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S/he said: Dr. Kevin Fenton, Courtney Bishop, Bishop Spong

By |2018-01-15T18:42:40-05:00October 22nd, 2009|Opinions|

Compiled by Howard Israel

“Heterosexual black men with multiple sex partners – not bisexual men who secretly have sex with men – are responsible for high rates of HIV among black women. We have looked to see what proportion of infections is coming from male partners who are bisexual and found there are actually relatively few. More are male partners who are having female partners and are injecting drugs or using drugs or have some other risks that may put those female partners at risk of acquiring HIV. Black women make up 61 percent of all new HIV cases among women in the United States and have an HIV prevalence rate nearly 18 times that of white women. HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death for black women ages 25-34, and 80 percent of new cases are contracted through heterosexual contact. What we’re seeing is a concentration of the epidemic among the poor, among ethnic minorities and racial minorities in the United States.”

– Dr. Kevin Fenton, director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, in an interview with the National Newspaper Publishers Association, also known as The Black Press of America, printed in The Michigan Chronicle http://www.michronicleonline.com, Oct. 14.

“Most people, at this point, understand what is meant by ‘tolerance.’ As I’ve said before, this word is a crock of shit to me. So what? Joe Republican from Midwest, USA with his 2.3 children doesn’t openly call the effeminate Starbucks barista ‘faggot’ to his face? Is that tolerance? Or maybe it’s bigger than that. A woman can dedicate her life to her country by fighting in the military and that’s praiseworthy, but if she kisses her girlfriend when she comes home from overseas she will lose her job. Is that tolerance? I say fuck tolerance. Tolerance isn’t good enough. What we need is equality.”

– Courtney Bishop, in her blog titled “Tolerance is a crock. What we need is equality.,” http://blogs.creativeloafing.com, Oct. 16.

“I have made a decision. I will no longer debate the issue of homosexuality in the church with anyone. I will no longer engage the biblical ignorance that emanates from so many right-wing Christians about how the Bible condemns homosexuality, as if that point of view still has any credibility. I will no longer discuss with them or listen to them tell me how homosexuality is ‘an abomination to God,’ about how homosexuality is a ‘chosen lifestyle,’ or about how through prayer and ‘spiritual counseling’ homosexual persons can be ‘cured.’ I will no longer talk to those who believe that the unity of the church can or should be achieved by rejecting the presence of, or at least at the expense of, gay and lesbian people. I will no longer take the time to refute the unlearned and undocumentable claims of certain world religious leaders who call homosexuality ‘deviant.’ I will no longer listen to that pious sentimentality that certain Christian leaders continue to employ, which suggests some version of that overtly dishonest phrase that ‘we love the sinner but hate the sin.’ That statement is, I have concluded, nothing more than a self-serving lie designed to cover the fact that these people hate homosexual persons and fear homosexuality itself, but somehow know that hatred is incompatible with the Christ they claim to profess, so they adopt this face-saving and absolutely false statement. The world has moved on, leaving these elements of the Christian Church that cannot adjust to new knowledge or a new consciousness lost in a sea of their own irrelevance.”

– Bishop John Shelby Spong, retired bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, reposted by heysonnie, in a blog entry titled “Manifesto! The Time Has Come!,” http://heysonnie.wordpress.com/, Oct. 17.

“It’s important to have your own faith and connection to God. At the same time, it isn’t just that faith you’re the governor of. You’re governor of all the people.”

– Governor John Baldacci, D-Maine, responding to Catholic Bishop Richard Malone’s criticism about the governor’s support of Maine’s same-sex marriage law and his opposition to the ballot initiative that, if passed on Nov. 3, would repeal Maine’s new statewide marriage equality law that was passed in May 2009, Associated Press, Oct. 9.

“It’s my impression that many straight people believe that there are two types of gay men in this world: those who like to give, and those who like to receive. No, I’m not referring to the relative generosity or gift-giving habits of homosexuals. Not exactly, anyway. Rather, the distinction concerns gay men’s sexual role preferences when it comes to the act of anal intercourse. But like most aspects of human sexuality, it’s not quite that simple. I’m very much aware that some readers may think that this type of article does not belong on this Web site. But the great thing about good science is that it’s amoral, objective and doesn’t cater to the court of public opinion. Data don’t cringe; people do. Whether we’re talking about a penis in a vagina or one in an anus, it’s human behavior all the same. The ubiquity of homosexual behavior alone makes it fascinating. What’s more, the study of self-labels in gay men has considerable applied value, such as its possible predictive capacity in tracking risky sexual behaviors and safe sex practices.”

– Jesse Bering, research psychologist of Queen’s University Belfast, in an article titled “Top Scientists Get to the Bottom of Gay Male Sex Role Preferences,” about gay self-labels and their relation to development, social behavior, genes and neurological substrates of gay men, http://www.scientificamerican.com, Sept. 16.

“If Liza Can Marry Two Gay Men, Why Can’t I Marry One?”

– A placard seen at the National Equality March, http://www.baywindows.com, Oct. 13.

“We must bring our families together. Gay and transgender people are our children, our brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, parents, co-workers and friends. They are a vital part of the black community, and it is time for everyone to recognize the real issues we all face when our brothers and sisters are denied full participation in the life of our community. What has always drawn me to this work, and to the people I’ve been proud to stand alongside, is the knowledge that we must work together to create the better future we seek. In my new role at NBJC, that means lifting the voices of our community, building bridges so that all who experience discrimination can understand the common ground we share, and walking across those bridges together in greater and greater numbers toward equal rights for all.”

– Sharon J. Lettman, recently named executive director of The National Black Justice Coalition, in a press release, a civil rights organization dedicated to empowering Black LGBT people and ending racism and homophobia, http://www.nbjc.org, Oct. 5.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.