AIDS Action Network Alert
AIDS Action Council applauds the quick response some on Capitol Hill have demonstrated this week in proposing legislation that would repeal, contingent on President Clinton's signing of the 1996 Department of Defense Authorization bill, an extremist provision mandating the discharge of 1,049 otherwise healthy active duty HIV-positive service members. We are heartened that unlike the provision's author and primary champion, Rep. Robert Dornan (R-Calif.), there are enough morally-responsible members of Congress actively pushing for the repeal of this blatantly discriminatory provision.
As much as AIDS Action applauds and appreciates this responsible approach to preventing the irreparable harm that codification of this shameful provision would cause, we remain hopeful that such action will soon become unnecessary. AIDS Action continues to urge President Clinton to veto the 1996 Department of Defense Authorization bill. We urge the President and his advisers to pay close attention to the growing chorus of opposition against this extremist provision and to act decisively to ensure that such an extremist and un-American measure is not allowed to become law. AIDS Action understands that the President is deeply "troubled" about the fairness of this provision. He should be troubled -- and he should not be signing a measure that in its unfairness is the most damaging piece of legislation in the history of the epidemic. Mr. President, despite earlier announcements of your intention to sign the bill, it is not too late to act responsibly on this issue: Veto the
Founded in 1984, AIDS Action Council is the only national organization devoted solely to shaping federal AIDS policy and legislation, and advocating for increased AIDS funding. AIDS Action represents more than 1,000 community-based AIDS service organizations throughout the United States.
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AIDS Action Council
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Mark Barnes is executive director of AIDS Action Council. Founded in 1984, AIDS Action represents more than 1,000 community-based AIDS service organizations nationwide, and is the only national organization devoted solely to lobbying the federal government on AIDS policy, legislation and funding.