Monday, April 30, 2007

Deja vu

I feel like I've written this story before.

On Friday, the Deputy Secretary of State, Randall Tobias, stepped down from his position after admitting that he had visited a well known D.C. escort service now being prosecuted by police.

What most of the press reports failed to mention is that he directed the U.S.A.I.D. program called PEPFAR that promotes abstinence and monogamy as the best answer to HIV/AIDS around the world. On Huffington Post, one AIDS activist called him "Mr. Abstinence." Tobias has promoted policies that place condom education and distribution as a distant last in prevention. I stand with those who believe that public health policy should not be trumped by particular moral stances.

I imagine it was a very difficult weekend in the Tobias household, and I truly feel for the pain they must be experiencing. But, I can't help but wonder if Mr. Tobias also regrets his international calls for abstinence and monogamy which did not help HIM, and can only hope that he knew to use condoms to protect himself and his wife.

I also wonder, as I always do when I read about a Tobias, a Haggard, a Limbaugh, a Barnes, just to name a few, how it is that these men ignore the basic characteristics of a sexually healthy adult- one of which is to only engage in sexual behaviors that are life enhancing rather than those that could be destructive to oneself or others. That's not sophisticated morality -- but it would indeed be a start.

A Quick Bravo to ABC's 20/20 for airing an hour long documentary on transgender children. Despite it's unfortunate title, "God Made a Mistake", it was a sensitive view of a complex issue. You can read it at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The so-called ironies ou describe in your blog are examples of what is called in Jungian psychology the Shadow portion of the personality. The parts ofour persnalities that we reject are repressed and are projected out onto others. Right-wind politicians project their sexual insecurity outward. The result is typically what we see in the case of Rev. Haggard and others. The Shadow will eventually bite back--and it bites hard.