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Gays Debate Radical Steps to Curb Unsafe Sex
New York Times ^ | 2/14/05 | Andrew Jacobs

Posted on 02/14/2005 8:25:09 PM PST by Callahan

After all the thousands of AIDS deaths and all the years of "Safe Sex Is Hot Sex" prevention messages, it has come down to this: many gay men who know the rules of engagement in the age of AIDS are not using condoms. As news of a potentially virulent strain of H.I.V. settles in, gay activists and AIDS prevention workers say they are dismayed and angry that the 25-year-old battle against the disease might have to begin all over again.

While many are calling for a renewed commitment to prevention efforts and free condoms, some veterans of the war on AIDS are advocating an entirely new approach to the spread of unsafe sex, much of which is fueled by a surge in methamphetamine abuse. They want to track down those who knowingly engage in risky behavior and try to stop them before they can infect others.

It is a radical idea, born of desperation, that has been gaining ground in recent months as a growing number of gay men become infected despite warnings about unsafe sex.

Although gay advocates and health care workers are just beginning to talk about how this might be done, it could involve showing up at places where impromptu sex parties happen and confronting the participants. Or it might mean infiltrating Web sites that promote gay hookups and thwarting liaisons involving crystal meth.

Other ideas include collaborating with health officials in tracking down the partners of those newly infected with H.I.V. At the very least, these advocates say, gay men must start taking responsibility for their own, before a resurgent epidemic draws government officials who could use even more aggressive tactics.

"Gay men do not have the right to spread a debilitating and often fatal disease," said Charles Kaiser, a historian and author of "The Gay Metropolis." "A person who is H.I.V.-positive has no more right to unprotected intercourse than he has the right to put a bullet through another person's head," he said.

While not endorsing specific strategies, even mainstream organizations like the Gay Men's Health Crisis support the idea of trying methods that would have been anathema a few years ago. "It makes a community stronger when we take care of ourselves," said Ana Oliveira, the organization's executive director, "and if that means that we have to be much more present and intervene with people who are doing this to themselves and others, then so be it."

For many others, however, even talk of such steps provokes hand-wringing. "We don't want public health vigilantes going out and taking matters into their own hands, particularly if it means breaching the confidentially and civil rights of people with H.I.V.," said Jon Givner, the director of the H.I.V. Project at the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. "Frankly, I find it pretty scary."

Whether such ideas gain acceptance, the fact that activists are even thinking about curbing gay sexual freedom is a huge shift.

In the early years of the AIDS epidemic, gay men protested attempts to close down bathhouses and strenuously opposed efforts by health officials to trace those infected with the virus. Until now, those advocates, driven by concerns about privacy and the stigma associated with the disease, have successfully fought off efforts to impose a traditional public-health model for tackling the spread of the virus.

"You have to remember that was the era when Jesse Helms and others were saying that gay people got what they deserved, and that the government shouldn't spend any money to help them," said David Evans, an H.I.V. treatment advocate who writes about prevention. "There was a time when people thought, 'Oh my god, they're going to put us in camps.' "

Such fears have faded in recent years, thanks in part to laws that protect people with AIDS against discrimination. Although the number of AIDS-related deaths has plummeted since the advent of a more potent class of drugs in the mid-90's, the rate of new infections has remained unchanged at about 40,000 cases a year, frustrating many advocates.

That frustration has been ratcheted up by the growing popularity of crystal meth in New York, which many say has led to an abrupt increase in unsafe behavior and a spate of infections. Although exact figures are difficult to determine, a recent survey of gay men found that 25 percent had tried crystal meth in the last few months.

Those frustrations were given voice in November by Larry Kramer, the playwright and activist who himself has AIDS, in a widely discussed speech at Cooper Union in which he criticized gay men for their behavior. "You are still murdering each other," he said then. "Please stop with all the generalizations and avoidance excuses gays have used since the beginning to ditch this responsibility for this fact."

In an interview, Mr. Kramer said on Sunday that the warning of a possibly aggressive new strain of H.I.V. confirmed his fears and filled him with a sense of hopelessness. "Even in the days of the worst infections, no amount of prevention seemed to work, and that's probably the scariest thing of all," he said.

