To begin with, asking Mike Pence to give a World AIDS Day speech is a joke. You might as well ask him to host the Tonys dressed as Divine from Pink Flamingos. It just doesn’t work. No one in the universe is that good at feigning compassion.
Also, you just knew he was going to be a dick about it.
Vice President Mike Pence’s speech on Thursday honoring the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day quickly drew criticism — not for what he said, but for what he didn’t say.
In remarks at the White House, Pence did not mention the gay community, just as President Donald Trump did not mention it in his World AIDS Day proclamation last year.
Yes, anyone can get AIDS, but I seem to remember something about how it disproportionately affects gay men, and how Republicans such as Ronald Reagan dragged their feet for years in addressing (or rather failing to address) the crisis. Guess Pence is hoping to live up to the fine example of his hero.
Gabriel Arkles, a senior staff attorney at the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project, said Pence’s speech was “another example of the Trump/Pence administration attempts to ignore the existence of LGBTQ people.”
“This administration has repeatedly worked to undermine protections for LGBTQ people in law and cut funding to programs that ensure LGBTQ people have access to health care and other critical needs,” Arkles said in an email. “We should recognize that HIV impacts millions of Americans of all sexual orientations and genders but not by forgetting the communities that have been most devastated by it.”
Of course, throughout his political career, Pence has done everything he can to actually accelerate the spread of AIDS, working to defund Planned Parenthood, opposing needle exchanges, and endorsing an abstinence-only message in lieu of promoting condom use.
So, right. Keep up the good work, Mike. God’s righteous plague is still spreading. Maybe your long-awaited apocalypse is just around the corner.
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