Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Get ABC's The View to correct the record on gay black men

One of the biggest problems we have with achieving lgbt equality is all of the misinformation put out there about our community.

The religious right peddles misinformation on a daily basis so it's bad enough dealing with them. But when misinformation is pushed due to simple ignorance, it's still a problem.

And the lgbt community has a problem with the ABC show The View:

On June 21st, Slate published a story titled "Inferior Blood" that asked, "If it's OK to reject blood from gay men, what about blacks?" Federal guidelines ban gay males from donating blood if they have had sex with men in the past 30 years, because they are classified as a group with an increased risk for HIV. But the article notes that since HIV prevalence is 18 times higher for Black woman than their white counterparts, why not ban Black folks from donating blood too?

The next day on ABC's The View, D.L. Hughley, a Black actor and comedian, presented his wildly misinformed opinion as a fact: "When you look at the prevalence of HIV in the African-American community, it's primarily young women getting it from men on the 'down low.' " That's simply not true.

Despite years of speculation about so-called "down low" men--or, Black men who sleep with men while identifying as straight and having sex with women, too--the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found no evidence that they are responsible for high HIV rates among Black women. In fact, CDC studies have found men fitting the "down low" description are actually no more likely to have unprotected sex than their peers. Nonetheless, thanks to folks like Hughley, the "down low" meme lives on. Meanwhile, the far less sexy factors that appear to play large roles in HIV rates among Black women--such as poor access to routine STD screening and treatment or histories of sexual abuse--get ignored.

Yesterday, in a full-page ad running in Variety Magazine, the Gay  and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the Black AIDS Institute and the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) called on ABC and The View to correct misinformation put forth on the the show.

 The "down low" meme is motivated by ignorance and a cynical exploitation on the fears of black women.  It motivated many others to throw out all of sorts of nonsense on the subject including Shahrazad Ali.

Ali, who once said that black women need a good smack in the mouth, wrote another book called How To Tell if Your Man is Gay or Bisexual. In this book, she gave a few "tips" on spotting "downlow men," including:
How does he sleep at night, what position does he sleep in? Does he sleep like a woman, or like a man? What does he talk about in his sleep?

You can touch his rectum to see if he has those tell-tale humpson his anus from having it stretched open with a penis. Then later on ask him if he's ever had hemorrhoids really bad.

If he asks you to "toss his salad" and you agree, and his legs go up too quickly, he's probably used to doing it.

It would be hilarious except for the fact that some folks actually took her seriously
What you can do: contact ABC and get the network to correct the misinformation put out by Hughley and Shepard:

ABC Contacts:

Brad Jamison, Vice President Corporate Initiatives
ABC Television Network

Julie Hoover, Corporate Communications Vice President
ABC Television Network
(212) 456-6641

Bill Geddie, Executive Producer
ABC "The View"
(212) 456-0910

Related post:

CDC: ‘Down Low’ Men Not Responsible for High HIV Rates Among Black Women

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Phony pro-family expert Peter Sprigg hits a wall of knowledge and other Tuesday midday news briefs

The following is what happens when a phony religious right expert goes up against a real expert. Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council (the guy who wants "homosexual behavior" to be declared illegal and gays to be deported when he is not pushing phony studies) debates Logan Levkoff, author and sexuality education expert on sex education for children. Levkoff holds her own and then some. It's unfortunate that Sprigg can still be considered an expert after his lies, but still it's nice to see him get struck with facts. And it's on Fox of all places. Take a lesson, lgbt community. THIS is how it's done.

Hat tip - Goodasyou.org and Joe.My.God

In other news briefs

Audio: Oh look, Matt's being tough again. Adorable. Really. - Matt Barber of the Liberty Counsel may not know it but he is the lgbt community's best friend. Every time Maggie Gallagher and NOM try to pull that "we shouldn't be called bigots because we believe in 'traditional marriage'" lie, we can always count on Barber to say something which puts a hole in that lie, such as here when he calls gays "disordered. And lest we forget, Barber is the same guy who wants to focus more attention on "gay sex." Why is for you to ponder. I'm no psychologist.

David Boies on How the Prop. 8 Witnesses Fell Apart - Because they were liars, pure and simple. But David puts its much better.

Texas GOP vice-chair defends party’s extremist anti-gay platform - She infers that lgbts should be treated with dignity, as long as we know our place.

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'Poo poo' pastor Martin Ssempa causes church to lose partnership

From the area of "you got what you deserved" comes this item:

A Nevada public health organization has cut ties with the Las Vegas church that counts controversial Ugandan anti-gay pastor Martin Ssempa as a mission partner.

As Salon reported on July 2, the Canyon Ridge Community Church has an ongoing relationship with Ssempa, who has become the public face of Uganda's "kill the gays bill." At the same time, the church has been working with the Southern Nevada Health District in Las Vegas to provide a location for HIV testing and AIDS awareness activities. But late Friday, in a letter to Canyon Ridge pastor Kevin Odor, the agency's chief health officer, Lawrence Sands, severed the relationship, citing the church's support for Ssempa.

Dr. Sands stated that "Pastor Ssempa's support of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which would criminally penalize homosexuals, is in direct conflict with the overarching public health goals of the health district."

As written, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill would impose the death penalty on HIV-positive people caught in homosexual intimacy. Non-HIV positive gays could get life in prison. In Uganda, support for the bill is driven by a coalition of Muslim and evangelical clergy, with Martin Ssempa leading the charge via local demonstrations and the international media. Despite Ssempa's vocal promotion of the bill, Canyon Ridge Christian Church has stuck by him, declining to condemn his harsh anti-gay rhetoric or the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

In the past, Southern Nevada partnered with Canyon Ridge church to offer HIV testing on site, most recently on June 27, the National HIV Testing Day. Calling it "unfortunate that we will be unable to continue to work together as community partners," Sands said the action was necessary to remain consistent with basic principles of public health practice.

You lie down with dogs, you end up with fleas. Of course knowing Ssempa's penchant for showing "scat porn" in church, I guess the better saying would be you hang around with folks who like to play in #^@, you end up getting some of it on you.

Sorry to those who thought that was sufficiently nasty.

Related posts: 

Martin Ssempa claims to be misunderstood

Martin Ssempa celebrates his homophobia via a blog

'Kill the gays' bill supporter reduced to showing gay porn in church

Martin Ssempa talks about 'poop' to demonize lgbts 

Martin Ssempa's obsession with gay sex . . . and poo?

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