Troy MaderWhy is it that the Republican caucus in state legislatures is so often the incubator of idiocy? The latest example comes from Wyoming, where state Rep. Troy Mader is standing by the homophobic and scientifically illiterate comments he made in a self-published book titled The Death Sentence of AIDS.

Mader published the book in 1987, as the AIDS epidemic was peaking. Mader drew on the ravings of Paul Cameron, the antigay zealot for whom the word “crackpot” was invented.  Among the pearls of wisdom that Mader felt obliged to share with the world:

“The spread of AIDS into the general population of the United States is assumed to have come about by: A. Homosexuals who purposely infected women to pass AIDS infection into the straight population. B. Bisexual men who participated in homosexual acts, became infected and then passed it on to wives, lovers, prostitutes and most off-spring born after infection….”

“Many homosexuals demand the right to have sexual acts with children of any age, including infants.”

“Many homosexuals demand the right to kill themselves with the AIDS virus and to kill others by infecting them.”

“All sexual practices of homosexuals must cease…”

Now, you might argue that all of this happened 27 years ago, and a lot has changed since then. (We’re not the forgiving.) However, Mader is not among the things that has changed. In an effort to brand himself a homophobe beyond all remediation, Mader says that he stands by his book.

“If you want to participate in that particular lifestyle, that’s your choice,” he told the Casper Star Tribune. “But I reserve the right to say, ‘Hey, there’s risk involved.’”

Mader also relies on the standard defense of the bigoted: he says he has gay friends. “I don’t preach to them,” he said. “They know where I stand. I know where they stand. We get along great.”

Presumably because they haven’t spoken to each other since around, oh, 1987.

Photo credit: State of Wyoming Legislature

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