In response to my latest post on Bernard Gaynor’s Penis, I received the following email from a gentleman called Richard Foley.
This is not the sort of thing I’d usually publish given that it is full of misinformation and the usual old codswallop calling homosexuals ‘sodomites’ and equating homosexuality with pedophilia. But, as this is the kind of fuzzy thinking which is all too common among a certain type of reader, I thought it was worthwhile addressing. Here is the email which the correspondent Mr Foley (aka ozithortitan) has kindly given me permission to make public:
“Hi I see that you are a hipster feminist type & have just read your blog about that blokes dick you were carrying on about. Whilst I understand that generally childish response in your article, being of the philosophical & political persuasion you are, I feel that the issue of this whole gay marriage affair & the persistent bludgeoning of the general public with the issue should be better determined via a referendum as opposed to a well lobbied political class.
The issue is seemingly cloaked with the persistent ramblings of it all being about “love” which in fact nobody is stopping considering the reality legal & otherwise of civil unions. You well know that the noisy minority activists within the gay movement have much further reaching agendas at play with their “marriage equality” clap trap such as eradicating the statutory age of consent. As a father of young children I am appalled by such notions on a moral & societal level & I should not be criticized for stating such opposition with the usual jamming techniques of “bigot”, “homophobe” & “redneck” etc etc.
Now I’m not religious at all nor a fan of this Gaynor character but I feel that feminist/socialist lefty types like you need to be honest with the general public when discussing the promotion of the gay lifestyle & it’s potential health issues which I might add the taxpayer is funding via taxes in the medical area when these health related problems occur.
I await your reasoned & dignified response feel free to publish this email if you wish as long as you can offer a fair & reasonable critique of the facts particulary the medical ones I have outlined above.
My reply to Mr Foley is as follows:
Wow! So much confusion in one short email!
I’m not sure that a middle-aged, middle-class woman can be identified as a ‘hipster’, but I’ll take it as a compliment.
You have no idea of my ‘political persuasion’. I am a swinging voter and have never belonged to any political party. On this blog, and elsewhere, I criticise members of all parties – Liberals, Labor and Greens, and give credit where credit is due.
Referendums are held to change the Constitution. Same-sex marriage is not a constitutional matter. A plebiscite could be held but it would be enormously expensive and is unnecessary given that polling data already shows majority support for same-sex marriage in Australia.
You’ve sent this email in response to a blog post about a person who is transgender. Transgender does not equate to ‘gay’. For example, some trans women are attracted to men, others to women, some are bisexual and some are not attracted to any sex. Some trans people remain in partnership with their wife/husband even after their transition. In other words, defending Ms McGregor has nothing whatsoever to do with promoting homosexuality. Frankly, Ms McGregor’s sexual preferences are no business of mine – or yours. For the record, I’m straight and not interested in ‘promoting’ any particular sexual orientation – each to their own.
I certainly do not ‘promote’ the ‘gay lifestyle’. Firstly, being gay is not a lifestyle – it is a sexual orientation. It is not something that is ‘chosen’ nor is it something that is changeable. Tell me, Richard, when did you decide to adopt a straight lifestyle?
I do support equal rights and protections for LGBTI people under Australian law, because I believe in justice and equality. As an advocate of ‘men’s rights’, Richard (I see you are on the personal mailing list of arch-misogynist, bully and conspiracy theorist Peter Nolan of Crimes Against Fathers) you argue exactly the same thing for your cause. You believe that women are given preference over men in the legal system (particularly in family law). Why then would you support a system which preferences straight people over gay people? You cannot ethically argue for equality for yourself if you don’t stand up for equality for others.
Now, with regard to anal sex. You are confusing homosexuality with a sex act. Anal sex is a sex act that some couples engage in – both homosexual and heterosexual.
Anal sex is practised by people of all sexual orientations – it’s a matter of personal preference, not sexual orientation. Many gay couples never, or rarely, practice anal sex. As a gay man on one forum said, “My partner and I have been together 17 years and we can count on one hand all the times we’ve tried it.”
Research suggests that while most gay men have tried anal sex, they are far more likely to participate in oral sex and mutual masturbation.
Many straight couples enjoy anal sex. This may shock you, but some men who don’t consider themselves gay, enjoy having anal sex with other men. And some straight men enjoy having their female partners penetrate them with a dildo, vibrator or similar.
In short – anal sex is not equivalent to ‘gay’ sex.
According to one online source:
“It’s widely claimed that one third of gay couples do not include anal intercourse in their lovemaking. According to one estimate, about a third of heterosexual couples have tried it from time to time.
It’s thought that about 10 per cent of heterosexual couples have anal intercourse as a more regular feature of their lovemaking.
In absolute numbers, more heterosexual couples have anal sex than homosexual couples, because many more people are heterosexual.”
So, if hospitals are coping with a flood of people suffering from anal-sex related problems, odds are that the vast majority are heterosexuals, not homosexuals.
