Sticker Filled with Anti-Gay Lies Plastered Over Pride Message

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Wednesday June 12, 2019

A sticker filled with factual inaccuracies about the LGBTQ community appeared on a woman's car in Norfolk, Virginia, over the weekend, reports local news station WTKR.

MSN picked up the story, reporting that the unidentified woman had originally placed an LGBTQ-supportive sticker on her vehicle. It was that sticker that someone obscured with the anti-gay sticker, which read "MISPLACED PRIDE."

The sticker's many factual inaccuracies — or lies, depending on one's point of view — included long-debunked myths about the health and longevity of LGBTQ people, as well as the oft-repeated — and factually baseless — claim that gay people molest children at higher rates than heterosexuals.

The sticker also offered a salacious slander to the effect that a significant percentage of gay men "will have 1000+ [sexual] partners."

Local news station 13NewsNow reported on the car's defacing, noting that the sticker's appearance coincides with Pride month.

"This is a place that everyone I know feels comfortable," the car's owner, Cynthia Moore, told the news station on camera. "And now I don't feel comfortable."

Moore noticed the sticker on June 8.

"That's one of those things that was... put there to tear someone down and make them feel uncomfortable or unsafe," Moore said.

Moore took to Facebook to share her experience and warn others to check and see that vandals had not obscured their supportive messages with hate-filled stickers.

"Anyway, Happy Pride y'all," Moore posted. "I'm here and I'm queer and this just makes me wanna put more pride stickers on my car"

The sticker's catalog of falsehoods is easily debunked and rely on hate memes that have been propagated by anti-LGBTQ hate groups — some of them for decades.

Headlined "THE FACTS," the sticker's text offered anything but. One of the sticker's claims, for instance, says that gays live "30 years less" than heterosexuals — a statistic that is grossly wrong and stems from a deeply flawed study carried out by an anti-gay activist named Paul Cameron. In 1994, Cameron surveyed obituaries in LGBTQ newspapers — the obituaries of which were overwhelmingly dedicated to the gay demographic — and then computed an average age for those about whom the obits were written. The approach mischaracterized the gay community defied statistical and scientific methodology and fails even to live up the comparatively lax standards of anecdotal evidence.

To the extent that LGBTQs might live shorter lives than heterosexuals, actual studies suggest that the effects of stress due to anti-gay persecution may shorten the lives of sexual minorities — an effect most pronounced, study authors have noted, in areas of high anti-LGBTQ sentiment. In short, if gay people do not live as long as straights, it's thanks to the effects of prejudice directed at them by those same heterosexuals.

Another claim the sticker makes — that gays comprise one-third of all child molesters — is both dangerous and egregiously wrong. Multiple studies confirm that to the extent that they consort with sexually with adults, pedophiles are overwhelmingly heterosexual, with well over 90% of child molesters identifying as straight, and with many of them being in mixed-gender marriages. Moreover, pedophiles are attracted to children, as opposed to a specific gender, and will assault victims based on opportunity rather than on the basis of whether the victim is male or female.

Another thoroughly debunked claim — though it is one repeated endlessly by advocates of so-called "reparative therapy" — is that gays and lesbians have their sexuality rooted in early-life sexual trauma. The claim, however, does not stand up to scientific scrutiny, and neither does the contention that LGBTQ people can be "cured" or "converted" to heterosexuality. Reputable mental health professionals roundly condemn and reject the notion that human sexuality can fundamentally be changed, and warn that hucksters promising a "cure" for same-sex attraction can do significant harm. Lawmakers, heeding those warnings, have responded: Eighteen states, as well as numerous localities, have now banned the infliction of so-called "reparative therapy" on minors.

Even when the sticker offers a claim with some partial basis, in fact, the claim is so narrow, and excludes so many other facts, as to be a misrepresentation of reality. The sticker purports to note that gays comprise "67% of all AIDS cases," and yet makes no mention of Africa, where the heterosexual population has been ravaged by the disease. Moreover, the sticker makes no room for the nuances of historical truths, such as the inaction of the American government in the 1980s, when the AIDS crisis in America could have been significantly ameliorated - but was not, thanks in large part to leaders of the day simply stepping back and assuming that AIDS was a "gay disease."

The sticker also ignores the fact that lesbians have a low rate of HIV/AIDS.

Watch the 13NewsNow video report below.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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