In a CitizenLink press release issued today, Focus on the Family misdefined and distorted the proportion of reported HIV infections in 2006 that were attributable to men who have sex with men.

Focus falsely equated men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) with “homosexuality” and then inflated the percentage of cases in 2006 that were attributable to these men. The Centers for Disease Control reported that 53 percent — barely half — of new HIV infections in 2006 were attributable to MSM. Focus on the Family inflated this statistic to “almost 60 percent” and falsely attributed this exaggeration to the CDC.

The category of MSM includes men who claim to be ex-gay while closeting their sex with men, as well as ostensibly heterosexual men living on the “down low,” and bisexual men. The category does not include homosexual men who are incidentally or purposely abstinent. Nor does the category distinguish between sexually active men whose practices put them at very low risk of infection, and men who place themselves at high risk.

Focus recklessly lumps all these categories of men under a “homosexuality” banner and implies that all are at equal risk due to the honesty of some regarding their orientation, and not due to very specific high-risk behaviors.

Having inflated the statistics by fully 7 percentage points and then stereotyping the men, Focus Action political operative Jeff Johnston claimed to “feel great compassion” for men with HIV. How is it compassionate for Focus to lie about men at risk for HIV?

Johnston proceeded to oppose safer-sex practices which would have prevented nearly all of the reported infections. Instead, he implied that gay men should marry hapless women:

“Outside of a faithful marriage between a man and a woman, there is no ‘safe sex.’ It is irresponsible to teach people that you can have ‘safe sex’ or ‘safer sex’ outside of marriage.”

Another political operative, Linda Klepacki, promoted irresponsible and intrusive employer harassment of gay workers while vaguely asserting that “we have to take personal responsibility for our behaviors.”

[Klepacki] said the numbers will not improve as long as businesses are forced to normalize homosexuality and grant gay employees special status.

Johnston added: “For years, the gay community has been calling for approval of gay relationships, for promotion of homosexuality as a person’ core identity, and for so-called sexual freedom.

“What they are finding is that there is a cost. Gay activists want the public to bear the cost of their behavior. People must take personal responsibility for their actions.”

Contrary to their closing claim, Johnston and Klepacki make churches a dangerously unsafe space for people with HIV/AIDS when they:

  • baselessly accuse gay people of being welfare leeches;
  • accuse people who practice safer sex of irresponsibility, while encouraging gay men to closet their sexuality;
  • falsely describe homosexuality as a “core identity”;
  • equate those who are honest about their natural inclinations (orientation) with irresponsibility;
  • make employers instruments of their bigotry; and
  • undermine the individual and religious freedoms that are necessary to make sound decisions about one’s health