Desmond Tutu says homosexuality should be decriminalized globally to combat HIV/AIDS

According to Ms. Magazine, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, of South Africa, has called for the global decriminalization of homosexuality in order to combat HIV/AIDS.

Mr. Tutu’s statement appeared in the Lancet as part of a series on HIV transmission the day before the 2012 International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C.

In the statement, the archbishop said “I have no doubt that in the future, the laws that criminalize so many forms of human love and commitment will look the way the apartheid laws do to us now–so obviously wrong. Such a terrible waste of human potential.”

The archbishop is right. For too long society has named and called blame to a group of people who are no different than you and I. Instead of spending time and valuable resources on finding a cure for HIV/AIDS and helping those who already have it, countries are prosecuting and shunning those who appear to be “different.” But you know what, at the end of the day those “differences” do not matter.

Time and time again the world have been faced with these obstacles we call “differences,” such as race and religion. And time and time again, it has been proven that those differences do not matter.  It happened when slavery was abolished, after countless lives were lost in the Holocaust, when the Civil Rights era came and when apartheid was abolished.

And it will happen in this day and age as more and more countries decriminalize homosexuality [a term I do not advocate using because it is a medical term used when being gay meant something was wrong with you]. And one day it will not matter anymore, and all that will be left is what truly matters, helping your family,  friend or a complete stranger— a human being— in their time of need.


About Haley Behre

I graduated from Syracuse University in December 2011 with majors in newspaper journalism and women and gender studies. Using these majors, I aspire to become a journalist who writes about human rights issues. I have held internships at the Syracuse New Times, Dash Media PR Firm, Syracuse Post-Standard and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. I also had an internship at the Not For Sale Campaign Syracuse chapter, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating human trafficking. I was born in Seoul, Korea on September 30, 1990 and moved to the United States before I was one year old. When I was 8, my family and I moved to Norwich, England for three years. While I was here I was immersed into a new culture and got to experience many things other children my age do not get to. Over the three years, I visited Ireland, France and the Netherlands several times, and Belgium, Wales and Sweden once. In the winter of 2010, I got an amazing opportunity to visit Kenya for a month. This was by far the single most eye-opening experience of my life thus far. The natural beauty of the landscape and its people do not compare to anything I have seen. I currently intern for the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press in the hopes of getting a full-time job at a newspaper or non-profit after.
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3 Responses to Desmond Tutu says homosexuality should be decriminalized globally to combat HIV/AIDS

  1. Haley, check your headline! Hehe.

  2. Haley Behre says:

    Thanks! I kept writing abolished in the blog post I guess I had it on my mind when writing the headline!

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