AIDS/HIV | Discrimination | Florida | News

GOP Candidate Haunted By Anti-Gay Disney Letter Claiming Equal Benefits 'Increase The Spread Of AIDS'

BobBrooksIn 1995, when Dr. Bob Brooks was a Republican lawmaker in Florida, Disney World decided to give its gay employees health benefits, prompting Brooks to write a letter in which he decried Disney for supporting "a lifestyle that is unhealthy, unnatural and unworthy of special treatment."

He claimed extending the policy "will increase the spread of AIDS." "Lawmakers also were concerned that Disney’s coverage of partners who are at a high risk for expensive medical ailments, such as AIDS, could lead to higher health-care costs for the company, and those costs could eventually be passed on to Disney customers," the letter read.

Brooks, a medical doctor who also studied counter-terrorism, later went on to become secretary of the Florida Health Department.

Now that he's again running for the Florida House, Brooks is trying to distance himself from that homophobic crusade and present a less zealous version of himself.

"Over time, I'm more comfortable with a [domestic partner] registry," Brooks told the Orlando Sentinel of recognizing LGBT people's relationships. Marriage, of course, is still off the table. "[I'm focussing] specifically on the economy, jobs and health care... The social issues are not going to be as a high a priority."

Rival Linda Stewart isn't going to let Brooks off that easily, though. "He can't run away from that," she told the Sentinel. And the state Democratic Party is giving her a helping hand: they recently published a flier comparing Brooks to disliked Gov. Rick Scott and, yes, that flier makes mention of Brooks' Disney protest.

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  1. Democrat Senator Al Franken said,
    “It’s not preppies, ‘cause I’m a preppie myself. I just don’t like homosexuals. If you ask me, they’re all homosexuals in the Pudding. Hey, I was glad when that Pudding homosexual got killed in Philadelphia.”
    Mr. Franken, a 1973 graduate of Harvard, was referring to Harvard’s Hasty Pudding theatrical club.
    Fair & ballanced, HATE from the Left.

    Posted by: David | Aug 24, 2012 6:56:40 PM

  2. Republicans will say whatever they think they must to get elected, this homophobe hasn't changed his mind about anything except that he wants this seat.

    Posted by: lk | Aug 24, 2012 6:57:27 PM

  3. Thank you DAVID for posting about Al Franken. Now I see how far he has come around, and respect him even more.

    Posted by: HERMES | Aug 24, 2012 7:22:51 PM

  4. I agree with Hermes....Thumbs up to Al Frankin for Evolving to the Real meaning of America..Liberty & Justice for All

    Posted by: Disgusted American | Aug 24, 2012 7:36:34 PM

  5. I'd like to see the source of the quote David attributes to Al Franken. If it is true/accurate, it is nothing short of horrifying.

    Brooks' statements (which appear to not be under any dispute) were extraordinarily offensive, as well as ignorant, and bigotry-fueled. There's just no way around any of that; and it wasn't that long ago, and the statements were made while he was a public figure: Fair game. I don't care about his (or Franken's) political affiliation -- vile is vile.

    Posted by: RYT | Aug 24, 2012 8:42:05 PM

  6. Found this:

    Harvard Crimson archive, April 16, 1976:

    He recalled writing a skit called "Seamen on Broadway" that was rejected from the Hasty Pudding show "by some preppie so they could take some other preppie's skit." Franken started to smile again, but his tone was serious, too serious. "It's not preppies, cause I'm a preppie myself. I just don't like homosexuals. If you ask me, they're all homosexuals in the Pudding. Hey, I was glad when that Pudding homosexual got killed in Philadelphia." The smile became so broad it pushed his eyes shut. He couldn't stand it any longer. "Put that in, put that in," Franken laughed, leaning over the desk. "I'd love to see that in The Crimson."

    The full context is important: I think Franken's statement was an attempt at edgy humor, in which he specialized at the time. It's still very, very awful (and I wonder if Franken has ever commented on it). Ditto Brooks' statements.

