CDC AIDS Grants Are Funding Wrong Causes. (Political Notebook)

By Irvine, Reed | Insight on the News, May 13, 2002 | Go to article overview

CDC AIDS Grants Are Funding Wrong Causes. (Political Notebook)


Irvine, Reed, Insight on the News


Did the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) help fund a clubhouse for homosexuals in San Francisco? Jeff Sheehy, described as "a longtime gay activist" on the March 28 O'Reilly Factor on Fox News, said that vice president Al Gore gave a nonprofit homosexual organization called Stop AIDS Project a check for $500,000 at the groundbreaking for its building right before the 2000 presidential California primary.

Sheehy described it to host Bill O'Reilly as "your money" -- meaning taxpayer dollars. He said, "I'm not a big fan of the $500,000 donation myself. Al Gore dropped it off because he was trying to buy some ..." O'Reilly interrupted, asking, "Al Gore did this?" Sheehy said, "Yes, you know, I was a big Bill Bradley supporter."

O'Reilly was mainly interested in how the building was being used. He went over a list of events held there, including a "Leather Pride Reception," a "QueerYouthapalooza" and a "Drag King Junior" contest. Sheehy said that the QueerYouthapalooza was like a prom, "like a bunch of queer kids," some of whom were not sure of their sexual orientation.

The fact that HHS had been giving money to the Stop AIDS Project had attracted the attention of Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.) last August. In a letter to HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson, Souder said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) repeatedly had denied that any federal funds had been used to pay for a number of questionable events dubbed HIV "prevention programs" that were sponsored by the Stop AIDS Project. He pointed out that the project's program director had admitted that all the questionable events scheduled for August would use funds provided by the CDC.

Two of the grants in the year 2000 totaled $472,883. Sheehy's claim that Gore gave the group $500,000 may have represented a rounding of that sum. His claim that it was used to help pay for the clubhouse has not been confirmed. A third grant in 2000 raised the total for the year to $698,000. The questionable events mentioned in Souder's letter included a "gay fisting event" and a "booty call," where "dildos, plugs, fisting and rimming" were discussed along with "tales of intercourse and orgasm." Others were a GUYWATCH, "where a guy can make friends and find dates" and a "Great Sex Workshop," a "hands-on, clothes-on exploration of intimacy and fantasy. …

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