1. Glenn says

    Of course, we don’t even know that their son said any of the things they attribute to him. We only have the word of these two nasty bigoted assholes, who obviously have no problem capitalizing on their son’s death for political purposes.

  2. Bill says

    Heterosexuals and using people as props go together like a horse and carriage. They have no shame using their dead son to cover their hate and further their hateful message.

  3. Grant says

    I feel really bad for any young, confused, religious kid in Iowa who picks this up and reads it, because it’s playing into his or her worst fears. It seems totally disreputable to me that a newspaper would allow something like this to be published in a jouranlistic context.

  4. Disgusted American says

    I won’t watch this BS video…the article spewed anough crap…they USE thier Dead son like this….what asshole Un-Loving parents….shame I can’t tellm off personally….as another commentor said….at least they’ll shrivil up and die soon…aaargh! Hmm and maybe IF thier area had LGBT affirming people..thier son would have had a REAL support system in his time of need…these people make me wanna vomit.

  5. Rex says

    I’m surprized these nitwits didn’t just say – “because our son decided NOT to eat/and Fuck pussy…he got AIDS”..”It was Gawd’s wrath on him for sucking cock,and fucking ass”…”Everyone knows Gawd wants women to suck men’s cocks,and fuck thier vaginas”…these old fucks..need to “chk out” and soon!

  6. A says

    It’s very sad that they lost their son to such a horrible disease. They seem more lost and confused than horrible bigots. It’s too bad the Iowa Family Policy Center got to them before a gay group.

  7. says

    I wonder if their son actually said such things before his death. Evangelical Christian families have a tendency to fabricate new ‘truths’ to push their agenda. I’ve heard many a tale from people in my hometown who’ve heard my parents (my father is a Baptist minister) say how distraught I am over the lifestyle I’ve chosen and how it’s caused nothing but problems for me in every facet of my life–down to specifics that could NOT be any father from the truth. (I’m happier now than I ever was growing up and much more successful–in terms of ‘things’ and happiness–than either of my parents ever have been.)

    Furthermore, I had a gay cousin die of AIDS in the late nineties, and it was our family that rejected his gay friends. I don’t know the specifics of these people’s lives, but I seriously doubt they would have embraced their son’s friends rushing to his side–just as my own family did its damndest to shut my cousin’s partner out of every aspect of the planning of his funeral, but god bless the ballsy queen because before they rolled the casket out, he ran up in front of the congegration, said his own spill and pulled out a battery-operated boombox to play my cousin’s favorite song, ‘Angel’ by Sarah MacLachlan.

    So yeah, I can’t help but be skeptical when it comes to the testimonies and experiences of evangelical Christians. For people who claim to honor and cherish TRUTH, they sure as Hell do a damn fine job of stretching, distorting, and mutilating it.

  8. says

    From the coda to the blogpost: “[B]ut it’s bigotry like yours which prevented the U.S. Government from recognizing AIDS and taking steps to curb it until far too late.”

    I don’t doubt that bigotry prevented early identification of HIV/AIDS — but I’m curious about the second half. Even with early identification, do you think anything could have been done to curb infection rates?

  9. Rafael says

    Chances are that the Schowengerdts could have prevented the tragic death of their son all along. Had they dignified the life of his son as God made him to be, he probably would have made better choices for himself. I suggest that if you want to honor the memory of your son, you could start by dignifying the lives of others, who like your son, could benefit from making better decisions for themselves today.

  10. woodroad34 says

    They might want to take responsibility for their own actions….hetersexuals are real big on responsibility aren’t they? Oh, wait…aren’t Cheney, Dobson, Rove, Bush, et al straight? Never mind.

  11. Ray says

    You know this couple believes every word they’re saying on this video and that’s the sad part.

    I’m also sure that the guy’s friends didn’t abandon him. I’m sure his parents kept his friends away from him.

  12. Bosie says

    How odd…the gay community has been good to me & to my friends…maybe these old folks …after “god” took their son and taught them a lesson they don’t learn….Doesn’t god work in mysterious ways????

    bigotry bigotry…these folks should be ashamed of using their son’s memories for crap like this…i guess it goes to show that their son alive or death still is worthless in their eyes.

  13. Positive says

    Its vids like this that brings up weird feelings. I am 22, an out homosexual and pro-gay rights. Unfortunately somewhere between 18 and 21 I contracted HIV. I haven’t told my family because they’ll mirror the couple in the video. Sometimes I truly wish I was born straight so I could live a normal life with a family of my own instead of being young and living with this disease and perhaps destined to be alone all my life. Perhaps even die in the next 10 years. But you can only live with the cards delt to you I guess.