Even if the warning turns out to be a false alarm, many AIDS experts say it is only a matter of time before a supervirus does emerge.

"You can't have a core group of people having sex with large numbers of people without amplifying any sexually transmitted disease that enters the system," said Gabriel Rotello, author of "Sexual Ecology: AIDS and the Destiny of Gay Men." "I don't have any doubt that a resurgent H.I.V. epidemic will hit the gay population in the near future," he said.

It is this fear of a drug-resistant virus that has driven some who track the spread of AIDS to suggest a more aggressive approach to prevention. Walter Armstrong, the editor in chief of Poz, a monthly magazine about AIDS and H.I.V., said the traditional fear-based model of prevention was at best only a temporary solution, especially if no supervirus outbreak materializes. A more effective way, he said, would involve gay organizations using traditional public health measures, such as more widespread screening and a partner-notification effort to track users of crystal meth who have been infected recently.

"Why would it not be possible to get them together to communicate to each other, and then to their sex partners, that lives are being put at risk by reckless behavior?" he asked. "I think there are ways to do interventions ethically, sensitively and compassionately. There's a huge window of opportunity between criminalization and empty prevention messages."

Still, others remain wary of such measures. Walt Odets, a clinical psychologist and the author of "In the Shadow of the Epidemic: Being HIV-Negative in the Age of AIDS," said he thought such intervention smacked of a witch hunt.

He and others said it would be more effective to try to identify the underlying causes of drug abuse and self-destructive behavior, including the difficulty of living in a society that rejects committed gay relationships while condemning homosexuals for having sex outside those relationships. Gay men, he said, are using methamphetamine as an antidepressant.

Many health experts suggest a more vigorous return to conventional H.I.V. prevention. Isaac Weisfuse, the city's deputy commissioner of health, said his agency was planning to place information banners on gay Web sites and devote more money to hard-hitting ads about methamphetamine use.

Others, like Mr. Rotello, were less optimistic. Until people really believe an unstoppable virus is out there, he said, they will continue to indulge in unsafe sexual practices. "People are not going to modify their sexual habits in ways that are difficult or unpleasant until they see their friends dying again," he said. "And to me that's just an unbelievably depressing thought."


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aids; gaydisease; grid; hiv; homosexual; homosexualagenda; homosexuals; riskybehavior; updebutt
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1 posted on 02/14/2005 8:25:09 PM PST by Callahan
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To: Callahan

One Simple Rule:

Keep de peepee out o de poopoo.


2 posted on 02/14/2005 8:27:50 PM PST by rottndog (WOOF!)
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To: Callahan
He and others said it would be more effective to try to identify the underlying causes of drug abuse and self-destructive behavior, including the difficulty of living in a society that rejects committed gay relationships while condemning homosexuals for having sex outside those relationships. Gay men, he said, are using methamphetamine as an antidepressant.

This line got my attention. If fear of death doesn't keep these guys from participating in "impromptu sex parties," what effect will gay marriage have?

3 posted on 02/14/2005 8:29:07 PM PST by Callahan
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To: Callahan

I never understood that in SF, it took them years to close those sick Gay bath houses even while the members where dropping like flys......of course they could just have been the intitial version of "bug chasers" trying to get AIDS.


4 posted on 02/14/2005 8:30:10 PM PST by NorCalRepub
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To: Callahan

This is a fascinating article. I was just reading it while looking for more news on another story.

Are the radical gays finally getting a clue?

My brother died of AIDS, could partner tracing have saved him? I'll never know, but I'll never forgive the attitude of the radical gay community towards this disease, it has cost MANY lives.

They did more harm to their own group than Jerry Fallwell ever could have, or WOULD have done.


5 posted on 02/14/2005 8:31:12 PM PST by jocon307 (Vote George Washington for the #1 spot)
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To: Callahan

Homosexuality is self-destructive? Whoda thunk it?


6 posted on 02/14/2005 8:32:02 PM PST by MacDorcha
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To: Callahan

that line stuck out to me as well. as with most vices there are those that think legitimizing the vice in some fashion will somehow make people who are fundamentally out of control suddenly find control.


