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Judge apologises for writing homophobic letters and saying gay people with HIV deserved to die

Patrick Kelleher January 24, 2020
Dan Hazard: Judge apologises for saying gay men with HIV deserve to die

Dan Hazard (L)

A judge in Ohio has issued an apology after damning letters he wrote to his student newspaper in the early 1990s about the gay community resurfaced.

In the letters, which were published in 1992 and 1993 and were discovered by WTOL-TV, judge Dan Hazard declared himself a homophobe and suggested that people with HIV deserved to die.

In the first letter, Hazard declared: “My name is Dan Hazard and I am also homophobic.”

He continued: “This phobia is not so much a personal one, but a fear for the future of this great nation we call God’s country.”

In the letters, judge Dan Hazard said gay people are considered ‘savages’ by many people.

The Ohio judge went on to suggest that LGBT+ people do not deserve “equal treatment” and said many think of them as “savages”.

“These people think they deserve equal treatment under the law. I challenge anyone to name any civilised nation that looks at queers as ‘normal’ human beings. There just aren’t any.”

He added: “Homosexuals squeal for money and AIDS treatment. I suggest we cut all AIDS research funding (not AIDS education) because 95 per cent of those inflicted with the deadly disease pretty much deserve it anyway.”

I am sorry that it will hurt even more people today including my gay and transgender family and friends whom I love dearly.

In a second letter, Hazard asked: “Is the homosexual lifestyle a safe one?” He went on to cite studies which found that people with HIV lived on average (at that time) until the age of 39.7

“I beg of the homosexual community one thing: Please keep your AIDS to yourselves. You have killed many innocent children, a few innocent adults (blood transfusions) and a number of not-so-innocent and irresponsible heterosexuals.”

Hazard issued an apology to the Toledo Blade for the comments, and called his words “reprehensible” and “deplorable”.

He apologised for his hurtful words and said his views have changed ‘drastically’ since then.

“I wrote this [letter] and another of the same tone as a teenage college student 27 years ago and by no means hold those beliefs today,” he said in the apology.

“I have zero excuse and could not attempt to justify it then or now. It was hurtful to anyone that saw it in 1993 or today. I am sorry that it will hurt even more people today including my gay and transgender family and friends whom I love dearly.

He said that he has befriended and represented many gay people in his legal career and has done so “without reservation”.

“One of the first weddings I officiated after taking the bench was of a same-sex couple. I did so with respect and dignity. Every day I treat every litigant and attorney with that same respect no matter their background, experience or gender identity and will continue to do so.”

He ended his statement by saying he was “glad” to be able to clarify his views, which he said have changed “drastically.”

“Respect is owed not only in the courtroom but in all of society.”

More: Dan Hazard, HIV/AIDS, Homophobia, judge, Ohio

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