The Ongoing Epidemic of HIV Among Gay Men

Suppose a prestigious medical journal published an issue on the negative health consequences of smoking, but rather than encouraging smokers to quit, the authors explained that health refers not only to the absence of disease, but also the possibility of a safe and pleasurable smoking experience. In addition, the journal blamed the health problems of smokers not on their inability to quit, but on social and legal discrimination against smoking.

Of course, this is absurd. In fact, in Aug. of 2012 issue of the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet an article on tobacco use concluded that “efforts to prevent initiation and promote cessation of tobacco use are needed to reduce associated morbidity and mortality.”[1] However, just three weeks earlier the same journal published a series of articles which, rather than addressing the cause of the continuing epidemic of HIV among MSM (men who have sex with men), blamed the morbidity on social discrimination.

The authors admit that the problem is serious:

Despite decades of research and community, medical, and public health efforts, high HIV prevalence and incidence burdens have been reported in MSM throughout the world.[2]

And the problem is getting worse, for even as HIV incidence in other groups is declining, it is increasing among MSM:

In the USA, HIV infections in MSM are estimated to be increasing at roughly 8% per year since 2001.[3]

The articles clearly describe the causes of increase: MSM, who socialize in networks where the infection rate is high, continue to engage in AI with multiple casual partners, often while using various illegal drugs, thus exposing themselves to infection. According to the articles, MSM’s behavior exposes them not only to HIV, but also to syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes simplex, human papillomavirus, viral hepatitis, enteric pathogens, and MRSA.[4]  MSM are also far more likely to be depressed, experience suicidal ideation, panic disorders, phobias, generalized anxiety disorder, and body image concerns.[5]

Nowhere in the journal do any of the authors suggest that, given the risks, MSM should refrain from AI. On the contrary, according to the authors:

Sexual health refers to not only the absence of disease, but also the possibility of safe and pleasurable sexual experiences.[6]

In other words, prevention strategies should be designed to accommodate MSM’s desire for AI with multiple casual partners. This is at best a risk “reduction” strategy not a risk “elimination” strategy, but it has not even reduced new infections.

HIV/AIDS is an easily preventable disease. A person who is HIV negative can virtually eliminate his risk of HIV infection if he restricts his intimate relations to one person at most and that person is also HIV negative and faithful, doesn’t share needles with others, and has access to high quality medical care.

However, early in the epidemic the gay AIDS activists insisted that protecting gay sexual freedom was the overriding principle that should inform every prevention strategy.[7] They rejected standard, common-sense public health strategies for controlling a sexual transmitted disease (STD). These include: mandatory testing of high risk groups (for example, those diagnosed with other STDs), contact tracing, partner notification, and closing venues where transmission was taking place. Early in the epidemic when it was clear that MSM were being infected in gay bathhouses, gay activists fought to keep these venues open.

Two gay men Randy Shilts (who died of AIDS) and Gabriel Rotello in their books And the Band Played On and Sexual Ecology[8] have laid out the history of the gay resistance to efforts to control the epidemic. The gay AIDS activists rejected these prophets from their own ranks.

Instead the gay AIDS activists insisted that all that was necessary was for everyone to use a condom every time. This strategy has failed, partly because condom failure during AI is high, but mostly because very few MSM engaging in high risk behavior with multiple partners while using drugs and alcohol use a condom every time.

New studies suggest that an infected person is more likely to infect others right after he is infected. Therefore, beginning treatment as soon as the infection is identified can dramatically reduce the risk of spreading HIV. Mandatory testing of all those infected with other STDs, tracing their sexual contacts, notifying their partners, and testing and treating them could result in a significant decrease in new infections. This would of course require identifying every carrier of HIV, providing them with HAART (highly active anti-retroviral therapy), monitoring their compliance, and contacting all their previous and current sexual partners. Gay AIDS activists have vigorously and successfully fought any form of mandatory testing, even when laws protecting privacy are strictly enforced. Without early identification and treatment, the recently infected will infect others and the HIV epidemic among MSM will continue.

Rather than admitting the current strategy’s failure and encouraging proven common-sense public health strategies, several articles in the The Lancet blamehomophobia,’ ‘heteronormativity,’ stigma, and discrimination[9] for the continuing epidemic among MSM, but there is no evidence to support such a claim. If discrimination were a significant factor one would expect that in high income settings where discrimination is low or non-existent and gay-sensitive medical care available, the epidemic would be under control. However, the authors admit that:

HIV prevalence rates in these men [MSM] seem to have increased in the HAART era…. in settings where MSM have full access to HAART and to a broad range of HIV services, civil liberties, and organized and visible community structures.[10]

Although according to the CDC young MSM are at very high risk of infection,[11] The Lancet articles encourage young men with SSA (same-sex attraction) to come out,[12] even as they admit that “Sexually active adolescents will need routine STI and HIV services.”[13]  There is reason to fear that this problem will only get worse since:

2011 research showed that individual sexual behavior milestones are being reached at progressively younger ages by those identifying as homosexual.[14]

There is no question that life is difficult for adolescents struggling with Gender Identity Disorder (GID) and SSA. However, for some boys, early identification and treatment of GID could prevent adolescent SSA.[15]

One sure way to eliminate the risk HIV infection is to refrain from homosexual behavior. While many MSM reject this option, some might be open to interventions designed to address their SSA, but this approach is specifically condemned by the authors who call on providers to:

Refrain from participation in health programs…that violate human rights, including so-called reparative therapy or conversion therapy.[16]

It is difficult to understand how providing therapy for someone uncomfortable with his SSA or who wishes to avoid the risks associated with homosexual behavior is a violation of “human rights.”

Given the massive resources dedicated to what has clearly proven to be a failed strategy, one would think that the AIDS establishment would consider other options.

Not only has the AIDS establishment betrayed MSM with a failed strategy, they have imposed this failed strategy on Sub-Saharan Africa. Edward Green in his book Broken Promises: How the AIDS establishment has betrayed the developing world provides a graphic description of how the inexpensive behavior change strategy, which was working in Uganda, was undermined by western funders who pushed the failed condom strategy, even though there was no evidence that it was successful either with MSM or with heterosexuals.

The articles in The Lancet demonstrate how gay AIDS activists are using the epidemic to push their political agenda. The tragedy of the HIV/AIDS epidemic among MSM is that those who claim to care about MSM have been intimidated by gay AIDS activists and refused to insist on standard public health strategies. If this continues, a preventable epidemic will grind away for decades.



