I disagree with your editorial (" 'Moralists' vs. the AIDS War," Sept. 7), which argues that we should accept Sen. Nancy Kassebaum's (R-Kan.) amendments to the Ryan White Care Act as a preemptive strike around Sen. Jesse Helms' (R-N.C.) homophobic version. Both versions are fatally flawed.

Helms' version prohibits promoting or encouraging homosexuality or any discussion of homosexual sex. The more moderate Kassebaum version prohibits the promotion of any sexual activity whether heterosexual or homosexual. What is the Senate doing here? AIDS is transmitted sexually. We are not talking about baking cakes. We must have frank candid discussions about sexuality and the virus or new infections will continue to escalate.

Recent data shows that there are approximately 40,000 new infections each year despite the fact that we are 15 years into the epidemic. While the virus continues to cut down our young adults, the Republican-led Senate thinks we can address this epidemic without any discussion of sex at all. Nancy and Jesse: Grow up! Let's talk about sex. And death. And disease. And homosexuality. And morality. And religious response. And epidemic. Truth is our defense. Not half-baked ideas from the Senate!


West Hollywood

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