Well he is back and his comments during a Monday video chat with the Arcus Leader newspaper defies all description and decency. According to Talking Points Memo, Hickey defended his original letter by talking about bowel movements in response to criticism he received from a local doctor, Kevin Weiland:
"And here's what I'd like to ask Dr. Weiland. Do you tell your patients to wash their hands before they eat? Why? Because you touch a doorknob and you don't want to get it inside your body. I hesitate to get crude again, but Dr. Weiland, is it OK for, you know, eight of your friends that you're in love with to take a dump in your bed and then you can sleep in it all year long?"
And it gets worse (or better for those who have a fiendish sense of humor). David Badash of The New Civil Rights Movement watched the entire interview. According to him:
Hickey also claims that doctors tell him gay men “have higher rates of colostomy bags” and “a 20-year less lifespan.” Hickey claims an article in the Journal of Sex Research says “the mean number of sex partners for homosexual males is 251.” Hickey goes on to claim that he has a report that “talks about the dangers of both lesbian and male sex.”
That comment about gay men having a higher rates of colostomy bags is just unreal, particularly because it contradicts an earlier claim he made in his original letter that doctors are supposedly "discouraged from telling the truth" about anal sex." And those who read this blog know that the claim of gays having a 20-year less lifespan come from either two sources - the discredited research of Paul Cameron or a cherry-picked 1997 study. The authors of the latter study complained in 2001 about how their work was being distorted. Regarding the article in the Journal of Sex Research, Badash said The New Civil Rights Movement asked the Journal of Sex Research about its veracity and has not received an answer at press time.
Badash also said:
Rep. Hickey also, pointing to a paper on a table, claimed that “homosexual is 14 times worse” when it comes to sexually-transmitted diseases. That claim, Hickey said, comes from Dr. John R. Diggs. John R. Diggs, Jr., M.D., wrote “The Health Risks of Gay Sex” which was published online by the Catholic Education Resource Center in 2002. It quotes studies from 1978 and 1982, and 1984 — the height of the AIDS epidemic when little was known about HIV/AIDS.
Diggs' study also contained numerous errors and falsehoods, which you can read about here.
Feel free to read about or see the rest of Hickey's interview, but after the above tidbits, I'm done. Except for giving you two reasons why we shouldn't ignore Hickey or his comments.
For one, he is a lawmaker and thus has a hand in making laws. And a lawmaker armed with bad research about the lgbt community will always be a problem.
But more importantly, he is a pastor and therefore can pull the "I am only speaking according to my faith" card which Michigan Republican Dave Agema and North Carolina pastor Patrick Wooden did when they also made outrageously false remarks about alleged gay sex habits.
And that's when we allow the argument to get away from us. Many times when folks like Hickey pull the "religious liberty" argument to justify their nasty comments, we give up that ground to them. Instead of calling question to the hypocrisy of a so-called religious person telling lies in the name of God, many of us attack the religion itself.
In doing so, we help create the false argument that lgbts have a problem with religion in general rather than the lies told in the name of the religion. Meanwhile, folks like Hickey are able to play the martyr. They don't have to defend their exact words. Instead they can simply claim that they are being persecuted for being a Christian even though there is nothing in the Bible which speaks of gays and colostomy bags or bowel movements.
Hickey is merely a small portion of a larger industry which exploits religion - particularly the Christian religion - to demonize the lgbt community via lies and horror stories. The more we focus on the exploitation of the religion instead of attacking the religion itself, the closer we come in creating a welcome change in this so-called culture war.