagine why that might lead gay folks to interpret this as a license or even birthright to have as much non-committal sex as possible! ::eye roll, head shake::

Look, disease is an awful part of life with which we mere mortals are all forced to contend. And again, you will never hear us denying that the gay community has a set of pestilence that is of a particular, heightened concern. However, we are saying that it is WHOLLY wrong and CRUELLY offensive to suggest that gay people don't have to deal with these ailments because they don't have to have the sort of sexual intercourse that matches their biological desire! Whereas it is just downright loony to suggest that a heterosexual be led out of her sexual "lifestyle," the anti-gays suggest the same for gays in a manner so casual, you would think they were discussing the need to change one's underwear. That allows them to go on to liken our sex lives to things like smoking, and suggest that we can and should drop the "habit" so as to stave off potential dangers. But if they would just admit that maybe, just maybe, the millions upon millions of gay people who are living their truths are deserving of a little more credence than the handful of "ex-gay" speakers who claim to have "changed" (even though some are admittedly only living a life of celibacy), then we could start having a conversation like grownups about how to combat Pandora and her filthy box. We could start admitting that while the science for an AIDS cure or vaccine is real and promising, the science for a "gay cure" is nil. When the diseases are eventually cured (hopefully), the biological reality will still be in place. And we should DEMAND that the "pro-family" community drop the baseless, unscientific rhetoric that says "gays can change," as that would infinitely help to decrease the shame spiral onto which so many gay people are unfortunately, needlessly placed!

Until we find a cure for the nasty germs, we have to teach the safest methods to avoid further spread. We have to address them as human issues, because they are present and even prevalent in all communities of humans, and acting as if they are not puts vulnerable heterosexuals at danger. And when dealing with risks particular to ANY community of people, we have to put reasoned outlooks over our own personal convictions. Some of the far-right social conservatives almost seem to view things like HIV/AIDS as fortunate developments on their socio-political landscape. That is both sick and immoral!

What if a new virus is someday introduced into the heterosexual community that eats away at the immune system of all expectant mothers during their first trimester (about as far-fetched to us as AIDS sounded to someone in 1976). Do we shame this community for our own socio-political gain? No. We instead direct our militancy towards doing everything we can to alleviate the problem! We treat this human problem humanely. We deal with the frightening development, not use the development to justify our biases. And we work to save lives, not shame those lives in ways that make them more. We are, after all, of a truly "pro-life" mindset.

FDA Policy Banning Blood Donations from ‘Gay’ Men [AFT]

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Your thoughts

That was a fantastic read!

Posted by: Mikey Garcia | Apr 24, 2008 11:07:47 AM

Quoted From http://gateway.nlm.nih.gov/MeetingAbstracts/ma?f=102208925.html:
"Raiteri R, Fora R, Sinicco A.
Int Conf AIDS. 1994 Aug 7-12; 10: 294 (abstract no. PC0103).
Inst. of Infect. Diseases, Univ. of Turin, Italy.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the rate of HIV-1 infection, behavioural risks and attitude to HIV-1 among lesbians."
...
"CONCLUSIONS: IDU and heterosexual sex were the most common means of HIV-1 entering the lesbian population. There was no evidence that lesbian sex was responsible for HIV-1 spread among the participants."

Many of these 'pro-family' and anti-gay charades seem to focus on male/male sex and not on female/female sex. Based on studies like the one mentioned above, lesbians are the least likely group of people to contract or spread STDs. Using the notion that 'being gay' is harmful to health is horribly misleading when they are sampling only half of the population. Based on this, they cannot say lesbianism is hazardous to health in the same way that male/male sex is hazardous (even though it is true, the gay population is smaller and was hit harder). Based on this information lesbian sex is safer then hetero-sex (and there by refutes the argument in whole that being gay is unhealthy because it is not true for such a large majority of LGBT people). They are cherry picking information of course, but I thought I would bring up this point.

Posted by: Kira | Apr 24, 2008 3:05:16 PM

It's true, Kira -- they do seem to imply that God has much more disdain for gay male sex than the lesbian variety. Typical straight man ;-)

Posted by: G-A-Y | Apr 24, 2008 3:09:31 PM

If "gay porn king" Babs is so "concerned", maybe he should nag the straight porn industry for once. Almost every scene filmed nowadays includes anal intercourse, they almost NEVER use protection, and it seems they're ALWAYS having an HIV scare because some newbie actor hasn't been honest.

Posted by: Scott | Apr 24, 2008 3:34:22 PM

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