Bill Hattoy dies of AIDS complications

March 7, 2007

Bob Hattoy, a former Clinton aide and the first openly gay person with AIDS to speak at a national political convention, has died in California at 56.

Hattoy died Sunday at UC Davis Medical Center of complications of AIDS, The New York Times and Los Angeles Times reported.

Hattoy was working as an environmental advisor on candidate Bill Clinton's presidential campaign when he learned he had AIDS-related lymphoma, the Los Angeles Times said. He addressed the 1992 Democratic National Convention in New York at Clinton's request.

"Listen, I don't want to die. I don't want to die," said Hattoy in the four-minute address criticizing the AIDS policy of then-President George H.W. Bush. "But I don't want to live in an America where the president sees me as the enemy."

Hattoy gained national attention the following year when President Clinton said he would consider limiting the assignments of gay soldiers. Hattoy was quoted on the front page of The New York Times in March 1993 saying that such a move would be like "restricting gays and lesbians to jobs as florists and hairdressers" in civilian life.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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