A gay Republican AIDS activist was reportedly put on “hiatus” from his job at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation because of his support of Donald Trump.
James Driscoll, a key leader in pushing the FDA to approve the HIV protease cocktails in 1996 and an AIDS advocate for nearly 28 years, was removed from a consultancy position that he has held for the past 15 years as a political strategy consultant at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation when it was discovered that he was a supporter of Donald Trump.
Driscoll spoke to the Washington Blade in February about his support of Trump due to the candidates leadership skills and his positions on issues such as immigration, healthcare, and the economy. Driscoll believed that Trump would be one of the best Republican candidates for LGBT and AIDS related issues in comparison to his rivals during the primary elections.
Driscoll was worried about revealing his support of the Republican candidate from day one, saying to the Washington Blade, “I’ve been for Trump from the time he first announced, although I was cautious about telling anybody about it then.” It seems that Driscoll may have been correct in his assertion that his support of Trump would have a negative effect on him. In a message forwarded to Driscoll by the president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation Michael Weinstein which Driscoll provided to Breitbart Tech, a conversation that Weinstein had with AHF’s chief legal counsel Tom Myers states:
Tom and I had a chance to sit down together recently to discuss his consultancy with AHF. I explained to him that his active involvement in the Trump campaign would not work while consulting with us. While people’s personal partisan activities are their right, to the degree that it might have a negative effect on the way that AHF is viewed, I told Jim that he would need to take a hiatus until after the election.
Driscoll confirmed with Breitbart that he has absolutely no active involvement in Donald Trump’s campaign, either paid or as a volunteer; he simply supports him as the Republican candidate for president. AHF President Michael Wenstein has also previously told Driscoll that his support of Trump posed a problem as the AHF had Muslim and Hispanic clients.
Although a “hiatus” is mentioned in the email, Driscoll has stated that a resumption of his duties as a political strategist was never discussed. Driscoll has been a contractor for the AHF, which employs 3600 people, for the past 15 years and says that no one had ever been terminated as a result of their political views — until Trump.
“When businesses bully, intimidate, or terminate employees, vendors, etc, because they support the ‘wrong’ candidates for national office, that violates freedom of speech protected under the constitution. Such violations are especially offensive when committed by a non-profit 501(c) 3 whose main funding derives from government tax monies paid by citizens of all political, racial, and religious classes and views,” said Driscoll.
“I believe that discrimination against Trump supporters is much more widespread than reported,” Driscoll said. “The animus of the establishment media infects those who follow it. In pursuing legal counsel on this, I learned that there are almost no Republican civil rights lawyers, and nothing like the ACLU to protect the rights of conservatives which I believe are violated increasing frequency, especially on the campuses. Just ask Milo.”
Breitbart Tech reached out to AHF for comment on the matter, but they declined to comment.
Lucas Nolan is a conservative who regularly contributes articles on censorship and free speech to Breitbart. Follow him on Twitter@LucasNolan_ or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org