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Defending Family, Faith and Freedom (for most).
January 31, 2006 10:09 AM   Subscribe

The Family Research Council is claiming victory in their fight to have the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services remove a web site "Celebrating the Pride and Diversity Among and Within the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Populations." [Google Cache Links: 1, 2, 3, 4] But the FRC are not very happy about the "derogatory and even threatening responses to the messages they sent to their own government."
posted by Otis (95 comments total)

 
Also, from here:

...The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has removed an agency website containing numerous pages of what some conservatives called "pro-homosexual propaganda." The website of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration boasted of "celebrating the pride and diversity among and within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender populations." The Family Research Council had called on the government to take down the site. Conservative columnist Dr. Warren Throckmorton said the website contained inaccurate statistics and was a waste of tax dollars.
posted by Otis at 10:12 AM on January 31, 2006


It's okay to send shitty, inflammatory messages to government employees, but it's bad when they respond in kind?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:13 AM on January 31, 2006


In the backdrop of Alito being confirmed, this is just more evidence of fundamentalist Christians using their warped, bigoted views to direct our government and the services it provides us all.
posted by Rothko at 10:15 AM on January 31, 2006


Evidently hate is a very powerful motivator.
posted by clevershark at 10:17 AM on January 31, 2006


Ditto what Rothko so eloquently wrote.
posted by geekhorde at 10:20 AM on January 31, 2006


If pagan is the new black, pehaps FRC is the new brown(shirts).
posted by hwestiii at 10:21 AM on January 31, 2006


Evidently hate is a very powerful motivator.

Almost as powerful as sex ;-)
posted by JekPorkins at 10:21 AM on January 31, 2006


G*d for-fucking-bid you actually direct materials to the populations that you're trying to reach...you want to freak out about a Gay Pride proclamation, fine, whatever, but deleting information about health and medicine (whether it's birth control, HIV prevention or substance abuse issues for GLBT populations) isn't just fucking bigotry, it's assault. And fuck them for feeling "attacked" -- welcome to my world.

Religion used as a way to justify prejudice is SIN. What would Jesus do? Jesus would walk away and cry to see these fuckers use him like this.
posted by ltracey at 10:24 AM on January 31, 2006


I have raised my opinion of government drones 2 clicks today.
posted by sfts2 at 10:24 AM on January 31, 2006


whether it's birth control, HIV prevention or substance abuse issues for GLBT populations

There are different birth control, hiv prevention and substance abuse issues for GLBT populations? I can see how there might be more hiv issues, but birth control? Substance abuse? How do those differ for GLBT populations than for everyone else? Maybe I'm just ignorant, so please educate me as to the specific and unique birth control and substance abuse issues that these people face.
posted by JekPorkins at 10:28 AM on January 31, 2006


I think your promotion of homosexuality African-Americans on a government website is inappropriate and I resent my tax dollars used in such a fashion. I was unaware that the government has undertaking the promotion of homosexuality African-American issues, but the content of this website leaves no question. Can I get the name of the person that authorized the promotion of gay African-American pride on a government website?

Goddammed racists.
posted by three blind mice at 10:31 AM on January 31, 2006


You don't see how birth control issues differ for people who don't sleep with members of the opposite sex?
posted by Tlogmer at 10:32 AM on January 31, 2006


"Please educate me as to the specific and unique birth control and substance abuse issues that these people face."

Love to. Unfortunately, the education site has mysteriously vanished.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:32 AM on January 31, 2006


three blind mice: promoting one particular race on a government website might not be such a great idea, either.
posted by JekPorkins at 10:34 AM on January 31, 2006


Fight back, people.

The address they wrote to is on this page - in fact, here it is:

The Honorable Mike Leavitt, Secretary
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC 20201

Write to Mike and demand that the pages be put back online. Demand that the Government stop bowing to pious religious zealots like the "Family Research Council."

Don't just sit here and bitch about it online. Write letters. FLOOD them with letters - just like the wingnuts do.
Same thing with the FCC. Send them letters of compliment. THANK them for shows like "Family Guy."
posted by drstein at 10:36 AM on January 31, 2006


"THANK them for shows like "Family Guy."

The sad thing is I think you're totally serious.
posted by TetrisKid at 10:37 AM on January 31, 2006


I'd like to everybody involved for 'Family Guy.'
posted by jonmc at 10:39 AM on January 31, 2006


promoting one particular race on a government website might not be such a great idea, either.

In that case, you might want to write your congressperson about this.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:40 AM on January 31, 2006


Let's not get too bent out of shape. Though it's depressing and disappointing, remember that this is a small victory in a battle that the fundies will ultimately lose. The gays already have their fancy tv shows and their Oscar movies and are generally considered normal people in most of the country.

