California Proposition 64 (1986) - The Initiative

The Initiative

Proponents argued that the measures would merely return AIDS to the list of communicable diseases under the public health laws. The ballot argument in favor of the proposition were pathologist John Grauerholz, psychiatrist Nancy T. Mullan, and former Centers for Disease Control advisor Gus S. Sermos. Congressman William E. Dannemeyer was also a proponent.

Opponents characterized it as an effort to force HIV-positive individuals out of their jobs and into quarantine. Said Helen Miramontes, R.N., president of the California Nurses Association:

Health professionals believe that Proposition 64 would seriously hurt their ability to treat and find a cure for AIDS. Current medical efforts based on years of research will be undermined by the fear generated by this irrational proposition.

The ballot argument against the measure was signed by Gladden V. Elliott, president of the California Medical Association, Congressman Ed Zschau, and Senator Alan Cranston. The submitted supporting argument included claims that AIDS could be transmitted by insects, respiratory means and casual contact. These claims were challenged in a suit by California Secretary of State March Fong Eu, based on the argument that they had no scientific support.

In 1988, the text of Proposition 64 was re-introduced in California by the "Prevent AIDS Now In California" (also PANIC) committee and appeared on the June 1988 ballot as "Proposition 69." It was also defeated.

Read more about this topic:  California Proposition 64 (1986)

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