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Has AIDS Sped Or Slowed Gay Rights?  
User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1871 times:

...was raised in an academic argument during my Labor Economics class today, so thought I'd run this by you types and see where you stand on this.





Has the presence of HIV/AIDS hastened or slowed the advent of gay rights?



Argument:
The disease is a stigma that "the people" cannot separate from gays. As such, rights that gays might otherwise have eventually found easier to come by, will forever be slowed by the inability of a large segment of the populace to let go of the idea of it, wither a conscious choice or not, being a destructive lifestyle.

Counterargument:
The disease basically brought gay issues to the forefront of plain sight; thereby forcing social and political leaders to face the fact that gays are a part of society and not going anywhere. Beforehand, homosexuals were only spoken of in whispers and gossip, never in public. Now, there are gay lobbyist and advocacy groups that can chasse with the best of 'em in all facets of government, this bringing about gay rights at a manner far faster than they would've achieved without suddenly being thrust into the national spotlight in the early '80s.




....what say you?
Which do you agree with? If neither, why not, and what's your take?

25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineScrubbsYWG From Canada, joined Mar 2007, 1495 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1858 times:

i think with time that argument that it is slowing down gay rights will go away. The people that grew up and were sexually active when the disease was coming out, or were old enough to be around for all the stories that is was only a 'gay disease' are likely going to keep the stigma. People my age, who when becoming teenagers were basically told from day one that anyone can get the disease, straight or gay, dont think of AIDS as a gay disease. When more and more of those people start becoming more prominent in society, i think the stigma will leave the disease, if it hasnt already.

Did it hurt it early on when aids was coming out(pardon the pun)? yes. Will it forever slow it? probably not.


User currently offlineStasisLAX From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 3280 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1844 times:

I think AIDS has killed millions of human beings - straight, gay, white, black, asian, hispanic, rich, poor - and I think that the question should be much much larger than only gay rights. I think the issue should be "why didn't governments do more to fund HIV research and endeavor to develop vaccines for the disease in the initial years of the pandemic" than focus on one HIV affected group.

When will HIV drugs be distributed for free in Africa to end the HIV plague there? Contracting HIV is still a death sentence in most of Africa and elsewhere in the developing world. Globally, it is a matter of adequate health care access and economic rights - not simply a stereotypical "gay" issue. That is why I strongly disagree with both arguments.



"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1841 times:



Quoting ScrubbsYWG (Reply 1):
People my age ....... dont think of AIDS as a gay disease.

As much as you or anyone else would like to believe that that's true, it's unfortunately far from absolute.

There's still a whoooooooole lot of people who still carry that belief, and often to their (potential) detriment.

I can't TELL you how many of my well-educated upper-mid-class (or higher) straight male friends; from MSY, to QSF, to NYC; who absolutely REFUSE to use condoms with a ladyfriend. "If she ain't on the pill, then it don't seal the deal".

When asked how they could be so callous in these times, the excuses are always the same:
  • I don't f^ck dudes in the ass, so I'm not worried
  • I'm not queer, so I'm not worried
  • She's only slept with my buddies (as if you know their complete biological/sexual/medical histories), so I'm not worried
  • etc etc etc


    It's quite astonishing to me, but I'd say closer to the rule than the exception for 21-30s straight males with whom I've ever chanced acquaintance


  • User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
    Reply 4, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1837 times:



    Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 2):
    When will HIV drugs be distributed for free in Africa to end the HIV plague there?

    ...spoken like someone who's never personally dealt with "Africa", nor been witness to the unfathomable amounts of corruption and (what would seem to the West as) antisocial behavior.

    Heck, even back as a child in 1988 spent some time in Zambia/Zimbabwe with my mother on a mission trip. She using her medical expertise, the rest of us entertaining children while their parents received care.

    Before we got there, it was really no shock how AIDS was spreading. The doctors had about two dozen needles between them for injections to help stave off several diseases. Unfortunately, they only properly sterilized them at night. Between uses, they'd just dip the dips in a mixture of water an ammonia. You read it correct-- not alcohol, ammonia.


    Anyways, our church, and several others, had raised nearly $50,000 to bring free needles and other equipment to people living outside of Chegutu. The trucks came late, and the supplies were therefore were left in the main hospital's storage room.

    Well, by morning--- they were gone. Not broken into. The hospital staff had sold them off to the highest bidder in exchange for who-knows-what. I was only 7 years old, but I remember thinking HOW THE F#*K could these people do this when our church spent MONTHS trying to raise that to help them?

    Most of the staff had seen this sorta thing before. They shook it off, and made due with what we had left. To this day, the shock's never worn off with me.

