Les Kinsolving, a conservative talk-show host in Baltimore who claims to be a White House correspondent for the fact-challenged online conspiracy portal World Net Daily, is among the latest to employ discredited myths that LGBT people risk early death and poor health simply for being gay.
Under the headline “Pandering to deadly-disease spreaders,” Kinsolving on Tuesday chided President Obama for praising New York’s decision in late June to legalize same-sex marriage. The commentator ludicrously equated homosexuality with paraphilia, an abnormal sexual attraction to objects, nonconsenting partners such as children, or dangerous or humiliating acts. Kinsolving defined attraction to dead bodies, animals, feces, urine and similar objects as “sexual orientations.”
Kinsolving then refers to LGBT people as “deadly-disease spreaders,” alluding to the higher rates of HIV-AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among LGBT people, particularly gay men. He misleadingly conflates sexual orientation and the behavioral factors that actually spread such infections among both gays and straights alike. “Such presidential pandering to deadly-disease spreaders is surely a despicable means of trying to attract votes by an incumbent who will apparently do anything to try to win re-election.”
What is, in fact, despicable is Kinsolving’s sly linkage of two entirely unrelated matters: The political issue of legal same-sex unions and the medical issues regarding physical and emotional health. STIs are spread primarily through unprotected sexual contact regardless of whether the participants are joined in matrimony. If anything, logic suggests that gay men and lesbians who can choose marriage would be less inclined to seek multiple or heterosexual partners, and that such monogamy would likely slow the spread of STIs. In fact, one 2009 study suggested that bans on gay marriage may increase the spread of HIV-AIDS by compelling more LGBT people to resort to underground sexual practices that carry more risk.
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