These oddly monumental pushes - like getting a website to stop displaying widely available information - are the last gasps of a vocal minority drowning under the tide of progress. It's just a hollow victory, and remember - there are people who are spending their entire lives trying to stop stuff like this. At the end of the day, it's just sad and pathetic.

But what the hell, I also like drstein's idea. No reason not to write a letter if I've got the time.
posted by billysumday at 10:40 AM on January 31, 2006


JekPorkins, "African-American" is an ethnicity, not a race. And I'm not sure what you mean by "promoting." Are you saying that we should minimize promotion of Italian-American identification. And the Irish, too? BTW, race is made up hooey.
posted by Cassford at 10:41 AM on January 31, 2006


The gays already have their fancy tv shows and their Oscar movies

Well, they've always had those. They just went public is all.
posted by jonmc at 10:42 AM on January 31, 2006


Cassford, I agree with you 100% that race is made up hooey. That's why it's not like sexual orientation, and the two should not be considered similar.

As for "African-American" being an ethnicity, I think the label is applied far too broadly to encompass only one ethnicity. The label is used to describe what people perceive as being a race, and without regard to whether someone is actually African or American. To the extent that it actually describes U.S. Citizens of recent African heritage, and is applied without regard to skin color or physical features, then sure, it's an ethnicity. I think, though, that it's just another crappy term used to unfairly differentiate people from each other.
posted by JekPorkins at 10:45 AM on January 31, 2006


I have much fun abusing the FRC website for my own purposes. I signed up for their email list, and they periodically send me over-the-top messages proclaiming the latest threat to The Family, usually with a plea to come to their website to send a message to the government, network, advertiser, etc. So I delete their "suggested" text, and send a message thanking the target for the behavior I am supposed to be condemning. That's good times.
posted by fochsenhirt at 10:57 AM on January 31, 2006


I agree with you 100% that race is made up hooey. That's why it's not like sexual orientation, and the two should not be considered similar.

Oh really?
posted by papakwanz at 11:17 AM on January 31, 2006


papakwanz - while appearance is superficial, conduct is not. Whether a term describes conduct or some immutable trait, it is not superficial either way. Race, on the other hand, is entirely superficial.
posted by JekPorkins at 11:20 AM on January 31, 2006


"As for "African-American" being an ethnicity, I think the label is applied far too broadly to encompass only one ethnicity."

I'd have to agree, if only because of the WFT moment I had recently when a Fox affiliate station referred to a black Canadian athlete as 'African-American'.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 11:21 AM on January 31, 2006


I think the government should stay out of our bedrooms. Sites specifically promoting homosexual or hetrosexual relationships shouldn't have any place in government budgets. They are primarily ethical issues, and much like government sponsored religion cause nothing but problems. Materials related to STDs, medicines, etc should be promoted in a non-sexual-orientation fashion. It in no way relates to racial issues, nor gender issues, nor anything of that sort. Treat everyone the same and we wouldn't have these stupid, stupid debtates.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:49 AM on January 31, 2006


blue-beetle, they're public-health issues, and governments put up pages for specific populations and in different languages for real valid health reasons--to reach different groups, some of which are at risk for specific things. You may not need to see Sickle-Cell Anemia page, but others do. You may not be at risk for an unwanted pregnancy but others are. You may not be at risk for acquiring HIV, but others are. You may not speak the majority language and not know where to go if you're sick, but others do need that info.

It's smart public health policy. Unfortunately, with ignorant bigots in charge, look for much much more of this shit to come. It's going to be Old-Testament Health Care only here very soon.
posted by amberglow at 11:56 AM on January 31, 2006


Dipsomaniac, Canada is not in America?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:56 AM on January 31, 2006


I'd still like to know what birth control issues affect GLBT but not others. And what substance abuse issues are GLBT specific? For that matter, what HIV issues are GLBT specific?
posted by JekPorkins at 11:59 AM on January 31, 2006


"Dipsomaniac, Canada is not in America?"

It's pretty much universally assumed that 'American' means "United States", especially when it's a US speaker using the term.

I know that 'American' technically refers to the North and South supercontinent, but that's not what it means in common usage.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 12:02 PM on January 31, 2006


Joakim Ziegler : "Dipsomaniac, Canada is not in America?"

And besides what Dipsomaniac said above, I think the US is the only place in world where the majority of the black community adopted the African origin appendage. There are no African-Brazilians or African-French or African-Jamaicans.
posted by nkyad at 12:10 PM on January 31, 2006


"Let's not get too bent out of shape. Though it's depressing and disappointing, remember that this is a small victory in a battle that the fundies will ultimately lose."
If only.

