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OP-ED: The Sky is Falling: A creation of Facts for Bain

Posted: Monday, May 26, 2014. 11:08 pm CST.

The Sky is Falling: A creation of Facts for Bain


The recent protest in Belize about Professor Brendan Bain, was really an opportunity for story- telling and propagandising.

As the foremost Caribbean homophobe, Ian Boyne states”.. Professor Bain is a retired professor. He has not been penalised as a professor with Evangelical views… for many years.. pushing traditional Christian family values. He was never victimised by the UWI for that.” Boyne goes on to explain, ”UWI’s values are in the direction of the decriminalisation of homosexuality – on the wrong side of which Professor Bain found himself in that Belize case…the  Professor  exercised terribly poor strategic judgement … which got him fired. In essence, the professor fell on his own sword. This was not an issue of bigotry.

To be clear, Professor Bain spoke no inconvenient truth in his testimony. The fact that men who have sex with men have significantly higher rates of HIV is widely known and acknowledged. Where Professor Bain erred was in linking without evidence those high HIV rates to the removal of laws that criminalise homosexuality in France, the Netherlands and the United States, while ignoring that neither laws nor Jamaica’s notorious hostility to homosexuality have protected us from having one of the highest rates of HIV infection among men who have sex with men in the world.

The research that Professor Bain cites in his witness statement is not his own but was produced by various scientists and then published in the respected scientific journal The Lancet in 2012. The studies all show that legal barriers complicate the delivery of HIV prevention and that policies which criminalize homosexuality, notably in the Caribbean, are associated with increased prevalence of HIV infection in black MSM. Its conclusion was even the best biomedical and behaviour change interventions fail without spaces in which men can safely seek care and services and communicate openly about their sexual lives. To suggest the science supports retention of colonial buggery laws is misrepresentation and misuse of the information.

Professor Bain is free to draw his own conclusions and recommendations from the published studies, but cannot then expect to continue to enjoy the confidence of the communities his job is to reach, who have diametrically opposed conclusions and recommendations.

He should have seen that this would pose a problem of conflict and trust and stepped aside. As so eloquently expressed by Kei Miller “I’m not sure how anyone can provide leadership to people who expressly do not want to be led by that person. Such a situation is simply and tragically untenable.”

Prof. Bain undermined his own leadership position with his court submission. He did so in ways that damaged the University’s reputation, lacked professional forethought, and betrayed the mission of the UWI unit he was asked to lead — “to strengthen the capacity of national health-care personnel and systems to provide access to quality HIV & AIDS prevention, care, treatment, and support services for all Caribbean people”.

Individuals, at Battlefield Park, who protested against Bain’s dismissal, require MTV awards for best acting in a drama series, best look in a suit, best hairdo.

My job as an advocate is to call out public BS, homophobes and personal prejudices.

Opponents say we live in a tolerant society, yet, sought to publicly lie about the context of Professor Bain dismissal, throwing temper tantrum without understanding the context of the issues.

Truth became collateral damage in the process.

There is a need for standing, but for opponents to stand up and declare who the frontline defenders are working in the field of HIV/AIDS with a functioning hospice, which has provided psychological or medical support to the men who have sex with men population or have stood up of their concerns.

Yet, they scream, bigot’s, please stand up.

Could the ignorant please stand up, regarding their intimate knowledge of concerns raised by civil society in the region.



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