Deadly meningitis hits gay men in NYC, mass vaccinations recommended

A particularly deadly meningitis outbreak among gay men in New York City has led the city to recommend that every gay man who is basically sexually active, and not in an exclusive relationship, to get a meningitis vaccination pronto.

Per the CDC, “Meningitis is a disease caused by the inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord known as the meninges.”

The alert was issued two weeks ago – I didn’t hear a word about it until yesterday when Michael Broder at the Huffington Post wrote about it.

The New York City Health Department’s recommendation for who should get vaccinated is written a bit oddly, but here goes:

The Health Department issued new recommendations today for vaccinating against invasive meningococcal disease – commonly known as meningitis – after an increase in cases. Vaccinations are now advised for men, regardless of HIV status, who regularly have intimate contact with other men met through a website, digital application (“App”), or at a bar or party.

To me, this means anyone who is gay, sexually active and not monogamous with someone else who is also monogamous.

Disease meningitis

Meningococcus via Shutterstock

New York City’s Health Commissioner, Dr. Thomas Farley, notes that “Meningitis symptoms usually come on quickly, and the disease can be fatal if not treated right away.”  An article in yesterday’s NYT notes that while typically meningitis kills one in five people it strikes, this strain kills one in three.

A reader who sent me the Times story remarked, “awfully scary — takes me back to 1982.”  He means the beginning of the AIDS crisis, when gay men in big cities were mysteriously becoming ill.  Hopefully, we’re not facing a new epidemic, but in any case, even though I live in DC, I’m talking to my doctor this week when I go in for my allergy shot.  I recommend some of you do the same.

More from the NYC press release:

Vaccination prevents, but does not treat, current infection. Common symptoms of meningitis are: high fever, headache, stiff neck, and rash that develop rapidly upon onset. Symptoms may occur two to 10 days after exposure, but usually within five days. Meningitis can be fatal if not treated promptly. People who experience these symptoms should seek medical care immediately.

And before the religious right gleefully uses this as justification for why gays shouldn’t be permitted to marry (oh, and they will), perhaps if generations upon generations of gay men weren’t brought up in a society that did not permit them to marry, and a culture that taught them from an early age that they would never find romantic love, and would likely lose the love of their family and friends if they ever found out who they really were, more gay men would be settled down in couples and not prone to getting such diseases that tend to better proliferate when one is not monogamous.  If anything, hatred and bigotry helped fuel this disease more than anything else.

And while NY state now has marriage equality for gays, it’s going to take more than nine months of legalized same-sex marriages to wipe out the psychological damage caused by millenia of intolerance.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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262 Responses to “Deadly meningitis hits gay men in NYC, mass vaccinations recommended”

  1. Goldilocks says:

    Do you actually think this is a result of the state not allowing gays to marry? I think this bizarre enforcement of heterosexual monogamy on gay people is why infection continues in the first place. Nearly all of us have unprotected sex with our long term partners and infection comes when someone cheats, doesn’t use protection and then keeps quiet because they’ve broken some archaic rules about monogamy. Gay marriage is understandably important for some but dont mistake it for disease prevention. And all the homophobes here sound like they need to get laid. What a bunch of puritans.

  2. Sam Waterson says:

    ‘gleefully ” ? Are you insane ? Promiscuous sex leads to disease . This is a scientific fact .
    When people get ill from their irresponsible behavior , it’s a sad thing , even horrifying
    in the case of something like this or A.I.D.S.

    Take some responsibility for your behavior instead of blaming it on some other group –
    no one forced you to have unprotected , promiscuous sex .

  3. silvermaran says:

    They can’t tell you what causes Meningitis anymore than than can tell you what caused AIDS. Because after they infected us all with gene sharing spirochetal prion protein infections in contaminated vaccines for over 35yrs. rigged the tests to Rule Out the real cause of AIDS we got hundreds of syndromes to cover up their crimes. All they are doing with the vaccines is trying to keel you faster by adding to the prion synergy of spirochetal disease that does not care what it shares its genes with.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=yOno_2m_8LY
    Which is why they lied about Autism babies forcing them to suffer multiple infections and NO treatment—because we were already infected from contaminated vaccines.

  4. Thanks, You Are Too. says:

    Why do we need to blame The Right or blame the history of homophobia for the simple fact that guys enjoy having sex with each other—gay, bi, straight, whatever. Blaming a third party implies we should be ashamed of this simple biological fact.

    Act like adults and get vaccinated, practice safe sex, get HIV tests regularly and enjoy this free pleasure. Jeez

  5. d3clark says:

    Epidemiologists have just found a link between MSMs who have sex with multiple partners and increased risk of meningitis. As I mentioned previously, it’s easy to get infected while having sex because of possible oral secretion sharing. You can’t have much more close/intimate contact than when having sex. Sneeze, cough, share a cigarette, drink, etc. and you can get it. Now, if that scene is repeated 4 times/week with a different partner each time, risk increases.

  6. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Oh, for fuck’s sake, it was typo. DOH. And since it’s not sexually transmitted, this focus on sex seems bizarre.

  7. Skeptical Cicada says:

    I can’t believe you imagine you have the moral authority to prance into a gay blog knowing next to nothing about the gay community and smugly condescend.

  8. mclarksn9 says:

    This is so sad and I hope this is clears with as small an impact as is possible. Reading some of the articles there has to be some responsibility in the gay community. In the age of AIDS I can’t believe people are still having these types of reckless sexual encounters

  9. Thanks for linking to the Huffington Post Gay Voices piece.

  10. Alex Tuttle says:

    Question: Is this deadly strain the result of – or possibly been exacerbated by – its exposure to so many hosts, trading it back and forth, who are already on SO many antibiotics… for HIV? If so, this makes me very sad…

  11. markpkessinger says:

    Thank you, John, for getting the word out on this. I just sent a group message to all of my gay friends on Facebook. I included even those who are not in the New York area, because, as those of us who are old enough to remember the early days of the AIDS epidemic know all too well, an infectious disease such as this can jump to other cities across the country in virtually no time at all.

  12. d3clark says:

    NYC DOC (Department of Corrections)? I haven’t read anything from them in regards to this. If you have a reference for a statement from the DOS, I’d appreciate a link. Thanks. Or do you mean NYC DOH? All of the documents I’ve read (from DOH and CDC) say that HIV+ MSMs and MSMs who have multiple sexual contacts, have a higher risk of getting it. A common link found among the MSMs who got it is that many had multiple partners that they met thought apps/bars/parties. None of the reports say that gays have started it or are spreading it to other groups. The DOH is trying to make physicians (and the public) aware that 1. This is infecting people in the NYC area and can be serious and/or fatal. 2. HIV+ MSMs and MSMs with multiple partners have increased risk. So the DOH is recommending that these groups get vaccinated/revaccinated. The implication is there, but not stated, for physicians to keep their eyes open to see if any other groups seem to get it, too – like HIV+ women, prostitutes, straight guys with immunodeficiencies, etc. Many docs will be thinking about this as soon as they hear any complaints of symptoms from ANY patients of this disease, hear that the patient has multiple partners, hear that the patient has an immune deficiency, is living in a crowded space, has had a close contact with someone who has it, etc.

    While it’s not technically sexually transmitted, it can be contracted during sex. Kissing during sex or after, sharing a drink from the came glass, sharing a toothbrush, etc. can all transmit it. Therefore, having sex with multiple partners can easily increase the risk. You’d be spending some amount of time in a small area with someone else and oropharyngeal secretions could get shared.

  13. It (The not so underground culture) is worse than it was back then, So many of those folks are practicing bad sex habits. A well known gay porn producer(Paul Morris) that produces condomless pornography stated in The Advocate magazine interview that the “New Viginity” are people who are still HIV negative and those that are still negative are “Bougie” and should come over to the wildside. And they keep putting out condomless adult gay media, so the kids go for it. Even in straight porn they just had a huge syphillis outbreak in LA. But in the gay world the most popular tern is NSA & BB. Pass it along with no repercussions. (They are even popularizing a tattoo that looks like the poison/radioactive symbol). That not starting an outrage was bad enough. Now the network Logo is running ads promoting the idea of not spreading HIV to one another. Novel idea. Sometimes I think the worst thing that happened was the 3 pill solution/cocktail. And its just not gays, I think all should wear condoms if not in a commited relationship and not trying to have kids. And Drew2u you are right, But many in our generation are not good role models either. The condomless porn industry should be put on blast nationally. When the 3 pill/cocktail stops working we will be back where we started.

  14. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Your comment gave me a very weird flashback. When I was about twenty, I was introduced to a slightly older man. He knocked himself out trying to get me in bed. It turned out that he believed it was perfectly okay for two men to have sex, but two men shouldn’t kiss one another. I guess he wouldn’t have to worry about meningitis.

