Statement by ARCW President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Gifford on State Supreme Court Justice Bradley

Today, ARCW President and CEO Michael Gifford issued the following statement on State Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley’s Comments related to people with HIV/AIDS and the LGBT Community.

“I am shocked and troubled to learn of the wholly unacceptable sentiments written by Supreme Court Justice Bradley during her time as a college student. The views contained in Justice Bradley’s writing about HIV/AIDS and members of the LGBT community in 1992 had no place in our public dialogue then, nor do they today.”

“People with HIV/AIDS and the LGBT community deserve our support and admiration not the ridicule and scorn included in these comments.”

“Continuing discrimination against members of the LGBT community and the on-going stigma associated with HIV disease propel the AIDS epidemic forward, culminating in hundreds of new infections occurring in Wisconsin every year. At a time when we must do everything we can to end AIDS, these statements bring to light that there remains a long way to go before we can honestly say that members of the LGBT community and people living with HIV are welcomed as full participants in society.”

“While I can appreciate that Justice Bradley has finally apologized for her demeaning comments, unfortunately, her apology comes 24 years late.”

“Justice Bradley misses the fact that LGBT rights and the fight against AIDS are incredibly important today, just as they were in 1992.”

“Wisconsin has a long, proud, bi-partisan commitment to fighting the AIDS epidemic. That commitment started under the leadership of Governor Thompson, grew under Governor Doyle and continues to expand today under Governor Walker with strong support from members of the state legislature from across the political spectrum. It is critical that Justice Bradley, as a Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice, recognizes the important role justices play in ensuring equality for all citizens under the law, including those laws intended to protect and to support our LGBT friends and neighbors and people living with HIV.”