Fareed Zakaria recently posted this interview with British blogger and editor Andrew Sullivan, who is gay, HIV positive, and trying to obtain US citizenship. The interview is interesting, sad and eye-opening. Here's an excerpt:
You know, American citizens, I don't think, ever thought that the right to the pursuit of happiness did not include the right to marry the person you love. But for a whole number of Americans, gay Americans, that happens to be true.
And you see it most explicitly with immigration, because it's a federal issue.
So there was also this enormous stigma that the federal government was attaching to HIV, which is, of course, the opposite of what you're trying to do in getting treatment and prevention.
I mean we are in a much better place now. It's all resolved. There was a point at which it was just the United States, Iran, Saudi Arabia....
China lifted this thing before the United States did. Yet the United States, as a funder of AIDS research, as a philanthropist around the world, is, by far, the biggest actor.
We couldn't have an AIDS conference in America for 18 years because of this, because none of the people coming - none of the people who were activists, who were HIV positive, from Africa or elsewhere - were able to come into the country.
Sometimes, it's embarrassing being an American. I do take comfort in knowing that so many people still want to immigrate here. That means that, at the very least, we're still better than many other places in the world. Unfortunately, I don't think that will be the case for much longer.
(H/T to guest blogger, Andrew Ryan, for the link to this interview.)