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Elizabeth Dole proposes naming AIDS bill after homophobe Jesse Helms

By pams
Wednesday, July 16, 2008 14:08 EDT

Good god, this is disgusting. Perhaps all that work on Sen. Liddy Dole has caused something to snap. Out of all the people to try to honor in an Act dedicated to fighting AIDS, Elizabeth Dole spits in the face of LGBTs by proposing the now-dead Jesse Helms be added to the “Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008.” Here’s the Congressional Record:

SA 5074. Mrs. DOLE submitted an amendment intended to be proposed by her to the bill S. 2731, to authorize appropriations for fiscal years 2009 through 2013 to provide assistance to foreign countries to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and for other purposes; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows: On page 1, line 5, strike ”and Henry J. Hyde” and insert ”, Henry J. Hyde, and Jesse Helms”.

Thousands died because of Helms’s bigotry. There are so many reasons why Liddy needs to be defeated, and this only adds to the pile. James @ BlueNC:

The way I see Liddy Dole is simple: She’s a three time loser. First she drove the American Red Cross into the ground. Then she displayed extraordinary fundraising incompetence as Queen of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. And now, working with the Decider, she has gotten the US mired in never-ending debt, never-ending war, and a full-fledged economic meltdown.

And yet, Dole’s challenger, Kay Hagan, is still trailing my useless senator in the polls (54% to 42%) and Dole has more than twice as much in the bank as Hagan, though the latter has pulled in quite a bit in the last quarter. It would be great to see Hagan take Dole on regarding this issue, but unfortunately Kay Hagan has a habit of avoiding responses to basic questions about pro-LGBT legislation, apparently fearing that taking a pro-equality position of any kind will drive away NC voters. I can’t see her taking any lead on this one. Surprise me Kay, and come out of the closet on these matters. Dole handed this one to you on a platter.

Anyway, it looks like it’s going to come down to turnout; there has been a massive increase in registration thanks to Barack Obama’s nationwide effort to bring in new voters, but it’s not clear that they’ll cast a ballot for Hagan when in the booth. Certainly there’s zero incentive to vote for Dole — unlike the man whose name she wants to attach to that AIDS bill, she’s got a horrible reputation for constituent services.

Joe Jervis of Joe.My.God says it all:

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.”

…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?

Hat tip, Atomic Gay Wonk.

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By pams

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