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Mike Pence’s New Chief of Staff Once Attacked Gay People as ‘Sodomites’ and Blasted Their ‘Perverted Lifestyles’

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“Guys like him wanted us to die. And they had an effect,” an AIDS activist says.

Vice President Mike Pence‘s incoming Chief of Staff is under fire even before starting his new job, after revelations that during college he attacked gay people and people living with HIV and AIDS.

In a 1992 opinion piece at the W&L Spectator, a college publication of Washington & Lee University, Marc Short wrote about “AIDS and the Heterosexual,” as The Daily Beast reports.

Short in the article refers to gay people as “sodomites,” attacks “the perverted lifestyles homosexuals pursue,” and warns students should not “glorify homosexuals’ repugnant practices of frequent anal intercourse nor should we consider them brave for coming out of the closet.”

If the name Marc Short is familiar, it should be. He is a former Trump administration senior official who served as the White House Director of Legislative Affairs until mid-July of last year. He begins as Vice President Pence’s Chief of Staff next week.

Referring to efforts to educate the public that HIV and AIDS do not only affect gay people, Short attacked them as a “propaganda campaign,” a “distortion campaign,” and “intentional deception.”

“The campaign’s purpose is both to lobby Congress for more federal funding of AIDS research and to destigmatize the perverted lifestyles homosexuals pursue,” Short wrote.

Short’s uneducated opinion also led him to refer to an “HIV-infected alumnus” who said, “AIDS is not caused by drug use or homosexual sex, it is simply a virus…passed by these and other activities.”

Claiming “we feel sympathy” for the alumnus “and all AIDS victims,” Short opined, “that does not mean that we glorify homosexuals’ repugnant practices of frequent anal intercourse nor should we consider them brave for coming out of the closet.”

Short also quotes the author of “The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS” to suggest heterosexual people are less susceptible to HIV/AIDS, regardless of if they have intercourse with HIV-positive partners, which is false. He also called gay people “dishonest,” and claimed “homosexuals are eager to be defined as heterosexual.”

Not only did Short attack LGBT people, he placed the words HIV epidemic in scare quotes. Short also referred to people living with HIV as “a homosexual AIDS carrier,” and accused them of taxpayer “fraud” and of taking funds away from “victims of other diseases.”

Short, according to The Daily Beast, has apologized for his words.

“I regret using language as an undergraduate college student that was not reflective of the respect I try to show others today,” Short said in a statement to The Daily Beast. “We have all learned a lot about AIDS over the past 30 years and my heart goes out to all the victims of this terrible disease.”

Short’s apology does not fully address his feelings about LGBTQ people.

And his apology is not good enough for Peter Staley, a long-term AIDS and gay rights activist.

“I wrote stuff in college too. And I don’t look back and say, ‘Oh, sorry, it was my college years.’ You’re either on the right side of stuff or the wrong side.” Staley told The Daily Beast. “He was taking classic Jesse Helms-style rhetoric from the late ’80s and putting an early ’90s spin on it and sounding like the fools they all were… Guys like him wanted us to die. And they had an effect.”

Pence’s new hire is likely to yet again place the spotlight on his own anti-LGBT positions and actions. You can read more about Pence’s attacks on LGBT people in our archives, here.

Short’s essay appears on page 11 here. It should be required reading for anyone working to oust the Trump administration.

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BIGOTRY

DeSantis Spokesperson Says LGBTQ Pride Lights on Jacksonville Bridge Will Be Back On – No Word on Others

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A spokesperson for Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis says the LGBTQ Pride Month display on Jacksonville’s Acosta Bridge will be back on Wednesday night. They were ordered removed after just one night by the state’s Dept. of Transportation, after dozens of other displays went unquestioned.

DeSantis spokesperson Taryn Fenske told Florida Politics, “the lights will be on.”

Fenske said FDOT is “letting it go,” adding that other lighting displays “went up that were not on the approved list” previously, referring to already in place permits. However, the Pride display was the first to get blocked, a move that roiled locals.

The LGBTQ community remains targeted by DeSantis and his administration.

