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February 21, 2012

NM Department of Health's Cabinet Secretary Catherine Torres Does Cover-up of Removal of Gay Safe Sex Educational Material

On February 15th the directive to remove all educational materials from Public Health offices  that did not have the new DOH logo was passed down to all PHD employees .  It is difficult to ascertain whether the directive came from;  some emails said Governor Susana  Martinez made the mandate while others implied Cabinet Secretary Catherine Torres made the demand.   The order for removal of materials that were provided by DOH and other different agencies included  federal agencies like the CDC and the USDA.   The directive caused chaos and confusion.  Later that day, more emails were sent out clarifying the order that the logo that was being described is a logo stamp approving information for distribution.   As one PHD employee stated, " we've never been given a "logo" stamp."  Employees were baffled as to why they would not provide patients with HIPAA, drug , vaccine,  WIC,  Title X family planning,  STD and safe sex information.  The removed educational materials must be reviewed and approved by Cabinet Secretary Dr. Catherine Torres herself.  Despite the order many offices continued to provide some information because it is important  to patient care.

What is not known by everyone, is buried in all of the recalled educational materials is safer sex materials that contain illustrations of a same sex couple that caused the removal of all materials.  The hopes of the Torres administration is to cover-up the removal of these materials with a mass recall under the reason of a missing logo.  So you might ask yourself, what do we have going on here?  Well, we have the issues of censoring material and lying about the reasons to cover-up the fact that there is an ideological reason why materials are being recalled.

Albuquerque news stations KRQE and KOB both reported on the  educational materials provided to Jobs Corps Center in Roswell, NM.  Both stations pushed the story as the brochure being obscene and pornographic.   While some interviewed by KOB said it wasn't a big deal just out of the norm since it was two guys.   KRQE's coverage seems to be a bit more sensationalized.  Below we have both news stories that ran.  PHD's Maggi Gallaher does appear and gives Torres' opinion on the situation which allows the administration to pull this brochure and others because of their ideology does not agree with the administration.

KRQE's story

Below we have the brochure that is the center of the controversy.

It is simply safe sex education material geared towards male same sex couples. There is similar materials for opposite sex couples as well. I have seen condom instructions that are more graphic.

There are only two ways this can be offensive.  

#1  You are a part of a minority group that is offended by the educational materials on the wall at your gynecologist or urologist office's exam room.
#2  You're homophobic. 

Strangely enough, our Harm Reduction Program at the New Mexico Department of Health is suppose to serve "men who have sex with men."  It is on the DOH website.

So if we cannot use these materials, what materials should we use to educate this part of our population on safe sex practice to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases?  Abstinence?  Or maybe we should just convince them they are not gay and move on?  No!  The Department of Health is here to serve everyone.   No exceptions.  Someone's ideology should not deny any group of people services and information.

The pulling of all education materials from PHD offices is a cover-up.   Dr. Torres and Governor Martinez, if you're going to make decisions based on ideology, at least have the courage to stand behind it. The administration is hiding this fact behind vague talking points and the misdirection of the logo issue.   Too bad for Secretary Torres that we have sniffed this out and our now exposing the truth of what is going on.


Joey Peters of the SFReporter also has a story about the removal of materials.  He has a great interview with Bruce Trigg, who until 2010 directed the sexually transmitted disease program for areas including Albuquerque and Santa Fe and Elizabeth Matthews, who was medical director for PHD’s Family Health Bureau for DOH.

Joey also made a blog post today: 

Today I made a comment on the Susana's hairdresser story on the Huffington Post.
Here's the screenshot:

Go ahead and give your input below.


  1. Last I checked we have gay and lesbian teens enganged in sex. While boys tend to stay closeted in high school, we do see many lesbians. My daughter had many lesbian friends in high school. So the audience may not have been that far off. If they did not want to take a booklet they didn't have to. Same goes for condoms at the clinics.

  2. This is the same narrow minded attitude that allowed HIV to become an epidemic. Denial that there are serious issues is a conservative mind set. And the Band Played On.

  3. Crazy Cathy,

    What is next, burning educational pamphlets and pepper spraying the clients?

    1. I think I saw a memo on how to correctly pepper spray clients. Legal told her she couldn't so she is now seeking outside counsel that will say it is ok.

      In lighter news, Susana's hair dresser will not do her hair over her stance on gay marriage. Torres' hair dresser is still nonexistent.

  4. Just trying to be me2/22/12, 10:29 AM

    Lucy Van Pelt's post of Jan 22 is most apropros:

    I think this quote applies pretty well. It is about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power and the purging of their chosen targets, group after group. Parallels are easily drawn.

    First they came for the communists,
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

    Then they came for the Catholics,
    and I didn't speak out because I was Protestant.

