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Bill Introduced To Repeal HIV Provision In DOD Bill NGLTF Challenges Dole And Gingrich To Lead The Way

Date: 
February 16, 1996

Representatives Peter Torkildsen (R-Mass), Jane Harman (D-CA), Connie Morella (R-MD) and Ron Dellums (D-CA) have introduced HB 2959, a bill to repeal a provision signed into law as part of the Defense Authorization Bill that will discharge service members with HIV. Eighty-eight representatives have already signed on as co-sponsors for the bill.

This provision, authored by ultra-conservative Congressman Robert Dornan, was supported by the Radical Right and passed by the Republican Congress. The provision instructs the Pentagon to discharge all service members living with HIV within six months. Although the Clinton Administration has claimed that the provision is unconstitutional and court tests are expected, it is critical that the provision be repealed by Congress.

Melinda Paras, NGLTF executive director, called on Senate and House leaders Robert Dole and Newt Gingrich to work aggressively for the provision's repeal. Paras said, "We look to the Congressional leadership to drop their rhetoric and take the high road leading toward respect, compassion and fairness for service members living with HIV."

NGLTF urges activists to write, phone or fax their Representative and Senators and ask them for their support to repeal this discriminatory provision.

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.