The fundies have been building political power since Roe v. Wade thirty years ago, started winning in the 90's, and have been winning ever since. The left has been destroying itself for the past thirty years. On what basis are you declaring my eventual victory over the right wing? It doesn't feel very fucking much like victory.
"The gays already have their fancy tv shows and their Oscar movies and are generally considered normal people in most of the country."
Except that the tv shows are about the rich white gay people who have health insurance and college degrees and who've never felt the brunt of the right wing anyway, and public health services are disproportionately important to low-income gay people.
"the last gasps of a vocal minority drowning under the tide of progress."
The tide is going out. The inexorable trend toward "progress" you're appealing to doesn't exist. Women had rights in Afghanistan before religious fundamentalists took over.

When the federal anti-marriage law was passed in the 90's, people said that was going to be overturned, that it was just congress grandstanding and that it wouldn't last. Things have only gotten worse.

Everywhere fascism has developed, there were people saying "ppsshaw right, like THAT'S going to happen, OMFG DON'T GODWIN THE THREAD DUDE," right up until the end.

And at the end of the day, it's more than "just sad and pathetic," at the end of the day it's not Ellen being cancelled that kills people. It's things like this.
posted by crabintheocean at 12:14 PM on January 31, 2006


JekPorkins, this was a site about substance abuse, so you can't really expect it to deal with issues of HIV or birth control. But to answer your question, I refer you again to the Google cache (because the web site is gone, you see).

Substance Abuse
Prevention & Treatment Issues

posted by Otis at 12:18 PM on January 31, 2006


There are different birth control, hiv prevention and substance abuse issues for GLBT populations?
Yes.

I can see how there might be more hiv issues, but birth control? Substance abuse? How do those differ for GLBT populations than for everyone else? - JekPorkins

Birth control - how a lesbian can explain to their doctor & pharmacist that they don't require birth control. I know a lesbian woman who wanted Accutane to control her acne. She was a good canidate for it, and her doctor agreed, but would not provide the 'scrip without a 'scrip for birth control as well (due to Accutane causing birth defects in infants exposed to Accutane in utero). She's a lesbian woman in a long term monogamous relationship. She is not at risk for pregnancy. But her doctor adamantly refused to give her the 'scrip without the birth control to go with it. She figured she'd just fill the Accutane one, but the pharmacist wouldn't fill it without filling both. Ignorance on the part of those health "professionals". But a situation that only a lesbian would face.

Or for people that identify as Bi, they would have the same needs w/r/t birth control as a straight person, but there's the additional questions about how much you should disclose to your doc, when, etc.

Substance abuse - GLBT people are more marginalized and can have more trouble finding care due to discrimination on the part of care providers and/or they may be concerned about being outed if they seek help. They have issues in recovery that straight people don't have to deal with.

These are all examples off the top of my head. There's more that I don't have tiem to address. But when you are part of a privledged population (in this case heteros) , it can be difficult to see all the barriers that are.

I don't claim that GLBT care can't be combined with care for heterosexual people, but most often when they are rolled into one, the GLBT people are simply ignored. Example: sex ed in school taught me all about safer sex if the sex was a penis going into a vagina, but not about any other situations. It completely ignored GLBT needs.
posted by raedyn at 12:25 PM on January 31, 2006


nkyad: Actually, Google suggests that both Afro-Cubans, Afro-Brazilians, Afro-Mexicans, Afro-Colombians and more self-identify as such. The Afro-prefix is more common than African-, though, since it works better in Spanish and Portuguese, I suppose.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 12:26 PM on January 31, 2006


thanks, raedyn. I'm not sure why your friend would withhold those important facts from her doctor, but whatever. I'm also not sure what your friend would learn about birth control from a website that would have helped her in that situation. I have several friends who have had to awkwardly explain to their doctors that birth control and other things were unnecessary because they had never had sex and would not until they were married. I suspect that in the modern world, there's more of a stigma against a 30 year old virgin than there is against a lesbian.

At any rate, it's interesting to see how different groups define the issues that affect them, even if they're essentially the same issues that affect others.
posted by JekPorkins at 12:31 PM on January 31, 2006


Th eamount of resources that it cost to keep that site up was just about nothing. In fact, the man hours it took to remove it (while minimal) probably cost more than it would have to just leave it as it. What a stupid descion to take it down.

