The Tennessee State Senate’s resident laughingstock has managed to keep himself in the limelight with recent commentaries over his asinine “Don’t Say Gay” bill. The infamous measure is currently on life support as the House decides whether to touch the controversial legislation.
As I’ve said before, he is a complete embarrassment to our state, and deserves our abject contempt and scorn. But as we explore his silly statements of late, I’m forced to ask myself the same question that I ask when thinking of a great many “social conservatives:” Is he a bigot, an idiot, or a liar — is is he all three?
It’s easy to dismiss Campfield as a bigot. Quite easy, in fact. He has been obsessed with the gays and their “indoctrination” for his entire tenure in the state house, and now in the senate. That obsession led to his repeated attempt to get his “Don’t Say Gay” bill passed in the house. Six times he tried, Six times he failed. He filed it again last year as a freshman senator, and it finally passed. But its companion bill languished in the House. It still hasn’t been heard in the education subcommittee.
The first thing bigots do is to make an attempt to prove that they’re not bigots. In a recent blog post, Campfield laid it out pretty thick:
“…In my legislative role I have always had an open door to any of my constituency. Gay rights groups have been in my office several times and I would like to think that even though we may disagree on some issues I have always treated them graciously.
In my private business (Property rental) I have rented to people of all races and creeds. Black, white, Asians, gay, straight, christian and non christian alike. I do not discriminate…”
This latest post comes in response to a rather remarkable event. Apparently, I’m not the only person that thinks he’s a bigot. Yesterday, Campfield and two of his friends tried to eat at the Bistro at the Bijou, a restaurant in Knoxville. The restaurant’s owner, Martha Boggs, asked him to leave.
“When I saw him at the front door, I told him to leave,” Boggs said Monday. “It’s just my way to show support for the gay community and stand up to somebody I think is a bully. He’s really gone from being stupid to dangerous. I think he needs to know what it feels like to be discriminated against.”
Campfield had apparently eaten at the restaurant a few times before. Boggs had become outraged at his recent comments regarding HIV/AIDS, which were spoken on his recent interview with Michelangelo Signorile on Sirius OutQ. He stated that the disease was traced back to a flight attendant who had sex with a monkey. He also stated that “homosexuals have very short lifespans,” and that it was “nearly impossible” to transmit the virus through heterosexual sex.
All of these statements were patently false.
In a recent blog post, Campfield attempted to “back up” his statements. One of his “sources” for the “gays die young” claim is a 1997 study that was done to show how HIV/AIDS impacted the lives of gay men between 1987 and 1992. The results showed that gay men had a drastically shortened life because of their infection with the deadly disease.
There’s only one problem. The study’s sample period was well before the 1996 breakthrough that dramatically reduced the death rate for AIDS. This breakthrough was the introduction of Indinavir, the third of a three-drug cocktail that has proven to extend the lives of infected patients to “near-normal levels.” It was certainly conducted before the full benefits of the addition of Indinavir were recorded. Campfield’s assertion was made last week. In 2012. A full 15 years after this breakthrough was announced. In the New York Times, no less.
One of his links regarding the “AIDS can’t be transmitted through the vagina” claim was an article from 1988, a time when the horrors of the African AIDS epidemic was just beginning to reach the news wires in the US. Even then, most Americans had little clue of just how bad it really was in Africa. But wait, Campfield has a response for this too:
Many people love to throw around numbers from Africa and say the AIDS numbers are higher there for heterosexuals. This is true but mostly because in Africa it is common to practice anal sex as a form of birth control among prostitutes (an activity that is much more prevalent then in the US) and others. When I spoke on the radio show I was talking of vaginal heterosexual sex in the US. What are the odds here?
No, Senator. You said that it was very hard to spread HIV through heterosexual sex. And would you have us believe that the millions who have been infected in Africa were all prostitutes? I’m sure that will go over well.
Another “source” is a “news” site run by an anti-abortion, anti-gay right wing religious group, far from a credible, scientific resource. The “source” claims that Canada’s new gay marriage law would result in the spread of diseases. Apparently, the folks at LifeSiteNews would have us believe that encouraging gays to have healthy, monogamous marriage would means that we’ll have more unhealthy, promiscuous sex. Or something.
All of this raises a clear question: Did Campfield know that his sources were outdated, wrong, biased, or just plain excrement? Or did he hope that someone would actually read them? We may never know.
Here, then, is my conclusion: It’s plainly obvious that Campfield is a bigot, by every definition of the word — including mine. In that bigotry, he’s blinded by his hate for gays so much that he’ll post out-of-date or wrong articles to support his claim.
So… we know he’s a bigot. Is he an idiot? I think he is. I had the unpleasant experience of listening to him whine before the House Education Subcommittee about his “Don’t Say Gay” bill a couple of years ago. And yes, he really did whine. A lot.
Later, I asked a colleague what he thought. At first, he was speechless, awestruck at what he had just witnessed in the subcommittee chamber. He finally said, “I can’t believe it. He’s a complete, blithering idiot!”
Is he a liar? Well, that would really depend on whether or not he knew that his sources were completely discredited before he posted them. So, that’s two out of three.
Let’s go back to the earlier quote:
“…In my legislative role I have always had an open door to any of my constituency. Gay rights groups have been in my office several times and I would like to think that even though we may disagree on some issues I have always treated them graciously.”
Yes, he treated “them” graciously. Right up until he tried to pass oppressive bills to keep gays in their place as second class citizens.
“Graciously?” I think not.
That’s three for three. Now if Knoxville voters would get a clue and vote this bigoted, idiotic liar out of office as soon as possible, we’ll all be better off.