7 posted on 02/14/2005 8:32:32 PM PST by Frapster (the ice age cometh!)
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To: Callahan

Within a certain strain of the culture, there is no fear of death. My best friend is a doctor who works in a university clinic, and he sees a fair number of gay students. It really shocked him at the number who automatically assume that they won't live past 40, and won't listen to his recommendations on health because they are only expecting to live 15-20 more years.


8 posted on 02/14/2005 8:32:33 PM PST by July 4th (A vacant lot cancelled out my vote for Bush.)
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To: Callahan
it could involve showing up at places where impromptu sex parties happen and confronting the participants.

I suggest that they wear one of those John Kerry blue bunny suits...

9 posted on 02/14/2005 8:33:48 PM PST by Onelifetogive (* Sarcasm tag ALWAYS required. For some FReepers, sarcasm can NEVER be obvious enough.)
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To: Callahan

Surprise , surprise. They are discovering that males in heat act irrationally.


10 posted on 02/14/2005 8:34:41 PM PST by RobbyS (JMJ)
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To: July 4th

The Rump Rangers ride again.


11 posted on 02/14/2005 8:35:57 PM PST by csmusaret (Urban Sprawl is an oxymoron)
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To: Callahan
He and others said it would be more effective to try to identify the underlying causes of drug abuse and self-destructive behavior, including the difficulty of living in a society that rejects committed gay relationships while condemning homosexuals for having sex outside those relationships. Gay men, he said, are using methamphetamine as an antidepressant.

That's right, if society would only accept rump rangers, all would be just ducky.

The fact that anal sex is extremely unhealthy, leading to countless bowel diseases plus HIV infections, wouldn't matter any more. Click your red heels three times and wish very, very hard....

12 posted on 02/14/2005 8:36:02 PM PST by xJones
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To: July 4th

The kind of madness that Paul of Taurus talks about in his letter to the Romans.


13 posted on 02/14/2005 8:36:02 PM PST by RobbyS (JMJ)
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To: Callahan

Are gay marriages know for the fidelity of the partners?


14 posted on 02/14/2005 8:38:14 PM PST by RobbyS (JMJ)
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To: Callahan

Everything they are considering is considered a sign of hoomophobia when straight people have suggested it.


15 posted on 02/14/2005 8:39:08 PM PST by Darkwolf377 ("Drowning someone...I wouldn't have a part in that."--Teddy K)
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To: Callahan
At the very least, these advocates say, gay men must start taking responsibility for their own, before a resurgent epidemic draws government officials who could use even more aggressive tactics.

Those interment camps they're building in Idaho really have 'em spooked.

... others said it would be more effective to try to identify the underlying causes of drug abuse and self-destructive behavior, including the difficulty of living in a society that rejects committed gay relationships while condemning homosexuals for having sex outside those relationships.

How did I know that it was my fault homos are infecting each other with AIDS? How will I ever be able to live with myself?! O', the shame!

16 posted on 02/14/2005 8:41:54 PM PST by randog (What the....?!)
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To: July 4th

The idea that gays lose themselves in self-destructive mindless hedonism to drown out the pain of being rejected by society is a common theme these days. I think it also has to to with the male sex drive being multiplied by two. If all the girls I knew in college were as willing as the guys, it would have been a real mess.


17 posted on 02/14/2005 8:43:47 PM PST by Callahan
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To: NorCalRepub
"I never understood that in SF, it took them years to close those sick Gay bath houses ..."



Didn't they eventually reopen the bath houses? Anyway, their sickness manifests itself in many ways. I watched a John Stossel report on 20/20 awhile back--there were gay bars where there was a wall with holes at strategic heights on the wall. Anyone could and would just anonymously walk up to a hole and, well, you get the idea. No one ever knew who or what was on each side of the wall. Sick stuff.

It's hard to have compassion for a group of people who are so deliberately self destructive.
18 posted on 02/14/2005 8:48:26 PM PST by rottndog (WOOF!)
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To: Callahan

"He and others said it would be more effective to try to identify the underlying causes of drug abuse and self-destructive behavior, including the difficulty of living in a society that rejects committed gay relationships while condemning homosexuals for having sex outside those relationships. Gay men, he said, are using methamphetamine as an antidepressant."

Well, cry me a river! Somehow there is always somebody else to blame for sick and depraved behavior. I'm surprised this person didn't say "IT'S BUSH'S FAULT" as well. Sheesh.


