John M. Becker

Nutty MN Lawmaker Claims That Sweat Spreads HIV

Filed By John M. Becker | April 01, 2014 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: anti-bullying, bullying, ex-gay, Glenn Gruenhagen, junk science, marriage equality, Minnesota, Paul Cameron, wingnuts

glenn-gruenhagen.pngMinnesota State Republican Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen is about as wingnutty as they come. Last year, as Minnesota legislators began to debate the state's ultimately successful marriage equality law, he called homosexuality an "unhealthy sexual addiction."

Less than a month later, Gruenhagen broke House rules by interrupting official business in order to forcibly introduce an "ex-gay" friend to his colleagues on the House floor.

And now that his fellow lawmakers are poised to pass an anti-bullying bill, Gruenhagen is at it again, this time teaming up with that same "ex-gay" activist to produce a junk science-laden attack video called "Sodomy, Health, Money, and HF-826."'s Andy Birkey reports:

A Republican lawmaker from Glencoe, Minn., founded a group that created a video that claims there's an enzyme in sperm that causes AIDS, that gay men die at an average age of 41, that HIV is transmitted casually, and that the United Nations is responsible for making sodomy legal. Those claims are all offered in opposition to an anti-bullying bill poised to pass the Minnesota Legislature.

The Pro-Marriage Amendment Forum, a group created in 2011 by Republican Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen, R-Glencoe, and "ex-gay" activist Kevin Peterson, has crafted a video called "Sodomy, Health, Money, and HF-826"... [that] targets HF 826, the Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act, which aims to make Minnesota's anti-bullying laws stronger.

According to Birkey, a Republican Minnesota House candidate has been distributing the video among GOP activists, one of whom even aired it on public access TV in the Twin Cities.

The lies and scientific distortions in the videos are too numerous to list (Birkey enumerates and then refutes them all here), but they include the bogus claim that HIV is spread through sweat, tears, and saliva. Science, of course, debunked this myth literally decades ago.

Gruenhagen's videos appear to lean heavily on the discredited work of crackpot "researcher" Paul Cameron, an anti-LGBT hate group leader who was kicked out of the American Psychological Association and the American Sociological Association for peddling virulently anti-gay junk science.

If you can stand to watch, the videos are embedded after the jump.

While Gruenhagen and his fellow anti-LGBT conservatives aren't likely to be successful in killing the anti-bullying bill, they were able to score a big victory this week when a bill that would have banned abusive "ex-gay" therapy from being offered to minors in Minnesota died in committee, despite the votes being present for passage.

"Ex-gay" activists claimed victory; LGBT equality advocates are vowing to bring the bill back next session.

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