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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”


 

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GOP lawmakers cringe at colleagues' words on sexuality
Promiscuity cited by Schultheis in vote against HIV testing
By Lynn Bartels, Rocky Mountain News (Contact)
Published February 25, 2009 at 1:05 p.m.
http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2009/feb/25/gop-lawmakers-comments-hiv-promiscuity-cause-uproa/


Republican legislator's remarks about sexuality sparked a bitter volley at the state Capitol on Wednesday, the second time in three days such comments have created controversy.
Although unwilling to publicly discuss the issue, some Republicans privately expressed dismay, fearing the comments may hurt their party's image.
Sen. Dave Schultheis, of Colorado Springs, on Wednesday opposed a bill requiring pregnant women to be tested for HIV so that if they are infected their babies can be treated to prevent the virus's transfer.
"This stems from sexual promiscuity for the most part, and I just can't go there," he said.
"We do things continually to remove the consequences of poor behavior, unacceptable behavior, quite frankly. I'm not convinced that part of the role of government should be to protect individuals from the negative consequences of their actions."
Two days earlier, Sen. Scott Renfroe, of Greeley, used biblical references in linking murder and homosexuality during debate on a bill to extend health benefits to the partners of gay and lesbian state workers.
The back-to-back comments were too much for Sen. Jennifer Veiga, D-Denver.
"Where is the Republican leadership on all this?" she asked.
Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry responded he is not going to muzzle his caucus, although he has reminded his colleagues "we should never lose sight of the humanity of people on the other side of an issue."

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"People are entitled to their opinions," the Grand Junction Republican said. "It's not my job to go around and censor people and tell them what to say."
He added that he thought Democrats were trying to "gin up the outrage machine" and said their hands aren't clean when it comes to questionable comments.
But the Capitol was abuzz Wednesday about Schultheis' remarks on a bill that had the support of every other Senate Republican, including Penry, who signed on as a co-sponsor.
Rep. Marsha Looper, of Calhan, was one of the few Republicans willing to publicly take her party members to task.
"What are they doing over there?" she asked, referring to the Senate. "I find their comments inappropriate and offensive, and I question their motives."
Schultheis later Wednesday accused Democrats of "speaking out of two sides of their mouths."
"They go to extreme lengths to try to protect the fetus," he said. "On the other hand they're willing to pass laws that allow abortions or will not reduce abortions."
Former Gov. Bill Owens said he was puzzled over Schultheis' "no" vote.
"It's extremely inconsistent for any person who is pro-life to oppose this effort to potentially save the life of a child," he said.
Owens said the GOP tried to run a similar bill in the 1990s but was thwarted by the AIDS lobby, which feared profiling. He said he is thrilled it might become law.
Schultheis' remarks came during debate on Senate Bill 179, which makes several changes to state law concerning communicable diseases, including the requirement of the HIV test. Pregnant women can opt out, which goes in their medical records.
The sponsor, Sen. Lois Tochtrop, D-Thornton, pointed out that not everyone who is HIV-positive got the virus through sexual contact.
Tochtrop said the risk of transferring the virus from mother to baby during pregnancy or delivery can be reduced from 25 percent to 2 percent with medication and preventive care.
Words and controversy
Two Senate Republicans are under fire for their comments about sexuality during debates on two separate bills.

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SEN. DAVE SCHULTHEIS, R-Colorado Springs, on Wednesday voted against Senate Bill 179, which requires pregnant women to undergo HIV testing to ensure steps can be taken to reduce transferring the disease to the baby if the mother is infected.
* What he said during the debate: "This stems from sexual promiscuity for the most part and I just can't go there. We do things continually to remove the consequences of poor behavior, unacceptable behavior, quite frankly. I'm not convinced that part of the role of government should be to protect individuals from the negative consequences of their actions."
* What he said afterward: "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. We can't keep people from being raped. We can't keep people from shooting each other. We can't keep people from jumping off bridges. People drink and drive, and they crash and kill people. Poor behavior has its consequences."
SEN. SCOTT RENFROE, R-Greeley, on Monday opposed Senate Bill 88, which extends health care benefits to the partners of gay and lesbian state employees.
* What he said during the debate: "Leviticus 18:22 says, 'You shall not lie with a man as one lies with a female. It is an abomination.' Leviticus 20:13 says, 'If there is a man who lies with a male as though to lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act, and they shall surely be put to death. ... ' We are taking sins and making them to be legally OK, and that is wrong. ... And I'm not saying that this is the only sin that's out there. Obviously, we have sin, we have murder, we have all sorts of sin. We have adultery ... and we would never think to make murder legal."
* What he said Wednesday: "I don't mean to be hateful. I don't think I'm hateful. People have accused me of that. I'm just voicing my opinions on what I believe and trying to speak what I think is the truth. Our First Amendment allows freedom of speech and I should be allowed to say what I want on any issue. I wasn't probably eloquent enough in saying that all people sin and there are many different sins and they are all the same in the eyes of God. But to make laws to make sins legal is where I think it crosses the line, and we shouldn't go there. That's the destruction of our society."