But to you Americans that supportthis information being provided - you need to organize like the homophobe did. Write the department and tell them that you feel this is an important way to spend a few of your tax dollars. Say you recognize that GLBT are marginalized and require some extra support. Don't let the homophobes be the only voices they hear!
posted by raedyn at 12:32 PM on January 31, 2006


"Four years ago, Perkins addressed the Louisiana chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), America's premier white supremacist organization, the successor to the White Citizens Councils, which battled integration in the South. In 1996 Perkins paid former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke $82,500 for his mailing list. At the time, Perkins was the campaign manager for a right-wing Republican candidate for the US Senate in Louisiana. The Federal Election Commission fined the campaign Perkins ran $3,000 for attempting to hide the money paid to Duke." [ Max Blumenthal, for The Nation ]
posted by troutfishing at 12:35 PM on January 31, 2006


I'm not sure why your friend would withhold those important facts from her doctor, but whatever. - JekPorkins

She didn't withhold that information. She argued at great length with both her doctor and the parmacists (the she found a new doctor, and wrote the old one a letter explaining why she was moving on). Even when she explained that she doesn't have sex with men, ever, and that semen doesn't enter her body, ever, the doctor still insisted on giving her the 'script! (sorry I left that out of my first msg)
posted by raedyn at 12:35 PM on January 31, 2006


Joakim Ziegler : "nkyad: Actually, Google suggests that both Afro-Cubans, Afro-Brazilians, Afro-Mexicans, Afro-Colombians and more self-identify as such. The Afro-prefix is more common than African-, though, since it works better in Spanish and Portuguese, I suppose."

What I meant is that in Brazil, for instance, the use of the "Afro" prefix it is far consensual inside the black community - there is plenty (official, academic, etc) of awareness for the African origins and influences in the Brazilian culture, population etc, but I was commenting on the term itself and its adoption by the interested community.
posted by nkyad at 12:38 PM on January 31, 2006


raedyn - it sounds like her doctor was an ass, but how would the website about birth control options for lesbians have helped the situation?

Furthermore, what on earth would the website say about birth control options for lesbians?
posted by JekPorkins at 12:40 PM on January 31, 2006


Funny, I didn't see any "derogatory or threatening" replies on the link the FRC provided. I saw some sass, perhaps, especially from health.org, but nothing to warrant this childish whining.

Oh, wait, this is the FRC we're talking about, isn't it? Well, then. Par for the course, etc.
posted by Spatch at 12:55 PM on January 31, 2006


Untimately, that story isn't really about birth control. It's more about medical professionals needing education around dealing with GLBT people. Sorry for the derail there, it's jsut a story from over 5 years ago that drive me batty to think about.

This site didn't claim to address birth control issues, though. It was talking about various health issues. From the (now gone) site:
gay and lesbian youth are up to five times more likely to attempt suicide. The increased risk among these youth is due to isolation, rejection, confusion, and shame due to the stigmatization of homosexuality, which results in depression, suicide, and low self-esteem.
These same things increase their risk for substance abuse.
posted by raedyn at 12:56 PM on January 31, 2006


holy fuck, jek. information can be targeted to a specific group, even if that group is not the only type of person affected by the discussed condition/behavior/social problem.

If you want to accurately discuss birth control, you make a version for young kids, for teenagers, for adults, for black communities, for hispanic, for white, for low, middle and high income families, for everyone, in various forms.

why is this so hard to understand?
posted by shmegegge at 1:02 PM on January 31, 2006


They know not what they do.
That said, hang the bastards high.
posted by brundlefly at 1:03 PM on January 31, 2006


JefPorkins, I think the reasoning behind having a separate area designed specifically for the GLBT population is that until very recently, all government information ignored this part of the population and the health information aimed at heterosexual population never took GLBT-specific issues into account.

There is also the other side of the coin - if the information about hormones for transgenders is now tranfered to the general area, the RFC bigots will be in the agency's throat in a nanosecond, accusing it of all kinds of perversions.
posted by nkyad at 1:04 PM on January 31, 2006


it's not Ellen being cancelled that kills people. It's things like this

If you think that this is going to kill people, then I don't really have anything to say to you. That's just ridiculous hyperbole. There is information all over the place on the net. This is such a small little victory it really is pathetic. The reason why it seems dire now is because there is a definite and very definable backlash against the progress that homosexuals have made during the last forty years. Every little hiccup along the way is magnified because of the assholes on the other side. I'm no soothsayer, but sometimes it's hard to see the forest for the trees. These people are pathetic, but even if their kids are brainwashed at home they will see homosexuals on TV and at their college and so on, acting, well, like normal people. Acceptance of a group of people once vilified doesn't happen overnight. But once someone turns, they don't turn back.

The pendulum will swing back again. The fundies don't outnumber regular people, they just have a lot of time on their hands and they feel like their backs are against the wall, so they strike out at everything, and they do so with organization. The other side needs to hit back with equal organization and energy. So write a letter.
posted by billysumday at 1:06 PM on January 31, 2006


nykad: you're telling me that the hhs website had an informational section on hormones for transgenders? Did it really?