[1] Gary A Giovino, et al., “Tobacco use in 3 billion individuals from 16 countries: an analysis of nationally representative cross-sectional household surveys,” The Lancet (2012), 380: p. 668: www:thelancet.com.
[2] Chris Beyrer, et al., “Global epidemiology of HIV infection in men who have sex with men,” The Lancet (July 28, 2012), Vol. 380, p. 367: www: thelancet.com.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Kenneth Mayer, et al., “Comprehensive clinical care for men who have sex with men: an integrated approach,” The Lancet (July 28, 2012), Vol. 380: p. 381-382: www:thelancet.com.
[5] Ibid. p. 382-384.
[6] Ibid, p. 380.
[8] Randy Shilts,  And the Band Played On (NY: St. Martins Press, 1987); Gabriel Rotello, Sexual Ecology: AIDS and the Destiny of Gay Men ( NY: Dutton, 1997).
[9] These articles include, for example, Denis Altman, “Men who have sex with men: stigma and discrimination,” p. 439-445; and Paul Semugoma, et al., “The irony of homophobia in Africa,” p. 312-214, in The Lancet (July 28, 2012), Vol. 380: www.thelancet.com.
[10]  Beyrer, p. 369.
[11] CDC
[12] Mayer, p. 379.
[13] Ibid, p. 379.
[14] Beyrer, p. 367.
[15] Kenneth Zucker and Susan Bradley, Gender Identity and Psychosexual Problems in Children and Adolescents (Guilford: NY, 1995).
[16] Chris Beyrer, et al., “A call to action for comprehensive HIV services for MSM,” The Lancet (July 28, 2012), Vol. 380, p. 424-438: www:thelancet.com.

Dale O'Leary

By

Dale O’Leary is the author of The Gender Agenda and One Man, One Woman. Her blog can be found at http://daleoleary.wordpress.com/

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  • MarkRutledge

    Society has devolved so far from the truths of natural law that it cannot see how it is destroying those it claims to protect.  The present battleground is the field of promoting same-sex relationaships to that of marriage, which is absurd on the face.  This would not be possible had progressives not pushed for, and largely won, the battle to normalize the gay lifestyle.  This, in turn, would not have been possible without ideologues (posing as scientists) within the APA removing homosexuality from the list of disorders.  Yet it is an ontological fact homosexuality IS a psycho-sexual disorder.  Somehow we need to get society back to acknowledgement of Truth, and get those suffering the help they need.

    • DoughRemy

      Can’t you see that monogamous marriage is a splendid solution to the problem that Dale O’Leary is discussing here? If every HIV-negative person settled into a truly monogamous marriage with another HIV-negative person, HIV would completely stop spreading! To me, one of the biggest mysteries about this whole discussion is that the “natural law” folks can’t see the obvious. You can have “natural law,” or you can stop the spread of HIV, but you can’t have both unless you reach for some really ghoulish totalitarian solution that no sane society would ever allow.

      • Rich

        Hi DoughRemy,
           After reading your reply and a few other of your posts,  I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you are not a Catholic who follows Church teaching.  Certain of your remarks seem to be non sequiturs (e.g. the false choice between following natural law and stopping the spread of HIV) and unsupported generalizations (e.g. reparative therapies being “universally discredited”), and they sound almost cavalier in their tone.   And then there is the whole ‘gay marriage’ can of worms.  Even if a marriage certificate made homosexual couples ‘monogamous’ (and there is evidence to question that assumption), ‘gay marriage’ will thrust the government into assigning parentage for children of those unions (rather than marriage recognizing children as the products of the biological union of the married parents), children would be denied a relationship with their biological parents, the critical and unique roles that the father and mother play in the development of children (sociological studies have shown that each parent has a role that cannot be substituted by having “two moms” or “two dads”) — and this is just addressing a few of the non-religious reasons for supporting traditional marriage (i.e. one man and one woman).  The effect of ‘gay marriage’ on religious liberties is already sending shock waves throughout those states where it is recognized.  Truly, if you are proposing ‘gay marriage’ as a solution to the spread of HIV, I would ask you to consider whether the ramifications of your solution have been fully thought out.
            And just to offer my counterpoint to you perceived as the ‘message’ of the article: I think the thrust of the article was how concupiscence can make people speak and act in ways that appear to be counter-intuitive and counterproductive to their purported objective.  The gay rights proponents are not the first group to fall into this trap and, sadly, they won’t be the last.  
            I wish you God’s Love; I wish you all that is truly good.
         
            Hey, I just got the joke of your pen name — DoughRemy.  As Julie Andrews would sing, “The first three notes just happen to be: Do, re, mi….”   Clever!

        • DoughRemy

          Rich, the world of ex-gay (reparative) therapies has taken a big hit in the past year, and the stories have been all over the news. I’ve been following them, but I realize not everyone does. Exodus International, the main purveyor of ex-gay therapies in this country, announced a few weeks ago that they would no longer practice the therapy because they believe it to be ineffective. There is no major organization doing it any more. It was condemned long ago by the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association, and the State of California is currently considering banning it altogether. 

          I have a lot of information about this, but it’s impractical to try unloading it all on you in a blog comment, so I would suggest you research this yourself, using reliable and objective sources. 

          You didn’t explain why the choice between natural law and stopping the spread of HIV was a “false choice.” I hope you will.

          Monogamous marriage does tend to make people more monogamous.

          Millions of children are already raised by same-sex couples. Wouldn’t it be better to give those couples the same legal rights (and responsibilities) that other couples are entitled to?

          I hope you are not suggesting that children should be raised only by heterosexual couples. What then would you do when there is a divorce and no remarriage? Or when there is an out-of-wedlock birth? Resettle the children? 

          Children do well when they are loved and given opportunities for growth and learning. Homosexual couples can provide these goods just as well as heterosexual ones. And they sometimes even do it better.

        • DoughRemy

          Follow-up to my previous comment: Here’s something I just ran across: 
          “Last night, OWN’s Our America with Lisa Ling aired a new interview with Alan Chambers, executive director of Exodus International, an umbrella organization for various ex-gay ministries. He reiterated his claims that the organization will no longer promote the harmful therapy, but again stopped short of explaining what Exodus will offer instead.” 

      • Augustus

        I don’t think homosexuals go to bath houses looking for husbands. If homosexuals wanted to live monogamous lives with each other, no one is stopping them. Their demand that the state and society bless their union by approving homosexuality is the ultimate objective. To suggest that gay marriage is the solution to HIV misunderstands the problem.

