The assertion is being put forth that homosexual intercourse must be accepted and destigmatised in order to lower the incidence of HIV transmission and that the Judeo-Christian view is a backward hindrance to the cause. To assert otherwise is predictably met with the jamming tactic of being labelled a bigot, hater, and homophobe so as to pre-empt reasonable debate. How can public health consequences be assessed when questions and dissent are punished or prohibited? Aren't private acts with damaging public consequences of legitimate public interest?
A 2009 human rights complaint filed against the government of Canada by a GLBT alliance cited numerous studies revealing their poor statistics for life expectancy (20 years short of standard), suicide, alcohol and illicit drug/substance abuse, cancer, infectious disease, HIV/AIDS, and depression.
A 1997 study in the International Journal of Epidemiology noted that gay men in Canadian urban gay centres had life expectancy comparable to that of the 1870s. In northern Europe same-sex attracted people enjoy supportive government, affirmation from liberal (if floundering) churches, and a public coerced into silence by hate-speech laws, yet the substandard health statistics for the GLBT community are just a dismal as elsewhere. Evidently, secular progressive welcoming and affirmation are not the promised panacea.
Uganda reversed its climbing AIDS rate with a national ABC programme: "Abstinence until marriage", "Be faithful to spouse", and "Condoms as back-up with known and discussed failure rates, heavily including the Christian community". Simply throwing condoms about has been done in Africa for decades and only worsened the problem, per Dr Edward C Green, director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard Centre for Population and Development Studies. Like Cameroon and South Africa, nations pushing condoms and progressive sexual practices find only accelerated HIV rates.
As for the Judeo-Christian factor, same-sex sexual behaviour is deemed harmful by Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism as well. The Dalai Lama stated during a 1997 speech in San Francisco, "From a Buddhist point of view, men-to-men and women-to-women is generally considered sexual misconduct." Five thousand years of moral teaching - not just that of monotheism - seem lightly dismissed by some.
Behavioural consequences exist and the results are not the same for all sexual behaviours - life is neither a Disney movie nor a Montessori school. Inherently unsafe behaviour is not sanitised by enablement - technology won't fix it and shifting blame on to the faith community is misguided.
Encouragement, let alone celebration of same-sex sexuality is not a benign mistake. Will Jamaica make the choice of Canada, northern Europe, and Cameroon - with the certainty of achieving the same failure - or recognise the lesson from Uganda?
Dr Andre Van Mol