Vice President Mike Pence is being
criticized for failing to mention the LGBT community in a speech
marking World AIDS Day.
In his speech, Pence praised HIV/AIDS
programs President Donald Trump sought to cut and credited the
president with bringing a “renewed energy and focus” to the fight
to end the epidemic.
Pence said that the U.S. will continue
to invest resources in faith-based organizations “on the frontlines
of the fight against HIV/AIDS.”
“This new investment of $100 million
in faith-based organizations will increase the funding to those
organizations by a full third,” Pence said. “And this will make
a world of difference, we believe, in countless lives affected by
While government statistics show that
gay and bisexual men in 2016 accounted for 67 percent of new HIV
cases diagnosed in the United States, Pence failed to mention how the
epidemic has impacted the LGBT community.
Pence touted the Ryan White CARE Act,
which provides health coverage for low-income people diagnosed with
HIV/AIDS, and PEPFAR, which distributes antiviral drugs in countries
most affected by the disease, programs the Trump administration
sought to reduce in its latest budget proposal.
Chad Griffin, president of the Human
Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate,
criticized the White House's decision to feature Pence, viewed as an
opponent of LGBT rights, to mark World AIDS Day.
“@mike_pence marking #WorldAIDSDay
right now is truly the height of hypocrisy. From spreading
misinformation about condom use, to contributing to a major outbreak
of HIV & AIDS in his home state, Pence has put ideology before
the health & lives of countless people. #RealMikePence,”
Griffin said in a tweet.