  15. FLL says:

    As a few have noted, meningitis is spread through saliva, not oral or anal sex. But you won’t let that get in the way of your gleeful stream of insults directed at the sexual activity of gay men in general. And that concluding sentence with the epic stereotypes! Yes, you do sound rather self-loathing. By the way, anonymous sex is a requirement for remaining in the closet. Christian preachers and their supporters are not making gay men have sex, but they sure are forcing gay men to restrict sex to anonymous encounters. Now why don’t you get the hell out of the way while other people work for progress.

  16. JamesR says:

    The issues are:

    A: This meningitis is NOT sexually transmitted. It’s casually transmitted.

    B: Many people must have been exposed, and could be transmitting it as we type, and be unaware of the danger because they either are not getting the information, or if they are they think it’s others’ danger because it’s a gay sex disease. Which it is NOT.

    C: It’s a WTF moment for public health, the way they’ve spread the word. And you have fallen for it, seemingly without researching, or with researching but then without caring and re-hashing the oh-so-helpful HIV safe sex told-you-so, fuck-you-if-you-don’t-behave, don’t-come-crying-to-me argument.

    Which everyone loves to read and reacts well to.

    The issue plainly is, on the one hand, certain subjects and potential exposed people and groups have been tracked and projected to interact with others in a probable manner to maximize the spread. IE contact with upper respiratory secretions (and potentially skin.) It is reasonable to alert those who may more likely contact these secretions they need to be aware and get vaccinated. Yet on the other hand how necessary was it to phrase the alert in the context that it was an STD?? Another VD like HIV and that MRSA. Which, like this, is NOT sexually transmitted.

    They dumbed it down in order to get the message out, or to reduce a more generalized panic, but then didn’t realize that then the rest of the population would not get the info they needed to manage their own health! What were the factors they considered, and / or how does the NYC Health Commission parse the value of a human life, did they wait until all five borough got reported infections and deaths, that they could have predicted, or is it that they had to scare other agencies into acting? As if the only way a vaccine would be paid for and widely distributed wold be if there were more deaths?? THESE are the issues.

    Not bath houses, buttfucking, and you being right all these years.

    Get with the program.

    – The above was more for what you’ve written throughout the thread, to the specific comment, I acknowledge I am inserting myself into your discussion, as it were, as you did to FLL as he was commenting to Jon N and not you. –

    Diagramming the concepts, the original post was waxing about how the Wingnuttisphere will use the ‘Gay meningitis’ scare in their diseased sinful blah blah blah argument you can BET they are already doing, especially now as arguments hit the Supreme Court about marriage – it will happen. It is despicable. The misinformation – explicit and implicit – from the NY Health Commission has a very real byproduct of being prime fodder for political and religious propaganda. Anyone living through the original HIV outbreak times, and especially one harping on them, knows Goddamn well what the fundies do.

    The effect preachers et al had in the spread of HIV was many fold. To boil down the argument that the ONLY method of spread was the sex for which the fuckers themselves were individually responsible for is rather intellectually dishonest as it ignores the societal and legal context in which those decisions were made. Which you purportedly already know. John the author of the original thread was in error classifying this as a sexually transmitted disease, an understandable error as that is what’s being spread by the NYC Health Commission, so his analogy doesn’t quite fit, but that’s been corrected in the comments here.

    Jon N then did a classic modern conservative indignant diversion to the defense against blame for others’ actions talking point with a follow up of “personal accountability” sanctimony and you fell right in with it.

    Since we have lived through a history where religious forces in this country and this world to this day are complicit in the spread of HIV and the issues here are so directly parallel and have been invoked it IS entirely relevant and necessary to bear witness, those of us who have survived. They still bear the shame, they will always bear the shame, I for one will always point it out, bring it up, and always explain why it’s important to those who snipe and parse or divert. Moral responsibility is still responsibility, especially in those who are purportedly called to do better. Even as individuals also have primary responsibility for what they do of their own free will.

    Yet NOWHERE on this thread has anyone eschewed responsibility for sexual behavior, notwithstanding that sexual behavior per-se is NOT THE ISSUE. Would I be as “responsible” involuntarily coughing on a stranger in public were I infected and didn’t know it, the same way as if I had unprotected sex with a stranger? No.

    Red Fucking (or sneezing) Herring.

    Which then infected your comment with a gratuitous ad-hominem which was not only pathetic and low, but also non-sequitur and inaccurate. Heckofajob.

    Sorry FLL I saw this first and had to go for it like a blogsneeze MyBad

  17. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Proofread much?

  18. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Of course they’re all monogamous. The moon is also made of green cheese.

