Commentary

Gay Role in Monkeypox Is Serious

By Bill Donohue | June 22, 2022 | 3:47pm EDT
A protester raises a fist at a Pride rally. (Photo credit: JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)
A protester raises a fist at a Pride rally. (Photo credit: JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)

The media were quick to attribute priestly sexual abuse to the rigidities of Church teachings on sexuality, the celibacy mandate, etc. Those who are pushing critical race theory in the schools are just as quick to blame white people, in general, for racism. Yet when it comes to understanding the spread of monkeypox, few are questioning why it is that homosexuals are overrepresented among those who have the virus.

The World Health Organization states that "we are currently hearing more reports of cases of monkeypox in communities of men who have sex with men...." 

The CDC reports that "early data suggest that gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men make up a high number of [monkeypox] cases." Those in a higher risk category, it says, had "skin-to-skin contact with someone in a social network experiencing monkeypox activity, this includes men who have sex with men who meet partners through an online website, digital application ('app'), or social event (e.g., a bar or party)."

The CDC offers a wise observation. "Enclosed spaces, such as back rooms, saunas, or sex clubs, where there is minimal or no clothing and where intimate sexual contact occurs have a higher likelihood of spreading monkeypox." 

What should such persons do? "Masturbate together at a distance of at least 6 feet, without touching each other and without touching any rash or sores." These sages also suggest "having sex with your clothes on" and "Remember to wash your hands, fetish gear, sex toys, and any fabrics (bedding, towels, clothing) after having sex."

"As the United States confronts its largest-ever monkeypox outbreak," noted the Washington Post on June 12, "with nearly 50 probable cases, public health authorities navigate a delicate but familiar balancing act. In the 17 U.S. cases in which the sexual behavior of the patient is known, all but one involve men who have sex with men, mirroring trends in Europe." 

In a research paper published by the government in the United Kingdom, it found that of those who reported having monkeypox, "151 of the 152 men interviewed identified as gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM), or reported same-sex contact, and the remaining individual declined to disclose this information."

With "Pride" festivities about to be launched over the last weekend in June, it is incumbent on government officials to warn homosexuals of the necessity of practicing restraint. Keeping their clothes on, as the CDC recommends, is a good place to start.

Bill Donohue is president and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization. He was awarded his Ph.D. in sociology from New York University and is the author of nine books and many articles.

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