    -------------------------------------------------

    Fastforward to 1994, back in Zimbabwe... this time in the city of Kadoma.

    Teaching proper condom use. Ha!
    Thousands of "free" condoms, raised from churches and health groups.... and when we give them out, we find out that even with translators, the people just didn't get it.

    We demonstrated condom use by putting them on bananas and sticks. Well-- guess what the people did: they put 'em on bananas and sticks. Many thought of it as a talisman.

    Didn't work.

    So basically, grown-ass men, at the expense of their pride--- had to strip down in front of throngs of villagers, and show them EXACTLY how to use a condom, live. And the people finally got the idea: and they soundly REJECTED it!!!.

    They thought it was evil. Take the Catholic view on birth control, and multiply it by 10. They couldn't fathom the concepts of stopping disease = saving lives. All they could see is the idea of these rubbery things stopping males "right" to impregnate any female in the vicinity.










    .....so anyways, to address your post:
    suffice to say that any time I've done anything in Africa to help Africa, I always leave there thinking that the best things we can give them are Fat Man and Little Boy, but definitely not anything free. And that's a damn shame of a thing to be reduced to thinking  Sad.


    User currently offlineCharles79 From Puerto Rico, joined Mar 2007, 1331 posts, RR: 6
    Reply 5, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1822 times:

    Interesting question ConcordeBoy. My take on it is that most people now treat these as separate issues. Right now it seems that the strongest opponents to anything that resembles gay rights do so out of religious, cultural, or moral values, not necessarily because of AIDS. Similarly those who favor gay rights do so out of social justice and human rights, again having nothing to do with this terrible disease. On the flip side, more and more folks are beginning to realize that AIDS can and will affect any group, and thus word is spreading about protection regardless of orientation.


    Now, this is not to imply that the gay-AIDS stigma is completely gone. I know plenty of people who still associate gay with AIDS, and when I came out (about 4 years ago) the first thing that most of my friends and relatives said was "be careful and use protection against AIDS". It's funny cause when everyone assumed that I was straight no one ever bothered to tell me to be careful...but this type of thinking is slowly going away.

    Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 3):
    I can't TELL you how many of my well-educated upper-mid-class (or higher) straight male friends; from MSY, to QSF, to NYC; who absolutely REFUSE to use condoms with a ladyfriend. "If she ain't on the pill, then it don't seal the deal".

    I too have encountered this type of thinking and it's worrisome. Besides AIDS there are way too many other nasty diseases that can spread very easily through sex, regardless of your gender or orientation. I guess it's all part of that macho attitude that some men need to portray, probably to overcome other "shortcomings" that they may have.


    User currently offlineVikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9946 posts, RR: 26
    Reply 6, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1802 times:
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    Quoting ScrubbsYWG (Reply 1):
    Did it hurt it early on when aids was coming out(pardon the pun)? yes. Will it forever slow it? probably not.

    I'd agree with that.

    I'd also add that I doubt AIDS will ever actually HELP gay rights....as it probably well shouldn't. They really should be two separate issues, and with time, hopefully they will be.



    "Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
    User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
    Reply 7, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1781 times:



    Quoting Charles79 (Reply 5):
    Besides AIDS there are way too many other nasty diseases that can spread very easily through sex, regardless of your gender or orientation.

    That's another thing I've brought up, and never gotten a logical answer to.

    Usually, it's along the lines of "oh well, those things won't kill me, so I'll take my chances"


    User currently offlineSearpqx From Netherlands, joined Jun 2000, 4344 posts, RR: 10
    Reply 8, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1741 times:

    For good or bad (mostly bad, I've buried too many friends), the AIDS crisis forced the gay community to find a voice and become politically active. That new found activism resulted in many of the advances in gay rights we've seen. Stonewall occurred in 1969, but the pace of change between 1969 and 1982 was very slow, and as recently as the late 80s new laws banning gay teachers, adoptions, etc., were still be passed with little or limited opposition. It wasn't until many of the organizations, initially formed in response to the epidemic, began broadening their scope that you started seeing wholesale changes in laws.


    "The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
    User currently offlineCairo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
    Reply 9, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 1661 times:



    Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 3):
    I can't TELL you how many of my well-educated upper-mid-class (or higher) straight male friends; from MSY, to QSF, to NYC; who absolutely REFUSE to use condoms with a ladyfriend

    That's because they are well educated.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-st...-is-over-report-admits-842478.html

    According to the World Health Organization, there really isn't much risk of heterosexual HIV/AIDS, and there never was, at least in the developed world. I know this is shocking to some, but a virus isn't politically correct - it doesn't necessarily attack all people and sexual preferences equally, despite your dearest wish that this were true.

