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Daily News Interviews Homophobes About Cheeky Health Campaign

Daily News Interviews Homophobes About Cheeky Health Campaign

New York City Health Department
New York City Health Department

The newspaper highlights opinions of homophobes who label the effort to stop the spread of disease as a deterioration of morals.

When the New York City Health Department employed cheeky humor to educate on safer sex practices, the city's Daily News pounced on the chance for man-on-the-street interviews with homophobes.

An article in the newspaper quotes random city dwellers who call the public service announcements "nasty" and a moral "degeneration."

Of course, the true intent behind the advertisements is to help stop the spread of hepatitis A, as clearly stated with an encouragement of its target audience to get low- or no-cost vaccinations.

Health Department spokesman Patrick Gallahue conceded the tone of the ad, which pictures a cartoon tongue by a ripe peach and reads "Getting a little tongue in cheek?" is intentionally irreverent.

"Our primary concern is the health of New Yorkers," he said.

It's a difficult subject to broach, and the ad explicitly calls for at-risk populations to "keep diarrhea from spreading during ass play" and was also only pushed through particular platforms like Grindr and the Gay Ad Network.

Still, the Daily News made sure to get the take of people decidedly outside the intended viewership and featured their comments prominently.

"This is a degeneration of morals and humanity. The youth are lost and the city is corrupt," said Rafael, a man quoted in the newspaper despite refusing to give his full name.

"The church is really the only safe place now you can raise your kids and safely teach them about sex."

Another pedestrian pundit, Fernando Guzman, also questioned the ad. "I see where they're coming from, but it's kind of nasty," he said.

Online, though, there was as much disgust with the Daily News article itself.

"Maybe don't amplify homophobes next time we are talking about public health?" ACT UP New York activist Jason Rosenberg wrote on Twitter. "Let us live our lives without stigma and shame. It fucking saves lives."

And apparently, the newspaper isn't the only local media outlet mocking the public health effort.

"I was trapped in a cab listening to Power 105.1's segment on this on Friday morning and it was basically extended fart noises and homophobia," reported another Twitter user with the handle @enjen99.

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