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Gary Bauer – The Anti-Gay Talking Head Who Helped Undermine The Fight Against HIV/AIDS In The Reagan Administration

Gary Bauer

The late President Reagan gets a lot of deserved flack for his negligence in the early days of the AIDS crisis. Today, we learned that there needs to be some flack dispensed around because Reagan isn’t the only person in his Administration who needs to be called to the carpet.

According to Right Wing Watch:

Anyone who is familiar with Gary Bauer’s anti-gay extremism will not be surprised to learn that his bigotry goes way back. Just in time for World AIDS Day, we now know that when Bauer was working in the Reagan White House, he fought hard to keep gay people off the nation’s first AIDS commission.

Right Wing Watch published part of a memo he sent to Reagan regarding this:

 3. Millions of Americans try to raise their children to believe that homosexuality is immoral. In many states homosexual practices are illegal, including sodomy. For you to appoint a known homosexual to a Presidential Commission will give homosexuality a stamp of acceptability. It will drive a wedge between us and many of our socially conservative supporters. 

4. While it is true that homosexuals have been major victims of AIDS, they are also responsible for its spread. Recent students show the average gay man with AIDS has had over 150 different sexual partners in the previous 12 months. 

Bauer proposed instead appointing a relative of someone with AIDS, or a caregiver, or as a last resort, a “reformed” homosexual: “that is, someone not currently living a gay life style. We have identified several individuals that meet that criteria.”

In the end, Reagan ignored Bauer’s pleadings and appointed Frank Lilly, an openly gay geneticist, to the Presidential Commission on the HIV Epidemic.

Right Wing Watch also goes on to say that Bauer undermined the fight against HIV/AIDS in the Reagan Administration by keeping then Surgeon General C. Everett Koop from gaining access to the Reagan and the cabinet after the president asked Koop to prepare a report on AIDS:

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Alvin McEwen

Alvin McEwen