Last edited: February 20, 2005

Decriminalising Homosexuality Will Make Situation Worse

Barbados Advocate, February 15, 2005

By Carol Marshall

Dr. Walrond purposely avoids any discussion vis-à-vis well established medical facts concerning the harmful effects of practising homosexuality, which are characterised by premature death (by as much as 25 years), high incidences of sexually transmitted diseases and mental health problems. That feature writers and eminent persons are steadfastly avoiding any discussion on these medical facts, but instead try to mislead our young people with jargon about tolerance, rights and bigotry, is indicative of the ignorance that informs the minds of homosexual advocates. No lifestyle disease whether caused by alcoholism, smoking, obesity or use of illegal drugs is as devastating as the practice of homosexuality. Yet advocates press on.

Decriminalising homosexuality will not diminish the HIV infection rate among homosexuals and will indeed make the situation worse. In which jurisdiction did decriminalisation lead to a diminution in the HIV infection rate? Don’t just say it, show it. In Seattle in 2002, where homosexuality is not a criminal offence, the HIV infection rate among homosexuals was 30 times higher than in the general population. According to the latest statistics from the Centre for Disease Control, of the 125 800 new HIV infections in the US 44 per cent involved homosexual and bi-sexual males; and the infection rate rose by 11 per cent among homosexual men compared to 0.2 per cent in the rest of the population—a HIV infection rate of 55 times greater.

Stigma and discrimination do not prevent homosexuals or prostitutes from availing themselves for treatment and cures for gonorrhea, syphilis, hepatitis or herpes. Why must we now believe that stigma and discrimination are preventing prostitutes and homosexuals from availing themselves for HIV/AIDS testing and treatment? This is a bogus argument and a canard. The truth is that no one likes to be tested for life threatening diseases, whether cancer or HIV. The doctor must bring the scientific data to support his contention that prostitutes and homosexuals are more reticent about HIV/AIDS testing than other members of the population.

Barbadians are very tolerant towards homosexuals to the extent that people in other Caribbean territories are amazed at our level of tolerance, so much so that our menfolk have all been stigmatised as homosexuals. Does voicing ones disapproval of homosexuality constitute intolerance? Talk of Enoch Powell, theocracy, Taliban, Hitler, hate, homophobia, oppression and violence towards homosexuals is out of place in the Barbadian context. No one is advocating violence against homosexuals or prostitutes, for known homosexuals work in prominent jobs in both the public and private sectors; transvestites walk the streets in broad daylight; many even work in prominent Broad Street department stores without being harassed; homosexual prostitutes congregate nightly near Central Police Station without fear of arrest for engaging in illegal activity; and though buggery is illegal no one is ever arrested. This is tolerance; what more tolerance can you want?

No religion condones homosexuality or prostitution—not even atheists. Jesus preached a message of love, repentance and forgiveness not tolerance. As he told the adulterous woman to “go and sin no more”. Dr. Walrond must not corrupt God’s message to fashion his own agenda.

Dr. Walrond must also present the statistical evidence to support his recommendation that HIV infection is occurring among prisoners and the need to issue them with condoms. Recent tests on 400 inmates revealed that only four were HIV positive and it was not made clear whether infection occurred inside or outside of prison. Walrond’s recommendation is uncaring towards our already traumatised and stigmatised prison population and a more caring recommendation would be for additional prison space be built and provided to relieve the dangerous overcrowding and unsanitary conditions there.

An equally unreasonable recommendation relates to allowing children between ages 12-16 to be treated for STDs or have pregnancies terminated without their parents consent: it is a poorly thought out recommendation. This recommendation can neither help children nor their parents but it will sow discord between teenagers and their parents; and it will certainly help paedophiles for it will allow homosexual and heterosexual paedophiles to molest children and then take them for medical treatment with their parents’ knowledge or consent thereby allowing paedophiles to avoid detection. There is every likelihood that teenage children will be infected or impregnated by adults and where will children get the money to pay for private (it is unlikely to be public) medical care? The anomaly concerning children over 16 years should remain since pregnancies, abortions and sexually transmitted diseases are undesirable among teenagers and the fact that parents must be informed of any medical intervention on a child will serve to temper the behaviour of some children. But this Walrond recommendation is in keeping with the homosexual manifesto, which declares that, “the family unit will be abolished. The family unit, which dampens imagination and curbs free will, must be eliminated.” We must be vigilant.

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