Just file this one under the ridiculous and bizarre. Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-NC, officially requests the ”Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008" should also be named after the late Sen. Jesse Helms, R-NC who died on the Fourth of July. Dole's amendment never came up for a vote.
Helms bitterly opposed funding for AIDS research and was one of the main sponsors of the HIV travel ban enacted in 1987, which, finally, the Senate voted to repeal last night. Helms called gays "weak, morally sick wretches", and, fought funding so fiercely that in 1991, AIDS activists sheathed his Virginia home in a gigantic condom (YouTube) to call attention to his deadly politics.
"That is bizarre," Rep. Barney Frank, D-MA, tells ABC News after being told of Dole's request. "That is absolutely bizarre. The Lantos-Hyde-Helms… the idea that anyone would want to do that is ludicrous."
A much stronger reaction across the gay e-telligentsia. Under the headline, "Elizabeth Dole Says 'Fuck You' To Americans Who Died From AIDS", the always-witty Joe.My.God chronicles Helm's despicable opposing gays and funding for HIV/AIDS prevention and research. "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?"
Some Background ...
Noted Racist, Homophobe Jesse Helms Dies at 86 [R20]