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Pence criticized that he did not mention the gay community in the speech on World AIDS Day



To Reynaldo Leanos, Jr.

Vice President Mike Pence's speech on Thursday marking the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day quickly drew criticism Not for what he said, but for what he did not say.

In White House statements, Pence did not mention the gay community as President Donald Trump did last year in his proclamation on World AIDS Day.

Former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton each mentioned the disproportionate impact of the disease on the LGBTQ community, while George W. Bush did not note the relationship between gays and HIV / AIDS in his official remarks that day.

Since 1

988, World AIDS Day was observed on December 1 to raise awareness of the disease and to commemorate those who died of it. Of the estimated 38,500 new HIV cases in the US each year, nearly 70 percent are gay and bisexual men, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Scott Schoettes, who runs the HIV project of the LGBTQ advocacy group Lambda Legal, called Pence's, speaks "short-sighted and biased."

"It's hard to see how to actually address HIV in the United States without talking about the most affected populations," Schoettes told NBC News. Gabriel Arkles, a senior advocate for the LGBT & HIV project at ACLU, said Pence's speech was "another example of the Trump / Pence administration's attempts to ignore the existence of LGBTQ people."

"This administration has repeatedly worked to legalize and undermine the protection of LGBTQ people by reducing funding for programs that ensure that LGBTQ people have access to health care and other critical needs," Arkles said in an E -Mail. "We should acknowledge that HIV affects millions of Americans of all sexual orientation and gender, but not by forgetting the communities that are most devastated by it."

The White House did not respond to NBC News request for comment. [19659004] While Pence did not mention that HIV and AIDS had heavily impacted the LGBTQ community in the US, he mentioned several times the impact it had on African communities, and also mentioned Ryan White, a native-Indian boy by Pence, who contracted AIDS in 1984 following a blood transfusion.

"He died in April 1990, just a month before he graduated from high school," Pence said. "And just a few months later, the United States Congress passed the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resource Emergency Act."

While Pence praised the Ryan White CARE Act in his speech, he said, "It still accounts for more than 1, 1 million people providing essential medical services The United States Living with HIV "- he saw the legislation very differently two decades ago when he ran for Congress.

On an archived version of Pence's 2000 campaign, he said, "Congress should support the re-authorization of the Ryan White Care Act, only after completing an audit to ensure that no more dollars are being lent to organizations that conduct

Pence added, "Resources should be available directed to the institutions that help those who want to change their sexual behavior."

This last sentence was made interpreted by some as suggesting that Pence supports the so-called gay conversion therapy, which Pence has recently rejected.

While not mentioning the LGBTQ community, Pence said in his speech 27 times the word "faith", like a transcript of his comments on the White House emerges from bsite and owes "faith and faith communities the line of the fight against HIV / AIDS.

"Well, recognition for this achievement is widespread, but denominations and faith communities such as those represented here have played a prominent role," said Pence. "And the leaders in this room have inspired countless others to shake hands with their faith and literally bring hope and healing to millions of people around the world suffering from HIV / AIDS."

Pence announced during his speech that the trump The administration would increase its funds for faith groups by a third.

"I am pleased to announce that our administration will invest $ 100 million in new resources to expand our involvement in faith organizations and faith communities on the front line of the fight against HIV / AIDS," said Pence. [PPencealsoannouncedthatTrumpwillsignalawthatwillallowtheemergencyplanofthePresidentforAIDSAssistance(PEPFAR)abilloriginallysignedbyBushin2003forfivemoreyearshelpedtheworldoverespeciallyinAfrica

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