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Week in Review : MAJOR EVENTS, IMAGES AND PEOPLE IN ORANGE COUNTY NEWS : POLITICS : 'Witch Hunt,' Says Gay Activist of Dannemeyer Stance on AIDS

July 06, 1986|Times Staff Writer Maria L. LaGanga compiled the Week in Review stories

Rep. William E. Dannemeyer (R-Fullerton) was "on a witch hunt," gay activists said last week, when he became the first California public official to support an initiative designed to quarantine thousands of AIDS victims and those suspected of carrying the AIDS virus.

In addition to backing the initiative--which was sponsored by followers of the political extremist Lyndon LaRouche Jr.--Dannemeyer told a press conference Wednesday that he will propose federal legislation next week to make it a crime for anyone testing positive for the AIDS virus "to be involved in an exchange of bodily fluids," including kissing.

Dannemeyer has waged a personal, months-long campaign against acquired immune deficiency syndrome, and he claimed at one time that those with AIDS emit a dangerous "spore." However, he said Wednesday that he did not favor "bedroom police."

But he did say that public health officials and the U.S. attorney general should be able to issue misdemeanor citations to AIDS carriers after receiving complaints.

"I'm not suggesting that we invade the privacy of anyone's home, but we should take reasonable actions to prevent the transfer of the virus," Dannemeyer said.

Asked about Dannemeyer's proposed law, several county, state and federal officials said that they did not believe it could be enforced and in fact could be counterproductive, causing those who fear they have AIDS to go into hiding.

Irvine physician Don G. Hagan, a gay member of a state Department of Health Services panel on venereal diseases, said the Dannemeyer was "on a witch hunt" against those who might be AIDS carriers. Hagan met with Dannemeyer in an unsuccessful effort to talk him out of supporting the anti-AIDS initiative, which requires that test results of people carrying the virus be reported to state authorities.

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