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Letter of the day: 40% of heterosexuals have anal sex

Published:Friday | December 18, 2015 | 12:04 AMMaurice Tomlinson



It is evident from the Rev Clinton Chisholm's piece in The Gleaner ('Tomlinson will need more than luck', December 16, 2015) that he has missed the point of my constitutional challenge to the 1864 British colonially imposed anti-sodomy law.

Permit me to clarify that the "normality" of homosexuality is not an issue in this case. What is at issue is whether the Government of Jamaica can criminalise the private acts of intimacy between consenting adults that harms no one.

And before you claim that being gay is harmful because it leads to HIV, let me remind you that HIV is not a sexual orientation. Therefore, if a gay couple has an unlimited amount of anal sex and neither of them is infectious, absolutely no virus will be transmitted. However, if a heterosexual couple has unprotected vaginal sex and one partner is infectious, there will likely be transmission.

That is why heterosexual women (many in the Church who can't or don't demand that their partners use condoms) are the largest cohort of infected persons in Jamaica. Perhaps your efforts might be better spent trying to protect those good Christians instead of perpetuating myths about gay men.

Articles like yours only further stigmatise homosexuals and make it harder to reach them with HIV interventions. That is one reason why even with the anti-sodomy law (which also criminalises heterosexuals, about 40 per cent of whom engage in anal intercourse), Jamaica has the highest HIV prevalence rate among men who have sex with men (MSM) in the Western Hemisphere, if not the world - 33 per cent.

Finally, please note that regardless of what a clearly religiously biased philosopher may opine (Finnis incidentally does not provide a concrete reason why same-sex attraction is 'evil', while being left-handed was once considered devilish, hence the word 'sinister', which is Latin for left-handed) homosexuality has been scientifically identified in over 1,500 species in nature. This makes it a natural phenomenon.

In any event, wearing glasses (as you do) and flying in planes (as you did when you migrated from Jamaica) are all 'unnatural'. But, because these activities harm no one, the law will not interfere with your rights to engage in them. Likewise, please respect my right as a consenting adult to pursue private intimacy that harms no one.