Libby Doles Out Dubious Honor

Republican Senator Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina submitted an amendment to name an HIV/AIDS relief bill after the late Jesse Helms. Helms, Dole’s predecessor in North Carolina, was notorious for being a "strident foe of HIV/AIDS prevention, research and treatment." In 1988, while vigorously opposing the Kennedy-Hatch AIDS research bill, Helms said, "There is not one single case of AIDS in this country that cannot be traced in origin to sodomy." Later, in 1995, in opposition to refunding the Ryan White Act, he argued that "the government should spend less on people with AIDS because they got sick due to their 'deliberate, disgusting revolting conduct.'" In 1991, seven activists from the group Act Up famously put a giant condom on Helms' Arlington home that said, "Helms Is Deadlier Than A Virus." Helms did announce in 2002 that he’d changed his mind about AIDS funding in Africa; however, his change-of-heart did not extent to American gays, saying that homosexuality "is the primary cause of the doubling and redoubling of AIDS cases in the United States."


The Huffington Post is notorious for presenting other people's work as their own, and Rachel Weiner is apparently trying to take credit for this particular story.

Dole's Helms AIDS bill amendment has stirred up a furor in the gay community, and the story was broken in Atomic Gay Wonk on Tuesday, July 15, at and cross-posted on Kos also Tuesday at

HuffPo writer ("xeroxer" might be better) Rachel Weiner didn't get around to this story until almost 24 hours later, after it had already been all over the blogosphere. When she finally did get around to it, she merely linked to someone else's commentary instead of properly attributing the story.