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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update



Advocate (05/28/96) No. 708, P. 20

Rep. Robert Dornan (R-Calif.), who has seen his controversial proposal to force the discharge of all HIV-positive military members first passed and then repealed, was able to get the national security subcommittee he chairs to approve a new version of the ban in April. President Clinton signed the ban into law in February, but also supported its repeal, which Congress voted for on April 25. The repeal was seen as a great victory for gay rights and AIDS activists, who credit Clinton and the Pentagon for their support. A group of senators initiated the repeal, which was approved as part of the 1996 spending bill. Dornan reacted to the repeal with anger, sounding off against Clinton. His new proposal adds full medical and disability benefits for all discharged HIV- positive service members, benefits he was against previously. He would also allow military leaders to keep any HIV-positive personnel who had at least 15 years of service. Another proposal from Dornan seeks to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Gay rights advocates say they are certain that Congress will reject a second foray into the issue of barring HIV-infected service members from the armed services and will also avoid getting back into the fight over gays in the military.


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