Frankly, I'm still waiting to find out what the GLBT-specific health issues are. So far, all I've heard about is public relations issues and psychological problems that may be caused by being stigmatized. What are the GLBT-specific hhs issues?
posted by JekPorkins at 1:14 PM on January 31, 2006


"The pendulum will swing back again" - That pendulum, is it a law of physics like gravity ?

"The fundies don't outnumber regular people" - Well, who are "fundies" and who are "regular people" ? And, is there some handy method by which we could distinguish "fundies" from all of us "normal" folk ? Do they have odd mannerisms or odors, or do they possess little horns, fangs, or small tails ? If we can't tell who's who we can't get a handle on the exact population ratio.
posted by troutfishing at 1:14 PM on January 31, 2006


For that matter, what HIV issues are GLBT specific?
posted by JekPorkins at 11:59 AM PST on January 31


What do you think, genius?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:17 PM on January 31, 2006


Optimus, I think that the conduct you're thinking of is most certainly not restricted to GLBT.
posted by JekPorkins at 1:25 PM on January 31, 2006


JekPorkins -

What's your point, exactly? Do you object to health information targeted at particular at-risk groups?
posted by raedyn at 1:31 PM on January 31, 2006


yeah i forgot there are plenty of men who rub their vulvae together
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:31 PM on January 31, 2006


JekPorkins : "nykad: you're telling me that the hhs website had an informational section on hormones for transgenders? Did it really?

"Frankly, I'm still waiting to find out what the GLBT-specific health issues are. So far, all I've heard about is public relations issues and psychological problems that may be caused by being stigmatized. What are the GLBT-specific hhs issues?"


No, I am not saying that (I have never seem this site, I am not even American and I don't live in the US). But you keep asking every two or three comments "WHAT ARE THE GBLT SPECIFIC HEALTH ISSUES?". Since the pregnancy and HIV related issues haven't been enough, I tried to give you one specific health issue that may interest the transgender population in a way that has nothing to do with the heterosexual population.

But then you dismiss the issue fallaciously (by asking another irrelevant question, "was it in the site", as if being or not being in the site decides its relevancy) and without further thought. So I am beginning to suspect you just being a smart-ass (or borderline trolling). Are you?
posted by nkyad at 1:34 PM on January 31, 2006


"Frankly, I'm still waiting to find out what the GLBT-specific health issues are. So far, all I've heard about is public relations issues and psychological problems that may be caused by being stigmatized. What are the GLBT-specific hhs issues?"

Maybe you didn't click on the link in my previous post. From here:

FACT #1
Stigma, homophobia, and heterosexism permeate the social, economic, legal, and political aspects of the members of the LGBT groups. As a result, this impacts the mental, emotional, and psychological states of individuals in these groups.

FACT #2
Prevention professionals who work with LGBT individuals need to be aware of, understand, and address specific LGBT issues before they can begin to address their patients' substance use and abuse issues.

FACT #3
Substance abuse treatment counselors may be the first adult in which a youth struggling with his/her sexual identity is able to confide.

FACT #4
It has been reported that only 11 percent of addiction counselors consider themselves to be knowledgeable of the issues specific to the LGBT populations.

FACT #5
Employers, education, and community health professionals should keep in mind that when conducting programs for the general population, about 10 percent of their audience are probably gay.
posted by Otis at 2:06 PM on January 31, 2006


Otis and nykad:

Thank you for explicating what resulted from may have been poor phrasing. I was in genetics class and didn't catch the rest of this.
posted by ltracey at 2:41 PM on January 31, 2006


Oh look the FRC is blaming gays for something. Guess jews are next.
posted by elpapacito at 3:06 PM on January 31, 2006


With regard to raedyn's friend's situation, I do see a medical justification for prescribing birth control in conjunction with drugs known to cause fetal deformation, when that prescription is to any fertile female. It's fulfilment of a duty of care. It's up to the patient herself to decide whether to bother taking the birth control pills, and indeed the acne medication or whatever the primary prescription is for. The doctor's duty includes giving them to her.

A doctor shouldn't, even mustn't, judge a patient's lifestyle, except for two aspects: greater ethical duty (eg, a patient's confession to a serious crime), and advice as to any medical consequences that might arise from the lifestyle. For what it's worth, it seems to me that being a sexually active lesbian will have fewer medical consequences on the average than being a sexually active heterosexual woman, but that's really not the point.

