Friday, September 24, 2010

"Leather Week" in San Francisco

We’ve recently covered the story of Most Holy Redeemer’s Patrick Mulcahey, a past parish council vice-president and Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, who was leading s/m workshops at the “Master/slave Conference 2010.”

It is almost incomprehensible to the average person that the sado-masochistic sexual perversion is not only respected, but affirmed, in a Catholic parish. But as we said in 2007, in our review of Father Donal Godfrey’s book, “Gays and Grays,” Most Holy Redeemer is no longer a Catholic parish. It is not a Christian parish. It is a gay parish. It would better be described as a homosexualist spiritual institution. The community-forming experience around which the parish congregates is not Christianity, (except perhaps incidentally) it is the celebration of homosexuality. This is demonstrable. At any place or time that Christianity comes into conflict with the celebration of homosexuality, the congregation will choose the celebration of homosexuality.1 In this, MHR is quite conventional and representative of its surrounding environment. Sado-masochistic leather “sexuality” is affirmed by the surrounding culture; MHR, as a representative institution of that culture, must affirm it as well.

It is equally incomprehensible to the average person that the sado-masochistic sexual perversion can not only be respected but affirmed as a positive good by the government of a major American city. Yet such is the case. For the entire month of September banners advertising the largest homosexualist s/m event in the world, the Folsom Street Fair, are on every lamppost on Market Street from Van Ness Avenue to Castro Street. On the Sunday of the Folsom Street Fair, which this year will be Sunday, September 26, the leather flag (red, black and blue: symbolization obvious) takes the place of the rainbow “gay rights” flag at the corner of Market and Castro streets.

The leather subculture is not exactly a dispossessed and oppressed minority. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom took out a full page in the 2007 Folsom Street Fair program officially welcoming the “wonderful and exciting” event. In 2007 State Senator Mark Leno, one of the most powerful politicians in Sacramento, attended the InterClub Fund awards at (where else) Most Holy Redeemer. Befitting the occasion, Senator Leno was decked out in leather. Senator Leno, again in leather, attended the 2008 & 2009 "Up Your Alley Fairs", smaller versions of the Folsom Street Fair. (left: Senator Leno at the 2009 "Up Your Alley Fair" Photo: SFIST and Gothamist, LLC).

The San Francisco Police Department threatened to withhold a permit for the fair in 2009 because in 2008, the fair Leno attended, men were urinating on other men and masturbating into the crowd from a third-story window. Senator Leno chairs the state Senate’s Public Safety Committee and the Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee on Health and Human Services.

At the 26th Annual “Leather Daddy” awards Supervisor Bevan Dufty presented a proclamation to the event from San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Dufty is currently running for Mayor in San Francisco, and has a fair chance of winning.

The city government’s embrace of the s/m lifestyle has not weakened since 2007. In the September 23, 2010 issue of the homosexualist Bay Area Reporter (“Politics and Leather a Natural Alliance in SF”), Matt Bauer writes

“There may be no better example of San Francisco's priorities than the city's giddy anticipation of two upcoming events: the November elections and this Sunday's 27th annual Folsom Street Fair.

The city's long-established leather community tends to enjoy a strong relationship with city government.

‘Local politicians have been very friendly and supportive,’ said Liza Sibley, executive producer of Ms. San Francisco Leather. ‘[State Senator] Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) has always been fabulous for the leather community. [Assemblyman] Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) has always been wonderful in talking to the leather community." In addition, she observed, District 8 supervisor candidates Rebecca Prozan, Scott Wiener, and Rafael Mandelman were present at this year's annual Leather Walk.’

‘This is a rare Folsom I'll miss,’ Leno told the Bay Area Reporter.”

The embrace of perverted sexuality is not harmless. Since 1980, over 18,866 people in San Francisco have died from AIDS. That number includes four persons quite close to me. It includes Senator Leno’s “life partner.” Of the over 18,000 deaths, 17,035 were of same-sex attracted men (14,125 men who have “sex” with men; 2,869 men who have “sex” with men who were also intravenous drug users).2 15,330 of those who died were under 50 years old—in the prime of life. In March, 2010 the Center for Disease Control reported that in the United States men who have “sex” with men are 44 times more likely to contract HIV than are other men. They are also the only risk group among whom HIV infection rates are increasing. This is neither random nor a chastisement from God. It is the clearly demonstrable result of specific behavior. In his important 1997 book "Sexual Ecology: Aids and the Destiny of Gay Men" activist Gabriel Rotello writes "For various reasons we are, in effect, defending the behaviors that are killing us."

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors can find time to unanimously issue a resolution urging “Meatless Mondays” as a public health measure. Yet in the face of the greatest public health crisis in the city’s history, one that has cut down over 15,000 people under age 50—people in the prime of life--the city’s government is on record as supporting the behavior that contributes to the holocaust.

1) According to Professor Jerome Baggett’s recent book “Sense of the Faithful” 93% of Most Holy Redeemer parishioners polled think “a person can be a good Catholic” without obeying the Church’s teaching on engaging in homosexual acts.

2) San Francisco Department of Public Health HIV/AIDS Epidemiology Annual Report, 2008.

3) "Sexual Ecology: AIDS and the Destiny of Gay Men" p. 202.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

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