How to make Karen Handel hate help gay health

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READ MORE | Komen switch won’t stop lesbian health effort

You remember Karen Handel, right? She’s the former Georgia GOP politico who hates gay kids and their marriage-loving parents. Yet her latest salvo has inspired the Atlanta-based Health Initiative to turn lemons into rainbow-rific tinted lemonade.

Handel (photo) helped turn the 2010 governor’s race into the most anti-gay campaign that any gay politico could recall. After she got thumped by Nathan Deal, who took the turn into the anti-gay gutter, Handel landed a job as senior vice president of public policy at Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

From there, she’s apparently changed her focus from one social issue (the gays) to another (pro-choice advocates). Handel decried Planned Parenthood during her 2010 campaign; now, she’s helped steer Komen into dumping Planned Parenthood and costing the group some $680,000 in grants the group uses for breast cancer screenings.

Not abortions. Breast cancer screenings. That’s sort of in Komen’s wheelhouse.

Handel’s brand of hate wasn’t lost on folks at the Health Initiative, the group formerly known as the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative. Seeing an opportunity to turn this into a positive, the group on Wednesday offered this pitch to supporters: Donate in Karen Handel’s honor and the Health Initiative will earmark it to fund breast exams and annual physicals for uninsured lesbians at Planned Parenthood.

1. Donate to the Health Fund now. Any donation made in Karen Handel’s honor will be used to cover the cost of breast exams and annual physicals for uninsured lesbians with our partner, Planned Parenthood. Both organizations and our clients benefit, and we’ll let Karen know of your donation.

2. Spread the word. The Health Fund is available to support screenings and annual physicals for all uninsured LGBT individuals. If you know of someone who needs our help, send them our way. For more information, contact us at [email protected]

Linda Ellis, the Health Initiative’s executive director, says the effort will help fill to a void caused by the rift between Komen and Planned Parenthood.

“Susan G. Komen has, historically, been a strong supporter of the Health Initiative,” Ellis says. “It is a cause for significant concern that they take such a strong shift to the right after bringing on Karen Handel. It can’t help us.”

Donations to the Karen Handel effort can be made here.

UPDATE: Komen reverses decision, but it won’t stop Health Initiative effort for lesbian health.


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