        • DoughRemy

          I wonder how many more straight men would frequent brothels if there were no incentives for them to marry. The incentives include: (1) community approval, (2) financial benefits, (3) stability, and (4) legal protection in matters of property, health, and children’s welfare. Your proposal that men should just “live together” if they please offers only one of those incentives. Let’s go full bore and offer all of them. 

          • Adam Baum

             Only a certain percentage of men visit brothels and those that do are not looking for a marriage substitute and some are already married.

            Deforming marriage, to extend it to homosexuals will not stop casual sex anymore than availability of heterosexual marriage has prevented the casual sex that began in the 1960’s and is now part of the “hook-up” culture.

            The simple fact is that since the homosexual act lacks procreative capacity or complementarity, the act has nothing to focus on beyond its occurrence-just as some inmates are only “gay for the stay”. 

        • guest

          If two men are raising a child, that child does not have a MOTHER, the most important relationship for a child.  We should not do this social experiment and involve children in the debate.

      • Ailinacourt

         Homosexual marriage has been legal in Canada since 2005, yet the rates of HIV transmission among the gay population have NOT dropped since then.  In some years, there has been a slight increase in HIV as well as most other STIs.   It doesn’t appear that marriage is the solution to stopping STIs.

  • Deacon Ed Peitler

    The probem is that we do not have enough federal programs to conquer this HIV/AIDs problem once and for all.  What we need is more funding so government can solve this problem. Perhaps Joe Biden can assemble a task force to work on this (once he finds out what state he’s in, what century it is, and how not to put African-Americans back in chains).

    • DoughRemy

      Encouraging same-sex marriage would definitely help reduce the spread of HIV. Why aren’t you supporting SSM?

      • The_Monk

        Your question begs its own question – why are homosexuals highly promiscuous rather than exhibiting monogamy?  Could it be because, as the Catholic Church notes, that homosexuality is sexuality disordered?…

        • DoughRemy

          Men tend to be more promiscuous than women, and, as might be expected, gay men are more promiscuous than lesbians. Lesbian couples are famously less promiscuous than straight ones.

          The notion that gay men are more promiscuous than straight men may be an urban legend, but if it is true, then one sure way to reduce gay men’s promiscuity is to encourage monogamous marriage between them. It actually does work, you know. It’s not as though there were no evidence of its working.

          Monogamous marriage is good for heterosexual men, and it is good for homosexual men. In both cases, it reduces promiscuity.

        • CorneliusRamsholt

          I have just the answer, Mr. Monk.

          Q: Why are homosexuals highly promiscuous? 

          A: They aren’t!

          Oh, sure, *some* are, just like *some* heterosexuals are promiscuous, and *some* straight men divorce and remarry eight times with numerous girlfriends on the side. But, then, that’s not necessarily the rule.

          The numbers: 1 in 5 of America’s 646,000 same-sex couples are married. This is a size-able percentage by any rating, but made even more impressive by the fact that same-sex marriage is only legal in eight states. This means that many couples are willing to go through the extra expense and trouble of going out of state just to get married, even though this will in no way benefit them in their home state.  In the states where same-sex marriage *is* legal, 42% of same-sex couples are married — a higher percentage than opposite-sex couples. Meanwhile in Britain, 6,795 same-sex couples entered into civil unions last year, and more than 100,000 total have entered into civil unions since they were first legalised in December of 2005. A new law legalising true marriage for same-sex couples is in the works, because the public has been clamouring for it for years. Which is indicative of the fact that some of us want to wed our partners.

      • Ailinacourt

         You do realize that many homosexual couples also have open relationships/marriages?  Daniel Savage is one of those.  Marriage doesn’t always involve monogamy.

        • DoughRemy

          @Ailinacourt: As you say, marriage is not always monogamous. But that doesn’t prevent us from encouraging people to have monogamous marriages, does it? Why wouldn’t you encourage gays and lesbians to follow that path, and why wouldn’t you get behind their efforts to legalize same-sex marriage? It’s not as though same-sex couples have some kind of sinister agenda to become married and then be promiscuous. They are like anyone else in that respect–no worse and no better. (Except: read Cornelius Ramsholt’s comment that just came in–he is offering evidence that same-sex couples may be more serious about marriage than their heterosexual counterparts.) 

          • Ailinacourt

            That is the crux of the problem, that heterosexuals in North America have devalued marriage to the point of making it meaningless, through the push for no fault divorce and the unwillingness to have children.  Marriage means nothing when one of the couple can just walk away, and so many do  Many also don’t bother with marriage at all.  This of course relates to the subject of gay marriage, because there is no real value attached to the institution anymore, so an ‘anything goes’ attitude prevails.

            But even gay married couples get divorced, although not in states where their marriages were never legalized, which brings up a whole other set of problems. 

            • DoughRemy

              Well, don’t blame homosexuals for having degraded and devalued marriage. Heterosexuals have done that all by themselves. And now you’re faulting homosexuals for wanting to settle into committed monogamous relationships with the blessing of the state? Maybe this is part of the problem. Instead of selling marriage, you’re withholding it from those who appear to believe in it the most!

              • Ailinacourt

                 No, most homosexuals don’t have the monogamous attitude to marriage.   They may want to get married and be committed to each other, yet also insist on non-monogamy, which helps explain why the rates of HIV are still much higher in that segment of the population than non-drug using heterosexuals.

                As for the meaninglessness of modern marriage, I rest the blame solely on heterosexuals who have devalued it since the sex revolution started.

                • DoughRemy

                  You state that “most homosexuals don’t have the monogamous attitude to marriage.” Where did you find this information? It doesn’t correspond to any information I have. Do you know a lot of homosexuals?

                  • Ailinacourt

                     Yes, I do, actually.  Same-sex marriage is being used as a way to sanitize a non-monogamous culture.  Why else is HIV still a persistent threat to the gay lifestyle even today?  It shouldn’t be after all those educational campaigns, yet gay men are still at a 50% higher risk of getting HIV than straight heterosexuals.

                    • DoughRemy

                      So you do know a lot of homosexuals. Have you shared your thoughts about it with them?

                    • Ailinacourt

                       No, but they have shared their thoughts with me.  Dan Savage, well-known spokesman for homosexual issues, thinks monogamy in marriage is optional.  That would explain why the HIV rate has not dropped in the gay population, despite 20 years of education campaigns.  Using condoms but having multiple partners is not safe sex.  Using condoms AND limiting the number of sexual partners is.