    The tragedy about this, which I hope you will now recognize, is that a lot of money was misdirected towards "educating" a wide audience when it would have been better spent targeting the behavior of the true risk group...all because people injected their own political beliefs and hated to add to the stigmas homosexuals already face by coming to grips with the truth, that HIV/AIDS is overwhelmingly a gay men's disease, at least in the developed world.

    Cairo


    User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19584 posts, RR: 58
    Reply 10, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 1653 times:

     whiteflag 

    Wow, glad to finally see a nice, safe, non-controversial topic posted on this board!  wideeyed 

    Sorry, boys and girls, I'm sitting this one out. I just don't have the strength.  ziplip 


    User currently offlineSeptember11 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 3623 posts, RR: 21
    Reply 11, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 1597 times:

    Honestly, I don't know. Ryan White was my favorite AIDS activist. He would have the best answer to your question. It was a grace to see him fight for the rights of people suffering from AIDS, including himself. Great role model.


    Airliners.net of the Future
    User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
    Reply 12, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 1591 times:



    Quoting Cairo (Reply 9):
    That's because they are well educated.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-st...-is-over-report-admits-842478.html

    According to the World Health Organization, there really isn't much risk of heterosexual HIV/AIDS, and there never was, at least in the developed world. I know this is shocking to some, but a virus isn't politically correct - it doesn't necessarily attack all people and sexual preferences equally, despite your dearest wish that this were true.

    Are you ~kidding~ me with this drivel?
    ...first of all, you lack the foggiest idea as to what you speak.
    Secondly, one of them did end up getting HIV, and lord knows how many women he spread it to.
    Thirdly, did I mention you don't have a clue? Eh, lemme say it again: you don't have a clue.

    Quoting Cairo (Reply 9):
    it would have been better spent targeting the behavior of the true risk group..

    Why are you bringing American Black heterosexual females (western hemisphere) or Russian White Male drug users (eastern) into this? The topic is the speed of gay rights.

    Oh wait, you didn't know either of the above have actually surpassed gay men as the fastest growing risk group in their respective areas. Silly me, here I am giving you credit.


    User currently offlineMike89406 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1466 posts, RR: 3
    Reply 13, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 1573 times:



    Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 12):
    Are you ~kidding~ me with this drivel?
    ...first of all, you lack the foggiest idea as to what you speak.
    Secondly, one of them did end up getting HIV, and lord knows how many women he spread it to.
    Thirdly, did I mention you don't have a clue? Eh, lemme say it again: you don't have a clue.

    Quoting Cairo (Reply 9):
    it would have been better spent targeting the behavior of the true risk group..

    Why are you bringing American Black heterosexual females (western hemisphere) or Russian White Male drug users (eastern) into this? The topic is the speed of gay rights.

    Oh wait, you didn't know either of the above have actually surpassed gay men as the fastest growing risk group in their respective areas. Silly me, here I am giving you credit.

    You hit the nail on the head. One thing people don't think of is that there's a lot of people who have not been tested whether it be by fear of finding out or other reasons. So no one really knows the true numbers brass taxes on how many people actually have HIV until they get tested.


    User currently offlineMike89406 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1466 posts, RR: 3
    Reply 14, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 1570 times:



    Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 2):
    Globally, it is a matter of adequate health care access and economic rights

    This is another problem as well. More of the people that are dying suffer from lack of adequate healthcare, or liitle to non-existance support network.


    User currently offlineVikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9946 posts, RR: 26
    Reply 15, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 1564 times:
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    Quoting Cairo (Reply 9):
    Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 3):
    I can't TELL you how many of my well-educated upper-mid-class (or higher) straight male friends; from MSY, to QSF, to NYC; who absolutely REFUSE to use condoms with a ladyfriend

    That's because they are well educated.

    No. That's because they are stupid.

    Being well educated can coexist with being stupid. As they say, common sense is unfortunately not always so common.

    Besides, no matter what demographic has the highest rate of AIDS or HIV, that doesn't mean that you CAN'T catch it from a straight person. Your chances may be lower, but it's a pretty dumb chance to take.

    It's sort of analogous to teenage drivers being statistically most dangerous drivers. Just because you're in a car with a 35 year old, you don't decide that you WON'T fasten your seatbelt, just because the statistics say you probably won't get in a crash.



    "Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
    User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
    Reply 16, posted (5 years 10 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1507 times:



    Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 15):

    Being well educated can coexist with being stupid. As they say, common sense is unfortunately not always so common.

     checkmark  too right.


    User currently offlineLuckyone From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 2168 posts, RR: 0
    Reply 17, posted (5 years 10 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1496 times:



    Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 2):
    Contracting HIV is still a death sentence in most of Africa and elsewhere in the developing world.

