February 25, 2009 1:46 PM
Schultheis opposes testing pregnant women for HIV because it condones poor behavior
For the second time this week, Republican legislators have manned what they view as the morality fortress at the State Capitol.
First it was Sen. Scott Renfroe of Greeley, who lumped homosexuality with murder in the debate over healthcare benefits for same-sex partners.
Now it's Sen. Dave Schultheis of Colorado Springs who opposes testing pregnant women for HIV so their babies can be treated to prevent the transfer of the virus.
Lynn Bartels reports:
"This stems from sexual promiscuity for the most part and I just can't go there," said Schultheis said. "We do things continually to remove the consequences of poor behavior, unacceptable behavior, quite frankly."
"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," he said. "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."
lobbyists were abuzz today about Schultheis' remarks. And Ari Armstrong, a conservative blogger, said Renfroe should resign or the Republican Party should condemn his comments.
Several GOP lawmakers have privately expressed dismay over Renfroe's and Schultheis' comments, but they have not spoken publicly.
Schultheis later today said 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."
Renfroe said today he's not stepping down for exercising his First Amendment rights.
"I don't mean to be hateful. I don't think I'm hateful. People have accused me of that," he said. "I'm just voicing my opinions on what I believe and trying to speak what I think is the truth."
During the debate he quoted two passages in Leviticus, one calling homosexuality "an abomination," and another that said homosexuals "shall surely be put to death."
"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," he said.
"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 society in my opinion."
Were the Republicans out of line? What do you think of Schulteis' declaration that having a baby with AIDS could make other people adjust their behavior? Should the Bible be the basis of lawmaking? And even so, does homosexuality equate to murder?