        • Kenny

          Who is Daniel Savage?

          • DoughRemy

            Dan Savage is a famous gay-rights advocate. Just a few days ago, he had an hour-long discussion with Brian Brown, director of the National Organization for Marriage. It’s on YouTube and I would highly recommend it.

      • Kenny

        Because the homosexual act is a perversion. 

        • DoughRemy

          A perversion? Where on earth did you get that idea? Next time you’re in your doctor’s office, talk to him about it.

          • Kenny

            You need psychiatric help.  

            But I fear you are so engrossed in trying to justify your perversion that it is too later for that. 

            Like a swine that likes to roll in its own filth, you like to cover yourself in the in the abomination homosexuality. You’re a sick little man. 

            • DoughRemy

              I love it. It’s so easy to get you guys frothing at the mouth and hallucinating about animals, abominations, filth, etc. Would you like to place me atop a pile of branches and light a fire? 

              • Adam Baum

                 You imagine you inspire hate, but hate isn’t the opposite of love. Indifference is the opposite of love-so your behavior is a temptation to indifference.

              • splodge

                There’s nothing they would like better – but they daren’t say it.

      • JP

        Same-sex marriage is an absurdity. Gay men can no more be “married” than a  man can become a Nun, or  a woman a priest. Your solution is akin  to giving  a  pyromaniac cherry bombs instead of dynamite. In the end, nothing has changed. The problem isn’t HIV (that is only a symptom). And SSM  is an offense  to God (as is adultery and fornication). Why promote offending God and making a mockery of his  Sacrament?

        • DoughRemy

          Well, FYI, women do become priests in the Episcopal church. As for nuns, haven’t you ever heard of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence?

          I doubt SSM is an offense to God. Otherwise he wouldn’t be sending a hurricane to knock out the GOP National Convention this week. 

          • JP

            DoughRemy, you’re boring.

            • DoughRemy

              So boring that you can’t wait to read what I’ll write next.

              • Adam Baum

                 Sir, you are a legend in your own mind. I would be without charity if I did not suggest a therapist for what is obviously a very powerful Narcissism.

                • splodge

                  Narcissism? Isn’t that what religion is all about?

          • Adam Baum

             We don’t speak for the Episcopal Church. You will have to consult with them about the requirements for their episcopacy.

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  • DoughRemy

    The author is advocating two solutions for the problem of HIV among men who have sex with men (MSMs). One is for MSMs to restrict their intimate relations to one person at most (provided that person is HIV-negative and faithful, etc.–and the other is to refrain from homosexual behavior (with the help of reparative therapies).

    According to the Center for Disease Control, the main route of HIV infection for women is heterosexual contact. 

    So, would the author recommend the same two solutions for all women in this country? –(1) They should all have only one partner (married, preferably) and (2) they should all undergo reparative therapy to change her sexual orientation because sex with women is less risky?

    OK, I can see that limiting oneself to one faithful HIV-negative partner would be a great idea! Better if the women are married, wouldn’t you agree? Well, then, why wouldn’t that option work for the MSM? Shouldn’t we be encouraging MSM to marry each other? 

    And obviously, the second of the options–changing all women’s sexual orientations–would be absurd. It would definitely make them less vulnerable to HIV infection, but then you should logically go one step further and insist on sex-change operations (for all women, of course!). That would reduce the incidence of HIV infections dramatically. 

    I think the monogamous marriage option is the best. Let’s give generous tax incentives to gay men to marry and commit themselves to each other. Following the logic of this article, I can’t imagine why anyone would oppose monogamous marriage for everyone. After all, it is the opposite of promiscuity.

    Reparative therapies, BTW, have now been universally discredited. Even the former therapists have renounced these therapies and apologized for ever having practiced them. 

  • I have worked for an ASO for many years now and no matter how much money we continue to pour into education and prevention for MSM the rates continue to climb. No one wants to hear that every decision has an outcome. If you keep being promiscious and don’t care enough about yourself or who you sleep with then you are bound to become infected. It’s just more of “I can do whatever I want” without any thought to the consequences. Every action has a consequence for everyone person on the planet.

    • DoughRemy

      Ella, there will probably always be promiscuity, but one sure way to reduce its incidence is to encourage monogamous marriage. Do you do that?

      • JP

        The  problem with promiscuity cannot be solved by any  government. And including gays into the  Sacrament of Holy Matrimony is an offense to God.

        • DoughRemy

          Why do you think God is offended by same-sex marriage?

          • Kenny

            Because it is perverted behavior that stinks to high heaven.,

            • DoughRemy

              Don’t hold anything back! 🙂

              This, to me, is one of the most rewarding moments in these kinds of debates. The mask of saintly Catholicity comes off and we see the ugly face behind it. Is this what Christians are?

              • Adam Baum

                 No, what you see is the summary dismissal by someone who grows bored with your tedious disputations, that are made for the sole purpose of irritating people.

                Why don’t you associate with some like-minded friends?

              • Alecto

                Mister, ain’t nuttin but sinnners here, every last one of us. 

                Sin is the ugly face you reference, not Catholics.  I understand you seek approval for your lifestyle or choice or idea.  The point is Catholicism condemns homosexuality, adultery, fornication and every violation against purity.  Catholicism condemns sinful behavior, but forgiveness and mercy for sin are unlimited. 

                Are you asking this community to condone your sinfulness?  We cannot do that.  Are you asking us for commiseration in overcoming sin?  You have that in abundance.  If you scan this site you will see conversations about other grave sins like abortion and radical feminism. 

                We can pray for you, pray for others and pray for ourselves.  We cannot and do not condone or encourage sin in anyone.  Gay marriage is not marriage, it’s a logical and physical impossibility, i.e., what you ask is impossible. 

                It is not hate to correct a bad or false idea, especially when we see that behavior or idea as leading you to eternal damnation.  No one wishes that upon you.  But, neither are we willing to approve of something gravely wrong to obtain your good opinion.  I realize you may not agree or even understand, but it is love that motivates correction; love of our fellow man. 

          • JP

            I take it you’re not a Catholic, or you wouldn’t ask such a question. And if you’re not  a Catholic why  visit this site other than to troll?
            You’re obviously not here to argue Catholic moral theology. Your comments here are nothing but simplisitc advocacy wrapped in cliche’s.

