Part 1: Our Hall of Fame
BY Advocate Contributors
March 14 2012 2:00 AM ET
California congressman Henry Waxman called a first-of-its-kind hearing in April 1982 to investigate a disease that was killing primarily gay men. The hearing of the House of Representatives subcommittee on Health and the Environment, over which he was chairman, focused on Kaposi's sarcoma, a skin disease whose purple lesions were a telltale sign of HIV/AIDS before drugs existed to treat the epidemic.
"There is no doubt in my mind," Waxman said at the time, "that if the same disease had appeared among Americans of Norwegian descent, or among tennis players, rather than among gay males, the reponses of the government and the medical community would have been different."
He didn’t stop his advocacy in 1982 and hasn’t stopped since. “What we don’t need is another study. What we need is leadership,” Waxman said in 1988 of President Reagan’s inaction on AIDS. “Once again, the president is hiding.”
- Girl Scouts Return $100K When Donor Demands It 'Not Be Used' For Trans Girls
- He Went There: Antigay Judge Roy Moore Compares Marriage Equality to Holocaust
- Tennessee Hardware Store Puts Up 'No Gays Allowed' Sign
- Girl Scouts Raise $100,000 in One Day After Dropping Transphobic Donor
- Why These Four Justices Rejected Marriage Equality
- The Top 175 Essential Films of All Time for LGBT Viewers