Discussing the passage of WA State's AIDS Omnibus Act

AMP Stories

An AMP Interview Stories, Historic, AIDS Organization / Leader, Activism, Women, Men, White
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Bea Kelleigh and Ian MacGowan

Bea Kelleigh and Ian McGowan, two leaders of the 1988 AIDS Omnibus bill coalition recreate the intense negotiation needed to pass this landmark legislation. It involved individual meetings with each member of the Washington State House of Representatives and Senate, and figuring out how to overcome the stigma and fears they felt about AIDS and LGBTQ people that was so widespread during this time. As rewarding as it was to work with people who cared so much, they remember how challenging it was to address this issue within their own community. And the drama of the final vote…the clock turned back, a bishop called, a senator conflicted, one deciding vote needed! Working together, they successfully passed this important AIDS legislation that was first of its kind in the US.

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