  14. Ed says

    I agree that it’s a lifestyle. It’s a lifestyle consisting of getting up in the morning, going to work, coming home, cleaning house, running errands on the weekend and every now and then going to a movie and/or dinner with friends. That is my two-person cult lifestyle in a nutshell. I can see how the recruiters for this lifestyle are so successful since it’s so fabulously counter culture. I am sorry for their loss and for their misplaced anger. They are in my prayers. Oh, prayer is yet another one of those lifestyle things that I do that makes me so darn edgy.

  15. REM HOU says

    This is exactly the type of filth that is responsible for the suicides of many young gay kids every year. I hope someone points that out to these bigots.

  16. Sean says

    I’m very sorry for their loss. I understand it completely. I am also sorry that they’re so deluded. That after all this time, they’re unable to let go of their anger. That shit will eat you up..and they’re providing us with a great object lesson. Let it go already.

  17. Patrick says

    I’d be interested to know when the son died and with emotions and convictions like these have these people spent the years since as anti-gay activists or has this opportunity suddenly flushed them out. They’d be more credible if they had a long history of speaking out on gay issues. But to suddenly oppose committed legal gay MARRIAGE because their son died of a disease reeks.

  18. frank says

    Dear Positive,
    There are plenty of gay fish in the water that are not terrified of HIV. Your positive so think positive. Getting married to the opposite sex doesn’t mean you would have escaped HIV.

    Be a decent human and please don’t infect others

  19. Chris says

    Heterosexuals, as a whole, are the most vile group of people on the PLANET.

    What kind of people could treat their VERY OWN OFFSPRING in this manner?

    This couple’s son would be embarassed and ashamed of them.

    And he should be.

    But why aren’t they embarassed and ashamed of THEMSELVES?

  20. Paul in Marietta GA says

    THANK YOU GOD, my parents are NOT like these people. They should meet Jeff and Patti Ellis of! My condolences to them on the loss of their son, and I hope someday they can see their errors. AIDS is a disease, not a GAY disease.

    But the language and misinformation being put out is very disturbing. It’s hatred, pure and simple. But how many gay people do they even know, besides their dead son?

  21. Bart says

    Pure chickenshit. It’s amazing that these ignorant, deluded parents would actually allow themselves to be filmed for this. But sadly, they are not bright enough to see who they are and what comes to mind is Jesus Christ who said, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.”

    First and most obvious, this has NOTHING to do with gay marriage…in fact and blatantly, if their son had been in a monogomous, loving marriage with a partner, he probably wouldn’t have contracted HIV. If he had been safe and smart, he probably wouldn’t have contracted HIV. So, if anything, this is pro-gay marriage video. IF THEIR SON HAD BEEN IN A MONOGOMOUS, LOVING RELATIONSHIP WITH ONE MAN, HE WOULD NOT HAVE CONTACTED THE DISEASE.

    As far as the “clut” reference and the “lifestyle” reference…it’s more stupid blather from very regresive, under-educated people. As far as the claims that no gay people contacted their son after he contracted HIV, any person with an IQ over 30 knows that’s utter bullshit. This kid was clearly ashamed of who he was (guess where that came from Mom and Dad) and pulled himself into a corner or thought he “deserved his punishment” because that’s what he’d been taught by these two good Christians (who seem to know nothing about Jesus Christ…)

    These two people aren’t bigots. They are simply sheep. Stupid. Followers. Anti-thought. Anti-education. Anti-aware.

    And I will add to this, to pull out what this cost for their son’s prolonged illness and death is about as disgusting, pathetic, and embarrassing a moment as I have witnessed in a while. They should hang their head in shame. Because it is their subliminal disgust with their son, their ridiculous assertion of “lifestyle” over “sexuality” and “recruitment” over reality(not surprisingly, we didn’t hear anything about their son’s numerous girlfriends, which if it is a choice, there must have been. Hmmm…) that killed their son. Their rotting hearts and dim views of reality is what hid their son away and let him die so they wouldn’t have to suffer any more embarrassment by having a gay son.

    The blame is at their feet. And again, I will say, this video is so pro-gay marriage, so pro-monogomy, so pro-committed relationship, something they should have wanted for their son but were too caught up in their own selfishness to want their son to be happy and instead inflicted guilt and shame on their own flesh and blood, that the pro-gay marriage groups should be touting this.

    AIDS and gay marriage? Nothing in common. It reminds me of the question my brother used to ask when someone would ask him a stupid question, “Did you take the bus this morning or bring your lunch?” One has nothing to do with the other. It’s utter chickenshit from a never-ending parade of stupid.