  19. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Those of us that survived the plague have a healthy respect for safer sex. Those taking these chances have not seen the horrors that we have. I wish them the best and hope that they will be safe despite their behavior.

  20. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Thanks

  21. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Agreed.

  22. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Um, yeah, thanks, Sherlock. We’ve known that for about two decades now.

    The question is why they are targeting MSMs when the disease isn’t even sexually transmitted.

  23. Skeptical Cicada says:

    So if it’s not sexually transmitted, why the fuck is NYC DOC scapegoating gay men?

  24. Spanner1960 says:

    I think it is you that is doing precisely that.
    Sticking one’s head in the sand whilst simultaneously taking it up the arse.

  25. Spanner1960 says:

    ‘MSM’ is standard nomenclature – it covers a whole multitude of sins, to excuse the pun.

  26. Spanner1960 says:

    As usual, people see two disparate events and assume they are connected.
    Fact: HIV pays no attention to one’s sexual orientation.
    Fact: HIV in Western countries is still the most commonly found in gay men.

    It is not the sexuality but the means of transmission.

  27. Spanner1960 says:

    I am am well aware of the religious right and their nasty, spiteful ways, but that still does not relinquish people from their own sexual health.

    To blame a bunch of preachers for making you have sex is totally ridiculous, and it is you who should be embarrassed if you support such a farcical notion. I have visions of all these sweaty men in New York darkrooms banging away saying “Forgive me Father for I have sinned.”

    Yes, I *am* putting the blame fair and square at the feet of gay men. Sure, we have plenty to contend with, and Americans get it far worse then we do in UK, we have the religious right, and we also have HIV spiralling out of control, but those two facts are not connected. It is typical of egocentric idiots such as yourself to call anybody straight that criticises gay people “homophobic” and any gay person “self-loathing”. Just because gay people are persecuted does not by default mean we are squeaky clean in the first place. You really need to give yourself a self-check and start recognising your imperfections, but then being a typical self-centered, vain gay man that can’t walk past a mirror, you think a quick rub of moisturiser will fix anything.

  28. Spanner1960 says:

    I can guarantee you still don’t get anything like the amount of poontang we do.

  29. Spanner1960 says:

    I was one of the few that made it through, but it left a void around my age range.
    You could go into bars and see guys a few years younger or older, but it was rare to find people like myself because they were all dead or dying.

    Unfortunately the drugs nowadays have have given people a false sense of security, and they somehow think it doesn’t matter any more. Fear has a very strong effect on one’s sexual practices.

  30. Spanner1960 says:

    Sorry. We don’t have currants in crumpets.

  31. JamesR says:

    Aah the dread Apostrophus Impudicus!

    Excellent to find at the end / beginning of this particular thread THANKS!

  32. JamesR says:

    No – the two forms of meningitis are different. The contaminated injection one is NOT contagious past the poor sots who received the injection. It’s nasty, mostly fatal, and FUNGAL.

    The contagious one is bacterial and probably a lot more common that they’re letting on as most people who get it don’t have all the symptoms – that 1 in 3 fatality is for those who develop symptoms. It has spread to all five boroughs, has been in the population all winter, when people share enclosed spaces more, and cough more,etc. I would assume it’s everywhere, and get the freaking vaccine. IF your doctor has it that is…

    Very hard to Google for info the standard way as all the returns are the Wingnuttishere going wild about The Gay and disease. Thanks NY Dept of Health.

  33. d3clark says:

    Not everyone. HIV+ MSM and MSM who have multiple partners from using apps, from bars etc. No recommendations for straight males or females, as yet. At least, these are the most recent recommendations that I’m aware of from the NYC DOH.

  34. JamesR says:

    It’s a bacteria.

    A once celled organism, probably a lot smarter than you.

  35. JamesR says:

    Your conditional charity is truly not heartwarming.

  36. d3clark says:

    Meningococcal meningitis is transmitted through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions like saliva. Risk factors include: living in close quarters, kissing, sharing glasses/cups with someone else who has meningococcus. That’s why this spreads so easily in college dorm situations. Two people sharing a small room. Easy to pick up someone’s secretions on your hands and transmit to your mouth or nose. Some people may carry meningococcus and not be ill themselves. The bacteria are not spread by casual contact or by breathing the air in the same room as a person with meningococcal disease has been. So people in the same household, roommates, or anyone with contact with a patient’s oral secretions, meaning saliva or sputum, (parent, child, boyfriend, girlfriend, nurse, etc.) would be considered at increased risk of getting the infection e.g. mom can get it from taking care of her child who has it. So it’s not really a classic sexually transmitted disease unless you call kissing sex. Frequent handwashing can limit the spread of the disease in some cases.

