ROME (ChurchMilitant.com) - Pro-gay organizations are being slammed for exploiting the pandemic by claiming that LGBTQ+ people are in greater danger of contracting the Wuhan virus.
Over 100 LGBTQ+ national and local charities in the United States have signed an open letter to the media and health authorities asserting that COVID-19 poses an increased risk to the LGBTQ+ population since this group is "particularly vulnerable to the negative health effects of this virus."
But Brad Polumbo, deputy editor of the Washington Examiner, is excoriating the appeal as evidence of "several left-wing groups that fundraise off of gay and transgender rights, greedily trying to turn the coronavirus into a victimhood issue."
"No, coronavirus is not an 'LGBTQ+' victimhood issue," writes Polumbo, who identifies as a gay conservative. "The coronavirus is a virus. It does not care if you are gay."
"Efforts to somehow make a global pandemic evidence of anti-gay and anti-transgender oppression is a case of shameless self-victimization at its worst," Polumbo remarks.
The March 11 letter offers three reasons why the Chinese virus is likely to be an added source of oppression for homosexual and transgender people.
First, the Wuhan virus is a respiratory illness particularly harmful to smokers and the LGBTQ+ population smokes at rates that are 50% higher than the general population.
Second, LGBTQ+ people have higher rates of HIV and cancer, hence a greater number may have compromised immune systems — leaving them more vulnerable to COVID-19 infections.
Third, health providers discriminate against LGBTQ+ people in many health care settings, consequently many are reluctant to seek medical care.
"LGBTQ+ communities are very familiar with the phenomena of stigma and epidemics. We want to urge people involved with the COVID-19 response to ensure that LGBTQ+ communities are adequately served during this outbreak," the letter urges.
The signatories go on to recommend a 10-point program of action, including "Ensuring funding to community health centers is distributed in a fashion that accounts for the additional burden anticipated by LGBTQ-identified health centers" and "Ensuring surveillance efforts [to] capture sexual orientation and gender identity as part of routine demographics."
Speaking to Church Militant, Italian epidemiologist Dr. Paolo Gulisano debunks the three myths being promoted by the pro-LGBTQ+ lobbies.
"If it were a fact that homosexuals smoke much more than heterosexuals, in a percentage of 3 to 2, this data would certainly not do honor to homosexuals themselves —evidently [they are] not very sensitive to anti-smoking campaigns," the former professor of medicine says.
"As an addiction, smoking must be fought. The LGBT community should seriously examine its conscience and decide to change its lifestyle, drastically reducing the percentage of those who smoke and seriously hurt themselves. There are many ways to quit smoking, and smokers can seek help from psychologists," Dr. Gulisano adds.
The specialist in hygiene and preventive medicine also told Church Militant that "all people with tumors or with diseases of the immune system are more at risk than others of contracting COVID-19 infections, regardless of their sexual habits. All of them should, therefore, take the necessary precautions during the epidemic."
"Even in this case, given what the transmission modes of coronavirus are, it would be appropriate for LGBT people to change their lifestyle, which could expose them to contagion. It could be an opportunity to discover the benefits of chastity," he emphasizes.
Gulisano, an eminent essayist, denied allegations of discrimination against homosexuals by heath services. "I believe these fears are absolutely unfounded," he stresses, adding:
In many years of my career I have never witnessed homophobia by health care professionals. Our mission is to take care of those who need assistance and care for all regardless of the patient's characteristics. It is an unfounded fear and cannot be an alibi to perhaps justify one's own negligence, the lack of attention to health problems and the laziness of resorting to the doctor by waiting for the last moment which is typical of many people, heterosexual or otherwise.
Meanwhile, Catholic theologian Dr. Gavin Ashenden is contrasting the "self-giving victimhood" of "the doctors and nurses risking their lives and sometimes losing their lives to save others" with the "faux-victimhood of the LGBTQ+ community."
Responding to the Church of England's recent announcement of a chaplaincy exclusively for LGBTQ+ people, launched amidst Britain's rising death toll from the Wuhan virus, Ashenden told Church Militant that the "Church should identify with the first authentic self-giving victimhood, found most dramatically in Jesus."
"It should not be dignifying lifestyles rejected by both Bible and Tradition as victimhood," says Dr. Ashenden. "To do so is to cheapen the dedication of our medics and diminish the currency of what Christ did on the Cross."
"The impetus behind the promotion of the LGBTQ+ agenda has depended on being able to present the sexually narcissistic and confused as victims. Such victimhood is self-referential, not self-giving; it is about rights, not sacrifice," the Queen's former chaplain explains.
The letter claiming "victimhood status" for LGBTQ+ people has been initiated by a coalition of six organizations: the National LGBT Cancer Network, GLMA Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality, Whitman-Walker Health, Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE), New York Transgender Advocacy Group and National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance.