GOP Senator: “Let Babies Get AIDS!”

by Tommi Avicolli-Mecca on March 10, 2009

Mark Twain was right when he said, “History has tried hard to teach us that we can’t have good government under politicians.” Especially the Republican kind.

Consider Colorado Senator Dave Schultheis, a “pro-life” Republican from Colorado Springs, who recently voted against a bill that would require pregnant mothers to be tested for HIV so that if they’re positive, they can have caesarian sections to stop them from transmitting the disease to their kids. The Senator originally voted for the bill in committee, then had a sudden change of heart at 5am one morning. Why? Because he feels government has no business protecting people from the negative consequences of their action.

As he told the Rocky Mountain News: “What I’m hoping is that yes, that person may have AIDS, have it seriously as a baby, and when they grow up, but the mother will begin to feel guilt as a result of that. The family will see the negative consequences of that promiscuity and it may make a number of people over the coming years begin to realize that there are negative consequences and maybe they should adjust their behavior.”

In other words, deny “promiscuous” mothers an HIV test so that their children can suffer for the rest of their lives with an incurable disease simply because Schultheis believes that having multiple partners is wrong.

This, from a person who supposedly believes in the sanctity of human life. I guess fetuses are more sacred than children. Would he feel the same way if it were his daughter who was pregnant?

Fortunately, the bill passed the Senate without his vote.

Then there’s Colorado State Senator Scott Renfroe, another “pro-life” Republican, who, during a debate on healthcare benefits for gay domestic partners of state employees, compared homosexuality to murder and read from a passage in the Bible that says queers should be put to death.

To quote the Senator, who is a deacon at his local church: “Leviticus 20:13 says, ‘If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act and they shall surely be put to death. Their blood guiltiness is upon them.’ I’m not saying (homosexuality) is the only sin that is out there. Obviously, we have sin. We have murder. We have all sorts of sin. We have adultery. And we don’t make laws making those legal. And we would never think to make murder legal.”

Renfroe later said that he didn’t mean to imply that homosexuality and murder were the same. But he added that he stood by his religious beliefs.

As a believer in Leviticus, I hope that Renfroe also beats his slaves, kills his disobedient children and doesn’t eat pig.

Tommi Avicolli Mecca is co-editor of Avanti Popolo: Italians Sailing Beyond Columbus, and editor of Smash the Church, Smash the State: The Early Years of Gay Liberation, which will be published June 1 by City Lights Books. His website:

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