    Close contacts of a person with meningococcal disease should receive antibiotics to prevent them from
    getting the disease. Vaccination can sharply decrease the risk of catching the disease. Vaccines seem to offer protection fro about 5 years, after which a repeat vaccination may be required.

    Symptoms include sudden onset of fever, headache, and stiff neck. It is often accompanied by other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, irritability, confusion, photophobia.

  37. Actually, the info released last fall is for HIV positive people only. This newest alert says everyone, regardless of status.

  38. JamesR says:

    You can get meningitis from being coughed on in the subway, on the street, a public restroom, etc. The vectors of some of the early victims of this particular strain are still undetermined. IE not fucking, but proximate contact, and some with no known direct contact at all. It can be asymptomatic in many if not most of those it infects, and can possible be transmitted by skin.

    I know how casually it can be transmitted, and I tried to get the vaccine and it was not available and my doctor was ignorant of it. This particular strain was known MONTHS AGO in one of THE largest and most transient cities in the whole fucking (and sneezing) WORLD. Now it has spread to all five boroughs, and how many people have died? Spread of these type of diseases progresses geometrically, with the first wave of the spread invisible

    Just ’cause you don’t have anal sex doesn’t mean you are not at risk for this particular bacteria – if I were straight or celibate I would want this vaccine, if I had any contact with the public at all. Magical thinking about statistics and STDs, when thrown about in a discussion of a disease that is NOT SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED is ostrich talk.

  39. d3clark says:

    “Many homosexual men are incredibly promiscuous, some having sex with hundreds of sex partners a year.” Are you talking about your personal dance card? If so, you might want to e-mail the Guinness Book.

  40. d3clark says:

    This info came out last fall
    from the NYC DOH. Though I haven’t seen any info in the lay press
    except for the HuffPo article. The CDC released info on it in January
    in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/previe

    NYC DOH is recommending that physicians be alert to possible cases,
    look for signs and symptoms, report to DOH WITHOUT waiting for
    confirmation via culture and recommending off-label dosing of vaccine in
    some cases. Anyone can subscribe to the MMWR here, for free. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/mmwrsu… It often has articles on HIV and HIV-related diseases, among other things.

  41. JamesR says:

    Touché FLL!

  42. JamesR says:

    This reminds me of the MRSA ‘outbreak’ or spread that was blamed on gay male sex. Born and bred in hostpitals, and spread in locker rooms and, well, everywhere it was, initially, blamed on The Gay.

    Instead of canaries in the methane filled coal mines that is today’s communal petri dish of a society, we were exposed as typhoid Marys, somehow diseased from our Sin and depravity.

    ENOUGH!

    The CDC / NY pubic health people have determined there are enough cases in the gay population to statistically predict it’s spread more there first – but the kicker – it’s NOT sexually transmitted! (Take that you stupid mouth breathing trolls. (You are just as vulnerable and not getting the vaccine.))

    Again: NOT SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED. In fact, they don’t quite know specifically how its transmitted, but it can be rather casually. I don’t know why they aren’t recommending more people get vaccinated (!?) unless they are trying to be cheap, there isn’t enough vaccine to go around, or they don’t want to start a panic. Just panic a smaller subset of the population. Or just hoping treating some will do the trick. Which doesn’t sound like erring on the side of real caution to me.

    This has been around for months – but for some reason, no one has raised a stink. !? again. News of this was coincident with a fungal meningitis outbreak due to lab contamination that affected steroid injections, killing those who recieved the treatments but nobody else. Confusion ensued, even among Doctors. They did not get the news… ? Thank You US Surgeon General. My Doctor was unaware of it a few months ago, thought it was the injection contamination, didn’t have the vaccine. This was in Florida, right before fucking TOURIST SEASON, when it has been known that people from New York sometimes show up in South Florida.

    Our public health system SUCKS. Whoa be unto us if / when we get some sort of mutant bird flu.

  43. d3clark says:

    stupidone (what an appropriate screen name you chose for yourself!),

    1. Gay men are being courted by some sperm banks and many are making deposits. Women are choosing donors based on intelligence, physical appearance, race, education/grades, business acumen, etc. So our genes ARE entering the straight population in this way. 2. Our semen can be used to fertilize ova from a woman donor, and the fertilized egg can be implanted in a surrogate. So we can have our own children. 3. And, of course, many of those children will be straight and pass our genes on to their children.
    Epic FAIL, stupidone.

