Overlooking Homophobia to Fight AIDS?

What Price Charity?

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Are Hollywood celebrities willing to overlook state repression in the name of AIDS? It certainly seems that way.

According to Rush & Molloy, celebrity stunners have appeared at a series of AIDS fundraisers to benefit or endorsing Dubai, one of the anti-gay United Arab Emirates…

Stone and her amfAR allies have been cultivating a relationship with the super-rich nobles of the Persian Gulf’s answer to Vegas. Last month, at a Cannes film fest party for the AIDS research group, Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn auctioned a “Dubai Fantasy Vacation” for $90,000. Stone is due to emcee another amfAR benefit at the Dubai International Film Festival in December.

Gay people attending that benefit are advised to keep their sexuality to themselves.

That, of course, could work for some of amfAR’s allies, we’re sure.

According to the United States State Department, United Arab Emirates’ secular civil and shari’a law prohibit homosexuality. Consensual sodomy holds a minimum of ten years imprisonment in Dubai. Though anti-gay arrests aren’t common in the UAE, police records are hardly clean. Back in 2005, Abu Daibai authorities raided a birthday party and arrested over 26 men for “homosexual behavior”. Rush and Molloy also point out that Dubai has a history of oppression against women.

Apparently Stone’s not that concerned. Her publicist insisted:

[Stone] certainly doesn’t condone oppression of any kind. Change can only come about when people can be educated. This is a global problem. AIDS is a disease that knows no political boundaries.

While that may be the case, one wonders if the negatives outweigh the positives on this one. Dubai does have loads of money and, as an amFar representative points out, that dough can help a lot of AIDS patients. Should they take priority over a few flamers?