Now his father, Jeff Wilfahrt, is continuing the brave tradition of serving his country by speaking out on behalf of halting discrimination:
“I have no authority for what I am about to say. My only claim to fame is that I am the father of a fallen Minnesota soldier, the eighteenth to die in Afghanistan since 2007.
To all of you here in attendance and to all of those who serve in the Capitol of the great State of Minnesota I tender these following remarks.
Each of you here today are, first and foremost, a human being, you are in all likelihood an American, and you are in all likelihood a Minnesotan.
Each and every one of you can be described by height, by weight, by eye color, by hair color, by ethnicity, by gender and by sexuality. You were born with these things, not a
single descriptor I’ve stated is a choice.
Each of you has chosen a life arc. You choose with whom to associate, you choose your creed, you choose your politics; you choose your work life. These choices each of us
make as humans, as Americans and as Minnesotans.
We had a son. He was gay, he didn’t choose it. But he did choose as his life arc to serve in the Army with the 552nd MP Company. He died in Kandahar just six weeks ago. It was death by IED while on foot patrol.”
Science Daily is reporting on a study by UC San Francisco that indicates that the rate of infection among men who have sex with men (MSM) could be significantly reduced by treating HIV immediately upon diagnosis and expanding HIV testing:
If HIV-infected adults in San Francisco began taking antiretroviral treatments as soon as they were diagnosed, the rate of new HIV infections among men who have sex with men would be cut by almost 60 percent over five years….
The finding is published in the April 15, 2011 issue of Clinical Infections Diseases.
The decision of when to begin treatment with antiretroviral drugs is a subject of some debate, with the experts evenly split on whether to begin antiretroviral therapy immediately upon HIV diagnosis or waiting until a patient’s CD4 cell count drops below 500 cells per microliter….”Our clinicians recommended initiating antiretroviral therapy to all of our HIV positive patients based on our assessment that delaying treatment allows the virus to do damage to major organs systems and would lead to poorer outcomes for patients. It is too early to tell if this shift in treatment strategy last year by our clinic and the Department of Public Health has had any impact in preventing HIV infections,” said (study co-author) Havlir.
Starting retroviral treatment early makes sense- it reduces the risk of transmission significantly and probably keeps people healthy and alive longer. And isn’t that the point?
Cenk Uygur takes on Michele Bachmann’s extreme positions on social issues like gays and abortion during her recent trip to Iowa, and going way back during her first days as a Minnesota lawmaker.
Incidentally, Cenk refers to a moment when Bachmann hid in the bushes during a gay rights rally in Minnesota. I went back and dug through my archives to find the post I wrote about it back in April 2005. That was like anti-gay gay boot camp for what she’s doing now.
She was invited by Rehberg to the Montana Republicans Lincoln/Reagan Dinner (named after non-Montanans- guess they couldn’t find any notables like Mansfield/Metcalfe). And the Republican higher-ups simply GUSHED:
“Congresswoman Bachmann is a leading voice for conservative Republicans. She is in great demand for speaking engagements throughout the country. We are very fortunate Michele Bachmann will be our guest in Montana’s capital city and are grateful for Congressman Rehberg’s assistance in making this possible,” said Lewis and Clark County Republican Central Committee chairman Bridget Holland.
Rehberg’s casual, snide flinging of the word “Obamacare” is obviously modeled on his crazy-eyed pal- who uses it at least once every time she’s interviewed. She’s so obviously entrenched in Crazyland- and completely unencumbered by the facts/truth. But watch for yourself. And remember: this is who Denny Rehberg aspires to be….
Dr Michael Brown, an ex-heroin-shooting Jewish rock drummer turned Christian theologian, has a thing about The Gays. He’s written a book called “A Queer Thing Happened To America- and what a long, strange trip it’s been”.
I don’t read anti-gay Christian books. It’s completely humiliating for me. But my friend Kathy does- and she crafts excellent responses to them. She takes apart Brown’s book. Excerpt:
Dr. Brown writes: “Is it so hateful to believe that homosexual practice is harmful and that change is possible? (If a doctor takes issue with you or me being overweight, do we brand him or her an anti-fat, hate-filled bigot, or do we recognize that the doctor is expressing concern for our well being? Isn’t the doctor trying to be helpful rather hateful?)
