One of the policies that Vice President Mike Pence is best known for his is adamantly supportive stance on gay conversion therapy, a dangerous practice that has been called into question by countless human rights organizations around the world.
Yet, when U2 frontman Bono met with Pence this weekend, when they were both in Germany for the Munich Security Conference, he chose another conversation topic, focusing instead on the Vice President’s fourteen-year-old support of a 2003 Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, back when he was in congress representing Indiana. A video of their brief conversation is above, and Pence happily shared the interaction on Twitter:
Of course, that decade-and-a-half-old plan focused on the global HIV/AIDS epidemic with an emphasis in Africa, although HIV and AIDS are an issue that also substantially impacts lives in the American queer community, where Pence has been not only absent as an activist, but in fact worked against helping those communities suffering within his own home state of Indiana.
In 2011 he lobbied to pass a bill defunding Planned Parenthood, and then in 2013 as governor, he slashed public funding to the only HIV testing center in Scott County — which happened to be a Planned Parenthood — effectively leaving 24,000 residents without HIV testing. Incidence of the disease spiraled out of control in the wake of this legislation.
This is something that U2 fans were quick to point out on Twitter, expressing their disappointment that Bono was more interested with calling Pence “the second busiest man in America” than calling him out on his much-maligned policies about AIDS relief and queer rights within America.
Bono also gave a speech at the conference, explicitly stating: “I don’t see a body of water wide enough, or a wall high enough, to keep these problems from our doors… The frontier of national interest is no longer the national border.” Has he checked out the rhetoric coming out of Pence’s running mate? Check out a clip from that speech below.