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Helms spurs interest in ‘Dear Jesse’

Docu focuses on attitudes toward gays

WASHINGTON — Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) is unwittingly drumming up publicity for a new documentary about himself titled “Dear Jesse.”

The documentary, which was written and directed by gay filmmaker Tim Kirkman, focuses on attitudes of North Carolinians toward homosexuals. Both Kirkman and Helms are from North Carolina.

Asked about the documentary Friday, Helms replied, “These people are intellectually dishonest in just about everything they do or say,” said Helms, as quoted by Congressional Quarterly. He added, “They start by pretending that it is just another form of love. It’s sickening,”

According to the Congressional Quarterly report, Helms was not surprised that the independent film had been reviewed by the Washington Post. “Just about every other person down there is homosexual or lesbian,” he said. Like the Post, Helms said the New York Times, which also reviewed the movie, “is infested with homosexuals themselves.”

Helms’ comments come just weeks after Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) called homosexuality a sin.