Vice President Mike Pence’s incoming chief of staff has apologized for writing a column for his college newspaper that blamed gay people’s “perverted homosexual lifestyles” for the AIDS crisis of the early 1990s.
Marc Short, who previously served as White House director of legislative affairs from January 2017 to July 2018, told The Daily Beast that the language he used as an undergraduate college student does not reflect “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 said a statement Tuesday.
In an essay he wrote for Washington & Lee University’s conservative publication The Spectator in 1992, Short criticized “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.”
He lamented the “perverted lifestyles homosexuals pursue” and warned against glorifying “homosexuals’ repugnant practices of frequent anal intercourse.”
“Homosexuals who pursue unhealthy lifestyles and engage in high risk sexual behavior, specifically anal intercourse, may very well end up like Mr. Wright,” Short wrote, referring to Edwin Wright, a W&L alumnus who had been diagnosed with HIV.
Pence’s office did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment. The vice president has come under fire over his views on same-sex marriage, transgender rights and conversion therapy. His wife, Karen Pence, announced in January that she had taken a job teaching art at a school that bans LGBTQ employees and students.
Short left his role as White House legislative affairs director in July 2018, citing “diminishing returns” in advancing Trump’s agenda. He is expected to assume the role of Pence’s chief of staff in March after Nick Ayers stepped down in January.
Head over to The Daily Beast to read the full report.