See, a lesbian, or a Christian virgin, has the right to get pregnant. She probably won't, although the Christian girl getting married and having sex and getting pregnant is a distinctly possible scenario. A lesbian getting pregnant--via syringe, turkey-baster or gritting her teeth through sex with a male friend--and raising the child as her and her partner's is not unheard of either. The doctor must consider the risks to the patient and the options to mitigate those risks. On the one hand, she gets pregnant and has a seriously deformed baby. This is a future event with serious consequences and a low but non-zero probability. On the other hand, she is given a birth control drug along with the prescription. This, from the point of view of the doctor's duty, mitigates the risk and is a trivially easy step to take.

Ideally, the process should be made even more patient-transparent, with several versions of the drug available for prescription, one including a birth control hormone that is intended to be prescribed to any fertile female who isn't at medical risk from taking a birth control hormone.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 3:43 PM on January 31, 2006


HA HA HA! papakwanz actually quotes Queer Theory? From Wikipedia, and worse a wikipedia article with one cited source by a single author. Now THAT'S some ironclad research right there. Ridiculous. Maybe someone should tell these Queer Theory scientists that all mammalian species exhibit some form of homosexuality amongst individuals. Socially constructed my ass. I bet all those gay field mice were just brought up wrong by their parents, and were pigeon-holed into one class or another by the limitations of field mouse language.
posted by Farengast at 3:44 PM on January 31, 2006


Jek, I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that your intellect has been mortally wounded by your religious upbringing. I really would like to dismiss you as another worthless troll, but I strongly suspect that your intention is not to rile us up, but to merely present your personal view of things. It's a rather warped view.

F'rinstance, what on earth are you trying to say in this thread?! You seem to support keeping GLBT folk ignorant of their contraceptive/disease-control options. Why? Why on earth would you wish that?

At this point I'm going on trust: I trust that the reason you're hanging out here is because you wish to overcome the crippling worldview you were saddled with. You present your view, and you take your hits for it, and you hopefully come away with a greater awareness as to why it's important that we aim for equality and fairness in all things.

If my trust is misplaced, please let me know, so that I can avoid reading and addressing your comments from now on. I can not bother with people who are willfully, even maliciously, ignorant.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:44 PM on January 31, 2006


You seem to support keeping GLBT folk ignorant of their contraceptive/disease-control options.

Not in the least. Everyone should be made aware of their options, and I don't support keeping anyone ignorant. I have questioned, sincerely, whether the options really are different for GLBT folk than for anyone else.

And I'm sorry, but what "crippling worldview" do you think I'm "saddled with?" I do hope to come away with a greater understanding of things, yes. And I do think it's important that we aim for equality and fairness. Why do you think I don't have an understanding of that?
posted by JekPorkins at 3:54 PM on January 31, 2006


"wasted tax dollars"
I have to kind of agree, however, if we're all of a sudden frugal, there's a big ol' money eating quagmire that these same fuckers got us into that id like to bring up.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 4:07 PM on January 31, 2006


Jek: 'cause your argument here seems to revolve around how it's "okay" that the site was disappeared.

Maybe this is what you've been trying to say: "It's okay that the site disappeared: GLBT people don't have special concerns or informational needs that are not already more than adequately accommodated by the remainder of the site."

I'm still not sure how it's okay for the government to submit to religious pressure from loons, but within the constraints of "available elsewhere on the site" your stance at least makes a moderate bit of sense.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:33 PM on January 31, 2006


five fresh fish: I appreciate your giving me the benefit of the doubt re: reasonableness. What I've been trying to say is that it might not be such a big deal that the site disappeared, but only to the extent that the particular information actually is available on the rest of the site. I don't think it's ok for the government to submit to religious pressure from loons, either.
posted by JekPorkins at 4:43 PM on January 31, 2006


k, thanks for clearing that up. For most of the thread I couldn't make any sense of where you were heading with your statements.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:06 PM on January 31, 2006


I suspect that in the modern world, there's more of a stigma against a 30 year old virgin than there is against a lesbian.

As a (nearly) 30-year-old virgin, I have to tell you, you're full of shit.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:26 PM on January 31, 2006


How would you know, unless you're also a lesbian?
posted by JekPorkins at 9:32 PM on January 31, 2006


How many 30 year old virgins do you know have been murdered because they were still virgins? Seriously? Can you name even one? Care to guess how many lesbians have been murdered because they are lesbian? This (willful?) ignorance is sickening.
posted by dopeypanda at 11:02 PM on January 31, 2006


I stand corrected. Apparently abstinence, though often mocked, especially by so-called "liberals," has not, as far as google knows, led to that level of persecution. I don't care to guess how many lesbians have been murdered because they are lesbian. Do you have the statistic?

Do you have the statistic for virgins killed for being virgins?
posted by JekPorkins at 11:06 PM on January 31, 2006


No I actually have no idea what the actual statistics are, but I would bet a large amount of money that the former is much greater than zero and the latter is exactly zero. My point was that equating these two classes is pretty sickening given the real persecution that happens to gay people every day everywhere in the world. Geez, read the newspaper!
posted by dopeypanda at 11:38 PM on January 31, 2006


JekPorkins: I stand corrected. Apparently abstinence, though often mocked, especially by so-called "liberals," has not, as far as google knows, led to that level of persecution.

Which is such a crock of shit. I don't know of any comprehensive sex education program that does not include talk on abstinence, and one of the most prolific sex writers of the last 20 years, Susie "Sexpert" Bright has written essays in support of choosing to abstain from sex. The primary difference is that sex-positive groups support empowering people to make their own choices regarding sexuality, while conservative groups just say, "don't do it outside of marriage."

But trying to steer back away from the derail. The reason why we need information about particular demographic groups is because the prevalence of certain health issues is not the same across populations, and cultural factors can complicate both diagnosis and treatment.

For example, lesbigay teens and young adults are at higher risk of substance abuse, suicide, and assault. The suicide rate among gay and bisexual men is so high that it rivals HIV for mortality. They are more likely to be homeless. These are some things that are fairly important from a public health perspective. And to respond to an earlier question, institutional indifference does kill. Many of the thousands of premature deaths from suicide can be prevented with better support networks.

On the diagnosis and treatment side, the stigma associated with homosexuality or bisexuality is strong enough that lesbigays are less likely to seek treatment, and might be reluctant to disclose factors that are contributing to their physical or mental health problems. Perhaps things have changed over the last 15 years, but I remember people for whom it was a big just to call an anonymous phone line. A positive HIV test could mean revealing one's sexual orientation to family members who were in the dark. I had a friend for whom the possibility of discovery led him to attempt suicide, and he was in denial to a network of openly gay and bisexual friends.

Why do I see this as important politically? Well, it's yet another example of the U.S. Government putting politics in front of accuracy or professional support. Early in the Bush administration the Department of Education website purged documents and links to peer reviewed research that didn't support the political agenda of the administration.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:18 AM on February 1, 2006


Apparently abstinence, though often mocked, especially by so-called "liberals," has not, as far as google knows, led to that level of persecution.

Jek, if you keep with this stupid, sweeping mischaracterising of "democrats" and "liberals," you are going to find your enjoyment of MeFi greatly diminished.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:53 AM on February 1, 2006


Apparently abstinence, though often mocked, especially by so-called "liberals,"

I'm a liberal, with liberal friends. I've never been mocked for my virginity. Hey, and here's another thing. I'm legally allowed to marry another virgin in every state of this country (as long as they're of the opposite sex, of course). Grow some fucking perspective. You're baseless assertion (which I notice you don't back up with any statistics) is right up there with "Cubans are better off than Americans," or "China has a free-er society than the US."
posted by dirigibleman at 10:46 PM on February 1, 2006


Not real up on the popular movies of the day, eh, dirigibleman?
posted by JekPorkins at 11:03 AM on February 2, 2006


Not real up on the popular movies of the day, eh, dirigibleman?

Did you see the same movie the rest of us did? I thought it was pretty non-judgmental, all things considered.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:40 AM on February 2, 2006


This is the problem with religion at bottom, that it's about as easy to believe 'just one' stupid thing as it is to eat 'just one' potato chip. Instead, the stupid things one 'believes' just keep multiplying. For example, If one believes that how classes of society are portrayed in movies is an accurate representation of how society treats them, then one should probably stop watching movies ASAP, starting with that one where the Jewish guy gets the crap kicked out of him for 2 straight hours.
posted by boaz at 12:10 PM on February 2, 2006


starting with that one where the Jewish guy gets the crap kicked out of him for 2 straight hours.

Sorry, boaz, I've seen so many Woody Allen movies, I'm not sure which one you're referring to.
posted by JekPorkins at 4:05 PM on February 2, 2006


Naw, I'm the Jewish guy getting tortured when I watch Woody Allen. Well, Sleeper was okay.
posted by boaz at 5:53 PM on February 2, 2006


I just can't top that. ;-)
posted by JekPorkins at 6:51 PM on February 2, 2006


maybe if you tried some more meritless sweeping generalizations?
posted by shmegegge at 10:39 PM on February 2, 2006


An update from the FRC:

We've reported to you on the homosexual website at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). When some of you wrote to HHS to criticize this misuse of taxpayer dollars, you received anonymous, abusive, and even threatening responses. I protested this vigorously in a letter to HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt. Recently, I received a call from Rick Campanelli, legal counsel to Leavitt. He acknowledged that the website had been taken down and that the unidentified contractor employee responsible for the abusive replies had been fired.
posted by Otis at 8:17 AM on February 3, 2006


misuse of taxpayer dollars?

giving health information to citizens? while our taxpayer dollars now go to them and other groups that discriminate and spread lies and misinformation and break the law? and to criminal lobbyists and their unindicted co-conspirators in Congress? and into the pockets of the people who were supposed to be rebuilding Iraq? ...

their priorities are beyond screwed up.
posted by amberglow at 10:02 AM on February 4, 2006


and to criminal lobbyists and their unindicted co-conspirators in Congress?

