Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the TV show “Pose”:

Gay Pride month festivities have hit the air waves. On the June 11 episode of the FX show, “Pose,” they made quite a hullaballoo about homosexuals objecting to anti-condom ads sponsored by the Catholic Church. The show featured a lesbian activist who screamed her hatred of all things Catholic to a crowd of supporters.

“The Catholic Church has spent millions of dollars putting the false message into the world that condoms don’t work and that abstinence is the only way to fight HIV. That is a lie. And that is morally wrong. So, we’re staging a die-in in the middle of that congregation as a peaceful protest against the annihilation of our community.” She put the blame on the New York Archbishop, Cardinal John O’Connor.

There are five errors in this statement.

  1. It was not the Catholic Church that featured ads stating that condoms don’t work—it was the Catholic League. I should know because I wrote them. I posted the most prominent one in the New York City subways in 1994. To read it, click here.
  2. The ad, which garnered international attention and was picked up by a museum, did not cost millions. I believe it cost $10,000.
  3. It is never morally wrong to tell the truth—it is morally wrong to lie: HIV is not a problem for those who abstain from sex before marriage, nor is it a problem for those who confine sexual relations in marriage to their spouse. [Coda: not all sexual acts are equal—beware of anal sex.]
  4. The die-in took place in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in December 1989. It was not peaceful. Protesters disrupted a Mass, chained themselves to pews, blocked Catholics from going to Communion, yelled obscenities, and spat the Eucharist on the floor. It was Nazi-like.
  5. The Catholic Church is not responsible for AIDS. HIV was picked up by irresponsible drug-driven promiscuous homosexual men who practiced lethal sex acts, often in their bathhouses. Even after AIDS was discovered in 1981, gay leaders—not Bill Donohue or Cardinal O’Connor—demanded that the bathhouses remain open. That’s how the annihilation of the gay community happened. Even gay activists such as Larry Kramer have said so.

Finally, Catholic bashing, just like gay bashing, can never be defended. Nor can lying about history to make a political point.

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