  44. d3clark says:

    This info came out last fall from the NYC DOH. Though I haven’t seen any info in the lay press except for the HuffPo article. The CDC released info on it in January in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6151a4.htm?s_cid=mm6151a4_w

    NYC DOH is recommending that physicians be alert to possible cases, look for signs and symptoms, report to DOH WITHOUT waiting for confirmation via culture and recommending off-label dosing of vaccine in some cases. Anyone can subscribe to the MMWR here, for free. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/mmwrsubscribe.html It often has articles on HIV and HIV-related diseases, among other things.

  45. Makes sense. I was referring above to the odd way they list bars and parties, just seemed odd things to mention.

  46. You’re gonna die?

  47. BarbinDC says:

    I was working at Science magazine when the AIDS epidemic hit and we were the first to start publishing research papers on it. Because it was considered a “gay” disease, immediate attention wasn’t paid to it, thanks to St. Ronnie. Of course, no virus pays a bit of attention to the sexual orientation of its host and it didn’t take all that long for it break out in other, non-gay, populations. Bottom line here: EVERYBODY needs to get the vaccine. ASAP.

  48. Naja pallida says:

    Seems to me that the national STD rates speak for themselves. Louisiana, Georgia, and Mississippi are consistently among the worst for infection rates. Do you suppose a majority of people in those states would be “pro-marriage” types, or “promiscuous gay” types? What mathematically accounts for their rates being so much higher than say, Oregon or Massachusetts?

  49. FLL says:

    From your comment: “By the way, I don’t hate you, I feel sorry for you.” That’s false pity, which is a psychological defense from someone who knows that their side is losing. What a childish response. You watch defeat after defeat throughout the country for religious bigots like you, and you respond by saying, “I feel sorry for you.” You don’t even realize what a national joke you are, do you?

  50. FLL says:

    This is your most ignorant, self-important comment yet. Insofar as the Religious Right has sufficient clout, they can intimidate—yes, force—people to remain closeted, which has consequences that even a fool like you should be able to understand. If you are just too dull to figure out the obvious role of homophobic religious institutions in society, it would be best for you to leave the discussion before you further embarrass yourself.

    You seem to take real pleasure in exonerating Christian bigots who are guilty as hell. You seem so sympathetic towards them, but your sympathy doesn’t change the fact that they are rapidly becoming a hated minority in the United States. Does that upset you, by any chance? I suspect it does since your disdain is directly at gay men, not the Religious Right. Don’t you think people can connect the dots? You’re not fooling anyone.

  51. karmanot says:

    “the best way to avoid it was to surround yourself with fires.” or flies.

  52. karmanot says:

    Good reading SC

  53. karmanot says:

    “Just can not be any simpler then(sp) that.” I so agree. I wear mixed fibers, dine in a restaurant served by menstruating waitresses, eat shell fish and an occasional hooved animal, am disobedient to my parents, and have false idols like Huge Jackman on my bathroom wall. I am so into the filthy and sinful 21st century. The last Romans I read was a 3-way in the Borghese Gardens, just before closing time.

  54. karmanot says:

    “The math of promiscuity?” Were you that professor in Rocky Horror Picture Show?

  55. karmanot says:

    Run toward the twofer Matamala. Acts and Leviticus are already used up, but maybe The New Testament will wipe you clean.

  56. karmanot says:

    Just wash that thing honey and we’ll talk.

  57. karmanot says:

    pppppffffttttt

  58. karmanot says:

    “some having sex with hundreds of sex partners a year.” What about the other 160 days of the year? Maybe ‘they’ are out shopping, decorating, or just laying in wait to fag you.

  59. karmanot says:

    True, even Spanner’s own queen would not recognize her own queens. But then maybe that was because of professional jealousy rather than bigotry. I always appreciated a stiff upper lip on Brits myself.

  60. karmanot says:

    I bet you count the currents in your crumpet.

  61. karmanot says:

    “which generates anonymous sex.” Must be why closeted Christians coined the term ‘glory hole.’

  62. karmanot says:

    True, only Adam and Eve were born with original sin. God didn’t even mention gays, except to praise Abel’s’ lovely decorated altar, which was most pleasing in God’s sight. It was straight Cain who humped his Mommy and started mankind. Unless Adam and Eve had a daughter and then…..get my drift. Want to play Bible?

  63. Zorba says:

    Yes, K, sadness and tears. I still miss him.
    We lost some close friends back then, too, and I also miss them.

