Thursday, March 02, 2006

Mandatory condoms, an idea who's time has not come

Last month, a council member from Tulua, Colombia, received some international media attention when he proposed a bill that would have required all Tulua male residents 14 years of age or older to carry a condom or face a $180 dollar penalty. The news, the sort of quirky stuff that gets picked up by international media without necessarily being put into context, was seen by some as an instance in which a Colombian town might be ahead than First World nations in addressing HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases. Personally, I couldn't figure out how such a law, if passed, would prevent any Tulua man from carrying a single condom for months on end just for show should he be stopped - and not necessarily for use.

What the news DID do, was rise the ire of the Roman Catholic church in Colombia who said it would be akin to giving men a gun to kill people. Today, Venezuela's English language paper, the Daily Journal, picks up on an AP story and says that a 10-6 council vote against the bill, quickly sank the proposed bill yesterday. That AP story also says that Councilmember William Peña plans to "go door-to-door collecting signatures to force a referendum on the mandatory condom issue."

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