Senate Banned Funding To AIDS Programs That ‘Promote Homosexuality’ 24 Years Ago Today

The U.S. Senate voted 94–2 to ban federal funding for AIDS programs that “promote homosexuality,” 24 years ago today, Box Turtle Bulletin’s Jim Burroway notes. Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC) offered the amendment and cited comic books published by the Gay Mens’ Health Crisis in New York to argue, “If the American people saw these books, they would be on the verge of revolt.” He claimed the books showed “graphic detail of a sexual encounter between two homosexual men. The comic books do not encourage a change in that perverted behavior. In fact, the comic books promote sodomy.” The measure passed in the House by a vote of 358–47 and remained in effect until it was overturned by a federal court in 1992.