  22. David in Houston says

    It’s obvious that the parents need to find someone to blame for their son’s death. But deep down they must know that Randy’s co-worker didn’t put a gun to his head and force him to go to a gay bar, and that no one forced their son to get involved with other men. I’m sure if you were to question them about this they wouldn’t be able to come up with a plausible answer.

    I’d can empathize with their loss. But vilifying gay people to make yourself feel better is just hateful and un-Christian. I also don’t believe for a second that their son said any of the things they claim he said. It’s sad that they don’t realize the damage they’re causing by spewing their lies and misinformation.

  23. says

    >>community who had actively recruited him and had claimed to be his ‘family’ were nowhere to be found<<

    In 1986, my brother died of AIDS. He had just gotten back from a 1 year trip through Europe and was finishing up his degree at Texas A&M (of all places). When he got sick, he was sent to Scott & White hospital in Temple, Texas; the only hospital at that time equipped to treat persons with AIDS. No doubt, many of my brothers belongings had been stolen from his apartment by so called “friends” the very people who never once went to see him in the hospital. There was even a very despicable editorial in the college newspaper about my brother that was forwarded to me by an old girlfriend attending at the time. He did have one good friend who had graduated and went to work for NASA and visited him every weekend. My parents were going through financial difficulties at the time so my father would drive up from South Texas on the weekends to be with his son and my mother took a part-time job at a florist in Temple to be with her him every day. My sister and I were living and working in Austin at the time, so we would make it up to Temple on the weekends as well. Both my parents became very friendly with Eric (my brothers friend) and the nurses (almost all gay) at the hospital while my brother was in intensive care. In April of that year, he passed away. I only say this, because even today, it is not uncommon for anyone to be abandoned by their so-called “friends” in their time of need. Had the friends of the Schowengerdt’s son visited him and met with his parents, they may have been better able to frame his life in an entirely different perspective that his parents might have grown to respect or at least appreciate. Now, the only thing they have is grief and lack of understanding. Remember that the next your friend needs you, because all too often, so do their parents.

  24. says

    My mother had a former friend (from her High School) die of AIDS in the 80’s. When I first came out to her, the first thing she did was tell me about this friend and how on his death-bed he told all his family how the gay life was wrong and that he had made a terrifying mistake in “choosing” to be gay.

    A few years ago I confronted my mother about this story and she didn’t even remember telling me. She had made it all up on the spot.

    I feel for all those who have died and whose lives have been used to promote and spread unfounded fear tactics.

  25. David in Houston says

    I just tried to post this comment on YouTube, and got a Pending Approval notice. I’m guessing they’ve been getting a lot of negative feedback.

    “I empathize with your loss. But your story makes no rational sense. I’d like to know EXACTLY how your son was forced to go to a gay bar, and forced against his will to get involved with various men. People have free will and make there own decisions. Your son was not brainwashed or anything other nonsense. The idea that you can make a person be attracted to someone of the same sex against their will is ludicrous. Had his family (and society) been more accepting of him, he might still be here.”

  26. says

    There are no words to express my sorrow for these two parents. Losing a child is never an easy thing to go through, especially losing to disease.

    On a different note, there is a distinct mark of lacking education re: homosexuality. I, myself, was never recruited. I have never recruited anyone. I don’t get calls from the gay mafia when I test negative for HIV or other STD’s. I don’t go to club house meetings.

    The gay community is the same as the straight community. We are neighbors, we are friends, we are children, we are siblings, we are coworkers. We are no different and simply ask for respect and acceptance enough to be treated as equals.

    My gay lifestyle involves waking up in the morning, going to work, having a coffee, reading the news, getting home, working out, eating dinner, going to bed. My weekends consist of spending time with friends and family, gay or straight. I know other gay men and women who go to “gay bars”. I know plenty who go to “straight bars”.

    This is 2009. We are not living in NYC or San Fran in the early 80’s. This mindset wreaks of an antiquated and unfortunate circumstance of a young man who engaged in risky sexual behavior, only to blame all homosexuals for his positive HIV status.

    To these two parents, I am sorry you lost your son. Instead of engaging in a holy war against homosexuals, perhaps you can dedicate your efforts to HIV education, to prevent this same thing from happening to another father and mother’s son or daughter.

    HIV is not a gay virus anymore. It doesn’t discriminate, but it is manageable.

  27. Positive says

    “Dear Positive,
    There are plenty of gay fish in the water that are not terrified of HIV. Your positive so think positive. Getting married to the opposite sex doesn’t mean you would have escaped HIV.