That analogy falls apart quickly. When you suggest that an overweight person cut back and deny themselves excess calories, they get healthier. When you tell a gay person to deny their sexual orientation, that is when you get all the symptoms from shame to depression to addictions to suicide at the extreme.
When I was diagnosed with HIV, a friend said “You’re an organ donor aren’t you? You’d better change that.”
I agreed, and changed my driver’s license organ donor status (goodbye, little red heart!). But in the back of my mind I wondered “Why couldn’t I donate to other HIV+ people should they need it? Surely having an infected organ and a few more years of life would be worth it.” Especially now, when HIV (unlike, say Hepatitis C) is a very medically treatable disease. Not a picnic, but neither is renal failure
Is it worse to have HIV than having to undergo weekly dialysis? Or to have a heart that works, or a liver, etc.? And if you already have HIV and need an organ, does it make sense that HIV+ donors be excluded?
Now it seems the feds are starting to think about the same things. According to The New York Times, The Centers For Disease Control And Prevention are about to issue new guidelines that will allow the study of HIV+ organ donation and transplantation.
It’s about time. Literally.
What do you think? If it were about saving your life, would you accept an HIV+ organ?
This week, with news about LGBTQ population numbers, gay adoption developments, the National Organization for Marriage’s bus tour organizer switching sides–and Lavi’s area of expertise–the struggle for same-sex binational couples becoming very complicated; we had quite a workload.
The round table talked quite a smorgasbord of topics, and the technical issues afforded us the opportunity to host a more intimate and detailed round table than in the past. Check it out- Listen link is here.
A very powerful video about LGBT persons being able to do whatever thay’d like.
“He wanted to go, so that someone with kids and a family
wouldn’t have to.”
It Will Not Be The Same A Poem For Andrew Wilfahrt
It will not be the same for us as for other lovers.
There’ll be no babe born when you’re nine months absent,
Six of them maybe spent under cold clay.
Nor will I share your picture with the men.
They’ll say, “This is Mary.
And young Tom.”
We’ll smile and say he’s the image of his dad.
“This is my Dora. We’ll be wed, soon as I’m home.”
We’ll toast them with watery tea, trying not to show
We don’t believe he’ll ever get back.
They’ll never hear,
“This is my Freddie. Isn’t he a peach?”
And yet our blood is just as red
And it’ll flow just as freely when the bullets fly
We’ll give our lives the same
For our country
For our families
For the sake of those who condemn us and want us dead
We’ll die to keep them safe,
Not to satisfy a god they’ve made in their own image.
It will not be the same for us as for other lovers.
But you are no less a man because of me
And I am not diminished because of you.
The crazy just keeps coming- and yes, that is a clinical opinion.
At Intelligent Discontent, Pogie reports on Ken Peterson and James Knox, two Montana Republican Legislators who seem to have some difficulty reining in their obsessions with sex. Peterson wants to keep The Gay illegal:
“Homosexuals can’t go out into the heterosexual community and try to recruit people, or try to enlist them in homosexual acts,” Peterson says. He provides an example: “’Here, young man, your hormones are raging. Let’s go in this bedroom, and we’ll engage in some homosexual acts. You’ll find you like it.’” Peterson hasn’t actually seen this happen, he says, because “I don’t associate with that group of people at all… I’ve associated with mainstream people all my life.”
Hmm. Sounds more like fascination than disgust…. And for the record, I’d like to come out in violent opposition against the term “homosexual acts”. It’s unenlightened, and ridiculous- implying an explicit absence of love, affection and tenderness.
Like I said, ridiculous.
And Knox? Well, we might know more soon:
I’m told that Knox chose not only to make a fool of himself at a legislative event last night (with pictures and video floating around the Internet), but his remarks about and behavior towards high school pages have been incredibly inappropriate. At least two reporters were looking into the story and interviewing today, and the Billings Gazette was fishing for more information…
Uh oh. “Inappropriate”, for those of you who are new to this, is code for “disturbing”.