Wed | Jan 16, 2019

Bain dug his own grave

Published:Tuesday | June 3, 2014 | 12:00 AM


A lot has been reported in the media about the Brendan Bain issue, though some perspectives seem to have missed the point completely. My understanding is that Prof Bain was invited by a church group as a medical professional with expertise in the field of infectious diseases to testify in support of a cause that the buggery laws in Belize should remain. He testified freely by choice, Belize being far outside his jurisdiction, Jamaica.

The testimony itself was a 56-page affidavit, a lengthy document with reasonable statements about public health, costs and risks of unsafe practices that ultimately cause the spread of infectious diseases, the focus being on men who have sex with men (MSM).

However, he said very little in the affidavit about heterosexual risks, as if this group was immune. He didn't elaborate on other high-risk groups such as drug users, prostitutes, etc.

Understandably, many felt his testimony was deliberately tailored, showing a personal bias against MSM to, therefore, support the buggery laws in Belize. This position contradicted directly with CHART, the organisation he directed. It argues that these laws are discriminatory and hamper its work to effectively reach vulnerable and target groups. Prof Bain was well aware of that position.

If Bain's argument is that, without the laws, the incidence of HIV/AIDS would be much higher, even this is debatable, speculative and somewhat judgemental. Laws aren't imposed specifically to fight diseases, which is why medical doctors aren't lawyers.