    Never mind the fact that the people there chose to be disgustingly ignorant about their sexual practices in the name of tradition. Or that the governments turn a blind eye to the problem....

    Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 4):
    ...spoken like someone who's never personally dealt with "Africa",

    Thank you for beating me to it.

    Quoting Cairo (Reply 9):
    coming to grips with the truth, that HIV/AIDS is overwhelmingly a gay men's disease, at least in the developed world.

    Complete bull. Incidentally, are you aware that the Middle East has an infection rate that is increasing alarmingly and faster than any other region in the world?

    Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 12):
    Why are you bringing American Black heterosexual females (western hemisphere)

    Don't black women now have the second highest rate of infection in the United States behind gay men? It's not your orientation, it's your practice!


    User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
    Reply 18, posted (5 years 10 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1482 times:



    Quoting Luckyone (Reply 17):

    Don't black women now have the second highest rate of infection in the United States behind gay men?

    In 2004, parts of 2005, and parts of this year, they've actually eclipsed gay men in rate.

    Combine Hispanic American females, and the grouping of "minority heterosexual females" now surpasses the group of "gay males" in the USA  Sad


    User currently offlineStasisLAX From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 3280 posts, RR: 6
    Reply 19, posted (5 years 10 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 1406 times:



    Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 4):
    ...spoken like someone who's never personally dealt with "Africa", nor been witness to the unfathomable amounts of corruption and (what would seem to the West as) antisocial behavior.

    So does the developed world "give up" on Africa? AIDS is a GLOBAL pandemic that requires a GLOBAL resolution.

    Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 4):
    suffice to say that any time I've done anything in Africa to help Africa, I always leave there thinking that the best things we can give them are Fat Man and Little Boy, but definitely not anything free. And that's a damn shame of a thing to be reduced to thinking

    Yes, it certainly is a damn shame to think that the best way to remedy the African health care crisis to simply give the peoples of Africa the nuclear bomb.  redflag 



    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
    User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12103 posts, RR: 49
    Reply 20, posted (5 years 10 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 1399 times:
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    IMHO I think AIDS at first brought the gay community together and gave us the cause to be more political and literally fighting for our lives and the lives of loved ones. I believe until AIDS starting to infect people other than gays that is when the stigma changed and it really started to hit home to people all over. Myself I think gay rights improved cause of AIDS and how it forced people to get involved to find a cure and never forget those who lost the fight early in the war.


    You can cut the irony with a knife
    User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
    Reply 21, posted (5 years 10 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 1392 times:



    Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 19):

    So does the developed world "give up" on Africa?

    Screw 'em.

    Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 19):
    AIDS is a GLOBAL pandemic that requires a GLOBAL resolution

    ...ah yes, you mean like the astounding success of the "War on Poverty"? Or how about the "War on Drugs"? Oh, and then there's that modern-day everpresent reminder, the "War on Terror".

    So tell me, what's your solution:
    continue throwing more money down a decades-long sinkhole; where the people have proven time and time again they either lack the will, degree of civilization, the intelligence, or all the above-- to protect/sustain themselves from such?

    To see how well that works, refer to the three aforementioned "wars".





    Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 20):
    I believe until AIDS starting to infect people other than gays that is when the stigma changed and it really started to hit home to people all over.

    Indeed.

    Heck, Ronald Reagan never even mentioned AIDS, as a Presidential address, until after it'd been made public that the first White woman had been infected--- nearly a half decade after AIDS' diagnosis and two years after the link between it and HIV was discovered.

    No wonder so many are happy that he's rotting in hell.


    User currently offlineLuckyone From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 2168 posts, RR: 0
    Reply 22, posted (5 years 10 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 1388 times:



    Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 21):
    ah yes, you mean like the astounding success of the "War on Poverty"? Or how about the "War on Drugs"? Oh, and then there's that modern-day everpresent reminder, the "War on Terror".

    An my favorite, one world with peace at any cost.


    User currently offlineWunalaYann From Australia, joined Mar 2005, 2839 posts, RR: 25
    Reply 23, posted (5 years 10 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 1374 times:



    Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 21):
    So does the developed world "give up" on Africa?

    Screw 'em.

    I hope you are joking. But I am not holding my breath.

     Sad


    User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
    Reply 24, posted (5 years 10 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 1374 times:



    Quoting Luckyone (Reply 22):
    one world with peace at any cost.

     Confused


    User currently offlineLuckyone From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 2168 posts, RR: 0
    Reply 25, posted (5 years 10 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 1373 times:



    Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 24):

    Favorite of an ignorant faction of the liberal left.


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