TIME TO GET BLUNT ON SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
Catalyst July/August Issue 2011
Before the New York State legislature decided whether to ratify homosexual marriage, we thought it would be nice if the lawmakers would ask what in the world is going on in the gay community.
A June report issued by the NYC Health Department, “Take Care New York 2012: Tracking the City’s Progress,” showed that while progress is being made to stem smoking, the intake of sugary drinks, and teenage pregnancies, we are going backwards on preventing sexually transmitted diseases among gays.
Between 2007-2009, there was a 6 percent decrease in gay men using condoms. Each year, homosexuals account for 60 percent of all newly diagnosed HIV infections; in addition, 60 percent of gays who have syphilis also have HIV. Moreover, 85 percent of gays with syphilis continue to have sex.
It can’t be said that lack of education is the problem. In the last few years, New York City has featured a condom wrapping design contest, and has posted an NYC Condom Facebook page. Also, there is an NYC Condom Finder, a free app that uses GPS to find them. Moreover, condoms are distributed at 45 different events, including LGBT Pride events. During the years when condom use by gays declined, New York City gave away approximately 40 million free condoms per year!
It’s time for gay leaders to address this issue. While they’re at it, maybe they could address why, unlike all other parades in New York City, the organizers of the Gay Pride Parade, must warn marchers not to go naked in the streets. The public has a right to know.