Inciting fear and hatred of gays and
lesbians doesn't seem to take a holiday.
In Russia, only days after the world
united against HIV during the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day, Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov linked HIV to the gay rights movement.
According to Luzhkov, greater
visibility for the gay community results in an increase in HIV.
“We have banned, and will ban, the
propaganda of sexual minorities' opinions because they can be one of
the factors in the spread of HIV infection,” he said while speaking
at a conference in Moscow titled HIV/AIDS in Developed Countries.
The comments are no revelation to
anyone who monitors what's happening inside Moscow, where the mayor
has denied gay activists a gay pride parade license for the past
three years, and has called being gay “satanic.”
Luzhkov's demagoguery places Russia on
an infectious train wreck. Consider the fact that in sub-Saharan
Africa, where nearly 32.9 million people have contracted HIV, the
primary route of infection remains heterosexual sex, but for Western
countries gay men, prostitutes and drug addicts represent the highest
risk groups. Reaching these at-risk groups is key to stemming the
rise of new infections, and driving gay men underground by
dehumanizing them is contrary to that end.
Back in the U.S., a full-page ad characterizing grassroots demonstrations against the passage of Proposition 8 as mob “intimidation” set a new low bar for
The full-page ad appearing in Friday's
New York Times was sponsored by The Becket Fund for Religious
Liberty, a nonprofit group dedicated to “protecting the free
expression of all religious traditions”.
“[W]e're united in this: The violence
and intimidation being directed against the LDS or 'Mormon' church,
and other religious organizations – and even against individual
believers – simply because they supported Proposition 8 is an
outrage that must stop,” the ad reads.
The ad vows to work against
demonstrators by “exposing and publicly shaming anyone who resorts
to the rhetoric of anti-religious bigotry – against any faith, on
any side of any cause, for any reason.”
The Mormon Church might have visioned
Hosannas as it rounded its anti-gay victory lap, but instead faced
recalcitrant demonstrators who've been cheered on by the media and politicians for their spunk to stand up against such a Goliath.
Exposing and publicly shaming? Had we
only thought of that first! Oh, the sweet irony.
From Kalamazoo, Michigan, some good
new ordinance makes it illegal to use sexual orientation to
discriminate in the areas of housing, public accommodations and
employment. Kalamazoo joins 15 other Michigan cities in passing such
But only a state away, in Toledo, Ohio,
a former University of Toledo human resources official is pressing ahead with a lawsuit against the school after she was fired for an
anti-gay rant published on the Toledo Free Press website.
Crystal Dixon believes that her First
Amendment right to free speech was violated when the university fired
her for saying that being gay was a choice and promoted the notion
that gays can be “cured” through prayer.
Dixon was responding to an editorial
that likened gay rights to the African-American struggle.
“As a Black woman who happens to be
an alumnus of the University of Toledo's Graduate School, an employee
and business owner,” Dixon wrote,
“I take great umbrage at the notion that those choosing the
homosexual lifestyle are 'civil rights victims'. Here's why: I
cannot wake up tomorrow and not be a Black woman. I am genetically
and biologically a Black woman and very pleased to be so as my
of homosexuals make a life decision to leave the gay lifestyle
evidenced by the growing population of P-FOX ... and Exodus
Dixon is being
represented in her lawsuit by the Thomas More Law Center, the same
group that promised legal protection for Oklahoma State
Representative Sally Kern after she received threats for saying, “I
honestly think it's [homosexuality] the biggest threat our nation
has, even more so than terrorism or Islam,” in March.
Birds of a feather.
And it was our own
Gay Entertainment Report that brought me news that Ciao,
lauded by AfterElton.com as “the best gay movie I've seen all
year,” has finally arrived in theaters.
The Gay Slant is a
weekly feature of On Top Magazine. Walter Weeks is a writer for On
Top and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.