Five years ago, The Washington Post's Ceci Connolly did a front-page smear of Christian AIDS activist Jerry Thacker, who had been appointed to the presidential AIDS commission. The headline? "AIDS Panel Choice Wrote of a ‘Gay Plague.'"
Thacker, who is HIV-positive himself, had merely written on his Website that health authorities and journalists had used the term "gay plague" during the early 1980s. Amid a media firestorm, he withdrew his nomination the next day.
Fast forward to Connolly's lede in the August 7, A-2 story "Early Lessons Forgotten, AIDS Conference Told," on the International AIDS Conference's finding that HIV/AIDS is skyrocketing largely because of homosexual sex. Connolly describes AIDS in a similar way to how Thacker put it:
"MEXICO CITY, Aug. 6 -- Twenty-five years after AIDS was branded the ‘gay plague,' the virus is again exacting a disproportionate toll on men who have sex with men, not only in the United States but also in countries where the epidemic is just emerging.
Globally, men who engage in homosexual relations are 19 times as likely to contract HIV as the rest of the population, according to data released at the International AIDS Conference. Here in Mexico, men who have sex with men are 109 times as likely as others to develop HIV, while in the United States, 53 percent of new infections in 2006 were in gay and bisexual men."
And what's behind this tragic increase? "Homophobia."
That's right. Connolly lists "homophobia" as the very first cause of the surge of AIDS among homosexual men, followed by "biology and misplaced confidence that AIDS has become a treatable chronic illness."
The rest of the article is a mind-bending exercise in denial and pro-homosexual political correctness. Here's a prime example:
"Simple biology also contributes to the problem, [Robert] Wolitski [acting director of the CDC's HIV/AIDS prevention program] noted. ‘This is a virus that is transmitted more easily via anal sex than vaginal sex,' he said.
"What worries public health leaders is that many countries, particularly in the developing world, appear to be repeating the early patterns of the epidemic.
‘"The same kinds of stigma and discrimination and institutionalized homophobia that failed gay men in America is now failing men who have sex with men in the rest of the world,' said Kevin Robert Frost, chief executive of Amfar, the Foundation for AIDS Research."
Catch that? It's not the increase in reckless behavior, fueled by relentless media and cultural promotion of homosexuality. The problem is those "homophobic" people who cling to their morality. If you think that homosexual behavior should be discouraged, not encouraged, it's your fault.
She quotes Frost again to make her main point, which is that societal resistance to a full embrace of homosexuality is the real cause behind all these AIDS cases among gay men: "In many cases, AIDS rates among gay and bisexual men are ‘directly related to the institutionalization of homophobia,'" Frost said.
Connolly, who also managed to blame Ronald Reagan for being "silent" in the early years of the epidemic, finishes her piece by citing Mexican AIDS activist Jorge Saavedra:
Though he has not concealed his sexual orientation, Saavedra made a point of spotlighting it, announcing to the crowd that he is gay, married and HIV-positive.
"‘It is not wrong to be gay,' he said. "What is wrong is the need to be hidden."
By this logic, health authorities who discourage smoking are actually causing the illnesses associated with smoking by driving it underground due to "tobaccophobia." Same for health authorities who got laws passed to stop spitting on city sidewalks in order to stem tuberculosis. They are guilty of "spitophobia."
And let's not forget public officials who discourage prostitution. They are clearly suffering from a case of "hookerphobia."