NYC Condoms, NYC Censorship

Bill Weintraub

Bill Weintraub

NYC Condoms, NYC Censorship


New York City now has its own "municipally sanctioned condom," with its own NYC logo, according to the New York Times.

There was no information on how much the city spent to develop the packaging, but the article noted that New York now distributes 18 million condoms FREE per year.

It buys the condoms for 4 cents each, or $720,000 annually -- and then gives them away.

Are condom campaigns -- whether the condoms are free or for sale -- effective?


Despite those 18 million free condoms, there's been a huge increase, as we reported in June of 2006, in HIV infection among gay men.

With the highest increases among the youngest gay men.

That's the reality.

A New York City condom is a feel-good and politically popular measure for the City of New York which will not impact the MSM epidemic in any way whatsoever.

The promotion of non-anal alternatives would.

Condoms won't.

At the same time, according to 365Gay, Staten Island, which is one of NYC's five boroughs, and generally considered the most conservative of the five, has undertaken to censor a religiously-inspired anti-"gay" -- and by the way anti-anal -- message:

Preacher Appeals To Supreme Court To Erect Homophobic Billboard

by 365Gay dot com Newscenter Staff

Posted: February 9, 2007

(New York City) A conservative pastor who is battling the Borough of Staten Island for ordering the removal of a billboard containing a Biblical condemnation of homosexuality has filed a petition with the US Supreme Court.

State and federal courts already have dismissed lawsuits brought by the Rev. Kristopher Okwedy, founder of Keyword Ministries.

Okwedy says the billboard message is protected under his constitutional right to practice his religion. He is being represented by a lawyer furnished by the American Family Association.

In 2003 New York billboard company PNE removed the sign bought by Okwedy after then-Staten Island Borough President Guy Molinari wrote a letter of protest to the company.

Okwedy paid PNE Media about $2,500 to design billboard signs that quoted a passage from Leviticus: "Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind. It is abomination."

In his letter to PNE's president Molinari, a Republican, said "I want to inform you that this message conveys an atmosphere of intolerance which is not welcome in our borough." He went on to remind the company made a lot of money from billboard signs in Staten Island.

Okinedy sued PNE for breach of contract but Federal Judge Nina Gershon dismissed the suit.

Okwedy went to the Court Appeals Court which ordered the case revisited. The court ruled that "Molinari's letter could be found to contain an implicit threat of retaliation if PNE failed to accede to his requests."

In November 2005 Gershon again dismissed the suit and Okwedy appealed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals which appointed a three judge panel to examine the case. But the Second Circuit also dismissed the case.

"The City of New York has, in effect, said that certain religious beliefs that hold homosexuality as sinful are not tolerable by the city," Okwedy's AFA lawyer, Stephen M. Crampton, told the Staten Island Advance.

"We believe they have shown hostility toward religion in a very graphic way."

The City Law Department opposes Okwedy's application to the Supreme Court.

"The (U.S.) Court of Appeals (for the Second Circuit) ruled correctly when it upheld the dismissal of the case," city attorney Alan Krams told the Advance.

"There is no issue of constitutional law meriting review by the Supreme Court. The city's anti-discrimination policies are not unconstitutional because they might offend the religious beliefs of some individuals."

The court has not indicated if it will hear the case.

Bill Weintraub:

Guy Molinari, the Staten Island Borough President who pressured the billboard company, is someone I dealt with way back in the early 80s, when I was heading up Gay Rights National Lobby's field associate program in the NYC area, and Molinari was a Republican member of Congress.

And seeing his name in this article gave me a sort of oh-my-prophetic-soul moment.

Because my contact with Molinari was in the early Reagan days, when Molinari was considered an anti-gay conservative representing a district with virtually no openly gay people.

So he should not have been amenable to lobbying.

Nevertheless, we were able to persuade Molinari to vote our way on a procedural matter.

A very small procedural matter.

After which, we endorsed him in a primary fight.

For doing that, I was excoriated by an NYC gay politico who was also a very doctrinaire leftist.

However, Molinari had, in a small way, helped us.

Which meant we had an obligation to help him.

And it was my gut feeling about him that he was more concerned with his constituents than he was with political-right correctness.

And, indeed, here we find him in 2003, serving as borough president, and using his power to dissuade a billboard company from carrying a Biblically-inspired anti-"gay" message.

This is a case, I strongly suspect, of Molinari responding to gay political pressure.

And that is, in this instance and in my view, a problem.

Because this is a free speech issue.

Suppose we wanted to put up billboards which said that anal penetration is a social evil and analism the enemy of humanity?

Would the gay community in NYC use its political muscle to stop us?


Yet anal penetration is a social evil.

And it does indeed say in Leviticus "Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind. It is abomination."

That's what it says.

Again, censoring that message may be a feel-good gimmick for a New York City pol, but it won't change the reality.

Anal penetration is both a social evil and an abomination.

And there are consequences -- very serious consequences -- which follow when you pretend sexually that a man is a woman.

Which is why NYC now has its own brand of condom.

At a cost of $720,000 anually.

And many cases of AIDS.

According to an earlier NY Times article, "More than 100,000 New Yorkers have HIV or AIDS, and AIDS is the third-leading cause of death among New Yorkers under 65."

Can't really put a price tag on that -- can you?

So: in both news stories, NYC politicians are doing what's politically expedient and politically correct.

And in both cases, their actions support anal penetration.

Which in terms of sound public policy -- is the very last thing they should be doing.

In the first, they're handing out vast numbers of condoms, which, to the extent that it will have any impact on the MSM epidemic, is likely to increase the incidence of anal, and thus increase infections.

In the second, they're blocking the display of a message which is perceived as homophobic and no doubt intended as homophobic, but which actually quotes a passage from the Bible which most scholars agree refers to the anal penetration of one male by another.

Both the condoms and the censorship, then, send a message which supports anal.

And which identifies men having sex with men -- with anal penetration.

Like I say, that's bad public policy -- and it's bad for YOU.

It's DIRECTLY contrary to YOUR own SELF-interest.

I'm not talking altruism here.

I'm talking about YOU.

Because YOU're the person whose life is fucked up and fucked over by these policies.

YOU're the one being damaged.

Whether you live in New York or Timbuktu.

Because NYC is a huge media center.

And what goes down in New York affects people not just in America -- but all over the world.


Clearly what's needed are other messages, messages which talk about another way men can have sex -- true, mutually genital sex -- with men, a way which is hot, very low risk, and masculine.




That's a clean clear message which when disseminated -- will do both MEN and society a lot of good.


Give us the means to disseminate those messages --

and YOUR world will change.

Do nothing dude -- and nothing will change.

And you'll be reading about condoms and anal for the rest of YOUR days.

Bill Weintraub

© All material Copyright 2007 by Bill Weintraub. All rights reserved.

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