Permits for lighting other Florida bridges, including in Sarasota and St. Petersburg to celebrate Pride Month were denied, and there’s no indication they too will be allowed.

Ordering the Acosta Bridge LGBTQ celebration lights removed is “just the latest in a string of anti-LGBTQ actions” from DeSantis, Equality Florida Communications Manager Michael Womack tells NCRM.

Womack says the Florida Dept. of transportation “answers to the governor,” who he notes signed into law Florida’s first anti-LGBTQ bill in 24 years. He also says that in 2020 the permit to light the Acosta Bridge in LGBTQ rainbow colors for Pride Month was denied.

It is no coincidence that the Florida governor, a likely 2024 presidential hopeful, chose Jacksonville, a conservative Christian private school, and the first day of Pride Month to sign into law a bill banning transgender girls from playing in girls sports.

“Girls are gonna play girls’ sports,” DeSantis said June 1. “Boys are going to play boys’ sports.”

DeSantis chose June 2 to veto legislation that would have provided funds for counseling for survivors of the Pulse massacre and funding for LGBTQ homeless youth.

“Let’s be clear about what this is: Governor DeSantis has declared war on Florida’s LGBTQ community,” Pulse survivor Brandon Wolf, who now works for Equality Florida, told the Orlando Sentinel.

Tuesday the DOT ordered the Pride Light display removed, claiming there was no permit for the event. But the DOT never had a problem with countless other displays, including those recognizing Memorial Day, Autism acceptance and awareness, St. Patrick’s Day, Lupus, the first day of Spring, Christmas, child abuse awareness, and Easter – to name a few.

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BIGOTRY

DeSantis Admin Orders Jacksonville Bridge Stripped of LGBTQ Pride Month Rainbow Lights One Day After Turned On

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Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis or someone in his administration ordered the Acosta Bridge in Jacksonville to take down a special LGBTQ Pride Month rainbow light display, just one day after it had been turned on.

The Florida Times-Union reports the order came from the Florida Department of Transportation, which ordered the Jacksonville Transportation Authority to remove the display. The FDOT owns the bridge even though it is controlled by the JTA.

“This afternoon, the FDOT informed the JTA that our scheduled color scheme for the Acosta Bridge is out of compliance with our existing permit. The JTA will comply accordingly,” the Jacksonville Transportation Authority announced in a statement.

But Florida Times-Union metro columnist Nate Monroe says there’s “almost no way this didn’t come from the governor’s office. JTA has lit the bridge up with all sorts of colors on all sorts of occasions, with no pushback, until now.”

He also encouraged social media users to contact Gov. DeSantis’ Press Secretary, who is a fan of light shows, at least some light shows:

Requests for Pride Month displays on other bridges, including in Sarasota and St. Petersburg, were allegedly denied.

Florida’s first LGBTQ Latinx legislator expressed outrage:

Equality Florida’s Senior Political Director notes DeSantis has used LGBTQ Pride Month to attack LGBTQ people several times already:

An investigative reporter and Executive Producer at WTLV/WJXX weighs in with other events that were allowed (even more examples on her Twitter page):

UPDATE: DeSantis Spokesperson Says LGBTQ Pride Lights on Jacksonville Bridge Will Be Back On – No Word on Others

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BIGOTRY

‘I Live in Oakland’: Homophobic Hotel Guests Shamed Out of Pool After Profanity-Laced Freakout Over Two Women Kissing

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A Sacramento hotel was the scene of a homophobic incident when a group of people witnessed two women kissing and flipped out.

The Black Bay Area Instagram account showed the white women losing their minds while queer Black women were kissing. They insisted they weren’t racist, just homophobic, mentioning there were children.

One person in the pool kept chanting “SHAME” as the people left in disgrace. The chant lasted for at least three minutes non-stop. The first woman walked away but the second and third woman tried to argue with the people in the pool, filming them and shouting at them.

“Do you have kids? Good because you’d be a terrible father!” one woman said while holding her beverage. Another woman flipped off the camera.

Pride Month begins today, June 1st.

See the video below:

 

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