Elizabeth Dole Wants to Improve Jesse Helms’ AIDS Record Posthumously

Via Atomic Gay Wonk comes word that North Carolina GOP Senator Elizabeth Dole wants to change the name of an AIDS bill before the Senate, adding homophobic AIDS-enabler Jesse Helms to that of former Reps. Henry Hyde and Tom Lantos:

Helms_dole“Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) yesterday introduced an amendment that would have added the name of Jesse Helms to the title of the HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria bill that is before the Senate…The name of the Act proposed in S. 2731 is “Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008″. The Act would be named after former Reps. Tom Lantos (D-CA-12) and Henry Hyde (R-IL-06), who worked together in their last years in Congress to achieve bipartisan support for federal funding for the fight against these diseases.”

The language was as follows: “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’.”

(via Joe.My.God)

A Bit More on the Jesse Helms Condom Story [tr]
Remembering Activism: Jesse Helms (Home) Wears a Condom [tr]
Ding Dong…Former Senator Jesse Helms is dead. [tr]


  1. jason says

    AIDS has never been a gay disease and I resent absolutely the notion that it was. It only became a gay disease because of political reasons, such as the inclination to a victimhood mentality in the gay community as well as the “God’s revenge” notion that exists within fundamentalist Christians. Thus, AIDS became a gay disease due to a “perfect storm” of competing interests.

    Keep in mind also the crucial element of liberal opposition to male bisexuality. Liberals loathe male bisexuals – in fact, some gay men loathe male bisexuals too – and AIDS gave them an excuse to attack bisexuality in men. Liberals unfairly cast bisexual men as the villains in the spread of AIDS into the heterosexual community, a perfect piece of liberal lying and prejudice designed to demonize male bisexuality.

    As for Helms, I think he served his constituency but failed to achieve much nationally beyond the occasional 5 second grab on the TV news.

  2. Jonathan says

    That’s a misleading headline. Hyde is not being removed from the bill. Dole is trying to add Helms. The only reason Hyde has to be struck initially is because of the word “and” in front of his name. Since Helms would be appended to the list, “and” has to be in front of his name, and since there’s now three people in the list, there has to be commas as well.

    That said, putting Helms’ name on an AIDS bill is the equivalent of putting Randy Cunningham’s name on an anti-corruption bill.

  3. Eric says

    I’m not sure where Jason’s getting his info from – I’ve been doing research on the history of AIDS for two years now. AIDS didn’t become a gay disease because of a “victimhood mentality” in the gay community. It came about because AIDS, particularly in its early years, struck the gay community at a significantly higher rate than any other group. That it later became a political weapon to attack the gay community is certainly true (Jesse Helms was the perfect example of this, calling AIDS God’s deserved punishment against homosexuals.)

    Also, I find the broad generalization that liberals loathe bisexual men a bit extreme…

    And as for Helms serving his constituency well? Maybe if his constituency was made up entirely of straight, white men (or maybe heterosexual white women who were married).

  4. jason says

    Only in the West did AIDS strike the gay community to a greater extent. But that’s no excuse to call it a gay disease. It is NOT a definitive gay disease under any circumstances. Stop tarnishing the entire gay community with this AIDS notion.

    Frankly I am fed up with highly promiscuous men who run off and have sex with 10 strange men in one night in cubicles and saunas. This is a perfect recipe for catching something. Partying non-stop and sniffing amyl doesn’t help the immune system either.

  5. ggreen says

    I doubt if it will get any real traction. The Republican ‘tards are trying desperately to whitewash everything about their party for the last 20 or so years (With the help of a compliant corporate media). Jessie helms is the perfect face of the Republican Party and Conservative “family values”. He was a racist, homophobic bigot that would do anything to screw poor and working class Americans in the name of his Big business benefactors (mostly Tobacco companies). All the time spinning his “down home folksy wisdom” BS to the ignorant folks that voted for him time after time.

  6. rayrayj says

    As a life-long North Carolinian, I can honestly assert Jesse Helms never acted in my best interest. He may have led some of his constituency to believe that he served them, but not me. He was a hateful, bigoted, shallow-minded, fundamentalist, conservative, born-again Christian. He was bad for NC and the US when he was in the Senate, and Dole is nearly as bad for us now. Helms worked tirelessly to bar AIDS funding when he was alive; and for that ignorant bitch to try to add his name to any AIDS funding bill only shows how clueless she is. Any support to get her out of the Senate would be greatly appreciated by this North Carolinian

  7. Christopher says

    “AIDS has never been a gay disease and I resent absolutely the notion that it was. It only became a gay disease because of political reasons, such as the inclination to a victimhood mentality in the gay community…”

    I’m waging a guess that Jason is under 30. Anyone who lived through the sickness of so many friends and lovers during the 80’s, and witnessed their brave/terrified/strong/vulnerable/agonized release into death would never try to sum up that crucible of suffering and love with a word like “victim”. Not one of the men I lost ever identified as a victim. It’s entirely possible to say that AIDS is a gay disease without implying that it defines the gay community. Why, then, attempt to define us with the broad stroke of “victim mentality”?

