August 15th, 2008
A German Arabic-language magazine al-Salam is the latest to pick up on last January’s much-hyped MRSA scare. The free magazine distributed to restaurants and cafes around Berlin features an article titled, “A flesh-eating bacteria and sexual abnormality,” which reportedly claims that most gay men have deadly diseases, and that Muslims must not shake the hand of a gay man because: “one never knows what kind of bacteria and germs are found on them.” According to local news reports, the article is “couched in pseudo-scientific language, and accompanied with graphic photos of skin diseases.”
You may recall that last January, researchers from the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) touched off a nationwide panic with their sensationalistic press release, which hyped a study conducted by UCSF of an outbreak of a drug-resistant staph infection among gay men in San Francisco and Boston. The staph infection, known as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is often transmitted by skin-to-skin contact.
Binh Diep, the study’s lead author, threw more fuel on the fire with several incendiary statements he made to news reporters, saying “this is a national problem, and San Francisco is at the epicenter,” and that “once this reaches the general population, it will be truly unstoppable.” Those remarks touched off a chain of panic-inducing headlines of “flesh-eating bugs” spreading among gays. In terms that were strongly reminiscent of rhetoric from the early 1980’s, the gay community was once again being blamed for yet another plague which threatened engulf the “general population.”
But it turns out that the real story is very different. Community-acquired MRSA has been around for decades, most often infecting athletes, including Miami Dolphins Junior Seau and Charlie Rogers in 2003 and Washington Redskins’ Brandon Noble in 2006. Dr. Holly J. Benjamin, writing for the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, has described MSRA as “the latest sports epidemic.” The problem has gotten to be so widespread that the CDC has published prevention measures written especially for athletes.
But that didn’t stop anti-gay extremists from hyping MRSA as the latest threat to the “general population.” Funny how high school and college athletes are excused from being such a threat. And now this same overly-hyped scare has jumped across the pond to Germany, where it has taken root in that country’s Muslim population.
UCSF offered a half-hearted apology for their role in fomenting the MRSA hysteria last January. This came after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a much stronger clarification, saying:
The strains of MRSA described in the recent Annals of Internal Medicine have mostly been identified in certain groups of men who have sex with men (MSM), but have also been found in some persons who are not MSM. It is important to note that the groups of MSM in which these isolates have been described are not representative of all MSM, so conclusions can not be drawn about the prevalence of these strains among all MSM. … [emphasis mine]
UCSF’s self-serving press release however remains on their website.
Given the often-violent friction between Europe’s Muslim immigrants and the local gay communities, it is more important than ever for UCSF to take responsibility for the damage they caused in their sensationalistic publicity stunt from last January. Their irresponsible actions continue to reverberate around the world, and now German gays are in the crosshairs. UCSF has a special responsibility to aggressively pursue every instance in which medical misinformation is propagated in the press, especially when that press is bent on using this misinformation to further demonize a minority population.
You can learn the real story behind the latest MRSA panic in our report, “Testing the Premise: Is MRSA The New Gay Plague?”
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.