19 posted on 02/14/2005 8:52:05 PM PST by PilloryHillary (Can vegetarians eat animal crackers?)
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To: Callahan

"You have to remember that was the era when Jesse Helms and others were saying that gay people got what they deserved, and that the government shouldn't spend any money to help them," said David Evans

I agree with Jesse. Further, I submit that AIDS is a product
of natural selection, ala Darwin... mother nature cleansing
herself.


20 posted on 02/14/2005 8:53:56 PM PST by democratslayer (Mother Nature Cleasing Herself)
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To: Callahan
"Although gay advocates and health care workers are just beginning to talk about how this might be done, it could involve showing up at places where impromptu sex parties happen and confronting the participants. Or it might mean infiltrating Web sites that promote gay hookups and thwarting liaisons involving crystal meth."

"Other ideas include collaborating with health officials in tracking down the partners of those newly infected with H.I.V. At the very least, these advocates say, gay men must start taking responsibility for their own, before a resurgent epidemic draws government officials who could use even more aggressive tactics. "

How about the tactic of reversing the Supreme Court Decision to (by legislating from the bench) legalize sodomy?

"He and others said it would be more effective to try to identify the underlying causes of drug abuse and self-destructive behavior, including the difficulty of living in a society that rejects committed gay relationships while condemning homosexuals for having sex outside those relationships. Gay men, he said, are using methamphetamine as an antidepressant."

And, like we all knew would happen, they are already trying to blame society for this new strain of AIDS instead of realizing that it is caused by sodomy.

Some older homosexual activists entered into long term relationships due to homosexuality being illegal. They do not even realize that the fight to undo laws prohibiting sodomy has resulted in more and more promiscuity. The right to marry is not going to change that. Once they have demolished this taboo completely, these men (or their successors) will seek out more thrills by finding whatever taboos are left - pedophilia, necrophilia, bestiality, etc. For those who have already crossed the line into reprobation, the homosexuals are just pawns in a larger struggle.
21 posted on 02/14/2005 8:55:20 PM PST by unlearner
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To: Darkwolf377

Yes it is. And I notice too hpw they openly admit to having 100's of partners in a 3 MONTH PERIOD!! As this articles implies, they expect we are suppose to just support this.

Homosexuals DO NOT HAVE COMMITTED RELATIONSHIPS!

Even when they "marry" they are openly admitting they have no intention of being "with" only that one person.


22 posted on 02/14/2005 8:55:52 PM PST by gidget7
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To: Callahan
Gay or straight, if you are living the life of meth and anal sex, you might want to become familiar with the phrase natural selection.
23 posted on 02/14/2005 8:57:16 PM PST by teenyelliott (Soilent green is made of liberals...)
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To: Callahan
For those infected who are legally proven to so misbehave I suggest a literary solution, The Scarlet Letter. Tattoo A where only those with a need to know (e.g. health care workers and potential unsafe sex victims) can legally see it. It can't legally cause discrimination - beyond the intended sexual discrimination - because it's illegal (indecent exposure) for potential discriminators to view it.
24 posted on 02/14/2005 8:58:05 PM PST by JohnBovenmyer (I)
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To: gidget7

With all due respect, I don't see that many straight relationships lasting that long, either. Not taking the opposite side from you, merely pointing out that straights sure aren't setting many records for prolonged relationships.


25 posted on 02/14/2005 8:58:59 PM PST by Darkwolf377 ("Drowning someone...I wouldn't have a part in that."--Teddy K)
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To: PilloryHillary

I'm surprised this person didn't say "IT'S BUSH'S FAULT" as well. Sheesh.


You beat me to it! I still don't get why they keep relating the problem to meth use. What has that got to do with getting AIDS? Is he trying to say it makes gays MORE uninhibited?? Not possible.


26 posted on 02/14/2005 8:59:24 PM PST by gidget7
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To: rottndog
Gay men, he said, are using methamphetamine as an antidepressant.

