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.
So, if you’re sitting around this weekend wondering about the latest conversational developments in Sen. Stacey Campfield’s AIDS information commentary….
First, check the senator’s blog and scroll down through it a ways. Far from being cowed by caustic critics, Campfield has actively engaged them, as illustrated by posts on follow-up broadcast interviews, including videos.
A standout among them is an audio clip of a remarkable anti=Campfield diatribe that was left on his voice mail. Direct link to the audio is HERE. Politifact Tennessee, meanwhile, has given the original Campfield comments a “pants on fire” rating in its “Truth-o-Meter.” On Saturday, it was the top item on the national Politifact website and, I understand, getting a lot of attention.
(By the way, Politifact Tennessee has also awarded a “pants on fire” to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for an attack on U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais and put up some other fresh stuff.)
An emailer, meanwhile, sends along a link to an article that begins like this: Tennessee state senator Stacey Campfield continued his media campaign against homosexuality and discussions about gay lives in schools by appearing on the David Pakman Show.
During his 10-minute interview on Monday, Campfield seemed to indicate that insurance companies raise their rates for homosexuals. He claimed this to be true because the companies have statistics showing that gays, when compared to others, live significantly shorter lives — by a full 24 years!
Pakman asked the senator why his anti-gay politics are focused on anal sex between men.
And this, naturally, has inspired consternation among some Tennessee bloggers, including, for example, Southern Beale.
The article, with accompanying video, is HERE.
Sen. Stacey Campfield has posted on his blog a fairly lengthy discourse on the comments he made about AIDS during a radio show appearance, including multiple links.
It starts like this: As you may have heard I was on some little radio show to talk about my “don’t teach gay” bill. After a few minutes the host (Who shall we say was not of a receptive lifestyle) jumped topics and I made some comments on how the homosexual lifestyle was WAAAAAAY more risky then the hetero sexual lifestyle. Of course the regulars went bonkers. Here are some facts on the issues we covered. Note: In case you haven’t heard about this, previous post HERE.
Sen. Stacey Campfield says he was speaking “on the fly” about the origins of AIDs and its transmission during a radio interview that now has “some people going crazy.”
Still, the Knoxville Republican says his assertions, including the possibility that AIDs originated from a man having sexual intercourse with a monkey, reasonably reflect what others have said in researching and writing on the subject.
“I’m not a historian on AIDs,” he said in an interview Friday. “But I’ve read and seen what other people have read and seen and those facts are out there.”
Dr. Jacques Pepin, author of the book “The Origin of AIDS,” said some of the assertions are “kind of funny,” in the sense of being strange, and not fully factual.
Campfield was interviewed by Michelangelo Signorile, editor-at-large of Huffington Gay Voices on Signorile’s radio show on SiriusXM’s LGBT channel, OutQ. The subject was a Campfield-sponsored bill, nicknamed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill (SB49), which Campfield says is intended to block discussion of homosexuality in grades kindergarten through eight of Tennessee schools.
In a Huffington Post story on the interview, Signorile describes Campfield — while speaking in an “often belligerent and sarcastic tone” – as “comparing homosexuality to bestiality and making what public health officials would characterize as recklessly false assertions about AIDS.” Campfield said his remarks were taken “out of context” in parts of the story.
In a radio show interview, Sen. Stacey Campfield has offered some thoughts on homosexuality and the nature of AIDs, including its origin, that has been greeted with considerable skepticism by bloggers for Nashville Scene and Metro Pulse.
An excerpt from the Huffington Post interview with Michelangelo Signorle: “Most people realize that AIDS came from the homosexual community — it was one guy screwing a monkey, if I recall correctly, and then having sex with men. It was an airline pilot, if I recall.”
“My understanding is that it is virtually — not completely, but virtually — impossible to contract AIDS through heterosexual sex…very rarely [transmitted].”