    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.

    -Martin Niemöller

  5. So many of us have thought this. Now it has been said. Well done!
    It was nice to see that SFR had the pamphlet and quoted this story. Keep it up. They aren't very happy today.

  6. If they are not happy, DOH Nation is doing there job! Let us keep it up (no pun intended).

  7. Still waiting2/22/12, 5:43 PM

    Saw the Gov. on the news tonight. She said that the legislatures were surprised that she came to Santa Fe to keep her campaign promises. Okay, Susana how about keeping the one about appointing qualified people to run the state agencies. Torres has proven she isn't qualified to lead the state's largest agency. Now keep your promise, get rid of her.

    1. I am still confused as to what campaign promises she has actually kept. Transparency is nonexistent.

    2. Still waiting2/23/12, 7:47 PM

      You are correct she has kept very few of those promises. School aren't better, corruption in her administration is getting worse, and she has chose to surround herself with sycophants. No way to run a government. Her poll ratings are dropping and when New Mexicans see her for what she is, there will not be another 4 years of Weak Change.

  8. Not surprised2/23/12, 9:45 AM

    I always feared this was going to happen. It looks like it did. What else can happen? Nothing surprises me anymore. Now we are hurting the gay community. DOH now looks like gay haters. Thank you Dr. Torres.

    I am ashamed to work for DOH. I am looking for a new job. Many people I know are looking for new jobs. DOH is a sinking ship and we all know Captain Dr. Torres will trip and fall into a life raft and float off to safety. DOH employees will be left to try to right the ship. Torres will not be around to fix the damage she has done. It will take years to fix what she has broken in 13 months.

    Dr. Torres, it is time to go. You have outlived your welcome. You come here and abuse us. You yell and scream at us. You chase off our good employees and tarnish DOH's good name. DOH use to be a place of professionalism. Now we hope we do not even cross paths with in the hallways. No one wants to exchange glances with you. That cold glare is more than anyone can stand. Why do you have so much disdain for us? What did we do to you? If Torres is here, who is running hell?

    I fear for the public.

  9. Someone was fired because of this but they were not the first to leave DOH because of Crazy Cathy. Here's a few more.

    Gennie Alano
    Mikki Rogers
    Claire Romero
    Dominick Zurlo
    Penny Jimerson
    Sean Pearson
    Nina Shah
    Diane Rivera
    Andrea Alano
    Paul Romero
    Ruth Villegas
    Jessica Sutin
    Mike Mulligan

    Who else left and who's next?

    1. I would like to talk to the contract worker. She is a hero. I know we are not getting the whole story.

    2. Anonymous,
      Check your facts. Someone in your list does not belong.

  10. A few more names2/24/12, 4:23 PM

    Christina Galvez
    Naomi Ulibarri-Moraga
    Annette Wilder
    Henry Gardner

    1. Did Annette Wilder go away from DOH HR???? If so she did everyone there a favor. I never met such a brown-noser before. That skinny b---h with her fake double d's made out of silicone is bad news! She stepped on alot of toes in her time at DOH and she is right there in line with that DOH secretary, mr. greenjeans, poison ivy, fatso bernice and all the rest. She is disgusting with that "Don't hate me cuz I'm beautiful" attitude, when in fact she is so damn ugly it is hilarious--check your mirror Annette-you can stop wearing your teenage daughter's clothes now.....!!!

  11. Dr. Torres,

    Why do you hate gays?

  12. It would be great if every homosexual DOH employee went on vacation at the same time. Would love to see the look on the evil Doc's face if that happened. It's scary to have a leader without a conscience.

  13. Just the truth2/29/12, 8:55 PM

    The latest going on in the Runnels Building is the fact that there is now a Security guard from the private company the State employs stationed by the vending machines that are close to the DOH Secretary's office on the 4th floor. How much is that costing the tax payer? Is the Bitch that paranoid that someone is out to get her? She already has little Kevin drinking the Kool-Aid, how sad he used to be good people. Green still has that "I'm taking a dump" in my pants look on his face and Vette is still an overpaid flunky that spends his days looking for something to do. They are all worthless people and no one other than "The Circle of Trash" thinks you are worth anything. Torres be considerate of the employees time and realize that we don't just live for the Department like you, we have obligations and just because you are dragging your fat ass on your work it should not constitute people having to work past their schedules to accomidate you. Your times will come. Green your little retirement plan will probably not come to fruition for you, maybe for your survivors. Greed is not good brother. Our new ASD Director is just a push over trying to make his top 3 years for retirement. He has a chance to do good but chooses not to. All these people don't realize that come two years from now nobody is even going to care who they are. Pathetic, oh well eternity is a Bitch as well as Karma. Have a nice day, :)


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