Thursday, March 25, 2010

Jesse Helms: Gay Savior?

In what has to be one of the most bizarre rewritings of history, The Jesse Helms Center Foundation is attempting to revise the late U.S. senator's virulently antigay reputation.

I kid you not.

As reported in The Advocate, The New York Times has written that “despite Mr. Helms’s storied opposition to ‘a homosexual lifestyle,’ the Jesse Helms Center in Wingate, N.C., is challenging the idea that he was a “homophobe” or obstructive in the AIDS fight.

“According to the center’s Web site, ‘It was Senator Helms who worked most tirelessly to protect the very principles of freedom that homosexuals are denied in many other nations.’

The Center is especially adamant that Helms' support of a recently lifted ban on people with HIV entering the United States was, in fact, pro gay.

“John Dodd, president of the Jesse Helms Center Foundation, recently disputed an editorial in the British newspaper The Guardian that vilified Mr. Helms for his role in the ban. Mr. Dodd argued that ‘two million Africans were alive’ because of the senator’s work fighting H.I.V.
“Assemblyman Tom Ammiano of San Francisco, whose partner Tim Curbo died from AIDS, said the Helms Center sought to sanitize the record. ‘It’s spitting on the graves of all the people who suffered,’ Mr. Ammiano said, adding, ‘He was truly evil and very cavalier about it. He should be in the hall of shame.’”
That sounds more like it. 

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