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College Repugs bring anti-gay speaker to Gonzaga

Dan Brutocao of the Gonzaga University College Republicans signed up Dr. John Diggs to spew junk science.

Sweet. The Washington-state institution also rejected recent requests to allow a Planned Parenthood speaker and a production of “The Vagina Monologues” to the school, so clearly it’s up for the controversy. From the Gonzaga Bulletin:

The College Republicans brought Dr. John Diggs to campus Tuesday. Diggs presented a controversial speech titled “The Medical Effects of Homo-Sex” to a packed Jundt Auditorium.

…Based on the planned topic for the speech, the College Republicans were not given University approval and therefore could not advertise the event. To gain University approval, however, the College Republicans were given the option to have Diggs change the title and topic of the speech to be more universal, covering the harmful affects of all human sexuality as it pertains to penetrative anal intercourse and promiscuity.

Dan Brutocao, president of the College Republicans, decided not to change the topic of the speech, reasoning that Diggs would be more knowledgeable on the speech he had already prepared. After talking to Diggs, Brutocao decided to change the title from “The Medical Effects of Homosexuality” to “The Medical Effects of Homo-Sex,” because according to Brutocao, the term homosexuality denotes a person, whereas homo-sex refers specifically to the acts involved, which was more pertinent to the lecture.

Diggs’ 75-minute lecture Tuesday night outlined the negative effects of homosexuality as it pertains to both society and the individual. Key points from his speech included the assertion that homosexuality is defined by two “inarguable” characteristics: promiscuity and penetrative anal intercourse. Diggs also said homosexuality was strongly responsible for the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), particularly HIV, in both gay and straight circles.

Rod Aminian, president of Helping Educate Regarding Orientation (HERO), said Diggs’ lecture went beyond the discussion of sex. “Dr. Diggs is an ideologue of vulgar proportions,” Aminian said. “He stretched fact, used dodgy nomenclature and used every token anti-gay byline in the lexicon of anti-gay bylines.”

Items that Aminian took particular issue with centered on Diggs’ statements on promiscuity, especially the assertion “that gay men are not out for love and companionship, just pure, unabashed sex,” Aminian said. Aminian also cast doubt on the validity of Diggs’ points, specifically a statistic Diggs cited from a 1978 study claiming 28 percent of gay males had more than 1,000 sexual partners in their lifetime.

Diggs has also written some other outlandish things about homosexuality. In 2001, he railed on the work of then-Surgeon General David Satcher, using the whole “parts don’t fit” and gays inherently suffer from mental disease. This is what the College Republicans are embracing:

One of the most egregious assertions made by the Surgeon General is that “Sexual orientation is usually determined by adolescence, if not earlier, and there is no valid scientific evidence that sexual orientation can be changed.” First, real people know this not to be the case.

Thousands of people who used to practice homosexuality have told their personal stories to offer hope to those trapped in a self-destructive activity. Second, the periodic brouhaha over the discovery of a “gay gene” is always followed by much quieter retractions. No scientist confirms the presence of a “gay gene.” Third, people are not homosexual; they perform homosexual acts. We humans are male or female; “gays” do not have different “equipment.” Satcher blames those opposed to homosexuality for the high rates of mental disease found among those practicing homosexuality. To come to this conclusion, he must ignore similar high rates of mental disease, including suicide, documented among practitioners in societies which have come to embrace homosexuality. Lastly, he ignores the fact that most “anti-gay violence” is perpetrated by “gays” in domestic violence settings. The Surgeon General’s statement erroneously leads people to believe they are trapped.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding