"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.
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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