Tenn. Pol: AIDS Came From Gay Guy Having Monkey Sex

Stacey Campfield does himself no favors while defending 'Don't Say Gay' bill
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2012 8:42 PM CST
Tenn. Pol: AIDS Came From Gay Guy Having Monkey Sex
Sen. Stacey Campfield is congratulated by colleagues after his bill seeking to prevent teaching public school students about gay issues passes the Senate in Nashville, Tenn., on Friday, May 20, 2011.   (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)

The Tennessee lawmaker behind the "Don't Say Gay" bill that cleared the state Senate earlier this year is getting a lot of attention for comments he made in defense of the legislation. And it's not good attention. In a SiriusXM interview with Michelangelo Signorile published on the Huffington Post, state Sen. Stacey Campfield justified his bill by, among other things, explaining that AIDS came from "one guy screwing a monkey." The interview covers more of Campfield's thoughts on AIDS, bullying, and homosexuality, which Tennessee schools would not be able to discuss under his bill:

  • On bullying: "That bullying thing is the biggest lark out there. There are sexually confused children who could be pushed into a lifestyle that I don’t think is appropriate with them and ... they don't know how they can get back from that."
  • On "Don't Say Gay": "If someone, a person of influence, says maybe you're gay, maybe you should explore those things—maybe the child, who is young and impressionable, says maybe I am gay."
  • On AIDS: "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."
  • On heterosexual sex: "My understanding is that it is virtually—not completely, but virtually—impossible to contract AIDS through heterosexual sex ... very rarely [transmitted]."
  • On gay men: "What's the average lifespan of a homosexual? it's very short. Google it yourself."
Click for more of his comments (about, for instance, theater), or to read Signorile's explanation of why Campfield's claims are totally bogus. (More Don't Say Gay bill stories.)

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