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Stand For [Stigmatizing your gay neighbors as doomed] Maine?

by Jeremy Hooper

When we saw that a Mainer by the name of Susan Conroy has written a letter to the Portland Press Herald's editor, inexplicably linking marriage equality (i.e. legalized monogamy) to an increase in AIDS infections, we were annoyed:

I love people way too much to support lifestyles that are self-destructive and deadly. Over the years, I have been asked to offer my hands to serve and tend to the needs of homosexual men who were dying of AIDS. Every case was tragic. I cleaned their commodes, brought them outside in wheelchairs, and held their hands while they were dying alone.

I care too much about people to support same-sex behavior that messes up and destroys lives in so many ways. It is not healthy, it is not natural, and it should not be taught to our children as something good and worthy of imitation. It goes against the natural law.

Out of genuine love and care for one another – out of love for people of all sexual orientations – let us uphold the beauty and goodness of traditional marriage in Maine. Let us protect the innocence and natural goodness of our children in Maine, and let us support and encourage only those lifestyles that are healthy and life-giving.

Susan Conroy
South Portland

Gay marriage debate spawns more pros, cons [PPH]

But when we saw that Maine's official "yes on 1" campaign is using this letter to further their cause, we were simply appalled:

Screen Shot 2009-10-05 At 4.40.49 Pm-1Susan Conroy of South Portland has witnessed first-hand how same-sex behavior can destroy health and happiness. In her letter to the editor, published today by the Portland Press Herald, she explains:
South Portland Resident: Same-Sex Behavior Damages Health and Happiness [Stand For Marriage Maine]

Because if you really think about what Ms. Conroy is saying, it is not marriage she is seeking to "protect." It is not children she is seeking to "protect." She is unabashedly suggesting that being gay itself is worthy of banning. Rather than attack a disease, she is attacking gay people in a way that makes it sound like this two decade old pandemic is somehow the LGBT community's fault. She also, of course, paints AIDS as a death sentence, cruelly writing off the millins of peopel worldwide who are living with HIV/AIDS. And instead of encouraging the sort of stable relationships that helps combat ALL sexually transmitted diseases, Ms. Conroy has chosen to shun and marginalize future generations in a way that we know increases high-risk behaviors!

This is what Stand For Marriage Maine supports? Well hey, considering that the organization's co-leader features numerous "gays can and should change" videos on his official YouTube channel, why should any of us really be surprised?

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Your thoughts

There's something a little fishy about Ms. Conroy's story.

First, few who hold such strong anti-gay animus as Ms. Conroy actually do a darn thing to help the sick. And second, Ms. Conroy doesn't seem aware that HIV infection is not a life sentence and that most positive people live lives virtually indistinguishable from negative folks.

Does anyone in Maine actually know if this claim is true?

Posted by: Timothy Kincaid | Oct 5, 2009 4:58:34 PM

K, So please...get back to us with opposing comments, WHEN they are posted by those increasingly to be loved, stubborn, 'let me live my life and I'll let you live yours.' Mainers.

Posted by: LOrion | Oct 5, 2009 5:01:33 PM

These people so easily forget that when the American AIDS epidemic hit, more than forty states, including New York and California, still had and enforced their sodomy laws. What's that they say about the definition of insanity?

Posted by: RainbowPhoenix | Oct 5, 2009 5:13:29 PM

Timothy: I think this might be the Susan Conroy in question:


Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 5, 2009 5:22:22 PM

A. 5 bucks says that story is BS.

B. I give up, this is just ****ing pathetic. These people hate us, despise us, want us gone by any means possible. Theirs simply no way you can nod along to something like "we cant teach that being _____ is okay because _____s are sick disgusting freaks" and then pretend to not hate ______s. Every single person supporting these pricks is a bigot and I refuse to ever call them by any other name.

Posted by: penguinsaur | Oct 5, 2009 5:25:47 PM

Here's what I love: trying to access www.standformarriagemaine.com and having my company block it as a "malicious website." Loves it!

Posted by: Andrew H | Oct 5, 2009 6:01:13 PM

I went to the link, and Mother Theresa is prominent in it.

Mother T, ministered to the poor, the sick and those disenfranchised by domestic violence and lack of education. Most of whom were women.
Would Ms. Conroy suggest that being in that condition should make you subject to discrimination of ANY kind?
Especially from being married.

Methinks that Ms. Conroy IS full of shit. She is effectively supporting LOWER CASTE for gay people. Untouchable status for them.

When it's of note that marriage REDUCES these conditions, then she should be ALL for it for gay people too.

Her obvious admiration of Mother Theresa falls short of actually EMULATING her compassion FOR those untouchables of the lowest caste.

