Sunday, October 22, 2006

Condoleezza Sets Off the Family Blah Blah Guys

Interesting tidbit here from the Focus on the Family newsletter, CitizenLink. As might be expected, the betterthanyou guys are in a tizzy about Condoleezza Rice's apparent acceptance of gay marriage. Well, let them tell you... it gets better:
from staff reports

Secretary of state refers to mother of new ambassador's same-sex partner as his "mother in law."

America 's new deputy global AIDS coordinator was sworn in this week by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — while his same-sex partner held the Bible used in the ceremony.

Not only that, but Rice referred to the mother of Ambassador Mark Dybul's gay partner as his "mother in law."

Tom Minnery, senior vice president of government and public policy for Focus on Family, called Rice's comments "astonishing."

"This is very provocative," he said, "and very disappointing."

In response to inquiries from Focus, Minnery heard from the State Department on Wednesday.

"Secretary Rice's chief of staff called to say it was a mix-up," he said. "That somebody should have checked this mother-in-law business, didn't do it, and it got out." Rice Affirms Appointee's Gay Partner

Mmm, that's funny, because the White House isn't saying that. When he was asked about it, White House press secretary Tony Snow said, "The secretary said what she said and she was showing due deference to the people involved."

Oh well, lying to the nuts isn't anything new. Mainly, you want them to vote for you, right? They're not going to watch the actual news anyway, so the Family Blah Blah sites like this can tell them whatever they want to hear.

But look -- here's the local angle to it. A member of our MCPS citizens advisory committee has an opinion on the subject:
Peter Sprigg, vice president for policy at the Family Research Council, shared Minnery's disappointment.

"It's not that it shows they're pushing an agenda in favor of same-sex marriage," he told Family News in Focus, "but it shows they're really rather apathetic about the efforts to defend traditional marriage."

Not to mention the conflict of interest inherent in appointing a gay man to head the nation's AIDS-prevention efforts.

I can't tell if he said that -- it's not in quotation marks, or if the CitizensLink stenographer just didn't want to leave it out. I also can't tell what it's supposed to mean -- a gay guy should not be qualified to fight the AIDS epidemic? Conflict of interest? What -- he doesn't want to see his friends die? That's a conflict of interest?
"If we are not willing to say that men should not engage in sex with other men," Sprigg noted, "then we are really not willing to tackle the root causes of the AIDS problem."

Sprigg added it's unlikely a gay man can effectively articulate that point — if it's still the point the administration wants to make.

OK, I hate to state the obvious but once again it seems necessary. AIDS is spread through exchange of body fluids, most prominently through sex and sharing needles. In the United States and Europe, because of the historical roots of the epidemic, it is a disease that has attacked the gay population disproportionately. The majority of new HIV cases, even in the US, are not due to men having sex with men, but there are more of those cases than there should be. Worldwide, AIDS is overwhelmingly a disease that is spread through heterosexual contact.

"Men having sex with other men," as Mr. Sprigg puts it, are not at increased risk of becoming infected. Men who have sex with men they don't know well, or with men whose HIV status is unknown, are at risk, yes. But men who have sex within a committed relationship with another man are at no more risk than any of the rest of us.

Having unprotected sex with someone who is infected with HIV puts you at risk. If you don't know if they're infected or not, of course the probability of infection goes up. That's not hard.

Unfortunately for them, the Family Blah Blah logic turns back on itself. These guys want to say they're "pro-family," but then they don't think certain members of our community deserve to start a family -- it's bizarre. We believe in marriage, except for you and you. Listen, if you want to prevent AIDS, you should encourage gay men to enter stable relationships. You should encourage them to marry. This is such an obvious conclusion that you hate to have to say it out loud.


Blogger andrear said...

Sprigg should worry about divorce and abuse in the existing man/woman marriages or maybe about all of the kids in foster homes or about the soldiers dying in Iraq or the 50% of kids in DC who go to bed hungry.

October 23, 2006 1:37 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Since there is NO marital relationship between Ambassador Mark Dybul and his partner it was a mistake on the part of Secretary of State Rice to suggest any. All in all, not surprising coming from someone who has never been married...

As to White House Press Secretary Tony Snow mistake compounded by another. It might be time for social conservatives to let the GOP twist in the wind...

October 24, 2006 4:00 AM  
Blogger andrear said...

"All in all, not surprising coming from someone who has never been married..."

Oh, Orin, please.... Sometimes you come across as so silly. As if marriage has done so well in this country- a divorce rate above 50% and yet you act as if being married at some point makes one smarter than a PHD from Stanford. Here is what I say - Tom Cruise and Britney Spears- both married- and yet.... dumb as dirt and crazy as they come.

October 24, 2006 3:11 PM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...


From time to time, we see some television program showing a gay couple -- barred from marrying under state law -- saying that they are "married in their hearts." That Condi Rice recognized that positive human relationship of Ambassador Dybul and his partner speaks well of her. And I suspect she said what she said knowing full well that it likely ends any possibility of her being an acceptable member of a presidential ticket in the Republican Party. My opinion of her is much higher than it was before the "incident."

October 24, 2006 6:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"That Condi Rice recognized that positive human relationship of Ambassador Dybul and his partner speaks well of her."

Maybe you can get her to be a guest post.

October 26, 2006 6:48 AM  

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