October 5, 2011
Washington, D.C. -- Less than one week after the House Appropriations Committee proposed slashing $32.7 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP) and $1 billion from the Prevention and Public Health Fund, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) has tripled the House budget for defending the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court.
"Speaker Boehner's actions raise serious questions about his purported commitment to fiscal responsibility," said National Minority AIDS Council Deputy Executive Director Daniel C. Montoya. "Speaker Boehner and his colleagues have proposed massive cuts to HIV prevention funding, while ignoring the continuing crisis facing our AIDS Drug Assistance Programs. Yet they managed to find the funds to triple the budget for a private law firm to defend this discriminatory law in court. This shows a troubling lack of priorities. What's more, defending laws like DOMA, which treat lesbian and gay Americans as second class citizens, only serves to further the stigma and homophobia that help drive the HIV/AIDS epidemic among gay men."
"I urge Speaker Boehner to reconsider his decision," continued Montoya. "56,000 Americans are infected with HIV each year. More than half of those are among gay and bisexual men. Spending taxpayer money to delegitimize relationships that have been shown to promote healthier lifestyles is antithetical to American values, contrary to the conservative belief in limited government and detrimental to public health. In this time of fiscal and economic strife, certainly the Speaker and his colleagues can find better ways to spend this money."