April 27th, 2009
Of course not. Don’t be ridiculous. But the constant stream of news coming out of Mexico reminds this writer of the hype surrounding whatever fill-in-the-blank disease that has been trotted out in times past to stigmatize the LGBT community. Of course this time, now that straight people are engaging in behaviors (attending school, going to movies, etc.) which provide such fertile ground for these exotic viruses to fester, we see the World Health Organization leap into action while the President of the United States urges everyone to take a deep breath.
Obama’s assurances aside though, what if — think of it — what if this viral outbreak escapes into the general population? Won’t all hell break loose?
Oh wait. Straight people are the general population.
And what a difference a population makes. It was just a little over a year ago that anti-gay activists hyped an outbreak of a drug-resistant strain of staph (MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) in the Castro as the latest “gay plague.” That hype disappeared about as quickly as it began, but today it serves as a textbook example of how quickly research based on a stigmatized population can become fodder for further stigmatizing.
And when I say it’s a textbook example, I mean it. Greenhaven Press, an imprint of textbook publisher Gale’s Cengage Learning, has published Resurgent Diseases: Opposing Viewpoints, which features a reprint of my article, Is MRSA The New Gay Plague? My article appears in Chapter 2 (“How should society respond to resurgent diseases?”) and is retitled, “The hysteria over MRSA is unfounded.”
Resurgent Diseases begins the chapter with a reprint of Sabin Russell’s San Francisco Chronicle which helped kick off the MRSA scare to begin with. My article follows, which is appropriate because I wrote it, in part, as a direct answer to the Chronicle article. This makes the juxtaposition of these two articles in the same textbook ideal. The four other articles rounding out the chapter discuss the balance between individual rights and public health, and the role that governmental authorities and non-governmental organizations can play to address resurgent diseases.
With the latest fears surrounding the swine flu outbreak, Resurgent Diseases may be among the more timely textbooks to come along in a long time.
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.