    Posted by: RYT | Aug 24, 2012 8:53:35 PM

  7. Taking quotes out of context is good practice if you're looking for a job at Fox News. Then you can get ripped by Jon Stewart on his show and laughed at by the masses.

    Posted by: i could go on, but I won't | Aug 24, 2012 9:13:38 PM

  8. He's right. It's thirty years, and you hicks have not stopped the spread of hiv.
    And you're supposed to be men? Please. Grow up. Grow out of interalized homophobia. TALK ABOUT SAFETY.
    On second thought, hick culture rules after 40 years. And it's not budging. Excuse me, ghetto queens.

    Posted by: Wilberforce1 | Aug 24, 2012 10:17:55 PM

  9. "Stewart isn't going to let Brooks off that easily, though."

    Um, who?

    From the Orlando Sentinel: "Brooks is running for the House District 47 seat in Orlando against Democratic former Orange County Commissioner Linda Stewart, who has strong support from the LGBT community."

    Oh, okay, got it!

    Posted by: Gotcha | Aug 24, 2012 11:50:23 PM

  10. A doctor in 1995 should have known more about HIV/AIDS. He should not be allowed to work as a doctor or in the health industry again. Spreading lies like that can cause so much damage. He should resign. What an evil and ignorant piece of s$it !

    Posted by: Icebloo | Aug 25, 2012 12:24:57 AM

  11. C'mon, people, it's still Florida, don't expect any miracles to happen in the local elections.

    Posted by: johnny | Aug 25, 2012 6:34:01 AM

  12. Remember, Florida was the state whose government screwed the entire country and made sure we got Bush for 8 long years.

    Posted by: johnny | Aug 25, 2012 6:35:53 AM


    Posted by: steve | Aug 25, 2012 10:17:45 AM

  14. What he said was true then and it's true now. Despite endless condom campaigns and access to the best healthcare in the world, Western gay men have higher HIV rates than most of sub-Saharan Africa. That's what happens when you focus your wildly promiscuous sex life on an organ of excretion. Grow up, indeed. We're better than this.

    Posted by: Phil | Aug 25, 2012 9:57:14 PM

  15. "Western gay men have higher HIV rates than most of sub-Saharan Africa"

    Oh, look, a troll. A *dumb* troll.

    Posted by: Brian | Aug 26, 2012 3:58:55 AM

  16. It always amazes me that those who argue so strongly against the lifestyles of gays seem to presume that straights cannot possibly live that way. He should wake up the reality of 'hooking up' and that straights have their own problems with STIs.

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Aug 26, 2012 7:31:43 AM

  17. Obviously Franklin was making a joke for shock value almost 4 decades ago.....that is different than the real hate promoted by this GOP monster today

    Posted by: rjp3 | Aug 26, 2012 10:55:05 AM

  18. More black propaganda from the antigay Christians in politics who tell lies all the time now to make LGBT people looks bad so as to make people think badly of them. This is an old CIA psychological warfare trick used now by the antigay Christians against their real and imagined enemies. The truth is that equal rights will give gays the Civil Rights they have been denied, to be able to get married and everybody knows that if more people get married there will be less chance of spreading disease because more people will be in a committed relationship.

    Posted by: Mike | Aug 26, 2012 11:09:29 AM

  19. Poor repub sympathizers..... trying to justify their bigotry and hatred of gay people by using old quotes from a satirist (who does support gay rights).

    Deflection is a waste of time until you pull a Romney (and speak to both sides, quite hypocritically)....

    Posted by: TonyJazz | Aug 26, 2012 2:38:36 PM

  20. The only evidence of its existence is an inconspicuous dot at 9 o’clock that spins once every 30 seconds to indicate the tourbillon’s progress.

    Posted by: swiss piaget watches | Aug 29, 2012 11:13:01 AM

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