Mike Pence Gives Speech for World AIDS Day, LGBT Organizations Point Out His Hypocrisy

Mike Pence
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Vice President Mike Pence gave a speech for World AIDS Day on Thursday, addressing how the United States is fighting both nationwide and worldwide epidemic. But the vice president didn’t mention the population most affected by the crisis in the country, and now LGBT organizations are pointing out how Pence’s words don’t match his actions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, men who have sex with men made up 67 percent of new HIV cases in the United States in 2016. The HIV/AIDS epidemic has always disproportionately affected the LGBT community.

But Pence has fought against policies that benefit LGBT Americans for years. LBGT groups, such as the Human Rights Campaign and Lambda Legal, pointed out Pence spoke out against practices proved to prevent the spread of the disease.

The Human Rights Campaign produced a video pointing out Pence’s past. The video shows that during the HIV/AIDS crisis, Pence spoke out against condom use and claimed they were ineffective in preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

When HIV/AIDS broke out in his own state of Indiana while he was governor, he refused to implement safe needle practices until the numbers reached a staggering high.

Watch the video below:

So naturally, Pence being the key speaker for World AIDS Day raised eyebrows within the LGBT community. HRC president Chad Griffin tweeted that “Pence has put ideology before the health and lives of countless people.”

LGBT law group Lamba Legal rolled its eyes at the vice president.

The local Planned Parenthood advocated form Pence’s home state served up some sarcasm for the vice president.

In his Thursday speech, Pence told the story of Ryan White, a boy diagnosed with HIV after a blood transfusion. Pence toted his support of the Ryan White Care Act that gave government support to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

In reality, according to the New York Times, Pence stated in 2000 he would only support the act if the government defunded groups that “celebrate and encourage types of behavior that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus” and suggested that money should be given to support conversion therapy, a scientifically discredited pseudoscience that tries to change people’s sexuality or gender identity.

Here was his statement on his website at the time:

Congress should support the reauthorization of the Ryan White Care Act only after completion of an audit to ensure that federal dollars were no longer being given to organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus. Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.

Pence’s biggest point in his speech on Thursday was that the government would pour in money — $100 million, to be exact — to support “faith-based organizations and communities” that provide assistance in the fight against HIV/AIDS around the world. It is unclear if these organizations will be LGBT friendly.

What do you think?

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Sam Dorman
Editor

Also, it’s unclear whether Pence was referring to “conversion therapy.” There are plenty of different ways that people seek treatment if they have unwanted same-sex attraction. There’s definitely evidence that certain types of therapy can be helpful: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0024363918788559

Sam Dorman
Editor

The Human Rights Campaign is hypocritical because it effectively encourages behaviors that are especially risky for contracting HIV. https://www.poz.com/article/HIV-risk-25382-5829, https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/preventing-hiv/odds-hiv-transmission-rank/
Why can’t progressives selectively fund groups that don’t promote an agenda contrary to what Pence and other conservatives believe?

Phoenix
Member
Phoenix

By risky behavior, are you talking just being homosexual in general? And no one is homosexual or supports homosexuality causes just to stick it to conservatives. If Mike Pence is unable to even talk about the group most affected by AIDs then maybe he just wasn’t the right person to… Read more »

Screwtape
Member
Screwtape

….so the sexually irresponsible and intravenous drug users don’t like Pence? God forbid they take a shred of responsibility for their own behavior and bad choices.

Funny thought, both AA and NA make taking responsibility their primary goals towards healing. Maybe these deniers should consider that.

Phoenix
Member
Phoenix

It was an opportunity for Pence to reach out to LGBT community as Americans who are most impacted by the topic he was speaking on.

Oh well I guess… maybe next time.

Rocky Drummond
Member
Rocky Drummond

“to support “faith-based organizations and communities””

What about the many non-faith-based organizations and communities that do similar work?

Phoenix
Member
Phoenix

Rocky, i bristled at that too initially, but when it comes right down to it i would just prefer the help is available.

As long as the help isn’t conditional with adhering to the faith of choice, then I’m sure it would be welcome assistance for those who need it.

Rocky Drummond
Member
Rocky Drummond

Yeah, but the downside is that somebody made a decision to separate them in the first place. To me, that says a lot.

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