RSS FeedFacebookSearch
Gary Younge
'Gay plague' conservative quits US Aids panel

In a letter explaining his withdrawal, Jerry Thacker, who had also railed against "the sin of homosexuality", claimed his reference to a gay plague was made when "describing the historical context" of Aids and was taken out of context. He advocates abstinence programmes and "reparative therapy" to treat "aberrant" homosexual behaviour.

News of his appointment on the 35-strong advisory panel prompted an avalanche of criticism.

The Senate minority leader, Tom Daschle, said: "Thacker's characterisation of Aids as the gay plague and his offensive public statements about homosexuality indicate a disturbing bias that is completely at odds with the role the advisory commission should play."

The White House was quick to disown Mr Thacker's views on HIV and Aids. "That remark is far removed from what the president believes," said Mr Bush's press spokesman, Ari Fleischer. "The president's view is people with Aids need to be treated with care, compassion."

But gay rights activists said that while the withdrawal was welcome, the initial appointment was indicative of the Bush administration's "inadequate attitude" towards HIV and Aids.

"The underlying problem remains," said David Smith, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, the country's biggest gay and lesbian advocacy group.

"Their single-minded focus on abstinence as the only mechanism for preventing the transmission of HIV is unrealistic, not based on science, and could cause enormous harm."

Mr Thacker is HIV positive, having contracted the virus from his wife who was infected by a blood transfusion in 1984.

Before she was aware that she had the virus, she passed it on to her husband and daughter.

Mr Thacker said he was not anti-gay. "I am, however, anti-HIV/Aids," he wrote.

"The three infected people in our family - my wife, daughter and myself - would not wish this disease on any other human being."

Of the panel as a whole, to which seven new members have been appointed, the HRC said: "There are several good appointments, and the overall picture is a mixed bag.

"But Thacker was beyond the pale. We hope someone would be held accountable for putting his name forward."

© Gary Younge. All Rights reserved, site built with tlc
No Place Like Home – A Black Briton’s Journey through the American South
book review
'The idea of retracing the route is a great one, urgent and necessary.'
 follow on twitter
RT @BernardineEvari: Please follow the groundbreaking online #MuseumofColour UK, founded by the unstoppable Samenua Sesher. The 1st gallery…
RT @EthnicityUK: Gary Younge is interviewed by @sonikkalogan about his work on racism and gun violence in @the_hindu #DataPoint podcast. h…
RT @thefreedomi: 🚨 NEW: Saudi women’s rights activist & academic Salma al-Shehab was sentenced to 34 years in prison + 34 year travel ban f…
RT @LRB: #DawnFosterForever! On Thursday 15 September at the @LRBbookshop, @BizK1, @piercepenniless, Lynsey Hanley and @garyyounge will d…
RT @ShowunmiV: This is how we support Black women and girls https://t.co/8YmgV21zHo
RT @sonikkalogan: It's #DataPoint Pod Thursday! In this week's episode, I talk to @noraneus, @garyyounge and @Casey_J_Wooten about the U.S.…
RT @bgnoiseuk: Next month, @LRBbookshop will host an event to celebrate the life and work of Dawn Foster with @BizK1, @piercepenniless, Lyn…
Help me Twitter. The quote: ""You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming." is most commonly… https://t.co/Xs7JkiOEd5
RT @the_hindu: #DataPoint | This Thursday, @sonikkalogan takes a look at the #US gun violence epidemic, as mass shootings continue to grow…
City workers get double-digit wage rises while lowest-paid see 1% increase - “Them’s the breaks” https://t.co/XeVyG72iA5
© Gary Younge. All Rights reserved, site built with tlc
How to get lioresal without prescription Adcirca best buy Pradaxa 150 costo Where can you buy keflex Buy generic combivir online Where to buy generic adcirca Lioresal online in india Where can i get lamisil cream Get pamelor online Buy cheap epivir