Huckabee Supported Isolating AIDS Patients

The Associated Press dug back through their archives and found some answers Huckabee gave to a questionnaire they sent him when he was seeking a seat in the House in 1992. He said some pretty controversial things about the AIDS issue it turns out. Here’s the three key quotes:

“If the federal government is truly serious about doing something with the AIDS virus, we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague.”

“I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk.”

“In light of the extraordinary funds already being given for AIDS research, it does not seem that additional federal spending can be justified. An alternative would be to request that multimillionaire celebrities, such as Elizabeth Taylor, Madonna and others who are pushing for more AIDS funding be encouraged to give out of their own personal treasuries increased amounts for AIDS research.”

I, personally, don’t feel that homosexuality is all that aberrant or “sinful.” As long as the participants in a sexual relationship are all consenting adults, I don’t really have a problem with it.

I also think that Huckabee is right in his statement about funding for AIDS research. To be blunt, AIDS is a behavioral disease. If you don’t have promiscuous sex and you don’t use intravenous drugs your chances of getting the disease drop to near zero. Given the number of diseases out there that afflict people regardless of their lifestyle choices, I’m not sure why the taxpayers should foot the bill for AIDS research when that money could be better spent researching other diseases.

But the real problem here is Huckabee’s support for quarantining AIDS patients. Not only would that be a fantastically egregious violation of individual liberty, it is also completely unnecessary given that AIDS is, again, a behavioral disease. If you’re not out having sex with strangers all the time and you’re not sharing needles, you won’t get it. There are instances, of course, of people who know they have AIDS actually trying to give it to other people, but we’re already putting the people responsible for that sort of thing in jail.

So Huckabee couldn’t be more wrong on that point, though I’m not surprised that a big-government nanny stater like him would support that kind of solution.

Does this hurt Huck in the primaries though? We’ll see, but most of Huck’s support is coming from the evangelicals who aren’t likely to be phased by this sort of thing. If anything this is going to galvanize dislike for him among the more fiscally conservative elements of the GOP, but they already disliked him.

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