The transmission of HIV/AIDS via anal sex is obviously a concern. But, again, this is not confined to the homosexual community who (no thanks to the current Queensland Government) are increasingly well educated about the need to use protection. Young people would be at far less risk if sex education in schools talked about anal sex and how it can be practised responsibly – but I gather you are against that for fear it ‘promotes a gay lifestyle’. Again, talking about anal sex can’t make someone gay – but it can make them practice safe sex.
Figures on the transmission of HIV/AIDS in Queensland are somewhat outdated but this may be instructive. In 2005, the ‘men who have sex with men’ category comprised 73.5 per cent of the total new HIV notifications in Queensland (see Table 19, page 41). Today (latest figures from 2010), they comprise 63.1 per cent; a drop of more than 14 per cent. Meanwhile, the percentage of heterosexuals and ‘people originating from a high prevalence country’ have both increased. In other words, HIV/AIDS transmission via homosexuals is falling significantly while transmission via heterosexuals is on the rise.
Sure, there are health risks associated with anal sex, but, with education, they can be avoided. Mainstream medical advice seems to be that anal sex is safe, provided you take sensible precautions. Yet, you seem to be suggesting that we should be silent about anal sex and not educate children about the dangers and precautions they should take; that it should be a taboo subject. Anal sex has been practiced since people started having sex and will continue as one of a suite of sexual options for both straight and gay couples.
Young fundamentalist Christians in the US are having pre-marital anal sex so as to remain ‘technically’ virgins on their wedding day and to avoid becoming pregnant. Because of their ignorance and a lack of education, they are placing themselves at risk. The Washington Post reports that Christian teens who ‘pledge’ sexual abstinence suffer from the same rates of sexually transmitted disease as those who don’t take the pledge.
“Although young people who sign a virginity pledge delay the initiation of sexual activity, marry at younger ages and have fewer sexual partners, they are also less likely to use condoms and more likely to experiment with oral and anal sex, said the researchers from Yale and Columbia universities.”
It is true that, without education about safe sex practices, anal sex is riskier than vaginal sex. But, we shouldn’t forget there are health risks (pregnancy being one of them!) associated with vaginal sex! There are few women who haven’t picked up a bladder infection or thrush from a sexual partner and, of course, having unprotected vaginal sex also puts one at risk of more serious sexually transmitted diseases.
Proper lubrication, hygiene, using protection and a bit of common sense circumvent most problems associated with anal sex, just as they do with vaginal sex.
You suggest that the campaign for same-sex marriage is associated with other agendas, such as lowering the age of consent. I am in contact with many LGBTI people and have the privilege of being admitted on to a number of LGBTI news groups. I can say, honestly, that even in private there is no suggestion, whatsoever, that the campaign for same-sex marriage is about anything more than the right to marry the person you love and, incidentally, about making LGBTI people equal in the eyes of Australian law. It is about removing discrimination – nothing more.
The age of consent issue is all together separate. The issue with the age of consent is that, in Queensland, it is different for straights and gays. This is contrary to equal rights for all and needs to be adjusted – especially as the penalty is a maximum 14 years in prison. The threat of a long prison term should a young gay person admit to being sexually active may discourage them from seeking education about sex or medical attention. Again, it is the wowsers and prudes who are exacerbating the ‘health problems’ associated with anal sex, not we ‘hipsters’.
Making the age of consent non-discriminatory is certainly not about homosexuals wanting to prey on young people. Homosexuality does not equate with pedophilia.
As the psychology division of the University of Southern California Davis explains:
“… an expert panel of researchers convened by the National Academy of Sciences noted in a 1993 report: “The distinction between homosexual and heterosexual child molesters relies on the premise that male molesters of male victims are homosexual in orientation. Most molesters of boys do not report sexual interest in adult men, however” (National Research Council, 1993, p. 143)
USC Davis also cites another study in which Dr. Carole Jenny and her colleagues reviewed 352 medical charts, representing all of the sexually abused children seen in the emergency room or child abuse clinic of a Denver children’s hospital during a one-year period (from July 1, 1991 to June 30, 1992). The molester was a gay or lesbian adult in fewer than 1% of cases in which an adult molester could be identified – only 2 of the 269 cases (Jenny et al., 1994).
Civil unions is an apartheid option that does not provide full equality under the law to same-sex couples. When a gay man or woman falls in love, they should not have to say to their partner, “Will you civil union me?” That is not equality. Marriage is not a Christian institution. It is practised by people of all religions and of none. It is a legislative matter, not a matter of religion. The vast majority of Australians do not marry in a church, but in secular ceremonies presided over by a celebrant, not a member of the clergy. In a secular country there is no reason why marriage should not be available to both gay and straight citizens.
Now, your concern on moral grounds. Really? Are you the same ozithortitan (an unusual screen pseudonym) who said in response to a married woman on a fishing video, “I’d like to fuck the chick”? Are you the same Richard Foley who, on 29 April asked Catherine Deveny, “Can I do a turd in your mouth, Catherine?”
If so, may I say I’d feel far safer putting children into the care of any homosexual person I know than leaving them with you.
I do hope you appreciate this ‘reasoned and dignified’ response to your email, Richard.