            • DoughRemy

              I think you’ve answered my question. You either don’t know why you think God is offended, or you can’t articulate it. You just “know” what you “know,” like so many other people who hold irrational views driven by fear and animus. You believe what you’ve been told to believe; if it’s Catholic moral theology, then it must be good. Just leave your thinking to the Church.

              That’s not the only way for a Catholic to be, you know. There are plenty of Catholics who do think very deeply about their faith and appreciate the opportunity to explore it with others. They are Catholics, too.

            • DoughRemy

              “I take it you’re not a Catholic, or you wouldn’t ask such as question.”

              So Catholics do not–and may not–ask such questions?

              • Adam Baum

                 You know the answer, why feign genuine inquiry.

            • Adam Baum

               Dough is what is referred to as a troll.

              Trolls are not serious inquirers, they are a sort of “dialogue terrorist” whose only objective is to argue ad infinitum, positions they know are antithetical to the general preponderance of those who come to the board to share a common belief system.

              I really wish he’d argue against halal restrictions on an Islamic site.

          • Alecto

             Uh, ask Lot. 

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  • Kenny

    Homosexuals (and their apologists) really do have disordered minds.

    • DoughRemy

      Oh yeah?

      • Kenny

        Yeah!

  • Observer

    DoughRemy is a paid homosexual activist who does nothing but troll websites that tell the forbidden truth about homosexuals and bog them down with spurious comments. Pay no attention to him.

    • DoughRemy

      Oh yeah? 

      How I wish someone WOULD pay me to do this. 🙂

      • Observer

        Pay you to do what? To troll conservative Christian websites making bad arguments in defense of your chosen pervesion? If you aren’t getting paid for it, then you probably should get paid for it, because George Soros is doling out a lot of money to recruit  gay activists who will spend all their time online “refuting” the positions of social conservatives.

        There is a lot of money to be made doing what you are doing, and if you are telling the truth then you are really missing out, DoughRemyFahsoLahteeDoh.

        But since I’ve seen your handle on a number of other related websites saying the exact same things that you are saying here, I would say that there is a non-zero probability that you are on the take. The other readers here can make of that what they will.

        • DoughRemy

          I try very hard to make sound arguments, and I always appreciate anyone’s showing me WHY they are not sound.

          Thanks for the tip about George Soros. You’ve done me a favor. I’ll look into that. Indeed, why NOT get paid for challenging people’s assumptions and promoting a cause I believe in?Do you have a link for the Soros tip?

          • Adam Baum

             I always appreciate anyone’s showing me WHY they are not sound.

            No doubt, because anything that would give you pause is a rare thing indeed.

  • DoughRemy

    It’s amazing what I’ve learned about myself from this blog in the past few days.

    I’m a paid troll. I’m boring. I’m a narcissist. I’m on the take. I have a disordered mind. I’m an offense to God. I’m not a Catholic (couldn’t possibly be). I feign genuine inquiry. I need psychiatric help. I am a legend in my own mind. I am like a swine that likes to roll in its own filth. I am a sick little man. I am psycho-sexually disordered. Homosexuality is my chosen perversion. My arguments are simplistic, cliché-ridden, tedious, and irritating.

    Well, for what it’s worth, here’s my impression of most (but not all) of you:

    You are very, very fearful. Of dialog. Of questions. Of sexual “chaos” and, yes, even of sex. Of intruders. Of otherness. Of impurity. Of difference. Of evidence. Of reasoned inquiry. Of any word, thought, or deed that challenges your worldview.

    I grew up in the South before the Civil Rights era, and I remember the white men sitting around on the stoop of the country store chewing tobacco and complaining about the “negras” and how they were lazy and promiscuous and their men wanted nothing more than to bed a white woman.

    Plus ça change.

    • Alecto

      N’oubliez pas que nous avons déjà répondu à ces questions pour nous-mêmes.

      • DoughRemy

        Oui, évidemment. Mais étant donné que vous y avez répondu pour vous-mêmes, et que vous êtes si sûrs de vos attitudes, quelles sont les “solutions” que vous proposez pour tous les “problèmes” que vous énumerez? 

        Quand je vous dis que les homosexuels ne devrait pas se marier avec des heterosexuels à cause des maux émotionnels qui en résultent, qu’est-ce que vous proposeriez pour les homosexuels? La chasteté? Soyons sérieux.

        Quand je vous dis qu’il y a trop de promiscuité parmi les hommes gais, qu’est-ce que vous proposeriez? Qu’ils ne soient pas si promiscus? Qu’ils acceptent la réligion catholique et se repentissent de leurs péchés? Soyons sérieux.

        Proposez quelque chose de réalisable, s’il vous plaît! Et expliquez-moi pourquoi le mariage n’est pas une solution réalisable à ces problèmes aussi bien qu’à d’autres que je pourrais vous énumerer.

        • Alecto

           Hmmm, well, in the interest of responding in a language I am most familiar with, here it goes:

          1.  Of course I propose that homosexuals not only not be eligible for “marriage”, but that they remain celibate.  I would recommend that to anyone who isn’t married, not simply homosexuals.  You seem to have an issue with chastity, celibacy, which I find reflective of modern secular society.  It believes that sex is the answer and the cure for whatever ails people, but it only makes them unhappy, lonely, depressed, and shallow.  If only they could just find the right “person”, they would not ever feel bad?  That’s pathological.  The only right path is the one that leads to God, and yes, that means sacrifice, denial and penance.  It also means confraternity and brotherhood, fellowship and joy, peace and wisdom.

          2.  Why would you not consider it realistic that everyone remain celibate?  What’s wrong with that?  Everyone should repent and resolve to live a better life.  We’d have a better world if everyone did.  If every person simply resolved to abstain from one bad thing, what a difference that would make in this world. 

          3.  I am perfectly serious, that is a realistic proposition!  Unless you’re a sex addict, it is realistic, not easy.  How will you ever perfect your character if you continually give into every whim and impulse?  If you’re looking for “easy” you need the Universalist Unitarians!

          4.  Marriage is a status, both legal and sacramental reserved for one man and one woman.  It has always been so, and will always be so. 

          Va en paix…

          • DoughRemy

            Did I understand you to say that sex makes people unhappy, lonely, depressed, and shallow? I read and re-read your sentence (middle of point 1), and that’s the only way I can parse it. 

            If you meant that belief in sex as “the answer” to life’s problems can lead to disillusionment, I couldn’t agree with you more. I hope that’s what you meant.

