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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

Lawsuit: Judge Refusing to Marry Same-Sex Couples Claims Her Religious Freedom Was Violated When Commission Warned Her

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A  judge who regularly refuses to perform marriages for same-sex couples is suing a Texas commission that issued a warning to her over her decision to not treat all couples equally. McLennan County Justice of the Peace Dianne Hensley is now suing he State Commission on Judicial Conduct, claiming her religious freedom rights have been violated.

The warning, while public, did not come with any fine nor any severe sanctions or censure, yet Judge Hensley has retained the far right wing anti-LGBTQ Christian activist group with ties to Trump, First Liberty Institute, to represent her in her $10,000 lawsuit for damages. Metro Weekly reports the lawsuit claims a violation of the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act “by punishing her for actions that were taken in accordance with her faith.”

The Texas judge isn’t just asking for $10,000. She wants all other judges to have the “right” to discriminate.

“Hensley is also demanding a declaratory judgment that the commission violated her rights, as well as a class-action guarantee that all other justices of the peace will be allowed to discriminate against same-sex couples in the same way,” The American Independent reports.

First Liberty has represented Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, which also refused same-sex couples.

Video via ABC 25:

 

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BIGOTRY

County Commissioner Uses Anti-Gay Slur and Racism to Attack Democratic Presidential Candidate – Audience Applauds

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A Tennessee county commissioner during a public meeting on Monday used an anti-gay slur and racism to attack a Democratic presidential candidate, then insisted, as he put it, that he’s “not prejudice.”

Commissioner Warren Hurst, while advocating for a proposal to make Sevier County a “gun sanctuary city” launched into a homophobic and racist diatribe that’s caught national attention.

“We got a queer running for president, if that ain’t about as ugly as you can get,” Commissioner Hurst said, according to WVLT. “Look what we got running for president in the Democratic party. We can go over here to Hoss’s jail [Sevier County Sheriff] and get better people out of there than those running for Democratic to be President of the United States.”

After his homophobic outburst Hurst was not yet finished.

“I’m not prejudice [sic], a white male in this country has very few rights and they’re getting took more every day,” Hurst claimed, which is false.

When he was done some in the audience laughed and applauded. One woman stood up, denounced Hurst’s comments, and left.

Although he did not mention which candidate he was referring to, Commissioner Hurst likely was speaking about twice-elected South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Buttigieg is a Harvard graduate who went on to earn a a Rhodes Scholarship to attend Oxford. He also served in Iraq as an intelligence officer with the rank of lieutenant, in the United States Navy Reserve.

The Tennessee Holler posted video of Hurst’s remarks:

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Franklin Graham Promotes Anti-Gay Chick-fil-A and Attacks College Group as ‘The Ones Fostering Hate and Bigotry’

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Franklin Graham has turned his Facebook-based ministry into one that frequently attacks the LGBTQ community, and Wednesday proved to be no different. The Evangelical leader with strong ties to President Donald Trump took to Facebook to promote Chick-fil-A, the $10 billion privately-owned faith-based fast food restaurant chain. And he blasted a college faculty group trying to keep the divisive restaurant from their campus.

“Guess where I ate lunch yesterday? Yes, at Chick-fil-A,” Graham bragged on Facebook. “They are always packed for a reason. Their restaurants are clean, and not only do they have a great chicken sandwich, but they have one of my favorite iced teas!”

Graham went on to claim that “at Kansas University, some progressive staff and administrators—are accusing Chick-fil-A of being a ‘bastion of bigotry’ and they don’t want them on campus. The Sexuality & Gender Diversity Faculty and Staff Council says Chick-fil-A ‘fosters hate and discrimination on multiple levels.’ That’s just simply not true.”

It is, in fact, true.

Through its charitable foundation Chick-fil-A’s owners have donated millions of dollars to anti-gay groups, including to an anti-gay hate group.

“This council and group of faculty are the ones fostering hate and bigotry, not Chick-fil-A!” Graham insisted, twisting the truth.

“All of this is because the founder Truett Cathy and his son Dan Cathy stood for traditional marriage and the business has donated to support some Christian charities,” Graham said.

Again, not true.

The Cathy family didn’t just stand for “traditional marriage.” They made offensive remarks about same-sex marriage, and again, they didn’t just donate to “some Christian charities.” They donated those millions of dollars to some very actively anti-gay organizations.

Some of those groups not only tried to block same-sex marriage from becoming legal, but at least one wanted to make “gay behavior” illegal, and even said gay people should be “exported” out of America.

Dan Cathy, now the chairman, president, and CEO of Chick-fil-A, has attacked marriage equality, saying, if you support same-sex marriage, you “are inviting God’s judgment on our nation,” and that we “shake our fist at Him” when we do.

That’s not just standing up for Christian beliefs.

Cathy also said same-sex marriage is the result of a “deprived” mind and called it “twisted up kind of stuff.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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