Monday, July 7, 2008

Helms said gays threaten the survival of the American family

Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC) attempted to amend S. 419, the Hate Crimes Statistics Act. His amendment was defeated 19-77, with a majority of both Democrats and Republicans voting against it. (Shamefully, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), who is now the Senate Majority Leader, was one of eight Democrats who voted "yea".) From the Congressional Record:

HELMS AMENDMENT NO. 1251 (Senate - February 08, 1990)

Mr. HELMS proposed an amendment to the bill S. 419, supra, as follows:

At the appropriate place, insert the following new section:

Sec. . It is the sense of the Senate that--

(1) the homosexual movement threatens the strength and the survival of the American family as the basic unit of society;

(2) State sodomy laws should be enforced because they are in the best interest of public health;

(3) the Federal government should not provide discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation; and

(4) school curriculums should not condone homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle in American society.

As it happens, the Senate approved an alternate amendment sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). The Hatch Amendment verbiage was devoid of Helms' rabies, but the effect was actually worse: whereas the Helms Amendment did nothing more than express a non-binding Sense of the Senate, the Hatch Amendment explicitly forbade the appropriation of any funds "to promote or encourage homosexuality". The Hatch Amendment passed 96-0. From the Congressional Record:

HATCH (AND OTHERS) AMENDMENT NO. 1250 (Senate - February 08, 1990)

At the end of the bill insert the following:

(a) Congress finds that:

1. The American family life is the foundation of American society,

2. Federal policy should encourage the well-being, financial security, and health of the American family,

3. Schools should not deemphasize the critical value of American family life.

(b) Nothing in this Act shall be construed, nor shall any funds appropriated to carry out the purpose of the Act be used, to promote or encourage homosexuality.

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