The official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Guadalajara, El Seminario, published an editorial this week calling for respect for those who question the effectiveness of condoms in the prevention of teen pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, amidst a recent debate on the issue in the region.
The governor of the State of Jalisco, Emilio Gonzalez Marquez, has received an avalanche of criticism for suggesting that abstinence and fidelity be part of AIDS prevention and for saying that the State should not distribute condoms to young people.
“I think we still need to provide this support to the homosexual community, but regarding young people in general, I think it’s not the State’s role to distribute condoms,” Gonzalez said, announcing as well that during his administration condoms would not be distributed at the Jalisco Condom Fair, organized by the State Council for the Prevention of AIDS.
The editorial emphasized that “in a true democracy, the right of all citizens to express their opinions must be guaranteed.” “Although we are all not in agreement, tolerance allows us to listen and to dissent in a civilized manner, expressing our opinions and above all our reasoning,” the editors stated.
The article pointed out that those who favor the use of condoms have no tolerance for those who do not agree with them. “This is an anti-democratic measure, because they don’t allow a different opinion to be expressed by anyone, whether by the governor or the governed.”
“Even without mentioning the poor effectiveness they have had as a remedy for teen pregnancy and the transmission of diseases, and without mentioning the half-truths that are said about condoms, it would be enough to point out that we all have the right and duty to make our positions and judgments known, always in a responsible fashion,” the article stated.
We have not used religious arguments. We have based our position, we trust, on reason, with the intention of participating in the democratic process we believe to be a part of our nation,” the editors said in conclusion.