    Be a decent human and please don’t infect others”

    I haven’t seen those fish yet. I do believe that while heterosexuals can get infected, they’re less likely to get infected. I’d still trade places if only to have a little more luck. Thinking positive about death seems counterproductive. lol.

    And no, I won’t be infecting other people. Why would I do that?

  28. says


    A positive HIV diagnosis isn’t the death-sentence that it used to be. It is manageable and you can continue to have flourishing friendships and, perhaps, a person of your own to love some day.

    The key is to stay in good health and take control of your life.

    Currently, actually, the trend on most American urban centers is not that gay men contract HIV, but lower-income straight women.

    Of course you would cut off your arm to reverse your diagnosis, but hold on off to hope of a life of happiness and success.

    Best wishes,


  29. Beef and Fur says

    Of course, commenting on the Youtube video is being “held for approval”….let’s see what they allow to be posted. Only six comments so far.

  30. Daniel says

    Randy died a horrible death – not because of HIV/AIDS, but because he felt compelled to lie to his parents and go back in the closet to make them accept him while he died. At least he finally got away from them and his spirit can be free. I hope parents learn that they should not place religion above their children. Think of the honor killings where families kill their daughters for even looking at a guy. This is just as pathetic and evil. Of course, the bible does contain stories of people killing their first borns. This is just a sad twist on that. Obviously Randy could not take any boyfriends home where he would have been encouraged to settle down and get married if they had been accepting parents. Randy was self-evidently a nice guy; he told his parents what they wanted to hear in the end so they would blame everyone but themselves.

  31. Marc says

    Hmmmm, doesn’t it make more sense then to PROMOTE same sex marriage and monogamy than to deny a right to someone to be in a healthy, committed relationship?

  32. SteveDenver says

    “I was so ashamed, I didn’t do anything.”

    Thanks, folks, for bringing on the shame. Sorry your son died and you couldn’t recoup everything. I bet that will cut into the RV journey to Branson.

    Meanwhile the parents continue to vilify homosexuals. Talk about old dogs not learning anything new.

  33. Daniel says

    Monday in Iowa was a wonderingful time. We celebrated with friends, family, and neighbors now that the human rights of all family members are protected regardless of gender or sexual orientation. I am proud to be an Iowan. Hopefully no family member will ever have to go through what Randy had to go through with his rightwing parents.

  34. Glenn says

    Hey Positive, take it from a fellow poz: you’re not going to die in 10 years, and while I understand that there are guys out there who may shun you, there are tons who don’t. I have a very loving relationship with a man who isn’t poz, and have for many years. Life is still a wonderful gift and can be whatever you want to make it. So keep your spirits up, my friend.

  35. Glenn says

    By the way, there’s a rather disturbing undercurrent in some of the comments here implying that HIV infection is the peculiar province of self-hating gays who couldn’t accept their sexuality and tried to drown themselves in anonymous sex and if only we could all be deliriously happy monogamists like straight people (yeah, right) then HIV wouldn’t have happened. That’s — um, what’s the word? oh yeah — bullshit. I understand you’re well-meaning, but let’s not play into the very stereotypes we’re claiming to denounce, ok?

  36. Keith says

    Hold on. They didn’t even connect how “homosexual marriage” had anything to do with “homosexual lifestyle.” So they’re preventing other people and their families from the emotional pain and financial loss due to HIV, by barring same-sex marriages which have nothing to do with contracting HIV and succumbing to AIDS. It would be like saying the sad story of their son was a failing of their heterosexual marriage, but that statement is more qualified than their own distortion.

    I’m not entirely convinced no one cared that he was dying. I get the feeling both the parents and the son were keeping people at bay with their bitterness about things they couldn’t change.

    If that bit convinces someone that others, who want the same dignity be given to their relationships as their own, then they aren’t really listening to what it has to say.

  37. edd says

    I’m sad for the parents for losing their first born. But they could have accepted that their son was born gay, he was not recruited into homosexuality, and if being gay is something that is as naturally accepted as being straight or Asian or whatever, the prejudices his son faced, the difficulties he experienced being gay would not have happened at all. They should have been on OUR side.

  38. Danny says

    I agree that the video is offensive and wrong. That almost goes without saying.

    I would say that I find Towle’s commentary to be typically brainless and polemical. Although these parents may be “bigots” there is obviously a lot more going on here. Clearly there is bitterness and disappointment over their personal loss and their dashed expectations for their sons. They are looking for someone to blame. They may be terribly wrong, but that is not “bigotry”.