            For many of us who are not “called” to self-renunciation (and may not even see the point of it), sex is a necessary but insufficient condition for a happy and fulfilled life. I realize you may not trust medical professionals about this, but I believe they would tell you that, for most people, chastity is an impediment to optimal health and well-being. After all that we have seen in the Catholic Church in recent years, I should think that would be obvious. I am talking realities here, not ideals.

            Your second point is that everyone (everyone!) could–realistically–remain celibate if they were to repent, resolve to abstain from one bad thing,… (I hope I’m not twisting your words in any way.) Do you consider sex a “bad thing?” And what is the repentance about? Is it about sinful thoughts and desires?

            Why would everyone want to be celibate if sex is natural and healthy?

            In your third point, you come uncomfortably close to saying that sex is an addiction. Did I misunderstand you? Is a “perfected character” a character that shuns sexual contact? If so, aren’t you making a very explicit equivalence between sex and sin?

            I wouldn’t be so hard on the Unitarian Universalists. My impression is that they have this sex thing figured out much better than Catholics do.

            Your fourth point is that marriage IS reserved for one man and one woman. You might have added a qualifier there: “by the Catholic Church.” Not all Christian churches are in agreement with you about this. When you say, “It has always been so, and will always be so,” I hear resonance of a liturgical meme. But in fact, it’s not so. Ten countries  and six U.S. states recognize same-sex marriage, so same-sex marriage is very much a reality.

            Of course, your “solutions” won’t fly, and you know that. You will say it’s because we live in a sinful world. I will say it is because they are impractical and deeply flawed in their assumptions about human nature. But most of all, they won’t fly because no one will ever be on board for self-enforced chastity on such a large scale. We’re not living in the 17th century, after all.

            Of course, here we are on a site called “Crisis,” so I guess I should expect to find rather bleak and pessimistic views expressed here.

            • Alecto

               I stated that the belief that a libertine lifestyle makes one  happy is false.  I know many, many men and women who are unhappy and very promiscuous.  Why do homosexuals have such high rates of drug abuse and suicide? 

              • DoughRemy

                Alecto, I don’t know how I can make it any clearer that I agree with you about the libertine lifestyle, whether practiced by homosexuals or heterosexuals. It does not bring happiness.

                The opposite of the libertine lifestyle is either celibacy or marriage. Since celibacy is an extremely hard sell–and probably not such a good idea for the future of the human race–marriage seems to be the best option. So why are you not promoting marriage as a solution for promiscuity?

                To answer your last question, just imagine what it must feel like to be told your whole life that you’re “intrinsically disordered,” that you need “psychiatric help,” that you are “perverted” and “sick,” to see men and women holding signs saying that God hates you, to hear preachers damning you to hell. Imagine what it feels like to be a punching bag at school, to be the target of the most demeaning epithets, to be shunned by family, friends, and church. Do you know anything at all about human psychology? This is just Psychology 101. Basic stuff, you know. People commit suicide when their self-esteem becomes so horribly battered that their lives seem to no longer have value. Get it?

                • Anonymous

                  C’mon Dough, I am promoting marriage!  Just not the way you want it to exist.  Marriage is one man and one woman.  You cannot redefine the meaning of a word because it happens to suit you, either by action or legislative fiat; redefine an institution that has existed for thousands of years across every continent, age, tribe, religion (it ain’t just Catholics!), ethnicity, etc…. Why gays continue to try to narrowly categorize marriage into a Christian/Catholic thing is missing the forest for the trees.  Marriage is bigger than that, and more meaningful than that. 

                  Marriage exists to promote the perpetuation of society, stability, respect for the biological roles of men and women.  I hope you won’t take this as offense, because it isn’t intended that way, but two men and two women cannot and never will be able to perpetuate the species.  Children are a natural outcome, outgrowth of marital love.  When we speak of “the two shall become one” that, to me,  is a religious statement on the nature of God, which marriage reflects outwardly.  God made them both in his image and likeness, so we’re taught.  If that is true, how can 2 men or 2 women be a reflection of the wholeness, the true nature of God?  Why would God have created 2 genders?  I am not a biblical scholar or any kind of scholar, so please excuse my ham-handed attempt to explain from our perspective. 

                  I am sorry that you have experienced the kind of hatred you have.  Jesus commanded everyone, gays and straight alike, to love the sinner, but hate the sin.  I believe that is by far the most difficult thing to do sometimes and that love of our fellow human beings is so hard.  Yes, you know what I’m saying.  I hope you can forgive that hatred.  Although I wish you would also consider that gays desecrating churches,
                  and our rituals and sacraments, assaulting Catholics trying to attend mass in NY and SF, screaming
                  obscenities at people in DC, threatening people who disagree with them, and spitting on Cardinal Wuerl there when
                  all he was attempting to do is talk, doesn’t exactly promote the image of homosexuals
                  as reasoned, thoughtful individuals.  It’s scary how little control some people have over their actions. 

                  I do not agree that it is low self-esteem that motivates suicide.  In fact it is anger.  Someone very wise once told me that suicide is the ultimate act of an angry person.  God knows it’s hard to detach emotionally, but we all have to detach from intense emotions like hatred, anger, envy, lust, fear et al….

                  • DoughRemy

                    Alecto, I respect your right to believe anything you like about the motivations for suicide, but your beliefs about it are simply not borne out by the scientific literature on suicide. I realize we’re in a zone here where science does not get much respect unless it’s the kind of science that gets you airborne for a trans-national flight. Nevertheless…

                    You say I cannot redefine marriage. Well, neither can you decide, all on your own, that “anger” motivates suicide. It’s just not true, as much as you’d like it to be. For knowledge about such matters, I go to psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers. They’re the experts because they deal with suicide all the time. How much experience do you have with suicide?

                    You needn’t have explained your views about marriage. I knew them already. What I have been trying to encourage you to do is to tell me what you would PROPOSE as solutions to the problems of inter-orientation marriage and promiscuity. 

                    Your proposal that everyone just become celibate is a complete non-starter. I don’t know what world you live in, but it’s certainly nothing like the one that I know.

                    Why is inter-orientation marriage a problem? (That’s a rhetorical question.) Consider this: Sociologists have estimated that nearly 50 million homosexual individuals are married to straight partners in Asia alone. Fifty million. That’s the combined populations of California and Illinois.

                    What happens in such marriages?

                    First of all, there’s not much happiness and there may be a considerable amount of grief and anger. One spouse feels rejected and unlovely, and the other feels frustrated and resentful. Any children that are involved will become caught in the crosshairs of marital enmity or indifference. The probability of divorce is high, and in cultures where divorce is heavily stigmatized, the couple continues to live in the same home like strangers, and their lives are a sham and a lie. They live out their lives without love, and they become depressed and old beyond their years.

                    Not a pretty picture, is it? 

                    The solution to this problem would be obvious to anyone who is not blinded by an idée fixe about marriage. You have proposed celibacy. Sure. Fifty million Asians are going to choose celibacy because the Catholic church thinks it’s a good idea. Next!

                    Think about it. The grown-up answer is: identify problems scientifically, prioritize and solve. The orthodox Catholic answer is: use shame and guilt to create the impression that there isn’t a problem.

                    I’m really interested in seeing our society progress toward a rational problem-solving mode that does not involve stigmatization, guilt, and scapegoating, or other-worldly solutions like celibacy. (Why stop there? Wouldn’t castration be more definitive?) 

                    It’s time we left 17th-century modes of thought behind us. There are too many human tragedies that could be prevented by clear thinking.

                    • Anonymous

                      It’s impossible to continue this.  You engage in personal insults and derogatory, patronizing responses.  I suspect you harbor a deep fear of your own:  a fear that also has created a loathing for women.  I find that many gays fear and hate women.  Deny it all you want, you know it’s true.  I believe that is the origin of homosexuality as deep hatred for men creates the perversion in lesbians.

                      You cannot accept that what you do is wrong.   So be it.  What you also cannot accept is that we will not allow you to change marriage.  It doesn’t matter to me if you agree or disagree, it’s irrelevant.  You don’t believe in objective truth.  Your morals and your values are totally subjective.  No one can argue with that!  

                    • DoughRemy

                      Anonymous/Alecto: I must be one sick, degenerate dude. Here is my revised summation of opinions about me from bloggers on this thread (your most recent comments included):

                      I’m a troll. I’m boring. I’m a narcissist. I’m on the take. I have a disordered mind. I’m an offense to God. I’m not a Catholic (couldn’t possibly be). I feign genuine inquiry. My arguments are simplistic, cliché-ridden, tedious, and irritating. I’m patronizing. I need psychiatric help. I am a legend in my own mind. I am like a swine that likes to roll in its own filth. I am a sick little man. I am psycho-sexually disordered. Homosexuality is my chosen perversion. I fear and hate women.Wow! I guess the rule here is that if you can’t present facts and arguments, you just start throwing epithets and ad hominems and making wild accusations. One last challenge, for anyone who cares to take me up on it: Go through what I have written and find my own epithets, wild accusations, and ad hominems. Exact language, please. No paraphrases. You may find one or two instances, but I think you will find they are extremely mild in comparison with those that I’ve collected above.Do you draw any conclusions from this?

                  • DoughRemy

                    “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” Alecto, that is a fine theological point. So fine that kids don’t get it. What they “get” is that you’ve just approved some of their worst tendencies, and they lose respect for you because they see behind the hypocrisy of your words. 

                    The Church’s designation of homosexuality as “intrinsically disordered” is not only grossly inaccurate but also a license for bullying. So 12-year-old Johnny learns in his catechism class that homosexuality is intrinsically disordered, and then he gets confirmation from his parents that, indeed, homosexuals are sick, but not in the way that diabetics are sick. They are sick in an entirely different way, and they could get well if they just wanted to, if they prayed for healing. In other words, “sick” really means “sinful.” REALLY sinful, not like you and me, but much worse. So much worse, in fact, that we won’t even discuss it any more. It is unspeakable. 

                    Everything is now in place for guilt-free bullying. Act out the above scenario in front of a 12-year-old and you’ve put a weapon in his hands. All he needs is a target.

                    Believe me, there IS a lot of anger in the gay community about this. The Church continues to spread misinformation, fear, and, yes, hatred. No one but the willfully blind can fail to see behind the pious words about love. 

                    BTW, has the Church ever gotten around to condemning the Ugandan government for its plans to execute gays?

          • DoughRemy

            You write that the path to God (via celibacy) brings confraternity and brotherhood, fellowship and joy, peace and wisdom. 

            Same-sex marriage (between men) also brings confraternity and brotherhood, fellowship and joy. And it creates many of the conditions for peace and wisdom.

            • Alecto

               We’ll have to agree to disagree on that score.

          • LozeraFrank

            Celibate, unmarried, and chaste.  Not that the three are necessarily related to one another or even happy in mixed company, but, hey!  What a lovely procrustean bit of Manichean insanity all the same. As a substitute for Christianity, it’s not so bad, until you realize that Catholicism, under the miscreant control of a rotting core of celibate old men with enlarged prostates, urinary problems and dementia issues in the Vatican has little if anything to do with the gospels, and hasn’t for some considerable time. As a subsitute for Christianity, it is of course utterly dependent in the final analysis on whether being in a perpetual state of self-loathing denialism and contempt for one’s body and basic identity is your cup of ascetically inspired, sadomasochistic tea.  What self-respecting, intrinsically disordered, evil gay hobo of the spirit could resist the siren call of such grace-absented seduction from mother Church?  I can’t for the life of me understand why homosexuals aren’t lining up waiting to take sacred orders….under the nom de guerre gender-avatar of heterosexuality, of course.  (Over and above the closeted, pathologically warped majority of men who have exchanged the biological fact of their own despised nature and become priests and cardinals instead as a hopeless way of suppressing their personhood…but that’s another long and dreary story which I’m sure you’ve become grudgingly familiar with, lo these many sexually scandalous years)

            Sex is certainly not the answer or cure for everything.  But then neither is the pretentious, pathologically vacuous idiocy of “curing” one’s sexual libido or sexual orientation the answer to anything.  For you it seems, the pathology of “sadness” and “shallowness” is always nipping on the heals of “joy” and “peace”.  Neither one of which I can quite safely venture, in spite of what I imagine to be your vociferous objections to the contrary, you possess.  The very fact that you’ve lived in ignorance of basic knowledge of sexuality for so long is proof of how you’re muddling your way through a sea of illusions, not the least of which is your abominable conception of God and your contempt for your fellow man.