Oh horse sh#t. They are using it as a stimulant to increase their already hypersexual behavior. One damn excuse after another. Maybe at some point the psychiatrists will finally admit they were wrong in removing homosexuality from the diagnostic manual as an illness, something they did out of political correctness.
27 posted on 02/14/2005 9:01:30 PM PST by Kozak (Anti Shahada: " There is no God named Allah, and Muhammed is his False Prophet")
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To: Darkwolf377
No, I agree with you on that. However, unless one is so called bi-sexual, or shares needles with someone who is, they aren't spreading aids.

It is immoral, but heterosexuals are not saying that their promiscuity is inherent.
28 posted on 02/14/2005 9:03:04 PM PST by gidget7
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To: gidget7

I find it interesting that the "society forced me to turn into a male slut to dull the pain" exscuse is being employed by gays who live in the areas (Frisco, Manhattan) where homosexuality is most accepted. By this logic, gays in Tulsa should be even bigger whores. However, I suspect the opposite is true.


29 posted on 02/14/2005 9:05:01 PM PST by Callahan
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To: gidget7
We're not? Uh, I mean, they're not? ;) "I couldn't help myself" "It just HAPPENED" "It didn't mean anything, it was JUST sex" "Men are by their nature non-monogomous."

I think everyone will flee to any lie just to cover himself when he violates his committment. Trust me, I'm a man--most men DO think it's out of their hands, or rather, they push that as an excuse, ready to toss it out if they feel like stepping out.

30 posted on 02/14/2005 9:05:55 PM PST by Darkwolf377 ("Drowning someone...I wouldn't have a part in that."--Teddy K)
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To: Callahan

so true. I read one of the articles here by a psychiatrist who gave evidence, and research to back up his opinion that it is a compulsion, ,ush like OCD. WHich is a mental disorder


31 posted on 02/14/2005 9:07:16 PM PST by gidget7
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To: MacDorcha
Pretty hard to argue with anyone about the perverseness of homosexuality when the sick minds of the participants are being fed a line by the educated elite psychologists that 'it's perfectly normal'. Sad that it won't be figured out until AIDS is in full-blown mode and death at the door that it's not doing anybody a favour to tell them they are normal when they are not.
32 posted on 02/14/2005 9:07:16 PM PST by Asfarastheeastisfromthewest...
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To: Darkwolf377
Trust me, I'm a man--most men DO think it's out of their hands, or rather, they push that as an excuse, ready to toss it out if they feel like stepping out.

Oh I know Darkwolf, but seriously, they don't really believe it do they? I mean "born that way" just doesn't cut it for promiscuous behavior! of Any kind!
33 posted on 02/14/2005 9:09:33 PM PST by gidget7
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To: Callahan

One must remember the homosexual community is one of the most highly educated and wealthiest demographic groups. This is not about giving them more education, Men are the gas pedal in a sexual relationship females are the brakes. When you have two males involved there is no stopping them. This group is de-evolving back into animals unable to control their sexual drives.


34 posted on 02/14/2005 9:12:34 PM PST by Walkingfeather (q)
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To: gidget7

Seems that most of the literature I've looked at shows that anal sex is so dangerous, committed relationships are not really that much different than multiple casual ones in terms of health risks for homosexual men. All you have to do is look at average life spans for homos that die with AIDS and those that die of some other causes and the spread is very small (seem to remember that it is about 2 years).


35 posted on 02/14/2005 9:15:02 PM PST by Asfarastheeastisfromthewest...
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To: Walkingfeather
This group is de-evolving back into animals unable to control their sexual drives.


De-evolving? Hell man, they are already there.
36 posted on 02/14/2005 9:15:32 PM PST by rottndog (WOOF!)
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To: Walkingfeather

Unable?? or is it in fact Unwilling???


37 posted on 02/14/2005 9:16:48 PM PST by gidget7
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To: Callahan

Sadly, young fags cannot be fully accepted into the the pervert nation unless they are HIV positive. Thus they seek to become infected. Sick? Let me count the ways.


38 posted on 02/14/2005 9:17:06 PM PST by Octar
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To: Callahan
While many are calling for a renewed commitment to prevention efforts and free condoms, some veterans of the war on AIDS are advocating an entirely new approach to the spread of unsafe sex, much of which is fueled by a surge in methamphetamine abuse. They want to track down those who knowingly engage in risky behavior and try to stop them before they can infect others.

This is what anti-sodomy laws were for in the first place!

