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Anti-Gay Senator Reportedly Kicked Out Of Restaurant For Comments About Gays, HIV/AIDS

by David Badash on January 30, 2012

in Bigotry Watch,HIV/AIDS,News,Politics

Post image for Anti-Gay Senator Reportedly Kicked Out Of Restaurant For Comments About Gays, HIV/AIDS

Tennessee Senator Stacey Campfield was reportedly kicked out of a local Knoxville, Tennessee restaurant for recent comments he made about gay people and HIV/AIDS. The Facebook page of Bistro at the Bijou reads, “I hope that Stacy Campfield now knows what if feels like to be unfairly discriminated against,” and in only 14 hours has 478 likes.

Campfield has become infamous for his comments last week to veteran LGBT journalist Michelangelo Signorile, in which he claimed it was “virtually impossible” to contract HIV/AIDS through heterosexual sex. Campfield is also the force behind his state’s infamous “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

Of course, Campfield now is claiming his comments were taken out of context, but he still stands by them.

You can sign the petition to fire Campfield, and like the Facebook page that is attempting to recall him.

Now, here’s where the going gets scary.

Campfield actually pointed to this website, claiming it offered the “cold hard facts” on the “homosexual lifespan.” Remember, this is a sitting state senator who is relying on some freakish website that looks like it was made in the early 1990′s as his source for “cold hard facts.”

And we wonder why the ignorant remain ignorant when the Internet actually has factual information as well. The is a state senator and he doesn’t bother to contact government authorities, like, the CDC, to get facts on HIV/AIDS?

Think Progress adds:

Campfield justified his comments by citing an advice column from 1988 and a Christian apologetics website.

But the facts don’t back up Campfield’s vicious lies. Most women who have been infected with HIV were infected through heterosexual sex, many from their husbands or boyfriends. In 2007, women made up more than 60 percent of adults living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, and the Global Council on Health reports that the male-to-female transmission of HIV is twice as likely as the female-to-male transmission. Not to mention the fact that his claim that gays and lesbians have shorter lifespans has already been thoroughly debunked.

Campfield has a history of degrading the LGBT community. But his lies downplay the HIV risk that women face by trying to incorrectly make it only a gay issue.

Campfield defended his outrageous comments, saying he was simply speaking “on the fly,” and that while he’s not an AIDS historian, “I’ve read and seen what other people have read and seen and those facts are out there.”

UPDATE: We first reported that ‘Towleroad was the first to report the story.” It now appears a local Tennessee blogger, Sean Braisted, was the first to report the news, and Michelangelo Signorile tweeted the piece this morning. We try to give credit where credit is due, although it’s not always apparent! Thanks, Sean, for the excellent column. Here’s an excerpt:

Stacey Campfield, who I’ve met, talked to, and actually kind of like as a human being, is a person of power in this state who has used said power to promote discrimination, misinformation, and outright hatred towards his constituents and other Tennesseans.  Knoxvillains who wish to eat out have a whole host of different options from which to choose from.  But Tennesseans who want equal representation and rights have only one legislature to look to.  While there are many representatives, theirs, Stacey Campfield has made it a mission in his life to make life harder for those who don’t fit his own personal view of ‘normal’.

There is nothing inconsistent or incoherent about discriminating against those with power who actively discriminate against those without power.  There is no difference between refusing to serve David Duke than there is Stacey Campfield.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Stacey Campfield as Stacey Campbell in the first paragraph. 

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Mykelbarber January 30, 2012 at 10:59 am

Republicans always pull facts out of their asses and then defend their lies with more lies. I am sick to death of these assholes who have no expertise, training, education or even the guts to admit it when they are wrong on a subject. These people are below gutter level and deserve nothing more than to be treated as the trash that they are.

Elaine Clisham January 30, 2012 at 11:38 am

First, it's Campfield, not Campbell (check your first graf).

Second, I'm going to weigh in on his side — not because I agree with him, but because a restaurant is a place of public accommodation and cannot deny service simply because of philosophical (for lack of a better term) disagreements. Consider how often you and your commenters have been outraged by a wedding photographer or a bridal dress store denying service to gay patrons; this is exactly the same thing. As odious as his views are, if we want service from places of public accommodation, Campfield should be entitled to service as well.

cmsvmom January 30, 2012 at 12:11 pm

I agree. He should not be excluded from a public place unless he directly becomes a nuisance. Who he likes and dislikes and his opinions should not matter in a public restaurant.

David Badash January 30, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Thanks for the correction!

I see both sides of this. I'm wondering if it's "legal" for lack of a better word, to deny serivce based on past actions, not based of who you are. In other words, deny service to someone for being gay, African-American? Not acceptable. Deny service to someone for what they've said about gays or African-Americans, OK.

Just thinking aloud.

I assume if he were to try to sue, it would only hurt him, but I'm curious where the law is on this.

cmsvmom January 30, 2012 at 12:12 pm

I'd like to ask him to back up that comment about aids and heterosexual sex by addressing the straight wives of gay men who find upon discovery or disclosure that they have to get tested for AIDS and STDs when they themselves have been faithful.

Wow what a comfort. Those women are heterosexual, so the angel of death passes over them. Right.

AmericanFellows January 30, 2012 at 1:02 pm

forget accommodation. it's a privately owned restaurant and they can choose whom they will serve or not. someone needs to take a stand against the hate now if never. if the bigot doesn't like it, let him sue. we will then have the weight of public opinion AND a court to speak to his bigotry. i'm not afraid anymore of their ugly hate and will oppose them with every fiber of my being as long as they oppress me to such vociferous and hurtful extents. if we don't stand up for ourselves in this neo-nazi hate debate, who will?

garryfromnc January 30, 2012 at 3:07 pm

American Fellows-AMEN!

pagan2 September 3, 2012 at 3:18 pm

If what he claiemd was true, he'd better explain why the largest growing group of HIV/AIDS cases is in SOUTH AFRICAN HETEROSEXUAL WOMEN!!!

peterbc4444 April 24, 2013 at 10:46 pm

I just saw him for the first time debating Pierce Morgan on gun control and this guy may very well be the dumbest individual on the face of the earth. He told Pierce that if they get rid of guns, they should also get rid of pressure cookers…really? Pierce responded by saying there were multiple uses for a pressure cooker, what else can you do with a gun and this guy answers," you could use it for a walking stick." And then having nothing else constructive to add, he tells Pierce to go back to England. That's the American way, huh? If you don't agree with me, you have to go. Senator, you are an embarrasement to all things red, white, and blue!!

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