  64. karmanot says:

    Don’t take the bait SC

  65. karmanot says:

    Wear dark navy blue—-you’ll be OK. I’m serious.

  66. karmanot says:

    The number 2 next to wtf describes you in a nutshell (er nut job).

  67. karmanot says:

    You go trolletta, tell John what he thinks and see how far that gets you.

  68. karmanot says:

    But she does put the ‘SP’ monogamy on all her towels.

  69. karmanot says:

    Probably can’t get off that high horse Zorba, he’s stuck on the pommel horn.

  70. karmanot says:

    Damn, does that bring back memories and tears!

  71. karmanot says:

    Where’s Maria….bring it on B***H!

  72. dula says:

    You can have your own opinions. It’s when you try to legislate your “opinions” on a minority that the trouble begins.

  73. dula says:

    Gays are naturally selected to be Gay.

  74. dula says:

    Bacterial and viral meningitis are contagious… Both can be transmitted through droplets of respiratory secretions during close contact such as kissing, sneezing or coughing on someone…-Wiki

    Yeah, don’t get why they are focusing on only Gay men.

  75. Zorba says:

    Hahahahahaha! His/her brain is probably beyond redemption, SC.

  76. JG says:

    The Circuit Party, Grindr, bath houses etc etc are not cultural artifacts of a repressed, self-hating subculture. Gay men tend towards massive numbers of lifetime sexual partners, and condom use is nowhere near sufficient. This type of behavior spreads disease. Period. The fact of enormous lifetime sexual partners exists in every society and not merely in our own. It is a universal constant of male sexual desire when uninhibited by female K-selection.

    Gay men will always and forever have dramatically higher rates of STI’s than the general population. Period. Final answer. Full stop. Own it and don’t whine about Christianity. You’re a grown man now. What the hell is going to happen to you people when the antibiotics stop working? Best own this now.

  77. Zorba says:

    Exactly, Drew. That’s what I wondered, too. He/she must be living in some kind of nu-nu land.

  78. Zorba says:

    There’s a “normative” straight culture?
    You mean the one where straight guys have sex outside of their marriages, expose their wives to STD’s, and often ditch these wives for their younger mistresses? Like Newt Gingrich, Mark Sanford, Donald Trump, and any number of other straight guys? Or those who visit prostitutes, like Eliot Spitzer?
    That “normative straight culture”? Really???

  79. Whip says:

    If one lives a filthy and Sinful life they will die that way if they do not change. Read Romans 6:23 Just can not be any simpler then that.

  80. Ninong says:

    “Ancient doctors” believed that disease was caused by bad air and that the best way to avoid it was to surround yourself with fires.

  81. JG says:

    Don’t cry.

  82. perljammer says:

    I guess I should clarify. By promiscuity, I mean casual sex outside a committed relationship. Engaging in promiscuous sex is just asking for infection. Celibacy is not the opposite of, nor the only alternative to, promiscuity.

  83. Indigo says:

    That.

  84. Straightnotnarrow says:

    I’m sure this has been pointed out below, but if not…There is nothing about men who have sex with men that particularly increases risk for meningococcal infection (ergo this isn’t punishment from G-d). This organism lives in the nasopharynx and is spread through contact with secretions. Wether a sneeze or cough, a shared drink, or a kiss this bacteria is fairly easy to spread among closely proximated people.

  85. Skeptical Cicada says:

    The worst enemies of gay marriage are heterosexual bigots. That you don’t understand that simple fact tells us all we need to know about you.

    There is no big claim in the gay community that promiscuity is an “orientation,” nor do we use the offensive phrase “lifestyle choice.”

    You’re about a half a step out of your own anti-gay bigotry and are obviously grotesquely clueless about gays, the gay community, our norms, our language, our perspective, and just about everything else.

    Go try to lord over some other group you don’t know anything about.

  86. Skeptical Cicada says:

    LOL!! It’s hilarious that you imagine yourself so superior to gay men that you lord over us and fantasize that you’re in charge of straight culture.

    Oh, honey, climb off that high horse. The altitude is affecting your brain. You’re no better than the rest of us.

  87. W says:

    I have a friend who’s in public health, and so recently learned why this announcement doesn’t mention “gay” the way you do, but rather the “men who have sex with men [MSM]” construction. There are many MSM, especially in some minority groups, who don’t identify as gay. You may say that of course they are, but public health is all about figuring out what works with the population at hand…

  88. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Look another militant bisexual trying to bi-jack another thread. What a surprise.

