I can't believe in 2013 I'm still having this conversation...
While lying here on my death bed (aka my cough from hell), I watched with pride as MN's Senate Judiciary and House Civil Law Committees passed the marriage equality bill today. This is a big step in marriage equality, which I hope to see spread throughout our great United States during my lifetime. While this was a wonderful thing to witness, it was not without pain. It made me so sick to hear the ignorant blasts from non-supporters on why they felt the bill should not pass.
I understand people have morality/religious conflicts with marriage equality, and while I do not share your opinion, I certainly respect them when they are argued without hate. Suprisingly, we can have different opinions and remain friends (or at least, I can). What I cannot support or respect is when people spread ignorance regarding the lives and welfare of same-sex couples when "supporting" their position on this issue.
One gentleman's testimony* in particular made my blood boil, not only because it talked about same-sex couples' sex lives (which is nobody's business but their own), but also about how same-sex couples' sex lives spread disease and affect the general welfare of society and the economy. In his words, only the act of sodomy can transmit AIDS since women have a magical "cell" that apparently fights off HIV/AIDS viruses in the body in order to promote procreation. (IS HE KIDDING ME???) So wait, is it just the lives of gay men that he has an issue with? I watched the whole testimony, and still didn't see anything that supported his position other than his opposition to sodomy. (Yay for the lesbians, I guess?). Regardless, to spew such nonsense in a public forum is dangerous and ignorant.
HIV/AIDS does not know gender, race, sexuality, or income. It can infect anyone.
HIV/AIDS can be transmitted via shared needles. Another reason not to do drugs, kids.
Unprotected sex increases your risk for contracting HIV and/or the AIDS virus, REGARDLESS of whether that unprotected sexual act occurs between a same-sex or heterosexual couple. The virus is transmitted when infected blood, semen, or vaginal secretions come in contact with broken skin or mucuous membranes, whether those membranes are located in the mouth, nose, vagina, colon, or other opening in the body. Sodomy is not the only sexual activity that can transmit HIV/AIDS.
Knowing your status and the status of your life partner is IMPERATIVE. It only takes one bad drug deal, one bad blood transfusion (yes this still happens, although mostly overseas), or one bad sexual encounter to contract this deadly disease. Knowledge is power, my friends. Get tested, and make sure your partner, boyfriend/girlfriend, future husband/wife, etc is tested too.
While I hope some of you will eventually change your minds and support marriage equality for all of our friends and family members, I again respect your opposition and point of view. And while I certainly hope one day my friends and family members will enjoy the same rights and privileges as me and my "straight" friends, I understand this is not something easily achieved. In the meantime, I hope you at least take away the very TRUE facts about HIV/AIDS and the gay community. Again, this is not a "gay" thing any more than it is a "white" thing or a "poor people" thing. It has the power to affect us all if we are not careful. Please educate yourself (if you haven't already), and educate your friends and your kids too. We will only win when there's nothing left to fight.
*Note: I refuse to share the gentleman's testimony, but I'm sure you can "Google it, boot" to put it in the words of my favorite faux policeman. I worry that if I share the testimony, people may construe it as fact which it simply is not. I appreciate your understanding.