The letter ‘UNAIDS applauds the decision of India’s High Court’ by Michel Sidibé (SN, July 7) is disturbing in its whimsical disregard for science, medicine, the extant law, and the truth. It can be rebutted on several distinct grounds, each of which illustrates that Sidibé has taken the unprofessional step of arguing his case with innuendo rather than fact.
First, we had aggressively rebutted Sidibé’s colleague Ruben del Prado’s similar outburst one year ago in the Guyana Chronicle with the aptly caption ‘A departure from professional conduct.’ There, in a fanciful fascination with the ‘Yogyagakarta Principles,’ del Prado had made the similar mistake of implying that there were no good medical, legal, moral and societal reasons for criminalizing homosexuality. The arguments in ‘A departure from professional conduct’ still hold, and, if you look closely, Sidibé has carefully side-stepped every one of them. The first, and obvious response to Sidibé is that most ‘People Living with HIV and AIDS’ (PLWHA) treatment in Guyana and the Caribbean is anonymous anyway, and that the focus of any effective epidemiological response needs to be behaviour modification, not accommodation.
Second, there is a geopolitical thrust to Sidibé’s arguments, having nothing to do with HIV/AIDS. For Sidibé, then, India’s activist High Court ruling, sure to be challenged, represents a shot in the arm for the tired arguments spawned by gay militancy and a recklessly unprofessional confederacy of its supporters in the UN, anxious for any ‘victory’ after the astonishing defeat to opponents of Proposition 8 in the USA. There, the people simply got fed up with court decisions that pilfered their traditional values and democratic principles, and voted down yet another effort to redefine marriage, this being the holy grail of ‘decriminalization’ crowd. We had hopefully addressed some of the issues in the letter ‘OAS resolutions on sexual orientation do not reflect the will of the people of the region’ (SN, 13.6.09). With the threat of democratic opposition action at the grassroots, an entire swathe of gay-rights ‘victories’ are being engineered not in the polls where the people have a voice, but in activist courts and legislatures, and by executive order. This is a slap in the face for voters, and all done in the name of ‘human rights.’
Thirdly, if we were casting our net wide with references to the geopolitics defined by the OAS and the UN in response to Sidibé, it will surely come as a surprise to readers and voters in Guyana and the Caribbean that this specious argumentation being resuscitated by Sidibé was in fact being peddled in self-same short measure by Caricom’s PANCAP as recently as 2008. Hopefully, we had provided Guyana and the Caribbean with enough material in the online summary ‘Arguments Against Pancap and the Decriminalization of Homosexuality’ to show the error of that particular effort.
It gets worse. What do current US-indicators tell us about this ‘glorious’ development in India? He denies the fact of MRSA infection, and its spread in certain homosexual populations. David Ostrow is in no doubt, and shares why the OAS, the UN and PANCAP must be fascinated with behaviour modification rather than “behaviour accommodation.” He denies the gigantic paradox that homosexuality therefore needs entire medical brigades to justify its political space under decriminalization, thereby also explaining why gay-militant activity in activist countries has always targeted the health sector or its ministers. But medical fact does not supplant ‘human rights.’
Sidibé is careful to point out that his, and UNAIDS’ motives lie in the “fight against HIV/AIDS.” To the extent that a key strategy of the gay-rights and gay-militant lobby has always been to blur and confuse the lines between the legitimate needs of PLWHA and securing gay rights, then Sidibé’s comments are disingenuous. The point? Homosexuality needs medical brigades to justify its space, and that’s a valid enough reason for criminalization.
The final words defining Sidibé’s caricature of the Indian High Court ruling, then, belong to lawyer Roger J Magnuson. These words would constitute important advice for unsuspecting, naïve third world populations infatuated with UN rhetoric: “The political proposals advanced by an increasingly aggressive group of gay activists… merit and demand serious discussion and rational analysis. Unfortunately, gay rights proposals have often received neither. The seriousness of the issues has not been matched by a seriousness of analysis. There has been a curious inversion: a high level of public policy interest; a low level of public policy debate…”
What are the facts for the Caribbean? India? What can we reasonably expect with decriminalization? If the above does not constitute valid reasons for the criminalization of a psychosexual disorder that manifests itself in socially and personally destructive ways, then what does? Decriminalization accommodates a slow but fatalistic degeneracy where everyone loses. And an Indian High Court bought it hook, line and sinker!