Gay History – October 28th: Republican Senator Jesse Helms “Homosexuals and lesbians [are] disgusting”
1903: British writer Evelyn Waugh is born in London. His best-known works include his early satires Decline and Fall (1928) and A Handful of Dust (1934), and of course his novel Brideshead Revisited (1945).
1970: Kate Millet, American feminist writer, artist and activist comes out of the closet. Millet became a seminal influence on second-wave feminism and is best known for her 1970 book Sexual Politics.
1990: The late Senator Jesse Helms infamously declared in a campaign speech that “homosexuals and lesbians [are] disgusting people marching in our streets demanding all sorts of things, including the right to marry each other.” Helms was disgusted by gays and lesbians, who he called “weak, morally sick wretches” (1994), and accused them of engaging in “incredibly offensive and revolting conduct”
For nearly two decades, he fought tooth and nail against expanded federal funding for AIDS research, and exploited gays and lesbians as convenient scapegoats in his constant fear-mongering crusade. In 1987 Helms said, “Somewhere along the line we’re going to have to quarantine people with AIDS.” Helms’ uncaring and disgusting response to the disease was explained by his tirade the next year against the bipartisan Kennedy-Hatch AIDS bill, when he claimed, “There is not one single case of AIDS in this country that cannot be traced in origin to sodomy.” Of course which was a lie.
Helms died of vascular dementia during the early morning hours of July 4, 2008, at the age of 86. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky eulogized Helms as one of the “kindest men” in Congress, and said, “no matter who you were, he always had a thoughtful word and a gentle smile.”
Jesse Helms is currently burning in HELL alongside Jerry Falwell and his good friend Ronald Reagan. They are waiting on FRC’s Tony Perkins to check-in and join them so they have a fourth for Canasta.
1990: A high-end event at Carnegie Hall raised $1.5 million for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. It was reportedly a “three-hour international parade of singers and musicians [and] a demonstration that AIDS is a disease to be feared and resisted not just by several enclaves but by people of every sex, nationality and sexual persuasion.”
1992: Episcopal Bishop A. Theodore Eastman issued an order to clergy in Maryland not to bless same-sex unions.
1997: The National Black Lesbian and Gay Leadership Forum condemned gospel singers Angie and Debbie Winans for their anti-gay song “It’s Not Natural” and BET-TV for providing them with a one-sided forum to promote their homophobic views.
2009: The first openly gay member of the German government, Guido Westerwelle, took office as Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister to Angela Merkel. – Kiss me Guido!