Category: AIDS History

Dear Abby on Gays; Gov. Jan Brewer’s Hate Bill; Changing AIDS History

Dear Abby on Gays

A straight couple in Florida moved to a new neighborhood, found out two couples in the neighborhood were gay, and refused to invite them to neighborhood social gatherings because they didn’t approve of their “lifestyle.” As a result, the straight couple found themselves being excluded by the entire neighborhood and they sent Dear Abby a letter asking for her thoughts and she responded in a priceless way.

Replied the columnist: ‘I sure would. The first thing I’d like to say is that regardless of what you were told in your previous community, a person’s sexual orientation isn’t a “lifestyle choice.” Gay people don’t choose to be gay; they are born that way. They can’t change being gay any more than you can change being heterosexual.’

After the lesson on sexual orientation, Dear Abby offered this observation: ‘I find it interesting that you are unwilling to reciprocate the hospitality of people who welcomed you and opened their homes to you, and yet you complain because you are receiving similar treatment.’

You can read the rest here.

Tony and I would have welcomed them to the neighborhood. But then, Tony and I have also experienced this kind of discrimination before (previous post on that here) when we lived in a town house community about ten miles from where we live now in New Hope, PA. As a result of that discrimination we moved to a better location, a bigger private home, our home is worth more now than the town house would ever be, and those same people that discriminated against us fifteen years ago are still living there and the odds are they’ll die there.

Gov. Jan Brewer’s Hate Bill

Arizona Governor, Jan Brewer, is dealing with what some think is a bit of a conundrum. In short, there are some law makers in Arizona who want to enforce a highly discriminatory bill that would allow business owners to turn away gays based on the business owner’s religious beliefs. And everyone is waiting to see which side of history Gov. Brewer will take.

The conservative governor is already feeling pressure from the business community to veto the bill passed late Thursday. A prominent Phoenix group believes it would be another black eye for the state that saw a national backlash over its 2010 immigration crackdown law, SB1070. Opponents also pointed out that the legislation would serve as a major distraction as Arizona prepares to host the Super Bowl next year.

I don’t have any strong political comments here. I have always believed that ALL politicians will do what’s in their own best interest. But if Gov. Brewer does not veto the bill and a law like this that discriminates against gays and their families (that’s right, families are part of this, too…I don’t know one straight person with a gay family member who doesn’t feel strongly about this) is enforced, I think those who refuse gays based on religious beliefs should be forced, legally, to post a large sign in their window stating this up front. In other words, I want to know where these religious business owners stand without question. The straight members in my family and my straight friends also want to know where these religious business owners stand so they know, and so they don’t have to patronize them. If this is what they want, turn them into public examples.

As public opinion begins to shift almost everywhere, it’s interesting to see something like this happen. I guess some people didn’t learn from the civil rights movement, and they don’t know how poorly they are going to look fifty years from now.

What’s even more interesting is that I don’t know one single gay business owner who would discriminate against anyone based on that person’s religious beliefs. Maybe there are some. But I’ve never met one.

You can read more here.

Changing AIDS History

I have always believed that we’ve never really been given all the facts about AIDS. I remember reading about a group in Beverly Hills, CA, that worked hard to disabuse many concepts about AIDS during the 1980’s and was constantly silenced…or ignored completely. And this next article I’m linking to talks about how drugs like Bactrim were allegedly kept from the public at the height of the AIDS epidemic. Bactrim is the most effective anti-biotic used to fight off PCP, a deadly pneumonia that is usually what winds up killing those with AIDS.

I point to Dr. Fauci in particular, because he was, and remains today, the head of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the head of the federal government’s AIDS research program. In 1987, pioneering AIDS activist Michael Callen begged Fauci for help in promoting the use of Bactrim as PCP prophylaxis and issuing interim guidelines urging physicians to prophylax those patients deemed at high risk for PCP.

The article gets complicated at times, but it’s worth reading if you don’t know anything about AIDS and you’re curious.

Here’s the link.