Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 4, 2010

IT'S ABOUT TIME.... In 1987, the Reagan administration and then-Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) imposed a travel and immigration ban more than two decades ago on those who are HIV-positive. The misguided policy has led to separated families, avoided medical tests, and highly-skilled workers taking their expertise elsewhere.

In October, President Obama announced that he's ending the ban, calling it a decision "rooted in fear rather than fact." The ban officially ended today.

Until this morning, the United States was only one of about 12 countries to even impose such a travel ban, established in the 1980s when fears about HIV/AIDS were most intense.

"We talk about reducing the stigma of this disease, yet we've treated a visitor living with it as a threat," Obama said in May, according to CNN. "If we want to be the global leader in combating HIV/AIDS, we need to act like it."

The move arrives as the United States prepares to host the World Aids Conference in 2012. The previous travel ban would have severely complicated the White House's ability to participate in the annual forum.

The policy change coincides with word that President Obama has named Amanda Simpson to be a senior technical advisor to the Commerce Department. Simpson is one of the first-ever transgender presidential appointees to the federal government, and is a member of the National Center for Transgender Equality's board of directors.

I realize that it often seems as if progressive policy shifts are slow and infrequent. But as John Cole noted this morning, "Change is happening. We're just arguing with each other about the pace."

Steve Benen 4:10 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (16)

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Comments

A transgender appointee... OK, I expect GOP screaming to start in 3... 2... 1...

-Z

Posted by: Zorro on January 4, 2010 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

[wingnut] "Aaaiiiee! Homoislamoterrists are gonna swarm the country carrying hypodermics full of the AIDS!" [/wingnut]

Posted by: Gummo on January 4, 2010 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Time to avoid public toilet seats, especially where liberals congregate.

Posted by: Al on January 4, 2010 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

Public toilet seats?

Last time I checked, Larry Craig was NOT a liberal.

Posted by: Gummo on January 4, 2010 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

Obama has the audacity to name a former test-pilot to be a senior technical advisor to the commerce department.

How dare he!

Posted by: Winkandanod on January 4, 2010 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

"one of the first-ever transgender presidential appointees"?

Who are the others?

Posted by: cld on January 4, 2010 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

Al is a troll.

Please, do not feed the trolls.

DNFTT.

Posted by: I Me Mine on January 4, 2010 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

They're just disease ridden people, give em a break.

Posted by: Death Knight PvP on January 4, 2010 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, I think Al is parodying a troll, sorta like Myke does.

Posted by: msmolly on January 4, 2010 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

In 1987, the Reagan administration and then-Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) imposed a travel and immigration ban [...] -- Steve Benen

I bet that the immigration ban remains in place though. When I applied for the green card (alien registration card), in '73, my application didn't ask bout HIV but did ask about tuberculosis, syphilis and gonorrhea an "other sexually transmitted diseases". People ill with one of those (as well as communism and anarchism -- I'm not kidding; *all* of those "social diseases" were listed in the same section) were clearly undesirable and should not even be asking for permanent residency. The questions were the same on the citizenship application form some 10 years later...

Posted by: exlibra on January 4, 2010 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

Low hanging fruit, as always.

Posted by: Michael7843853 on January 4, 2010 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

@cld Clinton appointed transgender computer science professor Lynn Conway to something back in the late 1990's.

Posted by: Jenvieve on January 4, 2010 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

@ Death Knight PvP on January 4, 2010 at 4:44 PM
They're just disease ridden people, give em a break.

Who? Al and the other trolls?

Posted by: efgoldman on January 4, 2010 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

Come on Steve. The intellectual argument(highly-skilled workers) is a bit specious. Of the 33 million current case of AIDS 22.4 million are in sub-Saharan Africa which is not noted for its large academic population or business acumen. This sound more like a justification for H1B visas than allowing AIDS suffers to immigrate. Besides this fact is that 33 million is only 0.5% of the world population.

Let us just stick to the inherent injustice of excluding these people from immigrating and not add in ridiculous additional claims.

Posted by: RC on January 5, 2010 at 12:26 AM | PERMALINK

Simpson is one of the first-ever transgender presidential appointees to the federal government...

Ann Coulter is going to be upset that she wasn't the first.

Posted by: josef on January 5, 2010 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

Hello everyone. So little time and so little to do. Help me! I can not find sites on the: Ashley furniture in kelowna mattress. I found only this - ashley furniture stores canada. Library years have been eaten to korea, the persian gulf, egypt, bosnia and afghanistan, ashley. Ashley, i have been adding outboard for 25 styles individually. With best wishes :o, Dania from Argentina.

Posted by: Dania on March 9, 2010 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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