Mike Pence aide Marc Short attacked gay people’s ‘perverted lifestyles’

US Vice President Mike Pence and senior aide Marc Short

Vice President Mike Pence’s new chief of staff Marc Short once wrote a column that described gay sex as “repugnant” and blamed HIV on the “perverted lifestyles” of “sodomites.”

The staffer, who is replacing Nick Ayers as Chief of Staff to the Vice President of the United States, made the claims in a 1992 column for his college newspaper reflecting on the AIDS crisis, discovered by The Daily Beast.

Marc Short, who was 22 at the time, wrote in the resurfaced column that gay victims of the AIDS crisis should not be considered “brave.”

He wrote: “Naturally, we feel sympathy for… all AIDS victims, but 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.”

Marc Short attacked ‘preferential treatment for sodomites’ as thousands died of AIDS

In the column for the W&L Spectator, Marc Short claimed that “gay activists” were engaged in “fraud” to win funding for AIDS treatments, adding: “Why should sodomites be granted preferential treatment?”

He wrote: “The 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.”

“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 claimed that the “fraud” of gay activists hurts “every taxpayer” as well as “victims of other diseases [who] lose badly needed funds.”

Marc Short and Vice President Mike Pence arrive for a signing ceremony for the Veterans Affairs Mission Act in the Rose Garden at the White House on June 6, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Marc Short and Vice President Mike Pence arrive for a signing ceremony for the Veterans Affairs Mission Act in the Rose Garden at the White House on June 6, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

At the time of the column’s publication in March 1992, approximately 92,000 people had died in the US as a result of the AIDS crisis, while a further 23,411 would die that year.

Queen singer Freddie Mercury had died just five months beforehand.

The Pence aide has attempted to distance himself from the comments.

In a statement to the Daily Beast, he said: “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.”

Short previously served as White House Director of Legislative Affairs from 2017 to July 2018.

Mike Pence also has an extreme anti-LGBT record

The controversy will do little to quell anger over the Vice President’s own extreme anti-LGBT record.

In 2000, Pence published an election manifesto calling for HIV/AIDS prevention funding to be drained from “organisations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviours that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus,” an apparent reference to LGBT+ inclusive groups.

Pence instead called for funding for “institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behaviour,” which has since led to accusations he was endorsing conversion therapy.

While Pence served as Governor of Indiana from 2013 to 2017, his cuts to HIV testing and ban on needle exchanges led to the worst outbreak of HIV/AIDS in the state’s history, sparking an intervention from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A 2018 report alleged that Pence has played a pivotal role in anti-LGBT actions by the Trump administration.

The Human Rights Campaign report looked in-depth at Pence’s record on LGBT rights as a candidate, as Governor of Indiana and as vice president, and found he has demonstrated a “consistent” approach to dismantling protections for LGBT+ people.