India Health Minister Defends ‘Gay Disease’ Comment

Azad Indian health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad reportedly called homosexuality "a disease" at an HIV/AIDS conference yesterday, sparking massive amounts of outrage and astonishment.

Upon hearing Azad's comment, Indian commentator Suhel Seth remarked, "It just shows how the world's youngest country is being run by dinosaurs…not is the comment in bad taste but suggests an intolerance that is reminiscent of a primitive era," while writer Taslima Nasreeen said, "No sane person would say, homosexuality is a 'disease.'"

According to Azad, however, he actually said that HIV, not homosexuality, "is a disease spread from abroad."

"I did not use the gay word or homosexuality. I in fact spoke in their favor," the minister explained. "I was made a villain and quoted out of context."

But CNN's account of the matter paints a different picture, and quotes Azad as saying, "The issue to worry about is that this disease of men having sex with men has unfortunately arrived in India, too. This is completely unnatural and shouldn't happen, but is there." 

If that is indeed an accurate quote, then Azad's retelling is clearly skewed, and no amount of backpeddling can — or should — save his reputation.

Comments

  1. Derrick from Philly says

    Well, the Health Minister needs to be a little more Indian and and a lot less British.

    (Boy, I’m going to be “read”by the right-wingers for that, but I don’t care.)

  2. jason says

    AIDS is not a disease, it’s a syndrome. It refers to a state of lowered immunity that is acquired. If you have lowered immunity, you become susceptible to a number of diseases, many of which are well known – eg pneumonia.

  3. Brad says

    not to defend him…..but I could see how he meant hiv and not homosexuality. It seems to me that he was generalizing about hiv saying it was a ‘disease of men sleeping with men’…which is true but not the entire story. Are we too quick to cruxify people? and no I don’t know his history and yes my spelling sucks.

  4. Robert says

    Derrick from Philly, what do you mean by…”a lot less British”. Are you implying the Brits are just as bad?

    Too bad India hasn’t moved on after British rule. The Brits have for years and actually moved on a lot more than the U.S. on social issues, especially gay issues. A marriage equality consultation is about to begin under a Conservative government over there. I don’t see any American administration doing the same. What have the Democrats or the Republicans done about it lately? 44 states still have no equality of any kind and the six that do, still have no federal recognition of their marriages. If anything, the Indians should be a lot more like the British, not less. Another thing, Azad isn’t even a Hindu but a muslim, duh!

  5. Rick says

    @Robert Derrick is one of those people who believes that all the problems in the world are the fault of EVIL WHITE MALES (including those who are gay) and that the rest of humanity are simply innocent victims–including viciously homophobic people with dark skin–(“the white man made him do it”)….which is why he jumps to the defense of every non-white homophobe in situations like this one…..

    Pathetic, isn’t it?

  6. Derrick from Philly says

    Oh, Rick, I don’t blame EVIL WHITE MALES for every problem in the world. Nope, just most problems in the world that stem from colonialism and taking other folks “stuff”.

    Now, you go pick on some dark skinned Transwoman so she can cut your EVIL WHITE MALE so’n so.

  7. nic says

    @DERRICK,
    calm down gurl. your anger is misplaced. meanwhile, miss andy is busy censoring comments. i imagine her blubbering, “oh, noooooooooo. if i allow this on my site, i will not be invited back to the democratic convention.” what a pussy. good luck with that.

  8. Robert says

    Rick, thanks! He doesn’t know anything about history. The UK abolished the illegality of being gay in 1967. India only until a year or so ago, a country that has the nuclear bomb and still takes handouts from the British government as a commonwealth member with one of the highest poverty rates in the world.

  9. Sean says

    Whatever idiot (Brad) on here that just said that HIV/AIDS is born out of men having sex with men needs to go back to school!!! Freakin’ Moran! Please show me the scientific experiment where Semen and anal fluids make a disease!!!

  10. Liam says

    AIDS/HIV not = homosexual/gay

    It’s sad that this is how the Western world reacted.

  11. Brains says

    The last time I checked, a few minutes ago, the largest population of individuals infected with the various HIV viral strains are heterosexuals (straight people-ABC!).

    Yes, there is a disproportionate infection rate within the homosexual subgroup, but that is not due to the sex act itself-but due to a lack of education regarding safe sex.

    If you want to make an argument, ABC, why not try one regarding the prevalence of other STD’s in modern populations, and particularly the Middle Ages. You will fail!

    We on this blog cannot assist you in becoming aware that sexual orientation is innate and a genetic variation in all living species, but we certainly can call you ignorant and misinformed..and other words!

  12. says

    why not try one regarding the prevalence of other STD’s in modern populations, and particularly the Middle Ages. You will fail!

    We on this blog cannot assist you in becoming aware that sexual orientation is innate and a genetic variation in all living species, but we certainly can call you ignorant and misinformed..and other words!

    07/06/2011 14:36

  13. says

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  14. Daniel says

    Gay people were forced to live in ghettoes for more than a century. HIV came from Africa and Africans, who infected gay male men, but AIDS is easier referred as a gay disease. If our world’s common sense were towards truth, this would not happen.

  15. says

    The post is good but I am disagree with this Indian Minister. Well, As far as I concern India is beautiful country and everyone should visit this place once in a year. Thanks for sharing the post. Good Job.

  16. says

    Whatever idiot (Brad) on here that just said that HIV/AIDS is born out of men having sex with men needs to go back to school!!! Freakin’ Moran! Please show me the scientific experiment where Semen and anal fluids make a disease!!!

  17. says

    But CNN’s account of the matter paints a different picture, and quotes Azad as saying, “The issue to worry about is that this disease of men having sex with men has unfortunately arrived in India, too. This is completely unnatural and shouldn’t happen, but is there.”

  18. says

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  19. says

    Ghulam Nabi Azad. I agree with Indian health minister that homosexuality is completely unnatural and shouldn’t happen.I think some more medical research is needed in this case.

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  20. says

    I am not totally agree with what the Indian minister has said.But somewhere down the line I think this is an psychological problem and more study must be needed regarding this problem.So thanks for sharing this post.

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