            Whatever that conception is, it is defective, ugly and vile.  If “perfecting” your “character” involves criminalizing your humanity and hating yourself in the process, you’ve created a perfect formula for doing so, but don’t be disappointed when there are few if any takers. Interesting, isn’t it, that this Church, so intent on managing the sex lives of its adherents, is run by men and women who are not allowed to have any, or have convinced themselves they’re better off spending the remainder of their lives distrusting their own humanity at its most intimate physical level?

            Sorry, but we are not all stuck with believing in a God of Wrath who exacts vengeance on a sinful world.  That’s your conception, not mine. Christianity evolves as humanity’s perception of God enlarges. We no longer accept the patriarchal chauvinism of Paulinist doctrine, or that slavery is acceptable, or that the church was correct to threaten Galileo with banishment, or burn Bruno at the stake.  We will soon come to the realization that homosexuality is not a “lifestyle” but a biological reality, that marriage is not made sacred by the exclusion of an entire class of people, that contraceptive use and birth choice is a matter of conscience not state mandate. There are idiots in every age, just as there are sane and rational men and women of faith in every age who seek greater understanding and clarity. 

            Arguments against homosexual marriage requires the believer to torture his intellect and his values to fit dogma that requires they believe that God’s natural order inflicts on hundreds of millions of people a sexual orientation they can never consummate or solemnize in a way that would honor His purposes. That these people, regardless of sin, “cannot bear and rear [children] in accordance with … God’s original intention.” That Jesus demands celibacy of them, but not of you or me. That every marriage must be heterosexual — not to be virtuous or to benefit children, but to represent a “microcosm of humanity.

            These ideas are ultimately hurtful, cruel and most importantly, and ironically, non-Christian.  As long as you remain intent on believing in a God that is punishing you for being a human being, you’ll never be very much of a human being, and God will never be much of a God. 

  • grahamcombs

    I lived and worked in New York during the 1980s in a business, publishing, with a large gay demographic.  People I knew died.   And over the years you could see men on the streets or in the subways so thin that they looked like holocaust survivors and often with visible sores.   Some walked, others were in wheelchairs.   I don’t suggest ever passing along observations such as these — you will literally be shouted down as I was here in South East Michigan one Thanksgiving.   The bottom line is that public health officials after a few feeble efforts just decided to go along with the deceptive campaign for  what it would take to end the epidemic.   As anyone who read the NY Times obituaries then knows, people were dying of  AIDS all the time.  The fashion magazine W once printed page after page of thumbnail photos of mostly men who had died in that industry.   All that is forgotten or rather photoshopped  out of history.    Now no one dies of AIDS or from the consequences of AIDS.   At least not in public. 

    As with the simplistic science of global warming and now climate change, science really isn’t science at all.      In the first decade of this century the CDC published a series of yearly reports on the epidemic of STDs among  “young adults” aged 12 to 26.    Only after several years of these reports did the NY Times publish an alarm on their front page.  And even then they focussed almost exclusively on — to quote — “adolescent women ages 12 to 26.”   The “other” had to be the true victim/hero of the narrative as if boys weren’t numbered among the 6 million new cases each year. 

    Recall the tired joke about “military intelligence” being an oxymoron?   That is emphatically true of medical ethics.    It is meaningless to speak it.   As with eugenics, perhaps the AMA and the  medical profession will utlimately wake up but I’m not betting on it.  In a very real sense doctors and medical school professors are capos in the death camps produced by reproductive rights and sexual liberation.   But is there any American institution that has not been corrupted? 

    Graham Combs

  • LozeraFrank

    I can see that you think SSM is destructive and absurd. But why? To say it is against natural law is not to explain why it is destructive and absurd.

    You can say homosexuality is disordered until you’re blue in the face. But that won’t make it so. The Church does not decide who is psychologically disordered. Psychologists do. The church has no expertise in such matters. None. The APA decision to remove homosexuality from the DSM was seconded by every major medical and counseling association in the U.S., including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Counseling Association, and the National Association of Social Workers. If you think that ideologues were responsible for their position statements, you are paranoid indeed. In December 1998, the American Psychiatric Association issued a position statement opposing any psychiatric treatment, such as “reparative” or conversion therapy, that is based on the assumption that homosexuality is a mental disorder or that a patient should change his or her sexual orientation. Such therapies are indeed very harmful and you are extremely irresponsible to advocate them. The State of California is deliberating now about whether to ban them all together. Exodus International, the umbrella organization for ex-gay ministries in the U.S., announced not long ago that they have stopped these therapeutic treatments for exactly the reasons that the American Psychiatric Association denounced them: they are not only ineffective but harmful. 

    • Ailinacourt

       The DSM is not really science-based, but rather opinion-based.  Much of our thoughts about human behavior, including sexuality and gender behavior,  are social constructs that change with time.

      Pederasty, sex between older mentoring men and young teenage boys under their charge, was the most common form of homosexuality at the times both the Old and New Testaments were written, and was considered a social norm at the time (except in Jewish culture).  Ancient Greece, where it was commonly practiced,  was highly influential in the ancient world.  Today, we would frown on this particular form of homosexuality since it involves teenage boys and older men.  It was not romance-based but power based.

      Romantic love and marriage are modern ideals based on fleeting feelings, and don’t appear to be all that successful, to judge by the rate of divorce and relationship break downs within both heterosexual and homosexual relationships.

  • Gabriella

    Dough Remy, you must be bored out of your mind to be spending this much time on this site.
    Homosexuals are disturbed people, bothering the rest of the world with their agenda … why do not they just do whatever they need to do and leave the rest of the world alone?
    One only needs to watch one of those gay parades to see what they are all about – filth, perversity, disgusting behavior. If they are what they claim to be, why do not they march in order, dressed properly, and simply be polite rather than grossly provocative, flaunting their perverted sexuality publicly?. As it says in the Good Book, “…by their fruit you know them…”
    so show me any good fruit they produce, Remy, and then, I will take you seriously.

    • Gabriella, your description of a gay pride parade would could also apply to the Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans.

      Festivals are not places for “marching in order” and “dressing properly.” Mardi Gras is a last chance to indulge in excess before Lent. It’s a chance to wear ridiculous and provocative costumes and outrage the prudes. You do realize, don’t you, that those people wearing outlandish costumes will look just like you and me when the festival is over?

      Your characterization of homosexuals as “disturbed people” has no basis in fact. It is what is called a “prejudice,” like “Jews are stingy,” and “black men just want to rape white women.” All the major medical and social care associations in this country have warned against such characterizations and declared them unscientific. When you say such things, you say much more about yourself than about homosexuals.

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