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Direct threat the chapman amendment would have

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Unformatted text preview: ng the perception-is-reality theme, Senator Jesse Helms asserted that "restaurant patrons are likely to steer clear of any food service [**32] establishment having an employee handling food who is known to have AIDS [*1099] or any other communicable disease. Despite the fact that available evidence indicates that certain diseases, including AIDS, cannot be transmitted in the process of handling food, that evidence is far from persuasive to many people." 136 Cong. Rec. S7422-03, 7436 (daily ed. June 6, 1990) (statement of Sen. Helms). Many members of Congress rose in opposition to this amendment. Representative John Lewis lamented that "twenty-five years after the passage of the major civil rights legislation of the 1960's, we are still hearing the same tired arguments that were used to justify segregated restaurants. They have been dusted off and used again to defend discrimination." 136 Cong. Rec. H2471-01, 2481 (daily ed. May 17, 1990) (statement of Rep. Lewis). Representative Miller declared that "the sponsor admits there is no evidence that AIDS can be transmitted in food handling, but his amendment allows discrimination in such cases because food handling businesses may be hurt by public perception of AIDS victims . . . . This may be true. But this is as if businesses 40 years ago had pointed 224 to the public perception of blacks [**33] and said our customers will not understand our hiring blacks, so allow us to discriminate against blacks. Nonsense. This Congress should not license discrimination of any kind." Id. at 2481 (statement of Rep. Miller). Senator Harkin protested that "to pass legislation . . . in spite of the clear and convincing, or food is simply to codify ignorance." 136 Cong. Rec. S7422-03, 7437 (daily ed. June 6, 1990) (statement of Sen. Harkin). Senator Harkin also noted "the thesis of the Americans With Disabilities Act is simply this: That people with disabilities ought to be judged on the basis of their abilities; they should not be judged nor discriminated against based on unfounded fe...
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