  89. Skeptical Cicada says:

    The bit about hundreds of sex partners a year comes from a goofy 1970s “study” that has been debunked. Sigh. It’s almost better when religious bigots just stick screeching about God.

  90. Zorba says:

    I lost my beloved brother to HIV- AIDS at that time, Becca, and I clearly remember what it was like back then. He was the brother that I was closest to, and my husband and I were the ones he came out to when he was in college. He asked me not to tell our parents, and I respected his wishes.
    At his request, though, I was the one who had to tell our parents that he had AIDS. One of the hardest things I ever had to do in my life. Although not as hard as the night his partner (who we were close to) called us and asked about “letting him go.” He didn’t have to call us, since he had medical and legal power-of-attorney, but he wanted someone from the family to tell him that he was doing the right thing. Which we did.
    An unspeakably awful time.
    And may god, or whatever passes as god, or the universal force, or whatever, damn the trolls and haters who have crawled out of their slime to spread their ignorance and hatred. Fuck them all. And these self-righteous haters should also remember- karma’s a bitch.

  91. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Committed gay couples are not “playing house.” Take ownership of your bigoted mouth.

  92. I never knew it was a thing, in general, even before this. Also didn’t realize there was a pneumonia vaccine, which I got because of my asthma recently.

  93. Skeptical Cicada says:

    It’s funny. I would have thought English schools were better than you’re indicating at teaching reading comprehension. I said you need to take personal responsibility for what YOU say when YOU blunder into a foreign website and start spewing outsider condescension and then instruct us that we have to “appreciate” you. What’s the matter? Is it easier for your to lecture others about their need for personal responsibility than to be told how you’re lacking in it yourself?

    Roll up into an American blog screeching attacks right out of the mouths of the American religious right and expect to receive a hostile welcome, scold. BTW, the UK was hardly any big gay pioneer on relationship recognition, and if it weren’t for progressive Scottish MPs in the Commons, you wouldn’t be on the verge of the kind of marriage legislation that New Yorkers enacted a couple of years ago. So cut the cultural preening, Brit.

  94. Drew2u says:

    Given her record: nope, no shame.

  95. Drew2u says:

    straight people are monogamous?

  96. GAYHATER says:

    Africa is the only place with AIDS? News to me.

  97. Spanner1960 says:

    I hold no responsibility for you or your country, you blithering fuckwit.
    I am merely stating an opinion like anybody else here.

  98. Skeptical Cicada says:

    What are we watching and reading? The general response to your attack post appears to be a collective yawn.

  99. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Funny how STDs have been around forever. I guess that glorious pre-1960s past with no sex outside of marriage never actually existed.

  100. karmanot says:

    just kidding…..whooping cough is contagious and going like gangbusters through our county for the past few years. Mono mono…..

  101. Drew2u says:

    I feel bad saying “mentally ill”. Perhaps “psychologically ill” would be a better phrase?

  102. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Why must we appreciate anything? Where’s your “personal responsibility” to adjust to American norms when commenting on a blog that I think you’ll note is even called Americablog? Your opening comment was highly offensive. Take personal responsibility for that, troll.

  103. Drew2u says:

    lolbutnoseriously, pertussis is spread through the sharing of saliva, as far as my dorm room floor meeting was informed, years ago, when we were told someone on our floor contracted whooping cough and we all needed to be careful.

    I thought meningitis had a similar form of transportation and absent from – erm – polishing doorknobs after someone else, I don’t think that’s a viable method ;p

  104. Skeptical Cicada says:

    I don’t tend to pay much attention to condescending English scolds.

  105. karmanot says:

    What about a lap dance?

  106. Drew2u says:

    Wow, you’re really obsessed with this. Like, clinically so. Have you sought help?
    I don’t mean to disparage, but damn. It’s starting to sound like you have some deep psychological issues to work out.

  107. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Actually, your comment demonstrates that we can’t have a respectful dialogue without preening scolds like you spewing sanctimonious judgementalism. The assumption that enjoying sex is a function of hating oneself is your personal mental disorder for which therapy is available.

  108. Drew2u says:

    Point to where I talked about anything related to “promiscuity” because I certainly didn’t think anything I was writing was about that.

  109. karmanot says:

    Or door knobs! :-)

  110. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Thanks for the biblical exegesis, nutcase.

  111. Drew2u says:

    I thought it was like pertussis and could also be shared through communal drinking cups or toothbrushes, etc. ?

  112. karmanot says:

    “want full social acceptance by normative straight culture,” ROTFL social acceptance? Oh Please.