You've got the money-flow direction wrong on that one.
posted by JekPorkins at 10:10 AM on February 4, 2006


I don't know of any comprehensive sex education program that does not include talk on abstinence,

And yet there are many "sex education" programs that don't make a whisper about anything other than heterosexual vaginal intercourse. Missing a lot of what is going on in the world (and the private lives of those they're claiming to educate).
posted by raedyn at 8:26 AM on February 7, 2006


Missing a lot of what is going on in the world (and the private lives of those they're claiming to educate).

So, should every fetish be included in children's sex education? If not, where do you draw the line, and why?
posted by JekPorkins at 9:50 AM on February 7, 2006


So, should every fetish be included in children's sex education? If not, where do you draw the line, and why?
posted by JekPorkins at 9:50 AM PST on February 7


At age 10, probably not. Older juveniles, however, would be well served to know that certain types of sexual behavior are more dangerous than other types. I fail to see why you have a problem with this.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:15 AM on February 7, 2006


No wait I figured it out.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:15 AM on February 7, 2006


would be well served to know that certain types of sexual behavior are more dangerous than other types. I fail to see why you have a problem with this.

I don't have a problem with it, and I didn't say that I do. You assume that I do, based most likely on false assumptions you continue to make about my religious beliefs. Oh well.

I asked a question, and I had hoped to get an answer to it.
posted by JekPorkins at 10:27 AM on February 7, 2006


So, should every fetish be included in children's sex education? If not, where do you draw the line, and why? - JekPorkins
fe·tish: an object or bodily part whose real or fantasized presence is psychologically necessary for sexual gratification and that is an object of fixation to the extent that it may interfere with complete sexual expression.

Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary, © 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc.
Talking about non-vaginal sex (examples: anal intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, non-intercourse sexual touching) is not the same as "talking about every fetish". It's unrealistic to expect that vaginal intercourse is the only sexual activity that people will engage in, especially in a curriculuum that talks about the risks associated with it. If you say "vaginal sex is dangerous" without any other information, this can lead to the mistaken impression that any other alternative is safer. It's more desirable to have more complete information.
posted by raedyn at 10:39 AM on February 7, 2006


Ah. So, raedyn, you would draw the line at consensual minor-minor or adult-adult relations, without discussion of health, psychological, physiological and other implications with regard to more "fringe" conduct? Why not include the really bizarre stuff in sex ed?
posted by JekPorkins at 11:02 AM on February 7, 2006


I'm sorry, I don't understand what you are asking, Jek. Can you clarify?
posted by raedyn at 11:27 AM on February 7, 2006


I'm just saying that there is an extremely wide variety of conduct out there that kids and others could be educated on, and much of it is both illegal and extremely ill-advised from a medical and psychological health perspective. I can understand (and agree with) the argument that our programs should include information on the health and other ramifications of non-straight conduct. I wonder, however, where the line should be drawn in terms of education regarding nontraditional conduct. Clearly, if only for logistical and time-management reasons, it's not advisable or possible to discuss every possible act that one could engage in. Where, then, should the line be drawn.

As you say, there's a lot going on in the world. Since it's impossible to teach about all of it, where do we draw the line? Should we not teach about the health and legal ramifications of specific illegal conduct?
posted by JekPorkins at 11:34 AM on February 7, 2006


I wonder, however, where the line should be drawn in terms of education regarding nontraditional conduct. Clearly, if only for logistical and time-management reasons, it's not advisable or possible to discuss every possible act that one could engage in. Where, then, should the line be drawn.

Potentially hazardous and should be covered: vaginal, oral, and anal intercourse. Any contact involving bodily fluids or potential for disease transmission.

Everything else seems like it could be covered in a Q & A session or a "see me after class if you have specific questions not covered by this material" type thing.

Hope that answers your question.

Why not include the really bizarre stuff in sex ed?

Do you want to give us something specific or are you going to be continually coy about it? You're a grown-up; you can say the actual words.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:46 AM on February 7, 2006


I do believe a wider variety of topics should be covered, but not only for the "non-straight" crowd. There are many straight folks that take part in other sexual play. It's a healthy part of any sex life, not only "deviant" ones.
posted by raedyn at 11:56 AM on February 7, 2006


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