Mike Pence’s new chief of staff called gay sex ‘repugnant’ in article about the AIDS crisis

The White House / YouTube Briefing with Director Marc Short and 1551570512.jpg...
The White House / YouTube

Ever let yourself slip into thinking Vice President Mike Pence would be better for our country than President Donald Trump? Think again.

The latest wake-up call comes from Pence’s choice for his incoming chief of staff. Marc Short (who previously serviced as a congressional aide for Trump), is no stranger to making disgusting comments about LGBTQ people, as reported by the Daily Beast.

Given Pence’s history with HIV/AIDS funding, it’s no surprise he’d choose Short. But it’s a reminder that his views likely haven’t changed, and that’s dangerous for the queer community.

As found by the Daily Beast, back in the early ‘90s, Short contributed to The Spectator, his college’s conservative newspaper, and decided to share his thoughts on the HIV/AIDS crisis. Which, as a reminder, was an epidemic.

What did Short say? Oh, the usual homophobic mess. He blamed “repugnant” gay sex for AIDS. He noted that gay men who “pursue unhealthy lifestyles and engage in high-risk sexual behavior, specifically anal intercourse, may very well end up like Mr. Wright.”

The “Mr.Wright” referenced is Edin Wright, a gay man, and alumnus of the school, who had given an interview to the school’s main newspaper, which included a conversation about his HIV diagnosis.

“Nor should we consider them brave for coming out of the closet,” Short continued, as though people who come out in spite of discrimination, violence, and social marginalization are anything but brave.

And LGBTQ allies? They got tossed under the proverbial bus by Short, too.

He described activism as a “propaganda campaign ignited by gay activists and carelessly perpetuated by journalists whose intent is to scare all heterosexuals into believing they are prime targets for contraction of the disease.”

Why would such a campaign exist? According to Short, only to “destigmatize the perverted lifestyles homoesxuals [sic] pursue.”

Sigh.

Short provided a statement to the Daily Beast, where he apologized for his choice of language. You can obviously pick out what is missing from his statement, and what that says, too.

“I regret using language as an undergraduate college student that was not reflective of the respect I try to show others today. 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.”

Oh, and Pence’s referenced history with AIDS funding? He once advocated for funds designated for fighting HIV and AIDS to instead go toward conversion therapy.

Don’t let his relatively calm and composed demeanor confuse you; Pence is no better or safer for our country than Trump. Neither are the people he keeps by his side.

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