Alex Lee is shaking things up in California.
California Republicans are trying to push through a resolution, titled ACR 94, which would honor and celebrate former First Lady Nancy Reagan. The proposed measure would not only honor her, just as she would have turned 100-years-old on July 6, but the state would honor her for an entire year.
The resolution would spotlight Nancy Reagan’s legacy including raising awareness for POW and MIA Vietnam soldiers, her advocacy work for Alzheimer’s disease research, and… her war on drugs and her problematic past with the AIDS crisis. Its due to these last factors that openly bisexual Assemblyman Alex Lee has openly opposed the idea.
“Republicans want to honor an entire year after Nancy Reagan,” he tweeted to caption an impassioned he gave in front of the U.S. state’s Assembly. “Completely absurd to praise someone who escalated the war on drugs & let the AIDS crisis ravage the LGBTQ+ community. Reagans deserve no commemoration. I told the Assembly ‘Just say NO’.”
Republicans want to honor an entire year after Nancy Reagan. Completely absurd to praise someone who escalated the war on drugs & let the AIDS crisis ravage the LGBTQ+ community. Reagans deserve no commemoration
I told the Assembly “Just say NO” pic.twitter.com/SvmXdwmUbM
— Alex Lee 李天明 (@alex_lee) July 12, 2021
In his recorded speech, Lee argued, “Nancy Reagan, of the great many things she did in her life, we have to recognize the consequences of her actions… things like advocating against the equal rights amendment… and the detrimental role she and President (Ronald) Reagan played in the AIDS crisis that ravaged our LGBTQ community in the 80s,” Lee said.
Lee’s comments mirrored the stance of many LGBTQ rights and health organizations who have continued to ridicule how the Reagan administration handled the AIDS epidemic. Despite hearing initial reports of the virus in 1981, Ronald Reagan did not publically speak on the epidemic until 1987. By then, 47,022 Americans had contracted AIDS and 20,000 Americans had died from the virus.
In the end, however, California’s Republicans won on the measure, as the Assembly voted 48-5 on the vote.