A municipal judge in Ohio has apologized for penning horrific anti-LGBTQ letters that were published in Ohio State University’s student newspaper in the early 1990s.
Judge Dan Hazard of Maumee wrote the letters while a sophomore at OSU, in 1992 and 1993. Although his seat is nonpartisan, Hazard is a registered Republican, according to the Toledo Blade. He was elected in 2017.
In the first letter published by The Lantern, Hazard argued the government should cut off funding for HIV and AIDS because “95 percent of those inflicted with the deadly disease pretty much deserve it anyway.”
“There has been a recent outcry on the behalf of these ‘citizens’ for equal treatment under the law,” Hazard wrote. “Equal treatment for people that many still think of as savages … These people think they deserve equal treatment under the law. I challenge anyone to name any civilized nation that looks at queers as ‘normal’ human beings. There just aren’t any.”
In another letter, shortly after the 1993 March on Washington, Hazard thanked LGBTQ Buckeyes who traveled to the capital for the event for “opening my eyes.”
“I now see what this campus could be like with the removal of gays from our society,” he wrote. “With most of them gone this past weekend, it doesn’t matter if the 300,000 in Washington was a success or not, it was a success here on campus.”
Hazard went on to cite statistics from the Family Research Council, since named an anti-LGBTQ hate group, about the life expectancy of gay men and people with HIV.
“Yet these immoral and unethical people continue to smother the other 99 percent of us (the heterosexual majority) with their propaganda presenting the homosexual lifestyle as a safe and normal one,” Hazard wrote. “I see these stats as good news, but I beg the homosexual community one thing: Please keep your AIDS to yourselves. You have killed many innocent children, a few innocent adults (blood transfusions) and a number of not-so-innocent and irresponsible heterosexuals. Aren’t these deaths enough to draw attention to yourselves? Do you need to hold the country prisoner any longer with your lies and deceit?”
After WTOL-TV unearthed the letters, Hazard issued an apology.
“The letter posted here was reprehensible and deplorable,” Hazard said. “I wrote this and another of the same tone as a teenage college student 27 years ago and by no means hold those beliefs today. I have zero excuse and could not attempt to justify it then or now. It was hurtful to anyone that saw it in 1993 or today. I am sorry that it will hurt even more people today including my gay and transgendered family and friends whom I love dearly.
“Throughout my career, I have befriended and represented many gay clients. I have done so zealously without reservation. One of the first weddings I officiated after taking the bench was of a same sex couple. I did so with respect and dignity. Every day I treat every litigant and attorney with that same respect no matter their background, experience or gender identity and will continue to do so.
“I am glad that this allows me to clarify my views that have drastically changed over time. Respect is owed not only in the courtroom, but in all of society.”
Watch WTOL’s report below.