Dr. Fauci had zero problems criticizing homophobia right in front of Mike Pence
via The White House / YouTube

Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the most prominent members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, praised the LGBT community for their "incredible courage and dignity and strength and activism" during the HIV/AIDS epidemic at a White House press briefing on Tuesday.

That wouldn't be big news under normal circumstances, but he did so under the watchful eye of Vice President Mike Pence.


Mike Pence has supported numerous anti-LGBT laws throughout his political career. As governor of Indiana, he signed a "religious freedom" law that allowed business owners to discriminate against LGBT customers.

He's also supported legislation that would jail same-sex couples for applying for a marriage license and tried to use AIDS funding to pay for gay conversion therapy.

He even complained about the passage of the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes bill saying that it advanced a "radical social agenda" and would have "a chilling effect on religious expression, from the pulpits, in our temples, in our mosques and in our churches."

Fauci's comments came as he discussed how African-Americans have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

"When you're in the middle of a crisis like we are now with the coronavirus, it really does ultimately shine a very bright light on some of the real weaknesses and foibles in our society," he said.

He made a comparison to how the AIDS epidemic affected the LGBT community back in the '80s and '90s.

"During that time, there was extraordinary stigma, particularly against the gay community," Fauci said as Pence looked on.

"And it was only when the world realized how the gay community responded to this outbreak with incredible courage and dignity and strength and activism — I think that really changed some of the stigma against the gay community, very much so," Fauci continued.

The HIV/AIDS epidemic is often cited as a catalyst for the modern gay rights movement.

UC Newsroom / Twitter

"HIV-AIDS changed public perceptions a lot: It showed a more humane side of the community," says Ed Jackson, director of program development at Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange. "It also galvanized gay men into being more active and more visible. It brought people out of the closet."

When it comes to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Fauci definitely knows what he's talking about. Dr. Fauci has advised six presidents on HIV/AIDS and was one of the principal architects of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a program that has saved millions of lives throughout the developing world.

This isn't the first time that Mike Pence has had to listen to people criticizing homophobia. Last year, Leo Varadkar, the openly-gay President of Ireland took a direct shot at Pence at the Vice Presidential residence in Washington, D.C.

Leo Varadkar said that he should be "judged by my political actions, not by my sexual orientation" because he's from a "country where freedom and liberty are cherished." He also challenged Pence's faith by saying, "We are, after all, all God's children."

Photo courtesy of Macy's
True

Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

Photo courtesy of Macy's

Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

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via Pixabay

Over the past six years, it feels like race relations have been on the decline in the U.S. We've lived through Donald Trump's appeals to America's racist underbelly. The nation has endured countless murders of unarmed Black people by police. We've also been bombarded with viral videos of people calling the police on people of color for simply going about their daily lives.

Earlier this year there was a series of incidents in which Asian-Americans were the targets of racist attacks inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given all that we've seen in the past half-decade, it makes sense for many to believe that race relations in the U.S. are on the decline.

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