  8. Derek says

    (1) It’s Libby not Liddy

    (2) Jason is seems you’ve been sniffing poppers yourself if you think AIDS only hit west coast gays to a “greater extent”…

    Where are you getting your facts man?

  9. Sebastian says

    She is as useless as a old dish rag. I saw her signing his praises on C-Span, and, howled when she said he was a “gentleman who treated all people fair.” Are the citizens of North Carolina so vapid that they will vote for anyone who says they are a Repugnant, even when they are as unqualified as this old hag?

  10. LD says

    Derek, Ms. Dole’s familiar name is Liddy, not Libby.

    I’ll never forget Dole yammering away at the 2004 Republican convention in front of an enormous sign that read “COMPASSION”, proving how well the repugs love their meaningless signs. Mission Accomplished. Support Our Troops. Freedom Isn’t Free. Compassion. Just put it on a sign, and it’ll be true!

  11. Derek says

    I’ve found it listed as both Libby and Liddy – I thought it was Libby based on Elizabeth…Even during Bob’s campaign you would often hear it as Libby. I stand corrected.

    But Jason is still sniffing poppers.

  12. John in Manhattan says

    According to Pam’s House Blend, Liddy is leading (54%) the race against Kay Hagan (42%):


    “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.”


  13. Bob R says

    I think Jason is a Log Cabin Republicanette and a history revisionist. Sorry, but I’m an old fag who has been around since the very beginning of the “gay plague” as it was once known. It started in the US with gay men. Kaposi’s sarcoma was the pre-dominate “first” oppotunistic infection and death was usually by PCP(pneumocystis carinii pneumonia). At first its name was GRID (Gay Related Immuno-Deficiency), then HTLV III Infection and finally HIV/AIDS. I lost almost to a person my entire circle of friends. It was a sizeable circle, out of about 30 there are about 5 survivors, 2 who are currently infected and long term survivors). I watched my gay family suffer and die before AZT came on the scene. In those days from diagnosis to death averaged 6-8 months. Helms, Reagan and company were in a large part responsible for those deaths and so many more.

    I worked as an AIDS Educator and Ryan White Title I Case Manager for almost 16 years. Is it a “gay” disease? That can be debated and often is hotly contested. All I can say is do the research and examine the numbers. Although this may sound absolutely horrible to say, but if in fact GRID/HTLV III and finally AIDS didn’t migrate to the heterosexual community in the US via blood transfusions or sex, we would not have our current (though abysmal) funding levels for Ryan White, ADAP and other programs that fight HIV. Until HIV reared it’s ugly head in the “straight” world, it was ignored by the President and Congress and most of the press. It was in fact accepted by many in the politically conservative Republican party and among evangelicals as God’s plan to rid society of sexual deviants, drug abusers and other undesirables.

    I suggest Jason that you read “And the Band Played On” by Randy Schilts and do a little intensive research on the history of HIV/AIDS in the US.

    The disease has existed in Africa for a hundred years or more, known there as “Slims Disease” and found in simians. How it crossed species is also open to debate, blood rituals, bites? But, the fact is, statistically HIV affects more gay males than any other group. But, it is not exclusively our disease now. So Jason, go back to your log cabin, light a candle and do some reading tonight. Oh, and poppers were thought to be the cause of KS in HIV infected men, but that has never been conclusively proven.

    To me, adding Helm’s name to any HIV Bill would be the same as putting Albert Speers name on a Holocaust Memorial Bill. Dole is an hateful right wing bitch and her erectiley defective husband a bastard.

  14. Michael Bedwell says

    This COULD happen! Both parties are going to want to make Jesse supporters in NC happy primarily because they want to win NC in the President election in Nov. And though I still hope he’s screaming in Hell he did ultimately support international AIDS funding [read “nongay”].

    If you genuinely want to try to stop it, write your Senators!!! NOW!!! If you don’t don’t know how, go to the following great site for identifying all of your elected state/national officials:


    And, Bob R, unless you were referring to ONLY the US, would you please break down your assertion, “statistically HIV affects more gay males than any other group”? Thanks.

  15. Brad says

    I didn’t even realize this poor ol’ senile cunt was STILL in the Senate. Yikes. I think she needs to place husband Bob’s bottle of Viagra back on the table and step away.

    She is from heretofore to be known as Sen. Dolt.

  16. says

    I urge you to write your senators and demand that this attempt at whitewashing the record of this hateful bigot be fought in the Senate.

    I have written to Boxer, and it was quite an effort to restrain from spewing the same hate that I displayed this morning when writing on this at Daily Kos (I am almost ashamed at my description of what I wish his last moments were but really, he deserved much worse). Helms was one of the most disgusting mean-spirited men ever to ‘serve’ this nation.

    There is plenty of blood on plenty of hands, but Helms was awash in it. I hope he is being force-fed fecal matter in hell.

    (Oops, see what I mean?)

    Please, guys, direct this energy toward the Senate, if only to let them know we haven’t forgotten the truth. And we won’t.

  17. Bob R says

    Mr. Bedwell, I should have stated “in the US”. Sorry I wasn’t as clear on that as I should have been but I was on my way out of the house and wanted to get in a response to Jason before it was forgotten.

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