Colombia Town Considers Must-Carry Condom Law
A Tulua, Colombia city councilman is proposing a law requiring everyone over the age of 14 to carry a condom at all times.
A western Colombian city councilman wants to require everyone in town 14 or older to carry a condom to prevent pregnancy and disease, outraging local priests. William Pena, a councilman in Tulua, said Wednesday he will present a formal proposal to force all men and women Ã¢€” even those just visiting Ã¢€” to always carry at least one condom. Those caught empty-pocketed could pay a fine of $180 or take a safe sex course, he said.
“Sexual relations are going on constantly,” Pena told The Associated Press by telephone. “If you carry a condom, chances are you’ll use it during the day. It’s not going to be there forever.” Tulua has one of the highest rates of AIDS in Colombia, he said. The proposal will be debated by other town leaders and could go into effect by March, he said.
Roman Catholic priests in the Cauca Valley town, 150 miles southwest of Bogota, were fuming over the plan. The Rev. Jesus Velasquez said it would only encourage sexual relations and ridiculed it as absurd. The local newspaper El Tiempo on Wednesday quoted him as saying, “I would have to have a condom even though I’m clergy.”
Given the events of the last few years, a Roman Catholic priest exemption hardly seems warranted.
The law itself, though, would be beyond silly. The idea that people who are now catching venereal diseases and getting pregnant accidentally would not be in those situations if only they had a condom handy is hard to believe. Further, condoms have a limited shelf life. Forcing people to carry them around for weeks on end just in case could have some very harmful unintended consequences.