Bahamas bishop hits out at homosexuals

first_img Share FaithLifestyle Bahamas bishop hits out at homosexuals by: – November 16, 2011 Sharing is caring! 34 Views   no discussions Tweetcenter_img Bishop Simeon Hall. Image via: blackchristiannews.comNASSAU, Bahamas — Baptist Bishop Simeon Hall on Monday urged homosexuals to seek help to turn away from their “non-productive and deadly practice”, but a popular member of the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender community in The Bahamas denied his claim that many men are absent from families because of their sexual preferences.Hall released the statement after a Nassau Guardian article revealed that the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in The Bahamas among men who have sex with men (MSM) is near 14 percent, which is nearly double the eight percent documented in 2008 by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).Director of the National HIV/AIDS Programme Dr Perry Gomez pointed out recently that that percentage increase is a result of better reporting, data collection methods and better access to the MSM community.However, Hall said on Monday that members of the public should be concerned by the facts revealed by Gomez, which indicate that MSMs may be an increasingly vulnerable group.He called homosexuality “anti-family”.“This sexual practice cannot produce anything and now we are seeing that, according to these latest statistics, it is deadly,” Hall said.“Homosexuality… is anti-family [and] it goes against what God has ordained. It is deadly.”However, Erin Greene, a human rights activist, said there are many additional factors to consider when drawing conclusions from the HIV/AIDS prevalence percentages, including the fact that not all MSMs identify themselves as homosexual.“Consider circumstantial bi-sexuality; men in prison who are being raped, for example,” Greene said. “They may not identify as being gay but may continue to engage in homosexual sex for security reasons or for personal psychological reasons.“When they leave prison they have no intention as identifying as gay or acknowledging their time in prison having sex with other men.”A circumstantial bi-sexual by definition is a man or woman who is primarily heterosexual but bi-sexual because of their circumstances. In prison, men and women do not have access to the opposite sex.Hall claimed the presence of strong “male men” in the building of family and community is vital and indispensable.“Men absent, men dying and men unavailable to participate in family life — all these negatively impact our communities, already on the edge of disintegration,” he said.Hall added, “I wish to affirm that homosexuals and lesbians are human beings just like everyone else. I do not demonize them but I hurriedly urge them to seek help to turn away from this non-productive and deadly practice.”Greene claimed that homosexual men who are absent from the families often choose to be unavailable to seek environments where they will not be discriminated against because of a non-traditional sexual preference.Gomez said that Jamaica, which had a 31.8 percent prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS among MSMs in 2008, has in comparison been ahead of The Bahamas because the country has been more organized with the MSM community.“We knew the focus of our epidemic in the beginning in The Bahamas was amongst cocaine addicts and it spread from them to us,” Gomez said.“Why they were vulnerable was because of the drug and the high number of sexual partners with both sexes. They remain a vulnerable group in our community. In the next two years we hope to have better data on it.”The government of The Bahamas is co-sponsoring the 2011 Caribbean HIV Conference November 18 – 21.By Royston Jones JrNassau Guardian Staff Reporter Share Sharelast_img

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