The Senate has nixed a UN treaty protecting disabled rights, which was modeled on the Americans With Disabilities Act.
The treaty needed a 2/3 majority to pass, and it was stymied by 38 Republican "no" votes. You can see how each senator voted here.
Republican supporters of the treaty included 89-year-old Bob Dole, who was disabled in World War II and appeared in the Senate in his wheelchair, and Sen. John McCain.
"It really isn't controversial," said Sen John Kerry. "What this treaty says is...that you can't discriminate against the disabled. It says that other countries have to do what we did 22 years ago when we...passed the Americans with Disabilities Act."
Kerry's claim that there's no controversy isn't shared by partisans on either side. "Republican Lunatics Vote Against Rights of Disabled People - Heartless bastards do it again," proclaims liberal blog Little Green Footballs. "Matters of Life and Death: Senate Defeats Pro-Abortion UN Treaty," announces right-wing site World Net Daily.
Republican opposition was fueled by a fiery column from Rick Santorum, who alleged that the treaty would allow government to decide that his daughter Bella should die.
The most offensive provision is found in Section 7 of the treaty dealing specifically with children with disabilities. That section reads: "In all actions concerning children with disabilities, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration."
...In the case of our 4-year-old daughter, Bella, who has Trisomy 18, a condition that the medical literature says is "incompatible with life," would her "best interest" be that she be allowed to die? Some would undoubtedly say so.
Via the Miami Herald and World Net Daily.