Posted by: Regan DuCasse | Oct 5, 2009 6:46:07 PM

Susan speaks as if the act of engaging in same-gender sex creates AIDS. Her stance would make some sense if this were in fact the case, but only true ignorance comes to such a conclusion.

What about straight people with AIDS? Should they not be allowed to get married? And kids who suffer as well? Should they be banned from ever getting married as they get older?

As you've already pointed out, the glaring subtext in this pathetic diatribe is pure and simple animus. IF she volunteered to help dying gay men, she probably did it to watch what she hated disappear.

Sick woman.

Posted by: Unite the Fight | Oct 5, 2009 7:21:00 PM

Wait if we are to base sexual relationships and marriage off HIV infection rates, then wouldn't that mean that in Africa she would encourage same sex behavior and gay marriages. Because obviously HIV infection in that part of the world is spread primarily through heterosexual contact.

Posted by: Jeff Chang | Oct 5, 2009 7:30:58 PM

If she wants to actually reduce or eliminate gayness itself she'd be better off fighting against procreation than same-sex marriage, because procreation is the source of homosexuals.

Posted by: Buffy | Oct 5, 2009 8:03:48 PM

Umm...is she aware that two HIV-negative people in a committed, monogamous relationship can't possibly contract the virus? I can't understand why she thinks bringing up AIDS is an argument AGAINST gay marriage, when it's sexual promiscuity (among both gays and straights) that puts people at risk for catching the virus. Isn't that sort of like bringing up the lowered life expectancy of smokers to argue against raising the cigarette tax? It seems to me that making same-sex marriage fully acceptable both legally and socially would do a great deal to encourage the kind of "healthy behavior" this writer claims to care so deeply about.

(Not that gays who happen to be HIV-positive should be discouraged from marrying. There are plenty of both same-sex and mixed-sex couples who happen to include one person with the virus and manage to minimize the other partner's risk.)

Posted by: Rachel Snyder | Oct 5, 2009 8:04:09 PM

It's truly sad that these people hate us so much that they either don't realize how hatefilled and devoid of "love" their sentiments are. Or, they fully realize exactly how illogical and incendiary their lies are, and fabricate the lies in such a way as to maximize the hurtful impact. In either case, it is despicable.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Oct 5, 2009 8:40:25 PM

Yes, that is her web site and yes here email is [email protected]

Posted by: Tony P | Oct 5, 2009 9:20:07 PM

Susan Conroy's site is as slick as the Liberty Van. The last time I enjoyed browsing a site pulled from the mid 1990s was when I was in the mid 1990s. This site is designed to be easily digested on a 15" monitor with a dialup connection (hence the preponderance of text vs. graphics).

Admittedly ad hominem (websitium?) attacks aside, this woman has no clue whatsoever. Either her claims are false, limited in scope, or she has never held the hand of a heterosexual as he / she died of AIDS. Which is it, Ms. Conroy? Are you a heterosexist who will only hold the hands of dying *gay* AIDS victims but not heterosexuals'?

Posted by: DN | Oct 6, 2009 8:49:06 AM

Hmmm... lots about Calcutta, nothing about AIDS victims.

But if Conroy really knew much about HIV/AIDS, she'd know that about 12% of gay men in the US (or, about 6% of the gay community) is infected with the virus. And that the majority of those a living a full life with a normal life expectancy.

So, using Conroy's foolish argument, only 94% of gay people deserve marriage.

When one assigns irrelevant blame for an unrelated correlation involving 12% of a populace and use that as an excuse to deny basic rights, then you are engaging in bigotry. Mother Teresa would cry, Susan.

Posted by: Timothy | Oct 6, 2009 12:31:38 PM

Timothy, your stats made something else occur to me: As an STD, the most unlikely way for HIV to be spread is between two females. Using Ms. Conroy's logic, the healthiest marriages are between lesbians.

Posted by: Rachel Snyder | Oct 6, 2009 3:59:26 PM

here is her email address- [email protected]
her bad 1995-era website- www.susanconroy.com

i looked and looked for her phone number but couldn't find it. i just wanted to ask her if she speaks out against alcohol, smoking and drug abuse. because if she doesn't then she is a bigot. hell even if she does she is still an up-tight bigot because there is nothing bad about being gay. the only reason people think it is bad is because they have shamed people into the closet. AHHH!
she worked with mother teresa and has made a career off of telling this story. in true mother teresa fashion she would help people to become equal and NOT judge. What a phony Catholic this Susan Conroy is.

Posted by: Sy | Oct 12, 2009 4:00:44 PM

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