I always suspected as much — they’re a bit strange over there, 40 miles to my west. Steve Hickey, one of those state legislators in Sioux Falls (and a Republican, of course) was compelled to write a long screed ranting about the public health dangers of gay sex by this event:
Hickey told TPM on Wednesday he was driven to write the letter after Nancy Robrahn and Jennie Rosenkranz, a lesbian couple from Rapid City, S.D., announced their intention to become the first state residents to challenge its gay marriage ban. The couple was married on Saturday in Minnesota in a wedding that was officiated by Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, setting the stage for South Dakota to become the 29th with a marriage equality court case.
Two lesbians getting married drove him to think horrible thoughts about anal sex. That doesn’t even make sense. If he’s going to rant about the public health risks of sex, he ought to know that it is lesbians who have the safest sex lives.
Here’s his wretched letter in full. The comments are full of praise for his brave stance.
A One Way Alley for the Garbage Truck
Rep. Steve Hickey, District 9, Sioux Falls
Consider this an open letter to the medical and psychological communities in South Dakota. The subject is homosexuality, which is about to be a front-page topic for the next few years in our state. I’m asking the doctors who practice in our state, is the science really settled on this issue or is it more the case that you feel silenced and intimidated?
Certainly there are board-certified doctors in our state who will attest to what seems self-evident to so many: gay sex is not good for the body or mind. Pardon a crude comparison but regarding men with men, we are talking about a one-way alley meant only for the garbage truck to go down. Frankly, I’d question the judgment of doctor who says it’s all fine.
South Dakota docs, it’s time for you to come out of the closet and give your professional opinion on this matter like you capably and responsibly do on all the others. Somehow the message we are presently getting from the medical community is that eating at McDonalds will kill us but the gay lifestyle has no side effects. Truth be told it seems self-evident the list of side effects would read far longer than anything we hear on a Cialis commercial.
If many are indeed wearying of our religious community leading on these morality issues, and believe also those of us in the legislature should butt out too, it’s time for the medical community in our state to be honest with us. If you don’t speak up, this issue will be decided by five unelected judges on the Supreme Court regardless of what states like ours have decided by public vote.
This indeed is a matter of being on the wrong side of history considering that historically, homosexuality has been a notable marker of the downfall of past civilizations, not their rise. It’s not hate for a physician to speak up about something that is harmful to human health. It is not unloving to tell people you don’t have to have sex with and marry someone to love and be loved by them. As one who performs marriages and counsels couples as part of my professional life, marriage is the last thing I’d recommend to someone who simply wants to be loved and legitimized. What do other health care and mental health professionals in our state really think?
The South Dakota High School Activities Association is presently considering changing the rules to accommodate transgender kids. Forty-one percent of those who struggle with Gender Dysphoria attempt suicide, that’s twenty-five times the rate of the general population– certainly tragic and urgent but not a word from the medical and psychological communities? So really, we are letting our basketball coaches sort it out while ACLU lawyers look carefully over their shoulders!?
Letting boys play girl sports is not the starting place to fix the suicide problem or the very real daily struggle these students face dealing with something they have been handed in life. Society is broken and people have broken identities. Is it really best for us to break down the one remaining thing that has been working in society to try to fix the broken in our midst? And does it really even do that, or does it merely put them in more places exposing them to additional painful ostracization all the while transferring serious anxieties to other innocent and impressionable ones in those locker rooms? We need to have compassion but there are unintended consequences to consider too.
Before we let lawyers and judges decide this for our state and override the will of the people in the 2006 election, I issue a call to the medical and psychological communities and associations to weigh in publicly and timely on the matter of homosexuality and the human body, psyche and family, particular kids.
I thought his ignorance and his fascination with one specific sex act was amusing, until I read the part where this asshole has the gall to use transgender people’s suicide statistics as a blunt instrument to imply there’s something wrong with them, rather than with the poisonous haters like him who make life miserable for them. There is something deeply wrong with society, and it’s represented by the smug Steve Hickeys of the world, not the tortured kids in our schools who are bullied by the bigots.
But otherwise, he’s picking the wrong target. If anal sex repulses him, he shouldn’t do it, but he should also think about who is doing it. Anal sex is the least common sexual activity between gay men — oral sex and mutual masturbation are much more common. Meanwhile, among the majority heterosexual population, about 25% have had anal sex at least once, and 10% do it regularly. If you’re looking for the common link in anal sex, it isn’t homosexuality: it’s the possession of a penis.
I would urge Mr Hickey to rewrite his screed to instead demand that doctors come out of the closet and speak out on the self-evident health risks of having sex with someone who has a penis.
He could also throw in something about how his religion venerates vaginas that are either untainted by the intrusion of a penis, and/or are one way exits for babies. He should specifically mention the Virgin Mary as the perfect example of how god intends that that pathway is best as a one-way street.
Although, do you really believe Mr Hickey is at all motivated by his concerns for the health of his gay constituents? I don’t think so.