39 posted on 02/14/2005 9:17:22 PM PST by thoughtomator (If Islam is a religion, so is Liberal!)
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To: NorCalRepub

It was when doctors started noticing the same faces in the bathouses as those in their waiting rooms that it started to matter.


40 posted on 02/14/2005 9:17:56 PM PST by perfect stranger (Godel, Escher and Bach. The Eternal Golden Braid)
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To: Asfarastheeastisfromthewest...
anal sex is so dangerous, committed relationships are not really that much different than multiple casual ones in terms of health risks for homosexual men. All you have to do is look at average life spans for homos that die with AIDS and those that die of some other causes and the spread is very small (seem to remember that it is about 2 years).



The human body is not designed nor conditioned to accept anal sex. It just isn't. When it's forced anyway, against it's own conditioning, how can anything come of it BUT diseases? Because of the cross contamination, alone, its ripe for infection and a breading ground for just about anything.
41 posted on 02/14/2005 9:21:13 PM PST by gidget7
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To: Kozak
hey are using it as a stimulant to increase their already hypersexual behavior.

One in the same, my FRiend. They use meth to accentuate their craziness so they can escape their rapidly-approaching depression.

I'm convinced that being gay is, 99.9% of the time, a symptom of deeper psychological problems--some treatable with drugs, others with the right shoulder(s) to cry on.

However, this is far too unpopular a view, and they will continue to demand we surrender ourselves and our children to their depravity.

And if anyone thinks I don't know what I'm talking about, my brother-in-law is gay, and he and his "friend" fit this profile to a "T."

42 posted on 02/14/2005 9:23:48 PM PST by Future Snake Eater (The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.)
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To: Callahan
"Gay men do not have the right to spread a debilitating and often fatal disease," said Charles Kaiser, a historian and author of "The Gay Metropolis."

This is pretty much the same exact thing Mayor Bloomberg said in the last couple of days as well!

43 posted on 02/14/2005 9:25:18 PM PST by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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To: Darkwolf377

I think the scope of homosexual male promiscuity far outdoes anything heterosexuals engage in. I have never known or heard of any man who had a hundred female sex partners over the course of three months.


44 posted on 02/14/2005 9:25:56 PM PST by thoughtomator (If Islam is a religion, so is Liberal!)
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To: NotJustAnotherPrettyFace

This is pretty much the same exact thing Mayor Bloomberg said in the last couple of days as well!



He sure did! These HIV positive people are walking around with a deadly weapon.


45 posted on 02/14/2005 9:27:22 PM PST by gidget7
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To: thoughtomator
I have never known or heard of any man who had a hundred female sex partners over the course of three months.


Ever heard of: Magic Johnson, Wilt Chamberlain, Mick Jagar,... etc.?
46 posted on 02/14/2005 9:29:17 PM PST by rottndog (WOOF!)
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To: thoughtomator

I think the scope of homosexual male promiscuity far outdoes anything heterosexuals engage in. I have never known or heard of any man who had a hundred female sex partners over the course of three months.



I agree. Immoral behavior, but none in the same scape. And now that I am totally grossed out, I am going to bed. Enough of this for one night!!!


47 posted on 02/14/2005 9:29:35 PM PST by gidget7
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To: gidget7
Exactly and that is why I think it important to refute any hint of a suggestion that the health problems of homos will all go away if only they were 'encouraged to have long-term, stable, monogamous relationships'. Hogwash - those in the long-term relationships (which are about as rare as homos at a Bible study) are only marginally healthier.
48 posted on 02/14/2005 9:32:40 PM PST by Asfarastheeastisfromthewest...
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To: Callahan

#3 is a good comment by you. Congrats. You make more sense, and are smarter, than this NY Times writer, and the fellows he quotes. But, on the other hand, that isn't saying much!


49 posted on 02/14/2005 9:32:41 PM PST by guitarist
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To: rottndog

Okay, so maybe a handful of huge stars at the height of their fame and fortune have done the same... the exceptions prove the rule, that this is not behavior found in normal people. This guy wasn't some movie star, he was an unknown bloke, and he still found a hundred or more different partners over three months.


50 posted on 02/14/2005 9:33:41 PM PST by thoughtomator (If Islam is a religion, so is Liberal!)
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