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AIDS Action Applauds Passage of Senate DOD Authorization Bill

One Step Closer To Ending Discriminatory Discharge Of HIV-Positive Troops

July 10, 1996

AIDS Action applauds the Senate's passage of the Department of Defense authorization bill (S.1745) with language that counters Representative Bob Dornan's (R-CA) discriminatory provision mandating the discharge of all active duty service members who test positive for HIV. The Senate bill's language, championed by Senator John McCain (R-AZ), calls upon the Secretary of Defense to establish a uniform policy that covers all service members who are non-deployable due to a health condition including those with HIV. Through his leadership, Senator McCain has helped maintain the voice of reason and compassion in the face of an otherwise mean spirited attempt by Representative Dornan and others to persecute members of the military whose dedication and performance should not be questioned simply because they test positive for HIV.

The Senate must insist on preserving the McCain language when the DoD authorization bill goes to conference between the House and Senate. The establishment of a uniform policy ensures that all non-deployable troops are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve. AIDS Action calls upon the House leadership to let wisdom and compassion prevail over the misinformed and misguided actions of Representative Dornan and his supporters by accepting the McCain language.

Founded in 1984, AIDS Action Council is the only national organization devoted solely to lobbying the federal government on AIDS policy, legislation and funding. AIDS Action represents more than 1,000 community-based AIDS service organizations throughout the United States.

For more information, contact:
Kevin Mercuri, Communications Manager
AIDS Action Council
1875 Connecticut Avenue NW #700
Washington DC 20009
202-986-1300, Ext. 3065
202-986-1345 (fax)
202-332-9614 (tty)

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This article was provided by AIDS Action Council.