The increased traction around the presidential campaign of Arkansas former Republican Mike Huckabee is causing many to question the previous comments of the anti-gay, social conservative and Southern Baptist minister—such as his well-publicized comments in the 1990s that people with AIDS should be quarantined.
When campaigning for the Senate in 1992, "Huckabee said in a response in a 229-question survey that he believed that AIDS patients should be isolated from the public and that homosexuality was an “aberrant, unnatural and sinful lifestyle” that posed a “dangerous public risk.”
Although there was an intense anti-AIDS hysteria in the 1980s, by 1992 "it was well established that the virus could not be spread through casual contact."
Huckabee said on Fox News Sunday he stands by those comments but has been forced to backpedal after Jeanne White-Ginder expressed her outrage and asked for a meeting. White-Ginder is the mother of Ryan White, the Indiana teenager whose life-ending battle with AIDS in the 1980s captivated the nation. "I would be very willing to meet with them," the former Arkansas governor responded Tuesday while campaigning in western Iowa. "I would tell them we've come a long way in research, in treatment."
Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese says this about Huckabee's magnanimous offer: "I would like to inform Governor Huckabee that the mother of Ryan White, for whom the Ryan White CARE Act is named, doesn’t need to be schooled about how far we've come in HIV/AIDS research and treatment."
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