The leader of a conservative Christian lobby group appears to suggest that gays should be required to wear warning labels, although he denies that was his intention.
“We put warning labels on cigarette packs because we know that smoking takes one to two years off the average life span, yet we ‘celebrate’ a lifestyle that we know spreads every kind of sexually transmitted disease and takes at least 20 years off the average life span according to the 2005 issue of the revered scientific journal Psychological Reports,” Rev. Bill Banuchi, executive director of the New York Christian Coalition told the Mid Hudson News.
The journal regularly publishes articles described by many mainstream psychologists as misleading and faulty. The homosexuality morbidity study was conducted by the conservative anti-gay Family Research Institute.
Banuchi called LGBT Pride celebrations held in New Paltz, north of New York City, and other areas of the country on the weekend “sad.”
He called on people to “pray for those who are deceived by the lies of popular culture, who are caught up in a destructive lifestyle, and for the children who are being zealously evangelized by radical homosexuals.”
Despite using the analogy of cigarette labels, Banuchi tells 365Gay.com that he is not advocating gays specifically be labeled.
Banuchi also alleges that he has received hate mail since his remarks were published.
The issue of labels is particularly sensitive to gays. In Nazi Germany they were forced to wear the pink triangle to differentiate them from other internees at concentration camps.
But, while, Banuchi was denouncing homosexuality, 300,000 people were celebrating gay Pride in West Hollywood, California, nearly half a million in Boston, and 100,00 in Salt Lake City this weekend.
In West Hollywood, crowds lined Santa Monica Boulevard for the 35th annual Pride Parade. But, this year’s choice of grand marshals did not make everyone in the crowd happy. Christopher Street West, which organizes Weho’s Pride festival selected Paris Hilton and her mother, Kathy to host the parade.
“I just don’t know what anybody was thinking of. My jaw dropped when I heard it,” Dan Berkowitz, a member of the West Hollywood Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board, told the West Hollywood Independent. “I’m sure she is a very nice girl and her mother is a very nice woman, but what they have to do with gay pride in West Hollywood or anywhere else is utterly beyond me.”
Christopher Street West defends its choice of a heterosexual daughter and mom saying Paris has agreed to speak out on LGBT issues including gay marriage.
In Boston, the Pride Parade marched from the South End to Boston Common on Saturday. A number of local politicians were on hand, but two were noticeably missing. Republican Gov. Mitt Romney, who opposed same-sex marriage and continues to block out of state gay couples from marrying in the state, was in Detroit at his high school reunion. Democratic Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly also skipped the parade.
Reilly who says he supports gay marriage and opposes a proposed amendment to ban it is seeking his party’s nod to run for governor. The other declared candidate for the Democratic nomination, Deval Patrick, attended Pride events.
In Salt Lake City, the annual Pride Parade saw record crowds. Organizers say the parade helped the community develop a renewed sense of purpose following last year’s bitter fighter over a constitutional amendment which bans same-sex marriage in the state.