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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Senator Elizabeth Dole wants the name of one of America's most strident homophobes on new legislation that will provide HIV/AIDS relief.

Jesse Helms.

The LGBT blogger Joe.My.God. offers up some reasons why that very well could be the worst and most insulting idea in history:
Jesse Helms, the man who in 1987 described AIDS prevention literature as "so obscene, so revolting, I may throw up."

Jesse Helms, the man who in 1988 vigorously opposed the Kennedy-Hatch AIDS research bill, saying, "There is not one single case of AIDS in this country that cannot be traced in origin to sodomy."

Jesse Helms, the man who in 1995 said (in opposition to refunding the Ryan White Act) that the government should spend less on people with AIDS because they got sick due to their "deliberate, disgusting, revolting conduct."

Jesse Helms, the man who in 2002 announced that he'd changed his mind about AIDS funding for Africa, but not for American gays, because homosexuality "is the primary cause of the doubling and redoubling of AIDS cases in the United States."

Many people hold Ronald Reagan responsible for adding to the early AIDS death toll by his inaction on the pandemic, but it was Helms' actions in thwarting early research that inarguably hastened the demise of many thousands of Americans. How many of my friends, of your friends, would be alive today if the life-saving medications had arrived just one fucking year earlier?

Perfectly put. Anyone seeking to line themselves up with bigots, elitists and pimps of religious virtue, vote Republican. This is the kind of stuff you're signing up for.


  • From Sullivan:
    I simply have no words in the face of Liddy Dole's attempt to attach Jesse Helms' name to the PEPFAR renewal. Helms did everything he could to ensure the deaths of thousands of gay men from HIV in the 1980s and 1990s; he never recanted his despicable hatred of those who struggled alone with this disease in the darkest days of the epidemic, and did all he could to make sure nothing was ever done to help them. That he should be honored now, especially when he was single-handedly responsible for adding a unique stigma to HIV-positive people in immigration law is just ... well, unfathomable.

    This is akin to someone attaching Strom Thurmond's name posthumously to a civil rights bill. It's that insulting to our gay brothers and sisters. Maybe more so.


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