Shall it be the function of the state to spread sexually transmitted diseases? In its Hardwick decision the Supreme Court inadvertently assigned to the function of the state the transmission of sexual diseases.
Writing for the majority, Sandra Day O'Connor asserted that the state should continue, by criminal sanction, to uphold anti-sodomy laws to suppress homosexual sexual activity to impede the spread of venereal diseases. Consequently, to escape detection homosexuals continued to find it easier to conceal a thousand brief, anonymous encounters than a single long-term relationship.
The court learned nothing from the failure of the Inquisition to eradicate homosexuality. So overwhelmingly powerful are biological drives that compel organisms. Not even the fear of the most gruesome of tortures could destroy the human appetite of sexual attraction and involvement.
Paradoxically, an argument against a provision for gay marriage/domestic partnership for homosexuals is that homosexuals are promiscuous, and gays were blamed for the introduction of the HIV III virus into the United States. In fact, gay sex had little direct influence on the introduction of the virus. The HIV virus is very fragile and its transmission through sexual intercourse is inefficient if the virus first encounters a healthy immune system which may be able to defeat it. The virus is best able to overcome the immune system if the body encounters massive doses of the virus, as it would from a series of injections infected with the pathogen. The most probable path HIV took was through the 1980 New York blood bank's development of a vaccine against Hepatitis B derived from blood serum imported from Africa, using exclusively gay men in New York as experimental subjects. See June Goodfield's Quest for the Killers: Vaccine on Trial.
The successful vaccine was distributed in U.S. cities with large homosexual populations, and AIDS exploded from those cities. Homosexual assistance to develop a HB vaccine to protect doctors and nurses from a lethal disease rather than promiscuous sex wrapped AIDS in the gay anathema. War was declared against homosexuals rather than against the disease. AIDS was seen as "God's punishment," a divine scavenger that ate up the rotting flesh of perversion and drug addiction in order to cleanse the world to make fit habitation for the righteous. "AIDS is such a wonderful disease. It turns fruits into vegetables."
In 1979 about four people died from contaminated Tylenol. Government reaction was swift and massive. Eight astronauts died in a shuttle disaster that made global headlines. The government, scientific community, the space agency and the nation were badly shaken. AIDS probably has killed more than 20 million people and very probably will kill a hundred million more. Early in the 1980s over a thousand gay men lie dying of a mysterious new disease which was reported only in the gay papers. Nothing beyond the CDC was said. No one wanted to be associated with AIDS because of its connection with male homosexuals, and research for a cure was opposed by the US government. President Reagan refused to fund a request for an electronic microscope which might have found HIV in the vaccine, and Jesse Helms opposed all AIDS research funding even after AIDS appeared among hemophiliacs and threatened the national blood supply. He continued his opposition as long as he was in the Senate. Homophobia gave the virus a long lead time.
If homosexual marriages, presumably monogamous, had been commonplace before the 1980s, homosexuals would not have been at greater risk of Hepatitis B infection than the general population, and would not have seen the need to be involved in the development of the vaccine that unleashed the pandemic.
The vaccine developed from blood serum has been replaced. The Supreme Court has changed its collective mind about sodomy laws, and a few states recognize homosexual unions. The mechanism of dangerous oppression, however, still is with us. Our destruction over the centuries, except in Attic Greece, since Moses and Judaism became entrenched and Christianity flourished, has taught nothing. We have been dipped in wax and set ablaze - unheeded beacons of warning atop the dams across biological rivers without channels of relief. The dams that endanger the entire species. Even now political forces are on the rise to repeal domestic partnerships
Damon de Winters