A group of students, teachers and alumni at a New York high school are calling for the removal of state Sen. Stacey Campfield from its hall of fame based on his comments on homosexuality and AIDS, reports The Tennessean.
Several people denounced Campfield at an apparently raucous school board meeting in Vestal, N.Y., the small town near Binghamton where the Knoxville Republican grew up. The group called for his portrait to be taken down from Vestal High School’s Hall of Fame, with one woman shouting “Cowards!” at school board members when they did not immediately agree to do so, according to the Press & Sun-Bulletin, a Gannett sister paper.
Campfield told the paper they “are welcome to their point of view.”
The source of the controversy is a view Campfield shared with a radio host in January that AIDS entered the human population via a sexual encounter with a monkey. Most scientists believe humans first contracted AIDS by eating infected primate meat.
Update: The board voted to keep Campfield’s portrait in place. AP story below.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The board of education in Tennessee state Sen. Stacey Campfield’s hometown in upstate New York won’t remove the Knoxville Republican from its hall of fame over complaints about his comments on gays and AIDS.
The Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin reports (http://press.sn/LbG9cf) that one woman shouted “Cowards!” after the board president read a statement this week to announce Campfield’s portrait would remain hanging on Vestal High School’s Hall of Fame along with other prominent graduates.
Campfield earlier this year told a satellite radio host that HIV and AIDS originated from a man having sex with a monkey and that it was nearly “impossible” for AIDS to be contracted through heterosexual sex. He also sponsored a failed effort to ban the teaching of gay issues in Tennessee public school.