David Mixner, a prominent LGBT activist and a former campaigner for Bill Clinton and Eugene McCarthy, has admitted to his part in the assisted suicide of eight gay men who were dying from AIDs in the Eighties.
He made the confession during a performance of his one-man stage show Oh Hell No, put on to raise money for LGBT youth scholarship charity the Point Foundation.
Telling the crowd he had sought legal advice before he proceeded to recount the events, he said that he was part of an underground euthanasia network that assisted the dying of men who were terminal sufferers of the virus at the historical height of the epidemic
The network, he said, had been in operation before effective treatments for the symptoms of the HIV virus and had worked in tandem with trained medical professionals.
“I am not worried, and what I did was right,” he told The Daily Beast of his part in the network after the revelatory performance.
“In the end I wanted people to know about these decisions I had to take in my 30s that no one should have to take in their 30s.”
One of the deaths he assisted, he said, was that of his late partner Peter Scott.
“This was the man I loved most in my life. AIDS was such a horrendous death.
“It was slow, painful, you’d waste away, starve, be covered in lesions. Some of those with it knew they did not want to live beyond a certain point. Out of a desire for dignity and honour, they asked their friends to help them die.”
Mixner added that he would only help the men to die when he was “100 per cent sure there was no hope” that they could survive the illness.
He said that some patients “got angry” when he declined to assist them, “but I could only held to do it when it felt right to me.”
On average, he estimated that he lost 300 friends to AIDs during the Eighties. He claims to have delivered 90 eulogies in just two years.
A veteran civil rights activist, Mixner started his career campaigning on behalf of Eugene McCarthy during the anti-war movement of the Sixties in the US.
In 1969, he was asked to join the Democratic Party Delegate Selection Committee.
After coming out as gay himself in 1976, he co-founded America’s premiere LGBT political action committee, the Municipal Elections Committee of Los Angeles (MECLA).
Among his biggest achievements were the successful defeat of a ballot in California, which would have seen gay and lesbian men and women banned from working with children in schools.
He also saw off a ballot in 1985 that called for HIV sufferers to be placed in quarantine.
Later in his career, he famously helped Bill Clinton successfully rise to office during the elections of 1992, making him the first openly gay person to be the face of a presidential campaign.
He had done so after Clinton promised to support LGBT community serving in the military. However, their relationship broke down after the President failed to honour it when he came to office.
Mixner was subsequently arrested outside the White House in 1993, when he joined gay rights protesters demonstrating against the administration’s policy.
Clinton and Mixner mended their fractured relationship later in the Nineties, although the former leader never revisited the original policy pledge during his presidency.
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