In another sign of the reactionary nature of the UK’s anti-vaccine movement, it appears that they are not beyond making snide comments about people’s sexuality. After the revelations by Brian Deer that Wakefield changed and misreported results in his research and the damning judgments of the quack science the anti-vaccine is based upon in the Cedillo case, the anti-vaccine movement has been thrashing around like a drowning man.
The One Click Group, have posted what they consider an exclusive about Brian Deer, who is perhaps the true believers’ number one enemy in the UK (in the US the lucky man is Paul Offit). The One Click Group (theoneclickgroup.co.uk) claim Deer went beserk in the General Medical Council press room during Wakefield’s hearing, although even their partial account notes Deer called for security – not them. In the introduction to their “exclusive” they say of Brian Deer:
By all accounts a gay man and therefore unlikely ever to have to face the multiple vaccine risk agonised over by parents from around the world in relation to their children, Brian Deer has made it his business to portray the parents of these autistic vaccine damaged children as deluded mendacious chancers.
Aside from the fact that these parents are not parents of vaccine damaged children, in fact they are arguably the most badly treated individuals in the whole MMR vaccine-autism hoax, the idea that Deer’s sexuality influences his opinions about the safety of vaccines is homophobic, indicative of the deranged attitude of mind of the anti-vaccine movement, and completely nonsensical. Here are some reasons why.
1. Even if Deer is homosexual, it does not necessarily mean he has no stake in vaccine safety. Homosexuals are not some mysterious alien presence in our society, they have families which include small children. Homosexuals can even adopt children.
2. The vast majority of the medical and scientific community do not accept the link between MMR vaccine and autism. The One Click Group may be surprised to learn that not all of them are homosexual. Many, including myself at the height of the media scare, have children who have received the MMR vaccine.
3. It is in the nature of people to care about issues that have no direct effect on themselves because of empathy for other individuals or even because they have an intellectual curiosity about exposing the truth. Journalists also draw attention to human rights abuses in countries, when they themselves suffer no risk of the same treatment. Are we to question their motives too?
4. The anti-vaccine movement itself includes gay men. The One Click group should know this since they host a series of news articles about David Kirby, a prominent anti-vaccine campaigner in the US, who published a book called Evidence of Harm. They reported on his UK visit, and even host his lecture slides. David Kirby was a reporter for Outweek, a gay and lesbian weekly magazine, and for The Advocate, a leading LGBT news site in the US.
What nice people they are.
UPDATE: Brian Deer comments on the report of his alleged “rant”.