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Should the Law Intervene when Someone Lies about his HIV-status?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 5:38 pm - August 19, 2006.
Filed under: Advocate Watch,Gay America,HIV/AIDS

If it weren’t for this blog, I would long since have cancelled my subscription to The Advocate. I have found its reporting increasingly biased with its coverage of conservatives frequently dishonest. The magazine doesn’t have a single conservative columnist (though it has from time to time included conservative views on its website).

In its December 7, 2004 symposium on the previous month’s elections, it failed to include a single person who had supported the winner in the presidential contest despite the fact that just under one in four gay men and lesbians voted for George W. Bush.

That said, it often provides news of interest to gay people and occasionally has interesting features. Its left-wing rants often provide material for my posts. And sometimes it offers food for thought. In the latest issue, for example, its editorial “Is lying about HIV a crime?” considers an issue particularly important to our community.

The editors believe that prosecuting a sexually promiscuous Australian man “who told partners he was HIV-negative when he knew he wasn’t,” persuading some to “have unprotected sex with him . . ., would set a perilous precedent.” They believe:

it’s wrong to fabricate a story about your HIV status, much less to knowingly expose people to the virus. But it’s also wrong to criminalize people for doing either.

I agree with their contention that “Protecting yourself from HIV is a matter of personal responsibility,” but I’m not sure I share their conclusion.

I have yet to meet a gay man who doesn’t know the risks of unprotected intercourse. And yet some continue to “play unsafe” even with partners about whose status they are uncertain. While they may be taking great risks with their health, it is their responsibility to take precautions, not the government’s.

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It’s Up to Kofi to Make 1701 Work

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 4:20 pm - August 19, 2006.
Filed under: War On Terror

***UPDATE: If it’s up to Kofi, then it looks like 1701 is doomed to fail. The Secretary General says the operation (mentioned below) violated the cease-fire. I guess Annan just wants a cessation of hostilities rather than respect for the terms of the agreement.

That’s the bad news. The good news is the Administration’s resolve to enforce UN mandates:

The White House declined to criticize the Israeli operation, noting that Israel said it acted in reaction to arms smuggling into Lebanon and that the U.N. resolution calls for the prevention of any weapons resupply for Hezbollah.

***

It looks like the test of the West’s resolve and Kofi Annan’s commitment to the principles of the United Nations (UN) and the mandates of its resolutions on the disarming of militias in Lebanon has come sooner than I anticipated. Israel launched a commando raid into the Lebanese town of Baalbek to “prevent the smuggling of arms to Hizbullah” (link via Pajamas). As rearmament of Hezbollah is a violation of UN Resolution 1701, such smuggling means that terror group — and those responsible for providing arms to it — has breached the agreement.

Now that “Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora phoned UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to protest“, the Secretary General has the chance to show his stuff by making clear that the resolution calls for Hezbollah’s disarmament and condemning attempts to resupply the terror group. And recognizing Israel’s right to self-defense if the resolution is breached.

That Israel continues to take defensive actions indicates that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert recognizes that 1701 does not call for an unconditional cease-fire. And confirms my view that the resolution is not entirely bad. As Captain Ed wrote, “If [Hezbollah Chief] Nasrallah balks, then Israel will have a green light and a wide window to finish the job, and they will have lost very little in the hours it will take for the gambit to play to its conclusion.

And it’s not just Hezbollah’s leaders who appears to be balking. Another man not known for keeping his word, French President Jacques Chirac, has pledged only 400 French troops to the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon. “France had been widely expected to increase its contribution to UNIFIL after the U.N. Security Council approved a resolution drafted by France and the U.S. last Friday.” The UN “is disappointed with the French contribution” (link via Captain Ed).

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GayPatriot Mailbag

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 7:59 am - August 19, 2006.
Filed under: Blogging

This is the kind of email that makes me get up in the morning and blog….

Hey man. I’m Mike, 32, living in the upper Midwest. I have my masters in social work and am a case manager and therapist at an AIDS resource center. I wanted to let you know that I really appreciate the tenor and class you bring to the table. I am a liberal and I have some conservative friends, both gay and straight. I think the only way we solve things is by talking to each other in a respectful way. I fully agree with the idea that we cannot marginalize anyone that does not follow a party line. Keep doing what your doing. We can disagree about things forever and still respect and care for each other.

Thanks Mike.  We are here to bring new ideas and new perspectives to the blogosphere and try to do it with thought, humor and class.   We don’t always succeed, but we do always try.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)