    Also, their son died in 2008. By that time, the US and the states have spent tens of billions on AIDS prevention and care. How dumb of Towle to state that the AIDS problem could have been “curtailed” if only the government(by which he means the Great Satan Ronald Reagan but not the Democratically controlled Congress) would have shelled out a few more bucks in 1982. This betrays ignorance of the history of the epidemic and a preference for hackneyed political soundbits over genuine thought.

  39. Really? says

    If this weren’t such a serious subject matter this would be a SNL parody skit. What does gay marriage have to do with the poor choices their gay son made in regards to NOT practicing safe sex? So many old people from their generation just can’t wrap their guilt ridden minds around the fact that THEY produced a gay child. The level of denial is pathetic and embarrassing. For them to even bring up the cost created by their dying son speaks volumes about their distorted mindset.

  40. FunMe says

    Their son probably would have survived had he not have these DIGUSTING BIGOTS as his parents.

    He’s probably in heaven rejoicing in a better life than being surrounded by this trash of parental units.

  41. GregV says

    “They are looking for someone to blame. They may be terribly wrong, but that is not “bigotry”.“

    Danny, it is not bigotry if someone looks at the facts and evaluates them in order to determine who is to blame.
    But in this case, they ignore facts and accept only whatever will confirm their prejudices. That IS bigotry.

    Imagine if their son had been attracted to black women and had been brought up being told that black skin is an affliction and that anyone who has a relationship with someone black is shameful. Their sone ends up so ashamed of his desire to be with a black woman that he finds outlets in secret meetings with lack prostitutes and could never even fathom being in a relationship, loving someone and bringing her home to meet the parents.
    Then their son dies of AIDS and they make a video about how disgusting blacks are and conclude that interracial MARRIAGES (of all things, pretty much the INVERSE of anything that would increase STD`s} should be denounced.
    Would that video be bigotry… YES. It would be in exactly the same way and for exactly the same reasons that this one is.

  42. JamesR says

    Something about their story just doesn’t ring true, yet because they’ve gone and gotten the notoriety they thought they wanted, it will come out. The Iowa I know is not like that at all. They make our case, if their story is dissected. I endured the video, and do sympathize with their pain, yet they’re stuck in it. And the timeline leaves, well, DECADES out WTF? The story sounds so ’80s or early ’90s, yet the tombstone reads 2005 or 6 or 8, hard to tell. ?? If these parents are in their first couple years of processing this they are in the first few stages of dealing. Yet of course could be stuck there forever. However it doesn’t add up. ISSUES abound in this story.

    @ Positive – I’ve been HIV+ longer than you have been alive. Good chance you will live more than another 22 years. Life has dealt you dubious cards, no going back Life is too short for carrying (much) baggage. Having HIV today is not quite the same as yesterday. This editorial and video is like a time capsule, from the shit and pain of two decades ago. I know some still live there, but not most. You are not alone. There is so much support and understanding out there, though it is virtually invisible unless you seek it out and / or simply remain open. Whom to tell in your family is entirely up to you. There is no manual, you know them and it’s your relationship, and there’s no un-telling. Yet withholding the information denies them an opportunity to be supportive, and if you are ever going to tell them the sooner the better so they have time to react and get through it. Your call. Those who are not ‘positive friendly’ are not worthy friends for anybody, you are better off without them, better off really being alone for a while than to be alone but not know it until HIV pops out. Take your medicine as needed, be open and you will find new amazing friends and you can start shooting for your dreams. Enjoy life! It could be so much worse. Though I feel compelled to add that the ’20s generally suck – surprisingly stressful, too many expectations – the ’30s are much better and the ’40s better still. I am looking forward to my ’50s and so can you.

  43. KJ says

    No pity here, except for the son. The only difference between these folks and a bucket of shit is the bucket. The sooner boomers bite the bucket the better. I just wish I was born 20 years later so I could enjoy what’s next.

  44. Smart says

    HIV is a “chronic illness” not a death sentence. We’re days away from a vaccine. However this story just proves that “treating” rather that curing is far more profitable. $$$$$$
    Keep in mind Polio was cure in the “dirty 30’s” and nothing since has cured since Some Scandinavians have a natural immunity to HIV. Alligators have a super immunity.
    Living in a trailer court or a “Christian” lifestyle and a choice!!!! Being gay is a choice for honesty.
    BTW. The more sons a woman has the higher chances of the son’s being gay. That’s evolution! That’s nature. They believe it has to do with hormones.
    Denmark started it. I live in Canada. We have gay marriage. (And heath care) We’re just better people than Americans.

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