September 04, 2007

Is Gay Marriage Issue Taking Focus Away From HIV/AIDS?

There are those who subscribe to that school of thought.

From the Washington Blade:

Campaigns for marriage equality have stolen too much attention from the nation’s AIDS epidemic, according to some gay activists.

H. Alexander Robinson, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, said in a column posted last week on the Bilerico Project web site that presidential candidates have spent more time discussing same-sex marriage than AIDS.

“While marriage is clearly a major civil rights priority for our community and I dare say the nation,” he said, “it is hardly the only issue and should not in my view define our movement.”

Brad Luna, the organization’s media relations director, said HRC has long worked with other groups to garner more funding and attention to fight the epidemic.

He said those Capitol Hill pleas are not always heard, though, and that “we feel the frustration” when lawmakers fail to adequately address “a disease that needs much more of our attention and resources dedicated to its end.”

Luna said HRC nonetheless pushes politicians on the issue, notably through congressional scorecards and presidential candidates questionnaires.

Is HIV/AIDS moving beyond a "gay" issue? I certainly think the stigma attached to it is well past the stage of being a "gay disease," and I believe it's up to everyone, not just the GLBT community, to advocate for those who suffer from the disease and to work dilligently toward prevention.

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