Overlooking Homophobia to Fight AIDS?

What Price Charity?

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?

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  • nycstudman

    “All great fortunes begin with a crime.” – Balzac. All money is green once it’s in your pocket. It’s hard to criticize amFAR for raising money wherever it can. The results are the same: $$ to fight AIDS.

  • Paul Raposo

    “The results are the same: $$ to fight AIDS.”

    Straight AIDS. We worked so hard to convince everyone that AIDS was not a gay disease, that now gay HIV+ men are being ignored. These celebs fly half way around the world to find someone dying of AIDS, while ignoring their own countrymen.

    When was the last time you saw a celeb wearing a red ribbon? We’ve become passe, expandable and our fundraising techniques have been appropriated for use elsewhere. We’re no longer politically correct–or stylish.

  • WWH

    I’ve been to Dubai. You just have to be discreet. Not ideal, but not the hell hole one might think. The other emirates (abu dahbi, Sharja, etc. there are seven) are more strict. I’m glad gay men (with or without aids) are passe – we’ve come a long way, baby!) As a PWA, I don’t care how, why or where the money comes from

  • Bryan

    From what little I have read of Dubai, I believe of all the Middle-Eastern Arab countries it is the most gay-friendly (meaning you won’t get the death penalty for fucking your man, just 10 years in prison) and with many foreigners they often just look the other way if they can.

  • nycstudman

    :Straight AIDS: – pardon me while I throw up.

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