Log Cabin Praises U.S. Senate for Approving Repeal of HIV Travel and Immigration Ban

Provision to be Included in Reauthorization of President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief

July 17, 2008 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Blogger Tumblr

(Washington, DC) - Log Cabin Republicans praise the U.S. Senate for approving the repeal of a discriminatory ban on HIV+ visitors and immigrants. "This measure is long overdue and we applaud the U.S. Senate for ridding our country of this unjust and un-American law," said Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon.

"The provision overturning the draconian 1993 ban on HIV-positive visitors and immigrants was based on fear and stigmatizing those living with HIV/AIDS. We thank Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR) for his strong leadership on this issue," said Sammon. Smith, along with Senator John Kerry (D-MA), led the fight to include this provision in the Senate's legislation to reauthorize PEPFAR, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) led a failed attempt to preserve the travel ban.

PEPFAR reauthorization took months of negotiation to finalize. Log Cabin Republicans joined other organizations in lobbying Congress to repeal the ban. Healthcare Policy Advisor Dr. David Reznik led Log Cabin's efforts on this issue.

"This is a wonderful day for people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide," said Reznik. "I'm proud Log Cabin stood with our friends and allies to make sure this day became a reality. In addition to overturning the ban on HIV-positive visitors and immigrants, our chief concern throughout this process was to make sure a substantial portion of the funding in the reauthorization bill is targeted toward treatment and care for people living with HIV/AIDS.

PEPFAR now goes to a conference committee with members of the House and Senate before a full vote and, eventually, to the president's desk. PEPFAR has provided assistance to the regions of the world hit hardest by HIV/AIDS and has given life-saving medications to those most in need.