Writer and spiritual leader Marianne Williamson was the first presidential candidate featured on tonight's LGBTQ Presidential Forum, co-sponsored by The Advocate, and she defended her stances on HIV and AIDS in the 1980s.
After declaring she would push for the passage of the Equality Act, an end to "conversion therapy" and the trans military ban, Williamson was asked by Advocate editor-in-chief Zach Stafford whether she believed — as has been reported — whether she believed AIDS could be cured from positive thoughts.
"I never said anything like that," Williamson said. "There's nothing in my books like that." Williamson said the narrative that she believed AIDS could be cured psychically were part of "vicious smears."
Williamson noted how much progress has made in the fight against HIV, and congratulated Iowa for maintaining a clinic that specializes in trans patients. Williamson also said that if she had a cabinet member who disparaged LGBTQ people — as Trump's Housing Secretary Ben Carson did this week — "that person would be fired."
Before delving into her AIDS stances, Williamson said LGBTQ people don't need just equal rights, "you need equal and special protections."